Andrew Levine Technology

High end professional audio equipment

Andrew Levine Technology

Metric Halo 3d public beta

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tech

The latest announcement from the mothership:

“We will begin accepting pre-orders for 3d Card Upgrades and new 3d Units on 6/15/2018. These products will begin shipping via a Public Beta on 6/29/2018.

[…] The software is currently in late beta, and we believe that it is both feature complete enough and stable enough that it is a marked improvement over 2d for any existing Mio user.

[…] Mio Console 3d has been engineered as a cross platform application from the start and Windows support is baked into the codebase. Given that our existing customer base for the 3d Upgrade is 95% macOS-based, we have prioritized the deployment of the macOS version of the software.

[…] the full Mio Console codebase is already targeted to Windows and we will quickly follow up the macOS release with a Windows release. After both versions have been released we will maintain parity between the platforms moving forward.

The 3d USB hardware presents a UAC2 class audio device by default, and the 3d Card is utilizable as a direct-routed audio interface and A/D/A (without the use of Mio Console) on Windows, Linux and iOS.

The more advanced features of the 3d product will require the use of Mac for the time being and will be fully enabled on other platforms when the Mio Console and MHLink drivers ship for those platforms.

[…] In 2012 we began the long process of developing our next-generation platform – something that would provide a solid, future-proof and extensible base for our future products. All while remaining compatible with our existing products and continuing to deliver on our future-proof promise.

The culmination of that effort is the 3d Card platform. Improvements in processor technology have allowed us (and in many ways, required us) to re-target our development platform in order to provide a more agile, accessible and faster development environment all while increasing the processing power available for user-instantiable functions.

These changes are quite welcome, but they have been quite complex to implement. […] we had to re-implement everything in the Mio environment and +DSP from the ground up – control software, Operating System, and all the DSP algorithms. Now they are implemented in hand-optimized, yet portable C++.

So while it was an incredible amount of work to port to a new architecture – basically reimplementing the entire product from scratch while also implementing all the new features – the payoff is huge. We gain full portability for the future, as well as access to massive amounts of on-board low-latency memory, which removes one of the primary resource limitations we had in the 2d system.

In addition, we had to develop new interface technologies – for communication between the boxes, for communication with external systems, and for communication with the computer(s) running your DAW.

3d has custom implemented communication interfaces, with USB and MHLink (Gigabit Ethernet) in the box. USB and MHLink can communicate directly with your computer, and MHLink provides an incredibly high bandwith, exceptionally low-latency box-to-box connection between multiple 3d equipped units.

No one wants to get stuck with a deprecated interface in the future. 3d is engineered so that […] – moving forward – we can add new computer interfaces without having to replace the hardware.

The one thing we know about the future is that it will surprise us. We designed an extremely high-speed, programmable interface that connects directly to the 3d Core called “EdgeBus”. Each 3d Card includes an EdgeBus slot. The EdgeBus slot has the capability to support any number of existing and future communication interfaces, all at extremely low-latency and implemented at the hardware level.

Now we weren’t satisfied with simply moving our existing processing over to the new architecture and calling it good. We looked to see what we could do to really take advantage of the capabilities of our new hardware architecture. The 3d Core technology is based upon a fused FPGA/processor design. So we set about to offloading as much of the core audio processing functions from the processor to the FPGA as we could by developing custom DSP processor cores.

The results are stunning.

Within the realm of the FPGA we have designed and implemented an Audio Network on a Chip (ANoC). We set out to design a group of custom, audio-optimized processors that all interface to each other via the ANoC. The Metric Halo custom designed processors in 3d include:

  • A fully interpolated, high-precision 128 input by 64 output matrix mixer
  • A 1024×1024 channel audio signal crosspoint router
  • A 1024 channel VU, PPM and Peak Hold metering engine
  • MHLink packet formatter and processor
  • Custom USB Audio packet formatter and processor
  • A variety of audio data processors – interleaver/deinterleaver/formatting/smux
  • Custom MH Controlled and Owned AES/SPDIF/ADAT/MADI/MIDI Link Layer modules
  • Custom DMA processor with fixed/float conversion support

All of the FPGA-based custom processors amount to roughly 30x the processing power of the DSP in the 2d Card. All the processors in the FPGA run with 1 sample of latency. All the processors in the FPGA support their full capability at 192kHz. All of the audio transport in the system (with the exception of DSP processing) is managed in hardware, with no software component.

I hope that this provides a meaningful update, and would like to thank you all for the patience that you have shown as we have worked through a project that was *much* larger than we originally planned for.

We look forward to getting back to our normal approach of being able to provide ongoing iterative enhancements to our products, and to being able to communicate about what is happening in a transparent and timely way.”

