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Digi and OSX
Old 5th September 2002
  #1
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Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Digi and OSX

I'm wondering what all this talk of audio units -a universal platform for Mac OSX- means for Digidesign users.

As thus far Digi have rejected VST formats so firmly I'm wondering if Digi will be able to sustain this philosophy with Apple in future. I mean literally will it be technically possible for them to ringfence their native formats from the rest?

I'm assuming they can. If so, what are the potential losses to the Pro Tools user then over an application that is working with audio units.

Any feedback appreciated.
Old 13th September 2002
  #2
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Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe it's just too soon to know.
:eek:
Old 13th September 2002
  #3
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alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Renie

:eek:
nice "O" face.
Old 13th September 2002
  #4
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What, as in :eek:SX ?
Old 13th September 2002
  #5
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🎧 15 years
Digi is announcing PT6 for OSX at AES. So - go to AES and then tell us (like it will be clear - NOT). There are some rumours that either Mix or LE systems won't be supported - but I think that's hooey. My source says they will - but they might take longer to code. For some reason LE in particular is being a bear to port (whereas TDM was apparently much less problematic, probably thanks to the dsp being on the cards).
Old 13th September 2002
  #6
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jeronimo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Turpin
For some reason LE in particular is being a bear to port (whereas TDM was apparently much less problematic, probably thanks to the dsp being on the cards).
Don't forget that TDMs also use RTAS plugs...
Old 13th September 2002
  #7
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🎧 15 years
I think its the basic audio engine and timing that causes the problems. These systems are completely different in TDM vs LE (whereas the RTAS is indeed the same). That is not to say that there may be some lag in plug-in compatibility - but I have no idea if the OS9->OSX switch will be easier or harder for 3rd Parties than the Mix->HD switch was ( is! ).
Old 15th September 2002
  #8
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Lee Blaske has just written on the DUC that he is doubtful about Digi's ability to render the Mix system properly functional with OSX and PT6 due to PCI error potential.

Which is not to say they won't put it out and make money from the upgrade, which he estimates at around $500 for plug-in's.

Any perspectives on this?

Thanks

Renie
Old 15th September 2002
  #9
Run back to my place on the upgrade fence? Before someone steals it?

I am, interested in the audio quality steps forward on PTHD, 96k and the new generation plug ins , but need to see it all (OSX, Dual Processor? what mac?, midi, drive & storage tech) settle down before taking the leap.

Meanwhile I will stick at my Mix + / Pro Control / Prism combo

See what the vibe is post AES....

Old 16th September 2002
  #10
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🎧 15 years
I am really thankful for this forum/site Seems more level headed than DUC.
I don't know what to expect for OSX rumors flying about LE and Mix.
IMHO not sure if Digi is into spending the time=$ on upgrades for Mix unless there is just a few clicks to make it so. I'm tempted to upgrade d24>Mix core now for 1/2$. Or should I hold on, save some and lease HD? But I need to see what AES unveils. New stuff to lust over
Old 16th September 2002
  #11
I think Digidesign developments will creep forward and be nothing to shocking. If they trumpet the arival of usable midi at AES who is going to be impressed? Sure owners will be PLEASED...

I think slow & gradual improvements...

Good.
Old 17th September 2002
  #12
Snipaaaage:

Jaguar and Audio
OS X takes a systematic approach to handling professional audio
By Frank Moldstad

Mac OS X has taken the podium like a new conductor with radical ideas about how the orchestra should play together. He tells the musicians that if they follow his system, they will find that making music has never been easier or more productive. And one by one, he wins them over.

While OS X is still in the process of converting professional audio users, it’s clear that the fundamental changes it brings to audio production on the Mac are hugely beneficial. Traditionally, the Mac OS has been a somewhat passive host for audio programs and interfaces, allowing them to find their own best path to getting audio data in and out of the computer. Many ingenious ways of doing this have been developed. In fact, too many -- ASIO, EASI, Direct IO, OMS, VST and RTAS, to name just a few.

With OS X, Apple is offering standardized system control over this process. Developers don’t have to adopt Apple’s new Core Audio or Core MIDI protocols, but if they do, Apple says the benefits will include faster development, better performance and fewer configuration hassles for users.

“With Mac OS X we were presented with an opportunity to revise Apple's role in the total solution, in terms of configuring audio systems,” says Dan Brown, Apple’s audio technologies manager for Mac OS. “And historically our role has been that of providing stereo CD-quality services via the Sound Manager under Mac OS 9. But of course, a lot of considerably more sophisticated things have been done under Mac OS 9, and that's where we had to take a look at opportunities to increase the role of the system itself, with the objective being to increase performance and ease of use.

