Someone needs to invent a modelling unit that runs VST plugins

Rocco Crocco

Member
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2,424
How great would that be? A unit that runs either Windows or ios, allows the proper graphical representation (when connected with a computer, but maybe not on the unit itself). You could load whatever you want... Helix Native, Overloud, Waves/Slate/Pluggin Alliance stuff.

Pedal format for live use. Anyone with me?
 
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V|J

Member
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2,863
I would love to have the S-Gear in a hardware format.

But I'm not sure what makes it great in the first place.

I've read that software modeling is better than hardware modeling.
I assume that's because of CPU/DSP limitation and heat dissipation issues.


Typically, people have used tablets to run a DAW+plugins but it's not reliable from what I've read.

Recently, I saw Adam Neely use a laptop to run backing track or effects using a laptop and it worked out great.

 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
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8,060
Didn't someone try this a few years back, and it didn't go well?

The footswitches would still have to be manually mapped to specific parameters for each plugin. So by that point this doesn't seem much different to me than just having a MacBook and a MIDI controller.

What's the selling point over just having a laptop + MIDI?
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
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8,060
Durability and ease of setup.

Hmm... When I was using a laptop rig, I carried the whole rig in a messenger bag, all of it was extremely durable (I played hundreds of shows with it and never had an issue) and setup was as simple as opening up the laptop and plugging the MIDI controller into a USB port.

I mean, I'll give you that a hardware unit designed to withstand the rigors of the road could be more durable, but it's not like laptops are too fragile to handle gigs
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
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7,734
Not VST's...but MOD Devices offers Linux based devices with an open source architecture and run LV2 plugs. I bought their Dwarf off Kickstarter but COVID delayed the initial delivery at the end of last year. Should have mine very soon. Works pretty much exactly as you suggested, it's a USB host device so when you plug it into your PC and navigate to a specific webpage you get the GUI so no installation of an additional editor on another machine.


I think if you really want to run VSTs, there are somewhat affordable ways to build it out one self.
 

Baba

Silver Supporting Member
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7,821
Hmm... When I was using a laptop rig, I carried the whole rig in a messenger bag, all of it was extremely durable (I played hundreds of shows with it and never had an issue) and setup was as simple as opening up the laptop and plugging the MIDI controller into a USB port.

I mean, I'll give you that a hardware unit designed to withstand the rigors of the road could be more durable, but it's not like laptops are too fragile to handle gigs

Right, and I'm pretty sure Lifeson had a couple of notebooks running mainstage for effects, in his last touring rig.

I also saw a Pat Benatar concert on tv like a year or two back, where the drummer was triggering keyboard and backing vocal tracks from a macbook.
 

msquared

Platinum Supporting Member
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1,051
I remember the Muse Receptor being a huge deal in this space for a while. I'm guessing that the laptop is what killed those.
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
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7,734
I remember the Muse Receptor being a huge deal in this space for a while. I'm guessing that the laptop is what killed those.

That's my feel. Laptops and even some tablets now are powerful enough to run plugs at acceptable latency.
 

deathbyguitar

Member
Messages
253
I would love to have the S-Gear in a hardware format.



He's working on it.

From the S-Gear forum:

"Recently I have been dedicating more time to implementing S-Gear amps in DSP, something that I am very excited about. This year I am allocating 50% of my time to new platform development including DSP and iOS, I consider this work very important to the future of the S-Gear project."
 

mikah912

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,958
Durability and ease of setup.

Rackmounted PCs should take care of the former, but we're talking about a pretty, pretty niche area. As for the latter, I don't see anything facilitating that. Even with dedicated hardware, you'd still have to map every VST parameter individually and likely manually to whatever controls there are.
 
Messages
2,583
Doesn't IK Multimedia have something like this? It's a pedalboard platform (like Helix), but it communicates with your phone or ipad... with the software loaded on that. The IK stuff are plug-ins, and so, it's basically like that. However, I doubt you can load others' plug-ins.
 

Elric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,574
It would be less reliable than a laptop rig and foot controller and standardizing the display and controls would be a mess. IMHO. Stuff would be crashing all the time, etc. You'd really need a new standard built from the ground up that takes the possibility of being an embedded application into account.

It's never going to happen so don't wait for it.

Really there is absolutely nothing preventing someone from running a laptop or mac mini or something like that as an amp/preamp today.

