Merging president Claude Cellier
with winner Michael Buehlmann.Puidoux, Switzerland (June 5, 2009)–Merging Technologies announced the winners of its track playback prize draw at the AES convention in Munich in May.
The competition was open to anyone who could guess how many simultaneous tracks a Merging Pyramix digital audio workstation had been capable of playing back in a recent real-world test at Merging’s headquarters. The test came about when Pyramix engineers wanted to stretch the new MassCore-enabled v6.1 workstation to its limits, to see just how much performance could be squeezed out of the recording platform in extreme conditions.
“The MassCore processing engine has made a huge difference to Pyramix’s recording and playback track count,” explained Merging president Claude Cellier before the announcement. “But we wanted to see just how much!”
To ascertain this, many highly edited 88.2 kHz audio files, containing unrendered real-time crossfades to represent the kind of audio Pyramix-based producers and engineers are used to working with, were spread across multiple tracks, with one file per track, and with the content of the project split across two solid-state playback drives. Eventually, the system could not reliably play all of the audio tracks simultaneously, but only when going over and above a very high track count. Entrants to the AES prize draw were asked to guess what this number was.
Only a few came close to the true figure. Kostas Gionis from Athens, Greece came third, guessing 1,182 tracks, and Richard Wear of recruitment company Interfacio guessed 1,117, but the winning guess of 1,128, which was closest to the true test figure of 1,149 tracks, was from Michael Buehlmann of AEU Studio Corporation in Bern, a long-time Pyramix user from Switzerland. Wear won a case of fine Swiss Fendant de St LÈonard wine as the runner-up, while Buehlmann won the first prize, a MassCore 256+ upgrade for his new Pyramix system.