DISCUSSIONS about onstage monitoring w. JUST interface*etc. + VST LIVE PRO (NO Digital Mixer?)

TOPLINE: I don’t think i will be able to edit this post after a short while - so this can’t be as complete as I’d hope. I will add new posts as I fill out my thoughts.

Link that sped up my ‘getting to posting’ here-)



OBJECTIVE: to bring together thoughts on using VST LIVE PRO onstage IN a computer, with just VST LIVE PRO, and an interface (ex. RME with analogue/AES digital, and/or MADI/DANTE/AVB)

NOTE: of course, there’s a lotta other bits needed - the idea being: we do NOT need a digital mixer as well (?) (?) (?)

1) I’ve started to understand the VST LIVE and am extremely grateful and amazed to see the improvements between version 1.0 and now! The DEVs replies to bugs and feature requests are so SO very often ~> “Can-Do”, and ‘Planned’. Absolutely ASTONISHING! And, who gets an update nearly once a week!?!—)))

2) Like so many of us I would like to arrive at the gig venue, have each band member turn on their ipads, (4 or 5 piece band for me) - and hear their personalized and individually controlled mix in their in-ear monitors, or even from monitor wedges from the floor.

3) My system in mind so far would be a very well optimized and stress tested win11 PC running VST LIVE PRO with an HDSPe card from RME. (I’ll elaborate in future posts about PCs and why an internal card) UAD APOLLO could be very cool too, due to effects, Thunderbolt and more i guess.

TELL US YOUR THOUGHTs ? - MAC - Other manufacturers - other systems etc.

4) MY FIRST BIG WONDERING HAS BEEN: ~> if a digital mixer is added to the system the problem may become, which ipad app would the performer/band-members use to adjust their mix?

The (yamaha, behringer, presonus, allen & health, soundcraft) digital mixer’s app would complicate much I currently believe.

A live monitoring system without a digital mixer must consider computer latency when using effects. I am VERY optimistic in my tests.
ESPECIALLY when there’s interface Control Panels, like the UAD Apollo, AND RME’s TotalMix WITH FX (compressor/delay/EQ/Reverb) which i expect SHOULD/COULD/WOULD integrate BRILLIANTLY with VST LIVE PRO, relieving much of the CPU workload!-) – adding a (?) as i don’t assume much-)

I’ve also looked into a 2nd computer system in sync for what is called redundancy in case of crash, which in my case is highly rare, almost never. Me, computers onstage for a long time in fact, yet not at all recently…
Also, must have an Uninterruptible Power Supply to clean the AC power etc.

5) With AVB/DANTE/(MADI kinda?) ~~>> All that i’m beginning to learn about – analogue can be distributed with just one cable. True, though there’s many fascinating areas to consider. Wireless Mics, in-ear monitors, splitters to go to the Front-Of-House. All very interesting!

I could perhaps go deeper here – though likely better to invite comments and add my other points later as i learn more.

I am motivated today to start this thread, earlier than i thought I would due to a reply I received down the page here ~~>> (link at top of this post) my comments there are near the bottom as of today.

best wishes to all


Hi! Most your questions depends on type and size, budget of band, adding the usual parameters of places/venues where this given band is used to perform.

Generally perform live w.o separated digital mixer, using VSTLivePro is an absolutely possible solution :+1::wink:

Personally I find really bad how Windows OS handles audio driver/priority.

UAD apollos are great as their dsp’s can do the hard work for computer. Unfortunatelly I’m not 100% sure what UAD is willing to do currently as releasing Volt series, Spark subscr, and weekly promotions for plugins that lot’s of users bought for 3-10x prices a few years ago. But I don’t think that should be discussed here.

Hi fkalmus! written quickly enough - hope it reads OK as can’t edit after logging out i think.

Just wanted to get the party started here with this thread.

ME: I’m thinking on the ON-STAGE MONITOR MIX, in-ear (presumably) - with the logical outputs ALSO sent to front-of-house P.A. And, a typical 3 or 4 or 5-ish piece band.


