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[TUTORIAL] Multi-Computer Setup (like VEP)

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Hi guys, I just posed this as a lengthy reply to another thread, and was so proud of myself I thought I would make this its own post.


THIS IS FOR; Anyone who wants to load instruments on another computer, and stream them to their host sequencer.


I recently took a class here at Berklee (film scoring) called "advanced synth apps" and it basically turned out to be a course in creating various networked setups using VEP.


While VEP is CLEARLY the most elegant and professional solution... those with a taste for devious computer hacker-dom might be interested in a FREE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION.


So how does VEP work?


1. You have a master computer, running your DAW.

2. You send MIDI data over LAN (through the VEP plugin) to the slave.

3. VEP Server is running on the slave, which is just like a virtual "rack" where you can load up all your instruments. VEP Server sees the MIDI data, and sends AUDIO back over the LAN, to your DAW.


The advantage here is obviously performance. It's also amazing if you are doing film scoring and working on multiple cues; finish one cue, quit logic and open your next cue, only to find your 16GB of instruments still loaded and you don't have to wait! If you are running this from a low power MMS, you can just leave it running all the time!




1. You need a master computer with a DAW still (obviously.

2. Mac actually has had NATIVE networked midi forever. Network Midi. On your mac, open up Audio/MIDI Setup, and double click NETWORK. This will be what you connect to on your other machine. You need to CREATE a session on your host, and JOIN the session on your slave.




here (in DP) we can see that the Network MIDI is being picked up.




3. I dont know if you've noticed, but Mainstage is now $29 on the Mac App Store. Mainstage can substitute for VEP basically. Its a virtual "rack" you can load your instruments in on the slave machine. Open up Mainstage on the slave and load your instruments. You need to set each channels' input to be from one of the Network MIDI channels. (you can make as many busses as you need with 16 channels each)


4. Now that we can trigger the instruments with MIDI from the master machine, we need to get the audio BACK into our DAW. This will be accomplished with an opensource VST/AU plugin called Wormhole. So in Mainstage on the slave, create different outputs for whatever track/instrument you want, and load Wormhole AS AN INSERT on that. Back in your host DAW, load another instance of Wormhole on the audio track YOU WANT TO PRINT AUDIO TO. You will be able to monitor real-time with zero latency.




Save your Mainstage session as a TEMPLATE with everything setup, and also save your host DAW session as a template, and BAM you are done! If own Logic you already own Mainstage so this was done for zero dollars. And it is 100% reliable. It took me about an hour to setup, and I'm honestly kind of slow. Hope this was interesting! [shameless plug] be sure to check out my blog for more of this shtuff!

Edited by mooquu
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2. Mac actually has had NATIVE networked midi forever. This is called the IAC Driver. On your mac, open up Audio/MIDI Setup, and enable this IAC Driver. This will be what you connect to on your other machine.

There is no ethernet connectivity with the IAC driver. That's for interapplication on the same computer. You need to use the Network MIDI for MIDI comms between Macs.

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Nice work but......


There are at least three 'problems' with this method.. (and more once you get 'into' it..)


1) There is no *automatic* built in latency compensation... though you can compensate manually but the end results tend to be 'less than optimal' and usually unstable.. even though you can get good results at times but other network activity can be an issue..


2) You are adding a Host's load (which tends to be much more that VE Pro's Server) to the overall load placed on the slave computer.. reducing performance by the slave...


3) You cannot run multiple instances of the host on the slave.... whereas you can with VE Pro...


I've seen this work.. but it very much a 'poor man's alternative' to VE Pro... with the pitfalls of such...


Never the less.. thanks for taking the time to post up and share this here.. It may well be useful for some people..




(Sorry if this sounds like a very negative response to your post... That is not intentional... I'm just pointing out the 'flaws' in using such a system.. but again, the effort you made to post this up and detail how to do it.. is much appreciated!)

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I didn't adjust latency at all, and running a full LASS template in Mainstage I have an imperceptible amount of latency, so not sure how that works...


I dont really see how you are adding the load of the host on the slave here, VEP cant run a convolution reverb any more efficiently than Mainstage


multiple instances... OF THE HOST... ON the SLAVE? ~lost in translation~


I've mentioned that VEP is ideal, its the most professional and elegant solution, but if your demands are small and you are on a budget its a pretty cool solution. Also you could sub out the Network MIDI for the IAC Driver on a local machine as a means of using Mainstage's 19gb of instruments as a plugin in hosts other than Logic which is pretty cool.

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Absolutely agree mooquu...


..and for running one or maybe two instances (ie.. One or two instance of LASS) it should work just fine..


It's when you want to run multiple instances of plugins (both 32 and 64bit) like several different Kontakt sample sets and a few Omnisphere voices and Predator and EWQL Orchestra all at the same time.. That's when you run into issues with this solution and latency..


As a simple and cheap one or two plugins at a time solution, this does work.. and that's why I think it's a useful post you made...


VE Pro puts very little load on the CPU of the host (slave) computer.. whereas running MS as the host, puts much greater demands on the host (slave) computer.. so it's not, as you gave in your example.. the convolution reverb itself.. That load remains a constant.. but add MS's own CPU requirements and those are much higher than VE Pro's requirements.. hence the overall higher demands made on your system.


It's not really an issue unless you want to run multiple plugins at the same time and then you run into issues.. though your solution is not really designed to this of course.


Again, thanks for your time and effort to share this...

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  • 8 months later...

mooquu, thanks for the great info. I studied film scoring at Berklee ('02); if I'd had another $30g I'd have studied music synth and (for another $30g) MP&E. Alas.... I didn't, so I have a question or two about this setup.


I got midi working over my network using audiomidi; I installed WormHole 2.0.6 component file in both my OS10.6 MacMini (slave) and my 10.7 Macbook. The MacMini can see Wormhole as an available AU plugin; the Macbook cannot. I read somewhere that this was an issue with osx 10.7; is this true? If so I guess this solution won't work for me?

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  • 6 years later...
I have yet to get wormhole2 to even show up on the plugin list or any list as a matter of fact. I've followed the instructions & copied the wormhole 2 files to the appropriate folders & nothing shows up in any program, logic, MainStage, etc. I look at one of the files & it's zero info bites of nothing. Where did you guys get wormhole?
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