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NetVst support

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(@dlwhite66)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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I saw on the netvst site that Unify will/does support netvst.  I cant find a mention of network hosting on the Unify site.  is it there? coming soon?

I already have tried patchwork (frustrating midi mapping and standalone unstable), gig performer (standalone only), cantos(ick) and a few others. if/when Unify supports netvst functionality, it will be perfect for moving from live to recording to mixing. 

oh, and midi out would be very useful for integrating hardware in the same way.

d


   
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(@getdunne)
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All coming eventually!


   
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(@barza)
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Shane - a list of questions:

1. Can we have an update on net vst support? Could you give us a hint of a timeline?

2. is the plan for unify to be able to send or receive audio over the network, or both?

3. Will it be possible to include networked patches in the Unify library? I ask because I have my libraries/plug-ins on multiple pc’s, and it would be great to still be able to use them in a single unify instance (even if that meant running a ‘’slave’ instance on other pcs).

Thanks in advance!


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @barza

1. Can we have an update on net vst support? Could you give us a hint of a timeline?

Unfortunately not. I've been meaning to return to this for a long time, but I get so many interruptions that it's impossible to do this kind of "research" work.

2. is the plan for unify to be able to send or receive audio over the network, or both?

Both. The NetVST protocol allows for sending and receiving MIDI and audio, and also supports parameter changes similar to DAW automation.

3. Will it be possible to include networked patches in the Unify library?

Yes, provided you are only planning to play the patches using the same networked set-up you used when saving the patches. To provide greater flexibility would require a great deal more work, and I doubt I'd ever be able to get to it.


   
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(@getdunne)
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I strongly suggest looking at AudioGridder, a newer open-source project that does most of what NetVST set out to do, and works very well.

With hindsight, I now realize that this kind of project is best done as an open-source effort, where users cannot expect much support because the product is free, and the developer is able to devote all of their time to it. The only alternative is a fully commercial implementation like Vienna Ensemble Pro, which is aimed very squarely at a certain class of professional users (film/TV composers) who will pay enough to cover tech support. Anything else is (I hate to say it) pretty much doomed.

I still hope that some day, I might be able to revive the NetVST work, but in the meantime you ought to seek alternatives.


   
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(@barza)
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Shane - thanks very much for the reply. I get that this may remain on the ‘to do’ list for some time. It is actually because I use VE Pro, and hence have plug-ins/libraries spread across several machines, that I have the interest in the potential networking features of Unify as a means to bring patches back together when needed.

Keep up the great work!

 

 


   
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(@getdunne)
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@barza

Please tell me a little about how you use VE Pro, and how you would like to use Unify (in ways that VE Pro might not be able to achieve already).


   
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(@craigr68)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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Hi Shane

Thanks for the tip on AudioGridder.  I spent a couple hours with it today.  Most of the time was for getting Unify installed and set up with a few vsts and libraries on the server computer.  It's a 10 year old Dell Inspiron and has 100Mbit ethernet unfortunately.  But it works pretty well running as an instance in Cakewalk.  I get alot of breakup if I open the gui view of Unify on the server.  If I avoid that, and just send it program changes, it works pretty well.  I got my script to send program changes to it thru the connection so I don't really need to see the gui.  I was getting around 5ms latency which isn't bad.  I'm just playing around to see what's possible.  I doubt I'll use it because my main computer (master in this case) is pretty capable and have little need for more horsepower.


   
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(@barza)
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@getdunne - you asked how I use VEPro. Hope you are sitting comfortably…

I use 4 windows 10 PC’s together. One runs Cubase (my main DAW). The three others each run VE Pro and stream audio over my local network to Cubase. I have different plug-ins and sample libraries on each of the three VE pro servers (one server has orchestral, another drums, another has synths/guitars). I find this setup works very well in reducing the load on the main DAW, and in keeping my tools organised and available for use (I load a template which has access to all of my instruments on the servers but in a disable state, and then simply enable what I need).

Rather than needing to keep my DAW running Pc at the cutting edge of CPU/Ram etc, I have found this set up very powerful with a by now several years old set up. And the VE Pro server PCs are similarly set up using recycled components from other systems.

There are two roles for the net/vst end of Unify that come from this.

1. One of the (many) great things about Unify is how it brings patches from various plug-ins together. In my case, however, I have Unify installed on each of my pcs, but no single instance of Unify can see and use all of my unified libraries. Having noticed when Unify was launched your statement that the netvst code was ‘built into’ Unify for future development, I had hoped that might enable me to bridge that gap if there was some ability for Unify to recognise connection to another networked instance of Unify in the library. So let’s say you had Unify on two networked PC’s, and they were passing midi and audio between each other. Could each makes the patches in its library available to the other? Based on what you have stated about using Audiogridder above, I shouldn’t get my hopes up here!

2. VEPro by now is a very well developed and supported product. I am also aware that bringing networking into Unify could bring a whole load of support issues which might be overwhelming. But I have always had on my mind that given Unify’s plug-in hosting and patch management abilities, it had something new to bring to the party if the networking side was developed. For some users the ability to offload processing to another PC using networked unify could be a valuable addition to a USD79 product which obviates a need for a (more expensive!) VE pro license and USB dongle. And I could imagine developments of networking capability in Unify that VE Pro cannot offer (like the patch management, for example).

I suspect that among the many development priorities you have for Unify, this is one that will ultimately fall to the wayside as other avenues are more useful/exciting (as has happened to date). Given that Unify is such a great product I can’t say at all that is a bad decision, and there are other alternatives available for the networking side as you point out. I still harbour a hope that the networking side of Unify could be developed though, as I think it could be very powerful. Maybe Yamaha or somebody will come in, buy the rights to Unify from you and John, make you both wealthy and give you lots of development resources to play with!!

By the way - if you want to know what all this tech produces, look up ‘Long Dead Scribbler’ on a music streaming service. That is me.

This post was modified 2 years ago by barza

   
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(@barza)
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Returning to the discussion of net VST development and unify after 7 months or so, is the outlook for this the same? My assumption is that it sits a (very) long way down the wish list and as such we shouldn’t expect anything for the foreseeable future.


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @barza

Returning to the discussion of net VST development and unify after 7 months or so, is the outlook for this the same? My assumption is that it sits a (very) long way down the wish list and as such we shouldn’t expect anything for the foreseeable future.

You are correct.

Unify is a commercial product, but NetVST is not, and never will be. John and I looked into it, but concluded that, because networking is so complex, the cost of technical support required for a commercial implementation would make the product unaffordable. Only one company (Vienna Ensemble) has succeeded with this, because theirs are pro-level products, which are profitable enough to fund the support efforts. Unify is not.

I have made some progress toward a new NetVST solution, working in spare moments here and there, but this remains a hobby at best. My hope is to someday release it as a free, open-source project, so other programmers might be able to carry it forward, but even this will take up time I don't have.


   
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