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
Ahoy! I just bought 2 mac minis, now using VEP Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 13th March 2014
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Ahoy! I just bought 2 mac minis, now using VEP

Total cost out the door $2200.

8 cores of 2.6ghz i7 total between the two.
256 gb SSD in each

Will upgrade to 16gb of ram in each through crucial

Already ordered VEP5

I'm going to network these with my 2011 17" Macbook pro, which has a 2.3 ghz quad core i7 and 16gb of ram, also a 256gb SSD.

So that give me -

12 Cores (4) 2.3ghz (8) 2.6ghz i7 , 48 gb of ram, 256 gb SSD

The way i figure, if a new mac mini is released in a couple months I can just add another one. At this price point for a 12-core farm I'm really excited.

Just thought I'd share. I'll keep yall updated on how it works out.
Old 13th March 2014
  #2
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Yeah, keep us posted. Good luck!

BTW, now you've got 768 GB of SSD.
Old 13th March 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Yeah, keep us posted. Good luck!

BTW, now you've got 768 GB of SSD.
Definitely will. Also in the middle of a remodel so itll be a few weeks before it's set up to test.

Yeahhh 768 of SSD but not really all useable, I will probably have the exact same system installed three times, so really it's just (3) 256 gb, but the processors and ram are closer to straight additions. This will be my first farm, I'm excited. I expect the set up process to be a pain, of course, but I think it'll be worth it... hopefully far more efficient than paying through the roof for a 12-core machine.
Old 13th March 2014
  #4
Gear Addict
 
czoli's Avatar
 

Do you need multiple copies of VEP5 to run this?
Old 13th March 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by czoli View Post
Do you need multiple copies of VEP5 to run this?
Nope just one copy of the software with a key attached to each machine ($20 each)
Old 14th March 2014
  #6
Gear Head
 

I just bought one several weeks ago. I was done waiting too, and upgraded ram and data-doubler myself. Love this thing.
Old 14th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwagn View Post
I just bought one several weeks ago. I was done waiting too, and upgraded ram and data-doubler myself. Love this thing.
Hows it doing with plugins? Do you have Diva? If so, how does it handle playing a poly patch in diva? I'm hoping to run 8 instruments off each mini, for 16 live instrument tracks (with plugins and what not).
Old 14th March 2014
  #8
I'm curious: how do you get them to work together? I have 2 macs that I use separately but it would be cool to link them somehow.
Old 14th March 2014
  #9
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok View Post
how does it handle playing a poly patch in diva?
Just fine, with power to spare.
Old 14th March 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
myles's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Guy View Post
I'm curious: how do you get them to work together? I have 2 macs that I use separately but it would be cool to link them somehow.
That would be VEPro 5.
Old 14th March 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Guy View Post
I'm curious: how do you get them to work together? I have 2 macs that I use separately but it would be cool to link them somehow.
Vienna Ensemble Pro is a gigabit ethernet LAN software that allows you to master/slave multiple machines at once, and it supports both 32 bit and 64 bit plugins. It's... amazing.
Old 15th March 2014
  #12
Holy crow that sounds great. How much is this software? I guess I could google it, huh?
Old 15th March 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
I posted in your other thread, but , that is a good deal.
Old 15th March 2014
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok View Post
Hows it doing with plugins? Do you have Diva? If so, how does it handle playing a poly patch in diva? I'm hoping to run 8 instruments off each mini, for 16 live instrument tracks (with plugins and what not).
Sorry, I do not have Diva. What typically brought my system to its knees was using Reason with the CPU hungry Rack Extensions.

I recently pulled up a mix session in Reason that crackled and popped constantly, and would just stop at a certain point in the song. Now, with the mini, when I play through the file, the DSP meter is less than half of what it was before, and the mini handles the file like a champ. Not one single pop or click.

Hope that helps.
Old 15th March 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I'd be interested in knowing more about this. Would running a Mac Mini in conjunction with my aging Mac Pro get me some years of life? I suppose I need to do some reading.
Old 15th March 2014
  #16
Never heard of VEPro 5 before this thread!
I need some reading too!

Just a question: would it be possible to connect a pc as a slave to my Mac pro?
Would be crazy and may save me hours of bouncing tracks in pt10, enhancing my workflow...

