Apple Patents New Mixer for Sound Engineering

D*I*S_Frontman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 20, 2002
450
17
Appleton,WI
I know we often look with distain upon some of the stuff mentioned @ Spymac.com, but this one has legs. Below is a link to the US Patent Office for a document submitted by the engineers @ Apple for a new audio mixer dated June 11, 2002:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...OS=AN/"apple+computer"&RS=AN/"apple+computer"

(Sorry--I've tried for 20 minutes to get this blasted link to work! Just cut&paste, please...)

I wonder if this was in anticipation for the acquisition of Emagic, as the timing for both events is rather close (within 30 days). Now the actual hardware for this might be months away at best, but are we looking at a possible hardware mixer to work in conjunction with a slicker new fully Aquafied, AltiVected, MP-optimized Emagic Logic?

If so, and if they do it RIGHT, this could be a huge development, probably scaring the devil out of Digidesign (ProTools) and MOTU (Performer). Our next industry-dominating "Final Cut Pro" story.

Apple staff lurkers, please note the following:
1) Make the thing as user friendly as DP
2) Make sure translators are in place for it to use every conceivable type of plug in (MAS, VST, TDM, etc.) without a glitch
3) Use ultrahigh sampling rates (48, 96 & 192khz @ 24 bit resolution)
4) Don't skimp on the mic pre's (maybe get them from Mackie)
5) If you do your own hardware, make it rugged and easy to use like Mackie stuff
6) Pay attention to synching and latency issues
7) Flawless, limitless, and easily implemented MIDI sequencing is a must

Short Cuts to the above suggestions:
1) Apple, Buy MOTU and bring the Emagic boys on over--cook up a new "SuperPerformer"
2) Use MOTU FireWire interfaces to get data in
3) Have Mackie build a co-branded mixing console surface like a souped up HUI to operate it and facilitate "grab 'n' tweak" automation (I think Mackie & MOTU are already cooking one up as we speak anyway).

With a new mixer/console interface, a souped up user-friendly Logic (or "SuperPerformer" if they buy MOTU), all indelibly linked to OS X and Apple hardware and designed for powerful and flawless integration, this could be a real crusher for the ProTools crowd.

Not to mention the PC world. Not a prayer of holding on to any remaining market share there. Only hobbyists would use Wintel boxes for audio--anyone serious would be using a Mac.

Anyway, what say you all to the patent info?
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
This sounds like an extremely impressive audio mixer.

I think Apple certainly will make an audio mixer of some sort. I call it: Instrument Tuner Pro. (Actually, I developed that name several months ago.) I would expect that with all of these details and extras, the price of the software may jack up to the current status of Final Cut Pro, or DVD Studio Pro, to around $1000. This will probably blow Audacity right away, although I have done some experimenting with the somewhat easy-to-use program.

I'm sure Apple won't let us down, especially if this is a Pro product. Have they let us down with FCP? I don't think so.
 
Comment

humantech

macrumors member
Jan 27, 2002
30
0
Inland northwest
Bring it- Its about time!

I for one, am STOKED about this info-
Apple can and should do it right- They are the only ones with ALL the pieces of the puzzle in place--- Heres my take though- we will see the hardware sooner rather than later. I think this has been brewing for a while- Apple Knew what is was doing with OS X- this is basically just the first part of the digital lifestyle / convergence apple started- This will be something done quickly, right and with some capabilities we never really thought about, but Will all sigh and go " Man! How great is that!" when they release it--
Bring it on!
 
Comment

hughster

macrumors newbie
Jul 7, 2002
5
0
Kamakura, Japan
Re: Apple Patents New Mixer for Sound Engineering

With a new mixer/console interface, a souped up user-friendly Logic (or "SuperPerformer" if they buy MOTU), all indelibly linked to OS X and Apple hardware and designed for powerful and flawless integration, this could be a real crusher for the ProTools crowd.

Not to mention the PC world. Not a prayer of holding on to any remaining market share there. Only hobbyists would use Wintel boxes for audio--anyone serious would be using a Mac.

Anyway, what say you all to the patent info? [/B]
Fascinating stuff. Speaking for myself, I hope that Mackie are not involved here. <disclaimer>I have connections with another audio company.</disclaimer> All other aspects apart, Mackie's pres are far from being the best in the known universe, their software has a habit of being later than expected, and less fully-featured than expected.

