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Author Topic: Soundgrid servers  (Read 2633 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Soundgrid servers
« on: January 09, 2017, 11:35:24 am »

I took advantage of the holiday special and bought a copy of Waves Multirack (thought I see the special price has been extended).


It looks to me like the Wavesgrid servers are simply dedicated to plugins.  They don't have any hardware DSP provisions.


Am I missing something?  They have video's of using plugins live with a Digi console using the Wavesgrid HA server pair.  The stated latencies seem very low for a software based plugin that runs on a general purpose OS.


Any insight?



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 12:10:36 pm »

I took advantage of the holiday special and bought a copy of Waves Multirack (thought I see the special price has been extended).


It looks to me like the Wavesgrid servers are simply dedicated to plugins.  They don't have any hardware DSP provisions.


Am I missing something?  They have video's of using plugins live with a Digi console using the Wavesgrid HA server pair.  The stated latencies seem very low for a software based plugin that runs on a general purpose OS.


Any insight?

I wish I knew more about Soundgrid... most of the live users of Waves plugs are still on the AVID Venue 3.x desks (SC48, Profile/dShow).  We've seen a handful of Soundgrid servers come through our venues and I recall in 2 instances that the servers were non-functional but I wasn't told the precise nature of the failures.  The rest... I wasn't mixing or setting up the console so I can say what plugs were running or if there was too much latency to use a compressor plug on a snare drum.

I personally have Platinum and a handful of other licenses; I really like having the plugs available and use them much more than the Digidesign/Bomb Factory plugs because Waves uses far less DSP.

Soundgrid Server does not have any analog i/o or *other* DSP - it takes the digitized audio, applies the plug in processing and returns the signal to the desk.  It's doing DSP in the big, general sense of the term but only in a "bag job" way.  It's hanging off the side of the console to perform dedicated processing functions that the console's internal computer cannot support (memory, CPU, etc) or that the console manufacturer does not allow to run under the mixer OS.
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 02:04:16 pm »



It looks to me like the Wavesgrid servers are simply dedicated to plugins.  They don't have any hardware DSP provisions.


Any insight?

Can you explain a little further on this question?

A soundgrid server is just a Linux PC running the waves code, for just waves plugins (ok, there may be others that run under the plugin alliance thing).  All the servers I have seen use "soundgrid" as the transport which is a layer 2, audio over IP method. To get into the sound grid audio network you need an interface of some type, be it madi or built into the desk with a card or built in (digico).   

With multitrack native you can run the plugs on any PC or mac but take a latency and performance hit, but your IO can be any old way to get audio in and out of a laptop.



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Dave Bednarski

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 02:20:30 pm »

As the others mentioned - not much to them.  The physical piece of equipment is really unexciting.  I've owned one for a year+ now and never plugged in a monitor to the back to see what may pop up when it boots up.  I briefcase it over to the mixer, plug it into a switch that sits between the console and the laptop... waalaa.

I have mine racked in a shallow SKB 3U rack.  It fits nicely in an EWI case w/ a hannay reel.  :)  http://dbmisc.s3.amazonaws.com/sgs.jpg
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 02:31:34 pm »

As the others mentioned - not much to them.  The physical piece of equipment is really unexciting.  I've owned one for a year+ now and never plugged in a monitor to the back to see what may pop up when it boots up.  I briefcase it over to the mixer, plug it into a switch that sits between the console and the laptop... waalaa.

I have mine racked in a shallow SKB 3U rack.  It fits nicely in an EWI case w/ a hannay reel.  :)  http://dbmisc.s3.amazonaws.com/sgs.jpg


That's really interesting.


So - you have to buy a Soundgrid server to get this "Linux" license.  When you run Multirack in native mode on a Mac and connect it via your console (in this case an M32 via Firewire) it's a different scenario?


What software do you run on the laptop when you have the soundgrid?  So the Firewire to the console goes to the Soundgrid server and it is headless?


Can you run the Soundgrid DSP software on 3rd party hardware?



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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 02:38:47 pm »


That's really interesting.


So - you have to buy a Soundgrid server to get this "Linux" license.  When you run Multirack in native mode on a Mac and connect it via your console (in this case an M32 via Firewire) it's a different scenario?


What software do you run on the laptop when you have the soundgrid?  So the Firewire to the console goes to the Soundgrid server and it is headless?


Can you run the Soundgrid DSP software on 3rd party hardware?

You should have received a multitrack soundgrid and a multitrack native license.  The native license allows you to host waves plugins on any PC/Mac. The soundgrid license allows you to host the plugins on the soundgrid server.  What console are you running that has a FireWire soundgrid interface? My guess is any FireWire connection you have is just acting as an standard audio interface to a multitrack native setup.


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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 02:55:17 pm »

You should have received a multitrack soundgrid and a multitrack native license.  The native license allows you to host waves plugins on any PC/Mac. The soundgrid license allows you to host the plugins on the soundgrid server.  What console are you running that has a FireWire soundgrid interface? My guess is any FireWire connection you have is just acting as an standard audio interface to a multitrack native setup.


