AMP in the Real World

A place to discuss AMP - Audio Mixing Platform (http://www.ampmix.net)

Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby Craig » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:54 pm

Gil Navarro wrote:Pedrovent,
What are you using for a Processor, MB and RAM? And what is a "high load" for you? I've never been able to get my Raydat consistently stable beyond 2/64 with SAC. This is with 30 FOH channels and 8 stereo IEM monitor mixes. Moot for me now because I sold my Raydat for the new MOTU stuff, I'm just curious.

I use an old E8400 with a Digiface and SAC at 1x32 with no slipped buffers. Old Intel board. WinXP. BobP - any chance of VST implementation? That's the biggest thing keeping me away from Amp right now - I use VST extensively with SAC.
-Craig
SAC/SAWStudio User
Core 2 Duo running XP with RME Digiface and ADA8000's
TCU
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby BobP » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:51 pm

>> "Any chances of a VST implementation?"

I'm not going to say NO, but honestly, there are many more things that are on my list ahead of looking at it.

"Why?" you say? :-) Here's why:

I run the AMP host on a separate PC, as I recommend for everyone. This gives you the best stability, as it seems that graphic updates are the major source of CPU hiccups. VSTs are designed to be controlled _only_ on the host they are running. How would you then control the VST parameters "live", if you are only at your GUI PC?

I don't think sac's way of doing it is very good, and I don't want that reputation for AMP - that it's a "gimmicky interface". The big difference between the "big boy" mixers and sac is that their interface is refined, and everything works. There's no "adjust the parameters, right click this, shift click that, Send parameters, etc etc..." stuff. AMP's current plugins, meager as they might be, all work from any GUI, and respond in real time, just as you would expect.

This sort of ties into another interesting post I say on "another" forum... I do *not* want AMP to be a program that requires all sorts of fiddling just to get it working. You should be able to boot, and mix. Sure, there are a LOT of customizations you can do, and in that regard, it's no different from any serious digital mixer. There's a lot more that you CAN do, but not that you NEED to do.

So back to the subject at hand: I don't want to implement something that is a poor design from the start. If there is a way we can get that graphic interface (or -some- sort of interface) to the GUI that will adjust VST parameters live in real-time, then I'm for it. But if it is a hack, I don't want to cheapen the product.

What is it that you want to accomplish with the plugins? Remember that while AMP is in "Beta test", it is *not* in "Feature Freeze". There's lots more stuff on my radar before version 1.0, and what you want may be on the list.

Bob
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby Jeffsco » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:07 pm

I really like the Waves products for what they can do for your mix. I like a couple of the Convolution type Reverbs. I figured out a way to use Toontracks Superior Drummer as a Live Audio/ Real Time Drum Replacer....really valuable when you get virtually no soundcheck and the drummer doesn't know how to tune his kit.

All these require VST support.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to run the VST's on a 2nd computer away from the Host computer and somehow network / link the audio over Ethernet. I do this with Vienna Ensemble Pro5. It has a VST plugin that you can insert on a SAC channel or multiple Channels and have your audio run out and back in after being processed via the plugin suite run on a separate computer.
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby RBIngraham » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:28 pm

Jeffsco wrote:I really like the Waves products for what they can do for your mix. I like a couple of the Convolution type Reverbs. I figured out a way to use Toontracks Superior Drummer as a Live Audio/ Real Time Drum Replacer....really valuable when you get virtually no soundcheck and the drummer doesn't know how to tune his kit.

All these require VST support.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to run the VST's on a 2nd computer away from the Host computer and somehow network / link the audio over Ethernet. I do this with Vienna Ensemble Pro5. It has a VST plugin that you can insert on a SAC channel or multiple Channels and have your audio run out and back in after being processed via the plugin suite run on a separate computer.


I don't know about linking the audio via Ethernet. I suspect that would add quite a bit of latency and with a DAW it's not a big deal, most of them can compensate for that. Hard to do that with a live mix.

Anyway, I use a 2nd computer to host plug ins on a regular basis. I have a 2nd machine with an old Frontier Dakota card set up. I hook that up to my AMP machine to a MOTU 2408. I then have up to a 24x24 link between the two machines. I can use some of them for Live Professor to host plug ins. (this machine also has an old TC Powercore in it so I have great reverbs with that) And I also use it for audio playback from theatrical software. Sometimes I do the playback from within LIve Professor as well. Depends on the needs of the show.

I have this 2nd Machine set up with Start Up Delayer http://www.r2.com.au/page/products/show ... p-delayer/
I use that to start up whatever software I want to run and VNC is also set up as a service. So I don't even have to have a local KVM set up on it if I don't need that. I can just plug it in and use the power button to boot it up and shut it down. Yeah it's a heavy old beast of a computer. But that is mostly because of the old audio interface and powercore I am using. It would be really easy to set up a compact laptop with an audio interface that has ADAT or even plain old analog I/O and use it as your effects processor.

