I doubt it’s economically sensible for Yamaha. We already have UAD-2, so combined with ever faster CPUs it doesn’t seem like it’s a good bet. If anything SB could try to make Cubase/Nuendo more efficient while using more threads.
And the stock plugins we get are really good. For very colorful emulated processing I still think UA has the best options, so… there’s that too…
How much faster are CPUs though? I mean, taking loads off the CPU is taking loads of the CPU, even if small usually still beneficial as it means the user can operate with ASIO guard off and lower buffer settings.
Also, more and more plugins offer oversampling up to 8x or more.
CPU performance is also SR/BR dependent, if you want ti work at 88/96 or higher, hardware DSP could become even more of a need for a user.
The VST market is big and diverse enough, the Stein/Yam can find everything they need to compete with UAD.
And to add onto that, Cubase users are of the type to be using 100-1000 tracks, so there’s that to.
The problem though is that if people start moving toward higher sample rates then whatever Yamaha’s DSP solution would be it’d lose relative performance. People already complain about the DSP in UAD-2 because the best plugins take a large chunk of cycles out of one chip. So moving forward Yamaha would have to not just compete with UA but also stay on top of just how many plugins can run on their box.
To me it seems the best option is to develop another protocol for accessing a remote CPU over ethernet and with low latency. That way people could build their own DSP farms and expand/improve as their wallet allows whenever necessary. Being a business and then designing something like a DSP farm is bad enough with a plain old CPU and even harder using dedicated DSP when you consider just how much things change over time. Sitting on a bunch of hardware that doesn’t sell is not a good thing for a business.
But people are already using that argument against not just UAD-2, but against dedicated DSP in general. The critique is that native plugins already sound as good or better than UA’s plugins (I disagree with that) and you can run more of those native plugins on a CPU. So another DSP solution would get the same crowd saying the same thing. At least UA has what I think are uniquely sounding plugins.
But they’re also the type to not like to spend a lot of money. We already have UAD-2, so the question has to be why people who would buy a Yamaha product aren’t buying UAD-2. A lot of the time the complaint about UAD-2 is that it’s too expensive. So really we’re back to what’s financially reasonable for a new developer. If Yamaha built a new DSP box, how much power should it have and how much should it sell for?
I think once we get down to actual numbers it’s going to be hard to see how anyone will make a lot of money off of it.
What price would you see as reasonable, and what amount of processing would you expect for that price?