[sdiy] Audio Weaver review (was Which proc for reverb)

Terry Shultz thx1138 at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 28 18:41:52 CET 2018


Hello John,

I Thank you for you assessment of Audio Weaver and review of the Tools we build at DSPConcepts.

Clearly tool cost and advanced tool cost is something that eliminates the smaller customer, however I believe that the 
cross platform with ARM, DSP’s and SOC’s to be stellar.

Still , I agree that documentation is thin and more examples would be excellent. The docs that are
available need a bit more meat I think to fully indicate the performance factors and Memory usage.

As we are a small company, we are growing more IP blocks and documentation is always a weak spot at the moment.

Having been involved in DSP and ARM work for many years, this is still one of the better tools available and is in a state of growth
as we write these notes.

I was hoping to let in some hope that others would at least evaluate the ST version and give feed back. Pretty good for near free in 
my opinion. 

National Instruments, Sigma Studio, Matlab etc. are limited or not free either.

So a truly free tool with advanced features is not likely to happen beyond a 30-day evaluation.

Still said, I am forwarding inputs to my team for improvement in the process.

Thanks again,

regards 

Terry Shultz







> On Nov 28, 2018, at 9:21 AM, John Speth <johnspeth at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
> I'm a little late to the party on this thread.  I have a considerable number of hours invested in evaluating Audio Weaver and I'll offer a review of Audio Weaver here.
> 
> The good stuff:
> 
> Audio Weaver is a highly developed visual design tool for audio processing.  If you have some knowledge of real time digital audio techniques, using Audio Weaver should be very familiar to you.  I bought the $50 STM32F726 Discovery board for my work and it works with Audio Weaver with no problems.
> The audio processing chain is wired visually using a mostly intuitive UI that has the familiar selectable block palette on the left and the design workspace on the right.  There is a native emulation mode which allows the designer to run and test the design on Windows.  The design is then easily switched to a target board by flipping a software switch.  Switching is seamless although switching to the target brings with it the possibility that you'll run out of compute power.  There is a handy realtime CPU loading meter on the design server that is relevant when running on the target.
> There is a reasonable and capable Audio Weaver design interface API that allows target application code to control the design in ways that seems to have no limits.  They call it "integration".  All parameters of all blocks are adjustable in real time.  I'll even speculate that an entire processing design can be wired at run time.  I never tried that.
> Licensing the ST version is free but must be licensed annually.  There are at least several block processing packages that can be used.  The basic core module package is free and provides basic modules, and there are many.  The advanced core module package costs $1k annually and has many nice modules.  For what I presume is a lot more licensing cost, one can obtain advanced tools to write custom modules.  I found myself lusting for that capability but have no source of funds to justify it.
> 
> The bad stuff:
> 
> The documentation does not match the product that I evaluated including the scant Getting Started guide and that was a real frustration.  I followed my gut in the getting started process and eventually everything worked as expected.  Help is available via forums on the DSP Concepts web site.  The forums are monitored by vendor experts and question turnaround time was typically a day or two in my experience.  I never asked hard questions and the answers I received were usually accurate.
> 
> I found the basic module package to be too basic for me.  The advanced package has many nice advanced blocks that, in theory, one could make up for the lack of rich modules in the basic package to concoct.  It would be simpler just to spend the advance package $1k licensing cost than labor through the work.  DSP Concepts states "most users" won't need the advanced package.  I identified my need after a week of poking at it.  I doubt my programming experiments are more advanced than most users so I think DSP Concepts got that wrong.
> 
> You're on your own if you can't get a BSP for your DSP board.  The BSP is probably easy to do though, of course, depending on your physical design.
> Summary:
> 
> DSP Concepts has an excellent product in Audio Weaver.  The product works well and the learning curve is short.  Documentation is tragically deficient.  You'll need quite a bit of money to become fully provisioned to realize the tool's full capability.  The free complement is fun to learn but not enough capability for my needs.  I plan to continue to use the free Audio Weaver for my hobbyist use but I would not recommend being armed only with the free complement before starting a professional project.
> 
> John Speth
> On 11/15/2018 11:04 AM, Terry Shultz wrote:
>> Hi Tim,
>> 
>> Anthony Mazzacco of https://www.meris.us <https://www.meris.us/> told me he uses the Arm Cortex M4, but the Cortex M7 on a STM 32F746 discovery board 
>> works with our Audio Weaver tools for Free.
>> 
>> https://dspconcepts.com/st <https://dspconcepts.com/st> , sorry for the shameless plug.
>> 
>> DSP’s are becoming replaced more and more by Tensilica HiFi and ARM type of devices.
>> 
>> My bet is to build on something that you can get a proper tool chain for free or near free.
>> 
>> with kindest regards,
>> 
>> Terry Shultz
>> Shultz Products LLC.
>> +1-562-355-4699
>> 
>>> On Nov 15, 2018, at 10:50 AM, Tim Ressel <timr at circuitabbey.com <mailto:timr at circuitabbey.com>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Hey all,
>>> 
>>> So if someone were to totally lose their mind and go down the road of implementing an IR reverb on a stand alone processor, which would be a good choice?  I don't think floating point is needed, is it? Obviously you need lots of cycles per sample and a fair bit of memory (6 seconds * 48K rate * 2 buffers = >1MB).
>>> 
>>> I looked at the Blackfins, they seem to be a good fit. What else? It would be nice to start with an evaluation board. Not too expensive software tools is also a plus.
>>> 
>>> Extra credit question: will this get me committed?  ;-)
>>> 
>>> -- 
>>> --Tim Ressel
>>> Circuit Abbey
>>> timr at circuitabbey.com <mailto:timr at circuitabbey.com>
>>> 
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