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AES-NYC: Waves Audio Debuts SoundGrid® Studio
Old 18th October 2013
  #1
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AES-NYC: Waves Audio Debuts SoundGrid® Studio


135th AES Convention, New York, NY, October 18, 2013 — Waves Audio (booth 2839) now offers SoundGrid® Studio, a suite of software applications for managing SoundGrid network components, enabling network configuration, device management, plugin chaining, routing and more.

SoundGrid Studio includes:
  • SoundGrid ASIO/Core Audio Driver, which offers dynamic I/O mapping for the configuration of SoundGrid devices.
  • StudioRack application, which lets you run plugin chains of up to eight plugins within your Native DAW or Pro Tools, and lets you choose whether to process on your host computer or offload processing to a SoundGrid DSP server.
  • eMotion ST, a low latency monitoring mixer which lets you send an audio signal from a SoundGrid device, through StudioRack inside your DAW, and out to your monitors, with super-low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds.
eMotion ST specs:
  • 8 multi-purpose mono/stereo input channels
  • 2 stereo FX Aux Bus/ Return and 6 Stereo Aux Bus/Return
  • 64 Mono Channel feeds from StudioRack plugins
  • 8 insert slots per channel for each SoundGrid plugin
  • Connect up to eight IOs and eight DAWs
  • For Live sound, Waves introduces the eMotion LV1 for FOH and monitor applications designed to integrate seamlessly with SoundGrid-compatible I/Os. The eMotion Mixer engine is powered by low-latency SoundGrid DSP Servers, with real-time Waves plugin processing on every channel and support for multiple mixers, I/O boxes and SoundGrid DSP servers over a single network. eMotion LV1 also offers hardware scalability using standard network components; compatibility with standard control surfaces; Multi-Touch support; Windows and Mac compatibility; and preset sharing across consoles and platforms.

Visit Audio Plugins for Mixing, Mastering & Recording | Waves for more information.
Old 18th October 2013
  #2
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I have to see this in action. Right now it sounds way too convoluted.
Old 18th October 2013
  #3
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The whole Sound/digi/grid system(s) are more than a bit opaque to me. Talking to Michael PA clears up a lot of the fog surrounding this, but there are some really basic questions remaining. First-running Pro Tools through this system apparently makes it recognized as a 192. Why not an HDi/o? the 192 is (officially) EOL by avid as of the PT11 release. Am I to take it on faith that WAVES/DIGICO/ETC will stay on top of things and release patches to make sure their Pro Tools customers are taken care of? This isn't the first time WAVES has jumped into the DSP game, and based on past practices surrounding this type of product, there is real reason to have some concern.

Secondly, third party support? Any? You say you're working on it, and please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm hearing crickets on this front.

Price-Why would I want to spend a premium on Digigrid plugins? They are much more expensive than their AAX clones. Yes, they run on DSP, but so what. You probably (hopefully) just took the existing code and put it through a compiler. Nobody else charges a premium for their custom plugin formats. Seriously guys, the '90's called and want their TDM pricing back.

Lastly, I have a good friend who raised a great point he laid out in this parable. One day (let's say tomorrow after lunch) a man comes to your booth at AES with a suitcase of cash and a challenge. "Why would I want to give you my money for this product." Could you answer in ten words or less? And you get dinged points for telling him he can run up to 200 instances of True Verb. Why on God's green earth would that be a selling point.

AD
Old 18th October 2013
  #4
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Thumbs up

Well, I think their published benchmarks for their SoundGrid servers is really just to take a well-known plug-in that can be somewhat of a processing hog and just repeat it until the DSP fills up. It just serves to give folks an idea as to how big the DSP "bucket" is.

Here's one of the big things behind this: LIVE SOUND
But it would be folly to pigeonhole it strictly to this as there are plenty of benefits to a studio user... and I'm thinking that once we get to using it, more possibilities will become evident.

But back to the Live Sound thing...
Take Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers' album "MOJO" as an example. Ryan Ulyate set up an Avid ICON system (D-Command and PTHD) in the Heartbreakers' "clubhouse", tracked the album, and mixed it in ICON. Then he worked together with Robert Scovill (TPATH's FOH engineer) to incorporate the album's plug-ins into the sound of the live show using a VENUE system..

