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Are You Ready for Plug-Ins that Run on GPUs?


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This certainly looks very, very interesting...maybe this is one reason why UA is going native. If you can make GPUs become hardware plug-in accelerators, you won't need dedicated hardware anymore.

 

As it says on their web site:

 

Graphics cards have unrivaled computing power, networkability and scalability that has, until now, been a pipe dream for audio applications. However, by fulfilling the dream of unlocking the power of parallel GPU-core processing, we can finally achieve a democratized standard of audio acceleration for audio producers - from bedroom producers to major studios and live venues, without the need for expensive, walled-garden DSP hardware.

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From the M2 thread.

 


I’m wondering if someone will figure out how to use those graphic cores for other things such as audio.

 

I really never expected to find a YouTube video on this the day after I asked this. A second shock is that it is currently Windows only. I really thought that the M1 would be the primary target.

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11 minutes ago, RABid said:

From the M2 thread.

 


I’m wondering if someone will figure out how to use those graphic cores for other things such as audio.

 

I really never expected to find a YouTube video on this the day after I asked this. A second shock is that it is currently Windows only. I really thought that the M1 would be the primary target.

What RABid said. I clicked the Beta test button and stopped at "Windows 10 Only".

It's a work in progress. Maybe Apple will see it and make AU plugins run on their GPUs before they can get to it (dreaming, I know!).

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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7 hours ago, RABid said:

I really never expected to find a YouTube video on this the day after I asked this. A second shock is that it is currently Windows only. I really thought that the M1 would be the primary target.

 

When Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, his answer was "because that's where the money is." No matter how good the M1 is, Windows dominates for gamers, so there are a ton of massive multi-gigabyte video cards available for, and installed in, Windows machines. Also, this GPU protocol is VST3 only at the moment (and I doubt it will dig back to VST2), and the plug-ins need modifications to be compatible. I don't see Apple re-writing their AU plug-ins to be a) VST3 compatible, and b) compatible with a market that is overwhelmingly Windows-centric.

 

But, that doesn't mean Apple won't employ the same kind of thinking for AU plug-ins and GPUs at some point. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

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Interesting.

 

On the photography front, there are some different photo editing programs that appear to run much better when they use GPU, not CPU. The difference in speed is startling.

 

So yes, who not with UA or others?

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Apparently, the major challenge with GPU acceleration is that graphics cards work best with large chunks of data, and moving them onto and off the graphics card takes time, making it unsuitable for low-latency processing. 
 

This issue should be moot with the M-series‘ shared memory, as nothing needs to be „moved“ anywhere. 
 

I assume we’ll see a „Metal for Audio“ framework or so announced at WWDC this year or next year. 
 

I am not a Developer, so This is my gut talking out my ass, FWIW. 

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