Is it possible to use a PC as a sound module only?
Old 7th January 2009
  #1
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Thread Starter
Is it possible to use a PC as a sound module only?

Hello. I currently have a Mac running Logic 8 with a MOTU UltraLite AI. Can I some how use my XP based laptop running soft synths as a sound module to use with Logic?
I'm trying to get my head around this and what I came up with is that I will need to get a second audio interface for my laptop and run the main outs from it to my MOTU. Is this correct? If so, my only other question would be how can I control the soft synths on the laptop via MIDI? Would I simply run a MIDI cable from the "Out" port on the MOTU to the "In" port on the new interface? If so, how can I hook up my controller keyboard?

Sorry if this is an elementary question.

I also have VMware Fusion on my Mac. Any way to use that as my soft synth host and have it go into Logic?

Thanks in advance!
Old 7th January 2009
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Cheese View Post
Interesting idea. I suppose you would have a dedicated MIDI controller for the laptop which I would connect via USB.
Ahh... that could work too. I'm visualizing my laptop as a stand-alone synth now. Kind of a poor man's Niko LOL
Old 7th January 2009
  #3
Gear Head
 

ive heard of Midi over Lan apps.. never used one tho

but if indeed it exists..
i imagine that would be the most elegant solution

id only connect a controller to your master computer
and send the midi to control tracks on the other comp
that way all your note data is manipulated in the one sequencer..

if its anything like cubase
there should be some form of latency adjustment in logic
where you can send midito the pc like 5ms early, so it stays exactly synced
Old 7th January 2009
  #4
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Alex Specht's Avatar
 

Ableton Live and Reason have good options to use CC contols for nearly every knob.

You can also replace the shell (explorer.exe) with reason or ableton, and make all of your presets contol via midi. That way you dont need a monitor or mouse or anything. Just turn it on wait a minute and play.

I did it once, but there are some other registry tweeks and a special boot up app that I had to add.

It was a pain in the azz really. Check out the Muse receptor or Roland Fantom rack
Old 8th January 2009
  #5
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jude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4NDRW View Post
if its anything like cubase....

it would have something similar to System Link. 2 SPDIF cables, a few mouse clicks and sample accurate transfer of MIDI and audio
Old 8th January 2009
  #6
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Wow this is really interesting... replacing your shell? Never even thought about being able to do that.

The reason I ask is that right now I'm tracking into/sequencing on (Ableton Live) my laptop, through my E-mu 0404 USB 2 interface. Now this may be a bit confusing, but my old desktop computer has an E-mu 0404 PCI card in it. The major advantage of the PCI version is that it includes DSP FX (and a great DSP "PatchMixer" deal for routing audio). That way I could of course record without latency. (The only downside I can see is that the USB version has an A/D converter with a SNR of 113dB, while the PCI's is only 111db. Would that make any real difference?) Plus if I could use both I'd have two more recording inputs.

See, the USB 0404 comes with mic preamps, which at the time I needed. But since then I've aquired a dedicated mic pre, so that's no longer a necessity. Would my best bet be to to just run both computers and LAN them together? Or both sound cards have an SPDIF in/out, so could I possibly sync the two computers together with the proper software like 4NDRW alluded to above?

Does anyone know from experience that this is bound to be nothing more than a frustrating and fruitless endevour??

Thanks
Old 8th January 2009
  #7
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a few cats, like bryan m. cox, use their laptops as sound modules along with their other hardware synths. He uses logic and rme interface midi'd up and sequenced by his mpc4000 just like his other modules/synths.

quotes:

"Bryan uses Logic as a sound module," explains Thomas. "He doesn't sequence inside of Logic, he does all his sequencing on the MPC. We use Ak*Sys [Akai's sound manager program for their samplers] to communicate between the MPC and Logic, and it allows you to actually see the MPC on your laptop...."

"My sounds will come out of Logic via an RME Fireface 800 interface and go analogue into Pro Tools. We could transfer internal files, but it's way easier to track things out as if the laptop with Logic is a regular module..."
Old 8th January 2009
  #8
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FredYeah's Avatar
 

Ever thought about FX Teleport by FXpansion? That way you can use your second computer as a host vor VSTs. It works through a LAN connection and the plugs on the slave computer will be visible in your sequencer on you main PC. And they work exactly the same. Installing it is a bit harsh, but it works fine.
Old 8th January 2009
  #9
Gear addict
 

FXTeleport is a fine solution but it seems that development is dead at the moment unfortunately.
Old 8th January 2009
  #10
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FredYeah View Post
Ever thought about FX Teleport by FXpansion?
I think the company is FX Max.
Old 8th January 2009
  #11
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wubbzy's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the info guys... Doesn't look like FX Teleport is supported on the Mac OS yet :(
It's pretty disappointing because it seems like this will do what I am looking for.

