Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
quikquak
KVRist
445 posts since 6 Aug, 2005 from England

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:06 am

I can just hear the meetings... "So, what are advantages for us? Why should we adopt something when we already have our own that was expensive and is NOT broken?" And, "how do we know your lawyers won't clamp down on ownership years from now?"
I hope there are good business answers to those.

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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
5218 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:37 am

To me it sounded interesting until the point where it looked as if he's not talking about GPUs (which I first thought he was). If he would have presented a way to fully use the potential of modern graphics hardware for audio with low latency, I'd say it could be groundbreaking indeed, since pretty much everybody has such a device and it's not locked or otherwise inaccessible.
What he actually presented still looked interesting (especially as he said at the end for people who start out), but I agree with the general sentiment here, that it didn't feel as interesting anymore to me, since it seemed that a lot of things have to work together to make it happen.
What I was missing most, that he somehow didn't mention the limits of those drivers or DSPs. While he mentioned that it wouldn't create dropouts if you hit the ceiling, but would simply delay things (is that good?) and that all the code from everything that should be executed could be combined, there still will be a ceiling of what that driver or DSP can do, and the absence of a clear image of how that's handled hit me as strange. Or did I miss something?

Maybe it also has to do with me not being exactly the biggest fan of software coming out of Roli, Juce, Tracktion or FXpansion. And Roli being a rather overfinanced entity with some big investments/investors to satisfy, I can't imagine this will all be open and free.
What the audio world doesn't need is another VST3 debacle and another entity like Steinberg trying to force their miscarriaged API down developers throats instead of coming up with an improved VST4 that actually addresses those issues and moves a clear step forward to make it worthwhile for all involved instead of just more work and pain.

On the other hand, the market is so huge and there is so much investment in the technology that already exists, that maybe only a big enough entity is able to come up with a new standard.
All plugin developers together will definitely not be able to come up with one. Everything I ever read and heard made it clear to me, that they couldn't even agree on the kind of pizza to order ;-)
Too many (brilliant) individuals...

So I guess it's wait and see if anything comes out of this.
Propellerheads also had this announcement about their oh so wonderful APIs recently, so maybe something interesting will actually happen sometime...
Or not ;-)

Cheers,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

tony10000
KVRist
227 posts since 4 Aug, 2017

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:43 am

Well, it is easy to be cynical.

However, JUCE has caught on pretty well with audio developers, so they may have an advantage where other companies would not.

It remains to be seen whether they can sell this. It would take a lot of time and money in future development.

I'm sure they are gauging interest before they make that type of investment.

Topiness
KVRist
378 posts since 21 Nov, 2005

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:56 am

ThomasHelzle wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:37 am
To me it sounded interesting until the point where it looked as if he's not talking about GPUs (which I first thought he was). If he would have presented a way to fully use the potential of modern graphics hardware for audio with low latency, I'd say it could be groundbreaking indeed, since pretty much everybody has such a device and it's not locked or otherwise inaccessible.
IIRC he wasn't excluding GPUs from the presented vision - I thought the idea was a bit broader, running some kind of specification language on 'whatever' - CPU, GPU, or DSP. Again IIRC I thought he implied that he didn't think that GPU was the best tech for audio processing - that's starting to get outside my area.
ThomasHelzle wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:37 am
What I was missing most, that he somehow didn't mention the limits of those drivers or DSPs. While he mentioned that it wouldn't create dropouts if you hit the ceiling, but would simply delay things (is that good?) and that all the code from everything that should be executed could be combined, there still will be a ceiling of what that driver or DSP can do, and the absence of a clear image of how that's handled hit me as strange. Or did I miss something?
It seems almost impossible to solve that within a fully flexible architecture. VST offers no solution AFAIK..? What languages / plugin architectures do?
ThomasHelzle wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:37 am
I can't imagine this will all be open and free.
I would think it's going to have to be at least as open and free as VST or the necessary community isn't going to form.

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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
5218 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:18 am

Well, the absence of any mention of GPUs in his presentation of the different scenarios was a bit glaring for me, especially since having a solution for low latency audio in the GPU would indeed interest me. Much more than the other options.

Of course there will be limits in any architecture, but his not really going into what amount of actual computation can be done on what kind of DSPs left me a bit cold.

Yeah, it sounded like at first it will be open and free, but it coming from Roli/Juce, I'd expect it to be somehow monetised somehow down the road.

Well, I'm not in the plugin trade (yet), let's see when a bit more substantial information will be available how it turns out and what kind of support the concept needs. If it only works with special devices/drivers etc. it may not be as versatile and universal as he made it sound.

Cheers,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

quikquak
KVRist
445 posts since 6 Aug, 2005 from England

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:07 am

I think he only brought up GLSL as an example of a language like the Shadertoy web example. I agree it slightly confuses the product. Unfortunately you won’t be able to do GPU audio stuff with zero latency just yet, until there are many computers that have shared CPU and GPU memory. We don’t do music with gaming consoles just yet....hmmm. He was talking up zero latency, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.

tony10000
KVRist
227 posts since 4 Aug, 2017

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:15 am

quikquak wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:07 am
I think he only brought up GLSL as an example of a language like the Shadertoy web example. I agree it slightly confuses the product. Unfortunately you won’t be able to do GPU audio stuff with zero latency just yet, until there are many computers that have shared CPU and GPU memory. We don’t do music with gaming consoles just yet....hmmm. He was talking up zero latency, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.
This post details the issues involved: https://forum.juce.com/t/opencl-gpu-acc ... on/19583/8

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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
5218 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:20 am

quikquak wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:07 am
I think he only brought up GLSL as an example of a language like the Shadertoy web example. I agree it slightly confuses the product. Unfortunately you won’t be able to do GPU audio stuff with zero latency just yet, until there are many computers that have shared CPU and GPU memory. We don’t do music with gaming consoles just yet....hmmm. He was talking up zero latency, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.
Yeah, I think this confused me too, although I understood what he was getting at.

But honestly, as a 3D artist who does all his rendering on GPUs and also does some GLSL programming in SideFX Houdini where it makes a massive difference over CPU computing, I'm actually rather confident where better/faster access to GPUs is concerned. Those things have come a long way from the early days.

But I have no real in-depth knowledge about DSPs which he said were so abundant, so can't really comment on how realistic this scenario is and how much support it would need from manufacturers. In the long run, I can totally see a future with many separate or combined special processors, now that CPUs seem to have hit their ceiling.
Nature does it the same way, and had quite a while optimising ... ;-)

Cheers,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

quikquak
KVRist
445 posts since 6 Aug, 2005 from England

Re: Any comments on JUCE'S SOUL initiative?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:39 am

“Nature does it the same way....” Yeah, I remember reading about how they think monkeys brains slice up the visual cortex into manageable frequencies. Then I realised they were delving into live monkey brains and I stopped reading!
The trouble with audio in that it has to be compiled together somewhere and sent out as a single stream.

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