Old 04-21-2017, 12:01 AM   #1
rdesanti
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Default DSP and SHARC processors

Looking for enlightenment on these. I know what they do.

A Digital Signal Processor, or DSP, is a specialized microprocessor that has an architecture which is optimized for the fast operational needs of digital signal processing. A Digital Signal Processor (DSP) can process data in real time, making it ideal for applications that can’t tolerate delays. Digital signal processors take a digital signal and process it to improve the signal into clearer sound, faster data or sharper images. Digital Signal Processors use video, voice, audio, temperature or position signals that have been digitized and mathematically manipulate them. A digital signal processor is designed to perform these mathematical functions rapidly. The signals are processed so the information contained in them can be displayed or converted to another type of signal.
MY QUESTION IS: Will something like
Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII SOLO Desktop Interface with Realtime UAD Processing for Mac and Windows work with only UAD or other plugins like Slate, WAVE, Reaper and other plugins? What about others with the SHARC processors? Apollo, etc? GO! I'm hungry!
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
matthewbarnhart
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UAD boxes only run their plugins, not other vendors'.

If you insert a UAD VST within REAPER, the plugin processing runs on their DSP chips, not your computer's CPU.

The only other dedicated DSP box I've used is Metric Halo. Their DSP plugins only run within their console software, so you have to route in/out of REAPER to use them. Their VST/AU/AAX plugins run natively on the computer's CPU.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:24 AM   #3
serr
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The days when you needed separate specialized DSP hardware to make up for the shortcomings of native CPU based processing power are long over. You get more bang for the buck now using the computer method. UA at this point in time is strikingly obsolete with their pci card based DSP. They still exist because some of their plugins still give everyone else a run for their money and people are putting up with the antiquated configuration.

I still use a few UA compressor plugins and they still deliver. I won't consider buying anything further from them though until they modernize and ditch the pci based hardware.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:54 AM   #4
matthewbarnhart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
UA at this point in time is strikingly obsolete with their pci card based DSP. They still exist because some of their plugins still give everyone else a run for their money and people are putting up with the antiquated configuration.
To be fair, their focus these days seems to be on audio interfaces with integrated DSP, not PCI (or Thunderbolt) DSP units. I think the interfaces a good value if you're interested in their plugin ecosystem.

I've been trying to wean myself off of UAD as well (mostly so I can make my travel rig even more lightweight than the Apollo Twin affords), but a few of their plugins are, as you've mentioned, so superior to the alternatives, it's been a difficult process.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:51 AM   #5
shaelter
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Default Easy understanding (but incorrect) of DSP way of working

The following explanation is incorrect considering the architectural design but will help you understand what to expect from a DSP.
It can reproduce an electric/electronic hardware (like a synthesizer, a compressor, a reverb...) from its schema/circuitry (technical design an specifications) consisting i.e of analog or digital oscillators, lfo's, filters, transistors, tubes, lamps, AD/DA converters etc with theoretically no latency and same dynamic range as the original hardware device.
A plugin running on a DSP is like having the hardware without physical user interface but a software GUI instead running on your computer to operate the hardware that is instantiated with it. This means you cannot run native plugins unless coded to run on a DSP as it's instruction set is different from other CPU like the one from Intel, Motorola or Sparc by example.
Of course, it's still about executing mathematical operations with the "little" difference that the instructions are dedicated to digital signal processing only so they run much faster then any other CPU listed above.
You will find here Rapid Development Environments to visually design a circuitry and that will compile a source code using the DSP instruction set, comparable to a Visual C or .Net by example... "reproducing" an hardware.
UAD-2 Apollo and Sattelite use third generation SHARC processors from Analog Devices with performance up to 450 MHz/2700 MFLOPs.
http://www.analog.com/en/products/la...-overview.html

Hope this will help you understand the benefit of using DSP's.
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
snooks
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There's no benefit to using DSPs any more with the native processing power we have available. The only reason to use them is if you like the plugins that run on that platform, they are just dongles these days. Dongles that add latency.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:32 AM   #7
shaelter
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Default YOU ARE TOTALLY RIGHT

Quote:
Originally Posted by snooks View Post
There's no benefit to using DSPs any more with the native processing power we have available. The only reason to use them is if you like the plugins that run on that platform, they are just dongles these days. Dongles that add latency.
YOU ARE TOTALLY RIGHT. Some argumentation is generally welcome with such dogmatic statement but I skip in favor of a better use of my precious time. Thx anyway.
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