M-Audio's Delta 1010“So, the first thing we noticed is under Mac OS 9, there are a lot of redundant protocols like ASIO, and EASI and Direct IO and VST and RTAS and all kinds of acronymns that confuse the configuration process, limit compatibility and also greatly complicate the development process, as software and hardware developers have to make versions of their products to support all these functionally redundant protocols. So that's were we saw an opportunity to clean things up a bit and deliver more in terms of system services than we've ever delivered before,” Brown says.

Early adopters in the developer community are already reaping the benefits. M-Audio reports that its Delta audio interfaces are achieving throughput latencies as low as 1ms with its new OS X drivers. Traditionally, audio latency – the time delay between a signal entering and then reemerging from a sound card -- has been about 10ms on the Mac. A reduction of this magnitude in latency time means real-time performance, for all practical purposes. And applications developer Propellerheads is touting that under OS X its software synth Reason doesn’t need OMS or ASIO extensions, because it now connects directly to OS X-compatible MIDI and audio cards

“The trend here is to provide services which are not specific to an individual app, essential system services that have historically been provided by developer protocols and created a complicated experience for users and a difficult development experience for developers,” says Brown.

AMS Audio setup screen (Click image for larger view)And OS 10.2, aka Jaguar, includes a new audio goody: Audio MIDI Setup (AMS), a utility (Applications > Utilities) for configuring systemwide sound card and MIDI interface parameters. (Everyday users can still access the Sound Manager via System Preferences for basic audio setup.)

“We really don't want to get deeply into the user interface business,” Brown says of AMS. “These solutions are very specialized, and the individual developers really prefer to present the configurability of their systems themselves than have us take on too much of that. But there were a few things that we had to deliver. Most specifically, there was the ability to configure and abstract your MIDI environment, which was provided under Mac OS 9 by OMS and FreeMIDI. There are host apps out there that don't need that, Logic being one of them in that it has a Hardware Abstraction Layer environment. But there are other very important apps, such as Pro Tools, that under Mac OS 9, were dependent on OMS. And obviously, Digital Performer is dependent upon FreeMIDI.

AMS icon“So with OMS being the preeminent MIDI middleware and of course not really being developed any longer, we had to rise to the occasion and provide these services, and that of course put the onus on us to deliver user interface for configuring the preferences of your MIDI system,” he adds. “So that's what we delivered with what's called AMS, Audio MIDI Setup.”

Other important audio features in OS X include 32-bit floating point performance for quick processing of 24-bit/96kHz audio, native multi-channel audio with plug-in support, and class drivers for USB multichannel audio and MIDI.

Devices that are USB class compliant, such as Midiman’s USB Midisport, Emagic’s EMI2/6, Event’s EZbus or Tascam’s 428, are instantly recognized and the system presents all the options that they report.

MIDI configuration window in AMS (Click image for larger view)“Within AMS, you can select your input device, you can select your output device and then you can adjust whatever parameters that device reports to the system,” Brown says. “So when you plug in a USB audio device, it will actually notify Mac OS, 'I have this many channels, I can handle these formats, etc.,' and you can select that there."

The plug-in protocol in OS X, called Audio Unit, has been greatly enriched under Jaguar, says Brown, after extensive feedback from developers.

“We can accomodate DSP plug-ins, which take audio in and return processed audio, but also another type of plug-ins, virtual instruments or soft synths, which take MIDI in and deliver rendered audio,” he says. “So that functionality allows us to have a platform plug-in protocol for DSP and virtual instruments that's available to all developers and that we will continually enrich over the lifetime of Mac OS X.

“Once again, this resolves the dependence on VST and RTAS and all the other native plug-in formats, but we haven't done anything to preclude developers from bringing up their own solutions if they choose to do so,” he adds.

High audio resolutions are possible via the 32-bit floating point that is the native audio format of all the processes that occur in Mac OS X. Applications can either deliver 32-bit floating point data to the operating system, or they can use OS X’s optimized AltiVec accelerated converters. These will allow applications to use a system service to give OS X’s engine the 32-bit float that it needs to do complicated tasks efficiently.

The new multichannel architecture is extensible to the limits of the processor's power, meaning “there's no explicit upper limit on how many channels of audio you can manage with the Macintosh,” says Brown. “So, with those services we resolve all the need for the conflicting math of ASIOs and EASIs and things of that nature,” he says, reiterating that Apple doesn't preclude developers from bringing up their own proprietary protocols.

