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Topic: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

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  1. #1

    Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    I have been reading about FX-Teleport and how you can use that to drive multiple machines to deliver sound to your DAW.

    I was wondering whether or not something like that would work with virtualization - running multiple virtual computers on the one box and connecting to those through FX-Teleport or similar.

    Any thoughts or experience to share?

  2. #2

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    Hmm ... the concept of FXTeleport is that you see a virtual VSTi in your DAW on the main computer (host) but it sents the midi data to a network-connected slave on which the actual VSTi resides. The produced audio data is then sent back to the host, again via network.

    So your experiment could work if your virtual computers are connected to emulated network between them.

    For an alternative ReaRoute comes to mind, just an idea.

    What is it for?
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  3. #3

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    Thanks for the response Hannes - I will also have a look at ReaRoute.

    What is it for? I am just trying to get my head around options to overcome the 32-bit memory limitation. I thought that perhaps a decent 8 - 16GB machine running multiple virtual operating systems under VMWare or the like might make a really good way to around the RAM limits.

    Just thinking aloud.

  4. #4

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins
    Thanks for the response Hannes - I will also have a look at ReaRoute.

    What is it for? I am just trying to get my head around options to overcome the 32-bit memory limitation. I thought that perhaps a decent 8 - 16GB machine running multiple virtual operating systems under VMWare or the like might make a really good way to around the RAM limits.

    Just thinking aloud.
    Are you on a Mac, PC-only, or a mix? This makes a big difference.
    Kind regards,

    John
    www.johngrahammusic.com

  5. #5

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    That is a good question!

    I am using PCs.

  6. #6

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    If you use a Mac, you can load many instances of Kontakt 2 or other virtual instruments in stand-alone, then link them into a program like Digital Performer using Soundflower (for audio -- free) and Interapplication Midi in DP's Setup menu.

    This allows you to use a lot more than 2-4 gigs of memory. By contrast, if you instantiate Kontakt 2 as a VI within the host, then you use up some of the host's RAM ceiling.

    I don't know if the same applies to PCs but I assume that it does. The main question is how to get the audio back into the "main" application from the extra standalone(s).
    Kind regards,

    John
    www.johngrahammusic.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    I'm using "Forte Ensemble" and MidiOverLan with 4 PCs. It's a very nice setup.

  8. #8

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    hey, this is interesting.
    I wonder...i just ordered a new pc with 4 gbs of ram, and still i plan on using xp 32 bit for the time being.

    BUT, could i do the following?

    Can i use cubase with K2 as i normaly do, with the maximum 2 gb of ram allowed for one application, AND open a kontakt 2 standalone for the remaining 2 gb of ram, and just send the outputs back into cubase through my firewire 8 out interface? I didnt think about that before.
    And just run some virtual midi port to the stabndalone k2, or even a physiacal midiport would work i guess.
    I got a 10 in 10 out 24bit 196KHZ firewire interface, and 8in\out midi interface, so theres no lack of connection options.
    The computer has a quadcore cpu, so that would be beneficial for such a task i guess...?

    I can just set up a external audio channel in Cubase, and set the K2 utputs to match the physical inputs of that channel ??? And in that way use all my ram on K2???
    Obviously it would be better to have it internaly, and sending the sound through some analog converters is not optimal, but still?...

    Or, is it possible to connect the digital outs to the digital ins on the same interface? Hm...

  9. #9

    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    I have just been reading on VMWare's website about virtualization and I am surprised there doesn't seem to be more examples coming forward of using this to better make use of hardware resources in the computerised music world.

    Here is a quote from the website explaining the nature of a virtual machine:


    A virtual machine is a tightly isolated software container that can run its own operating systems and applications as if it were a physical computer. A virtual machine behaves exactly like a physical computer and contains it own virtual (ie, software-based) CPU, RAM hard disk and network interface card (NIC).

    An operating system can’t tell the difference between a virtual machine and a physical machine, nor can applications or other computers on a network. Even the virtual machine thinks it is a “real” computer. Nevertheless, a virtual machine is composed entirely of software and contains no hardware components whatsoever. As a result, virtual machines offer a number of distinct advantages over physical hardware.
    Virtual Machines Benefits

    In general, VMware virtual machines possess four key characteristics that benefit the user:

    Compatibility

    Just like a physical computer, a virtual machine hosts its own guest operating system and applications, and has all the components found in a physical computer (motherboard, VGA card, network card controller, etc). As a result, virtual machines are completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications and device drivers, so you can use a virtual machine to run all the same software that you would run on a physical x86 computer.
    Isolation

    While virtual machines can share the physical resources of a single computer, they remain completely isolated from each other as if they were separate physical machines. If, for example, there are four virtual machines on a single physical server and one of the virtual machines crashes, the other three virtual machines remain available. Isolation is an important reason why the availability and security of applications running in a virtual environment is far superior to applications running in a traditional, non-virtualized system.
    Encapsulation

    A virtual machine is essentially a software container that bundles or “encapsulates” a complete set of virtual hardware resources, as well as an operating system and all its applications, inside a software package. Encapsulation makes virtual machines incredibly portable and easy to manage. For example, you can move and copy a virtual machine from one location to another just like any other software file, or save a virtual machine on any standard data storage medium, from a pocket-sized USB flash memory card to an enterprise storage area networks (SANs).
    Hardware Independence

    Virtual machines are completely independent from their underlying physical hardware. For example, you can configure a virtual machine with virtual components (eg, CPU, network card, SCSI controller) that are completely different the physical components that are present on the underlying hardware. Virtual machines on the same physical server can even run different kinds of operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc).

    When coupled with the properties of encapsulation and compatibility, hardware independence gives you the freedom to move a virtual machine from one type of x86 computer to another without making any changes to the device drivers, operating system, or applications. Hardware independence also means that you can run a heterogeneous mixture of operating systems and applications on a single physical computer.


    So it appears that this looks like a fantastic way to go with setting up multiple virtual computers, each with different network addresses, and then hooking up to them via FX-Teleport or equivalent and taking full use of however much RAM you want to use on a 32-bit OS - even 16GB or more.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Driving Multiple Computers and Virtualisation

    I'm just going to guess here, until proven wrong, but the problem with this idea that I see is that if your BIOS can only see 3gb then that's it.
    No trickin' the bios.
    And ... the VM ware runs "inside" of your OS ( as far as I know ) so if XP can only say "I've got 3gb" then, once again, that all you get.

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