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ASIO Guard - Close But Yet So Far !
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TAFKAT
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5th December 2012
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ASIO Guard - Close But Yet So Far !

We have the final detail on ASIO Guard aka Hybrid Audio Engine :

Taken from Here

Quote:
ASIO Guard Limitations

Only audio channels and VST Instruments including the plug-ins utilized on those channels support the ASIO Guard technology.

Please keep in mind that by default no VST Instruments are calculated in the ASIO Guard path.

You can enable ASIO Guard for each VST Instrument individually or disable it for certain VST plug-ins in the VST plug-in information window.
The "ASIO Guard" column shows the current status for each plug-in.

ASIO-Guard cannot be used for:

real time dependent signals
VST Instruments with more than one MIDI input
VST Instruments using disk streaming

VST Instruments using specific controllers (z.B. Maschine von Native Instruments)
VST editors/plug-ins used to control external sound modules and effects
External FX and instruments
Plug-ins using the VST Bridge

Note: As soon as an audio channel is monitor enabled or a VST Instrument track is record enabled that channel/track will be switched from ASIO Guard to real time (and back). The resulting fade in (and fade out) of the corresponding audio signal may be perceived as a small interruption.
I have highlighted what I believe is an extremely important point for the large majority of end users, that being anyone who uses Multi Part / Sample based VI's.

In short , it cannot be used for any of the most used Sample Based VI's - Kontakt/Vienna/PLAY, etc, which IMO pretty much renders it useless for those who use those instruments extensively, i.e - the above mentioned large majority.

Those working purely in Post utilising plugins that do not do anything "musical" may get some benefit on OSX at lower latency where there is a larger variable , but for Post only users on Windows , its pretty much a non event IMO.

Move along now, nothing to see here.

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5th December 2012
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......
.........
... .... >.<

..a bit unexpected i must say...

it will not work at all for me then.. really lame
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5th December 2012
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Hey Vin,

It's too early to tell how well ASIO Guard will work. Let's wait and see how it actually does on DAWBench and in the real world -- maybe even give Steinberg some time for a few patches before we can really pass judgment. I agree the limitations you indicate will reduce its potential, but I still have to credit Steinberg for working on this!

Do you have plans to test it out any time soon? I'd love to see your numbers, even if they're preliminary.

I'm taking the transition to C7 a little slower this time, and I ordered the boxed version anyway, so it could be a couple weeks before I fire it up on a new boot partition. But when I install it, I'm sure I'll run some casual DAWBench tests to see how it roughly compares to C6.5 on the same machine. I'm hoping at least to break even on performance! Anything better is cake.

IMO, the fact they spent any time at all on this is a bonus, and I can imagine a lot of scenarios where it will help (assuming it works), including for composers. I use a hybrid collection of tracks/plugins that include sample-based standards like Kontakt, PLAY, etc., with a bunch of others, often mixed with audio tracks loaded with plugins that should benefit, so theoretically, it will help me. When you think about beasts like U-he Diva and Zebra, ASIO Guard could free up enough resources to help with the sample-based plugins in the same project, not to mention the variety of other types of tracks composers use. So I can't see it as a net-negative at this point. Even Hans Zimmer uses U-he plugins so at the top end of the Cubase composer user base, they'll potentially see some benefit.

Yes, true, a purely sample-based template will not benefit from ASIO Guard, but I think it's a stretch to call those types of users a "large majority" of users. Many of the Cubase guys I know run a similar variety of track types that I do, so "most" of us should see some benefit, albeit miniscule. And I definitely agree for post projects, it should be at its most effective. Nuendo 6 workflows in particular should benefit (in theory).

Anyway, please do post your results if you run some DAWBench tests! Always appreciated the work you do for the cause!
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5th December 2012
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How does Cubase know that a plugin is a disk-streaming sampler? Is there some flag in the VST3 spec? Isn't this just a "use at your own risk" type of warning?

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5th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
In short , it cannot be used for any of the most used Sample Based VI's - Kontakt/Vienna/PLAY, etc,
I don't know about Vienna or PLAY, but Kontakt does give you the option to use RAM instead of disk streaming. So AFAIK Kontakt should work great with ASIO Guard.
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5th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus909 View Post
I don't know about Vienna or PLAY, but Kontakt does give you the option to use RAM instead of disk streaming. So AFAIK Kontakt should work great with ASIO Guard.
You missed the point of it not working with Multi Part Instruments , so unless you are going to run single instances of Kontakt for each instrument , its useless.

