Prop's CTO Magnus Berger talks about building REs for desktop, mobile, web and hardware

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eusti
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Post 06 Dec 2018



Interesting comments there... Not sure if that in fact really means that the NDAs about the SDK is lifted...

D.

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antic604
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Post 06 Dec 2018

I'm halfway through, but if anything this talk makes me EVEN MORE pissed off about the VST (and RE) performance as well as low-res GUI.

Who cares if they were so smart that 6 years ago they've imposed a requirement for RE devs to provide you with high-res assets and vector graphics, if they're not using any of that and Reason 10 still looks like it did on a 720p screens? Who cares if they're handling all the threading for the REs, if their job allocation breaks down on newer i9 processors or when hyper-threading is enabled? Why talk about processing the DSP on many computer or on GPU, if they're not even rendering the GUI on the GPU?
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Exowildebeest
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Post 06 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
I'm halfway through, but if anything this talk makes me EVEN MORE pissed off about the VST (and RE) performance as well as low-res GUI.

Who cares if they were so smart that 6 years ago they've imposed a requirement for RE devs to provide you with high-res assets and vector graphics, if they're not using any of that and Reason 10 still looks like it did on a 720p screens? Who cares if they're handling all the threading for the REs, if their job allocation breaks down on newer i9 processors or when hyper-threading is enabled? Why talk about processing the DSP on many computer or on GPU, if they're not even rendering the GUI on the GPU?
I fully understand and support the cause - however...

It's probably not as easy as just "throwing the GUI on the GPU". Involving GPU's doesn't necessarily save CPU either. The CPU still needs to keep track of the invisible numbers behind the GUI, and send instructions to the GPU. And there's the issue of bugs, bugs, bugs and more bugs popping up when the many different GPU's people use become an additonal factor in hardware configurations. How would it run on really crappy GPU's? Would there be a software rendering mode to fall back on? I suspect it's very difficult for Propellerheads to pull this off, for little gain. I think they'll take the safer route of staying with software rendering (it ain't broke*) and just update the assets.

*okay even without GPU's they already had some new GUI bugs lately :puf_bigsmile:

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rcbuse
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Post 06 Dec 2018

Great talk! Thanks for posting the link.

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Loque
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Post 06 Dec 2018

Interesting...

So the Europa iOS port was tweaked manually on GUI side. I thought something of this, but it makes sense what this guy explains. And other RE can run there too, but actually not sold or deployed.

RE to hardware...that sounds very interesting. That would interly change the "feeling". Sadly i dont have enough spaces for much hardware. But the cool thing here is also, that i runs on a UNIX type OS. And probably everyone could run this on 3$ device if it has enough power.

RE hosting in the web...what those guys on PH do and where do they want to go? eXpanse in the web? WTF? Players in the web? WTF?

And all the VST devs, i always thought, it must be quite easy to move from one architecture to the other, as long as you have a good separation of concerns. So the most VSTs devs which do not port, have a bad architecture (which may be a result of high performance optimization as well) or just do not want to invest around the DSP code.

Thanks for sharing this video...very interesting...
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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antic604
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Post 06 Dec 2018

Exowildebeest wrote:
06 Dec 2018
It's probably not as easy as just "throwing the GUI on the GPU". Involving GPU's doesn't necessarily save CPU either. The CPU still needs to keep track of the invisible numbers behind the GUI, and send instructions to the GPU. And there's the issue of bugs, bugs, bugs and more bugs popping up when the many different GPU's people use become an additonal factor in hardware configurations. How would it run on really crappy GPU's? Would there be a software rendering mode to fall back on? I suspect it's very difficult for Propellerheads to pull this off, for little gain. I think they'll take the safer route of staying with software rendering (it ain't broke*) and just update the assets.
Well:

1) The CPU right now has to track those invisible numbers anyway and on top of that do the drawing by itself, so if they could at least get rid of the latter that'd save the CPU

2) Nowadays you don't really "talk" to GPU (unless you're a demoscene coder...) but use various APIs like DX12, Metal, OpenGL, Vulkan... so compatibility is much less of an issue

3) It's a 2D DAW, with simple moving elements, not a 3D game with super-complex rendering pipeline. The GPUs embedded in iCore intel processors can easily drive this on 2 or 3 4K monitors, so that's really not a concern. Also, a typical config PC will have a GPU thats 10-20x stronger - in terms of TFlops - than the CPU, so if it can run Reason on CPU it will more than likely run it with graphics offloaded to GPU :)

4) "little gain"?! well, try to use Reason on Surface Pro for few hours and then switch to Bitwig or Live and tell me there's "little gain" in clarity and detail...

