The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Slave computer? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 5th May 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Slave computer?

Hi everyone

My computer can't really take the projects I work on anymore - a lot of sample libraries, a lot of audio, a lot of inputs, loads of gear plugged in etc etc. The computer itself is quite high end and pretty maxed out with RAM, great fast multi core CPU, hard drives etc, so unless I've missed something crucial, it looks like I'll have to move on to getting a slave PC to offload some of the workload.

I've tried spreading amongst SSD's when working, obviously sample libraries on one, project itself on another, cubase and plugins on main SSD, but it's right at it's limit.

Problem is, despite being good with what I have, I have no experience with using a slave computer with my music, so was hoping for some tips for where to start. I've found things like Vienna ensemble etc - is this a must have, or are there other ways to do it?

Thanks a lot
Old 5th May 2015
  #2
I answered in great detail to a similar post a day or so ago, along with other peoples relplies...so you may want to read that post...not much time so I'll be brief...

What to do with spare PC?

If you're a Cubase user, you already have VST System Link, in which with 2 machines that have a Steinberg/Cubase/Nuendo version of some kind installed, will allow you to synchronize 2 or more machines together via a digital audio connection of your choice.

You don't need an expensive top flagship Cubase version. I've tested it and it works great with just an s/pdif connection, with VSL's data & stereo audio in the same line. Though I've send a few midi tracks as well, I don't see the need when you can record your midi tracks directly into your dedicated VSTi machine.

Many have chosen to use Vienna Ensemble Pro, but I'm not a fan of Ethernet networking & much favor a synchronization method. As long as you're a Steinberg user, VST System Link is really a lost gem IMO. Another user here (and I copied him) synchronizes several machines with a MOTU Digital Time Piece (DTP) basically, a dedicated synchronizing machine, which uses a combination of Word Clock to keep in sync, and midi for transport commands..with this you're not bound to using just Steinberg stuff.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 5th May 2015 at 07:30 PM..
Old 5th May 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I experimented with system link on Nuendo 2 or 3 and for my purposes, I didn't like losing the channel 8 potential optical analog signal to sync. I needed lots of I/o between multiple systems (usually for stems), and needed (wanted) all 8 optical available in addition to all my interfaces' analog I/o points.

There was also something a little more cumbersome with system link settings (that eludes me at the moment) that steered me to a much more simple, multiple computers/one standalone clock/sync setup that I've been using now since I guess 1999, beginning with slaving three multitrack tape machines to a lowly SAW Daw Plus daw on a Pentium 1. The system I use also does not lock me into a particular daw for the slaves. Any brand with sync provisions works pretty flawlessly in the overall farm. A good way to integrate Macs and pcs together in one large farm for example...... even though at this point, the op is only dealing with a single potential slave computer.

As to Vienna Ensemble Pro (which I still believe is the ancient abandoned V-stack re-imagined and re-engineered into a stellar product), I agree it's so cool for vstis. As Steve mentioned, you have to think-out what you want from a daw farm and whether you plan on piping lots of audio stems back and forth.... or just effects and vsti.

The concern with Vienna is that if you're using an old computer for the slave, be sure the Ethernet card is gigabit. It's not on lots of old machines. Gigabit Ethernet is required for all the connection points in the system.

Of course, you COULD use V-stack in a pinch. But as someone else mentioned, you're then moving way backwards to the fx-teleport days..... until someone starts claiming V-stack adds mojo and that cool 90's vintage sound to your virtual instruments...... it could happen

Last edited by thenoodle; 6th May 2015 at 06:53 PM..
Old 5th May 2015
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Fogal View Post
I answered in great detail to a similar post a day or so ago, along with other peoples relplies...so you may want to read that post...not much time so I'll be brief...

What to do with spare PC?

If you're a Cubase user, you already have VST System Link, in which with 2 machines that have a Steinberg/Cubase/Nuendo version of some kind installed, will allow you to synchronize 2 or more machines together via a digital audio connection of your choice.

You don't need an expensive top flagship Cubase version. I've tested it and it works great with just an s/pdif connection, with VSL's data & stereo audio in the same line. Though I've send a few midi tracks as well, I don't see the need when you can record your midi tracks directly into your dedicated VSTi machine.