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That is correct....See below but that is the native setup.  That was where I did not understand but as I read the manual Soundgrid mode requires Soundgrid devices, you need the Soundgrid I/O and a MADI interface for the console.


So I am stuck running native on a dedicated PC.  Since I received the Soundgrid server license I was hoping I could run it on generic hardware but even if Soundgrid will run on a generic hardware I would still need:


1 - Soundgrid switch
2 - MGO Interface MADI Card for M32
3 - Compliant Switch
4 - Soundgrid server







« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 03:00:03 pm by Scott Holtzman »
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Dave Bednarski

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 02:58:11 pm »

Yep!  You need an I/O card.  Which I think you can competitively do now with with the X/M32 using some sorta madi wizardry?

My implementation may be pretty vanilla but the card is essential.

The mixer has a Waves I/O card installed which connects into a NetGear variety 8 port switch.  SoundGrid Server plugs into this switch.  My MacBook also plugs into this switch via its ethernet port (dongle).  That's it for physical hardware connections.

When I startup MultiRack SoundGrid on my laptop it looks to see the SoundGrid Server is on the network.  If it is found on the network transacts the 'digital audio' with it for processing.  The MultiRack SG is the GUI.

Maybe this visual helps?  Here are my connections.

http://dbmisc.s3.amazonaws.com/sgs-connections.png

DMI-1 is the Mixer, it is set to send 40 channels of audio to MultiRack-1.

MultiRack-1 being the software it self on the MacBook that manages the plugins and works transacts with the SoundGrid Server.

MultiRack-1 returns 40 channels of audio back to the DMI-1 card on the mixer.  That completes the round trip.

Concurrently, the DMI-1/Mixer is sending 40 channels of audio the "SG Driver-1", which is the generic computer ASIO style driver on my laptop.  In my case that audio is being pipe'd into Waves Tracks Live for a multi track recording.  No return trip necessary.

http://dbmisc.s3.amazonaws.com/sgs-rack.png

In MultiRack SoundGrid the DMI-1 input shows up as the audio source for the racks.

Thats it.  My setup is simplistic but I'd suspect a common use case.  Not sure if this helps connect any dots.  The entire thing is kinda anticlimactic. 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 03:09:15 pm »

Yep!  You need an I/O card.  Which I think you can competitively do now with with the X/M32 using some sorta madi wizardry?

My implementation may be pretty vanilla but the card is essential.

The mixer has a Waves I/O card installed which connects into a NetGear variety 8 port switch.  SoundGrid Server plugs into this switch.  My MacBook also plugs into this switch via its ethernet port (dongle).  That's it for physical hardware connections.

When I startup MultiRack SoundGrid on my laptop it looks to see the SoundGrid Server is on the network.  If it is found on the network transacts the 'digital audio' with it for processing.  The MultiRack SG is the GUI.

Maybe this visual helps?  Here are my connections.

http://dbmisc.s3.amazonaws.com/sgs-connections.png

DMI-1 is the Mixer, it is set to send 40 channels of audio to MultiRack-1.

MultiRack-1 being the software it self on the MacBook that manages the plugins and works transacts with the SoundGrid Server.

MultiRack-1 returns 40 channels of audio back to the DMI-1 card on the mixer.  That completes the round trip.

Concurrently, the DMI-1/Mixer is sending 40 channels of audio the "SG Driver-1", which is the generic computer ASIO style driver on my laptop.  In my case that audio is being pipe'd into Waves Tracks Live for a multi track recording.  No return trip necessary.

http://dbmisc.s3.amazonaws.com/sgs-rack.png

In MultiRack SoundGrid the DMI-1 input shows up as the audio source for the racks.

Thats it.  My setup is simplistic but I'd suspect a common use case.  Not sure if this helps connect any dots.  The entire thing is kinda anticlimactic.




Thanks Dave so you have the Waves card for the Yamaha?  On the M32 the MADI is the only option I can see.  That makes it a $2400 investment.  It is worth that much over native?


I think you might be able to do a $1500 solution with the Rednet PCIe card and the Dante card for the M32.



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Helge Dr. Bentsen

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 03:21:43 pm »

Dante has too much latency for Soundgrid use.

This is the setup on my Souncraft Performer:

1. Computer running multirack Soundgrid. It acts as the GUI for the plugins, all the processing is done by the server
2. Soundgrid Server, it does the number crunching.
3. Digigrid MGO optical to soundgrid converter. Converts signals from optical madi to the soundgrid transport protocol and back again.
4. Network switch that connects all the units.

The desk is loaded with a Optical Madi options card. The desk sees the inputs/outputs of the options card.

Hope this helps.

http://www.waves.com/1lib/images/live/sliders/madi/sg/2.jpg

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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 03:24:02 pm »

*typed before Helge's response*
Just watch your latency. Some applications will be an issue...some will not, if you are running channels inserts, bus inserts, master inserts all at the same time you can run into all the latency building up and causing issues. And if you are running monitors from the same desk, be very careful with inserts.


