Fun with VST’s Part 2

Having a ton of fun making some noise and learning about VST installs, setup & config. If you missed info on our setup  – Take a quick look back. We should add a comment that we are not expecting to actually use this configuration to play songs. As pointed out to us by someone else, there will be some latency in this setup. That is 100% true and we would not recommend this configuration to actually record or play music on. What does that mean? When we hit a key it takes a few milliseconds until you actually hear a sound. For our purposes, we have no issue with that. We are only using this config to learn about the install and setup of various VST’s before we attempt the same install on our Wersi Sonic OAX700. The ability to use the VMWare snapshot features to quickly restore the VM, should something go wrong, or to simply take a snapshot for the purpose of keeping a particular config for later use is well worth the small amount of latency.

We did run into some audio dropouts pretty much as soon as we started. A little research and we quickly learned we were not running the latest-n-greatest Focusrite USB drivers. After installing the new driver that issue has improved greatly although we do occasionally still have a little static & noise. That occurs in both sounds from a VST or simply when playing an audio file via the default Windows Media Player.

Here’s where we are at this point:

  • The basic configuration is up and running.
  • We have installed the Kontakt 5 player and demo sound set and that all works as expected.
    • One thing we need to learn more about is using Program Changes. That’s a key requirement once we get going on installing on our Sonic.
  • Still more to learn but we have VSTHost installed in support of working with VST’s that don’t provide a stand-alone environment.
    • We may switch over to SAVIHost to see if that will meet our needs with less complexity.
  • We have also installed the GSI VB3 VST, Revival Drawbars and a simple Upright Piano

The same statement we made regarding Kontakt and program changes holds true for all of the above VST’s. For example, controller 84 allows you to change the reverb level on the GSI VB3. That is one of many controllers that we would need to adjust when installed on our Sonic. Much easier to learn about that on our test setup and THEN install on the Sonic and implement what we have learned.

We will posting a little more about the installs on the Sonic on our WersiClubUSA site as we make progress.

 

2 responses... add one

HI Curt

Crackles and distortion are caused by CPU overload or too smaller ASIO buffer size, (The smaller the buffer the lower the latency) however, most VSTs allow you to control the amount of CPU power they use, so may be worth reducing this setting to allow more capacity for other operations that require the CPU power. (Remember the more OS you use in a VM the more CPU power and memory you need) The same applies to the ASIO buffer, so it’s always a juggling act to get the right balance. (NOTE: In OAX most of this is done for you, so in most cases you will not need to change the VST settings)

Have fun

Bill

Agreed Bill – I did watch the host and the guest while I was playing a MP3 and they were both bored. The host is a quad core I7 running at 3.4 Ghz with 24 GB and I have 4 GB and 2 CPU’s allocated to the guest. Everything is hosted on two SSD’s. Host is on C: and the VM datastore supporting the guest machine is on D: Now, you would think that would be plenty of resources to play an MP3! 🙂

I didn’t mess around with ASIO buffers at all. They are set to whatever the defaults are out of the box. Probably worth taking a look at that.

As you know the overall test setup isn’t our main focus. Might come back and mess with that a little later. Actually as I’m typing this, I’m downloading Kontakt to the Sonic and will be installing it shortly.

Fasten your seat belt!

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