Many have chosen to use Vienna Ensemble Pro, but I'm not a fan of Ethernet networking & much favor a synchronization method. As long as you're a Steinberg user, VST System Link is really a lost gem IMO. Another user here (and I copied him) synchronizes several machines with a MOTU Digital Time Piece (DTP) basically, a dedicated synchronizing machine, which uses a combination of Word Clock to keep in sync, and midi for transport commands..with this you're not bound to using just Steinberg stuff.
Hi Steve,

Thanks a lot for the info. I didn't know about VST link - so what exactly gets send to and back from the second machine in terms of digital and audio - when the audio/VSTs output sound in the second machine, how does this get back to the main mix in the master machine?
Old 6th May 2015
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmonkey151 View Post
Hi Steve,

Thanks a lot for the info. I didn't know about VST link - so what exactly gets send to and back from the second machine in terms of digital and audio - when the audio/VSTs output sound in the second machine, how does this get back to the main mix in the master machine?
In short, the audio get's sent back via the digital audio connections, along with the System Link data (or you can use separate analog audio runs apart from the digital data runs). This is done via audio interfaces installed in each computer, with the ASIO 2 protocol...which has been around for years.

There are really a variety of ways in which to configure and use VST System Link (VSL). Just the fact that it can be utilized in so many ways, makes it all that much more attractive as a solution. 1st off, you need a sound card with digital audio IN/OUT in each computer, which will have a Steinberg product installed in them with VSL.

It works in a 'ring' network configuration. In it's simplest form (say you're using s/pdif on coaxial RCA's) you send a digital audio line out from the output of a sound card from computer one, to the sound card input of computer two, then from computer two, you send a digital audio line out of that sound card, into the sound card of the 1st machine....hence the ''ring' network, leaving & returning the digital signals. It's very simple, just TWO s/pdif cabes between two machines.

Assuming that VSL has been set up in each computers Steinberg software, where you have opened up the VST System Link dialog box and made the proper settings, and routing within your audio devices etc, the simple s/pdif coaxial digital connections (or other digital I/O connections) transmits the VSL data (which is the sync & transport data) and the digital audio...all through the same cable. It can also send midi along the same cable as well, but if you have a LOT of midi passing through, it's said to take up bandwidth. I had not experienced bandwidth limitations with just a the hand full of midi tracks when tested, with the VSL data, stereo audio, & midi tracks via a single s/pdif. I learned early on that with 'sync' all midi tracks can be recorded directly to a dedicated VSTi machine, there's no need to send midi between machines, although that's up to the user how they wish to do things...

Speaking of they way to do things in various ways...that means whether you want to have a dedicated VSTi machine, a dedicated audio machine, or each do various combinations of both. Basically, whatever there is to do, you can do it among machines in whichever way you wish. As far as FX's, once again, you can do it locally in each machine, or like midi send it to and from machines..I prefer locally myself.

Although the VSL data (sync & transport info) should be with this 'ring' network, the audio does not 'have' to be, although works well in the same digital audio line together. You can choose to send the audio separately, instead of through the VSL network...either via other digital audio, or via analog audio. With just two machines, it's not a big deal, but of running several machines, sending audio separately may be more critical with each machine adding a small amount of latency. Though even with 3 machines, the ring network does it all very well, and latency is quite negligible.

Actually, regarding the 'ring' network... it apparently does not have to be completed. It works in one direction as well...that is, the 1st machine will still control (sync with and send audio to) the 2nd, but not the other way around if this ring not completed. Which brings to mind, with a completed ring network, there actually is no 'real' master or slave, they are both equal machines...or can be equal depending on what you have installed, hardware and/or software wise.

