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The age of DAW's rendered obsolete
Old 29th January 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

The age of DAW's rendered obsolete

A friend was musing to me the other day.....

Imagine internet speed being fast enough, that instead of having your own personal DAW, you connect to a hub on line. This hub has its own "super" computer that handles all your track and DSP requirements, basically a very powerful universal DAW for everyone.

What do you think, possible in the future?

Would you go for it?

I imagine equipment manufacturers would hate this concept. Everyone would have access to all the same tools at any time.

Me personally, no, Id rather have my own deal in front of me. However, Im curious as to what others feel.....discuss people.
Old 29th January 2007
  #2
That puts me in mind of everyone in the world owning a vacuum cleaner, but with the 'dust bag' somewhere in cyberspace....
Old 29th January 2007
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
That puts me in mind of everyone in the world owning a vacuum cleaner, but with the 'dust bag' somewhere in cyberspace....
God help us if the hose breaks!
Old 29th January 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by void View Post
A friend was musing to me the other day.....

Imagine internet speed being fast enough, that instead of having your own personal DAW, you connect to a hub on line. This hub has its own "super" computer that handles all your track and DSP requirements, basically a very powerful universal DAW for everyone.

What do you think, possible in the future?

lydoo
Wow. I get this earie "Brave New World/ 1984/ Logan's Run" type of image when I think of this concept.

I'l stick to my own PC....
Old 29th January 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
davenutz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
God help us if the hose breaks!
or if the pump reverses!
Old 29th January 2007
  #6
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

the vision of non-local software and storage is not new... any time someone logs in to hotmail they're using an email client that, once upon a time, had to be stored and run locally on the user's computer.

i do see mostly everything going that way eventually, all we'll have are hardware 'pods' that basically connect and execute apps and work with data, none (or very little) of which is stored with the pod.

and then the pod becomes integrated into the mind, and then, well, lots of books take it from there.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 29th January 2007
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by void View Post
Imagine internet speed being fast enough, that instead of having your own personal DAW, you connect to a hub on line. This hub has its own "super" computer that handles all your track and DSP requirements, basically a very powerful universal DAW for everyone.
This sounds strikingly similar to a press release/joke that I wrote 5 years ago, April 1, 2002. It sounds more and more feasible every day.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?t=4200
Old 29th January 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I remember hearing something similar a few years ago...Not as far out but the concept is similar...The idea was that, to be able to use your professional software like final cut, photoshop, cubase, logic etc... You would have to be connected to the internet and logged as a registered user...
Old 29th January 2007
  #9
Here for the gear
 

my 2 cents...(as a professional software developer. ya ya i know, selling my soul and not following my dream... **** happens)
this is really unlikely for quite a while. the main problem is bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth:

* take 32 channels of 192khz at 48bits. I know you pro guys love that. That gonna be 2.19 megabytes / sec, or about 17mbit/s. most of the time, entry level internet connections can barely handle 700kbit/s. There's an order of magnitude...cuz that doesn't include sends back, etc. just *playback*.
* how many gigs is the average session for you guys? even for me small scale 24bit/44khz i got gigs and gigs. the server will have to store all of this... in super fast storage. this will be expensive. gmail etc. can offer you 1gig of mail because no one actually uses it and most of the time, it's small scale slow random accesses, not continous fast streaming over the entire data.

latency:
* we complain about 3ms latency, there is pretty much no way a signal can even get out of your computer to the server and back in 3ms, with no processing involved at all.
* okay, so you could do latency compensation, but then what if your internet craps out for a second? yep. lame.

Anyway, maybe in a 50 years or more we could be approaching this, but first we gotta get HD movie on demand before that.

Old 29th January 2007
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Sid Viscous's Avatar
 

There is a Linux distro that can be run off Gmail, with only minumal driver support at the client end.
Old 29th January 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fadedblue View Post

latency:
* we complain about 3ms latency, there is pretty much no way a signal can even get out of your computer to the server and back in 3ms, with no processing involved at all.
* okay, so you could do latency compensation, but then what if your internet craps out for a second? yep. lame.

Anyway, maybe in a 50 years or more we could be approaching this, but first we gotta get HD movie on demand before that.

Just curious,

What would be the absolute lowest latency a well spec'd machine could acheive while using a goodly amount of processing?
Old 29th January 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I see the trend as power becoming decentralized and networked rather than re-centralized.

New chip designs were announced today that break through the current size barriers that made today's very fast chips as "slow" as they are. Once these new chips are as inexpensive and common as yesterday's keyboards, why would anyone bother linking to them for reasons other than sharing files, etc. I could see "renting" software instead of buying it but that's essentially what we do now with upgrades.

