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From NAMM 2019... SWAM running on HARDWARE! (prototype)

We think this is the biggest news from the NAMM Show... we are proud to reveal that SWAM is running on hardware!

In this video, Stefano Lucato, CEO at Audio Modeling, tries for the first time the prototype of SWAM running on ELK hardware by Mind Music Labs ( https://www.mindmusiclabs.com/ ) at Winter NAMM Show 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtEvruCdwjI

We think this is the biggest news from the NAMM Show... we are proud to reveal that **SWAM is running on hardware**! In this video, Stefano Lucato, CEO at Audio Modeling, tries for the first time the prototype of SWAM running on ELK hardware by Mind Music Labs ( https://www.mindmusiclabs.com/ ) at Winter NAMM Show 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtEvruCdwjI
edited Apr 25 at 10:36 pm

Amazing indeed !

I suppose this is not a dedicated built of the SWAM software, but just the standard Windows VST. Correct ?

There already have been at lest two commercial attempts to tun Windows VST on hardware: the V-Box (small similar to ELK) and the Muse Receptor (19" rack mounted) .

Both used Linux and Wine software to do this, and created a higg performance and high reliable system with a good price/performance ratio.

Unfortunately both projects died.

So lets hope for ELK ...

-Michael

Amazing indeed ! I suppose this is not a dedicated built of the SWAM software, but just the standard Windows VST. Correct ? There already have been at lest two commercial attempts to tun Windows VST on hardware: the V-Box (small similar to ELK) and the Muse Receptor (19" rack mounted) . Both used Linux and Wine software to do this, and created a higg performance and high reliable system with a good price/performance ratio. Unfortunately both projects died. So lets hope for ELK ... -Michael

I suppose this is not a dedicated built of the SWAM software, but just the standard Windows VST. Correct ?

@mschnell that's wrong.

It is a dedicated build for a special embedded Linux environment. It's not Windows, it's not WINE. It's not a computer "dressed" with a case and some controllers. It's a true hardware, with optimized resources, guaranteed latencies, cheap and almost ready for the industrial production ;-)

For more info, follow the link to Mind Music Labs website .

Best!

> I suppose this is not a dedicated built of the SWAM software, but just the standard Windows VST. Correct ? @mschnell that's wrong. It is a dedicated build for a special embedded Linux environment. It's not Windows, it's not WINE. It's not a computer "dressed" with a case and some controllers. It's a true hardware, with optimized resources, guaranteed latencies, cheap and almost ready for the industrial production ;-) For more info, follow the link to Mind Music Labs website . Best!

Of course I did study their website.

It's not really clear there if ELK only runs VSTs especially compiled for ELK, if they run "general" Linux VSTs , or if they also are able to run off the shelf commercial (Windows) VSTs (which V-Box and Receptor intended to do). BTW: Wersi does provide "Hardware" (built in their organs) that can run VSTs, but this is simply an embedded/tuned Windows PC.

If the VST provider needs to create (and support !!!) a new distribution of their product, ELK is even more doomed than V-Box or Receptor. These VST guys are much too conservative to move in that direction.

Remember there is a VST specification for (general) Linux since a long time, and there are DAWs that run on Linux (e.g. Reaper), and nowadays it's easy to set up a PC with Linux (e.g. using Debian MINT), to get a less expensive, better performing, and more reliable System with the same hardware than by installing Windows (10). But close to no VST companies provide Linux VSTs, and I doubt they ever will.

-Michael (writing this on a Linux box)

Of course I did study their website. It's not really clear there if ELK only runs VSTs especially compiled for ELK, if they run "general" Linux VSTs , or if they also are able to run off the shelf commercial (Windows) VSTs (which V-Box and Receptor intended to do). BTW: Wersi does provide "Hardware" (built in their organs) that can run VSTs, but this is simply an embedded/tuned Windows PC. If the VST provider needs to create (and support !!!) a new distribution of their product, ELK is even more doomed than V-Box or Receptor. These VST guys are much too conservative to move in that direction. Remember there is a VST specification for (general) Linux since a long time, and there are DAWs that run on Linux (e.g. Reaper), and nowadays it's easy to set up a PC with Linux (e.g. using Debian MINT), to get a less expensive, better performing, and more reliable System with the same hardware than by installing Windows (10). But close to no VST companies provide Linux VSTs, and I doubt they ever will. -Michael (writing this on a Linux box)
edited Feb 9 at 1:45 pm

@mschnell you are on a different point of view.

ELK it's not a PC running Windows or WINE, which is extremely inefficient.

ELK is a piece of hardware running an optimized embedded Linux distro, with a built-in "middleware" that implements an Audio/MIDI architecture ready to be used for making hardware devices for the music industry at low cost.

A hardware manufacturer can choose ELK as internal Operating System, reducing the R&D costs for dedicated boards. The "sounds" can be developed by the hardware manufacturer itself or provided and licensed by third-party VST or Rack-extension developers, with the advantage that there are many VST / Rack-extension developers compared to hardware engineers. I.e. most of the VST on the market can be easily converted to plugins for ELK.

@mschnell you are on a different point of view. ELK it's not a PC running Windows or WINE, which is extremely inefficient. ELK is a piece of hardware running an optimized embedded Linux distro, with a built-in "middleware" that implements an Audio/MIDI architecture ready to be used for making hardware devices for the music industry at low cost. A hardware manufacturer can choose ELK as internal Operating System, reducing the R&D costs for dedicated boards. The "sounds" can be developed by the hardware manufacturer itself or provided and licensed by third-party VST or Rack-extension developers, with the advantage that there are many VST / Rack-extension developers compared to hardware engineers. I.e. most of the VST on the market can be easily converted to plugins for ELK.

