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Vienna Imperial Setup for Live Use?
Last post Mon, Aug 03 2009 by fanagiga, 3 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Aug 01 2009 17:43
by fanagiga
Joined on Sat, Mar 13 2004, Posts 24

Hey Folks -

I'm trying to make the ideal 'silent practice' setup.  After much research and tryouts, I just traded my old weighted keyboard for a new Kawai EP3, the action (AHA-IV) of which feels just right to my touch (its not quite the AWA action on the MP8, but that thing is the size of a small car).  The sounds, however, well, you know.  VSL has spoiled me.  The trouble with my current setup is that its not really optimized for live use - even a 512 sample buffer makes an unacceptable lag for playing piano.  Any less and - snap, crackle, pop.

I've been thinking of setting up a small, discrete box just for playing Vienna Imperial.  I almost don't want to see it.  I just want to turn it on, and have it load up, like a good slave system.  My idea is:  Mac Mini, 4GB.  New HD (or firewire external) 7200 RPM.  However, I need something really small and fast to run the audio (out), and the midi in. 

Can I get this system down to an acceptable lag for live use?  Will I notice the difference between Bosendorfer Imperial, which I now own, and Vienna Imperial, for LIVE use?  What would your ideal, small, system be for this application?  Any takers?

Thanks very much!


Eric Keisman
Posted on Sun, Aug 02 2009 17:39
by Edward Barnwell
Joined on Fri, Jul 03 2009, Posts 3
Hi Eric,
I've been using the VI live in a gigging environment with my Macbook Pro (early 2008, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM), with excellent results.

I've had no issues using both using the onboard sound and also using my Moto 828mkII (firewire), in both cases streaming the samples off an external 2½-inch 7,200rpm SATA laptop drive mounted in a USB "ICY box" (bus powered). I was anticipating having to replace the drive with a firewire unit, but it works flawlessly.

Also, the convolution reverbs built in to VI are lovely, but really, really processor intensive. So if you put the slider down to -∞ (i.e. off) the processor usage drops right down. If I use VI in either standalone mode or via Mainstage, there's enough welly to drive the convolution reverb, but not so in Logic where I use Logic's Platinum (non-convolution) reverb to avoid glitches.

I've been easily able to get down to a 128 sample buffer -- as you say, anything more than this starts to interfere with playing.

Since the current Mac Minis are of a pretty much equivalent (or greater) specification to my setup, I wouldn't anticipate too many problems.

Hope this is of some help,
Posted on Mon, Aug 03 2009 13:51
by fanagiga
Joined on Sat, Mar 13 2004, Posts 24

Thanks Edward - very helpful...Curious whether Mac or Windows (through boot camp) is the better way to go if optimizing CPU load?  Windows has always felt thinner to me.    Anyone? 

Cheers, Eric

Eric Keisman
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