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 Post subject: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:14 pm 
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Hi, as I'm considering to buy a xite-1, I'm wondering, if it's th right system for me.
Background: I'm searchi8ng for a programmable DSP musical system for about 20 years. I started with a TI 320 DSP, then got a Tigershark development board (both very nice to program for but communication with the host was too slow. I finally gave up).
Then I switched to UAD-1 in the hope being able to program it, but UA didn't support 3rd parties at that time. After that I got some DREAM SAM3000 and SAM5000 kits, which have a nice host interface but are very difficult to program (the DSP assembler has nearly nothing in common with other DSP's instruction sets). I got also a FV-1, but this is not powerful enough.
At the moment I have an AD1452 kit for programming and UAD-2 system for music production. As ADAU1452 can't be programmed directly, I was looking for another DSP system and found, Xite-1 is the only useable and suitable one at the moment.
My goal (amongst others) is to create a filter which works in the frequency domain and thus creating effects, which can't be done in time domain.
Question: Is it possible to use Scope for creating FFT filters and manipulate the array at will?
If I need to do low-level programming: how can I get the mysterious dongle?

I have an own company which deals with effects HW and SW) for musical applications. I'm also in the process of setting up a recording studio.
I'll be happy to receive any information before making my decission. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:55 pm 
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yes, it can.
yes, you probably can get it. you need to contact SC directly.
i could easily see SC being interested in working with you. people with your qualifications are always needed(imo).


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:50 pm 
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garyb wrote:
yes, it can.
yes, you probably can get it. you need to contact SC directly.
i could easily see SC being interested in working with you. people with your qualifications are always needed(imo).

Thanks. I'll quote you :)


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:35 pm 
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sure, but it's not my decision in any way. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:55 am 
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Just beware that you cannot write custom code yet, but the word is it will be possible soon...

This is the best system if you want to develop in real time.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:32 am 
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tlaskows wrote:
Just beware that you cannot write custom code yet, but the word is it will be possible soon...

This is the best system if you want to develop in real time.

-Tom

I'll contact SC in my best German. Maybe I can impress somebody :D


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:36 am 
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Don't worry.

They understood my poor English just fine :D

But this is a steal. You've done DSP so you know how much the stuff costs. Probably a grand for a 1 chip dev board. You gotta pay 5000 for the complier. So yeah, doing development on Scope is a whole lot cheaper and more fun...

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:54 am 
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Regarding the HW: you're right. The boards were around 1000 Euro. But the software was reasonable. The Dream dev kit was about 700 Euro and the EZ dev kit for the tiger shark was around 1000 Euro (long time ago, it was actually $). But compared to UAT-2, it's a steal. The FV1 dev kit is free, but on the other side not very powerful. Useful: yes but what can you do within 200+ instructions? The ADAU1452 is quite promiseful, but SigmaStudio is at the moment not very ripe (only a few basic functions).


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:02 am 
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I tried and tried to find an affordable DSP board, but I will not code in assembler. Waste of time. I got an FPGA board for free a long time ago and wrote a bit of verilog. No rocket science. Implemented SID style oscillators and controlled them through a serial port using a terminal. Yeah, that was a long time ago. I have a lot of books on DSP. Probably about 10 of them. Some of them are impossible to read. I prefer the ones with examples.

So right now I have 45 66MHz Sharcs and the SDK. Total cost was around 2000$. That's a steal any day of the week!

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:06 pm 
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tlaskows wrote:
I tried and tried to find an affordable DSP board, but I will not code in assembler. Waste of time. I got an FPGA board for free a long time ago and wrote a bit of verilog. No rocket science. Implemented SID style oscillators and controlled them through a serial port using a terminal. Yeah, that was a long time ago. I have a lot of books on DSP. Probably about 10 of them. Some of them are impossible to read. I prefer the ones with examples.

So right now I have 45 66MHz Sharcs and the SDK. Total cost was around 2000$. That's a steal any day of the week!

