We added a new category

In preparation for our upcoming deeper dive into using VST’s on OAX, we went back and created a new category on the site called “VST”. Notice on the top of this post there is a small VST button. If you click on that you can see the various posts in the VST category. That should make things easier to find as we move forward and continue the discussions on this topic. I could be wrong but based on past comments this might be a hot topic?

I spent a little bit of time yesterday re-visiting the Hauptwerk install we did on our Sonic a few months back. The very first thing that is clear? We need to re-connect a mouse to the Sonic to make it a little easier to navigate through some of the menus and buttons on the VST. Some of the buttons are pretty small and hard to hit when using my big fat fingers on the touch screen! 🙂

Our next step will be to install the same VST’s (Hauptwerk, Konkat, the GSi VB3, Audrio and others) where we can mess with them on a dedicated P/C along with a small MIDI keyboard. That will allow us to compare and see things working as expected via the various vendors without OAX involved.

At this point we have no plans to purchase any software so we will be working with the various “demo” versions. That should give us plenty of insight into how / if they work on OAX. Who knows – we might like one so much that we end up writing out the big check to get a full blown version – We shall see!




2 thoughts on “We added a new category

  • 07/25/2017 at 14:07

    Scotty – I need Warp drive NOW! 🙂

    Excellent points Jeff and we will use your comments for reference as we move forward. I know that #2 can be done for at least a single VST. It is possible to load more than one VST although I haven’t done that.

    Don’t have the Sonic fired up right now but if I recall correctly they are called VST presets and they can be “invoked” during the startup of OAX.

  • 07/25/2017 at 10:30

    Hi Curt,

    Good to see that you are once again boldly going where no man has gone before, exploring new VST lifeforms in the Sonic galaxy. I thought you might find the following useful as you engage warp drive. When planning the HD Series, I had in mind three criteria which would have to be achieved if these new sounds were to be in any way usable.

    1) Total Integration
    Basically this means that we should be able to do everything with a VST sound that we can do with an OAX sound. So, save it as a user sound, combine it with other VST sounds and/or OAX sounds on the manuals, pedals and in total presets, use it on tracks in a style and in a MIDI sequence. I have discovered the existence of two types of user sounds, single and composite. Single sounds are just individual instruments such as those we might call up from Kontakt. A Kontakt multi can contain multiple sounds, but it is essentially treated as a single entity. Composite sounds contain groups of sounds. So in Hauptwerk this would be a stop combination and in VB3, the entire settings for the upper, lower and pedal drawbars. To achieve the desired universality described above with single sounds is fairly straightforward, but more problematic I think for composite sounds.

    2) Complete Transparency
    Having the facility to combine VST and OAX sounds in all combinations means that we require the VST sounds (and therefore their associated software) to be permanently active, and running unobtrusively in the background. We don’t want to be continually loading, starting and manipulating VSTs. It should be possible to automatically activate these at boot up, as on OAS, and so have these instantly available when we require to use them, either manually or in total presets. This also applies to any specific effects such as reverberation, equalisation etc. that we might require for particular sounds.

    3) Optimum Performance
    This is two things, Best Quality and Complete Instrument Utilisation. In terms of best quality, we wish to run the sampling software at the very highest quality settings. Given that the whole purpose of this technology is to provide the very best quality sounds, there isn’t much point in doing any of this if this requirement cannot be achieved. Packages like Hauptwerk and Kontakt provide a comprehensive set of adjustments for when the CPU is approaching meltdown. For example, we can reduce the sample bit length and sampling frequency, restrict the number of voices etc. but all of these adjustments compromise quality.

    Complete Instrument Utilisation requires that we play a virtual instrument just like the real instrument. So in the case of Hauptwerk for example, we wish to be able to dynamically map the two Wersi keyboards to any combination of keyboards on a three manual or higher virtual pipe organ, and have appropriate MIDI controllers assigned for manual sostenuto, second touch etc. On the VB3 for example, we wish to map the reverse coloured preset keys to the bottom octave of the Wersi keyboards, and have a MIDI controller footswitch assigned for the Leslie Speaker speed.

    As far as verification of these criteria on OAX is concerned, I think I would be tempted to adopt a two stage process. The first stage would incorporate criteria 1) and 2). If this is successful then proceed to the second stage and criteria 3). This is because the first stage can be accomplished with the demo versions of the software and sample sets, but the second stage requires the installation of much larger commercial versions. We cannot say with any degree of certainty that just because the “Mickey Mouse” version works then so will something more substantial. In my experience there’s always something that we haven’t thought of that becomes apparent when scaling up. The ONLY way to verify this is to try it. And here we hit a problem, this is a risky because this software costs money. What we need is a Sonic owner with deep pockets and a fat wallet to give this a go. Only then can we transition from tentatively saying “This should work” to more confidently stating “This will work”.

    Good luck with your voyage of discovery, and watch out for the Klingons !!



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