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Waves Shows New Hardware Plugin Accelerators at NAMM

APA32 and APA44-M units offload demand on DAW CPUs (July 22, 2005)

Waves Ltd., a leader in audio processing, displays two hardware accelerators that let users easily run multiples of the companys most CPU-demanding plug-ins. The APA products offer a new paradigm that uses Ethernet connections and switches to enable stacking several APA units together and even sharing them among several DAW workstations.

There are two models of APA. The APA32 is a 1U rack-mount unit, while the APA44-M, a half-rack unit that features up to 30% more processing power and nearly silent operation, is ideal for mobile use. A kit enables two APA44-M units to be mounted in a 1U rack space. The APA units are connected to the host computer via a standard Ethernet port. Up to eight units can be used together with an Ethernet switch. The units can also be shared among several DAW workstations via a suitable V-LAN configuration, with each workstation accessing up to eight APA units.

The APA system uses Waves new Netshell software, which is included in every new Waves bundle that contains Netshell-compatible plug-ins. No special authorization is required for Netshell or for an APA unit; APA users just need to update their authorized Waves plug-ins to Netshell supported versions, and theyre ready to go. This represents a major step forward from conventional DSP approaches that require a card in the computer or that are tied to one particular system.

The APA units are an economical solution to running multiple CPU-demanding plug-ins. For example, an APA32 can run 6 IR-1 Convolution Reverbs, or 9 Linear Phase Equalizers, or 12 C4 Multiband Processors at 44.1 kHz. The APAs flexible and shareable power, accessed via an established network standard, is what sets the APA apart from other approaches to the challenge of providing extra DSP muscle to a workstation. The use of conventional high-speed Ethernet also means that the APA can be more easily shared in a facility and remotely located.

In addition, APA allows users to get the most out of powerful, CPU-intensive plug-ins that simply wont run on conventional accelerator cards ? IR-1 Convolution Reverb for example ? and opens the door to new, more powerful DSP processing algorithms for which the power of the host CPU is insufficient.

The user is able to choose where to run any given plug-in with a simple drop-down menu ? on the host, TDM card or APA. This is important because not all plug-ins are best run on outboard processors, and having this choice allows maximum flexibility. Typically, the most CPU-intensive plug-ins will be run on the APA and the rest on the host. The latency introduced by APA is reported to the host and then eliminated in most DAW applications by delay compensation.

Initially the APA-compatible Waves plug-ins are the L3 Multimaximizer, L3 Ultramaximizer,
IR-360 Surround Parametric Convolution Reverb, IR-1 Parametric Convolution Reverb V2,
IR-L Light Convolution Reverb, Linear Phase Equalizer, Linear Phase Multiband, C4 Multiband Parametric Processor, Renaissance Reverb, Renaissance Channel, SoundShifter, Morphoder, TransX and Q-Clone.

Release 1 is compatible with both Mac and PC, and supports the most popular DAW systems. On the Macintosh, these include ProTools 6.9, Cubase SX 3.0.2, Nuendo 3.0.2, Logic Pro 7.1, and Digital Performer 4.52. On PCs, these include ProTools 6.9, Cubase SX 3.0.2 and Nuendo 3.0.2.

For a limited time only, APA customers will receive Waves popular IR-L Light Convolution Reverb and Q-Clone plug-ins free of charge ? a $1600 value.

Waves APA units have particularly attractive pricing, with the US MSRP of the APA32 at $1600 and the APA44-M at $2400. They are available beginning in June 2005.

About Waves Ltd.:
Waves is a leading provider of audio DSP solutions for professional, broadcast, and consumer electronics audio markets. Waves has ten years of expertise in the development of psycho-acoustic signal processing algorithms that leverage knowledge on the human perception of hearing to radically improve perceived sound quality. Waves award-winning processors are utilized to improve sound quality in the creation of the worlds most popular music, movie soundtracks, and multimedia titles. Waves offers computer software solutions and hardware plus software solutions for the professional and broadcast markets. Waves also offers semiconductor with embedded software solutions under the Maxx brand for the consumer electronics audio applications. Waves Maxx technology dramatically enhances audio performance in consumer applications and has been licensed to several leading companies, including Motorola and Microsoft. For more information, visit the Waves web site at


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Related Keywords:Waves Ltd., APA32, APA44-M, audio processing, hardware accelerators, plug-ins

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