As several people have asked me how I set my Logic and VE Pro system up I decided to write a basic guide which I hope will be of use to people here, who are looking to expand their music making capabilities.
I will be writing and posting this up in several parts over the next few days so feel free to comment/ask questions etc as i do so and I'll update the various parts as i go along...Disclaimer
: I am not the greatest 'techie' person in the world! This guide outlines how I configure and use VE Pro. There may well be better/different ways to configure/use VE Pro with Logic. I may make mistakes in this text! If I do so and you notice them, please PM me with the errors of my ways and I'll correct them a.s.a.p. If you know of better/different/additional ways of configuring/using VE Pro then please post these in the thread as additional info. If I get it wrong then I apologize and I will correct my mistakes a.s.a.p but I will not and cannot, be held responsible for any harm/damage/confusion/loud laughter I might inadvertently cause by such mistakes. You follow and utilize this guide at your own risk. Thank you!!Part 1 - Basic Setup
First off... the hardware I will be using in this guide.
A 2011 iMac 3.4Ghz i7 (Known hereafter as the Master
A 2011 Mac Mini Server (Known hereafter as the Slave
A Motu Ultralite (Any reliable Audio/Midi interface will do)
A 2011 Airport Extreme. Any decent Gigabit router (or Gigabit switch if you don't need outside connectivity) will do
Ethernet cables to connect up the system
One Steinberg Elicenser USB Key (Tip: A Steinberg key costs roughly half the price online, of an official Vienna License Key and is identical in both capabilities and use!)
A Midi keyboard or controller (In my case a Roland A90 EX)
A Glyph FW800 2TB External Hard Drive (For storing samples and Instruments)
Next, the software....
Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 (known hereafter as VE Pro) - Cost: Roughly $280 including 3 activation codes.
Logic Pro 9.1.6 running in 64bit mode (You can use Logic in 32bit mode if you wish and older versions of Logic 9 (and 8 as far as i know) work just as well with VE Pro 5. (Known hereafter as Logic)
Omnisphere - Latest version (Known hereafter as Omni)
Assorted other 3rd party Instruments and FX plugins. (32bit and 64bit are usable)
--------------------------------Brief Explanation of VE Pro
VE Pro allows you to connect other computers, known as slave computers... to your main or Master computer by means of a Gigabit network. VE Pro does not work with WiFi or the older/slower 100/10 networks.
VE Pro 5 allows you to use any Intel Mac or PC as a slave computer.
VE Pro is like a souped up version of Apples Logic Node. You run your DAW, in this case Logic, on the Master computer and you use the VE Pro Server to host AU/VST plugins on your Mac Slave or Windows VSTs on your PC Slave. You then use VE Pro's AU Plugin in Logic to access the Instruments/FX plugins hosted on your slave computer without any noticeable latency.
By doing this you are effectively capable of running far more instances of Instruments and FX Plugins on your Master computer than you could ever do so without the use of VE Pro.
---------------------------------Basic Setup and Configuration
Assuming you have already installed Logic on your Master computer...
Purchase VE Pro 5 from http://www.viennaensemblepro.com/
Download the Elicenser software from http://www.elicenser.net/en/
Install Elicenser on your Master or Slave computer
Insert your Elicenser USB Key into that computer
Add one of the three Activation Keys you got in an email when you purchased VE Pro, to that USB Key
Eject the key if you did this on your Master computer and insert key into your slave computer
Note: You get three activation codes with a purchase of VE Pro so you could purchase three USB keys and use them with three different slave computers at the same time.. You can even buy more activation codes from Vienna and buy more keys and add more slaves to your setup....expanding your system dramatically! For this example however, I am only going to use one key and one slave computer....
On the slave computer I installed both 32bit and 64bit versions of the VE Pro Server software.. You use the 32bit server to host 32bit instruments/plugins.. and the 64bit server to host 64 bit instruments/plugins.
Note: You can host several instances of VE Pro server on your slave so you can, for example, use both VE Pro 32bit Server and VE Pro 64bit server at the same time to host both your 32 and 64bit plugins on the same slave computer.
