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Digidesigns answer to auto delay compensation Control Surfaces
Old 18th October 2002
  #1
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SoundEng1's Avatar
Digidesigns answer to auto delay compensation

Hi Folks,

First of all, I'd also like to thank you for all your feedback, - we do take it seriously. I can promise you that we know how valuable automatic delay compensation is, and as some of you already know, adding it to Pro Tools has been Digi’s goal for a while. While this is very high on the long list of stuff we’d like to add, it hasn’t happened yet because we have had to focus on transitioning our entire product line to OSX. As the Mac is still a favorite platform for many, this transition was not an option for us, and it has been no small task either - it will have taken the team over two years of coding by the time it is complete! I’m happy to say that although 6.0 doesn’t include as many new features as some of our previous software releases, we were able to add a bunch of other things, including some you specifically asked for, such as addition of Trim Scrub with Pro Control and Control|24, and TDM Plug-In instantiation on-the-fly. And now that Pro Tools’ OSX support is almost done, we’ll be able to return our focus to even more new features, including auto delay compensation.

Some folks have questioned whether auto delay compensation hasn’t been done because it isn’t doable. I can say for sure that the TDM architecture is capable of supporting auto delay compensation, but it is a lot of work to do, and quite a bit more to do it right . It isn’t just a case of advancing tracks behind the scenes; many other things have to be taken into account too:

First of all, Pro Tools’ mixer architecture is completely dynamic, so users can configure it almost any way they wish. With auto delay compensation, this flexibility means that the implementation must manage the wide variety of configurations with their associated accumulating delays. For example, when routing a channel to a sub-group as well as a main output (such as when setting up a compressed drum sub group), the two arrival times at the main output might be different. This is just one "sub group" in the whole mix that has to be considered. Managing this essentially requires that Pro Tools considers all routing paths and then determines the compensation required for each track accordingly.
Many Pro Tools users have other devices synchronized with Pro Tools - all of which must be managed correctly. Other timeline elements should to be considered as well, such as ensuring markers, sync points, automation playlists, etc. reference the relative audio position correctly.
Finally, all plug-ins need to broadcast the amount of delay, and do so accurately, so that Pro Tools can compensate for all inserts.
So while all of this is certainly achievable, implementing and testing it to ensure all scenarios are correctly accounted for will take a while, as I am sure you can imagine.
It’s important for the many folks reading this who are new to this topic that we clarify that the delays we are talking about here are not an issue in many of the common mixing scenarios, and with many of the plug ins. Most of the Digidesign and third party plug-ins have a few samples of delay, so if you are using mono tracks there isn’t an audible issue here (e.g. 4 samples at 44.1 kHz is 90 microseconds of delay). Using plug-ins with longer delays may have a noticeable affect, such as affecting the musical groove of a track, but in those cases, Pro Tools does allow you to manually compensate for delays. I think most of you are aware of the options here, but in case not, I’ll quickly summarize them:

TimeAdjuster Plug-In - The track delay indicators in the Mix window display the total delay for the track. The TimeAdjuster Plug-In can be used to match the delay value for tracks that need to remain phase coherent.

Audio Playlist Nudging - Audio playlists can be advanced by nudging in sample increments to compensate for the amount of insert delay on the track.

As you know, we don’t pre-announce releases more than several months before they ship so that we avoid causing disappointment if there are unavoidable release delays or changes of content. So while I can say we will be adding auto delay compensation to Pro Tools future release, I don’t have a release time frame to share with you right now, (although we’re obviously already thinking hard about it!)
Thanks again for your feedback,

Wendy Abowd
Director, Pro Tools Product Line
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP
Old 18th October 2002
  #2
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e-cue's Avatar
 

I still would have addressed this before addressing the OS X upgrade issue. I don't no many people than wanted to change OS's anyway. Esspecially at the expense of not fixing things that should have been addressed from day one. Just we'll just have to wait.
Old 18th October 2002
  #3
Well thats a very public 'yes' in the face of extreme DAW platform comptition.

The announcement came about after HOWLS of disapointment from DUC regulars and lurkers when PT 6 was announced minus the feature.

In other words Digi would be insane to release PT6 next year without it.

The Pro Control Scrub Wheel Scrub Trim function - (wanted for 3 or so years) is a good sign. That was ALWAYS to be a heavy code PITA, so perhaps thier top super nerd, now free from supervising OSX is back from a holiday and is cracking his knuckles eager for the auto delay challenge...

Good news!

Old 19th October 2002
  #4
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
I still would have addressed this before addressing the OS X upgrade issue. I don't no many people than wanted to change OS's anyway. Esspecially at the expense of not fixing things that should have been addressed from day one. Just we'll just have to wait.
I almost agre, except that after jan 1 Mac will no longer support os 9, so if there is no OSX PT by then, bassically no new PT sales until they update the OS.. that would be a very dumb move, too dumb for even digi..

