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Newsletters > May

Making a Webpage to Teach a DAW
or NLE New Tricks

Extensions are not about a new sound but a new workflow. For example, if you have a job where you have to export a particular file type with a particular file name format to a particular server multiple times a day, you can build a panel to do that with a single button. And Extensions are not meant to do one job; they are a multi-purpose tool capable of being programmed to do many. The sky’s the limit!

Stock music and sound-effects companies, such as APM Music, are writing panels to audition audio in a project and, with a single click, allow it to be purchased, and the audio changed from an MP3 to a WAV file in place everywhere it exists in the project.

There is a company called Pop Up Archive that “makes sound searchable using cutting edge speech-to-text technology,” and is developing an Extension that will do so right inside a DAW.

Like any code, Extensions can be used to control hardware. One company called Palette Gear has invented modular blocks with magnets on the side to connect them and which have faders, knobs and LED screens on the top. They can be arranged in any configuration and their function is controlled through a panel. As an example, a physical volume knob can sometimes provide a user with more control. One of the modules with a single potentiometer can let the user control master volume, or compression rate, or something else.

The Extensions are scalable. Adobe also uses this capability to test its own software. The firm will write code to simulate clicking a button 1,000 times, for example, to test their products to the limits.

The Extensions run in their own processes for security and sandboxing—they don’t conflict with other code.

Although established plug-ins may currently still be the best choice, when it comes to digital signal processing, with HTML and Javascript ever-evolving, webpages themselves are becoming more powerful. It’s easy to see that the tasks we depend on Extensions for may eventually make them indispensable if widely used.

......Recap by Frank Schnyder & Kevin Salger


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