In the mean time, has anyone else set something like this up? In a nut shell, I have a Mac running Logic 8. I'd like to use my Windows based laptop as an extra "sound module" and be able to track within Logic. I have some soft synths that only work on Windows, thus my desire to do this.

Thanks again guys.
Old 8th January 2009
  #12
Gear maniac
 

I wonder if there's something out there for RTAS plug ins?

The Receptor by Muse Research does exactly what you're saying, so if that thing can do it, I'm sure it can be done using a computer.
Old 8th January 2009
  #13
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Why not do it just the way you are thinking about it!

how do you hook up external sound modules?? Which are mini PCs themselves.

Midi and Audio......

That means a seperate MIDI controller for you "Sound Module PC" and a Good Audio Interface with good converters to transfer the audio out of you PC to you main daw.

You could have as many outs as you Audio Interface would allow. But I must say this......Keeping things ITB is good when working with soft synths because the audio of the intrusments are not comprimized by D/A then A/D conversions! But coming out/in SPDIF or Optical will not comprimize the audio.
Old 8th January 2009
  #14
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wubbzy's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonT View Post
Why not do it just the way you are thinking about it!
mostly because I dont want to shell out a few hundred dollars for another audio interface and a second controller, if I dont have to. I mean, if I have to I will, but I wanted to see if there was another solution that I might be overlooking.
Old 8th January 2009
  #15
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Old 9th January 2009
  #16
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Hi

Interesting thread. To be honest, I am doing a full 360 right now... here goes.

Back in the early 90s I had a Mac LC (started with Cubase Lite on a Mac Classic II..YUP!) and since I enjoyed the whole stability of the Mac LC (similar to Atari!!), I did alot of sequencing only.

When I went audio, I couldnt afford the latest Mac. So I went PC. This was around Mid 90s. I didnt however like the stability of midi on the new PC. So I wanted to try using both...

All it took was a midi interface in each computer and then setting Cubase on Mac as the Master. The difference I think is the VSTs that the current PCs have, as back then I used the Mac to
control alot of my hardware synths.

Almost 15 years later, Im still in the biz. I ended up using a fine PC for my work, but recently purchased a Mac Core 8. Im thinking of doing the same.. I believe it is through MidiTimeCode os LAN. I know that the Laptop (PC) needs to have a fine sound card, or the VSTis would be a waste. You should hook your Midi Keyboard to your Mac Midi interface. Send a midi cable from the Mac Midi Out/Thru to the PC Midi In. Theoretically should work, especially if it worked 15 years ago.

Peace!!!
Old 9th January 2009
  #17
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Old 12th January 2009
  #18
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Alex Specht's Avatar
 

receptor by muse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eloheim View Post
Wow this is really interesting... replacing your shell? Never even thought about being able to do that.
Yes heres how:

1. regedit.exe

2. HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\windowsNT\Current Version\Winlogon

3. Find the string "Shell"

4. Set to any program you want

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermuzik View Post
i know u already got a laptop but check this out Muse Research : RECEPTOR 2 - Hardware VST Plug-in Player: The NEW RECEPTOR 2 PRO and PRO MAX - PURE PERFORMANCE MUSCLE its called the receptor by muse its basically what your looking for a computer that is a sound module its made for vst i beleive, never used it or anything just came across it when doing research on the exact same thing u were lookin for.
The receptor uses a proprietary OS based on Linux.

If you do the above you can program your Windows PC to do about the same thing.
Old 14th January 2009
  #19
Gear addict
 

You're all thinking too hard about this....

I don't understand why you think you need a second midi controller. The laptop would simply be a module that is controlled by your main controller. I used to do this all the time with gigastudio on my pc, and protools HD on the mac.
You simply route midi to the laptop, and take the resulting audio back into your main sequencer using a seperate audio/midi interface to feed your main audio interface.

Incidentally, I currently sequence on an MPC 3000, and use Logic as a sound module on the mac.
Old 15th January 2009
  #20
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Old 15th January 2009
  #21
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JaeOne3345's Avatar
 

Quote:
You're all thinking too hard about this....
My thoughts exactly.

A standalone module has:
a. sounds and software
b. midi connectivity
c. audio output

Equip your extra laptop with the same: sounds = plug ins, midi connectivity = midi interface, audio output = audio interface (audio and midi can even be done with one unit as well know).