I'll tell you what, you should google VST System Link, and just look at several 'images' to see the various ways to hook up VSL. You'll see the very basic 'ring' for everything, and the more elaborate ways. Though I can confirm that the simplest actually works good. I have not tested the more elaborate ways, sending audio via different lines than the the VSL. As I said before, In a large multiple computer set up, this may be more desired for more than one reason. I actually have some idea's for using VSL in ways that I have not seen brought up by anyone, anywhere...not that I could find in my 3 years of research of it anyway...but that would be going off track, and probably confusing.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 6th May 2015 at 05:37 AM..
Old 6th May 2015
  #6
System Link is good when mixing a lot of audio tracks which the master system cannot handle alone. It requires as many Cubase/Nuendo licenses as there are slave systems. Also, each system requires an audio interface with digital I/O. You will need an external mixer OR having tracks on fixed input monitoring if you mix the slave signals in the master.
For offloading samplers/synths, Ensemble Pro is the much more elegant and cost effective way:
-one license serves 3 systems
-everything is stored in the main song, there is no need to save the slave setup (although it is recommended to start off with templates)
-only one ethernet cable required
-VEP is much more effective loading synths/samplers than Cubase, and has a much lower system overhead overall.
Old 6th May 2015
  #7
VEP costs nearly as much as a version of Cubase though I'm sure it's worth it for those who prefer the Ethernet method of networking multiple machines. From my experience with Ethernet networking, it brought on some serious problematic issues for me, resources taxed hard, limited number of instruments, authorizations for VSTi's getting kicked off, hard crashes setting me back for 3 days before recovering. But this was with FX-Max's FX-Teleport, and was not very efficient. I could only run a fraction of what I could run with my old school method of audio/midi sound card networking...which was zero strain on my main machine.

But if actually interested in a synchronization method, with System Link, and wanting to go 'on the cheap' ...

VST System Link is included in the low cost/lite versions, and even free OEM versions. Older Cubase versions pop up for sale on eBay for next to nothing. Or if you already have an older version, even better. VSL was 1st introduced with the last update to VST 5/32, but only works one way (as a slave only), while all versions after that (SX and on) have the full 2-way VSL operation.

Sound cards with a digital audio connection (especially with s/pdif I/O) can be bought used very inexpensively, or even new for a low cost investment to serve the needs of just VSL.

Saving templates & your projects in 2, or more machines is nothing, and amounts to about 2 mouse clicks. VSL only requires two digital cables between 2 machines audio interfaces, one cable if just using the 2nd machine to follow the 1st, but two gives the benefit of not really having a master or slave, but each machine can control the other with the full two-way VSL returning 'ring'.

The synchronization of DAW machines (by whichever method), also means having the many benefits of a full DAW for each.
Old 6th May 2015
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Fogal View Post
From my experience with Ethernet networking, it brought on some serious problematic issues for me, resources taxed hard, limited number of instruments, authorizations for VSTi's getting kicked off, hard crashes setting me back for 3 days before recovering. But this was with FX-Max's FX-Teleport, and was not very efficient. I could only run a fraction of what I could run with my old school method of audio/midi sound card networking...which was zero strain on my main machine.
I really don't see what the stone age FX Teleport has to do with this. A different, legacy product from 2006 from another vendor. I do not see a comparison here. Ensemble is used by top film composers, loading up to 1.5 TB samples in RAM on today's systems... a very different thing.
And indeed FX teleport never was stable. VEP is.


Quote:
But if actually interested in a synchronization method, with System Link, and wanting to go 'on the cheap' ...

VST System Link is included in the low cost/lite versions, and even free OEM versions. Older Cubase versions pop up for sale on eBay for next to nothing. Or if you already have an older version, even better. VSL was 1st introduced with the last update to VST 5/32, but only works one way (as a slave only), while all versions after that (SX and on) have the full 2-way VSL operation.

Sound cards with a digital audio connection (especially with s/pdif I/O) can be bought used very inexpensively, or even new for a low cost investment to serve the needs of just VSL.

Saving templates & your projects in 2, or more machines is nothing, and amounts to about 2 mouse clicks. VSL only requires two digital cables between 2 machines audio interfaces, one cable if just using the 2nd machine to follow the 1st, but two gives the benefit of not really having a master or slave, but each machine can control the other with the full two-way VSL returning 'ring'.