How works your setups? DO you run VI in slave computer then mixing with vst/rtas/au on your main computer/DAW?

How it works whit your Ilok? do you need a license for each machine or can they be shared?
Old 15th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
You'll probably be OK as long as you stay @ 44.1/48 My i7 Mac Mini "glitch'd" hard playing a programmed with Superior @ 96K
Old 15th March 2014
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by findingtheSound View Post
Just a question: would it be possible to connect a pc as a slave to my Mac pro?
Would be crazy and may save me hours of bouncing tracks in pt10, enhancing my workflow...
Yes, you can use any Mac or PC as a slave. Connect to a network switch or router and you're done.

Quote:
How works your setups? DO you run VI in slave computer then mixing with vst/rtas/au on your main computer/DAW?
You set a server host (64 bit and 32 bit choices, available at the same time), load as many instruments as you need/your slave can handle and set up output routing back to the main system. Then you enter VEP instrument plugs which are routed to that slave server instance and route MIDI to the correct VEP port and channel to reach your instrument of choice. Basically you set up the slave with all favorite synths and samplers (like with hardware) and let it boot the VEP server file with your settings on startup. After it loaded all samples in RAM (according to your settings), all those instruments are available. It is highly recommended to set up pre-routed templates for our songs.

Quote:
How it works whit your Ilok? do you need a license for each machine or can they be shared?
iLok cannot be shared. Depending on the load, you would typically keep mix plugins on the master system to mix, and the instruments on the slave. You can get a second iLok to devide those plugs over master and slave.
Old 15th March 2014
  #19
Thanks for your answers; that's confirm how I supposed things would run.

Does someone tried Reastream from Reaper?

It's a free plugin in their pack ( REAPER | ReaPlugs) and it seems to do something similar, but connecting tracks between two DAWs in two seperate computers via LAN...
Old 15th March 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mal View Post
I'd be interested in knowing more about this. Would running a Mac Mini in conjunction with my aging Mac Pro get me some years of life? I suppose I need to do some reading.
Honestly the mini seems like no joke with a 2.6ghz i7 ivy bridge processor & 16 gigs of ram. If you like to run a lot of midi instruments and effects, I imagine it would be a very nice companion to your mac pro. My plan is quite similar - I plan to use these two mac minis as the instrument host and only use my main macbook pro (which actually isn't as good as either mini and cost twice as much) will be used only for mixing, no instrument plugins weighing it down. I'm very eager to test it out. They should be delivered ~ March 29th, I figure 3-4 days of startup (I'm going to be updating my macbook pro to Mavericks and wiping it clean for a fresh start, really minimize the clutter) and I'll give a report on how it works out.

I could have built a beast of a PC or a hackintosh, but I value the osx platform and security of a 3-year warranty enough, and the format of the mini is also fantastic, so I went ahead and made the plunge.
Old 15th March 2014
  #21
The more I think about it the more I feel I'll take the same road you took, buying just one mac mini with ssd and 16 GB ram.

I was looking at nMP but I feel my early 2009 MP is running quite well, even if I maxed it quite often making me bouncing more tracks, slowing my workflow.

I may even use this mac mini as my main DAW computer to use it's graphic card to be able to use Raven controller, which seems to need a better graphic card than the one in my old MP.

But before doing that, is it possible to use "mixing plugs" in the slave computer later in the chain without causing problems (latency etc) with VEP?

I mean: Vsti (in slave computer)->rtas mixing plug (main computer daw)->vst mixing plug like comp etc (in slave)->rtas mixing plug (main computer daw)->etc

How would it work?
Old 18th March 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by findingtheSound View Post
The more I think about it the more I feel I'll take the same road you took, buying just one mac mini with ssd and 16 GB ram.

I was looking at nMP but I feel my early 2009 MP is running quite well, even if I maxed it quite often making me bouncing more tracks, slowing my workflow.

I may even use this mac mini as my main DAW computer to use it's graphic card to be able to use Raven controller, which seems to need a better graphic card than the one in my old MP.

But before doing that, is it possible to use "mixing plugs" in the slave computer later in the chain without causing problems (latency etc) with VEP?