What might be cool is renting your computer power when you're not using it. The networks and machines should be quick enough to handle someone's word processing or even graphics needs in Africa or Cambodia without equipping everyone redundantly. But that's more of an access/affordability issue.
Old 29th January 2007
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid Viscous View Post
There is a Linux distro that can be run off Gmail, with only minumal driver support at the client end.
I know about that. It's kinda cool. But, most gmail users don't use that, so it's like the law of averages. Plus, google runs all these machines to crawl the internet. each of them has a small harddrive. I think that's how they can offer the storage for essentially free. (I don't actually know.)

Quote:
Just curious,

What would be the absolute lowest latency a well spec'd machine could acheive while using a goodly amount of processing?
Well, let's see. Are we talking about today's stuff, or the Best Possible In The Future, No Holds Barred?

Today, I think we approach 3ms latency on AD/DA, don't we? I see the biggest problem as latency decreases is memory latency. Your processor might be running at 3ghz but your memory does not. As processing requires working on that data in memory, you pretty much have to pull stuff in from "slow" memory to "superfast tiny memory". As latency decreases, this is the biggest hardware problem. So if you find your pc being poppy and clicky, try buying the fastest ram you can, and a cpu with the biggest cache you can. Honestly though the biggest problem is software. Do you know how much stuff has to run just to get a sample from the firewire bus to your harddrive? (A lot.) For example, stop running antivirus, that one is a big culprit..you know that every time you open a file A/V has to read it before your DAW can touch it?

Anyway, in the future i guess we're simply limited by speed of light. at 10ghz, with say 1/3 speed of light in metal, between each clock tick the light (or electricity) can only travel 1 cm! we're gonna hit the limit on just bumping up speed realllly soon no matter what.

Luckily, DAWs are very very parallizeable. So, basically DSP cards and stuff is the future eventually. thumbsup
Old 2nd February 2007
  #14
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807Recordings's Avatar
 

I used to do network design and administration consulting for over ten years. I did work or Reuters, various banks, etc. We started running Video Over IP years ago for services like the BBC. It could handle HD even back then. Well funny thing though happens when you get to a SONET Ring in that it introduces its latency of 55ms. Add that through as many optical networks and processesing delays from routers and I would be not surprised of 300+ms latency.

There are so many problems that excists even if you are using MLPS (Multi Layer Protocol Switching) that are hard to over come. Even in theory if we could use optical switching (does not really excist yet) there is a host of other applications competing for the same bandwidth.

I do agree one day though things will change and they rapidly are.

Old 2nd February 2007
  #15
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 

Something like that is definitely the future. User's computer controls the user interface, some online server crunches the numbers. You'll still need good AD/DA.

Sessions are saved online and never need to be backed up because the server is quadruple redundant. I'll still probably be using my otari 8 track though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by void View Post
A friend was musing to me the other day.....

Imagine internet speed being fast enough, that instead of having your own personal DAW, you connect to a hub on line. This hub has its own "super" computer that handles all your track and DSP requirements, basically a very powerful universal DAW for everyone.

What do you think, possible in the future?

Would you go for it?

I imagine equipment manufacturers would hate this concept. Everyone would have access to all the same tools at any time.

Me personally, no, Id rather have my own deal in front of me. However, Im curious as to what others feel.....discuss people.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #16
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
God help us if the hose breaks!
May the Schwartz be with us...
Old 2nd February 2007
  #17
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it will never happen, at least not on a large scale. for the last 10 years computing has become more and more decentralised the days of the mainframe are all but gone.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #18
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Would you go for it?
Nope, never.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #19
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Making music is about tactile sensations, vibration, environment, feedback from the instrument, physicality and fun. This is why I don't understsnd the stampede to have everything compact and virtual. don't we do music for the joy and experience of playing our instruments? If virtual instruments and recording systems are better than old school reality, then someone show me the fantastic new evolution in music that resulted, cause I ain't hearing it.

The lemming rush to make us all computer slaves is gross. in In the immortal words of Mr. Shorovki - "That isn't music, it's masturbation".
Old 2nd February 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
That puts me in mind of everyone in the world owning a vacuum cleaner, but with the 'dust bag' somewhere in cyberspace....
lol
Old 2nd February 2007
  #21
Gear Head
 

This is possible now, not sometime in the distant future.

The internet is already fast enough to do create a central daw. It would require a thin client running in hybrid connected mode and at least enough client side HDD to record a take, but the network bandwidth does not need to be great enough to transfer the tracks in real time, as this is not necessary.

I’ll give you a sample work flow for recording drums:

Engineer opens thin client
Engineer chooses the existing bus of an existing scratch track which will be played during record
Engineer assigns inputs to tracks at desired bitrate.
Engineer assigns tracks to buses
Engineer presses record
Drummer plays along with scratch track
Thin client records drummer to thin client hard drive
Engineer stops recording and if the take is good chooses to “commit” the take.

