Submitted by thewhippinpost on Wed, 24/01/2007 - 20:03.

Last week I wrote about the upcoming new Microsoft Vista operating system - Specifically; what the new Vista audio engine will mean for musicians.

Well, had an email from NormC (though why you lot are too shy to leave comments, I don't know - especially those of you that are members!), who is asking why I didn't mention the WaveRT (wave real-time) port driver...


Thanks for writing about vista, i've been trying to find out as much as i can because i have cash to burn and your article has helped.

Some other articles mention WaveRT but you dont. Is it important and should i look for music software that is compatible with it?

Great site


I snipped a bit of the email for brevity but he points to a reply made on CreateDigitalMusic (CDM - a great website BTW) regarding the article, plus an interview with the CTO of Cakewalk (Noel Borthwick) they have, which both give mention to the WaveRT port driver.

First of all: A thanks to NormC for raising this, both to me, and over at CDM. Let me try to explain... without (hopefully) writing another thesis!

During my research I came across several tech-words like: "WAVEFORMATEX", "WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE", "PortCls", "WaveCyclic", "WavePci" plus others, trust!

Who, amongst us, know what they mean? Not many, I'd wager!

However, that's not to say that any of those tech-words won't enter our vocabulary as a "watchword" once Vista is officially upon us - Just as PCIExpress and USB are today.

WaveRT was a term I came across in my research, but not often - In fact, I think it was more often referred to as RTC (Real-Time Communication). The truth is, apart from the language defined in the headline features targetted more towards Joe-user, the consumer, such as; "Reverse Bass Management" and "Room Correction" etc... There was little to suggest what, exactly, the final settled-upon language of the more technical (yet still "public-friendly") naming-conventions there would eventually be in the final public release of Vista.

During development, see, names and codenames are used which have meaning to the developers, but which later are either "shielded" from Joe-user, or changed for public consumption, and/or marketing - High Definition Audio is one such phrase, for example, which began life with the codename, "Azalia".

The interview with Noel Borthwick (of Cakewalk) may provide a clue that, indeed, WaveRT, will be one of the watchwords we should become familiar with... but then, he is seemingly technically involved too and may well be using language familiar to him... it's not exactly clear.

... and that ultimately is the "fault" of Microsoft.

Couple all that with the fact that some names are "high-level" names representing a group of other names/functions - of which WaveRT is one - and it becomes all-the-more difficult to decide what is relevant (to us), and what is not.

So I basically decided to stick with those names that were mentioned most, and that seemingly explained the inner-workings as concepts understandable to us... hey, we're not software developers, but music developers, right?

Time will reveal more I'm sure, and TheWhippinpost will endeavour to try and keep-up.

Anyway, it was for this reason I included a disclaimer at the end of the article :p

Microsoft have a white paper describing WaveRT here - If you really want to know more about it!