Another horse in the Home Recording Studio Race

I friendly chap by the name of TK Wyley popped into Bogart's Coffee today, and we got to talking about recording. TK happens to be intimately involved with SAWStudio which appears to be a highly optimized SAW (software audio workstation) for Windows. The full version is quite expensive ($2500) but it's quite impressive.

TK regalled me with tales of "remote mixing" - apparently the makers of SAW Studio will allow an engineer in the audience of a live gig to remotely control a PC mixer sitting on stage. They are using a custom protocol rather than VNC to make the system more responsive. In a similiar vein, ADR (alternative dialogue recording) engineers are using sawstudio to do remote recording, remotely controlling parameters of the mix. This saves a plane trip. The audio is streamed over the internet - latency is present but is rarely a problem. Of course, bandwidth (186k/s) is not generally a problem even on residential broadband.

He was also quite helpful in recommending some hardware to reduce the latency I've been experiencing and increase the number of simultaneously recorded tracks. The M-Audio Firewire 410 offers 4 inputs, 10 outs, and 1 MIDI port. (Unfortunately my X41 doesn't have a firewire port but adding one via Cardbus is a definite option). Perhaps I will sell my Tascam US-122 and get this thing.

Certainly it was nice to see a viable alternative to Cubase, Cakewalk, and ProTools! I admire small software companies for their tenacity and innovation. If TK is correct, then SAW Studio can "run circles" around a much more expensive Pro Tools rig. That's a very serious claim, and one I look forward to testing.

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