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What's a good PC DAW that allows instruments to be layered for live play?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion

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elcabong48
KVRist
 
49 posts since 5 Mar, 2010, from San Diego

Postby elcabong48; Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:20 am What's a good PC DAW that allows instruments to be layered for live play?

I would just like to be able to layer VST instruments in my DAW and play the set in real time. I am surprised that this is so difficult, I would think everyone would want to do this.

The DAWs that I already have are Cantabile, Sonar 8, and ProTools 8. Maybe one of these does it, but i haven't been able to figure out how to get them to do it.

I know that Apple just came out with a really cool tool that is designed specifically to do this on the MAC.

Anything for the PC?
Karmacomposer
KVRAF
 
6042 posts since 7 Nov, 2005, from Florida

Postby Karmacomposer; Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:38 am

elcabong48 wrote:I would just like to be able to layer VST instruments in my DAW and play the set in real time. I am surprised that this is so difficult, I would think everyone would want to do this.

The DAWs that I already have are Cantabile, Sonar 8, and ProTools 8. Maybe one of these does it, but i haven't been able to figure out how to get them to do it.

I know that Apple just came out with a really cool tool that is designed specifically to do this on the MAC.

Anything for the PC?


Cantible is not a DAW. Not sure about ProTools, but the other two can do what you are looking for.

Just load each VSTi into a layer/track and make sure the monitor/enable is on for each one so you can hear them. Set their MIDI channels to either 1 or all and make sure their outputs go to the same audio device.

In both cases, adjust volumes as needed.

Cantible is especially good at this.

Make sure your computer or laptop is especially robust for this (plenty of HD and memory) and you have a high quality ASIO hardware sound device that can handle what you throw at it.

Obviously, if you try to layer Stylus RMX, Omnisphere, EWQLSO, EWQLSC, Zebra, Ace, and a bunch of other synths all at once, you are just not going to be able to do it - too much headroom and memory needed for all of those. Pick and choose your instruments wisely, especially for live use.

That should be it.

Mike
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EvilDragon
KVRAF
 
10012 posts since 6 Jan, 2009, from Croatia

Postby EvilDragon; Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:41 am

Reaper + the latest SWS extensions with Live mode are awesome for this and really CPU efficient.

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php?p= ... stcount=28
Breeze
KVRAF
 
1657 posts since 13 Oct, 2002

Postby Breeze; Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:35 am

Another candidate is Brainspawn's Forte. Like Cantabile, it was designed from the ground up for live performance. All three have trial versions and I suggest you try them all out to see which works best for you.

I wasn't aware of the Live SWS extensions for Reaper and I'm going to take a serious look at that. In my experience, while Reaper may lag as a DAW in some departments, it's tops in stability and audio engine efficiency especially in multi-core environments. For example, I can play Diva's highly demanding patches live in Divine mode at a 64 buffer size with Reaper, but I can't do that with Cantabile on the same system without some serious crackling.
joeinternet327
KVRist
 
69 posts since 8 Aug, 2012

Postby joeinternet327; Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:25 am

Take a look at Plogue Bidule or Mutools Mux. Both are modular environments that you can use to build complex, layered patches.

You can also try MuLab Free, which is built upon Mux.

It has a 4 track limit, but that shouldn't mean much for live performance.

You can build Mux patches and load them as effects in the track racks, and turn them on/off as needed.
All DAWs sound alike... except when they don't.
Karmacomposer
KVRAF
 
6042 posts since 7 Nov, 2005, from Florida

Postby Karmacomposer; Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:01 pm

Breeze wrote:Another candidate is Brainspawn's Forte. Like Cantabile, it was designed from the ground up for live performance. All three have trial versions and I suggest you try them all out to see which works best for you.

I wasn't aware of the Live SWS extensions for Reaper and I'm going to take a serious look at that. In my experience, while Reaper may lag as a DAW in some departments, it's tops in stability and audio engine efficiency especially in multi-core environments. For example, I can play Diva's highly demanding patches live in Divine mode at a 64 buffer size with Reaper, but I can't do that with Cantabile on the same system without some serious crackling.


Weird you say that. I have nothing but crashing problems with Reaper while ALL my other DAWs and hosts are essentially rock-solid stable. It's so bad, I simply don't care to use it. Reaper crashes every 5 minutes on me. I'm running a high-end 8 core laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, 8gb ram and a presonus audiobox usb asio interface. All I use are virtual instruments. It almost does not matter which ones I load in. Reaper crashes on me with all of them. It does not matter if I use Reaper 32 bit or Reaper 64 bit. I get equal crashing from both. This is true for expensive, low cost or free virtual instruments. Alchemy, Omnisphere, EWQLSO, Wusik (PRIZM), Texture, Motion, any of my SE synths by myself, HG Fortune, etc and a whole lot more. It does not really seem to matter how expensive high end or low end the synths are - Reaper, on my systems - hates them all.