@uarte,

I'll drop back when I get some clear air and answer in more detail , but yes I will be testing and reporting with DAWbench were applicable, but the Kontakt VI test is already out of the equation.

L8R
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6th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
@uarte,

I'll drop back when I get some clear air and answer in more detail , but yes I will be testing and reporting with DAWbench were applicable, but the Kontakt VI test is already out of the equation.

L8R
Looking forward to it, Vin! BTW, may I humbly suggest you don't rule out Kontakt VI test too soon. It may be worth a quick pass to see if the ASIO Guard actually ADDS overhead and perhaps makes low-latency performance WORSE? Might be worth a quick run to see if Steinberg made some scenarios worse while trying to make the overall performance better? Wouldn't be the first time.
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6th December 2012
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I don't have the upgrade yet, but it seems to me that the exclusion of streaming and multi-out, doesn't exclude the project. It just excludes those tracks. So, you can reduce the load of the project by enabling other tracks.

Don't get me wrong, 99% of the plugins I use are in multi-out and/or streaming. But, I'm on Windows, so haven't really suffered terrible latency performance either. Just wondering if for most people this will actually help them.
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6th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uarte View Post
Hey Vin,

It's too early to tell how well ASIO Guard will work. Let's wait and see how it actually does on DAWBench and in the real world -- maybe even give Steinberg some time for a few patches before we can really pass judgment. I agree the limitations you indicate will reduce its potential, but I still have to credit Steinberg for working on this!
Hey U,

Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to give Steinberg credit for putting some time and effort into the area, its just not what I was hoping for I suppose. The potential without it being available to Multi Part/ Streaming based VI's is not being realised. The main focus for this whole endeavour I suspect was to close the gap between the performance cross platform , its no secret that Cubase performs measurably better on Windows than OSX at lower latencies. The largest variable by far is with Multi Part/ Sample based Streaming Virtual Instruments , which is exactly what is being excluded.

Quote:
Do you have plans to test it out any time soon? I'd love to see your numbers, even if they're preliminary.
It won't be for at least a few weeks as I am flat out right up to X-Mas, but Ill get some testing and reports done over the X-Mas/New Year break.

Quote:
IMO, the fact they spent any time at all on this is a bonus, and I can imagine a lot of scenarios where it will help (assuming it works), including for composers. I use a hybrid collection of tracks/plugins that include sample-based standards like Kontakt, PLAY, etc., with a bunch of others, often mixed with audio tracks loaded with plugins that should benefit, so theoretically, it will help me. When you think about beasts like U-he Diva and Zebra, ASIO Guard could free up enough resources to help with the sample-based plugins in the same project, not to mention the variety of other types of tracks composers use. So I can't see it as a net-negative at this point. Even Hans Zimmer uses U-he plugins so at the top end of the Cubase composer user base, they'll potentially see some benefit.
I am not saying it won't be a benefit at all, I am saying that the benefit isn't going to be that substantial. On the VI's/Plugins that can be assigned there will be some benefit , but how that interacts in an environment where some instances are buffering at 4 x the hardware set buffer ( that is the value assigned to the playback buffer via ASIO Guard ), and others that are not is going to be interesting to say the least. It adds a level of complexity that is hard for me to get my head around in how its going to be fluid. For those composers that are utilising the larger sample based templates , it would be better to just leave it off to be safe , IMO.

I have already heard from some who have indicated that already.

Quote:
Yes, true, a purely sample-based template will not benefit from ASIO Guard, but I think it's a stretch to call those types of users a "large majority" of users. Many of the Cubase guys I know run a similar variety of track types that I do, so "most" of us should see some benefit, albeit miniscule. And I definitely agree for post projects, it should be at its most effective. Nuendo 6 workflows in particular should benefit (in theory).
Re the majority, OK that was too broad a brush, let me rephrase that, the majority of my Cubase clients have a dependency on streaming instruments such as Kontakt ( Komplete is a staple on most systems I configure in the last 3-4 years ) , lots are using VSL and EWQL as well , so for them this is going to be pretty much a non event, which is disappointing.

