A few days ago, EastWest released the new 1.2 update of PLAY. By version number, 1.2 is a yawner. But what came with 1.2 was the introduction of EastWest’s new Advanced Streaming Engine for PLAY.
Reaction. There is joy in Mudville. Casey blew it out the ball park with a grand slam home run. User smiles are teething out on both Mac and PC platforms and on both sides of the Atlantic. In a bad global economy, posts are appearing saying, “I always wanted to buy ____ (insert your favorite PLAY library), now I think I will.”
What’s so hot about a software update that would cause such a panoply of praise?
Answer: seeing is believing.
In the brief 8-minute video posted below, you’ll see developer Nick Phoenix running a hearty string ensemble from QLSO Platinum with 400 stereo voices streaming off a single 7200 RPM drive in a system with only 6GB of RAM. That’s “just” QLSO. Then there’s the new Symphonic Choirs demo with Word Builder, and finally, a sharp little demo with the QL Piano demonstrating how Mr. Phoenix’s 8-Core Mac Pro running Logic 8.02 responds when the piano pedal is in the down position.
It’s heady stuff.
And after watching these demos, I have four words to say: spring is here. Early.
And none too soon.
With the economy teetering and tech faltering, the industry needs, that’s right, needs EastWest to succeed, probably more than any other sample library developer. That’s because the PLAY libraries, from the beginning as Mr. Phoenix pointed out in a forum, were designed for 8-core systems and beyond. In other words, the present future.
The PLAY libraries demonstrate to customers why they want these powerhouse machines, Mac or PC, but especially the Mac, the second silent beneficiary of EastWest’s success. As more demos of what can be done on a single Mac Pro with only 6GB of RAM emerge, the justification for purchasing a Mac Pro and other Apple systems will be established.
And EastWest has something on their side that’s incredibly powerful – price. Just a few years ago, QLSO was just under $6000 and ideally you needed a studio with 4-5 computers to run it.
But now, for under a $1000 street price anyone can now buy QLSO Platinum. That price is comparable to half a month’s rent on a two-bedroom apartment in parts of Los Angeles. Which means the dream is achievable. On a “bare bones” Mac Pro system, a customer can get away with a headphone mix and for a while, ignore the need for a combo audio card/MIDI interface.
On U.S. colleges campuses alone, that can spur a steady demand for thousands of unit sales from faculty and students alike since Mac’s can be bought at special academic pricing, as can Logic, as can now EastWest libraries.
This is a sales alliance waiting to happen. For now, all EastWest needs to do is to produce a few tutorials with PLAY and Logic and IAC and Soundflower and have those PDFs and videos ready for hand-out.
They need usage tutorials for both Finale and Sibelius.
EastWest has one other major benefit they can exploit over any other competitor – they’re in Hollywood. West L.A. more precisely, but close enough for jazz, as musicians are fond of saying. And many, if not most, of their leading customers are just half-a-commute away.
This is a formidable turn of events.
Is the update as good as being said on the forums?
It is. Before press, I had just enough time to test it on a G5 dual 2.7Ghz system with 4GB of RAM running Logic 8.02. I tried it with QLSO Platinum, Gypsy, SD2, and Ministry of Rock. It is far more efficient and system friendly. And yes, on the PC, too, with confirming reports coming in from owners of Cubase and Nuendo.
One thing is for sure, a new corner has been turned. And now, Mr. Phoenix…