But yes, if Apple get this right, and if they can keep the competition and not do a Microsoft, then the pro audio market is Mac only in the future.
 
Comment

3rdpath

macrumors 68000
from the descriptions in the patent application it sounds more like a levelling mixer for use with multiple inputs from varied consumer a/v devices.

i think this puppy may be the audio portion of apple's foray into the set-top box arena...they've been rumored to be working on something kinda like tivo.

and i've been thinking for a while that apple is planning on making the computer an integral part of the home entertainment system...

either way, its gonna be interesting. :)
 
Comment

tjwett

macrumors 68000
May 6, 2002
1,880
0
Brooklyn, NYC
Is this going to be an expansion on the Logic/Mackie "Logic Control" unit which is out now? i've been considering purchasing one soon but would wait if i could actually have something that has my audio interface built in. the current Logic Control is just a hardware controller for Logic. Maybe this mixer will incorporate mLan. That would be wonderful. All your analog ins go to the mixer and make their way into the computer via a single FireWire Cable. I'd pay a lot for that.
 
Comment

railthinner

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
I think what we're looking at here is a way to integrate surround 5.1 into a computer--something that has been limited on macs. this certainly falls in line with the emagic purchase and surround mixing capabilities for FCP projects. eh? Hopefully Apple will produce sound in/out options through firewire as well ala MOTU.
 
Comment

hughster

macrumors newbie
Jul 7, 2002
5
0
Kamakura, Japan
Originally posted by railthinner
I think what we're looking at here is a way to integrate surround 5.1 into a computer--something that has been limited on macs. this certainly falls in line with the emagic purchase and surround mixing capabilities for FCP projects. eh? Hopefully Apple will produce sound in/out options through firewire as well ala MOTU.

CoreAudio already supports at least 5.1 See the Apple site - maybe more.
Firewire I/O should be easy for third-party makers to get going - this isn't really Apple's job, IMNSHO.
 
Comment

railthinner

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
core audio isn't hardware and since we're talking about this patent submission, well....... I think Apple is going to make it their business to get into the audio hardware game via Emagic on the pro (or musician hobbyist side) And perhaps I wasn't clear in my previous speculation but I think we will eventually see 5.1 built in to the iMac (powermac too?) It's needed and no third party has pushed a viable option for macs, although it's possible now via firewire (I don't believe usb has the bandwidth). Maybe I'm dreaming but I'd like to see a breakout firewire audio box for 5.1 targeted at consumers.
 
Comment

hughster

macrumors newbie
Jul 7, 2002
5
0
Kamakura, Japan
Originally posted by railthinner
core audio isn't hardware and since we're talking about this patent submission, well....... I think Apple is going to make it their business to get into the audio hardware game via Emagic on the pro (or musician hobbyist side) And perhaps I wasn't clear in my previous speculation but I think we will eventually see 5.1 built in to the iMac (powermac too?) It's needed and no third party has pushed a viable option for macs, although it's possible now via firewire (I don't believe usb has the bandwidth). Maybe I'm dreaming but I'd like to see a breakout firewire audio box for 5.1 targeted at consumers.
OK - I misunderstood your original post. I agree, a 5.1 (or better) breakout box would be very nice indeed. FireWire? Probably - USB might just manage it (the TASCAM US-428 does 4 x in, 2 x out), but it's a strain. And I don't think it would be enormously difficult to implement a FireWire solution (shame the VCs are so cagey now, otherwise you could probably scare up a few mega$ to develop and sell your iSurround box).
 
Comment

railthinner

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
great idea.

attention anyone with cash: I have a background in audio engineering and have been working with mac audio applications for many years. I am a professional web designer with a great deal of experience in creating usable interfaces for consumers. My idea is to build a breakout audio box targeted to consumers who want to take full advantage of their computer as a "digital hub." This will enable any Mac (or others -- ya know pc users) to connect their machines via firewire into a home audio surround system or other surround speaker set up. This will also be ideally functional for Audio Mixing for video and film. If you want to invest your cash into this fabulous idea let me know.

I'd leave my personal email here but I'm afraid this won't be taken seriously by anyone who I would like to attract, but would be taken seriously by angry masses bombing my email with messages telling me how annoying I am. "get off here railthinner" "well man, we saw hardware barely this cool at MWNY, why not?"

cheers

Bring on Apple LOGIC!
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.