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Multi-computer multi DAW
Old 25th March 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

Multi-computer multi DAW

Hey all..

So, I love editing in pro tools but I like to do my midi sequencing in cubase. Especially for the freeze functions. I'm thinking about trying to build a multi-computer multi-daw setup. Best I did with this so far is just using fx teleport... Anybody have a dope multi-DAW setup (not just pt/cubendo) that they like? How do you do this without going crazy?

Kisses to my brethren in audio...

Jsp
Old 25th March 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 

... Or single-computer multi-daw...
Old 26th March 2009
  #3
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strauss's Avatar
 

I believe Hans Zimmer runs a multi-daw setup with cubase and protools.
Think I read an article somewhere about his setup.
Old 26th March 2009
  #4
Here for the gear
 

You could just get an i7 pc. I dont use pro tools , but heres a thread of a pro tools test with the i7 920 chip. He got 376 instances of Dverbs ( Buffer 1024)
Buffer 64 295 Dverbs, at stock clock speed. if that means anything to you? Im guessing its good lol!

i7 Builds - Specs and Results - Digi User Conference
Old 26th March 2009
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Let me ask first... what exactly do you need or think you need? Just more CPU?
Well, I'll just take your studio, that should take care of things... heh

No, really, though... that's truly amazing. (I remain astounded at the level of folks around on these boards)

More CPU, sure, but somehow to edit audio on pro tools and still use vsts (I used RTAS softsynths in LE four or five years ago and I came close to doing violence to the computer many times from this... who knows, maybe it works now) in cubase... or Kore, that's an interesting idea. I had a friend tell me Kore was super-unstable but he was a Mac person; you find it works well on PC? I have yet to get PT8 running so I don't know what's new, but I really do like sequencing in Cubase (doing it right now, in fact!)... and, although I use it only occasionally the logical edit window sometimes has saved my a** in a way that PT's MIDI could only dream of.

I guess my question, when I really think about it, comes down to this: If you have multiple computers, do they have to really all talk to each other through audio interfaces? I feel like I would run out of 16 outs for my vst computer pretty quickly. Is there some way of freezing tracks on a slave computer or something like that? Or do you just have to use a bunch of optical connections? I guess your other post about your system answers that; you hear about these film composer studios with like five or six computers... just wondering how that is made to work.

can't they (hah! I love it when people say "they") make some kind of thing where it just transmits over ethernet?

Thanks...
Old 26th March 2009
  #6
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norbury brook's Avatar
 

No, teleport talks via ethernet,that's the whole point there's no need for an Audio or midi device on the slave machines as it's all transmitted via LAN.

I have had a 3 computer system running fine in the past i.e one host(master cubendo DAW) and two separate slave PC's.The great thing is all your slave PC plugs just appear inside your normal hosts plugins folder,and therefore, just accessed and,more importantly,saved,with your one project file.

When using more than one slave I manually edited the .dll file names on the second slave so that they would have unique names,thereby making my plugin list easier to manage.

I've yet to find a more ellegant solution to this on any platform still.


Marcus
Old 26th March 2009
  #7
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M127,

dang i am empressed!
and that takes alot for me...

Scott
Old 27th March 2009
  #8
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muziksculp's Avatar
 

Hi m127,

Very impressive setup ! I'm sure it was worth your time and effort. (Looks like one of NASA's Houston Center Control Panels)

I'm just beginning to venture into the multi computer & Multi DAW world, and have a VST-System-Link related question:

My system consists of a Mac Pro 8 core (OSX 10.5.6), and a PC (Vista 64bit-Ultimate).

The mac will run as a master, using Cubase 5. The PC which functions as a slave, mainly to host 64-bit VI's such as PLAY, and VSL using Cubase 5 as well.

I have not been able to fully evaluate the advantage of using VST-System Link vs. just using a midi networking SW such as midiOver LAN CP, to send midi over LAN from the Mac to the PC. I have an RME Raydat card w/WC option on both the Mac Pro and PC. So I could dedicate the SPDIF of both Raydat cards for the VST-System-Link, and utilize optical ADATs for the Audio transfer from PC to Mac.

From my understanding, VST-System-Link is sample accurate, and also offers 16 midi ports networked via SL. That also saves me the extra cost of midi networking SW.

The other detail that I'm not sure about is, when using VST-System Link, the transport of the two sequencers (Cubase on Mac and PC) are synchronized, i.e. clicking (Play) on the Mac's Cubase transport will trigger the PCs transport to follow along, but since all I need to is host the VST instruments on the PC, and trigger them via midi, is this DAW to DAW synchronization an advantage ? or can I disable the PC from following the Mac's transport when using SL ? Do I really need/benefit from this feature ?

