Here's a promising new development - BionicFX has announced Audio Video EXchange (AVEX), a technology that uses graphics processors to perform real-time convolution (sampled reverb).
Here's the Press Release:
By having all that processing power available to do convolution, and thereby take the workload off the processor, makes perfect sense. It's surprising no one has done this before. I think this will have enormous implications for the future of sampled reverb.
BionicFX Announces Audio Processing on NVIDIA GPU - Revolutionary Programming and Innovation uses GPU as Powerful Audio Effect Processor
Cambridge, MA, September 2, 2004: BionicFX announces a revolutionary technology for music production that turns NVIDIA video cards into audio effects processors. Audio Video Exchange (AVEX) converts digital audio into graphics data, and then performs effect calculations using the 3D architecture of the GPU. The latest video cards from NVIDIA are capable of more than 40 gigaflops of processing power compared to less than 6 gigaflops on Intel and AMD CPUs. AVEX represents a major technological achievement that allows music hobbyists and professional artists to run studio quality audio effects at high sample rates on their desktop computer.
BionicReverb, the first effect to use AVEX, will debut at Winter NAMM Conference in January 2005. BionicReverb is an impulse response reverberation effect that runs as a plugin inside VST compatible multi-track recording software. The audio effect is generated by combining an impulse response file with digital audio. Impulse response files are created by firing a starter pistol inside a location, such as Carnegie Hall, and recording the echoing sound waves. Combining the two files through mathematical convolution is a CPU intensive process that is reduced by moving expensive calculations onto the GPU. Amateur and professional guitarists, singers, pianists, and other musicians will be able to create performances in their home or studio that sound exactly like they were recorded in famous locations around the world.
AVEX works by transforming audio streams into the structure and colors of graphics data. The graphics data is processed on the video card by pixel or fragment shaders that run audio effect algorithms, which read and write to textures in video memory. The final calculations are retrieved from off-screen buffers and decoded into audio. For more information, visit www.bionicfx.com