Quote:
Anyway, please do post your results if you run some DAWBench tests! Always appreciated the work you do for the cause!
I certainly will, I even have Mountain Lion running nicely on one of the test/report systems ( ducks for cover ). The DAWbench VI - Kontakt test session as I mentioned earlier cannot be used for the comparative , but I do have a new DAWbench VI test session in development based on Camel Audio Alchemy that is based on multiple single instances , so that could be interesting as it will be within the limitations of ASIO Guard.

The Plugin tests will not results in a huge variation on Windows, as there is only about a 20% variable from 032 to 256 anyway, but I'll go thru the process anyway.

Lets see what the end users report and bring to the table in the meantime.

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7th December 2012
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I don't think it's just prebuffering only. They must have done something else as well.
On a mac it's possible to push it a lot harder than before without dropouts or issues and in my (limited) testing there are no breakups or dropouts without the new performance meter indicating it. That was not the case before.
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7th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG View Post
I don't think it's just prebuffering only. They must have done something else as well.
On a mac it's possible to push it a lot harder than before without dropouts or issues and in my (limited) testing there are no breakups or dropouts without the new performance meter indicating it. That was not the case before.
Eric,

Are you using Multi Part Sample based VI's ?

BTW: Who said anything about it just pre-buffering ?

With ASIO Guard on the playback buffer when not input monitoring is 4 x the hardware setting, i.e - 064 x 4 = 256 , 128 x 4 = 512 , etc, so of course you can push it harder if you are only dealing with plugins only ?

Its essentially like raising the buffer for mixing.

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No i dont use a lot of streaming VI.
Only a few instances of Kontakt playing perhaps 100 voices, so not a heavy load there. a bit of Alchemy though. But that's not streaming.
I understand that there is x4 buffering.
Just saying that I can use a lot more plugins on 7 @ 256buffer than I could on 6 @ 1024 buffer. So if it was just the x4 buffering then I would not be able to get that result. So I think more stuff in the audio engine must have changed.
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7th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG View Post
Just saying that I can use a lot more plugins on 7 @ 256buffer than I could on 6 @ 1024 buffer. So if it was just the x4 buffering then I would not be able to get that result. So I think more stuff in the audio engine must have changed.
I'll have to take you word for number of plugins @ 1024 , I haven't set a system to 1024 in well over a decade... ;-)

If thats the case it will be easy enough to confirm when I run any of the DAWbench sessions and check the results from say 064 to 256.

With plugins, anything above 128 is barely quantifiable on modern systems with C5/6 , so it will be interesting to see what the tests throw up.

If there has been other optimisations to the audio engine , it would be a welcome change to what has been happening incrementally since 5.x, which has had the performance going backwards. That will be easy enough to quantify/qualify as it will be evident with ASIO Guard switched off across the board.

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7th December 2012
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I'll just never get used to having everything in one computer. All my virtual instruments reside on different dedicated computers synchronized in the daw farm. Dunno why, but I've always thought that everyone else does the same when using large amounts of virtual instruments.

Hoping that asio guard will be a nice performance addition somewhere in the overall scheme of things.
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10th December 2012
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Read in Here
2 steps forward, 3 steps back... !!


Last edited by TAFKAT; 13th December 2012 at 11:53 PM.. Reason: Amended - Fixed Link... again.
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11th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Read in Here

2 steps forward, 3 steps back... !!

Major upgrades always draw a little more juice than the predecessor...
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11th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Read in Here

2 steps forward, 3 steps back... !!

"The requested topic does not exist".
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12th December 2012
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Link Fixed.

Last edited by TAFKAT; 13th December 2012 at 11:54 PM.. Reason: Amended - Fixed Link... again.
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I have had a heads up that the censorship has kicked in over at the Steinberg Forums, threads discussing the ASIO performance issues are being deleted without warning.

Priceless.
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12th December 2012
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I absolutely don't blame Steinberg for deleting that thread.

I read the whole thread, it went from,

"Oh no ASIO is sh*t in C7" .... to .... "no hang on a second I've fixed it by installing the lastest E-Licenser driver - now C7 is better than C6.5"

yeah right really accurate information there.
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13th December 2012
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That was not the thread I was referring to , I hadn't even realised they had deleted that one as well.