My alternative option is to just use a midi networking SW such as midiOver LAN CP, and just trigger the assigned midi ports of the PC via the Mac, all audio routing is then accomplished via the RAYDAT cards.

Any feedback on this would be helpful.

Thanks.
Old 28th March 2009
  #9
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muziksculp's Avatar
 

Hello m127, and Thanks for the detailed feedback, greatly appreciated !

Questions... Are you using Reason Rewired to Cubase on the secondary computer, or is Reason running as a stand-alone application on the secondary computer ? I was not aware that you can use SL with other applications besides Cubase, so that's mainly the reason I'm asking this question.

Well... At the end of the day, I have to decide whether I will use VST-System Link, or just a midi networking application such as midiOver Lan CP, and run the PC as a VST instrument host using Cubase 5.

Currently, I don't use Reason, Live, or other Apps. on a secondary system, I don't really need the sample accurate sync. the PC is just acting as a sample library module, mainly delivering instrument sounds from VST Instruments, which are then output via the RME RAYDAT audio card, and midi is received on the PC via a midi-network application such as midiOverLAN CP from the Mac.

But since SL can do the job in either situation. Do you recommend that I give SL a try before trying out something like midiOverLAN CP ? or would you recommend just using midiOVer LAN CP ? and possibly looking into using SL when I need more of a sample-accurate synching functionality ?

FInally .... If I decide to use SL, I guess I can save my setup as a template project in Cubase 5 on both Mac and PC. I can then recall this template project when needed. without having to setup SL every time I need to open up a new project that requires SL functionality. (Correct ?)

Cheers.
Old 29th March 2009
  #10
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muziksculp's Avatar
 

Thank You m127 !

I guess it would be wise to give SL a try before trying the other options, especially, since I have all the components that are required to make it work.

Plus, I can always use a midi-networking application such as MOL, or ipMIDI as another option to using SL if I wish to go that route.

Your detailed answers to my questions, and the additional feedback you provided have been very helpful.

All The Best,

muziksculp
Old 30th March 2009
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I was considering a VST system link connection for a while, but was unsure of it's benefits, but I completely forgot about syncing Reason through rewire! This thread reinvigurated my interest in a VST system link connection. I have all the necessary equipment (minus a monitor for my 2nd PC)...but I have one question (for now)..

I undertsand setting up the Template to get around routing the connection with every start-up, but when I load an existing project, let's say i have the following running...

Main PC: Cubase 4 for recording whatever live performing needed (vocals, guitars, etc.) linked to a..

..2nd PC: With Cubase SX 2 ReWired into Reason programming some stuff, along with my NI Maschine running in Cubase as a VSTi (and whatever other VSTi's)... [here's the question, sorry] When I save the project file, being the vocals on one pc and the beat on the other, when I re-open the files (that were saved on the same hard-drive through a Network connection [correct?]) will I have to open the same project file on the second PC as well? Or will the system link automatically open the Cubase project file on the secondary PC?

I believe that all came out legibally..let me know if you don't understand.

THANK you sooo much, this will help a ton!

And how does final mixdown work?
Old 30th March 2009
  #12
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thedigitalgod's Avatar
 

im really digging reaper's reamote for this purpose
Old 11th April 2009
  #13
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Hi, m127,
your picure is really amazing !!!! Can I post it on my blog ??



Hi,muziksculp,
Being a beginner of connecting multi-computer, I will try the midi over lan first, one of the simple way.

Thanks for your discussion~
Old 11th April 2009
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Yes!!
I've posted it here and linked to here immediately.

Thanks....... Orz

Old 11th April 2009
  #15
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norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reason View Post
I was considering a VST system link connection for a while, but was unsure of it's benefits, but I completely forgot about syncing Reason through rewire! This thread reinvigurated my interest in a VST system link connection. I have all the necessary equipment (minus a monitor for my 2nd PC)...but I have one question (for now)..

I undertsand setting up the Template to get around routing the connection with every start-up, but when I load an existing project, let's say i have the following running...

Main PC: Cubase 4 for recording whatever live performing needed (vocals, guitars, etc.) linked to a..

..2nd PC: With Cubase SX 2 ReWired into Reason programming some stuff, along with my NI Maschine running in Cubase as a VSTi (and whatever other VSTi's)... [here's the question, sorry] When I save the project file, being the vocals on one pc and the beat on the other, when I re-open the files (that were saved on the same hard-drive through a Network connection [correct?]) will I have to open the same project file on the second PC as well? Or will the system link automatically open the Cubase project file on the secondary PC?