“But what we've done is created a system service that's rich enough to make it unnecessary. If they choose to do so, there's nothing to prevent them from doing so. But we wanted to create the opportunity for a more unified experience for the users and the developers,” he says.
Old 17th September 2002
  #13
OK I posted it, its a bit nerdy for me, anyone care to give me a brief outline of how it will effect Pro Tools?
Old 17th September 2002
  #14
AMS Icon
Attached Images
Digi and OSX-ams-icon.jpg 
Old 17th September 2002
  #15
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Attached Thumbnails
Digi and OSX-osx.jpg  
Old 17th September 2002
  #16
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RobMacki's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I do'no. Cool logo though. So when will G4s ship w / midi interfaces?
I just heard today (from a reliable source who heard from a reliable source)
PT 6 for OSX will be introduced at AES and will support LE, Mix, HD. With new OSX look and will support G4 dual. But can you immagine the troubleshooting nightmare in the beginning? I think I'll wait for PT 6.1. I think I will exchange up to Mix (from d24) It will include latest version, not 6, but with 48bit mixer.
I don't what that has to do with OSX but hey...
Old 17th September 2002
  #17
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Kamurah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jules,

(Caveat - this is an opinion...I am NOT a developer)

I don't think it is going to affect PT very much at all.....even though it could potentially simplify the interface between Digi hardware and the computer. Since Digi is steadfast in their development of the DAE engine (which basically does the same thing that Core Audio AMS does in OSX) they will most likely stay with that.

What CoreAudio AMS would allow is for multiple audio programs to use Digi hardware simultaneously without switching and without conflict. DP, Logic, PT, Nuendo could "potentially" be running at the same time without conflict.

For instance, I can play iTunes and Logic at the same time through the same interface because they both utilize the same CoreAudio driver. I don't know if this has been the case on the TDM side of things...but I was never able to open an MP3 player and Pro Tools at the same time because I would get an "the interface is being used by another application" DAE error. In Logic there was a virtual laundry list of different audio protocols that were implemented to allow multiple hardware to exist in harmony......I think CoreAudio will greatly simplify this type of setup.

I also think the benefits that come with CoreAudio are mostly applicable to native systems, since there has traditionally been so much overhead code designed just to get audio into the box. DSP systems like Mix and HD 'should' just keep on functioning like normal (with the possibility of increased performance of RTAS).

My .02........sure would like to hear something SOLID from someone who actually CODES this stuff.

Cheers
Old 17th September 2002
  #18
MUCH appreciated!

Thanks!

Old 18th September 2002
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Did anyone notice Digi's home page today?
Big emphasis on PC.

"MEET THE WHOLE FAMILY
See Digidesign®, Intel®, and Sony VAIO® PCs create the finest home/project studio solutions available on the Windows XP platform: The Pro Tools® LE family of workstations."

Is this a future dirrection for Digi? Is there a partnership underway?
Old 18th September 2002
  #20
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Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Rob

I don't think Digi and Apple are happy together.

But divorce? who knows....
Old 19th September 2002
  #21
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RobMacki's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I thought this was an interesting post:

Saracino
Administrator
Member # 2019
posted September 06, 2002 11:22 AM ___ __ _ _ _ _ __
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uh, yes we will -- we've been in communication with EMagic and have every intention of getting Logic working with TDM hardware on OSX.
-- Joe Saracino
Manager, Digidesign Developer Support Engineering




Here's the thread:

http://duc.digidesign.com/cgi-bin/ub...c;f=1;t=004717
Old 21st September 2002
  #22
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🎧 15 years
It should be interesting to see how it develops. Who knows really?

The field changes so quickly anything's possible and back again.

I don't think Digi and Apple are going anywhere for a year or two, but it could get tense, maybe it'll be one big happy family...

It looks like Digi will approve the OSX PT6 dual processor Mix combo but I am concerned about Lee Blaske's comments that the PCI bus could be in for some strain with that combo. Will leave it a while for other user reports to filter through. HD is looking more and more essential.
Old 21st September 2002
  #23
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Renie
It should be interesting to see how it develops. Who knows really?

The field changes so quickly anything's possible and back again.

I don't think Digi and Apple are going anywhere for a year or two, but it could get tense, maybe it'll be one big happy family...

