Everybody needs more power, from the mad scientist in the shclock horror b-movie to the seasoned music pro who needs to squeeze more processing out of their creaking CPU. As with TC Electronic (PowerCore series) and Universal Audio (UAD-1) Waves recognise this and have responded with their new APA44 and APA33 DSP units. Using the RJ45 ethernet connector as the interface, these contain a separate computer and RAM for processing cycle-hungry Waves plugs. Both ship with Wavesâ€™ popular IR-L Light Convolution Reverb and Q-Clone plug-ins free of charge â€” a $1600 value, but youâ€™d better hurry, this bundle is available for a limited period only.
The APA system uses Wavesâ€™ 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 theyâ€™re 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.
As they are connected via standard network RJ45 connections, a centrally located rack of them could be available to several computers using standard network cabling when required. Each workstation having access to up to 8 units, we were told that the round trip is around 8ms for processing delay. Any host application with automatic delay compensation can deal with this.
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.
As far as muscle goes, according to Waves, a single APA32 can run 6 IR-1 Convolution Reverbs, or 9 Linear Phase Equalizers, or 12 C4 Multiband Processors at 44.1 kHz.
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 Wavesâ€™ popular IR-L Light Convolution Reverb and Q-Clone plug-ins free of charge â€” a $1600 value.
US MSRP of the APA32 is $1600 and the APA44-M $2400. They are available beginning in June 2005.
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