????
Regarding their website, ELK is software running on PC and ARM (and optionally other) CPUs, which can be used with Linux. (Their "development boards" include an Atom - i.e. PC-hardware - based one.) -> https://www.mindmusiclabs.com/a-look-under-the-hood-of-a-device-powered-by-elk/: They explicitly say "ELK is an embedded Linux distribution"

The device in the video seems to be one example of what can be done with ELK. Its called "DV Mark Smart Multiamp". There is no statement regarding which kind of architecture is used in that box.

Wine (on Linux-PC) is not inefficient. It has nothing to do with "emulating" Windows (Wine is short for "Wine Is Not an Emulator "smile ), it just provides certain Windows APIs to programs that want to run in Windows. Regarding VSTs (DLLs) the Wine Library works similar to "JBridge" (or bridges built in DAWs such as Reaper) which provides (e.g.) a 32 Bit environment for a DLL running with a 64 bit DAW. On their website, MindMusicLabs cryptically state: "TWINE can also be used by third-party’s plugins.", hence maybe they are using the Wine library under the hood for certain purposes, as well.

Maybe with ELK, they don't target this market (which Muse did with Receptor), but they intend to find software instrument suppliers (such as Audio Modeling) to use their software (and maybe hardware) as OEM. OK, this is a new - and potentially interesting - market. Maybe a "SAWM Player Box" with a hardware "GUI" with some knobs and buttons could find enough interested customers, if it comes from Audio Modeling themselves, providing appropriate configurations (e.g. for using it with Rise, with certain Wind Controllers, and with Breath Controllers plus Midi Keyboard), and enduring customer support.

But for a general musician, I feel it's not very efficient to have a hardware device just for SWAM, as many will want to be able switch between multiple software instruments from multiple brands.

For this, running Camelot in such a box would be appropriate, of course with the option to load off-the-shelf 3rd party VSTis / VSTs.

Another interesting (but not for Audio Modeling) use case would be an ELK box with Kontakt preinstalled, to allow using it with the great many Sample Libraries that are found in the market. Here you don't need Wine (but Kontakt running on Linux), while the end user would not have to bother about installing Linux plugins (but just regular Kontakt libraries, which are independent of the Computer architecture).

-Michael

???? Regarding their website, ELK is software running on PC and ARM (and optionally other) CPUs, which can be used with Linux. (Their "development boards" include an Atom - i.e. PC-hardware - based one.) -> https://www.mindmusiclabs.com/a-look-under-the-hood-of-a-device-powered-by-elk/: They explicitly say "ELK is an embedded Linux distribution" The device in the video seems to be one example of what can be done with ELK. Its called "DV Mark Smart Multiamp". There is no statement regarding which kind of architecture is used in that box. Wine (on Linux-PC) is not inefficient. It has nothing to do with "emulating" Windows (Wine is short for "Wine Is Not an Emulator ") ), it just provides certain Windows APIs to programs that want to run in Windows. Regarding VSTs (DLLs) the Wine Library works similar to "JBridge" (or bridges built in DAWs such as Reaper) which provides (e.g.) a 32 Bit environment for a DLL running with a 64 bit DAW. On their website, MindMusicLabs cryptically state: "TWINE can also be used by third-party’s plugins.", hence maybe they are using the Wine library under the hood for certain purposes, as well. Maybe with ELK, they don't target this market (which Muse did with Receptor), but they intend to find software instrument suppliers (such as Audio Modeling) to use their software (and maybe hardware) as OEM. OK, this is a **new** - and potentially interesting - market. Maybe a "SAWM Player Box" with a hardware "GUI" with some knobs and buttons could find enough interested customers, if it comes from Audio Modeling themselves, providing appropriate configurations (e.g. for using it with Rise, with certain Wind Controllers, and with Breath Controllers plus Midi Keyboard), and enduring customer support. But for a general musician, I feel it's not very efficient to have a hardware device just for SWAM, as many will want to be able switch between multiple software instruments from multiple brands. For this, running Camelot in such a box would be appropriate, of course with the option to load off-the-shelf 3rd party VSTis / VSTs. Another interesting (but not for Audio Modeling) use case would be an ELK box with Kontakt preinstalled, to allow using it with the great many Sample Libraries that are found in the market. Here you don't need Wine (but Kontakt running on Linux), while the end user would not have to bother about installing Linux plugins (but just regular Kontakt libraries, which are independent of the Computer architecture). -Michael
edited Mar 29 at 5:23 am

What would be cool is a NI Komplete Kontrol S88 like keyboard with an Elk board installed.

What would be cool is a NI Komplete Kontrol S88 like keyboard with an Elk board installed.

... and all NI software easily installable smile.

There are the "Wersi" ( "-Organ-" ) keyboards that include a Windows PC as their controller. You can install any (?) Windows VST on those to have completely a self-contained keyboard sound engine.

-Michael

... and all NI software easily installable :). There are the "Wersi" ( "-Organ-" ) keyboards that include a Windows PC as their controller. You can install any (?) Windows VST on those to have completely a self-contained keyboard sound engine. -Michael
edited Mar 29 at 5:34 am
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