I heard a rumor that macs will be able to " share" process power among several machienes in the near future ( similar to VST system link for cubase) .. I will be keen to see what that does to narrow the gap between native and TDM even further... I could buy three dual 1 gig G4's for th cost of a HD system.. sharing those six processors would be way cool..
Old 19th October 2002
  #5
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All I read in that post is that it will be in a future software release. It doesn't say it will be in the next (PT6.0). It says it still has to be done ....
Old 19th October 2002
  #6
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This thread is an example of precisely why competition is such a good thing.

No one in any given genre, be it software, hardware, CPUs, DAWs...you name it....should get too comfortable. When they do, we pay more and get less.

Microsoft needs Apple and Linux, Intel needs AMD, SSL needs Neve, and Digidesign really needed for Nuendo to show up. This public statement is a perfect example.

Pro Tools is a very together system on many levels. But being the 800 pound gorilla has sent prices up, and precipitated a dearth of sonic improvement over the last few years.

The fact is, people who have used both Nuendo and Pro Tools will generally tell you that Nuendo sounds better, given quality hardware. It's obviously much cheaper, has a roughly comparable feature set (minus a few cool PT moves like Beat Detective), but also has compromises involved with Native vs hardwareDSP. But those compromises are diminishing monthly as computers and Native hardware improve.

Nuendo 2.0 announcing a few inarguably superior features like auto delay compensation has obviously hit a nerve at Digi. And that is good.

After years of stonewalling, Digi finally admitted (albeit indirectly) that the TDM summing bus was not all that, sonically, and made at least some attempt to address it in HD/TDM II with the 48 bit chip to chip throughput. Why? Comparisons with other systems that most thought sounded better. Lots of independent voices speaking all over the internet, including the DUC, on that issue.

Now Digi officially addresses the issue of auto delay comp. Why? Comparison with Nuendo, which will have it fully implemented in 2.0 around January.

My compliments to Digi for having the chutzpa to address this in public. Personally, I sense a greater responsiveness from Digi to the man on the street. Somebody(s) with a brighter mindset must be moving up the corporate ladder at Digi. Have there been any recent upper management changes? It feels like it to me. Once they really and truly fix the mix bus, I'm likely in.

In any event, thank God for a free market and competition. In the end we all benefit.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 19th October 2002
  #7
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Renie's Avatar
 

Brian

I totally agree with you. I was thinking the same things myself except I hadn't got as far as wondering if there had been a change of personnel at Digi...you could be right there too.
Old 19th October 2002
  #8
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
The fact is, people who have used both Nuendo and Pro Tools will generally tell you that Nuendo sounds better, given quality hardware. It's obviously much cheaper, has a roughly comparable feature set (minus a few cool PT moves like Beat Detective), but also has compromises involved with Native vs hardwareDSP. But those compromises are diminishing monthly as computers and Native hardware improve.
Regards,
Brian T
I disagree. In general, I haven't met a single person face to face that prefers the sound quality of Menudo (just kidding), Nuendo over Pro tools, or even MOTU based systems. To this day, I have yet to be given a single song to mix that didn't sound like crap that was recorded on Nuendo. I'm not closed minded, just unimpressed and disappointed. It sounds good on paper. Do you have any examples of good recordings done in Nuendo?
Old 19th October 2002
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I am just finishing a little experiment of some tracks I did a rough mix in Protools, Nuendo and logic. I matched faders levels precisely, printed reverb to a stereo track, used no plugs and hard panned all tracks to keep things even. It is not a practical sounding mix...but it makes for interesting comparison.

I am currently looking for some where to post it....NO MP3's of course. anon interested in hearing? Know where there is some serious webspace?
Old 19th October 2002
  #10
Digi have a great opportunity with Pt 6.0

To make a splash with:

1) Auto delay compensation - like other DAWs
2) World class midi - catch up to the standard Logic Audio has been setting
3) Sends 'on the fly"
4) Set up new tracks 'on the fly'


Add that to:

it's recent mixer improvement
It's recent sample rate jump (96 / 192)
it's recent extended track count
it's new improved converters
it's recent plug in power boost
it's new generation third party app's like Sony / GML / Cranesong / Cedar
it's promised plug ins 'on the fly'

And it will FINALLY form a genuinely viable swap for analog studio gear!

Folks will go NUTS for it! And it WILL take over in a big way IMHO

Perhaps Dave LeBolt, the new musician CEO of Digi is kicking some serious 'make it good for music people' ass round there. Looks like it....

Hopefully so! GO DAVE!

Old 20th October 2002
  #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Perhaps Dave LeBolt, the new musician CEO of Digi is kicking some serious 'make it good for music people' ass round there. Looks like it....

