Waves announced their new DigiGrid at NAMM 2013, offering another DSP hosted solution to the market.
It didn’t take long before this announcement set discussions and comments around the web that are leaving the audio community scratching their heads. For example…
There are equally confused discussions on many popular audio forums which reflected the feeling on the floor of NAMM, not just by those expected to buy it, but also by software developers who were been asked by Waves to develop for the new platform. At least three of the top plug-in manufacturers told Pro Tools Expert ‘we are sick of porting our plug-ins for different platforms - we don’t need another one.’
So you might ask what is so wrong with what Waves are doing? UA Apollo uses DSP to host plug-ins and Apogee and Lynx use reverse engineering to trick Pro Tools into thinking there is Pro Tools HD hardware hanging on the end of it. However Apollo isn’t claiming to be an HDX AAX DSP alternative, neither are the offerings from Apogee or Lynx trying to offer an AAX DSP alternative.
Pro Tools HDX offers the real Pro Tools HD experience for those needing serious horsepower. UA Apollo offers the best native experience in the opinion of most, DigiGrid just feels like a bodge for Pro Tools HD users.
The consensus from those we spoke to, both users and software developers, can be summed up with ‘what the hell are Waves doing?’ We are not sure either and trying to figure out the motivation of others is damned near impossible, so we won’t even try.
Perhaps facing the impossible challenge of porting Waves plug-ins to the new AAX DSP platform was too much for Waves, it is suggested that it would have taken more man-years than getting us to Mars. Perhaps Waves were trying to outsmart Avid? In this case they may have outdumbed them.