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Topic: OT: Creating a PC to function as a sound module.

  1. #1

    OT: Creating a PC to function as a sound module.

    Well, it looks like alot of us are going to be considering adding another PC or 2 just to run these new instruments coming out. We still don\'t know how well (or if at all) they can all run on one machine, but one thing is clear we WILL need a way to run mutliple VSTs or DXi instruments on the same machine, plus run the stand alone instruments from EW and YellowTools.

    So I think a discussion on building a stand alone PC that functions as a sound module is in order.

    I\'m not a tech guy, but if someone could point out a good system configuration plus a good sound card, that would get us in the right direction.

    We also will need a stand alone program to host these new instruments (those that need hosting).

    The 2 that seem to stand out are:





    Here\'s some notes from a conversation I had with the developers of Chainer:

    > How many VST\'s can be run at the same time? I assume each one is configured to use a different midi channel.

    There are 10 plugin chains (also called channels) that can contain up to 10 VST plugins. Accordingly it\'s possible to load up to 100 plugins. But a receiving midi channel can be chosen only per plugin chain. Consequently one
    can only use 10 different midi channels. But with a trick it\'s possible to use up to 16 midi channels (by loading a Chainer VST instance into the standalone Chainer). That means that Chainer can be used as a 10-times (respective 16-times) multi-timbral soundgenerator.

    > Can I have multiple midi ports and use 16 VST\'s per port?

    Chainer currently supports only one midi in port. As I described above it\'s possible to use 10(16) VSTi\'s on separate midi channels.

    > I\'m interested in running Spectrasonics new Trilogy, Atmosphere instruments using Chainer. Can these run at the same time no problem in 1 instance of Chainer?

    I didn\'t have the possibility to test Atmosphere in Chainer yet. So I can\'t tell you whether it works. But I don\'t see why it shouldn\'t (Chainer is quite compatible with most VST plugins). You should download the Chainer demo and test the instruments you want to use inside of it.

    > What kind of pc do you recommend I need to be able to run multiple VSTs at the same timeusing your Chainer? (memory ,speed, cpu etc..)

    In general it\'s right to say the more memory you have and the faster the CPU is the better.

    How powerful the pc has to be of course depends on which and how much VST instruments you want to use at the same time. Some plugins need much RAM and CPU power, others are easier satisfied. As I said I don\'t know the Spectrasonics instruments, but I think these are sample-based VSTi\'s, so I guess they need much RAM but less CPU power instead of it (although I don\'t
    know this definitively). Another thing: if the stability is important one should use the WinXP operating system instead of Win9x.

    In the case you want to know some technical data:
    - 512MB DDR-RAM (or if the price doesn\'t matter RD-RAM, but then it has to be a Pentium 4 system). - CPU: Pentium 4 or Athlon XP is equal in my view; faster is better of course (I personally wouldn\'t buy a new pc with a cpu below P4 2GHz/AthlonXP2000).

    > What about sound card outputs, can you configure certain VSTs to output via certain sound card ports?

    The current version of Chainer only supports one audio output (you can choose one ASIO output channel).

    > Will I need mutiple sound cards? Would it help if I did have multiple sound cards?

    Instead of using multiple soundcards I would recommend to use only one soundcard with multiple input and outputs. OK, at the moment it\'s not possible to use multiple inputs and outputs of a multi i/o soundcard in Chainer. But the next release of Chainer will support multiple ASIO i/o (up to 64 stereo inputs and outputs).

    In addition the update will support multiple midi in ports (up to 10) - so the limit of 10(16) midi channels will disappear. One thing that is important to know: the audio inputs and ouputs as well as the midi in ports will be accessible from inside any Chainer VST instance loaded in the standalone Chainer. Through this you will be able to use all the midi in ports and audio inputs and outputs.

    The current version of Chainer obviously still has some limits regarding midi port and multiple audio i/o support, but the next update will reduce those limits. It will be soon available.

    Best regards,
    Thomas Potulski

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Creating a PC to function as a sound module.

    Oh surely, alot of you are considering this?!?! Any thoughts?

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