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VEP and Cubase Rack(s)
Last post Sat, Feb 08 2020 by Stig Christensen, 2 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Jan 31 2020 04:40
by ryansorensen12
Joined on Thu, Jul 27 2017, Posts 2

Hey everyone!

Thanks in advance for any help! I guess this is more directed to people with lots of VEP + Cubase experience.

Question put (somewhat) simply:

Is there a significant CPU efficiency advantage between either running a big VEP template with multiple smaller instances through multiple Cubase VST Racks with less MIDI ports and outputs OR a singular VST Rack in Cubase with lots of MIDI ports and outputs sending to one maxed out instance of VEP (so like, 16 Kontakt Plugins x 16 outputs on each)?

Longer version: I've been using VEP for about 18 months on Pro Tools, with the latter approach. I've attached a screenshot of my current VEP template. In Pro Tools I would house one VEP Instance on an Instrument Track then each VEP output on a stereo AUX Track, accompanied by 16 MIDI Tracks which would be routed to the corresponding port and the 16 MIDI channels in each Kontakt multi loaded onto each VEP channel. I run VEP on a slave computer over Ethernet. This has worked super smoothly for 18 months. No crashes, no sample rate drop outs. I've done really big projects with no issues.

I'm learning Cubase for the prospects of doing more assisting work, and understand that VST Rack is the equivalent substitute in my scenario for the Instrument Track housing the VEP Instance. This is was all fine, and my template from PT was being replicated in Cubase smoothly until I hit about 5 ports of 16 MIDI tracks each on the one VST Rack. Suddenly, any action I did on Cubase prompted the rainbow beachball until my computer just crashed and switched off. This happened whenever I tried to reopen the Cubase project. I eventually got in, changed the buffer size to max, the VEP buffer to max, but to no avail. My computer just kept crashing.

I've heard about how well Cubase handles and processes MIDI so I must be doing something wrong. My computers are pretty powerful, and this setup was running super smooth on Pro Tools (Natively too!!!). Is this single VST Rack approach just not viable? And throttling my CPU?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm sure its something small!

Thanks again


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________Project Computer: iMac Pro 2018, 10.13.5, 8-Core 3.2Ghz Intel Xeon W, 32GB RAM, 1000GB SSD. Slave Computer: Mac Pro 2012, 10.12.5, 2x 3.06GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon, 64GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 512GB SSD, 2TB HDD, 2TB HDD. Interface: Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt. Software: Pro Tools Native, Cubase, Vienna Ensemble Pro Server (64-bit) 6.0.17011, Kontakt 6.0.3. 

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Posted on Sat, Feb 08 2020 14:26
by Stig Christensen
Joined on Fri, Mar 18 2005, Denmark, Posts 136

I have been using Cubase and VEPro for about 4 years.

I think the standard advice is to have a minimum of instances in the server. This means a lot of work to build every instance in a meaningful way. BUT it is my experience that I have more crackles and pops if I use this method than if I use many instances!

Let me give you an example:

I have just recorded Air by Bach with VSL Synchron Strings, using my standard template: 5 midi tracks feeding a rack instrument (Cubase) and 1 instance on my new Slave PC containing all the channels and presets. The audio output in this set-up is routed to ONE bus only, so Cubase receives a stereo pair! This set-up uses around 5% CPU on the slave 

Then I tried the much simpler approach, 5 track instruments each with VSL server vst2 and feeding 5 instances on the slave, with 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, celli and basses. Now audio returns in 5 stereo pairs, each track is a unit - midi and audio on same track, and the server reports 5% CPU use. AND NO crackles!

The file size in Cubase went up from 1,6 mgb to 2,1. Latency is 128 I use Apollo on Thunderbolt 2.

To me the last set-up has a lot of advantages: It's much simpler in Cubase, using disabled tracks is really a time saver, if it doesn't forget the routing ;-) And the mixer in Cubase is much easier to navigate.

Until now many members on VI blog praise this approach, when using Logic, because of the new feature where Logic only loads the sounds, that are present in a project, but this has been possible for a long time in Cubase although you have to do it yourself.

The only thing that I imagine that I will miss in this "one instrument - one instance" approach is the possibillity to route all say Room Mix output to one audio bus in VEPro, but it can be done although resulting in 5 more stereo returns form VEPro to Cubase.

Lastly my advice to you will be to ask your question on the VI- blog. Many experts there, many of them also here I know.

Regards Stig

Musicmind (Mind the Music!)
Mac Pro 6.1 64Gb, PC Slave 64gb, Mac Pro 12 48Gb, MacBookPro, Apollo interface, Universal Audio, Waves 9, NI Komplete 9, VSL, BFD3, Superior, Arturia, Sound Toys, Euphonix MC Mix, Neumann mics, DynAudio, Yamaha + Adam monitors AND Steinway Concert Grand A ;-)
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