Mike
Breeze
KVRAF
 
1657 posts since 13 Oct, 2002

Postby Breeze; Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:09 pm

Karmacomposer wrote:Weird you say that. I have nothing but crashing problems with Reaper while ALL my other DAWs and hosts are essentially rock-solid stable.

Right back at ya! That is weird. Maybe I haven't worked enough with Reaper for it to be a problem; it's never crashed on me. I mainly use Cubendo for my work, and Reaper to try out stuff and experiment. I just noticed that among all my hosts, it seems to use less CPU overall and to handle multi-cores better.

Question for the OP: what Apple tool are you referring to? Mainstage 1 & 2 have been out for quite a while. Is something else new?
User avatar
robojam
KVRAF
 
20784 posts since 26 Jul, 2005, from Inside Schroedinger's Cat...or am I...

Postby robojam; Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:19 pm

Live can do that.
skipkent
KVRian
 
1112 posts since 21 Jul, 2004

Postby skipkent; Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:25 pm

Take a peek at Tracktion 4 when that comes out (tomorrow?). You can layer instruments and/or effects in a 'rack' to your hearts content and play live, record, whatever.
Music is something you DO. Spend time, not money.
http://www.myspace.com/skipkent
http://soundcloud.com/skipkent
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saintjohnbaxter
KVRian
 
504 posts since 23 Nov, 2006

Postby saintjohnbaxter; Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:57 pm

FL Studio…

1. has its Layer insert with splits etc.

2. or Patcher which is much, much more advanced than Layer

3. or 1 Midi Out insert with all the receiving VSTs set to the same port and midi channel
elcabong48
KVRist
 
49 posts since 5 Mar, 2010, from San Diego

Postby elcabong48; Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:54 am

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll give those a try.

I had trouble getting this to work in Cantabile, but probably something I was doing wrong.
User avatar
EvilDragon
KVRAF
 
10012 posts since 6 Jan, 2009, from Croatia

Postby EvilDragon; Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:59 am

Karmacomposer wrote:Weird you say that. I have nothing but crashing problems with Reaper while ALL my other DAWs and hosts are essentially rock-solid stable. It's so bad, I simply don't care to use it. Reaper crashes every 5 minutes on me. I'm running a high-end 8 core laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, 8gb ram and a presonus audiobox usb asio interface. All I use are virtual instruments. It almost does not matter which ones I load in. Reaper crashes on me with all of them. It does not matter if I use Reaper 32 bit or Reaper 64 bit. I get equal crashing from both. This is true for expensive, low cost or free virtual instruments. Alchemy, Omnisphere, EWQLSO, Wusik (PRIZM), Texture, Motion, any of my SE synths by myself, HG Fortune, etc and a whole lot more. It does not really seem to matter how expensive high end or low end the synths are - Reaper, on my systems - hates them all.

Mike



Well that is peculiar. I would point to audio drivers, most likely, perhaps they're doing something Reaper doesn't like... I don't have Omni nor Wusik, but SE synths, Alchemy, all u-he stuff, Waldorf, HGF, SE synths... everything works without any problems or crashes. And SWS live extension is AWESOME for live performance, especially because it has preload features, which can conserve your RAM and CPU (it will offline the tracks that are not in use, and preload only the track that is next in line to be played, then when you select it, it will offline the old track, etc. - works like a charm!)
Crackbaby
KVRAF
 
2856 posts since 10 Sep, 2003, from Karlskoga, Stockholm, Sweden

Postby Crackbaby; Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:58 am

Mulab and/or Mux can do that :) With mux you can do it with any daw .. check it out! http://www.mutools.com/mux-product.html
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egbert
KVRAF
 
3516 posts since 20 Oct, 2001, from my bolthole in the south pacific

Postby egbert; Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:32 am

The Reaper crashfest you describe sounds like a hardware/driver issue. Is your laptop possibly overheating running too many plugs at the same time? Are their stability issues with your sound hardware drivers? Try another host (in demo mode if necessary) to see if the same shit happens on a different day.
Melodyshine
KVRist
 
220 posts since 26 Aug, 2010

Postby Melodyshine; Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:38 am

Every DAW is able to do that.
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