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Former Steinberg man announces DAW compatibility service

David Davies 29 March 2010
Former Steinberg man announces DAW compatibility service

DAW PLUS is described as the world’s first specialised service for digital audio workstations, reports David Davies. The service – which aims to help studios focus on “production and creativity” rather than lose time dealing with compatibility issues – is the brainchild of Léon Herbers (pictured), whose extensive pro-audio experience includes stints with Steinberg (where he was a product manager for Nuendo), Apogee, Solid State Logic, MI7 and Ableton. DAW PLUS offers full compatibility testing of soft- and hardware as used in native digital audio workstations. Hosts, plug-ins, DSP cards, and audio and MIDI interfaces are tested for compatibility with every new update, upgrade or change in configuration. Herbers tells PSN-e that the “idea and concept grew over time. My first thoughts about finding a solution were when I worked at Steinberg in the QA department. There was a conflict with a certain hardware unit of another manufacturer, who refused to cooperate on finding the exact issue. In the end, the customer was in the middle, not getting support for a conflict with high quality soft- and hardware. I have witnessed such issues over the years. Two years ago I worked on the concept, initially with a different approach. Working closely with XI-MACHINES allowed me to refine the concept and direct it to its current shape.” The main objectives, continues Herbers, include “keeping our customers up-to-date while attaining minimal downtime risk”, supporting all high quality brands and – the “number one” priority – offering customers “a manufacturer-independent platform to get detailed feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and methods to get their system working before they use it on a project. Workstation downtime should be an exception, not a rule.” There are three aspects to the DAW PLUS service. Personal QA is a one-time test of system specs, based on what the studio intends to use and resulting in a full report with suggestions, issues and possible approaches. UpTime is similar but offers one year’s automatic testing of updates and upgrades for the registered system and its upgrades. Finally, DAW PLUS also offers complete workstations including an UpTime subscription. These workstations are built by XI-MACHINES; DAW PLUS will install, test and configure the suggested soft- and hardware, provided these are supported by DAW PLUS. “The workstations XI-MACHINES, our supplier, builds usually take up to one week,” notes Herbers. “XI-MACHINES already test all audio workstations with all the major applications and hardware. They are already in use with well-known composers, theatres, broadcasters and music studios. However, our specific installation and tests might take from three days up to two weeks, depending on the products, amount of products and how many assignments we have at the moment.”

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