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SoundGrid is a networking and processing platform for real-time professional audio applications. It is a product of Waves Audio.

The SoundGrid system consists of a Linux-based server that runs the SoundGrid environment, compatible plug-ins, a Mac or Windows control computer, and a digital-analog interface for input/output (I/O). It is used for live sound, broadcast, and post production—and provides a low latency environment for audio processing on certain hardware audio mixing consoles, e.g., DiGiCo, Allen & Heath, and Yamaha.

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Key benefits[edit]

  • Provides low latency (less than 1ms) for SoundGrid-compatible plugins
  • Runs on standard Intel CPUs and 1Gbit/s Ethernet networks
  • Uses standard computers and switches
  • Integrates with analog and digital mixing consoles
  • Provides redundancy and recovery
  • Splits output to record on a standard digital audio workstation (DAW)
  • Comprises network infrastructure for sound installations

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Audio transport and system control[edit]

SoundGrid is a proprietary Ethernet Layer 2 protocol and EtherType. It routes audio between networked I/O devices and processes it on plugin servers connected to the same network. The I/O device converts SoundGrid packets to standard and proprietary audio protocols.

Audio processing[edit]

Using native processing, SoundGrid runs on standard CPUs under an optimized Linuxoperating system (OS). Waves Audio says this provides predictability, stability, and low latency that was previously exclusive to dedicated DSP-based systems. Consequently, SoundGrid can run large numbers of plugins, as well as CPU-intensive plugins.

Separate computers provide SoundGrid processing: Download windows 7 professional 32 bit highly compressed software.

  • One or more SoundGrid Server are dedicated to audio processing in a customized Linux OS that is optimized for audio processing.
  • A standard Windows or Mac computer runs SoundGrid Host, the host application and user interface.

Waves Audio says this division of labor between audio processing CPUs and host application CPUs is key to high performance, stability, and low latency.

Audio interfacing[edit]

Audio interfaces with SoundGrid by integrating a SoundGrid-programmed FPGA (Xilinx Spartan 3) into a mixing console’s I/O ports. The FPGA receives I2S or other audio signal formats and converts them to the SoundGrid format. The FPGA also transfers control messages between control nodes external to the SoundGrid network and the SoundGrid control application.

Control software[edit]

SoundGrid audio processing, connections, system configuration, and monitoring are controlled by the MultiRack SoundGrid control application, which runs on standard Windows and Mac computers, including embedded systems. MultiRack SoundGrid displays rows of virtual plugin chains, named Racks, each of which chains up to eight Waves plugins. A Rack processes audio from a user-selected input and sends the processed output to a user-selected output. MultiRack SoundGrid offers remote parameter control and navigation over MIDI, or over an inter-application API by integration with the console’s host application.

System configuration[edit]

To configure a system, the user:

  • Connects and routes audio between system components
  • Configures I/O devices
  • Configures plugin servers
  • Sets system sample rate, block size, and latency
  • Monitors and controls system and component status
  • Sets redundancy and recovery modes


Users can configure SoundGrid systems for optimal effectiveness per channel-count, processing capabilities, routing, and sample rate—and expand them by adding I/O or processing devices.

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See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • SoundGrid audio networking for applications of SoundGrid networks
  • MultiRack SoundGrid for the host control software
  • [1] for dedicated SoundGrid IO and processing solutions for Live, Broadcast, Post Production and Recording Systems
  • SoundGrid servers for what servers are used for the audio processing
  • DiGiCo for SoundGrid systems for DiGiCo
  • Yamaha, for SoundGrid Y16 card for Yamaha consoles
  • Allen&Heath for SoundGrid M-Waves solution for Allen&Heath consoles
  • W-LOGIC Hardware Logistics European Distribution Center for SoundGrid Hardware
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Use Waves plugins live? Access and control them from your Avid VENUE S6L surface and VENUE software interface with this option card, which links Waves SoundGrid systems directly with S6L. This collaboration between Avid and Waves provides full unrivalled integration, enabling you to interact with Waves plugins and their parameters just as easily as and right alongside your AAX plugins.

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  • Just like AAX plugins, all Waves plugins linked through your Waves SoundGrid system can be accessed using the controls on your S6L surface and the VENUE software interface. Unlike other solutions that require interaction in a separate host from your live mixing rig, the WSG-HD (Waves SoundGrid High Density) Option Card integrates directly with the latest VENUE software, so your Waves plugins show up in the same VENUE Plugins Racks as your other plugins, with full Snapshot automation and ADC support.
  • If you have VENUE show files created on older VENUE TDM-based systems (such as VENUE Profile) that use Waves plugins, you can easily transfer them for use in VENUE S6L. Simply open a show file in S6L with a connected Waves SoundGrid server, and all of your existing Waves plugin parameters and settings will load directly into your system, ready to go.
  • The WSG-HD card offers the simplest set-up of any console, enabling you to be up and running in mere minutes. The card installs easily into the Avid VENUE E6L engine, providing a direct link to your Waves SoundGrid server using a simple Cat5e cable. Because there’s no need for an additional network switch or external computer, you can reduce costs while eliminating the hassle of dealing with extra hardware.
  • The WSG-HD card provides 128 audio paths, giving you maximum creative flexibility across every production. It also offers full redundancy and automatic failover when using two Waves SoundGrid servers, providing the security and protection you need to ensure the show always goes on.

System requirements

  • VENUE S6L system running VENUE 5.7 or later software
  • Waves SoundGrid Server One or Extreme Server—Impact Server not supported at this time
  • Waves Central for VENUE (to install and activate Waves plugins)


Soundgrid Impact Server

Audio paths128 voices—Each voice occupies a single path, so stereo channels occupy two paths, while a sidechain occupies an additional path
Plugin supportSupports up to 128 Waves SoundGrid Rack instances—Each Rack instance can support up to 8 Waves plugins for a maximum total of 1,024 Waves plugins per WSG-HD card
Card connectionsTwo RJ45 ports for connecting up to two Waves SoundGrid servers via Cat5e cables
Host connectionPCIe for installation in any Avid VENUE E6L engine; only one WSG-HD card may be installed per engine