Ben Loftis - Software Development for Pro Audio
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mixbus Mixbus
Mixbus(tm) is a full-featured Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) with "True Analog Mixing": a combination of Harrison's world-renowned sound and features in an affordable, knob-per-function interface. Mixbus provides professional-level features to import or record an unlimited number of audio tracks to your computer, edit them, and mix them together. You can use Mixbus to record your band, mix a record, make a podcast, or edit the audio for your video. As the product manager for Mixbus, I am responsible for development, marketing, and customer support.
xdubber Xdubber
The Xdubber is a linux-based, tape-style film dubber by Harrison Consoles. I am the product manager for the Xdubber, in addition to the other workstation initiatives at Harrison. In addition to all the technical innovations of this product, it also marks a major business and strategy milestone. The Xdubber was developed in close cooperation with Paul Davis, the developer of the open-source Ardour workstation. This product has resulted in a series of lectures, collaborations and discussions among high-end audio companies.
ikis IKIS - PreView Waveforms
A standalone app that interfaces with the IKIS console software, this program runs on an embedded computer and draws console settings and waveform data above each channel strip of the mixing console. I was the product manager and lead programmer for this application. We have applied for a patent to cover the waveform display that appears above every channel strip. This feature has been shown to decrease the mixing time by up to 25% because it dramatically improves the user's awareness of the mix elements on the timeline.
ikis IKIS
IKIS is an "operating system" for Harrison mixing consoles and professional studio gear. It mediates between all of the elements needed to control a complex professional studio including the console worksurface, timecode, networking, file management, audio routing and much more. IKIS is installed at various post-production film studios around the world including Universal Studios and Sony/MGM studios. I was the designer and lead programmer for the user interface and various other pieces. The user interface encompassed more than 30 screens and hundreds of custom interface elements. IKIS was written in portable C++ for BeOS and has now been ported to Linux.
ardour Ardour
Ardour is an open-source digital audio workstation (DAW). Through my involvement with the Xdubber project, I have become a contributor to the ardour project. Ardour is likely to become a powerful force in the audio industry over the next few years. Ardour provides all the main features of the popular Pro Tools workstation, but in an open-source form that allows many companies to build and colloaborate on the platform. This is expected to dramatically widen the market for Harrison and other companies that require tight integration across a wide range of users.
ikis Acoustics
A search for open-source room correction and measurement software led me to Denis Sbragion's DRC software. This was a source of great knowledge about room correction in various forms, and I began to pursue methods to treat rooms mechanically in addition to digital correction. During the construction of my friends' studio ( David Toledo and Mike Bauer), my wife and I founded Studio Outfitters to provide a source of acoustic materials for small rooms in the Nashville area. Shortly thereafter we became a distributor for roundffusors and have sold them to clients around the USA. Shown at left is a typical installation at HappenStance productions here in Nashville. This business has also resulted in several opportunities for presentations, including my yearly AES presentation "Small Room Acoustics: the Case for Diffusion" at local engineering school MTSU.
ikis Music Engineering - I occasionally have the opportunity to produce, record, mix and/or edit projects through my friendships with two fantastic Nashville session musicians, David Toledo and Mike Bauer. Shown at left is a screenshot from a mix performed with Ardour.
ikis MultiMon
A multichannel, digitally-contolled analog summing and monitoring system for surround music production. A prototype was made, and delivered to several Nashville engineers including Chuck Ainlay, Jonathan Russel at Masterfonics, and Michael Davis at Digital Audio Post. This product was scrapped when we determined it was too much of a diversion from our regular Harrison products. Still, it's an interesting product that I'd like to see re-awakened someday.
ikis BeSting
BeSting (pronounced like "Bee Sting") is a software synthesizer for the Be Operating System. BeSting allows you to use your mouse as a musical instrument. BeSting was featured on the ZDTV (now TechTV) show "Screen Savers" as a demonstration of the real-time capabilities of BeOS. It was favorably reviewed on the now defunct "StudioLab" web site. BeSting was available as a commercial download until 2001, when BeOS became an unviable platform. I have since released it as a free download to all remaining BeOS users. I wrote BeSting in C++ using the BeOS API. For more details, see the manual
ikis UDAPS
Software that acts as a user interface to the IED UDAPS digital audio routing system. My user interfaces have been installed at many installations around the world including: Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, Moscone Convention Center (home of the yearly Audio Engineering Society show), and the Fort Knox Mounted Urban Combat Training Center (shown). I was not the original author of this sotware, but each installation of the UDAPS system required quite a bit of customization in the UI and underlying logic. The UDAPS control software was implemented with Borland TurboPascal. Earlier versions, which I sometimes maintained, were written in Basic. Here's another screenshot for the NCSU sports arena.
ikis Win8101
A windows implementation of the 8101 software suite used by IED, Inc in their high-end public address systems. The Win8101 software is network-aware, and allows for features like paging, hard disk recording/playback, text messaging, and timed events. Win8101 is in use at many locations throughout the world, including NASA (where it is used to scare birds away from the Space Shuttle Fuel Tank). I was the lead programmer for Win8101. Win8101 was written using Borland Delphi for Windows.
ikis Other
Among my smaller projects are things like additive synthesizers, effect plugins, tone generators, games and screensavers. Many of these are available for download on the Software page.
  • Audio Software API's and proficiencies:
    • AU, VST, LADSPA, BeOS Media Kit, and other plugin APIs
    • room measurement and correction with Denis Sbragion's DRC
    • Mackie HUI implementation
    • Serial protocols:
      • Sony 9pin
      • PA-422 (IED)
      • Harrison proprietary
      • AMX
      • Crestron
      • various toucscreens and touch pads
      • Broadcast Devices
    • Simple DSP (gain control & mixing)
    • Development and design for Ardour workstation
    • Linux Audio development tools, packages and software
  • General programming proficiencies:
    • DOS, Windows, Linux, OSX and BeOS development experience
    • linux system administration and design
    • cross-platform development and porting
    • GNU gcc compiler and tools
    • expert at C/C++, significant experience with Java, Python, Pascal, and others
    • OpenGL graphics API
    • various toolkits such as GTK, QT, Boost, MUSCLE, BeOS
    • Basic Network client/server administration such as NFS, FTP, SSH, etc
    • Basic website design and maintenance
    • Client/server network programming for multimedia projects
    • XML data storage and serialization
    • Open-source development models and tools
    • CVS, Subversion, and other versioning systems
    • Driver development for touch screens and other input devices
© 2003-2007 Ben Loftis.