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If you only had 1 piece of outboard... Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 6th September 2011
  #31
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lysander's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seancostello View Post
I first heard of the Blackfin in 2003, when working for Analog Devices. A reverb of mine got ported to the Blackfin around that time, but most of my Blackfin audio work was from 2004-2006. I'm not sure when the design first happened. I think it was originally a driver for a printer. Most of the executives at ADI didn't think it was well suited for audio at first but it turns out that it was plenty fast.



I've programmed reverbs for both the Blackfin and the current Sandy Bridge, so here's my take on things: Assuming that the M7 uses optimized programming (and from what I have read of Casey's posts, he knows how to optimize things), the processing of the M7 MIGHT just BARELY fit into a full core of the current high-end Intel processors. And this is a big "MIGHT."

For plugins, this sort of processing load just won't work. Most DAWs create an instance of the plugin on the same core that the track/channel is being processed on. This is why it isn't a proper test of the CPU usage of a plugin to just create N series instances on one channel, as they will all be called on the same core, while most DAWs distribute their tracks over multiple cores. A plugin that uses 95% of a core won't run without stuttering in any sort of real-world situation.

It is possible that the M7 algorithm has different sections that can be run in parallel. For example, the Early reverb, Late reverb and Low Frequency reverb may not have any interaction with each other, or might just use a feedforward between Early and Late that would be easy to route. In that case, you could split the load between the cores.

However, at that point you will be using, say, 45-50% of your WHOLE computer, at least as far as your CPU meters are concerned. And I can tell you from experience that users will NOT be happy about this. People will always compare the CPU usage to the Lexicon PCM Native plugins, which use very little CPU, as they are fairly close to the algorithms that were running on a few 6 MHz cores in 1986.

And this is making some big assumptions about the idea that the M7 algorithm can be split into multiple sections, and that you are programming as close to the metal as possible (i.e. SSE2 assembly), and that you are using the cache to the best of its ability. And a much bigger assumption is being made: that Casey would ever port his algorithms to native plugins. It is pretty clear that he has no current plans to do so.

This isn't to say that good reverbs can't be programmed natively (I have my own ego at stake here heh), or that a sound similar to the M7 couldn't be created as a native plugin using a different signal processing approach. Just that the raw CPU power of the M7 is pretty high, and is close enough to exceeding what you can get out of a single core of the fastest Intel chips that a direct port of the M7 algorithm to native would be problematic.



I agree with you with regards to the DSP accelerator cards. From my SHARC and Blackfin experience, I think that the M7 has considerably more power than a Quad UAD2.
Very informative post Sean, thanks for that !
Old 6th September 2011
  #32
DSK
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In almost the same position (single high-end unit) I grabbed an Schippmann Ebbe und Flut.

While I'm on the route of DIY'ing EQ's and compressors I would still grab that Schippmann. It's so versatile and has such a nice sound to it.

The compressor is really usable (not very versatile) but very good sounding!

Has a good distortion circuit. It's a modular unit and the filter is the smoothest one I've heard.

Plus with the envelope generators/follower and that lfo...

What can I say it's an amazing unit. Too bad it's mono but hey what can you do...heh
Old 10th September 2011
  #33
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teamsterjim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok Rolles View Post
Yea, sorry, but that guys post was completely innacurate. I don't care what is inside of those FX units, comparing the DSP power of something 10+ years old to something new is just plain silly
Here's what most folks are missing about high quality reverb. It's the power, but also the way the sound wraps around the source audio cannot be achieved with fake verbs, it's due to the OS and long feedback paths back to system RAM.
THe M7 as well as many older Lexicons have their own OS and their own RAM, so the power is only a piece of the equation. There's no Native plug that will ever " wrap " around the source audio. They will be your tailmaker but that's it.
The IR's are actually attempting to wrap around the source audio but they are in themselves a layer of additional waves. Not the same.

I agree the Orville is a masterpiece, but that would be my second choice, and the Manley SLAM will make the most powerful Rock Recordings and basically master anything you throw at it.
There's something about electro optical limiter slopes when combined with the more slower FET slope that does wonders. It's circuitry cannot be emulated either.

More powerful CPU's are slaved to the M$ OS, so you will never get better plug ins, just more of them.

But the pictures are getting better every year.
Next we'll have 88 note controller that have a Tube on each end so our velocity will cause them to glow, and we can pretend we are in a big studio...
Old 10th September 2011
  #34
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sftd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsterjim View Post
Here's what most folks are missing about high quality reverb. It's the power, but also the way the sound wraps around the source audio cannot be achieved with fake verbs, it's due to the OS and long feedback paths back to system RAM.
THe M7 as well as many older Lexicons have their own OS and their own RAM, so the power is only a piece of the equation. There's no Native plug that will ever " wrap " around the source audio. They will be your tailmaker but that's it.
The IR's are actually attempting to wrap around the source audio but they are in themselves a layer of additional waves. Not the same.

I agree the Orville is a masterpiece, but that would be my second choice, and the Manley SLAM will make the most powerful Rock Recordings and basically master anything you throw at it.
There's something about electro optical limiter slopes when combined with the more slower FET slope that does wonders. It's circuitry cannot be emulated either.