The synchronization of DAW machines (by whichever method), also means having the many benefits of a full DAW for each.
While System Link is amazing for syncing 2 workstations, the setup and workflow is cumbersome compared to VEP. Also, if you do not want to stick to old or OEM version and cheap ebay interfaces, or need more then just s/pdif stereo I/O, it gets more expensive.
I'd say if you want more tracks for mixing, I'd consider it. Even then a single new slave probably handles most projects anyway. If you want to offload instruments, VEP clearly has the better workflow and much less overhead.

If you are on a budget and your old box can't handle it anymore, VSL with OEM/old versions may indeed be a valid low budget option.
Old 6th May 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Ive been reasearching vsti slave machine options and ensemble pro seems like such a tidy cost effective solution. Steve just look at all the additional hardware and workflows you need in comparason not to mention ensemble pro works with all daws I think there is a reason steinberg system link doesnt get used much.
Old 6th May 2015
  #10
Hi Guy's, not meaning to enter a war between VSL & VEP here...the OP did ask "what other solutions besides VEP"

And used/cheap interfaces from eBay does not mean the interfaces are somehow bad. You can get some great stuff from the used market place. Cheaper/lite/OEM Cubase versions are just another option for lowering costs, depending on if it works for you. I already had the interfaces necessary to begin experimenting.

The only comparison I guess I was making between FX-Teleport and VEP was that they each use Ethernet networking, and that's about it. I've never tried VEP myself, but do understand it is a very good option ...depending on what they already have laying around, what you can get, your budget, and what it is that you want and/or need to do. I'm certainly not knocking VEP, though I myself already have a solution that's working for me the way I need.

I don't see the need for multiple audio or midi tracks being passed from one machine to another...the way I look at it is this, most DAW users use only a single machine, everything is done 'in the box' without the need to send multiples of audio & midi through other devices. With multiple DAW machines in sync, that means that you really only need to have the same ability as one machine, having a single digital audio stereo out, as each machine can do what it needs 'in their own box'. Of course, there's the option to send/receive several audio or midi tracks if you want, making things more elaborate & more expensive as pointed out. Yes, you can incorporate a mixing board, but again I don't see the need, as my audio devices can act as a mixer themselves.

There's no way I could have justified the expense of multiple computers & sound cards using the latest & greatest of everything, and bought brand new. My whole objective as a 'hobbyist' mind you, was to continue using what I already had, which was a lot of stuff. I DO have the ability to send multiple audio & midi tracks between machines with cards that have adat/lightpipe, but I simply don't see the need to use anything but a digital stereo signal out of any given machine. All midi tracks are processed in the VSTi machine, all audio is processed in the audio machine, so no need to send FX's around from machines.

My dedicated VSTi machine is only a mere quad core, with only 4 GB ram...with it only having to run VSTi's, it's resources are actually well under taxed with all my projects..but I do ordinary songs, not orchestra stuff mind you. If you're primarily working with large sample orchestra libraries and doing film work, VEP may indeed be better suited for you. If you want two independent DAW's to work in unison, VSL may be best suited for you. I have no experience with benchmarking, and comparing VEP against VSL. If you're not a Steinberg user, VSL simply is not an option, so it's not universal (like VEP is)...however, using a dedicated synchronizing machine is an option for non Steinberg users. As far as using Mac's & PC's together, all three options can run both together, as I understand, not being a Mac user.

In my own experience, VSL is not all that cumbersome, and it's actually very easy once you know how to use it, and realize what works bets for your work flow. I have made things very easy by not sending multiple channels & not sending midi from one DAW to another...two and even three machines can be ran, and monitored together via the audio interfaces, and without much of any perceived latency. It does seem to be true that most use VEP, while VSL these day's has been swept under the rug...it's quite a shame because for most, VSL is a great option.

