Hardware for playing VST instruments?

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killertofu
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Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by killertofu » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:16 am

I've been wondering if theres any kind of hardware to reliably play a soft synth live, maybe some sort of rack device..?
Any solutions besides using a laptop? Not to sound too picky, but I'm not into the look of a laptop on stage.. :|

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by Ashe37 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:21 am

Build a 1U PC...

or, overpay for underpowered solutions like the V-machine or Receptor.

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by th0mas » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:59 pm

killertofu wrote: Not to sound too picky, but I'm not into the look of a laptop on stage.. :|
Hide it? You can get a powerful enough laptop for so cheap that you could get two and gig with a backup.

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by snod_donkey » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:51 pm

i bought a laptop which was then stripped down and built into a 19" 1u rack.. easy to do and looks the part too

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by Ashe37 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:57 pm

Would be cheaper to build a 1U 19" rack PC...
This article on building render farms discusses using them for audio...

Build one of those, add a $100 audio card (Like the M-audio 24/96 or the Emu 0404) and you've got VST power.

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by diezdiazgiant » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:49 pm

and if youre using a standalone synth you can set it so that the computer never boots the OS and just launches your synth.
you can get a midi brain like a umc32 or livid instruments brain and build on the face of the rack mount a dedicated control section. h**l if you know how to program your own software synths you could in effect make your own "hardware" synth in this fashion.
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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:12 am

yes, yes. I own hardware and software synths. This is the software synths section and the question was referring to software synths.

Another bit that seems to have gone unnoticed was HP's release of multi-touch capable monitors. They are intended for point-of-sale, inventory control and kiosk applications but they aren't that expensive... but you could use it with a rackmount PC to give you touch control of softsynths. I also think one would make a neat way to use Ableton Live onstage- instead of judging your clip status on one of the various USB controllers, you just look at (and touch) the screen.

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by elfonso » Mon May 10, 2010 10:38 pm

check this out:

its a nice concept for controlling a multitude of different plugins without the restrictions of a fixed mapping on a midi controller. seems to be really useful for those frequent moments when one has to fall back to using the mouse if a software parameter is not mapped to any midi-control.

looks good as an entry level thing or those who want to fiddle with knobs but do not bother to do all the midimapping madness..

what do you say?

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by CS_TBL » Mon May 10, 2010 11:26 pm

It looks horrible to me. :lol:

It may be nice for synths with less than 10 functions, but go beyond that (FM anyone?) and you either need a shitload o' fleximice or you keep switching destinations among the few fleximice you do have, which is far more tedious than just using the normal mouse.

Also, them having this wooden appearance makes 'em look like toys for toddlers.. ^_^
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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by elfonso » Tue May 11, 2010 8:15 am

CS_TBL wrote: It may be nice for synths with less than 10 functions, but go beyond that (FM anyone?) and you either need a shitload o' fleximice or you keep switching destinations among the few fleximice you do have, which is far more tedious than just using the normal mouse.
i dont think these devices are meant to replace the accustomed to control methods, such as midi controllers or other hardware. i see them more as a way to control otherwise unmapped parameters using a high quality knob which, unlike a standard scrollwhell, also supports continuous revolutions.

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by Ashe37 » Tue May 11, 2010 8:39 am

would have been nice if they had used something in the demo that was unmapped or unmappable parameters...

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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by loungedumore » Fri May 14, 2010 4:30 am

diezdiazgiant wrote:and if youre using a standalone synth you can set it so that the computer never boots the OS and just launches your synth.
Not to hijack the thread too much , but how dose one do that ? On WinXP and/or Mac OSX ?
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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by Solderman » Thu May 20, 2010 5:18 am

Ashe37 wrote:Would be cheaper to build a 1U 19" rack PC...
This article on building render farms discusses using them for audio...
Build one of those, add a $100 audio card (Like the M-audio 24/96 or the Emu 0404) and you've got VST power.
You don't even need the sound card for a slaved machine, if the master already has one, the master and slave machines both have Gigabit ethernet, and you use FX Teleport. Some of those Super Micro 1U chassis enclosures are too expensive, but you'd probably only need one with an ATX form factor motherboard, a single HDD and about 400 watts of power.
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Re: Hardware for playing VST instruments?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu May 20, 2010 5:32 am

The ones (I) recommended in the render node article are $100 a pop. You don't even need a full ATX motherboard, micro ATX will do just fine. 400W of power is also overkill.

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