And behind the scenes here is what happened:

When the engineer chose the bus to play during record, the thin client made a request to the server for that file. The record button was not enabled until this bus was downloaded, likely using some form of distributed file sharing network.

When the engineer committed the take the recently recorded files are uploaded to the server.

It would take very little bandwidth to track the jpeg files that represent wav files on the server in your thin client, just like on your daw. The trick is you never have to download more than 1 bus because all the mixing is done server side.

--JohnPaulJones
Old 2nd February 2007
  #22
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vernier's Avatar
The world-class chef cooks on gas range. DAW is a microwave.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #23
Dan
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Dan's Avatar
 

The whole idea doesn't make sense to me. Processing power is not so expensive that it needs to be shared. It get's cheaper all the time. Why would we want a central server? All the money is in the capturing of the information, and it's physically impossible to do that remotely.
Now, if there was a company who was so paranoid about their software getting stolen, that remotely was the only way you could use it, and it was the most ground breaking thing ever, that might be a reason for that to happen.

Are you listening to this fantastic idea Waves?fuuck
You could charge by the minute, instead of by the day!
Old 2nd February 2007
  #24
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Mark Warren's Avatar
 

I think some here are missing the point.

Imagine instead of buying ProTools HD3 you simply subscribed to it. You'd pay so much per month, or per megabye transferred etc. If you need less power or more power you simply subscribed to it online.

There is another version of the internet in the works that is TEN TIMES as fast as the current one. It's already in the testing phases at many major universities. This is the Internet that will enable full stream HD broadcasts of full frame video to your television, etc.

It will take many years to upgrade all the fiber in the world to carry the faster speed but it will come. And at that point this would theoritically be possible to some extent.

I'd say 8-10 years till somebody somewhere can do it, and then 15-20 before the whole world runs like this.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #25
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Funny, this is exactly what everybody thought was the future in the 1970s. Moore's law proved them wrong. It's now about to make the PC just as obsolete as the PC made server/client computing in the '80s.

The i-pod is only the beginning. Look for little integrated application-processor cards that plug right into a little rack on your desktop. You'll be able to plug Pro Tools, Nuendo, Samplitude or whatever right into your console or your laptop. The prices will come down too because the honest folks will no longer be bearing the expense of piracy.

We're probably looking at the last generation of PCs and operating systems.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Warren View Post
I think some here are missing the point.

Imagine instead of buying ProTools HD3 you simply subscribed to it. You'd pay so much per month, or per megabye transferred etc. If you need less power or more power you simply subscribed to it online.
Forget distributed DAWs, give me distributed analog gear

Massive warehouse stores tons of hardware EQs, compressors, phasers, reverbs, what-have-yous. I click a few buttons, my audio gets routed to a Weiss EQ (I know, I know, that's not analog), Manley comp, etc. Throw a Fairchild in the back corner (I suppose people would have to bid for time on that one..) and then we'll talk.

Old 2nd February 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beachhunt View Post
Forget distributed DAWs, give me distributed analog gear

Massive warehouse stores tons of hardware EQs, compressors, phasers, reverbs, what-have-yous. I click a few buttons, my audio gets routed to a Weiss EQ (I know, I know, that's not analog), Manley comp, etc. Throw a Fairchild in the back corner (I suppose people would have to bid for time on that one..) and then we'll talk.


That wouldn't even be too hard. You'd have your digital signal sent through a network to a server that would go to a D/A and to the analog piece and back A/D through the server to you.

The only stinky part would be that everytime you want to adjust the settings, you'd have to go through the whole process again.

"A little more Gain Reduction, please."

"Sorry, hold on a moment. We have to send the signal six thousand miles. It'll be a second."
Old 2nd February 2007
  #28
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LoopQuantum's Avatar
 

This all sounds very Ray Kurzweil.

www.kurzweilai.net

Anyone read any of his books? I have all three....Science fiction? Prophecy? I dunno. A Good read? yep.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #29
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rokuez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by void View Post
A friend was musing to me the other day.....

Imagine internet speed being fast enough, that instead of having your own personal DAW, you connect to a hub on line. This hub has its own "super" computer that handles all your track and DSP requirements, basically a very powerful universal DAW for everyone.

What do you think, possible in the future?

Would you go for it?

I imagine equipment manufacturers would hate this concept. Everyone would have access to all the same tools at any time.

Me personally, no, Id rather have my own deal in front of me. However, Im curious as to what others feel.....discuss people.

bill gates wrote about this idea in his book, and he eventually wants everyone to rent software
Old 2nd February 2007
  #30
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