As for anyone considering the option for using slave machines, you must have a good idea of what you want & need to do, and realize the strengths & weaknesses of any particular option.
Old 6th May 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 

@ Steve Fogal great reply you have definatly clearly laid out the benifits of that option. . While it won't work for me it just might for others. For me i wish to use a slave box as a realtime shyth rack and do all of my mixing im mu current PT setup using my control surfaces with as little adjustment to workflow as possible. So basically pulling vep plugins up as if they were plugins in Pt streaming to the pt mixer sometimes being rendered to audio sometimes not. You have give. Food for thought sir
Old 7th May 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Karloff View Post
@ Steve Fogal great reply you have definatly clearly laid out the benifits of that option. . While it won't work for me it just might for others. For me i wish to use a slave box as a realtime shyth rack and do all of my mixing im mu current PT setup using my control surfaces with as little adjustment to workflow as possible. So basically pulling vep plugins up as if they were plugins in Pt streaming to the pt mixer sometimes being rendered to audio sometimes not. You have give. Food for thought sir
Right Mr Karloff - and this is also repeated for anyone who does not know - as a Pro Tools user, or any non Steinberg user, VSL is not even an option, as every machine needs to be running Steinberg stuff to use it. But using a dedicated hardware sync machine is an option for any DAW software, if syncing together DAW's is what's desired that is...this is why I bought a Motu Midi Time Piece (MTP) hardware synchronizing device, gearing up to free myself from being limited to just Steinberg software (with VSL).

Being VEP can fit into any kind of users set up, I agree, this is what makes it so widely popular to everyone, in which likely even many Steinberg users gravitate toward it...for whatever reason, either a preferred method/workflow, particular needs, or just because it's the 'newest thing' to jump on a bandwagon.

As pointed out, one of the big pluses of VEP is being able to run your extra machines for their resources, while primarily working within just one, although your project set up still needs to be done with your slaves as I understand.
But then again, I personally find that working with computers in sync (by whatever method used, VSL or otherwise) can also be like working with one machine... in that say each computer having it's own video screen (unless using one with a KVM switch) can be seen just as another window on a 2nd monitor, as if it were a single system DAW with two monitors. These differences, and others are really just mental road blocks.

Any method of using multiple computers requires some amount of extra work to make & save changes....from set ups, templates, VSTi's, FX's on your machines...you would have to make and save those changes anyway with one machine.

I just personally like the idea of, and the many benefits of what full DAW's in sync can provide...basically 'everything' is available in 'all' machines...not just the ability of offloading 'some' resources, but share resources any way you can imagine... having multiple redundancies, extra storage, full back up systems available when one go's down, can have powered on & run just one machine at a time depending on what aspect of music you're working on, then turn on and bring others on-line only when needed to combine those aspects together. Though as I understand, with VEP you can add slaves only as you need more resources in your project too...but seems to me that once to need to add machines with VEP, all those machines would need to remain turned on throughout the rest of the project....unless you can also do a work-around of doing a temporary mix of that slave, onto your master machine. Even still, it seems like with VEP, you have to keep multiple machines powered up for a longer period of time than synced machines. Dunno if I lost anyone on this last bit.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 7th May 2015 at 03:45 PM..
Old 11th May 2015
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I didn't know that with VEP you need to have the project saved in versions on both computers - I assumed VEP is used in the main project file, and it automatically loads up the instruments on the slave each time, without needing to load any sort of "synced" file. Would anyone be so kind as to confirm this for me?

Thanks a lot!
Old 12th May 2015
  #14
Gear Addict
 

I can report that due to a similar situatión I have successfully started using Reaper's ReaMote yesterday, with null tests nulling and my cpu breathing.
Very easy to setup if you have a LAN network.
And you can link as many spare pcs or macs as you want (pcs with pcs, macs with macs).
Recommended, comes bundled with REAPER. The only problem being ILok plugins that just come with only one license.
Old 12th May 2015
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmonkey151 View Post
I didn't know that with VEP you need to have the project saved in versions on both computers - I assumed VEP is used in the main project file, and it automatically loads up the instruments on the slave each time, without needing to load any sort of "synced" file. Would anyone be so kind as to confirm this for me?

Thanks a lot!
As I stated above, this is correct.
Old 12th May 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
No disrespect at all to Steve, but VST System Link as far as I know is all but obsolete. I don't even think Steinberg expects that many people use it in this day and age. Most of their info on it is outdated (use 32 bit asio drivers instead of 16 bit, etc.). It's a convoluted method of working that has been completely surpassed by Vienna Ensemble Pro.

