Emagic aquisition = improved sound hardware?



  • Reply 61 of 62
    overtoastyovertoasty Posts: 439member
    [quote]Originally posted by JBytes:


    Actually, I'd like to see Apple slap a FireWire port on that baby. Also, I'm wondering if they'll try to convert all Emagic hardware into mLan devices.


    I'd love to see Apple force the recording world into Firewire, and away from USB - a medium that was never designed to carry time-stamped media like Firewire was.

    It would be nice seeing the best technology setting the standard for a change, as opposed to Ape with the biggest marketing budget foisting it's snake-oil yet again.

    However, there is a bit of a nasty issue ...


    One of the brilliant moves MIDI did way back when, was to use Opto-Isolators instead of direct connects between MIDI gear, this effectively stopped audio ground loops between gear over the MIDI cable at least ... you just plugged in your MIDI cable, can carried on like you always did - knowing that if a ground loop came up over your Audio channel, you didn't have to worry about chasing down the MIDI connection (if the cables you where using weren't messed up, and the chassis of the keyboards weren't grounded to the MIDI connect by way of a messed up MIDI cable).

    Firewire - AFAIK - doesn't work with Optoisolators, so the chassis of various keyboards will then be directly connected, potentially causing yet more analog grounding problems ....


    If all the Audio signals are passed around using FW in digital format anyway, who cares?

    The problem is, for the next little while, we're going to see hybrid analog/digital interconnect systems, no matter what, and having FW causing grounding issues kinda messes things up for a while.

    Still, the sooner we can get rid of analog all together, the better. Provided the mLAN spec allows for arbitrary increased bandwidth of all audio signals (say, 192kHz 24bit and perhaps beyond - thought i doubt that would be necessary) there should - eventually - be no reason to bother running any signals off MIDI gear in an analog fashion, unless you've got an old Modular Moog lying around which you have to pretend to use to look cool.

    (old 70's analog Moogs are sorta like the vanity Library's of the 18th century - to be an accepted member of "society" you had to have one, but nobody ever really used the damn things).

    ... but I digress.

    I'm amazed by the possibilities of 1394b ... geez, the signals we could shove down that pipe would be astounding, not to mention the signals we can shove down 1394a today.

    If Apple can manage to get the audio industry to accept Firewire as the default interconnect technology, it could cause a whole new explosion in gear and power almost as cool as what MIDI did.

    Try this on for size:

    In the same way MIDI separated the input device from the sound source, Firewire could take this separation of components another HUGE step further ...

    1 - Separation of sound source from filter. You could have a sampler, with rudimentary filters on board, but screw that ... just Firewire into a separate filter farm box, and do all your Modular Moog fun factory stuff there .... don't worry about having enough outputs because ...

    2 - multiple outputs are moot. The days of having to buy a sampler that has 9 or 10 analog outputs are gone ... there's no need, you just send as many separate streams of digital audio out as your sampler can handle ... each stream will be filtered separately by the filter farm, getting it's input over a single firewire cable ... sound quality a problem?

    3 - Forget about it - Gone are the days when every synth you buy needs to have it's own set of mediocre D/A converters .... everything stays digital, and you buy your own dedicated hi-quality D/A converters for whenever it's necessary. In fact, the funny part is this ... there may come a time, when you buy a special dedicated Firewire D/A converter, which is powered and controlled by Firewire and is attached to your Mackie 824's / Genelec's or what-have-you .... the only time the signal is converted, is right before the speaker!

    If Apple can force acceptance of Firewire as the Audio industries new interconnect standard - over a trouble prone USB hack job - the possibilities get very very interesting!

    ... and I'm sure there's plenty more possibilities nobody's even thought of yet.

    Oh the Power, The Fidelity!

    If you thought a 70's studio tan was harsh ... just you wait and see what happens if Firewire get's it's due.
  • Reply 62 of 62
    hoshos Posts: 31member
    All right, I've been ordered to use this thread- unfortunately, what I want to say is really different from where this thread is going.

    I would restate this speculation as its own thread (as I originally did), but I think it would just be frozen again...


    [quote]OK, for this leap of imagination, we're going to need to know a couple of things:

    1) Apple just bought a major DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software/hardware house. This includes the ability to work with non-linear editing many multiple audio tracks.

    2) Apple is on the HyperTransport consortium

    3) nVidia is also on the HT consortium, and happens to build this cool little HT-enabled device, called the MCP:

    <a href="http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?PAGE=mcp"; target="_blank">http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?PAGE=mcp</a>;

    4) It's not that difficult to build a RapidIO to HT bridge- just add latency!

    The 2¢ MCP explanation is that it's a "media control processor", using HT to talk to the controlling chipset. It has some really nice audio features, including a 5.1 encoder, and can handle 256 simultaneous stereo audio streams.

    So where to go with this:

    Apple, to cut costs, could be using the MCP as a companion to a future chipset, using HT to connect them.

    It also means that we'll get a software complement to this hardware- we'll be able to mix 5.1 sound in with our home movies, something that's a bit difficult to do at the moment. At the higher, pro-end, you'll be able to use one Mac to edit your video, edit your audio, mix them all together, and burn your DVD.

    As a friend of mine pointed out- it's the dream machine for any aspiring garage band. Make your own professional-looking (or not, if that's your style) videos.

    Plus this conjecture neatly wraps up all sorts of rumours about Apple's cooperation with nVidia, their presence on the HT consortium (giving a legitimate discrete reason why Apple can at the same time join Moto and IBM on RapidIO), and point at the future of Mac audio- since we've been on stereo-only for way too long a time.

    Pat? Perhaps. But a lot of little pieces all of a sudden fit together surprisingly well...



    p.s. Apologies to those who would agree that this deserves its own thread. See:

    <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001972"; target="_blank">http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001972</a>;

    for why it isn't.
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