Hopefully so! GO DAVE!


yea .... power to one of the original pioneers of ProTools. Hope he kicks it back the high end way a little.

GO DAVE
Old 20th October 2002
  #12
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Anyone else wish SSL would buy the Avid/Digidesign company out?
Old 20th October 2002
  #13
At SSL the whole company gets the jitters each time a desk sale is poised to go through. Who's to say they have the skillset suitable for shifting megga units of Pro Tools rigs?
Old 20th October 2002
  #14
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
SSL get the jitters each time a desk sale is poised to go through, not exactly the kind of calm stability I would want for Pro Tools.....
Jitters? You talking about their digital consoles?

*Boom Boom Crash*
grggt
Old 20th October 2002
  #15
No any one, they are so dammed expensive each one really COUNTS round at SSL HQ.
Old 25th March 2004
  #16
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aaronsternke's Avatar
 

PT LE and delay comp.

Here's a curious thing. I have Pro Tools LE with a 002rack and a POwerMac G5 dual 2Ghz. Very cool setup, works great, tons of plugins... but I discovered something today. Due to the fact that version 6.2.3 of Pro Tools utilizes both my processors... guess what? You guessed it, I'm getting different delay times with my plugins. Since time adjuster is TDM only, I suppose I just have to nudge my tracks back or forward... right? Does anyone have any other suggestions for this? Hm. Help.


Aaron
Old 25th March 2004
  #17
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heinz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
Microsoft needs Apple and Linux, Intel needs AMD, SSL needs Neve, and Digidesign really needed for Nuendo to show up.
Skip right over neundo and go directly to Samplitude. It has already shown up, just not that many people cared to notice.
Old 25th March 2004
  #18
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by rme uk
e-cue are you kidding me?

I'm really astonished to hear such a comment from you, since I agree with most of your posts and regard them very highly.

But this time you are wrong in my very humble opinion.

I used ProTools for 10 years and when switching to Nuendo2 I had to transfer all ProTools projects as .wav files to Nuendo2. When hitting play it was like removing the curtain in front of the speakers!!

A friend of mine did the same a year ago and could not believe the sound improvement. ProTools sounds like you apply a high and lowpass filter compared to it.

Do the test and mix the same song in Nuendo2 and ProTools, or to make it simpler just import the wav files from ProTools with all plug ins renedered down and mix it within Nuendo with the same levels.
Be ready for a surprise!
Yes, I used the same converters on both systems (HEDD) to listen to the final mix.

For me it's Nuendo & SSL mixing desk plus lot's of 'real' outboard gear instead of plugins!! These years with ProTools where really a pain in the neck. My creative flow increased a lot by switching to Nuendo2 as well.

Steve
Ah, thread revival. I'm glad you respect my opinions. Well, in all fairness, my post was posted before Nuendo2 was out. I've since used Nuendo2, mostly at mastering facilities like Oasis Mastering. It is in my honest opinion (and that of a mastering facility than had to convince me to try the newer version) that it sounds much better than the 1st run version.

I am still curious to know any 1st hand knowledge of any commercial records done completely on the Nuendo format (no... Korn wasn't).

Considering the dates on this thread, it kinda puts things in perspective how long is has taken Digi to get the A.D.C. thing going on (still not there yet). I do feel P.T. will have it in the next couple of months on HD. All the signs are pointing in that direction, especially the way plug in manufactures are developing with larger delays.
Old 25th March 2004
  #19
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strauss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue

I am still curious to know any 1st hand knowledge of any commercial records done completely on the Nuendo format (no... Korn wasn't).
=

Rob Hill did the latest Cypress Hill in Nuendo.
Check here for info.
Old 25th March 2004
  #20
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Mike Shipley's Avatar
 

I did a shoot out with Nuendo and Protools........the producer was a total Nuendo convert .so I was up for using it .........or rather.trying to use it to mix from..........talk about a total pain in the ass..........eventually there was the producer and 2 techs from oldendo.trying to get it performing correctly so I could mix the bloody record.........the whole oldendo team were Soooooooo against Protools...........but I had had my share of waiting around for nuendo to run smoothly.............so I got pissed off and said......lets put a few of the instruments from nuendo into Protools and see how different it sounds..in fact......lets do a blind test and not mark which is which..and when everyting has been calibrated to make sure it was a fair test the only person who knew what information was coming from what system was my assistant.....the producer was sitting for 45 mins.....trying to hear a difference......BUT HE COULDNT.........he picked Protools everytime....nuff said........its just as bloody good........so nuendo snobbery is just that.......I also have a very good friend who WAS a nuendo endorsee....he wont touch it at all........hes gone back to an HD system.............sorry to vent..........but there are so many anti protools people purely on snob value......it cant do this......it cant do that.......blah blah....Im as anal as anyone when it comes to sound quality.....HD at 96k......or 192......rocks.
Old 26th March 2004
  #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue

Considering the dates on this thread, it kinda puts things in perspective how long is has taken Digi to get the A.D.C. thing going on (still not there yet). I do feel P.T. will have it in the next couple of months on HD. All the signs are pointing in that direction, especially the way plug in manufactures are developing with larger delays.
Yeah, no kidding. It was amusing to read my own comments from nearly 2 years ago. Keep in mind that the "official" DIgi post is pushing 2 years old. And at that point, they were just about wrapped up on OSX and then would have more time to address other things. 2 years is a pretty good chunck of time.