Unless you've used VEP to any extent, it's hard to realize how efficient and easy it is, and how everything else really is obsolete for the most part. Unless you actually need to sync 2 systems together such as Cubase/Nuendo/Logic <-> Pro Tools (which of course VST System Link isn't made for), save yourself the headache and extra cost and have a look at VEP.

It's great if VSL is working for you and indeed it was a great option in it's day, but I would never recommend it over VEP to anyone these days.

And to answer the OP, yes, VEP is a "must have" if that's what you are needing to do.
Old 15th May 2015
  #17
Hey, no offense taken Squawk. For the most part, it's what tickles your fancy. Some guys like fat chicks, some guys like emaciated women. You don't necessarily have to have lot's of experience with both to know what you like

Although I'm personally not interested in, nor have a need VEP for myself at this point, I'm not knocking it. I simply prefer the idea of synchronization, and what individual DAW machines can bring to the table...whether it be System Link, or a dedicated synchronizing device. As a Cubase user VSL was an option to try it, and having experienced running 3 machines with it via just simple s/pdif connections between the PC's audio cards, I can say that it works extremely well.

Yes, most people these days see VSL as 'outdated' ... but I don't care what all the other kids on the block are doing....and to me, nothing is outdated if it 'works'. And if you already have multiple systems with their interfaces, along with a couple of Steinberg products, (as I did from my previous audio midi sound card networking) you already have a solution. This was my case & reasoning.

I'm certain that Steinberg is aware that even many Cubase users have gravitated to using other things (like VEP etc) than their own VST System Link. As they're also aware that less users are still using outboard midi sound modules, and their midi keyboard/sythns...as 'outdated' as some may also think. Yet Steinberg is still including those and others features within their DAW software for those who do want that option. It would be just plain stupid for Steinberg to not include such options.

If I was making a recommendation to someone just starting out, or just doesn't want to run multiple computers because they feels it'll be too technical, I wouldn't suggest either VEP, VSL or any multiple computer set up, I'd suggest getting ONE system that is powerful enough to do what they need. But in the case of the OP, and others (myself included) who already have a system their happy with, but need a 'little more'...rather than do the usual 'discarding & rebuild', I'd recommend starting out with using their 'previous' DAW machine if they still have it... that's what I did.

And as far as VEP being a "must have" ... nothing is a must have, in that there are always options...it's just what options is best for each user. The OP just may feel VEP is his best option (or not) for what he needs...for me it' definitely not the best option.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 15th May 2015 at 04:27 AM..
Old 15th May 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Fogal View Post
Hey, no offense taken Squawk. For the most part, it's what tickles your fancy. Some guys like fat chicks, some guys like emaciated women. You don't necessarily have to have lot's of experience with both to know what you like

Although I'm personally not interested in, nor have a need VEP for myself at this point, I'm not knocking it. I simply prefer the idea of synchronization, and what individual DAW machines can bring to the table...whether it be System Link, or a dedicated synchronizing device. As a Cubase user VSL was an option to try it, and having experienced running 3 machines with it via just simple s/pdif connections between the PC's audio cards, I can say that it works extremely well.

Yes, most people these days see VSL as 'outdated' ... but I don't care what all the other kids on the block are doing....and to me, nothing is outdated if it 'works'. And if you already have multiple systems with their interfaces, along with a couple of Steinberg products, (as I did from my previous audio midi sound card networking) you already have a solution. This was my case & reasoning.

I'm certain that Steinberg is aware that even many Cubase users have gravitated to using other things (like VEP etc) than their own VST System Link. As they're also aware that less users are still using outboard midi sound modules, and their midi keyboard/sythns...as 'outdated' as some may also think. Yet Steinberg is still including those and others features within their DAW software for those who do want that option. It would be just plain stupid for Steinberg to not include such options.

If I was making a recommendation to someone just starting out, or just doesn't want to run multiple computers because they feels it'll be too technical, I wouldn't suggest either VEP, VSL or any multiple computer set up, I'd suggest getting ONE system that is powerful enough to do what they need. But in the case of the OP, and others (myself included) who already have a system their happy with, but need a 'little more'...rather than do the usual 'discarding & rebuild', I'd recommend starting out with using their 'previous' DAW machine if they still have it... that's what I did.