On the Slave computer I also then installed the following software;
Omnisphere 64bit Au Plugin
Kontakt 5 64bit AU Plugin
Korg's Digital Workstation 32bit AU Plugin (Emulations of the M1,Wavestation etc..)
Note: Install whatever plugins/instruments you wish to use via VE Pro on your Slave computer bearing in mind you can also install and use these and other plugins/instruments as normal on your Master computer in Logic.
On my Master computer I installed the VE Pro AU Plugin. If you intend to run Logic in 64bit mode then install the 64bit version of the VE Pro Plugin. If you plan on running Logic in 32bit mode then install the 32bit version of VE Pro Au Plugin.
Note: The VE Pro 64bit AU Plugin can connect to both the VE Pro 32bit Server and the VE Pro 64bit Server on your host effectively removing the need to run the somewhat unstable Logic 32-64bit bridge!!
Connect the Master and the slave computer via ethernet cables to the Router or Gigabit switch. Again, note.. you must use Gigabit network... so a 100/10 switch will not work. You need a 1000/100/10 switch.
Also note that you must not have any 100/10 devices connected to the same network otherwise you lower the speed of the network down to 100/10 speed and VE Pro will not work correctly.
I configured my Airport Extreme to use it's DHCP Server to allocate IP addresses to the Master and Slave computers. You can, if you wish, use fixed IPs instead.
Note: It is better to turn off WiFi on the Master and Slave computers if possible. If you are planning on using an external controller such as an iPad over WiFi to control Logic.. then turn on WiFi on the Master computer and make a ad-hoc network just for the iPad and your Master computer. Doing it this way resolves and/or prevents a lot of issues people have had with multiple IPs for the same computer.. being present on a network.
Part 2 - Basic usage with Logic
Okay, so now we have our VE Pro installed it's time to go through a very straight forward basic use within Logic
1) On the slave computer run VE Pro Server 32bit (or 64bit if you only have 64bit Instrument plugins installed on your Slave computer)
Important note : Make sure you run Vienna Ensemble Pro SERVER and not Vienna Ensemble Pro. They are two different programs with two different uses
2) Make sure that WiFi is turned off on both Master and slave for the time being. Once you have everything up and running and tested you can try turning WiFi back on and see if it affects your system.
3) When you open the 32bit version of VE Pro SERVER on your Slave you should be asked to give the server a name.. Use TEST or something similar for testing purposes.
4) The main VE Pro SERVER interface should then open.
5) Click on the "Add Instrument' button in the bottom left hand corner of the Interface and add any 32bit AU instrument
6) Now switch over to your Master computer with Logic running in 64bit mode. (Or 32bit mode if you cannot or do not wish to use Logic in 64bit mode)
7) Create an Instrument Track in Logic
8 ) Add the VE Pro 64bit AU Instrument (or 32bit AU if running Logic in 32bit Mode)
Note: You can run the server on the Slave in 32bit mode but the AU plugin on the Master in 64bit mode eliminating the need for the 32-64bit bridge in 64bit Logic!
9) When the AU Plugin opens it will show a list of the SERVERS available to you
10) Select whatever you named the instance of the SERVER on your Slave computer earlier..
11) Make sure the track with the VE Pro AU Plugin is armed for record as normal in Logic
12) Play notes on your Midi controller or keyboard and you should hear your Instrument on your Slave computer playing back to you.
You have now created a basic setup for use with Logic. Try recording something.. and play it back to confirm smooth playback without latency.
Part 3 will provide a more complicated use of VE Pro via FX Racks and Multiple Instruments / Multiple instances of VE Pro Server on the same Slave.UPDATE: Nov 2012
Due to a sudden and unexpected increase in my current workload early in 2012 I have been unable to proceed with my use of VEP at this time and therefore I have been unable to write the next part of this tutorial/guide. As Winter rolls around this year, i may find my workload reduces substantially which will allow me to spend much more time with my VEP setup, at which point I will then be able to continue on with this Guide as originally planned. My apologies for this long wait....