5) "ain't broke"?! if drawing GUI is needlessly eating into CPU performance which is THE ONLY resource that can be used for DSP, then it IS broken; try scrolling a busy Rack or Mixer when your project hits 4-5 DSP bars
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EnochLight
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Post 06 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
I'm halfway through, but if anything this talk makes me EVEN MORE pissed off about the VST (and RE) performance as well as low-res GUI.
:o :shock: :? :roll:

Dude, I'm totally with you on proper high DPI/4K display support, as well as getting the VST-performance fix out, but come on man - can't you see the forest through the trees?

This talk from their CTO reveals some incredible insight, as well as the potential future of Reason/RE's, or possibly RE's separate from Reason as hardware.


Check out Mind Music Labs and their MOS. Also:


ELK.jpg
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antic604
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Post 06 Dec 2018

EnochLight wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Dude, I'm totally with you on proper high DPI/4K display support, as well as getting the VST-performance fix out, but come on man - can't you see the forest through the trees?
Don't get me wrong - I'm excited for what's ahead, ELK included, but I'm still mad they've envisaged and had all this technology in place but only recently (since 9.5) started really doing something about it... It's as if before the acquisition they were in a coma...

How TF are they sitting on high-res assets and vector data for 500+ REs for years and haven't made the effort to bring up the odd 30+ of native devices to the same standard and be done with it?

Ok, I need to take a walk :D :oops:
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Loque
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Post 06 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
It's as if before the acquisition they were in a coma...
Yea...looks like...sometimes...

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Ok, I need to take a walk :D :oops:
Enjoy... :thumbs_up:
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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EnochLight
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Post 06 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Don't get me wrong - I'm excited for what's ahead, ELK included, but I'm still mad they've envisaged and had all this technology in place but only recently (since 9.5) started really doing something about it... It's as if before the acquisition they were in a coma...
You're assuming they haven't been doing anything with the tech for the past 6 years. Perhaps it's taken this long just to get things "settled" and mature, not to mention keeping the RE SDK updated and relevant, plus keep their main product (Reason) relevant.

A coma? Come on, man - that's almost disingenuous. In the little over 6 years (since RE's were introduced), we've seen 4 major revisions of Reason, and several RE SDK updates. Plus, they've started to bring mobile to market (finally) and now we learn that they may be working with another partner to bring RE tech to hardware. That's hardly being in a coma... :lol:
antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
How TF are they sitting on high-res assets and vector data for 500+ REs for years and haven't made the effort to bring up the odd 30+ of native devices to the same standard and be done with it?

Ok, I need to take a walk :D :oops:
Take a moment and realize they have user data from Reason's stats that call home - they KNOW how many users have high-res/DPI displays. Have you considered that they weighed the necessity to bring everything up to high res/DPI and determined that maybe there were other things that were more important for the time being?

I mean, it's like people seem to think that they're being negligent just because they haven't given us "feature X", not realizing that they - like any software developer - has to weigh the importance of "feature X" and determine whether or not it's worth the cost of time and development which will take away from "features U, V, W, and Y" instead.

