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Old 5th January 2020
  #2
Gear Guru
 

It's probably trickier and more costly than you think.

Firstly Avid has to compete with all other DAWs out there. Even though Harrison's DAW has this emulation baked in it's a tiny fraction of the DAW market, so clearly that isn't enough to get users. What Avid cares about is paying customers, just like Steinberg does. So if the two are competing how do they outcompete each other? I know that I personally won't buy one over the other because of console emulation but I will if it offers some other functionality. For example:

I'm in film/tv and the latest Nuendo allows me to analyze an imported video for where the picture edits are. Nuendo then gives me markers for each (or cycle markers). This is extremely handy when mixing because you can more easily match perspectives etc to the camera angles. This is a pretty big thing. So is the ADR functionality in Nuendo. I can't get either as easily using third party plugins.

But I can get console emulation using plugins.

So when the companies compete they simply have to consider what new feature will bring in the most new money.

Also, be sure that if Avid included console emulation everyone would compare it to the alternatives. So if it's included you would have users of Slate, UAD etc compare the emulation quality and flexibility to everything else that's out there, and so the bar for success would be pretty high. And remember that a lot of people already own these sorts of plugins so it doesn't really add that much having it in the code of the DAW.

And on that note you have some practical issues to consider. Anyone who has a session with console emulation plugins and non-linear stuff would have to think twice before applying a built-in emulation. The sound would change and they'd have to adjust their current projects. For those starting out fresh the question then becomes if you get one or more emulations, and what happens with gain using them - will they include lowering the dynamic range of signals? If they do, what happens if you want to do A/B comparisons between different emulations or between emulations on and off? What happens to long-term archival capability? Will the emulations remain the same over time or will they be improved upon? What happens to backwards compatibility?

And will it affect performance? Clearly it will use some amount of processing so for any user that's on the edge in terms of available DSP resources what happens when they upgrade and turn this on?

So all in all I think it'd be cool but it really doesn't seem realistic to me.