It looks like Digi will approve the OSX PT6 dual processor Mix combo but I am concerned about Lee Blaske's comments that the PCI bus could be in for some strain with that combo. Will leave it a while for other user reports to filter through. HD is looking more and more essential.
Yeah Digi has to know that they have 2-3 years to transition to PCIExpress. The current PCI bus is already limiting and they're going to need much more horsepower in a few years.

http://www.pcisig.com/specifications/pci_express for more info
Old 24th September 2002
  #24
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mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
pt6

just came from a pro tools seminar....pt6 is not as radical as some folks expect (i was told ).digi moves slow . probably a good idea considering that the pro community needs reliability more than bells and wistles..i still don't have all my plugins back since i made to move to hd (which i love).
Old 24th September 2002
  #25
Good news...

I wonder what the hell they could come up with in PT6 that would filter down to be of 'special interest' to CLIENTS. My guess is nothing of extreme impact.

PT refurb should be massive, HD gradually building. I will probably go HD next year.

Business as usual.

I frankly expect NONE of the very much desired features below to ever be addressed:

Auto plug in delay compensation
Plug ins / sends on the fly
Scrub trim for the ProControl edit wheel

These requests seem perpetually on the bottom of any Digidesign 'priorities list' but still feature uppermost on power users request lists. Too much time has passed for me to believe they have any intention of ever addressing them.
Old 24th September 2002
  #26
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🎧 15 years
new features

would love to see all those features....i am going to another meeting with reps from digi....tonight....will copy your thread and ask about them....usually they say that they would rather spend more time developing so that there are no problems when the software is released..and they are very closed mouthed about pt6 cornered one guy and he said that the refinements were great...led me to believe its not very radical....
Old 25th September 2002
  #27
Mac Moderator
 
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🎧 15 years
I agree. I think PT6 will be played safely by Digi. I can't believe that there won't be some new features, but they'll be more equivelent of PT5.5 maybe (if it were ever to exist...) than any major leap.
To repeat what I've said earlier in another thread. I was told (By Digi) that it will be Mix capable.

Digi are focusing heavily on the Windows side at the momment because they're hedging there bets.... No-one (except Steve Jobs ;-) knows what will happen in Emagic. Apple does not like to be dependant on anyone. Look how the Graph cards change from Ati to Nvidia.... This is so none of the companies starts to dictate to Apple. Plus Final Cut Pro is Trumpeted as a Software only Pro Video Editor. Replacing the Hardware Matrox made specially for it in its version 3, and eating into some of the Avid market.... This last point will be foremost in Digi/Avids mind.

I certainly hope that common sense will reign, and we'll have the same integration between PT and Logic that we have now. I prefer PT on a Mac.

Obviously DAE/TDM will still be the way on 'Big Tools' but maybe LE will move to AU. It would be common sense, plus it wouldn't get Apples back up as much if Digi played ball to some extent!!!

tut

Al.
Old 25th September 2002
  #28
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🎧 15 years
Al

..interesting.

I read this ad today quoting Paul Foekler, Dir. Corporate Marketing, Digidesign.

"In the world of audio production, power is the first word. That's why, when combined with a Windows XP-based computer equipped with the latest Intel Pentium 4 processor, Digidesign's Pro Tools becomes an enormously powerful music creation and production environment. In fact, the Windows XP-based PC's outperform any other computer on the market, hands down. With pro Tools, this translates to amazingly high-speed disk access and excellent host-based effects plug-in performance.

The number of PCI slots available for most Windows systems allows Pro Tools TDM owners to seriously expand the dedicated processing power of their system without having to purchase a PCI expansion chassis. Combine this with the fact that even the most powerful Windows PC's are generally far less expensive than the competition, and you'll see why Windows machines afford any Pro Tools user serious bang for their buck. Of course, now that Pro Tools supports the Windows XP platform - powered by the Pentium 4 processor - Pro Tools customers will also enjoy a rock-solid operating environment that's very user friendly."

He's basically saying PC is better than Mac for PT.
Old 25th September 2002
  #29
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🎧 15 years
LOL That's truly pathetic

Geez and I thought stability was the first word in Audio Production.

Could he sound any more like he's on the Payroll of Intel? Hey tell'em to do their best it's their future on the line not mine.
Old 25th September 2002
  #30
Mac Moderator
 
MCal27's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Renie, Thanks for posting that.... now I'm worried :eek:
Looks like they maybe trying what they did with Avid (moving it totally to Wintel..which didnt work out for them as it happens)

Maybe they've run into trouble with negotiations with Apple/Emagic? I'll see if I can dig up anything.....

Al.
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