Don't worry - we'll all see high res/DPI support and performance fixes at some point. Take a breath; it's not that big of a deal IMHO (and I'm saying this coming from using Reason on a 65" 4K panel this past weeked).
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antic604
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Post 06 Dec 2018

EnochLight wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Don't worry - we'll all see high res/DPI support and performance fixes at some point. Take a breath; it's not that big of a deal IMHO (and I'm saying this coming from using Reason on a 65" 4K panel this past weeked).
You're right. I just came back from the walk I needed :D

BTW, this video really cements my hypothesis that they want to draw more developers to RE format and Europa VST was just a proof-of-concept. Soon they'll be able to tell the 3rd party devs - come to us, develop an RE and we'll translate it to any format you want (VST, webapp, hardware), host the files & updates for you, take care of promotion & sales (incl. rent-to-own & subscriptions) and provide piracy protection in exchange for a small cut of profits. That's probably not interesting for NI, Waves or Arturia, but most small developers should really pay attention!
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EnochLight
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Post 06 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
BTW, this video really cements my hypothesis that they want to draw more developers to RE format and Europa VST was just a proof-of-concept. Soon they'll be able to tell the 3rd party devs - come to us, develop an RE and we'll translate it to any format you want (VST, webapp, hardware), host the files & updates for you, take care of promotion & sales (incl. rent-to-own & subscriptions) and provide piracy protection in exchange for a small cut of profits. That's probably not interesting for NI, Waves or Arturia, but most small developers should really pay attention!
What has me excited most is - well - I guess two things:
  • A suggested Mind Music Labs collaboration using their MOS
  • A path to get RE's onto specialized hardware
I realize the Korg hardware box demo was just proof of concept and in no way indicated they were planning to release RE's in such a manner, but all I could think about is what Teenage Engineering is doing right now (frankly, making some of the most exciting hardware in ages IMHO). What if Props uses Mind Music Labs MOS, partners with Teenage Engineering, and gets RE's into OP-Z, OP-1, or some new Teenage Engineering platform? Teenage Engineering have already worked with Magnus from Sonic Charge for several products (and as a reminder, Magnus made Malstrom for Props back in the day as well as helped make the ground tech for VST support in Reason).

Props, Mind Music Labs, Teenage Engineering, and Sonic Charge are all based in Sweden... :puf_bigsmile: :puf_smile: Ahhhh well, a guy can dream. :lol:
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botnotbot
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Post 06 Dec 2018

EDIT: Nevermind :)

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rcbuse
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Post 06 Dec 2018

Man, thats a pretty damn remarkable technology stack. What they do with transpiling and llvm bitcode to all those targets is seriously impressive. Being able to take 500 REs and just BAM retarget them to WHATEVER... I'm not sure if non-developers can appreciate what a monster feat of a toolchain and architecture that is. The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays and VSTs are having problems." The take away is "They have been securing the next 10-20 years of development". And when you are running Reason 15 on your 64 core ARM, or on some other chip/device that doesn't even exist yet, your cakewalk RE2A Rack Extension can be there.

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EnochLight
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Post 06 Dec 2018

rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Man, thats a pretty damn remarkable technology stack. What they do with transpiling and llvm bitcode to all those targets is seriously impressive. Being able to take 500 REs and just BAM retarget them to WHATEVER... I'm not sure if non-developers can appreciate what a monster feat of a toolchain and architecture that is. The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays and VSTs are having problems." The take away is "They have been securing the next 10-20 years of development". And when you are running Reason 15 on your 64 core ARM, or on some other chip/device that doesn't even exist yet, your cakewalk RE2A Rack Extension can be there.
It's refreshing to see a dev's input like this; thanks for sharing!
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botnotbot
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Post 06 Dec 2018

EnochLight wrote:
06 Dec 2018
rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Man, thats a pretty damn remarkable technology stack. What they do with transpiling and llvm bitcode to all those targets is seriously impressive. Being able to take 500 REs and just BAM retarget them to WHATEVER... I'm not sure if non-developers can appreciate what a monster feat of a toolchain and architecture that is. The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays and VSTs are having problems." The take away is "They have been securing the next 10-20 years of development". And when you are running Reason 15 on your 64 core ARM, or on some other chip/device that doesn't even exist yet, your cakewalk RE2A Rack Extension can be there.
It's refreshing to see a dev's input like this; thanks for sharing!
It really is impressive, and as soon as I read about their design and their separation of concerns in the SDK docs I realized what an interesting mid-game strategy they had back in 2012 for this era that we are about to enter, where they have the SDK up to its current level and a wide base of plugins that they can more or less unleash onto any given platform... and, presumably, they are working on full-on replacements for all the pre-SDK devices (new devices entirely) or upgraded editions of old classics (Nano Grain in a Kong pad, please!) so that the rack can evolve without any old dependency (and deliver the eye candy we are all waiting for). ...

