In February 2011 SSL launched ‘Duende Native’. Duende Native plug-ins are functionally and sonically identical to the highly respected legacy DSP powered Duende plug-ins but they run natively on your host computer. They do not require a Duende hardware unit. Duende Native marks a significant change in the evolution of the Duende product line. It has been four years since we first launched Duende and in that time ‘multi-core’ host processing has massively increased the power of personal computers. It is our view that for the vast majority of DAW users, the additional power provided by the DSP in our Duende hardware units is no longer necessary.
It is in the nature of technology development that users expect a never ending upward spiral of more power and ever more sophisticated products. SSL plug-ins are sophisticated and power hungry and at the time when Duende DSP launched, computer processors did not have the power required to run them. At the time, the additional DSP in Duende hardware provided a solution. In the last two years the balance has shifted; as users expect even bigger, more powerful systems it is the limitations of the Firewire bus and other internal computer bus architecture which imposes limits to the complexity and number of plug-in instances available. Processor manufacturers continue to develop ever bigger, faster multi-core devices which deliver more than enough power for most users already and look set to continue to stay ahead of demand. SSL does still use DSP extensively within our large scale Digital Consoles, particularly for broadcast where 512 audio channels are not uncommon… but most project studio DAW users do not need this much power. We believe that the future of project studio DAW processing is native so Duende Native marks a strategic change of development strategy to reflect this view. All future development for Duende will be Native.
There is never an easy time to make a radical change… and Duende Native IS a radical change. At the same time as releasing Duende Native, SSL is withdrawing from sale all optional plug-ins and channel Upgrades for DSP Duende hardware. SSL will develop no new plug-ins for DSP Duende.
SSL is offering every registered Duende hardware owner a free ‘Cross Grade’ to Duende Native.