Distributed Audio Workstation
I've been searching a lot, but never really found something except for Logic 7 that enabled the use of more than one computer to do the DAW work.
And, Logic does this only half-heartedly, too, as e.g. it is not possible to record audio with different computers (synchronized) and have a common project state nevertheless on all computers afterwards.
I don't really know if my ideas are feasible, or even wished by people who want to use DAW software like ardour, but I wanted to present them anyway and get a little feedback on this, as I think it's quite interesting, not only from a technical point of view.
I'd like to introduce the idea of distributed recording, processing and playback of audio over a network, to be able to record simultaneously in several places, have different monitoring setups for each recording place, maybe, and nevertheless be able to jump over to any machine and be at total control of everything everywhere.
So to speak, I might have two fast machines with lots of storage capability, and ten machines with inarguably less horsepower; wouldn't it be nice if I could use them all in the production process?
Given I'd let each of them record one stereo track, that'd make up 12 tracks of parallel recording; or I could use the fast amchines for effect calculations on tracks in playback, and have two machines play back two different monitor mixes, for a singer and a keyboarder maybe, and have eight recording channels for maybe two mics and six MIDI-powered tone generators.
I could stand up, walk to another machine that's in another room and continue work in exactly the same way and environment I had on the other machine I was sitting at half a minute ago.
I could set each connectd machines resources to different tasks, maybe have multiple views, depending on what I need to do right now, and still it wouldn't matter what machine I am physically working at.
The question is, would someone want this, and what pain would one have to bear to accomplish this?
I don't know the code of JACK nor ardour, so I don't know if there might be architectural barriers preventing any such use.
Also, network traffic might be a problem, though this and another (syncing a whole network) problem are solvable, e.g. by using asynchroneous data transfer after recording, so one might distribute changes not while they take place.
Who would want such a system, is it possible to make ardour the center of such an effort, and if, what would it take to do that?