There are so many digital audio workstation choices at all different price ranges and they’re all, at worst, pretty good. So why would anyone even consider a new one? For one thing, when it’s pedigree is Fairlight, and secondly, when it’s actually an all-in-one video editor as well. That’s what you get with the new Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 14 workstation. Even better, the basic workstation app is free.
Blackmagic Design acquired Fairlight last year and it didn’t take long to incorporate the company’s famed audio elements into its already mature DaVinci workstation. Fairlight was known for extremely fast editing and a very user friendly layout, although its hardware was pretty much aimed exclusively at post. That’s still the case here, but there’s a lot to like in a music application as well.
The audio tools of DaVinci Resolve 14 provide recording, editing and sweetening, bussing, mixing and routing, and multi format mastering for multichannel audio formats such as 5.1, 7.1, Dolby and even 22.2. The super low latency audio engine is designed to work with 192kHz 24-bit audio with real time EQ, dynamics processing and plug-ins on every track when used with the Fairlight Audio Accelerator. Plus the new Fairlight audio can record up to 96 channels while simultaneously playing back up to 150 audio channels, while mixing it all in real time!
The workstation supports up to 1,000 tracks and features subframe editing of audio, down to the sample level. On the mixer. every channel features a real time 6 band parametric EQ along with an expander/gate, compressor, and limiter. Built-in clip time warping lets customers stretch or compress audio without shifting pitch. In addition, every single parameter can be automated using a variety of automation modes. The advanced monitoring can handle buses up to 24 channels wide with customizable fold-up and fold-down for crossing between formats, and monitoring can be done on up to 16 different sets of speakers, including massive cinematic installations.
DaVinci Resolve 14 works best with the Fairlight Audio Accelerator card, which gives customers 100’s of zero latency tracks and real time effects processing for EQ, dynamics, and up to 6 VST plug ins per channel. Even without the accelerator, most modern computers can still process more than 60 tracks in real time. In addition, DaVinci Resolve 14 can also be used to drive the entire line of Fairlight hardware mixing consoles.
We’ve talked about the audio tools, but this workstation also features a powerful combination of video editing, color correction and visual effects, along with 4K multi format support and new collaboration tools. This makes it one of the few workstations on the market that performs equally well on both audio and video.
While the basic DaVinci Resolve 14 is free, the full DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio is only $299, which adds new collaborative multi user tools, over 20 new Resolve FX including the advanced face enhancement tools, 4K and 120fps project support, stereoscopic 3D, optical quality blur and mist effects, film grain, de-noise tools and much more. Best of all, DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio does not require a connection to the internet or a cloud subscription to work.
DaVinci Resolve 14 runs on all major platforms, including Mac, Windows and Linux. You can find out more here. If you’re into post, or feel adventurous with music, this is big bang for the buck!