I believe that all came out legibally..let me know if you don't understand.

THANK you sooo much, this will help a ton!

And how does final mixdown work?
You have to save independently on each machine,this is one area FX teleport shines; save once on your master machine and everything else comes back on your slaves when you re-open.
Final mixdown would have to be done in realtime I think as you're routing the audio autputs from your slave machines into your host by what ever method,unless you record them as you go then all the audio will be in your master project anyway.

SL vs Teleport :D

Also teleport has unlimited(network dependent) track for audio midi streaming back into your host, SL is limited to your audio cards channels.


Marcus
Old 11th April 2009
  #16
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muziksculp's Avatar
 

If you were following some of the new software products that were announced during the most recent 2009 Musicmesse show in Frankfurt Germany.

This IMHO is Big News !

VSL's, Vienna Ensemble-Pro was announced ( VE-Pro ).

VIENNA SYMPHONIC LIBRARY > COMPANY > NEWS > Product News

It will be released soon !

I think VE-Pro will finally solve our headaches, it offers 64 and 32-bit hosting on both Mac and PC platforms, midi and audio networking solution via ethernet, hosting for both VST/AU instruments and effects plug-ins !

I think it will simply offer the best solution for networking multiple Mac and PCs. They got it all right. (Mac/PC/Audio/Midi/64-bit/32-bit/VST/AU/Instruments/Effects) all taken care of with one application ! Now that's progress.

Exciting Times Ahead !
Old 11th April 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
I think VE-Pro will finally solve our headaches, it offers 64 and 32-bit hosting on both Mac and PC platforms, midi and audio networking solution via ethernet, hosting for both VST/AU instruments and effects plug-ins !

I think it will simply offer the best solution for networking multiple Mac and PCs. They got it all right. (Mac/PC/Audio/Midi/64-bit/32-bit/VST/AU/Instruments/Effects) all taken care of with one application ! Now that's progress.

Exciting Times Ahead !
I think so too The video on the Vienna site is quite convincing (nice interface too). Do you know if you'll be able to run VE-Pro with no Vienna Instruments at all? I don't use any. And does every slave you run it on require a Syncrosoft dongle, or is one enough?

Audioimpressions also are offering a similar solution, though it requires a Mac as the main DAW, so it's not completely agnostic yet.

Setting up and maintaining a multi-computer setup is more of a chore than the simplicity of working out of one DAW but at least it's an option. As discussed, this is what makes FXTeleport attractive, but I feel its development has fallen behind the times (should have been Mac/PC by now; is it still being developped at all?). I use 3 ADAT-interconnected systems in my studio with MidiOverLan for MIDI and sync.

I personally think the best solution would be a system agnostic version of what Apple implemented with Logic nodes (which I haven't had any personal experience with, so its performance is unknown to me) . You basically just add compute power by adding machines to the network and the DAW and system takes care of offloading processing to the various machines invisibly behind the scenes. Your project management is the same as using one machine, but your computer power is invisibly multiplied by the number of machines you run. But the commercial requirement of getting EVERY manufacturer on board to support a common standard makes this scenario very unlikely in the short term.

Until the compute we have exceeds our needs by a large margin (may never happen!) we'll always be balancing the different requirements to achieve our goals. One of the early problems with FXT was that while it was sold on the premise that you could recycle your old machines to add power to your DAW, the network requirements were so high that on older machines an excessive amount of the CPU was being used to manage the transfer of audio, leaving much less than expected for audio processing and negatively impacting latency. That's actually why I chose the MOL+ADAT connections over a pure Ethernet solution. I'm really curious to see how VE-Pro pans out cause I'd love to get rid of redundant audio hardware.

BTW there's a parallel discussion in the Geekslutz section here with some very interesting ideas.

m127: Thanks for sharing! I have a question about this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User
I have a hell of a fast drive in my main computer, which is shared in my network and holds all the files and patches in folders for every single project.

I also have my preset library and my sample library in a shared drive, so all 6 computers share the same resources.
Your statements also seem to imply that the shared sample library drive is another drive than the "hell of a fast drive" and it must be shared with an extremely fast connection considering that excessive latency is always an issue for softsynths and samplers. I would love to centralize my sample libraries for multiple systems but I'm skeptical about access and streaming performance without resorting to expensive industrial SAN solutions.

