Building on the news that it has joined forces with DiGiCo, Fourier Audio has revealed the transform.engine, previously known as code name ‘Project Core’.
Housed in a 2U touring-grade chassis with dual redundant power supplies, the new transform.engine is a Dante-connected server designed to run all VST3-native software plugins in a live environment, to bring premium studio software to live sound and broadcast applications. It is fully compatible with any VST3 plugin that can run on Windows, and is specifically designed for live productions.
Designed as a turnkey solution for plugin hosting, the transform.engine is controlled by a remote Windows or macOS client application. Users can connect to the engine via a standard Ethernet cable, install their plugins, and get directly to processing.
Fourier Audio said that its patent-pending audio software engine provides a “rock-solid sandbox” with plugins ring-fenced from each other. It added that should a plugin crash, the rest of the system will be unaffected, and the transform.engine will immediately restart that plugin.
Designed to be integrated directly into live audio workflows, transform.engine will soon put control of plugins directly under the fingers of engineers on their own work surfaces, starting with DiGiCo consoles. However, similar to products from sibling brand Klang:technologies, the new Fourier Audio device can operate in conjunction with virtually any professional digital console on the market via Dante, using the Windows/macOS application to control the engine.
The transform.engine can also process audio standalone with no computer required. It is controlled remotely by a Windows/macOS application, with plugin user interfaces ‘teleported’ and controlled in ultra-low latency over the network, Fourier Audio said.
Scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2024, the transform.engine will feature an optional software subscription bundle.
“In the meantime, we’re inviting studio software manufacturers to contact us about potentially offering their plugins as part of transform.engine’s ever-expanding open ecosystem of live tools,” said Henry Harrod, Fourier Audio CEO. “We want to introduce them to a whole new market segment that they’ve not previously had access to. At the same time, we want to offer live sound engineers not just ‘good’ emulations of various studio plugins, but the absolute best-sounding authentic versions of every plugin they might possibly want from the professional recording world. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone.”
Fourier Audio CCO Gareth Owen said reliability will be one of transform.engine’s greatest hallmarks. “There are a lot of other VST hosting approaches out there, but when you have a theatre, arena or stadium full of people listening to your show, there’s no margin for error,” he said. “With the backing and support of DiGiCo, which is celebrated for its decades of designing tourable, reliable and long-lasting hardware, we are building the ultimate plugin solution.”
Fourier Audio’s team of engineers, led by CTO Peter Bridgman, has followed two years of intensive R&D with a recent collaboration with DiGiCo to deliver a new hardware platform for transform.engine. DiGiCo technical director John Stadius has been working very closely with the Fourier Audio team. “It has been an exciting challenge for our teams to design a brand new bespoke hardware platform,” said Stadius. “The Fourier Audio team reminds me of an early-stage DiGiCo, and that enthusiasm really motivated us all to get it done. I couldn’t be happier with the end result and what it will mean for live sound engineers.”