Set a sending/master channel in your master device. Set a receiving channel in your slave device (plug in synth, etc)
Pretty basic.
Old 29th December 2009
  #22
Gear interested
 

Hi guys very interesting thread.
Please correct me if IM wrong as I was looking at something like the muse receptor unit.
So I can get a rack mounted pc or similar without having to cart about a monitor or laptop running something like V stack with my fav virtual synths and sequence with my MPC?
If this can be done im going to do cartwheels and backflips
Old 29th December 2009
  #23
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowBoxer View Post
Hi guys very interesting thread.
Please correct me if IM wrong as I was looking at something like the muse receptor unit.
So I can get a rack mounted pc or similar without having to cart about a monitor or laptop running something like V stack with my fav virtual synths and sequence with my MPC?
If this can be done im going to do cartwheels and backflips
Start doing your cartwheels now.thumbsup
Old 29th December 2009
  #24
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Old 30th December 2009
  #25
Gear interested
 

This is amazing guys.
Specifically what I want to do is run NI Maschine without having to use a monitor including boot up.
The VSL is a bit expensive is though.
What is the best software to do this kind of thing?
Thanks.
Old 30th December 2009
  #26
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stilts27's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbzy View Post
Hello. I currently have a Mac running Logic 8 with a MOTU UltraLite AI. Can I some how use my XP based laptop running soft synths as a sound module to use with Logic?
I'm trying to get my head around this and what I came up with is that I will need to get a second audio interface for my laptop and run the main outs from it to my MOTU. Is this correct? If so, my only other question would be how can I control the soft synths on the laptop via MIDI? Would I simply run a MIDI cable from the "Out" port on the MOTU to the "In" port on the new interface? If so, how can I hook up my controller keyboard?

Sorry if this is an elementary question.

I also have VMware Fusion on my Mac. Any way to use that as my soft synth host and have it go into Logic?

Thanks in advance!
Yes its possible, my Mac mini w/ Logic (and a dedicated soundcard) was a sound module for a while...controlled via my MPC1K - 16 dedicated channels streaming into my PC (Cubase)...
Old 30th December 2009
  #27
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temetrepo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeOne3345 View Post
My thoughts exactly.

A standalone module has:
a. sounds and software
b. midi connectivity
c. audio output

Equip your extra laptop with the same: sounds = plug ins, midi connectivity = midi interface, audio output = audio interface (audio and midi can even be done with one unit as well know).

Set a sending/master channel in your master device. Set a receiving channel in your slave device (plug in synth, etc)
Pretty basic.
+1,000,000,000
Old 30th December 2009
  #28
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowBoxer View Post
This is amazing guys.
Specifically what I want to do is run NI Maschine without having to use a monitor including boot up.
The VSL is a bit expensive is though.
What is the best software to do this kind of thing?
Thanks.
haha this is pretttyy damn close to what im thinkin of doing..
I got Maschine, I want a dedicated lappy for it, all the sound outputs being sent to inputs on my main computer, and midi syncd to my DAW on the main comp.. So yeh, pretty much i want to turn my maschine into a pimped out version of a MPC haha.. I was also thinking of that shell thing as mentioned above, so maschine is loaded on startup... if thats how it works?..

Was thinking also about having a similar setup for reason.. a big vertical monitor with the reason rack all nice sittin there n such.. ah if only i had the money to blow on this un-nessicary stuff haha..
Old 3rd June 2010
  #29
Gear interested
 

Hi gear slutz!

I found this thread when googling a problem while i was having trying to do this.

I've set up 2 midi channels (1 and 2) on my PC, routed them from PC midi out to laptop midi in and into cubase midi channels 1 and 2. There is then 2 different synths on these channels, each with its own output from the soundcard and into its own channel on my mixing desk.

All seems quite straight forward in my head.. but when i play the sequenced midi from the master PC on say, midi channel 1, it is triggering both synths in the laptop, even though they are on seperate midi channels.

I have both midi channels in the laptop armed to record so that the 2 synths will play at the same time. But surely if the synths are on different midi channels, getting 2 different lots of information from different midi channels, they should play different things?

Am i right in thinking this should work? I mean this is exactly how a sound module works..

Feel like i'm missing something painfully obvious here

Thanks for reading
Old 3rd June 2010
  #30
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yes reaper can do that!!!


Special-Use ReaPlugs Also Included

* ReaControlMIDI Flexible MIDI track controls that can be inserted anywhere in the signal chain, with full sysex support, fully automatable bank/program select and control change envelopes.
* ReaInsert Insert external hardware effects as if they were plug-ins, including ping-calculated PDC.
* ReaNINJAM Connect to NINJAM servers, to use your own real or virtual instruments for real jams with other musicians all over the world.
* ReaStream Stream audio and MIDI over the network to other instances of REAPER.




ReaMote Network FX Processing Also Included Too As Well Also

* Use spare machines on your local network as a real-time FX farm.
* Minimal latency on wired networks, you can even run virtual instruments remotely and monitor locally.
* Run entire FX chains remotely to reduce bandwidth.
* Run multiple slave machines transparently from a single host.
* Get the most out of your old hardware, even a tired old laptop can host a single reverb.
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