The issues being reported in that original were real, and accurate - the updated eLicenser was released a full week after the fact , there was no reason whats so ever to delete that thread, let alone the other thread I was referring to.

But you keep pushing that barrow..

There are still plenty of performance issues surrounding ASIO Guard, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg , but I doubt you'll be reading it over there while obnoxious shills are allowed to run rampant , while someone trying to post something that is a heads up for other users , is immediately censored.
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Quote:
But you keep pushing that barrow..

No need to take that attitude, please pull back a notch or two on the sarcasm, thanks.

I was simply making the point that SB have just released a major update, it will take a few months to iron out the issues. SB are trying to maintain decent signal to noise ratio on their forum. SB know full well the issues with their own app and they will get them sorted as they always do.

There's no point in allowing a hoard of people to stand there throwing stones at a major new feature, people seem to appear to gloat when things don't go perfectly with a new release, but complain if a major new version isn't released every 6 months! IMHO a better approach is to be a little bit patient, C6.5 has been superb for me and there is no reason why SB won't achieve the same with C7 including ASIO Guard.

When it comes to DAW app's it's always a case of the platform is "work in progress" - I know people don't like that and want perfection from day 1, but one has to learn to be realistic.

My money earning projects are still on 6.5, and I'm running C7 to integrate the new features into my workflow, when SB get C7 a little further down the river (it won't take long) then it will be ready for prime time in my studio and then C8 will the version I'm trying out and learning the new features of, it's always been this way, it's nothing new.

The same thing happend with the UAD-2, the drivers were terrible at first and took more native CPU for the i\o than the DSP helped running plugins!
now of course the drivers are great and very efficient.

The same will be true with the new features in C7.

Best
tht
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13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
No need to take that attitude, please pull back a notch or two ....
You should take some of your own advise and pull back a notch yourself.

You come in 1/2 cocked and start spraying around venom that was irrelevant to what I was actually referring to.

I am happy you have so much faith in Steinberg's abilities, there are those of use who have been thru this more time than we care to admit , that will have a differing view.

Re Steinberg trying to maintain decent signal to noise, give me a break, as I stated earlier and I'll repeat again, they allow obnoxious shills to attack, belittle and derail unabated , while those actually posting experiences that could be of benefit are being deleted and censored.

Now seeing this thread is about ASIO Guard and the caveats attached , and you seem to believe that the issues simply need to be smoothed out, how exactly do you think they will be tackling that seeing you have so much faith, I'm all ears.
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13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Re Steinberg trying to maintain decent signal to noise, give me a break, as I stated earlier and I'll repeat again, they allow obnoxious shills to attack, belittle and derail unabated , while those actually posting experiences that could be of benefit are being deleted and censored.
Hey Vin,

I don't think any threads have been deleted. I just see threads moved around and not properly relinked. I could be wrong of course.

As for C****n, I've been on the SB forum for less than 2 weeks and I have already pegged him as the most annoying poster by a huge margin. Nearly every DAW forum seems to have one of these apologist fanbois. I wonder of the companies really don't realise these people do much more harm to the company than good.

Sometimes all someone wants to do is vent and share their issues with others. When one of these fanboi losers knee-jerk reacts to the (perceived) criticism and start blaming the poster, people get more upset and frustrated. That is bad for the companies in question.

Anyway, I'm being oh so reasonable for once and waiting for the demo.

Alistair
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13th December 2012
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Sounds a bit like REAPER's "Anticipative processing" feature ...
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If Steinberg has been deleting threads, that would be a reversal of a positive trend recently. They seem to have become much more level-headed recently, so this would indeed be unwelcome news. I'll assume the best for now, and it was either a moved thread or a mistake on some moderator's part.

But what's more unwelcome is the stream of issues that this 7.0 release carries with it... at least much more than the last major release as far as I can tell from the Steinberg forum. I've decided to wait this one out even longer than I first mentioned... at least until the first fully-supported maintenance release, and even then I'll decide if I want to wait one more maintenance release. I can't afford any downtime and I'm not interested in frustrating beta-testing.