I've said this before, but here's my take. I think that although full automatic, sample accurate PDC may technically be "doable" in the current PT architecture, it's likely a nightmare. And not for the obvious reasons.

PCD (plugin delay compensation) isn't really technical rocket science, conceptually. To have it, you must:

1. First of all, you must be able to effect additional delay, with single sample accuracy, in each seperately configurable block in the audio path. If your architecture doesn't support this, your already sunk. This is where many hardware mixers land.

2. Be able to accurately know the exact delay introduced by all internal bussing schemes and proprietary plugins in your app, including "nested" or sequentially chained bussing.

3. Be able to accurately know the exact delay introduced by all 3rd party plugins. Obviously, that's up to the 3rd party, or as an option, I suppose Digi could just test and maintain their own internal database. If I were running the op, 3rd party plugins that didn't report, or reported wrong would simply be disabled when using PDC. That might be motivating to the authors, I would think.

4. Often overlooked, IMO , you must be able to do all the above in a manner which doesn't interrupt the workflow of the user. My bet is that this is the stumbling block for PT in the current architecture. And I think when PT users who want PDC are ponying up the cash for a new core card in the not too distant future, this is what Digi will use as "why". It's a fairly legit issue, I'm guessing. And with this new "console" PDC is the obvious and large missing ingredient.

Having finally implemented plugin instantiation on-the-fly, I doubt Digi is keen to lose it again. But I think that their main challenge does not boil down to merely keeping track of all signal paths and compensating all others for the worst case path. The challenge with the current hardware pretty much has to be implementing the necessary delay adjustments on-the-fly without taking 10 seconds or having a sonic train wreck in the process.

I'm betting any Digi techs reading this are wondering where I've hidden the bug microphones in their shop.
Old 26th March 2004
  #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
Anyone else wish SSL would buy the Avid/Digidesign company out?
No. I'd rather have Gibson buy them. heh
Old 26th March 2004
  #23
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Robotnik's Avatar
 

P.S. You can't edit in Nintendo like you can in Pro Tools.
Old 26th March 2004
  #24
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YuriK's Avatar
 

Definitely cannot edit in Nuendo like in PTHD. Nuendo is so much better

YK

PS> This is from experience, we have a PLHD3 and Nuendo running. Nuendo DOES sound much better and is a much fuller, better app overall. But then PT is the "industry standard" (he-he)
Old 26th March 2004
  #25
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Aaron,

I find it funny that you decided to resurrect this thread today. Mix Magazine just hit subscribers on Wednesday announcing PT6.4 which had plug-in delay compensation! It's for HD systems, we'll have to wait and see if it will also be for LE systems.

Welcome to the world of DAWs! This has been an issue for a long time... programs like Nuendo and Logic have addressed this only recently (last year or so...) I sold my PT system over 2 years ago and started working with Nuendo before it had full PDC, which came with version 2. Is there an easy way to work your latency issues in PTLE? Not really...
Old 26th March 2004
  #26
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Well, if the new info in Mix is accurate, and PDC works correctly, I think it's hilarious that those guys are going to make a liar out of me, the day after my post. Pretty funny.

Yeah, I could go edit or delete my post, but that would be lame. Let it be what it is. If I missed this one, I missed it big. If PT 6.4 really does PDC right, it will just be a good reality check for my ego.

Oh, and BTW.......congrats to Digi, assuming the info is accurate.
Old 26th March 2004
  #27
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Indeed, 6.4 reportedly has complete delay compensation. including
hardware inserts (!!!!)

This is a very good thing.

Thrill? You can end your hunger strike!

-dave heh
Old 27th March 2004
  #28
Jax
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PT 6.4 has PDC, huh? ...

I'll believe it when I hear it, only because it's been such a long time coming.

What are the chances it's bug free?! (Slim!)
Old 27th March 2004
  #29
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SoundEng1's Avatar
Rumor is that the 6.4 upgrade is ONLY G5 PANTHER
Old 27th March 2004
  #30
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davemc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by JFernandez
Rumor is that the 6.4 upgrade is ONLY G5 PANTHER
Well I did not jump OSX as I saw no reason as I had to upgarde my old G4. If 6.4 is G5 only.. I will get one of the new ones due soon.
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