And as far as VEP being a "must have" ... nothing is a must have, in that there are always options...it's just what options is best for each user. The OP just may feel VEP is his best option (or not) for what he needs...for me it' definitely not the best option.
Absolutely Steve, I agree. If it's working for you, that's great. No need to look at other options, and you already have the hardware to sync two systems with VSL and it's working solid. Steinberg was ahead of the curve for sure.

I've been down that road for years. At one point (many years ago) I had multiple computers all sync'd up via Opcode units via MTC. That included a Paris system on a PC, PT TDM on a Mac, another PC running Vegas for video sync, along with adats, and Cubase along with that. I've also had Cubase and Logic systems sync'd to PT systems, etc. It all works well for the most part, but it's a path that requires additional audio interfaces and cables on each system, and can become harder to manage with complex setups.

The nice thing about VEP is that you just install it, set up your instruments and templates, and you never need to touch it again if you don't want to. Everything gets automatically saved when you save your session file on your main system. When you open it again, your slave VEP computer automatically opens the VEP template and settings. I've got the slave computers to lauch VEP on boot up, so I don't have to touch anything except the power button on the slave systems. Doesn't get much easier than that. No hardware is needed to stream the audio other than an ethernet cable, so it doesn't get expensive if you want to stream 40+ audio tracks back from a VEP slave computer.

In my workflow, it's a must have if you need more horsepower and have another computer kicking around to use as a VEP slave. Others may choose a different workflow, but personally given the choice, I'll take VEP over slaving two systems together by other methods, unless it's the only option available.
Old 19th May 2015
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Absolutely Steve, I agree. If it's working for you, that's great. No need to look at other options, and you already have the hardware to sync two systems with VSL and it's working solid. Steinberg was ahead of the curve for sure.

I've been down that road for years. At one point (many years ago) I had multiple computers all sync'd up via Opcode units via MTC. That included a Paris system on a PC, PT TDM on a Mac, another PC running Vegas for video sync, along with adats, and Cubase along with that. I've also had Cubase and Logic systems sync'd to PT systems, etc. It all works well for the most part, but it's a path that requires additional audio interfaces and cables on each system, and can become harder to manage with complex setups.

The nice thing about VEP is that you just install it, set up your instruments and templates, and you never need to touch it again if you don't want to. Everything gets automatically saved when you save your session file on your main system. When you open it again, your slave VEP computer automatically opens the VEP template and settings. I've got the slave computers to lauch VEP on boot up, so I don't have to touch anything except the power button on the slave systems. Doesn't get much easier than that. No hardware is needed to stream the audio other than an ethernet cable, so it doesn't get expensive if you want to stream 40+ audio tracks back from a VEP slave computer.

In my workflow, it's a must have if you need more horsepower and have another computer kicking around to use as a VEP slave. Others may choose a different workflow, but personally given the choice, I'll take VEP over slaving two systems together by other methods, unless it's the only option available.
It sounds like you have a lot of experience in both methods, and have found your preferred method. Syncing systems together may not be for the faint of heart, although setting up & using just two systems isn't that hard to do. Running 'several' systems can get a little harder to manage I agree.

My own method was born out of piecing stuff together little by little as I needed, and it just ended up growing from there. It's also a labor of love for me personally...not to mentioned I'm a sucker for punishment

For your average novice, or single computer user, I wouldn't recommend syncing several computers (or other devices) together without already being familiar with at least two systems 1st, to see if that method works for them.
I'd also hesitate to recommend an Ethernet solution to anyone not already familiar with Networking either. I had a fair amount of experience with networking of several computers in home networks, yet I found using Ethernet for a DAW to be a hassle.

Each method requires initial set up, making templates to reuse on the 2nd machine etc. For the person not needing what a second entire DAW machine can bring, and are keen on the idea of dealing with your projects audio & midi tracks within your master machine, and simply want to host some plugs for more power, then VEP is for you. Although, like I've said before, I find using a 2nd DAW as a dedicated VSTi machine (synced to my audio machine) simply as like having another monitor dedicated to all my VSTi's... to set up & view. I see the systems as 'one'.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump