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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Audio Measurement and Testing => Topic started by: Justice C. Bigler on June 13, 2021, 01:35:34 AM

Title: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 13, 2021, 01:35:34 AM
So Meyer has moved SIM3 to their discontinued products list.


https://meyersound.com/documents/ (https://meyersound.com/documents/)

Rumor is that there won't be a SIM4 and that Meyer will be officially endorsing Smaart v9 for measurement purposes.

I wonder if there will be a USB to SIM port adapter to connect to the Galaxies...?

Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Brian Bolly on June 13, 2021, 03:53:34 AM
SIM had a good run, but Smaart is an extremely capable platform now.  Oh, and the price/size thing of SIM3 as well.  I don't plan on getting rid of my SIM3 rig, but it may not go much beyond shop testing and measurements now.

Since the SIM Bus is nothing more than a couple audio lines and some switching voltage lines, you can certainly break those lines out for the processor measurement trace I/O for your Smaart interface.  But with AVB on the Galaxy, you could likely pull a processor trace over the network as well.  I haven't tried it, but I don't see why it wouldn't be possible.

Also, what is this Smaart v9 you speak of?   ;D
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Luke Geis on June 13, 2021, 01:51:52 PM
I lost my V6 license and was looking into V8. Pretty expensive to re-up and now they are talking V9.... They are turning into the Pro-Tools of the audio measurement world. At this point, they may as well go to a subscription-based format.
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 13, 2021, 02:32:39 PM
I lost my V6 license and was looking into V8. Pretty expensive to re-up and now they are talking V9.... They are turning into the Pro-Tools of the audio measurement world. At this point, they may as well go to a subscription-based format.
Smaart V8 was released more than 5 years ago. And if you have a current license, then you get all the updates for that version of Smaart for free. They do charge an upgrade fee when moving from one major release to the next. But it's a far cry from Avid's yearly upgrades and Support fee or their subscription model.


Also, I have no direct knowledge of Smaart V9. It just seemed like the logical point to build in SIM compatibility.
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Russell Ault on June 13, 2021, 03:46:39 PM
{...}
Rumor is that there won't be a SIM4 and that Meyer will be officially endorsing Smaart v9 for measurement purposes.

I wonder if there will be a USB to SIM port adapter to connect to the Galaxies...?[/size]

I was wondering if this might happen. Very few of the reasons that SIM 3 was an important product are still true today, and a stand-alone successor was always going to be a nearly-impossible sell given that the market value of a multi-channel dual-FFT analyzer these days is less than $2k all in. In my mind, Meyer's best bet for a "SIM 4" would be some sort of Compass integration that provides the traditional SIM workflow while leveraging an existing software dual-FFT platform, possibly with a SIM Bus to USB adapter for legacy Galileo support (i.e. the ones that don't have AVB like Brian mentioned).

Smaart V8 was released more than 5 years ago. And if you have a current license, then you get all the updates for that version of Smaart for free. They do charge an upgrade fee when moving from one major release to the next. But it's a far cry from Avid's yearly upgrades and Support fee or their subscription model. {...}

In addition, historically, if you purchase Smaart in the 3-ish months before a new version comes out they'll upgrade you to that new version for free (so, for example, people who purchased Smaart v7 in the 3.5 months prior to Smaart v8's release were given a free upgrade). Also, unlike with some other software developers, upgrading Smaart doesn't cancel the old licenses, meaning that someone with two-seat Smaart v7 who upgrades to Smaart v8 will end up with four seats of Smaart in total.

Luke, have you tried contacting Rational Acoustics? I'm not sure, but they might be able to help find your license information (and the upgrade from v6 to v8 is much cheaper than buying v8 outright).

I lost my V6 license and was looking into V8. Pretty expensive to re-up and now they are talking V9.... {...}

For what it's worth, the only mention of a v9 from Rational Acoustics I can find was from last year, stating that it "will be driven completely by a meme-based user interface (https://www.rationalacoustics.com/2020/04/rational-acoustics-announces-emoji-based-licensing-system/)". Other than that, while I'm sure there's a Smaart 9 in the pipeline somewhere, Smaart 8 isn't really missing much (including the API that Meyer would need to develop integrations).

-Russ
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 13, 2021, 04:13:01 PM
For what it's worth, the only mention of a v9 from Rational Acoustics I can find was from last year, stating that it "will be driven completely by a meme-based user interface (https://www.rationalacoustics.com/2020/04/rational-acoustics-announces-emoji-based-licensing-system/)". Other than that, while I'm sure there's a Smaart 9 in the pipeline somewhere, Smaart 8 isn't really missing much (including the API that Meyer would need to develop integrations).
Leave it to the crew at Rational to actually have fun with their jobs. Much like the useless Funklogic panels, I would actually pay for a measurement software that I could control through various memes. (Probably not full price, mind you, but some token amount to engage a grumpy cat setting or girl burning down a house setting for the system processor).
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Matthias McCready on June 15, 2021, 09:54:19 AM
I lost my V6 license and was looking into V8. Pretty expensive to re-up and now they are talking V9.... They are turning into the Pro-Tools of the audio measurement world. At this point, they may as well go to a subscription-based format.

I'm with Russel  :)

Have you contacted Rational Acoustics? They are very nice folks, and have been extremely friendly/helpful every time I have had the pleasure of needing to communicate with them.

Additionally it is worth noting that you can basically use your old version (as long as you have compatible system). I have heard there are still folks running early versions out in the wild.

They are a great company, and I personally have found their pricing and rules to be extremely reasonable.

----

As far as Meyer SIM goes. When I was at a Meyer class it was cool to see it integrate with their processing and all the different points it grabbed, but honestly how many people were actually using it these days?

Even some of the Meyer guys I encountered in the field were utilizing Smaart. While I am thankful for the research and development that was made possible with SIM, I really enjoy using Smaart.  :)
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Michael Lawrence on June 15, 2021, 01:03:55 PM
Smaart is typically on about a 6-year cycle between major releases. v8 was released in March of 2016, and the fifth major update (v8.5) is still in development, so there is still more to come for v8 users before development focus shifts fully to v9. As was pointed out above, updates (everything after the decimal point) are always free to license holders, and upgrading versions keeps your previous license intact (if you own a v7 license and decide to upgrade to v8, you will end up with both v7 and v8 licenses on your account - you never lose access to the previous versions).

That being said - six years is a pretty long time from a software development POV - especially for a program that interfaces so directly with audio hardware and GPU's - just in the last few years, we've seen Apple cease support for 32-bit applications, shift to a new CPU architecture, and deprecate OpenGL, for example, and Smaart doesn't exist in a vacuum,  the hardware manufacturers (both audio interface and GPU) have the ongoing task of product support and driver development to ensure that everything can continue to talk to each other. Plenty of folks out there still running v7, and yes, even v6. I've got a buddy who is still running v5 on an ancient tablet PC. Software is built on the shifting sands of the OS and supported hardware, and that's typically where you can expect the trouble when trying to get decade-old applications to interact with 2021 hardware. I still have a copy of the original Tomb Raider game from 1996, one of my favorites, still in the box on my shelf, but the days of being able to pop in the disk and just launch the .exe are probably long gone.  :(

Luke - if you have a v6 license that you are having trouble accessing, our support team would be happy to help you out - just send an email to support@rationalacoustics.com or click here (https://rationalacoustics.com/support/submit_ticket) to open a ticket. I will keep an eye out for your ticket but I know Liz and Casey will take good care of you.
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Michael Lawrence on June 15, 2021, 01:10:29 PM
Also, I have no direct knowledge of Smaart V9. It just seemed like the logical point to build in SIM compatibility.

Justice - if you're running the v8.5 public beta, you will find an interesting new option in the Transfer Function "Import ASCII" dialogue  ;)
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Brian Bolly on June 15, 2021, 03:09:14 PM
Justice - if you're running the v8.5 public beta, you will find an interesting new option in the Transfer Function "Import ASCII" dialogue  ;)

I feel like I should go download v8.5 public beta now...
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Michael Lawrence on June 15, 2021, 03:20:55 PM
Leave it to the crew at Rational to actually have fun with their jobs.

When the technical writers get let off the leash once a year  :D
Here's this year's:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/37441592220/permalink/10158900572397221/

Quote
Rational Acoustics is proud to introduce a revolutionary leap forward in the field of sound system test and measurement. Smaart™VR brings the measurement platform you know and love into the future with full Virtual Reality support. Supporting the latest generation of VR headset systems including the Octopus Crest 2 and the NAI EVE, Smaart™VR brings you inside the measurement, creating total immersion in the data you’re generating.

According to Smaart™VR product manager Christ Sanjoures, “Our goal with Smaart™VR was to create a measurement platform that comes to you, and I have to say, I think we really pulled it off – once you experience your measurement in an immersive way – breeze blowing in your hair, soaring high above the phase trace, feet dangling into the Live IR – you’ll never go back. It’s like using an IMAX theater as your computer screen.”

Smaart™VR also speeds up measurement and tuning work in the field due to its “distraction free” workflow – the headset allows the user to focus solely on the measurement data itself, without getting distracted by looking around the venue at the actual system being worked on. Plus, the headset offers 20 dB of isolation in both ears, allowing the user to work in comfortable silence, without having to actually listen to the sound being produced by the system. In other words, Smaart™VR is perfect for users who just want to focus on the squiggly lines, devoid of any meaningful context.