So I'm really curious as to how you set up your physical sharing, the specs of the connections and the performance you're getting. I've been wanting to do the same for a long time. TIA.
Old 11th April 2009
  #18
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muziksculp's Avatar
 

I might have not mentioned this in my post regarding VE-Pro

VSL ( VE-Pro ) also Supports 3rd party VST/AU Instruments, and Effects Plug-in.

Old 11th April 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
I might have not mentioned this in my post regarding VE-Pro

VSL ( VE-Pro ) also Supports 3rd party VST/AU Instruments, and Effects Plug-in.

Thanks.I got that. My question is just asking if you MUST have VSL instruments to use VE-Pro at all: for what I do I don't need the VSL instruments. Is it a completely independant entity? A corollary to this question is if yes, then they'd actually allow customers to use VE-Pro for non-VSL libraries, like East-West's.
Old 11th April 2009
  #20
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muziksculp's Avatar
 

No you don't need to have any VSL instruments to use VE-Pro !

It's just an application, you can use it with, or without VSL instruments. Total Freedom, Total Flexibility, Total Solution ! You have total control, and command
Old 12th April 2009
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
No you don't need to have any VSL instruments to use VE-Pro !

It's just an application, you can use it with, or without VSL instruments. Total Freedom, Total Flexibility, Total Solution ! You have total control, and command
Great! Can't wait to try it out. The reason for my apprehension is this line from the current VE3 page:

"Downloading the demo of Vienna Ensemble 3 requires at least one registered Vienna Instruments collection."
Old 12th April 2009
  #22
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About MIDIoverLAN problem...

I can use it for PC->PC, PC->Mac, but it can't be used for Mac->PC!! That's really weird.

I used Logic 8 in Mac, and used the external MIDI track, but I couldn't find about MolCp out option, I went to the Environment to create one instrument, but still couldn't find the MolCp driver for output.

I opened the Audio Midi Setup in Utility, I found there is just "In" driver for MolCp in midi page, no "Out" driver, so I re-installed it, and it couldn't be solved.

Has anyone got this kind of problem??

I tested it on Mac mini with 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo, 2G DDR2 SDRAM, OSX 10.4.11
Old 17th April 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
No, teleport talks via ethernet,that's the whole point there's no need for an Audio or midi device on the slave machines as it's all transmitted via LAN.

I have had a 3 computer system running fine in the past i.e one host(master cubendo DAW) and two separate slave PC's.The great thing is all your slave PC plugs just appear inside your normal hosts plugins folder,and therefore, just accessed and,more importantly,saved,with your one project file.
Hey just wondering how you got this to work. I am new to the whole multi computer thing and out of all the posts on this thread, it seems that you had a simple yet effective answer (m127 does have an impressive setup but I'm guessing lots of time and money were involved, none of which I really have, especially the money factor).

I have one mac (master) and one PC (slave) that I am trying to sync up via ethernet so that I can use the VIs from the PC in the mac's DAW (protools). The DAW on the PC doesn't matter much (although I'd rather use Protools or cubase). I don't want to have to use two sequencers alongside each other but rather being able to access the VIs and processing power of the slave PC from the Mac.

If anyone around here could help I would appreciate a lot, and seeming the level of technicality of what you guys do here, I'm sure my setup isn't that omplicated at all...


Cheers!
Old 17th April 2009
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Hey, I've just tried the Mac to PC via network through MIDIoverLAN, although I found some bugs when used it on Mac, I got the solution finally.

If you are interested in MIDIoverLAN, you can use it trial version for test, and let me tell you about the solution on mac.

On mac, it seems that after you install MIDIoverLAN, you can setup it for the first time, and then if you want to change setting, it won't work, though the setting seems to have changed on screen, actually not. So if you want to change setting after the first setting, try the procedure I found below:

1. Uninstall MIDIoverLAN, using its uninstall file.
2. After restart your Mac, go to Utility>Audio Midi Setup>midi tag, you will see the MIDIoverLAN driver marked "?", remove it.
3. Reinstall MIDIoverLAN, just like first time you did, then set it to what you want.

Don't use it in wireless, although there is a checkbox for enable wireless, just the slave computer can works that.

I've surfing the internet for this kind of topic, and the links below might help you to know more :

MIDI Networking
MIDI for LANlubbers - How to use multiple computers without multiple interfaces.
Tiger's Built-in Midi Over Lan - Sonikmatter
Apple - Support - Discussions - MIDI over LAN? ...
plasq.com - Re:Mac-PC audio/MIDI network success - plasq forums

Enjoy it !!
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