I mean: Vsti (in slave computer)->rtas mixing plug (main computer daw)->vst mixing plug like comp etc (in slave)->rtas mixing plug (main computer daw)->etc

How would it work?
To be honest I'm not sure how VEP5 handles AAX plugins. This is a bit of an experiment on my end as well... My guess is that any plugins inserted on the channels in the main daw would be inserts after the plugins on the slave computer. I don't know if you can order them otherwise, I just haven't tried it yet. Still a couple weeks away from my system getting here, so I'll have to deliver a full report on performance and compatibility when the time comes.
Old 18th March 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 

does VEP run mixing plug ins or just VIs?
Old 18th March 2014
  #24
Lives for gear
 
myles's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by findingtheSound View Post
The more I think about it the more I feel I'll take the same road you took, buying just one mac mini with ssd and 16 GB ram.

I was looking at nMP but I feel my early 2009 MP is running quite well, even if I maxed it quite often making me bouncing more tracks, slowing my workflow.

I may even use this mac mini as my main DAW computer to use it's graphic card to be able to use Raven controller, which seems to need a better graphic card than the one in my old MP.

But before doing that, is it possible to use "mixing plugs" in the slave computer later in the chain without causing problems (latency etc) with VEP?

I mean: Vsti (in slave computer)->rtas mixing plug (main computer daw)->vst mixing plug like comp etc (in slave)->rtas mixing plug (main computer daw)->etc

How would it work?
I've had VE Pro 5 for a while. It's a steep learning curve (at least for me), but I'm not super tech-ly. For instruments, it's astounding - set it to zero samples latency, very responsive. Same for reverbs. Even my 2.8 i7 PC (slave to my MMS) hasn't gotten over about 12% CPU load.

For processing plugs, though, there is latency. It's not much, but even over ethernet, it takes time to do stuff. And you can hear it. Maybe 10ms?

There are a couple of different routing options using VE Pro in Pro Tools. To run it as a straight plug requires an instance for each plug, whereas the normal way to work with instruments is as few instances as possible, using the multiple audio ins and outs available in each instance. If you did use an instance per plug, you could use the mix control on the plug to vary the straight/processed signal. As long as that track wasn't combined with other, unprocessed tracks (like if you processed some drum tracks through a plug in VE and not others) it should work well, for vocal processing, for example.

So, it's not a magic bullet, but pretty close.

I'd strongly recommend reading the VE Pro manual if you're thinking about it. It took a while to get a handle on everything, but it's a really powerful application, especially for instruments and reverbs.

EDIT: VE Pro uses VST's and VSTi's on PC, and AU on Mac. The actual plug itself is AAX 64bit, so it runs in PT, but, within the app, it's VST's on PC and AU on Mac.

EDIT 2: Just realized the latency I was talking about was using VE Pro on my main machine - I've been using it to get the UBK-1 into PT. Latency to another machine is higher. Sorry for the confusion.
Old 18th March 2014
  #25
Thanks for those clarifications.
I'm waiting for Myrock to test his setup and will learn more about VEPro.

I think (like many posters here during this last year) we feel the nMP isn't yet what we need and so we're running after other kind of setups (like farms), as at the same time we feel our old macs begin to interrupt our workflow with new heavy plugins.

And besides running diva or other cpu/ram heavy VSTI, I'm really missing the ability to record new real instruments without latency while in the middle or end of an heavy mix loaded with multiples Slate's plugins on every channels, reverbs, Ozone, etc with many busses... like real pro mixes in fact...

So if you're telling me that "processing" plugins give latency while recording, which I suspected and seems normal to me, a farm isn't the main part of the solution for me...

Maybe I should get a nMP to handle the processing part of the mix without latency, but even after reading 6 vs 8 vs 12 cores vs Ghz speed / efficiency i'm really not sure what would be the best upgrade option... And can't figure out in real life how they compare to my 8 core early 2009 MP, even after reading everything on the net. Feel like a 6 cores would not be that of an improvement concerning cpu for "processing" plugins.

Anyway, as you guys make me look into VEPro I know that I'll keep my early 2009 mac pro as slave and the nMPas main DAW machine...
And maybe upgrading to PT11 would speed up my workflow too...don't know;
We're so in the middle of changes on everything it's a bit difficult to find our way. There's no clear advantages or big forward jump at a reasonnable cost right now. I may wait for the next gen of MP to get high enough jump in power at a more "affordable" (in the mac way ).