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Helge Dr. Bentsen

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2017, 03:40:39 pm »

*typed before Helge's response*
Just watch your latency. Some applications will be an issue...some will not, if you are running channels inserts, bus inserts, master inserts all at the same time you can run into all the latency building up and causing issues. And if you are running monitors from the same desk, be very careful with inserts.


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I split the channels I put more than one plugin on or that goes into IEM for latency reasons.

I made a latency report for my setup.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1aakqkwy4ns91a2/Latency%20Waves.pdf?dl=0
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2017, 03:49:33 pm »

*typed before Helge's response*
Just watch your latency. Some applications will be an issue...some will not, if you are running channels inserts, bus inserts, master inserts all at the same time you can run into all the latency building up and causing issues. And if you are running monitors from the same desk, be very careful with inserts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


Helge has me thinking about a sub $1000 solution that would give me 8 chains.  I don't use the line level connection on the back of the M32 anyway.


So a firewire 8 channel interface
Laptop for Multirack
microITX machine with i7 and 16G of RAM for Soundgrid



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2017, 03:50:11 pm »

Dante has too much latency for Soundgrid use.

This is the setup on my Souncraft Performer:

1. Computer running multirack Soundgrid. It acts as the GUI for the plugins, all the processing is done by the server
2. Soundgrid Server, it does the number crunching.
3. Digigrid MGO optical to soundgrid converter. Converts signals from optical madi to the soundgrid transport protocol and back again.
4. Network switch that connects all the units.

The desk is loaded with a Optical Madi options card. The desk sees the inputs/outputs of the options card.

Hope this helps.

http://www.waves.com/1lib/images/live/sliders/madi/sg/2.jpg


Helge - Are you running a generic "white box" for the Soundgrid server?
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Helge Dr. Bentsen

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2017, 04:33:56 pm »


Helge - Are you running a generic "white box" for the Soundgrid server?

No, I'm running a Soundgrid server one.
http://www.waves.com/hardware/soundgrid-server-one
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Iain McCulloch

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2017, 06:28:07 pm »

Dante has too much latency for Soundgrid use.

Is this true when using the Rednet PCIe and not DVS to feed multirack native?
Just invested in the PCIe:-(

Dave Bednarski

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2017, 06:48:19 pm »

Is this true when using the Rednet PCIe and not DVS to feed multirack native?
Just invested in the PCIe:-(

+1, I had too much latency with my X32 and a Dante card.  I remember a thread on the Music Group forum for Waves Multirack w/ Dante being informative at the time.

This $2000 DiGiGrid MGB device looks nifty although almost twice as much as the IO slot cards.  If there is a valid argument or use case under your circumstances for its portability or possible transferability between mixers - the price may be reasonable.  I spent $1200 on a Waves card for the GLD and again for the S21... $2400...
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2017, 09:24:04 pm »

Is this true when using the Rednet PCIe and not DVS to feed multirack native?
Just invested in the PCIe:-(


Well you can only use the Rednet card in native mode so that doesn't help.


You can run Dante virtual sound card with the M32 Dante interface but what does that get you?


The bottom line is Soundgrid only supports MADI and that's a big investment.  I need to get comfortable with native mode before spending another 2k



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 02:40:11 pm »

Quick question for you Soundgrid users - Is it possible for the connection between the server and laptop to be wireless?

Thanks for your help!

We can't answer your question until you supply your real name. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Michael Thompson

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 12:39:15 am »


Well you can only use the Rednet card in native mode so that doesn't help.


You can run Dante virtual sound card with the M32 Dante interface but what does that get you?


The bottom line is Soundgrid only supports MADI and that's a big investment.  I need to get comfortable with native mode before spending another 2k

You should be able to run DVS with the dante card, but DVS has a latency limitation that other dante devices do not.  I've run over 32 channels through waves multirack native, a macbook pro and an assortment of console USB interfaces.   Pending the plugin's themselves and your computers ability to keep buffer sizes low you should be able to get below 8ms without much trouble.  I've gotten down to about 4.5ms (round trip) using this method on my S21.

The Rednet PCIe card should avoid the limitation of DVS and get you down to about 3ms (again, plugin and buffer permitting).  This would still be multirack native or any other plugin host for that matter.

Soundgrid cards in mixers with a soundgrid server will go even faster and handle more plugins.
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Soundgrid servers
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2017, 03:00:21 am »

Soundgrid cards in mixers with a soundgrid server will go even faster and handle more plugins.
Using the x32 with the newly released x-wsg, soundgrid server and multirack soundgrid will give you an 1.6ms roundtrip plus any extra plugin latency from analog input to output. That's not too bad...

However, my iMac can do more plugins than the soundgrid reported numbers.

Using multirack native the system latency will be 6ms plus whatever buffer latency you setup.
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