That's just one example, and it was a very AVID specific application. SoundGrid and DigiGrid open this up to folks to use ANY MADI equipped digital console and put it onto the SoundGrid network.

To get your bearings, the SoundGrid Studio plug-in should probably be through of as a MultiRack SoundGrid for the studio DAW user that works a little like ReWire (though someone from Waves will probably put it better than this example). So, it is NOT going to be Pro Tools specific. It will work with VST and AU as well.

You may not want to work this way... and that's totally fine. Waves may find that folks either DO want to work this way or that they don't - and that's fine, too. Either way, I think this is pretty fantastic. And it's so much bigger than just the plug-in processing. It's a way to NETWORK audio throughout your studio.

Check out DiGiGrid: Advanced Audio Interfaces with Real-Time Processing to see the full range of products.

But to revisit the AVID thing again... the reality is that Pro Tools HD Native systems are pretty powerful and with PT11 running 64-Bit and the HD Native interface card (PCIe or Thunderbolt) handling all of the heavy-lifting, AAX Native may just be enough for most folks - especially with a robust machine fully loaded with RAM. But others will want one of the Servers and will pay the difference to upgrade to SoundGrid licenses for the near-zero latency.
Not sure if you guys have see this video yet. But it gives a good idea of some of the basics of what the system allows. Actually, this video is more comprehensive (albeit, goofier): http://youtu.be/eN4HW-jfJMw.

My understanding is that 192s are not blocked out of working with PTHD 11 - just that they're no longer supported. So, I've been hearing that they're still working. I'm not exactly up just yet on how PT sees the DigiGrid DLS, but it does basically give you the opportunity to move the noisy fan-cooled interfaces into a machine room (or closet) keeping the control room quieter.

TDM licenses also convert to SoundGrid with WUP - which is what I'm pretty sure that he is referring to in the video (that it will work with your existing TDM plugins). Plus, you'll pick up MORE plug-ins in your bundles, and get a dollar-for-dollar 45-Day credit toward new plug-ins (that's the simple summary).

Good for Waves. They're trying something new that enhances how you can work. There are a LOT of groups trying to make their live show sound more and more like their albums. And for groups who actually play their instruments and sing their songs onstage , this is a great way forward.

I don't know that I can convince anyone that wants to go ahead and hate-up on the system before it's even really released out into the wild (which seems to be an unfortunately popular trend on Gearslutz). "Haters gonna hate." But I'll say that we've been supplying lots of live sound companies with SoundGrid Server packages and they've been pretty ecstatic about the results that they're getting. I think that it's only a matter of time before studio folks find what the system can offer them.

Last edited by moonpi; 18th October 2013 at 07:19 PM.. Reason: Added video links and some content.
Old 18th October 2013
  #5
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Alan,

Thanks for trying to clarify and it does make sense for LIVE sound. That's just it, they should have released a box to allow 'studio users to finally access the power of SOUNDGRID' or some such marketing. that would makes sense. but, as it stands, it's a confusing family of products. It honestly has all the feeling of an Avid product release

Below is the WAVES WSG-Y16 which allows your SoundGrid to work with a Yamaha Console - there is also one for A&H. They should just release one that works with your DAW of choice and be done with it.

Also, it seems like it does NOT work with both Pro Tools and AU/VST... but that it works with Pro tools OR AU/VST (or maybe Pro Tools HD or AU/VST/PT?) as there is entirely different hardware required depending on PT vs everything else - including the oddly named IOS (how long before Apple's lawyers stop that from being sold?)
Attached Thumbnails
AES-NYC: Waves Audio Debuts SoundGrid® Studio-wsgy16-large.jpg  
Old 18th October 2013
  #6
So, does this mean the Waves digi grid plugs will work in PT, the same way UAD plaugs work now, when using this new "Studio Grid" setup?

Meaning, I can automate parameters in my timeline on a plug that I inserted in one of my inserts?
Old 18th October 2013
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Actualsizeaudio View Post
So, does this mean the Waves digi grid plugs will work in PT, the same way UAD plaugs work now, when using this new "Studio Grid" setup?