What is really starting to bug me is that Steinberg/Yamaha's own hardware has issues with C7. This is really unwelcome news. I currently only have a CC121 (which is supposedly working okay with C7, but with a few minor issues), but I used to have an MR816 and other Yamaha hardware (including the N12) -- all great products -- but it's perplexing to me how Steinberg/Yamaha dropped the ball on compatibility with their own gear! The list of complaints on their own hardware is disturbing, and frankly unacceptable! It should work flawlessly out of the gate! What the heck is going on over there?

These and other reported and admitted C7 issues do concern me, and I'm just hoping that this isn't a reversal of a good trend on Steinberg's part... I'll cut them some slack this round so they can get this release fixed in the next few months, but I hope this doesn't mean we're going back to the "old" Steinberg. The "old" Steinberg drove me away from Cubase for a few years and I don't think I'd like another dose of that.

But it's clear to me now that just based on their own hardware compatibility alone, Steinberg should have waited another couple of months to release C7.

And if they've botched the performance of the engine and jumped the gun due to their ambition with ASIO Guard too, I don't know what I'll think. They need to get this ironed out quickly, openly, and professionally.

BUT, I repeat we really don't know the story yet about the true situation with ASIO Guard. We need someone to do a reputable, definitive, honest, technically savvy, side-by-side DAWbench comparison with C6.5 to show the actual numbers! ( I'm looking at you, Vin! ) Until that's done, we can't really accept anecdotal, non-scientific commentary or opinion of forum users as evidence that Steinberg screwed up on ASIO Guard. For all we know, there could have been a dozen other apps/plugins/drivers/etc., that those critics also upgraded at the same time they installed C7 that could be causing performance issues. A REAL test, by someone who knows what they are doing still needs to be done!

I'd volunteer myself, but I don't have the time right now, nor can I afford any issues with my main Cubase DAW. I have to sit here on 6.5 until the dust settles. Some other brave soul will have to do the dirty work on C7. But until some trusted, confirmed DAWbench test results come in, it's pointless for us to speculate based on such shoddy anecdotal information coming out of the Steinberg forum.

In any case, I've come to the belief that Steinberg simply jumped the gun on this release. It's a couple months shy of deserving a non-beta label. Only time will tell if this is a bump in the road, or something more problematic at Steinberg HQ.

I'll cross my fingers that it's just a bump in the road.
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13th December 2012
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Showing all the symptoms of a release managed to a deadline. And although they made the deadline, did not complete the work/testing.
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13th December 2012
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Quote:
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Showing all the symptoms of a release managed to a deadline. And although they made the deadline, did not complete the work/testing.
I agree.

The first big red flag that I should have noticed on day 1, was the number of documented "known" issues with Steinberg's own hardware. That's been bugging me more and more. If anything can be controlled in-house, it's their own hardware/drivers! And let's not fall for the excuse that Yamaha is responsible for the hardware drivers, and push the blame onto them. It doesn't matter, it's still in the same family. Yamaha should have therefore stepped in and held back Steinberg from pushing for this premature release!

The second red flag was the number of features that Steinberg publicly mentioned "didn't make it" to this release... including adding the cool track filtering/hiding features of the new MixConsole to the Project/Track edit window as well. In other words, they released the major tent-pole feature in a half-assed way, I hate to say. Imagine how great C7.5 could be. Maybe I'll wait until then to upgrade.

I keep telling myself this is just a bump in the road. C6.5 is working beautifully. Back to work I go!
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13th December 2012
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I wonder who they are trying to beat to market with this release? I don't personally have a problem with releasing software with known issues, even if with compatibility with their own products....as long as that is published. I can then make a choice to upgrade or not.

But crappy graphics and or included functionality that does may not work as advertised (AG?). That could be a problem.

With all of that said I do believe that SB is MUCH better under Yamaha.
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13th December 2012
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Quote:
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I wonder who they are trying to beat to market with this release?
Easy answer. Santa.

Even I bought the upgrade as a Xmas present to myself.

I'm happy with 6.5 and would of probably waited until 7.2 (so to speak) but you know how it is, my wife said oh go on grab it for Xmas and check out the new features.

.... and I do music for a living! Just imagine how big the Xmas factor is with sales for SB/Yamaha amongst it's massive semi-pro user base.

Corny as it sounds for DAW software, but get it out in time for Xmas definitely drove the release deadline for C7 IMHO.
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