There are even some nice foot controllers that are also interfaces (TS Mega, IK's Stomp I/O, X sonic). There are others that are small portable and wireless (Airstep). Etc.

I have an iPad with THU and the TS Mega setup as a mini rig while waiting for the Neural QC to drop. It's pretty great, TBH.

If you want to use multiple plugins look at something capable of standardizing the presets either a VST Host like Mainstage or Gig Performer. DAWs that are 'live friendly' like Ableton would work to potentially.
 

mac jones

Member
Messages
1,295
You need a full computer to run VSTs. No way to have a VST modified MacOS or Windows. This is absurd. You can have Linux do that as of course it’s open source, but who cares?

What you wait for is these guys porting their wares to pedals and iPads, just like Eventide and UAD is doing now. Digital pedals. They are kinda cool also, but it‘s pedals, and $$$
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
10,973
How great would that be? A unit that runs either Windows or ios, allows the proper graphical representation (when connected with a computer, but maybe not on the unit itself). You could load whatever you want... Helix Native, Overloud, Waves/Slate/Pluggin Alliance stuff. Pedal format for live use. Anyone with me?

That's literally any decently powered laptop running a VST host meant for live use like Main Stage or Cantabile 3. Hell, you could probably use a small form factor PC and plonk that on top of an audio interface and still be extremely compact. You could even use a Surface Pro or some other touchscreen tablet PC type thing.

If I were to build something like this, it would be some audio interface, a Mac Mini and a portable touchscreen display. That's probably enough to work at a gig even if it's not particularly rock and roll to have a laptop on stage.

With the amount of DJs using laptops all night long I don't see it as any huge reliability issue either.

It's going to be higher latency than most modelers and you might have trouble if plugins want to check license validity over the internet or something.

Or you can just buy a modeler, get all the features you would need in a package made to work with that setup. I don't see much benefit in cobbling together your own with VST plugins as fun as it is.
 

Digital Larry

Member
Messages
959
The aforementioned MOD Devices units are close. I may still get a MOD Dwarf.

I bought one of these:

To use it, you need to have C++ code for a "headless" VST and then compile it for the ARM CPU on the Raspberry Pi. I've just used the demo programs on it so far. It's not really pedalboard ready though and would be tough to make it so. I'm getting up in years and while the idea of writing my own VSTs is attractive (as available ones often don't really do quite what I want), it does take a certain amount of dedication and persistence so I don't forget what I recently learned.

If you write code in FAUST you can target either LV2 or VST3 as the output (in addition to many other platforms).
 

V|J

Member
Messages
2,863
He's working on it.

From the S-Gear forum:

"Recently I have been dedicating more time to implementing S-Gear amps in DSP, something that I am very excited about. This year I am allocating 50% of my time to new platform development including DSP and iOS, I consider this work very important to the future of the S-Gear project."
Great news!
And makes sense considering how much popular H/W modeling is compared to the S/W plugins.
I hope they market it well; the plugin is under appreciated as compared to others like Neural DSP despite being better, imo.
 

V|J

Member
Messages
2,863
Hmm... When I was using a laptop rig, I carried the whole rig in a messenger bag, all of it was extremely durable (I played hundreds of shows with it and never had an issue) and setup was as simple as opening up the laptop and plugging the MIDI controller into a USB port.

I mean, I'll give you that a hardware unit designed to withstand the rigors of the road could be more durable, but it's not like laptops are too fragile to handle gigs
Great!
What was the motivation behind this kind of a rig for you? Backing tracks or some kind of ambience?

Also, how easy is it to make small changes (EQ/delay/..) ? Anything relevant to your live music..
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
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8,060
Great!
What was the motivation behind this kind of a rig for you? Backing tracks or some kind of ambience?

Also, how easy is it to make small changes (EQ/delay/..) ? Anything relevant to your live music..

Some of the motivation was the appeal of a modular system that allowed me to piece together my favorite components to build the rig I wanted. Some of it was the level of control it gave me over everything. And some of it was the ability to orchestrate multiple instruments into clips and trigger them all together to add multiple layers of instrumentation to a song.

Making changes was as simple as getting a MIDI controller and assigning a parameter to it. I generally worked in Ableton Live to use it as a hub for all my MIDI mapping. It has amazing tools and flexibility to allow for those kind of things
 




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