Meaning, I can automate parameters in my timeline on a plug that I inserted in one of my inserts?
YES - however you're using the SoundGrid Studio "rack" to insert your Waves processing chain. Comparing it to UAD is a good way to look at it.
Old 18th October 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superwack View Post
Alan,

Thanks for trying to clarify and it does make sense for LIVE sound. That's just it, they should have released a box to allow 'studio users to finally access the power of SOUNDGRID' or some such marketing. that would makes sense. but, as it stands, it's a confusing family of products. It honestly has all the feeling of an Avid product release

Below is the WAVES WSG-Y16 which allows your SoundGrid to work with a Yamaha Console - there is also one for A&H. They should just release one that works with your DAW of choice and be done with it.

Also, it seems like it does NOT work with both Pro Tools and AU/VST... but that it works with Pro tools OR AU/VST (or maybe Pro Tools HD or AU/VST/PT?) as there is entirely different hardware required depending on PT vs everything else - including the oddly named IOS (how long before Apple's lawyers stop that from being sold?)
Good call on those cards for the SoundGrid cards for Yamaha and Allen & Heath boards. However, you can now add either the Waves DigiGrid MGO or Waves MGB to interface SoundGrid Servers with any MADI capable digital mixer. Add either the Waves SWI or other switch to make the network and add any of the Waves SoundGrid Servers and computer for control of the MultiRack SoundGrid and add any number of computers to RECORD the audio (since it's all on network at that point).

And the idea is the same for building a studio rig - only you're using the DigiGrid family interfaces and/or servers instead. This stuff aside from the MGO and MGB isn't available yet.

We list the Waves SoundGrid bundles on our site but I'm kind-of prohibited from linking over to it, per the powers that be. But check them out as they are mostly turnkey (save for a computer and whatever plug-in bundle(s) you want/need).
Old 18th October 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
YES - however you're using the SoundGrid Studio "rack" to insert your Waves processing chain. Comparing it to UAD is a good way to look at it.
Just to clarify Alen, you mean that the SoundGrid Studio rack asts like the secondary mixer of the Apollo, not the regular plugin inserts from UAD. Or do I have it backwards? Also, if you are having all of your processing put into a shell powered by another computer and really set up and hosted on a second mixer running in the background of your DAW, would your non DigiGrid Server be powering that mixer? Or would the mixer be hosted on the DigGrid Server and controlled via remote viewing on your CPU? Would the automating of parameters have to then happen on the secondary mixer, or in your DAW like usual? Finally, would you be using up a voice (in Pro Tools) for every SoundGrid insert you use?

AD
Old 18th October 2013
  #10
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For studio use I am really into the lowest latency through plugins to track. PT HDN with TB is pretty close but you have to run 96/64 to get there and the system is "touchy" to say the least.

So if one uses the Waves 8x8 box instead of AVID interface (~$3K??) can we now just insert Waves Soundgrid plugs into a PT session (at lets say 512 buffers 44.1) and be hearing the record channel at 1ms latency? Do we have to be running HDX? HDN? Or do we need to load separate mixer programs - or other weirdness). How does punch in work in this scenario? Does it act just like an HDX system with respect to Waves soundgrid plugs??)

If a true 1ms latency system is available that will run PT on a modern mac this may start to look attractive to me. But the videos are all cheeky and vague :-) --- yes and all the stuff the guy above me wrote while I was typing :-)
Old 18th October 2013
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by adogg4629 View Post
Just to clarify Alen, you mean that the SoundGrid Studio rack asts like the secondary mixer of the Apollo, not the regular plugin inserts from UAD. Or do I have it backwards?
I'm assuming you have it backwards, since there was talk of this a few months ago. The ability to route the signals to another mixer and use plugs has been there for about a year, but PT users seem to have rejected that workflow. The "Studio Grid" is a new product that allows the plug to be inserted like the regular plug in inserts from UAD, and have the digigrid server do the processing.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
Old 18th October 2013
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Actualsizeaudio View Post
I'm assuming you have it backwards, since there was talk of this a few months ago. The ability to route the signals to another mixer and use plugs has been there for about a year, but PT users seem to have rejected that workflow. The "Studio Grid" is a new product that allows the plug to be inserted like the regular plug in inserts from UAD, and have the digigrid server do the processing.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

LOL. That's what I said. I am confused. Please Waves, clarify what your product does and why we should buy it.

