Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL)

Having introduced the free mixing and host software Vienna Ensemble 2 in November 2007, the Vienna Symphonic Library team has released the follow-up, Vienna Ensemble 3, which VSL claims is the first MIDI and audio LAN solution that enables users to set up a cross-platform network of Macs and PCs using a simple Ethernet cable, without any additional audio hardware.

Registered users of Vienna Instruments can download the free demo license to test drive Vienna Ensemble 3 on their computers for 30 days. A video tutorial on Vienna's website demonstrates how easy it is to set up the system. The full version is available as a download at the company's website for €95.

Developed for and to be used exclusively with Vienna Instruments, Vienna Ensemble 3 aims to make conducting a full-blown orchestra over a network a breeze. While using a sequencer or notation software on the master computer, Vienna Ensemble 3 can host numerous Vienna Instruments plug-ins on any number of slave machines and route all of those audio streams back to the main machine via an Ethernet cable. Assigning the Vienna Instruments plug-ins to slave machines preserves the master computer's CPU resources – all computing (including GUI rendering) and hard disk streaming is done on the slave machine(s).

Vienna Ensemble 3 has all of the features of its free predecessor Vienna Ensemble 2, including Power Panning. This CPU-friendly feature can be used to position the instruments in the user's personal orchestral templates. The software also includes a stand-alone mode, which permits running Vienna Ensemble 3 and the sequencer or notation software on the very same computer (DAW).

Features:

  • Custom-made for hosting Vienna Instruments.
  • Stand-alone application, ideal for running Vienna Instruments on external Macs and PCs (interchangeably): 8 ports with 16 MIDI channels each.
  • Plug-in formats RTAS (Mac PPC & Intel), AU (Mac PPC & Intel) and VST (PC and Mac PPC & Intel) for use with a host sequencer: 16 MIDI channels per instance.
  • No audio interfaces, no MIDI interfaces on additional computers (slaves) – all that's required is Ethernet with a Gigabit connection.
  • No third party software to send audio and MIDI data between computers.
  • As many Vienna Ensemble 3 instances as needed can be launched on the slave computer (depending on the slave's RAM), each with 16 MIDI tracks to instantiate Vienna Instruments plug-ins.
  • Up to 16 stereo tracks per Vienna Ensemble 3 instance can be routed back to the master computer.
  • Instant instrument switching gives immediate access to all instruments within the Vienna Ensemble user interface. A click on the desired instrument channel brings up its user interface instantly – no more redundant screen clutter.
  • Instrument naming – all Vienna Instruments instances inside Vienna Ensemble 3 can be labeled for a complete, at-a-glance overview.
  • Total recall – orchestra setups can be saved with one click.
  • Definable play ranges for multi-instrument set-ups for studio and live use.
  • Inserts for AU (Mac) and VST (PC) effect plug-ins.
  • Panning and Power Panning for precise positioning.
  • Flexible routing with freely assignable busses.
  • Separated server solution that utilizes additional free memory, leaving host sequencer memory or memory used by additional Vienna Instruments plug-ins unaddressed.
  • PC version: Windows XP and Vista (both 32 and 64-bit).
  • Mac version: 32-bit for Mac PPC and Intel, 64-bit version under development.
  • Tested with Cubase, Digital Performer, Logic, Pro Tools, Sibelius, and Sonar.
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