18th December 2012
A system that we won't measure it's power by the amount of the cpu cores that it has but by the power of the Interconnection (1GbE, 10GbE, 20GbE, 40GbE or 100GbE). A system that composers would measure it's power by the amount of Orchestral instruments that can run in 'realtime' with full effects at 192kHz.
I remember Alan Meyerson (Hans Zimmer's lead mix engineer) talking about 'POC - At World's end' soundtrack and saying that it did not sound like music up until they ended up with 8 stems and they 'played' with the faders. To me, it sounded like:
"we ran out of power (both cpu and outboard) - we had to print the tracks, record an orchestra and then - revisit the project' and 'fix' the music."
What i want is a system that would not 'break' the creative process in 'steps'. If the composer want to work in steps is another thing...but this should be 'at will', it should be a creative choice and not an inadvisable event.
That is why i believe that full size symphonic orchestra is a solid starting point.
In the past we standardized the full size symphonic orchestra (which is a technological masterpiece like no other). It gave us the best sounding acoustic spaces on the planet, it gave us musical instrument technologies.
This created what we now call 'classical music' and it gave us Johann Sebastian Bach and Beethoven.
Now we will standardize a new 'tool' that has the potential to give us a new era of composers, engineers, developers and a new era of music.
The first system I am testing here at HPC Advisory Council should be up to this task:
It 'must' run in realtime the 100 symphonic instruments with 'enough polyphony' (on both top class sampler instruments and top class softsynths - the best we have today). It will have full effects on each stereo track (eq, compressor, delay, reverb, plus one random heavy effect) - all at 192khz full stereo. The effects and the synths would not be the cpu 'friendly' ones... they would be the VSTs that compete 'head to head' to the outboard equivalents. And then I will test it on full discrete surround music project. Because the 'real' orchestra is fully discrete surround for each instrument ! Then 384kHz is phase two of the research project!
For the 'end user' the 'level of customization' for a DAW like this would depend on the amount of hardware. But It will also depend on how the 3rd party developers 'react' at this research. It is impossible for one research project to change an entire industry - even with the support of HPC Advisory Council.
If people want to bring analogue qualities back, give infinite creative freedom to composers and songwriters and 'dream tools' to engineers, then... a 'change' will happen.
We shape our future.
We are so lucky that we are alive in this day and age.
Your input is more than valuable, It is necessary.