More powerful CPU's are slaved to the M$ OS, so you will never get better plug ins, just more of them.

But the pictures are getting better every year.
Next we'll have 88 note controller that have a Tube on each end so our velocity will cause them to glow, and we can pretend we are in a big studio...
References please?

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 10th September 2011
  #35
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skyshooter's Avatar
Got to agree with the Briscati M7 or Eventide 8000, however only having heard them and not really used them personally, I'll go with my favorite standby OTB tool the - Lexicon PCM70. Never found it to be bad on anything I put into it.
Old 10th September 2011
  #36
API 2500 or Manley Vari Mu.
Old 11th September 2011
  #37
MPZ
Gear Maniac
 

Presuming a console is CHEATING ENTRAINER!... I would have to say a pimped out Kyma system. I'd just take the time to learn it, then be able to do anything!

Edit: well, almost anything. They don't have infinite DSP power...

Last edited by MPZ; 11th September 2011 at 01:46 AM.. Reason: correction
Old 11th September 2011
  #38
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Lights's Avatar
This is so subjective. But I'd have to guess that the single most important piece of outboard gear that no plugin can replace is a phenomenal microphone.

Anything else can be emulated well enough now either by offline or realtime processing. I'm certain you might be able to provide examples of very expensive hardware that will produce 5% better results than much cheaper plugins. But I think a better mic will buy you far more bang for your buck.

(maybe I'm perverting the purpose of this thread and mics weren't what the OP had in mind but after reading the suggestions i came away thinking that I wouldn't even want most of them in my almost-all-ITB home studio.)
Old 11th September 2011
  #39
Gear Addict
 
Liam Judah's Avatar
 

Neve 1272 to get my synths in the box. Love what it does to the tone.
Old 11th September 2011
  #40
Thermionic Culture Rooster - Great Tube Pre, Eq and Distortion box (Pentode or Triode), all in one sweet 2 channel chassis with a big green jewel light to show your friends.
Old 11th September 2011
  #41
ValhallaDSP
 
seancostello's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsterjim View Post
Here's what most folks are missing about high quality reverb. It's the power, but also the way the sound wraps around the source audio cannot be achieved with fake verbs, it's due to the OS and long feedback paths back to system RAM.
In my experience, the fast cache you'll find in today's machines more than makes up for any system RAM access issues. Modern Intel CPUs have very large cache memories, usually between 2MB and 6MB. If all the delay lines can fit within the cache during a processing block, then things can become BLAZINGLY fast, due to the very fast access speed of the cache memory. To put things in perspective, the "classic" digital reverberators tended to use between 32K and 128K of memory, so several instances of these algorithms would fit comfortably in the cache of these CPUs.

Quote:
THe M7 as well as many older Lexicons have their own OS and their own RAM, so the power is only a piece of the equation. There's no Native plug that will ever " wrap " around the source audio. They will be your tailmaker but that's it.
If you don't like native plugins, no big deal, but the type of RAM being used has nothing to do with it. All the older Lexicon algorithms will fit within modern cache memory, and will take a small fraction of the CPU of a modern machine. The M7 uses more memory than would fit in the cache of current CPUs, but the power of this box far surpasses any prior hardware reverbs, so it is the exception rather than the rule.

As far as things "wrapping" around the source, the older hardware reverbs had all sorts of, well, hardware in them. Transformers, fairly low quality A/D and D/A convertors, input limiters, steep analog filters with wiggly phase and amplitude response, etc. In addition, the fixed point math and low resolution multipliers of the older units would result in internal clipping and noise. All of these elements can act to reduce the peak values of input signals, cut out all frequencies above 10 kHz, and wrap a warm blanket of noise around the reverb. Which often ended up IMPROVING the sound. I'm still figuring this out, as honestly it flies against everything you read in DSP textbooks.
Old 13th September 2011
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StringBean View Post
Let's say your completely ITB and could only have 1 piece of outboard processing equipment, it would have to be a compressor right? Nothing affects the basic sound more right?

Bricasti M7.
Old 14th September 2011
  #43
Well I kind of only have one outboard unit now that I use alot (except synths and soundcard) and that is the Eventide Orville. Which I'm in love with. And I doubt I will ever sell.
Old 14th September 2011
  #44
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a real synth
Old 14th September 2011
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razik View Post
Manley Vari Mu.
Is that really doing much for electronic music?
Old 14th September 2011
  #46
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Adura's Avatar
 

Api 5500 !!
Old 15th September 2011
  #47
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pulsar modular's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StringBean View Post
Let's say your completely ITB and could only have 1 piece of outboard processing equipment, it would have to be a compressor right? Nothing affects the basic sound more right?
A small mixer or summing amp. The center of my studio is a chandler mini mixer and that thing is a beast, full of transformers and class a line amps - a 16 channel processor. heh

I would not get a digital reverb as you can get great ones ITB (such as eos or lx480).
Old 15th September 2011
  #48
Gear Guru
A delay pedal??

You guys are crazy btw... the world gets more and more indifferent and you guys get all stupid about this ****..
Old 15th September 2011
  #49
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3phase View Post
a real synth
yep... and for the wallets sake.. I suggest one analog and made in Japan.

bang for your buck.
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