BJ Buchhalter, June 06 2018 (on GearSlutz)The latest announcement from the mothership:

“We will begin accepting pre-orders for 3d Card Upgrades and new 3d Units on 6/15/2018. These products will begin shipping via a Public Beta on 6/29/2018.

[…] The software is currently in late beta, and we believe that it is both feature complete enough and stable enough that it is a marked improvement over 2d for any existing Mio user.

[…] Mio Console 3d has been engineered as a cross platform application from the start and Windows support is baked into the codebase. Given that our existing customer base for the 3d Upgrade is 95% macOS-based, we have prioritized the deployment of the macOS version of the software.

[…] the full Mio Console codebase is already targeted to Windows and we will quickly follow up the macOS release with a Windows release. After both versions have been released we will maintain parity between the platforms moving forward.

The 3d USB hardware presents a UAC2 class audio device by default, and the 3d Card is utilizable as a direct-routed audio interface and A/D/A (without the use of Mio Console) on Windows, Linux and iOS.

The more advanced features of the 3d product will require the use of Mac for the time being and will be fully enabled on other platforms when the Mio Console and MHLink drivers ship for those platforms.

[…] In 2012 we began the long process of developing our next-generation platform – something that would provide a solid, future-proof and extensible base for our future products. All while remaining compatible with our existing products and continuing to deliver on our future-proof promise.

The culmination of that effort is the 3d Card platform. Improvements in processor technology have allowed us (and in many ways, required us) to re-target our development platform in order to provide a more agile, accessible and faster development environment all while increasing the processing power available for user-instantiable functions.

These changes are quite welcome, but they have been quite complex to implement. […] we had to re-implement everything in the Mio environment and +DSP from the ground up – control software, Operating System, and all the DSP algorithms. Now they are implemented in hand-optimized, yet portable C++.

So while it was an incredible amount of work to port to a new architecture – basically reimplementing the entire product from scratch while also implementing all the new features – the payoff is huge. We gain full portability for the future, as well as access to massive amounts of on-board low-latency memory, which removes one of the primary resource limitations we had in the 2d system.

In addition, we had to develop new interface technologies – for communication between the boxes, for communication with external systems, and for communication with the computer(s) running your DAW.

3d has custom implemented communication interfaces, with USB and MHLink (Gigabit Ethernet) in the box. USB and MHLink can communicate directly with your computer, and MHLink provides an incredibly high bandwith, exceptionally low-latency box-to-box connection between multiple 3d equipped units.

No one wants to get stuck with a deprecated interface in the future. 3d is engineered so that […] – moving forward – we can add new computer interfaces without having to replace the hardware.

The one thing we know about the future is that it will surprise us. We designed an extremely high-speed, programmable interface that connects directly to the 3d Core called “EdgeBus”. Each 3d Card includes an EdgeBus slot. The EdgeBus slot has the capability to support any number of existing and future communication interfaces, all at extremely low-latency and implemented at the hardware level.

Now we weren’t satisfied with simply moving our existing processing over to the new architecture and calling it good. We looked to see what we could do to really take advantage of the capabilities of our new hardware architecture. The 3d Core technology is based upon a fused FPGA/processor design. So we set about to offloading as much of the core audio processing functions from the processor to the FPGA as we could by developing custom DSP processor cores.

The results are stunning.

Within the realm of the FPGA we have designed and implemented an Audio Network on a Chip (ANoC). We set out to design a group of custom, audio-optimized processors that all interface to each other via the ANoC. The Metric Halo custom designed processors in 3d include:
A fully interpolated, high-precision 128 input by 64 output matrix mixer
A 1024×1024 channel audio signal crosspoint router
A 1024 channel VU, PPM and Peak Hold metering engine
MHLink packet formatter and processor
Custom USB Audio packet formatter and processor
A variety of audio data processors – interleaver/deinterleaver/formatting/smux
Custom MH Controlled and Owned AES/SPDIF/ADAT/MADI/MIDI Link Layer modules
Custom DMA processor with fixed/float conversion support
All of the FPGA-based custom processors amount to roughly 30x the processing power of the DSP in the 2d Card. All the processors in the FPGA run with 1 sample of latency. All the processors in the FPGA support their full capability at 192kHz. All of the audio transport in the system (with the exception of DSP processing) is managed in hardware, with no software component.

I hope that this provides a meaningful update, and would like to thank you all for the patience that you have shown as we have worked through a project that was *much* larger than we originally planned for.

We look forward to getting back to our normal approach of being able to provide ongoing iterative enhancements to our products, and to being able to communicate about what is happening in a transparent and timely way.”

BJ Buchhalter, June 06 2018 (on GearSlutz)