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Topic: live playing

  1. #1

    live playing

    does anybody use computers to play live??

    if so, which vst's do you use??? which host??

    i want to play live but i have found that cubase sx 2 is not stable enough so i'll have to look for something else... any suggestions??? (1.0 ghz notebook)

  2. #2

    Re: live playing

    I deliberately DON'T use a sequencer like Cubase. I use Sonar in the studio, but experience and research tell me that the single greatest cause of instability in an audio computer is plugin architecture. When you're looking for absolute stability, I think you need as few "levels" of software as possible - just windows, and one application at a time in direct communication with the hardware.

    I built my live system using Gigastudio 2.4 (no desire to court disaster with 3.0 for live use, thanks very much) and originally the NI B4 and Pro-53 just running standalone. The problem with that is that the ASIO drivers of my soundcard (Esi Waveterminal 192L) don't let the B4 and Pro-53 both access it. So I've just loaded the cheap, basic host "Chainer" to host these as VSTIs, and I'll probably add a few more. My thinking is if you gotta have a host, have the most basic one possible. You're not actually going to use the vast array of features in Cubase, Sonar or Logic when you're playing live, so why have them all there adding to potential instability?

    I can honestly say that, apart from the very beginning when I had a problem with a MOTU MIDI interface that I ended up swapping out, I have never had a SINGLE problem with this system. Solid as a rock.

    When I made it, I budgeted for building another, complete, backup system for important gigs, for total redundancy. Maybe using slightly different hardware and software. I'll probably still do that, though it doesn't look like I'll ever need it. For that I hope to use a Soundscape mixtreme card, which is what I have in my studio PCs. This has great, true multiclient drivers that let any number of apps access any number of soundcard ports, so I hope to just have everything standalone.

  3. #3

    Re: live playing

    I've played live with GS3 at a couple of informal jam sessions. The first time was more successful. I set up a limited number of sounds and set my controller to access them with no patch changes. I used various keyboard splits and used the faders on the controller as mixers.

    The second time I pre-recorded some background instruments and used Sonar to play the tracks. In some cases I had rendered the tracks to audio. In other cases it played GS3 stuff. This was more complicated and added setup time between songs.

    The next time I will render all of the tracks to audio, but will keep many of the tracks separate, so we can tweak the mix. The main thing to keep independent is the drums. It's critical to get those levels right, so they cut through the guitar amps. If the players can't hear all of the drums in the kit, all is lost. I may try Vegas for this next time.

    Another reason to deal with audio tracks is that you can normalize them. That way when somebody says "I can't hear the hi hat", you can turn it up. When playing through Giga, I would sometimes have everything cranked, and still not have enough gain. Then I'd have to turn up the system and turn everything else down. Not good!

    Anyway, with Vegas playing the audio, and my controller driving GS3 without patch changes, I should have the best of all worlds. The next thing on my wish list would be a visual metronome to help people keep time when they can't hear the drum track well. My buds aren't used to playing with click tracks.


  4. #4

    Re: live playing


    all of my playing is in real time..no audience except for the four walls in my recording suite. Lots of takes and retakes..huge hard drives to accomodate those needs.

    Alan Russell
    Please Visit My New & Revised Official Website Below


  5. #5

    Re: live playing


    You've blown my image of you. You mean that you occasionally need to do more than one take?

    When I'm jamming with my friends we do everything in one take, but we tend not to record it. Sometimes we play the song over again, if we like the way it sounds. And we never make any mistakes. Usually, we intend to play it a bit wrong.


  6. #6

    Re: live playing


    sometimes I get lucky with one take and not look back....Do me a favor and give a listen to that solo piano demo I dd for Kip. That was in two takes..
    It might be on page 2..

    Alan Russell
    Please Visit My New & Revised Official Website Below


  7. #7

    Re: live playing

    Image restored. Two takes? Geez!


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