AD
Old 18th October 2013
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by adogg4629 View Post
Just to clarify Alen, you mean that the SoundGrid Studio rack [DOES NOT] act like the secondary mixer of the Apollo, [BUT LIKE] the regular plugin inserts from UAD.
Is that what you meant? That's what I think they mean.
Old 18th October 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adogg4629 View Post
LOL. That's what I said. I am confused. Please Waves, clarify what your product does and why we should buy it.

AD
Me too! What exactly does this thing do and how do you use it! LOL...
Old 18th October 2013
  #15
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I agree that this system is so hard to understand as there is so little detailed information out there. These are the questions I have about the system:

Question for Waves SoundGrid.

1. Will additional amounts of latency be added when going between Waves and other 3rd party companies that are using AAX DSP. For example, if somebody wants to go: Waves plug-in - McDSP (AAX DSP) - Waves Plug-in - Sonnox (AAX DSP) - Waves Plug-in.

2. Are there limited numbers of SoundGrid IO going back and forth between the PT mixer and the SoundGrid Mixer?

3. When you mention we can all use our old TDM plug-ins in your videos, are you specifically meaning old Waves plug-ins that are now SoundGrid? Or just using TDM plug-ins in PT 10 and earlier? Or are you intending to say that we would be able to use TDM in PT 11 with this system?

4. How does somebody who owns your Native only plug-ins open up a session from someone who has been using SoundGrid via the StudioRack Inserts in their sessions? Is there a smoother way to use SoundGrid versions and keep them compatible with Native only users?

(this may have been answered in this thread. It sounds like there is a Native SoundGrid version and a DSP version which can switch back and forth)

5. Is this true?: "Using Waves via DigiLink means one of the best things about HDX (32bit floating point processing) is back to 24bit fixed whenever you use Waves via DigiGrid"

6. When you talk about using old Pro Tools hardware in your videos for PT 11, are you only talking about the old blueface interfaces? These currently still work anyways in PT 11 (although unsupported). Is there a guarantee that they will always work when they stop working for PT in future versions?
Old 18th October 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzi45Z View Post
I agree that this system is so hard to understand as there is so little detailed information out there. These are the questions I have about the system:

Question for Waves SoundGrid.

1. Will additional amounts of latency be added when going between Waves and other 3rd party companies that are using AAX DSP. For example, if somebody wants to go: Waves plug-in - McDSP (AAX DSP) - Waves Plug-in - Sonnox (AAX DSP) - Waves Plug-in.

2. Are there limited numbers of SoundGrid IO going back and forth between the PT mixer and the SoundGrid Mixer?

3. When you mention we can all use our old TDM plug-ins in your videos, are you specifically meaning old Waves plug-ins that are now SoundGrid? Or just using TDM plug-ins in PT 10 and earlier? Or are you intending to say that we would be able to use TDM in PT 11 with this system?

4. How does somebody who owns your Native only plug-ins open up a session from someone who has been using SoundGrid via the StudioRack Inserts in their sessions? Is there a smoother way to use SoundGrid versions and keep them compatible with Native only users?

(this may have been answered in this thread. It sounds like there is a Native SoundGrid version and a DSP version which can switch back and forth)

5. Is this true?: "Using Waves via DigiLink means one of the best things about HDX (32bit floating point processing) is back to 24bit fixed whenever you use Waves via DigiGrid"

6. When you talk about using old Pro Tools hardware in your videos for PT 11, are you only talking about the old blueface interfaces? These currently still work anyways in PT 11 (although unsupported). Is there a guarantee that they will always work when they stop working for PT in future versions?
I'm looking into all of this and will get back to you guys ASAP. Keep in mind that it's the middle of AES. So, it may be early next week. Regardless, we'll get your questions all answered.
Old 19th October 2013
  #17
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Waves should do a national tour demoing this system, the same way Avid does sometimes (like with HD Native, the S3, etc.). It seems like when companies demo the products, people really get it, and word of mouth spreads.
Old 19th October 2013
  #18
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Waves booth when I looked was a ghost town.