-Tom

I'm taking a different approach to DSP: like an analog computer, a DSP program contains discrete components: adders, multipliers, integrators, delays and so on. Same is true for an analog computer. Here you send a signal into the circuit and get another signal immediately as a result. In the analog world all parallel components are use at the same time. In DSP is also true (to a certain extent). In a standard von-Neumann architecture, where computing elements may possibly have to wait for other results in order to do further processing, strict parallel processing is not really possible. With some trickery (like multi-core, multi-threading and heavy clocks) it looks like, it's doable. Therefore, analog computers (and DSP alike) are better suited for processing this kind of signals. Analog results are not very precise, but available instantaneously. Most of the DSP books are heavy on mathematics and light on real life examples (unlike CSound for example)


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:12 am 
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I though an analog synthesizer was basically an analog computer. Yes, I know what an analog computer is. According to my research a long time ago, they used them to guide missiles. I took computer architecture, but that was a long time ago. I really don't remember much. They made us write microcode on the final exam. Yes a whole lot of fun. I don't understand why they made us do that, I signed up for mathematics, not implementing CPU instructions. Nevertheless, no one was able to finish the final exam in time. They pretty much bell curved every exam/test. So if you did really well, your mark would actually go down! :lol:

School was a waste of time and money. Everything I know, I've learned from research and playing around on my own.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:59 am 
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Tom,
you're absolutely right: an analog synthesizer is equivalent to an analog computer. Different objective, but same means. And yes, analog computers provided results for missile guidance (I don't think they were actually in the missile ). But if you look at all the DSP program symbols, the similarity is obvious. I haven't use Scope, but if you know SigmaStudio, the concept is the same.

When I studied computer science and electrical engineering, personal computers were just a dream. I luckily was able to have a job at the university in the computer support group. So I had access to all resources and sources codes. So I worked on both sides: Student and teacher. And I know a lot of test bell curves, my boss was very fond of them...

Cheers
Claus
And yes, it's stupid asking for programming in an exam. Even in interviews, I don't expect perfect code.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:08 am 
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Yep,

I started to tell people to give me a take home test to actually see if I can do the job.

Why do you need to know how many years of experience you have in X and Y? It's not applicable. I can google and find the solution in less than a minute and spend a few more minutes on making it more efficient. There are some tutorials out there for iOS/Objective-C code that I was able to do in about 1/2 the lines of code. Why make your life complicated?

:D

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:43 pm 
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In all honesty, its the real good DSP programmers that will always have assembler in their pocket. Knowing assembler means knowing the instruction set and the architecture, and that's the only way to really map any intended math into a processor, especially with efficiency. Trusting tools to do the job for you isn't good practice. And it's the difference that makes us all like S|C and creamware over native stuff. Intel has obfuscated their cores so no one could really understand or control them, and then you have to get through an OS anyways. That's why U-he and such can bring a 4GHz processor to its knees, and your 66Mhz DSP can run Solaris.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:33 am 
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Yes, 16 voice 4 Divas is all I can run on my 4.6GHz i7. After loading more, I start hearing crackling :)

I can load 7 6 voice Minimaxes on my 3 PCI boards and the all play with no glitch in real time. And these cards are really old.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:27 pm 
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jksuperstar wrote:
In all honesty, its the real good DSP programmers that will always have assembler in their pocket. Knowing assembler means knowing the instruction set and the architecture, and that's the only way to really map any intended math into a processor, especially with efficiency. Trusting tools to do the job for you isn't good practice. And it's the difference that makes us all like S|C and creamware over native stuff. Intel has obfuscated their cores so no one could really understand or control them, and then you have to get through an OS anyways. That's why U-he and such can bring a 4GHz processor to its knees, and your 66Mhz DSP can run Solaris.

I can't agree more. That's why I want to be able, to program in low level code (which is actually C-like for the Shark familiy).


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:21 pm 
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for the part of your goals mentioned above I agree...
FFT reads memory related - the weak side of 'legacy' Scope (21065 Sharcs, PCI bus)
but you may totally underestimate the quality of Scope's basic 'library' of DSP atoms (as it's called)

there have been several attempts with low level code, which all ended in crap (afaik)
people frequently requested this feature, most likely assuming mediocre 'stock processing'
in fact it's probably the most sophisticated DSP stuff ever written for a PC platform

may lacks the fancy names UAD can use to label their stuff
and it had this PCI bus weakness due to low amount of local memory on the cards...
but everything else is on a damn high level, and has been for at least 10 years
the Flexor modular synth is a good example how far you can get with just the basic math modules

for convenience I do most stuff on an iPad today, but there is not a single app out there that can fake Scope's sound
UAD uses the same DSPs, but has a different sound - to my ears it often sounds more like IOS
(there are some excellent synth and fx apps under IOS - which is no contradiction: the sound is simply different)

for large scale matrix processing you're probably bound to custom stuff anyway, but I just wanted to mention this

cheers, Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:04 pm 
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Where do I find these 'atoms'? All I can see in the SDK is modules...

Thanks,

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:14 pm 
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it's the content of the DSP folder in Scope's bin directory
('atom' ist just a name)

cheers, Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Potential buyer's questions
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:34 pm 
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What I want to know is how does anyone do anything outside the time domain? Are you a time lord?!

:lol:


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