Smaart™VR harnesses the full power of a modern desktop gaming PC to render the stunning graphical presentation of the measurement data. Laptop computers are not supported at this time, making Smaart™VR a perfect work-from-home solution to system alignment.
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 15, 2021, 06:30:50 PM
Justice - if you're running the v8.5 public beta, you will find an interesting new option in the Transfer Function "Import ASCII" dialogue  ;)
What am I looking at here?  :-\
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Russell Ault on June 15, 2021, 06:47:23 PM
{...} just in the last few years, we've seen Apple cease support for 32-bit applications, shift to a new CPU architecture, and deprecate OpenGL, {...}

Of course, this sort of insanity starts to increase the reasons to make a stand-alone unitasking platform like SIM.

Dropping OpenGL in particular sounds like a real kick in the teeth to anyone trying to develop cross-platform desktop software. At that point, a Linux port might be easier than continuing development for MacOS.

-Russ
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Michael Lawrence on June 15, 2021, 07:10:39 PM
What am I looking at here?  :-\

Open the FFT Size droplist - at the bottom is a "SIM .bin" option that can import a SIM3 .bin file and break the three contained response measurements (Room, Processor, Result) into .trf format and add them to your data library. Now all you have to do is get a CD-R so you can get the data off the SIM machine  8)

From the readme (http://my.rationalacoustics.com/downloads/Smaartv8BetaReadme.pdf):

Quote
The “Import ASCII” dialog now supports importing SIM® 3 .bin files. Simply choose “SIM .bin” in the FFT
droplist, then browse to the location of the .bin file and choose it. Note: SIM® .bin files pair with a
corresponding .xml file, which must be in the same directory as the .bin file for the import to succeed.

At this time, only Transfer Function data is extracted from the .bin file. Each measurement group within the
.bin is analyzed and the Room, Processor, and Result data is extracted to separate Smaart .trf trace files. For
consistency, the extracted Coherence data is square-rooted; if the desire is to emulate a SIM® machine’s
display, enable the “Squared Coherence” setting in Transfer Function Options to square all Coherence traces
prior to display.
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Michael Lawrence on June 15, 2021, 07:25:37 PM
Of course, this sort of insanity starts to increase the reasons to make a stand-alone unitasking platform like SIM.

Dropping OpenGL in particular sounds like a real kick in the teeth to anyone trying to develop cross-platform desktop software. At that point, a Linux port might be easier than continuing development for MacOS.

-Russ

I don't mean to pick on Macs (too much)...although I lean towards Windows myself, the reality is that a lot of this work in the field happens on macs, so if you can't run on macs, you are limiting the usefulness of your tool, and Windows is certainly not without its snags - audio-related tasks, in general, are more finnicky on Windows than macOS, so as Jamie would say "we hate all operating systems equally."

Dedicated hardware is yet another can of worms, and the economies of scale are basically non existent for the size of the industry (RIP Smaart IO). Luckily the dev team is really on top of things, and these are the things we are attacking now with v9 on the horizon - a deep dive into how Smaart communicates with audio hardware, overhauling the entire renderer...  I can't say much more along those lines for the time being but the idea is to build a solid, flexible, capable code base, which creates a nice strong foundation to build the "fun" stuff on top of.
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on June 16, 2021, 12:04:43 AM
Open the FFT Size droplist - at the bottom is a "SIM .bin" option that can import a SIM3 .bin file and break the three contained response measurements (Room, Processor, Result) into .trf format and add them to your data library. Now all you have to do is get a CD-R so you can get the data off the SIM machine  8)

From the readme (http://my.rationalacoustics.com/downloads/Smaartv8BetaReadme.pdf):


How every, very interesting.  :o
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on June 17, 2021, 08:36:03 AM
Very happy for the RA crew.
No clue if it matters business wise,
but having heard bits and pieces of history in various Smaart classes, it sounds like Meyer's dropping SIM and adopting  Smaart is something of a full circle journey.
Good stuff happens to good folks !
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: Russell Ault on June 18, 2021, 11:35:09 PM
{...} Dedicated hardware is yet another can of worms, and the economies of scale are basically non existent for the size of the industry (RIP Smaart IO). {...}

I suppose it depends on how dedicated "dedicated" is. In my mind I was picturing something along the lines of a SoundGrid server, rather than something like Smaart IO (or SIM, for that matter), i.e. something that is almost entirely off-the-shelf (both hardware and software) with only just enough customization to do the task (and, when it comes to packaging, keep the marketing department happy). I'm not sure if that actually solves any problems or not (it would certainly create some!), but it might at least reduce the number of entities that can screw you without warning or recourse. (My own personal opinion is that MacOS dropping OpenGL support is borderline anti-competitive, if not in the technical sense then in a practical one.)

-Russ
Title: Re: SIM is Dead?
Post by: fedele de marco on August 10, 2021, 07:05:26 PM
money buys everything