And not a plugin in sight. Just these boxes with weird videos playing.
Old 19th October 2013
  #19
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...I love the idea of having a 32 Channel/96khz live mixing console with just a few rack units, a laptop and iPad with the EMotion Mixer......
..I would buy it in a second , but no one can tell about availability.....
Waves showed it at namm ...I heard not before February 2014....
maybe someone could ask them.....
Old 19th October 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Actualsizeaudio View Post
...PT users seem to have rejected that workflow...
Only in their imagination since none of this has been released that I've heard!

It's the same work-flow that many people I know use with hardware. I agree that being able to use it both ways like the UA Apollo would be great.
Old 19th October 2013
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Only in their imagination since none of this has been released that I've heard!
Is that true? So none of the interfaces announced at NAMM in January have shipped yet? Geez!. The Digigrid stuff has been available for a while. Live guys with DigiCo consoles are quite enjoying it. I know a lot of guys were reluctant to need to run audio into an external mixer just to use a Waves plug. There were a couple of threads here where there was pretty unanimous agreement on that. I have the option of doing that now with my Metric Halo interfaces and I rarely do. It's just not a fast and convenient enough workflow, especially when recalling older sessions.
Old 20th October 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
Waves booth when I looked was a ghost town.

And not a plugin in sight. Just these boxes with weird videos playing.
In Frankfurt at MusikMesse, their booth was manned, and they showed a working SoundGrid setup. But whenever I passed the booth there were very few (if any) people around.
Old 20th October 2013
  #23
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I caught most the demo on Saturday and now that I know more about it, I "get it" more now.

Waves is a clever company, like them or not, and they seemed to have thought about it in a comprehensive way and are attempting to build a bigger ecosystem they are more in control of. Makes sense and is understandable.

They are still VERY unlikely to get my money, but I'm probably not their target market.
Old 20th October 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
I caught most the demo on Saturday and now that I know more about it, I "get it" more now.

Waves is a clever company, like them or not, and they seemed to have thought about it in a comprehensive way and are attempting to build a bigger ecosystem they are more in control of. Makes sense and is understandable.

They are still VERY unlikely to get my money, but I'm probably not their target market.
So please enlighten us...
Specs..?availabillity?
Old 20th October 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
Waves is a clever company, like them or not, and they seemed to have thought about it in a comprehensive way and are attempting to build a bigger ecosystem they are more in control of...
They also have Plug-In Alliance on board and I suspect there will be others.

It seems to be a high-end version of UA.
Old 20th October 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
They also have Plug-In Alliance on board and I suspect there will be others.

It seems to be a high-end version of UA.
Unlike ua u can still use the same waves and plugin alliance plugins in other formats without having to buy waves hardware.
Old 21st October 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
Waves should do a national tour demoing this system, the same way Avid does sometimes (like with HD Native, the S3, etc.). It seems like when companies demo the products, people really get it, and word of mouth spreads.
I agree.
Seeing how this thing works in person proves that it is a smart product and will be a great alternative for UAD users.
As someone else mentioned before, what's particularly interesting about Waves Digigrid is that you can run their plugins in DSP or run it natively if you choose.
It's very similar to turning on AAX DSP or switching to AAX Native on a plugin. This is where Digigrid outshines UAD and other native plugins (assuming that you like the waves sound).

What I also like about Waves' implementation is that you can save your chain of plugins as a preset. You can save favorites for kick, snare, vocals etc and recall them using only one insert in Pro Tools. This will be a time saver for users who use session/track templates just for plugin chains.
Given the additional benefits of networked audio Waves Digidrid has huge potential for many users.
Attached Thumbnails
AES-NYC: Waves Audio Debuts SoundGrid® Studio-waves_digigrid_presets.jpg   AES-NYC: Waves Audio Debuts SoundGrid® Studio-waves_digigrid.jpg  
Old 21st October 2013
  #28
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drew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
It seems to be a high-end version of UA.
Bob, it can't be a high end version if UA when UA's plugs are better which they are IMO after plenty of testing.
Old 21st October 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
Bob, it can't be a high end version if UA when UA's plugs are better which they are IMO after plenty of testing.
Agreed - it seems it will certainly be more expensive and bulky than UAD
Old 21st October 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearsux View Post
Agreed - it seems it will certainly be more expensive and bulky than UAD
However, the SoundGrid Studio does have a well thought out audio-over-ethernet roadmap for the studio.

That looks good to me.
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