I also just went out and picked up some old rack mount processors as well on ebay. There are quite a few on ebay cheap these days. I have some old Rolands, Kurzweil and Alesis units. So if I just need something simple, these days I just throw that in the rack.

I have not had a chance to play with AMPs built in reverb much yet, other than to go patch it and go "yep it works...". So I'm sure at some point I might not even need to bother with any of this and mostly I was just using this for set up for reverbs, before that was put into AMP. Give the build in verb a try first... who knows, maybe it will be all you need.
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http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/
SAC details and goodies at: http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/SAC.html
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby mattseymour » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:42 pm

Being able to send audio over Ethernet would be a huge advantage, not just for using a pc as a vst fx rack. But it isn't all that easy, and needs to be super low latency. There are plenty of standards out there. The waves soundgrid is one way, but interfacing that with amp brings its own challenges.

Maybe one day amp could support Dante alongside asio and then you could use that as a way of moving audio to your fx rack and back. Right now, probably has to be a more traditional audio link.

I have to say, though I've used VSTs with sac, the biggest stability issues I ever had were vst related. I completely get where Bob is coming from in wanting to keep the product 'clean' as he can.
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby RBIngraham » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:08 pm

The only way I see Dante being really all that useful is if the Virtual Sound Card ever gets latency low enough for use with live mixing software, which I'm pretty sure it's not. The only Date stuff I've seen that was low enough latency for that kind of thing is hardware cards like the piece from Focusrite where it's a PCI sound card with a Dante port.

Dante VIA looked kind of cool, but from what I'm told it is not low latency or not low enough for live mixing. But who knows... it's also kind of vaporware at this point still as well.

I'm hoping to try out the AVB stuff from MOTU some day. One of the AMP testers has a unit now. But I'm more interested in how well it works with high channel counts and building up a true audio network with multiple devices on an AVB network. With just a single unit, it's really no different than any other USB2 Audio Interface.
Richard B. Ingraham
RBI Computers and Audio
http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/
SAC details and goodies at: http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/SAC.html
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby Jeffsco » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:13 pm

Though I haven't actually measured it on my setup...I believe Vienna Ensemble Pro5 adds a round trip total of 1.5 to 3ms for the audio. I could be wrong....looking throught he VEP Forum for where I read that spec.
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby gdougherty » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:29 pm

BobP, I'm not a coder and I'm not sure what's required or even possible in terms of communication with VST plugins. I do know that VST automation is possible within a DAW, so it does seem that it should hypothetically be possible to capture value changes from a VST on a remote and pass those along for adjustment on the host as if the automation system were passing updates to the VST.
Like others, the reverbs and other effects plugins that don't require audio feedback into the plugin for display updates are what interest me the most in terms of VST support. Some SAC users really liked their LA-2A emulations and the like but I can live without those assuming the host processing sounds good.
http://softwareaudioconsole.wikidot.com The start of a wiki. It's slow going and there's a ton of info that should be in there yet.
Biggest item is the Command Reference on how to do most actions within SAC. It's 90% of what you need for UI proficiency.

g is for George
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby pedrovent » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:01 pm

:) I want to try AMP....

Gil Navarro,

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H.

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto GHz 2x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor.
(Overclock 4ghz.)

4GB RAM memory: HyperX KHX1800C9D3 / 2G RAM Module.

Operating system: Windows XP

I usually use between 10 and 32 channels and 6 monitor mixes.

The maximum load on my shows ranges between 20% and 30%, but when I built the system I tested with loads higher than 90% without any slipped buffers. I never have slipped buffer in any show.

RME Raydat works fine.
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Re: AMP in the Real World

Postby BobP » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:54 pm

gdougherty wrote:BobP, I'm not a coder and I'm not sure what's required or even possible in terms of communication with VST plugins. I do know that VST automation is possible within a DAW, so it does seem that it should hypothetically be possible to capture value changes from a VST on a remote and pass those along for adjustment on the host as if the automation system were passing updates to the VST.
Like others, the reverbs and other effects plugins that don't require audio feedback into the plugin for display updates are what interest me the most in terms of VST support. Some SAC users really liked their LA-2A emulations and the like but I can live without those assuming the host processing sounds good.


Hey George!

Yes, you are correct.. parameters can be passed. But for the automation hosts, all they know is that a number is changing.. It does not know *what* the number means. So that would mean we would need to create a GUI interface for each different plugin, and map the various parameters to meaningful names and widgets. That's a manual process, so while that could be done for a few VSTs, it's a long ways from "load up any VST you want!"...

Just thinking... I wonder if it might be possible to have the AMP ASIOHost *also* create its own ASIO device, which could then be used for things like LiveProfessor.. hmm.... Anyone interested in helping with some x86 asm code? :-)

Bob
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