And maybe I'm asking too much wanting to work that way for an indie producer... (ie real max around 4K$ to upgrade the computer every 4 years)
Old 18th March 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
myles's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by findingtheSound View Post
Thanks for those clarifications.
I'm waiting for Myrock to test his setup and will learn more about VEPro.

I think (like many posters here during this last year) we feel the nMP isn't yet what we need and so we're running after other kind of setups (like farms), as at the same time we feel our old macs begin to interrupt our workflow with new heavy plugins.

And besides running diva or other cpu/ram heavy VSTI, I'm really missing the ability to record new real instruments without latency while in the middle or end of an heavy mix loaded with multiples Slate's plugins on every channels, reverbs, Ozone, etc with many busses... like real pro mixes in fact...

So if you're telling me that "processing" plugins give latency while recording, which I suspected and seems normal to me, a farm isn't the main part of the solution for me...

Maybe I should get a nMP to handle the processing part of the mix without latency, but even after reading 6 vs 8 vs 12 cores vs Ghz speed / efficiency i'm really not sure what would be the best upgrade option... And can't figure out in real life how they compare to my 8 core early 2009 MP, even after reading everything on the net. Feel like a 6 cores would not be that of an improvement concerning cpu for "processing" plugins.

Anyway, as you guys make me look into VEPro I know that I'll keep my early 2009 mac pro as slave and the nMPas main DAW machine...
And maybe upgrading to PT11 would speed up my workflow too...don't know;
We're so in the middle of changes on everything it's a bit difficult to find our way. There's no clear advantages or big forward jump at a reasonnable cost right now. I may wait for the next gen of MP to get high enough jump in power at a more "affordable" (in the mac way ).

And maybe I'm asking too much wanting to work that way for an indie producer... (ie real max around 4K$ to upgrade the computer every 4 years)
Yeah, there's no free lunch! I sympathize with your situation - I'm solo now, but did enough years behind a real console to know exactly what you're describing - and it was a bitch even in the analog world, searching for an unused channel and, sometimes, spare patch cables without disabling something already set up.

VE Pro was designed for the Vienna instruments and it works superbly for that. Throw in the ability to use other VSTi's and reverbs and it's very nice icing on a very nice cake. Offloading some of the weight of compressors and such would be nice, but the laws of physics (and Murphy) constrain the world.

BTW, where in France are you? If you're a native French speaker, I take my hat off to you, but I don't think so…
Old 18th March 2014
  #27
I live in Bordeaux in the SW of France, and yes i'm native french speaker; when speaking/singing in english it's not difficult to find out!
I have a friend helping me correcting the pronunciation of every single word when recording...wayyy too much edits because of that!
But thanks!
I see you share your time between here and UK? Shoot me a pm if you want to discuss a little bit

About the thread, yes, no free lunch! But things get better and at least I can work, not as fast and flawlessly as I would like but I can work, so....
I'll wait and see what's coming next in the MP serie, and will keep an eye here.
Old 18th March 2014
  #28
Lives for gear
 
rekloos's Avatar
 

Considering slaving my 2012 mbp to the new mini but not happy reading about high latency on plugins as that's my main reason to do it, lots of plugs on my sessions and they eat up my CPU.....
So vep5 is the only way to setup a system like this?
I mainly use logic&ableton. running vsti is not something I do a lot and when I do I tend to bounce audio quite early in the session and I don't do much or complicated recordings .
Old 18th March 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk View Post
does VEP run mixing plug ins or just VIs?
It runs mixing plugins, has a set of very nice mixing plugins built in as well. All VST / AU 32 bit or 64 bit.. one of the things I'm most excited about is getting some of my 32 bit plugins back that I hated running in bridge mode.

Anyway... the minis are supposed to get here on Friday. I'm still in the middle of my studio build out so it's kind of bad timing but I would expect a solid review by the 1st of April
Old 19th March 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok View Post
It runs mixing plugins, has a set of very nice mixing plugins built in as well. All VST / AU 32 bit or 64 bit.. one of the things I'm most excited about is getting some of my 32 bit plugins back that I hated running in bridge mode.
Absolutely, it is a true 32 bit host as well, able to run in a full 64 bit environment.
Not sure about Mac, but VEP on Windows has a dramatically rediculous effectivity regarding plugin loading compared to other hosts.
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