Glad that we can openly discuss these kinds of details, though, without fear of violating an NDA. I was never sure whether the LLVM IR detail, let alone the overall design, was fully available for public discussion. Can't put the genie back in the bottle now, Props!

I've had a theory in my head for a minute so it is great to see some hard evidence that they have Korg software running on a board. It is definitely interesting to me that he discusses explicit permissions granted by Korg for being mentioned by name in the demo.

And the Dr. Octo Rex port to Korg's Gadget platform is conspicuously absent from the list of examples of architecture hopping we've seen this year.

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antic604
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Post 06 Dec 2018

rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
...The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays..."
That's an unnecessary jab at my comment, in particular because - paraphrasing your own words - they've secured the assets & vector data required to render Reason in 4K already 6 years ago, but to this day made no use of this.

It's rarely those that come up with some clever tech that succeed. It's those, who are able to implement & deploy it.
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eusti
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Post 06 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
...The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays..."
That's an unnecessary jab at my comment, in particular because - paraphrasing your own words - they've secured the assets & vector data required to render Reason in 4K already 6 years ago, but to this day made no use of this.

It's rarely those that come up with some clever tech that succeed. It's those, who are able to implement & deploy it.
I'm obviously not a programmer, but I can see both sides... It's great and important to have ambitious long term goals with amazing feats, but if you leave your users (or parts of them) wanting too much you might never actually get to that point as they just might call it quits on your product / service....

D.

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antic604
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Post 06 Dec 2018

eusti wrote:
06 Dec 2018
I'm obviously not a programmer, but I can see both sides... It's great and important to have ambitious long term goals with amazing feats, but if you leave your users (or parts of them) wanting too much you might never actually get to that point as they just might call it quits on your product / service....
My point exactly.
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Breach The Sky
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Post 06 Dec 2018

Very interesting! I'm no programmer but you can appreciate the possibilities. Maybe RE is the future? Haha, think about that... I also feel that my favorite DAW is in good hands. They sure seem to have the brainpower, and long term vision to go with it.

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QVprod
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Post 06 Dec 2018

rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
I'm not sure if non-developers can appreciate what a monster feat of a toolchain and architecture that is. The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays and VSTs are having problems." The take away is "They have been securing the next 10-20 years of development". And when you are running Reason 15 on your 64 core ARM, or on some other chip/device that doesn't even exist yet, your cakewalk RE2A Rack Extension can be there.
Depends... do I count as a non-developer if I have access but probably won’t develop? :D I spent the whole last half of the video with my mouth open. And here people are worried about Propellerhead’s future. They’ve been future proofing themselves for the last 6 years! The RE format might actually blow up to be significantly more popular in the coming years.

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tc13
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Post 06 Dec 2018

This was probably what Verdane capital was paying for....

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Loque
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Post 06 Dec 2018

eusti wrote:
06 Dec 2018
antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018


That's an unnecessary jab at my comment, in particular because - paraphrasing your own words - they've secured the assets & vector data required to render Reason in 4K already 6 years ago, but to this day made no use of this.

It's rarely those that come up with some clever tech that succeed. It's those, who are able to implement & deploy it.
I'm obviously not a programmer, but I can see both sides... It's great and important to have ambitious long term goals with amazing feats, but if you leave your users (or parts of them) wanting too much you might never actually get to that point as they just might call it quits on your product / service....

D.
That's an interesting point. In the past often better marketing or connections won the race and not the better products. Thats why we are doomed with Windows today, which GUI runs slower than the GUI on a C64 which is a more than 10000 times slower machine.
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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EnochLight
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Post 06 Dec 2018

tc13 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
This was probably what Verdane capital was paying for....
And you know what? If I were on Verdane's BOD years ago and shopping potential new investments, this certainly would have sealed the deal.
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FlowerSoldier
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Post 06 Dec 2018

For christ's sake.
That video only has 500 views!
That's crazy that the Props have been sitting on that for so long.
tc13 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
This was probably what Verdane capital was paying for....
It think that was probably what tipped the scale too. Spectacular.

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