VST System Link

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Doublehelix, Jul 31, 2002.

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  1. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Has anyone here been able to get Steinberg's VST System Link to work? On the Cubase Forum there are a few people there that were successful, and a few others that were not (surprise there, eh?).

    I have a couple of questions for the group:

    1) I hear that the *total* system latency is equal to the latency of *each* individual computer added together. This makes sense I guess, but is disappointing. Has anyone else heard this??? I was hoping that the total system latency would be equal to the largest individual latency in the chain, and not the sum of each. Let's say that each computer in your system had a latency of 7 ms, and that you had 3 computers linked together...that would equate to a total system latency of 21 ms...ouch! But what if you had 3 computers that each had 18 second latencies? Now your system latency is up to 54 ms...double ouch!

    2) I use an Echo Layla/24 as my main audio input. I have the Presonus Digimax 8-channel preamp ADAT lightpiped into the Layla (giving me a total of 16 simultaneous inputs). In order to use System Link, you need to have a free digital i/o available, so I guess I need to add to my system. I saw that Event has released a new card (the EZ8) that adds an 8-channel ADAT lightpipe for about US$150 street price (They designed it to go with the Event EZbus control surface). I am also considering the Echo Mia which has a S/PDIF i/o for about US$200 street price. Here are some issues/questions:

    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">a) I will need 2 of these (one for each computer)
      b) Echo states that multiple instances of their cards work well together in the same system, so I can pretty much guarantee that the Mia will work just fine with the Layla, *plus* I will gain 2 more analog i/o's at the same time.
      c) Will there be any speed advantages with ADAT vs. S/PDIF?
      d) Does anone have any latency specs for the Event card vs. the Echo card (I will check their web sites). Both have ASIO drivers.
      e) Does anyone have any experience with Event as a company? I have a pair of the bi-amped 20/20 bas monitors, which I love, but have not really had to deal directly with Event. I hear there are some pretty good reviews on their EZbus controller.
      f) Does anyone have any other suggestions for a good (and inexpensive) basic digital i/o card that would work as the System Link connection?
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Thanks! This is a very promising technology that will certainly add to the power of computer-based DAWs, and will help us all to retain some usefulness out of our older ANUS computers!
    I also understand from the Cubase Forum that Steinberg is already working on an update to the S/Link that currently exists in Cubase SX/Nuendo...I am guessing that within the next couple of months this technology will be worth looking into...
  2. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest

    My understanding is that the latency is added as well. I have wondered, though, why you couldn't just link two computers together using midi and sync them that way. I understand that it might not be sample accurate, but for sequencing midi on one machine and recording audio on the other wouldn't this work? I think that system link is a cool concept, but to buy digital I/O, not just for the link, but to be able to route tracks from one machine to effects on another, mixdown, etc. seems to be a bit unwieldy.
    Maybe the concept is not crystal clear to me. Wouldn't be the first time...
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    If you want crystal clear answers why not get yourself a Magic 8 Ball? lmao!
    The idea is that it is sample accurate with no drifting. Midi is known to drift as it is not the most stable sync method to use.
    Since the bits from a digital signal clock are more stable it is better to do so...
    I can get a clear definition from my engineer here at Apogee as he is a guru when it comes to this $*^t! Sometimes he speaks in a technical jibberish that I need to stare at him for a few seconds like a deer in headlights syndrome and think about what he said to fully comprehend it!!
  4. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Yo Brock...

    I am not so concerned about "sequencing midi on one computer, and recording audio on another" as I am about running VSTi's on a separate computer, and some plug-ins...just to reduce the load on the main host computer. It is really a pain for me...

    I am not as rich or favor-laden as Opus, so I've got to buy my own equipment and software!!! ;) Nobody gives me the cool stuff for free!!!

    I am using the UAD-1 card, and it is a *huge* help, but just running *one* mono instance of their guitar amp sim (Nigel) takes over 40% of the card's resources! They are working on having the ability to run more than one card at a time in the same system, but I am also a fan of most of the Waves stuff, and they are really CPU hungry. I have just recently started getting into the VSTi world, and it is pretty cool, but also pretty CPU intensive...

    So in theory, I am looking for some help to reduce the need to keep building newer and faster computers...

    btw Brock...are you familiar with a local band out of Devine, TX (close to San Antonio) called "Mother Neff"??? Buddy of mine from school...many years ago...
  5. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest

    Yeah, I've heard of those guys. I haven't checked them out but have heard good things...
    Keep me posted on the ins and outs of system link...
  6. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    As far as the SLink stuff goes, I am getting a bit leary, and starting to think that I should wait a few months before taking the plunge. After reading about some of the problems that folks are having on the Cubase forum, I don't want to get into that mess. Also, since Steinberg is already talking about a major update/revision to the way SLink works...it is probably smart to be a bit patient. I am fairly anxious however...

    Now on to Mother Neff:

    The 2 main songwriters from Mother Neff (my buddy and the lead vocalist) took a road trip up my way about a month ago, and we recorded 6 new songs in my studio for a new project of theirs that doesn't really fit in with the Mother Neff image. They also have a new album coming out as Mother Neff, but this new stuff doesn't really fit with the Mother Neff image/sound.

    They supplied the song shell, plus the lead vocal line and the rhythm guitar, and I am doing everything else (drums, bass, keyboards, lead guitar, engineering, producing, etc...).

    This new stuff that we did is kinda fun, but is a bit off-color and "riske" for them (i.e. one song is called "Nasty Women"...you get the idea!).

    They are a pretty good band, some of their stuff is kinda corny, but that is part of their image, I guess, and part of the Mother Neff heritage!



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