I’m going to email SCOTT and ask him about whether he’s looked into VST LIVE PRO.
maybe middle-click to open in new tab ~> Scott Uhl - live techy guy - is cool - mission critical pro
I believe he uses a digital mixer and his DAW for the backing tracks currently.
I learned much from him, (huge understatement that-), and about the “simpler protocol than dante/AVB” port on the back of a few digital mixers, for, one-cable breakout boxes etc. It was totally engulfing, beginning to understand all that Scott lays out. All the parts and considerations. FANTASTIC

The aspect I’m playing with over past few days is that VST LIVE PRO, besides happily needing a waaay powerful PC - as to whether RME’s totalmix EFFECTS could maybe do the basic delay and reverb that a digital mixer would cover. (UAD APOLLO should be considered for sure)

“WAY POWERFUL” PC i figure, should be ARROW LAKE 15th gen INTEL, out approx. mid-2024.
Hoping to be running in 2024. Wildcard possibility that AMD will dwarf INTEL for stability, compatibility, clock speed, etc., though I don’t think so. Best wishes to AMD of course! AND to MACs!

IF the interface, whether RME or UAD, was doing basic effects duties via their control panels ~> then, VST LIVE’s PC would only be needing to do special effects, on vocals perhaps, as well as playing the backing tracks AND the LIVE-PLAYED keyboard VST instruments.

Would have to be an internal PCIe HDSPe card or Apollo thunderbolt to get the latency down to at least “256” on an RME driver. 512, one can notice the delay too much maybe.

I would currently trust RME over anyone’s stability, though i can’t say from experience with UAD yet.

HOWEVER in a perfect world ALL INSTRUMENTS/VOCALS for a 4 or 5 piece band would be able to go through VST LIVE (for the onstage monitoring system - stereo in-ears imagined)

IMAGINE the ULTIMATE: (in my view) real drums sending samples to say, 3 stereo ‘stacks’ into VST LIVE, OR, how about the outrageous thought of having the drummer triggering a drum VST WITH Effects!!! - as well as 4 SINGERS each going into VST LIVE STACKS (ummm, yep, with effects!-) - ALSO, KEYBOARD player playing just one VST per part (CPU!) - Same for guitarist and MAYBE a bassist.

ADD TO THAT the easy part - streaming audio backing tracks.

And all that running to individually controlled monitoring, for each band-mate, and also of course much sent to front of house.

ALL HIGHLY STRESS TESTED. - and I’d love to be entirely mistaken - though perhaps it 's not going to be sensible to go for that ULTIMATE, for now. heh-heh ~~> READ: I know i’m going to go for it*-)

[IF THERE ‘currently’ HAS TO BE A DIGITAL MIXER, for now] (or an unsatisfying scale back)
AS DIGITAL MIXERS sell themselves as having a “peers system” too (app on ipad etc.) like VST LIVE DOES, one reason i pondered for hoping NOT to use a digital mixer is that, how the heck would the MIXERS ‘peer system’ (APP for for band members controlling their own IPAD mix) and VST LIVE’s ipad peer system (app) work together. might not be a problem.

QUICK-ISH WRITE - hope it’s sorta clear enough.

There’s SO much more to delve into! happily.
“I’ll be back”-)

Very quickly off the top of my head (haven’t read everything)…!

5 band members - do they want/need stereo.? Or can mono suffice.? I guess with personal wedge monitors, that means mono; in-ear could mean wanting full stereo (and why not.!).

Thus, all VST Live needs is a ‘Cue sends’ mechanism like Cubase, but with sufficient number of Cues… (do you know Cubase’s system.? Its like having a discrete monitor mixer built-in). That would work, wouldn’t it.? As long as you have enough physical outputs on your audio interface of course.

I’ll take it the in-ear monitoring system itself should handle the rest (power, wireless control of feed to individuals on stage, etc…)

I must apologise my ignorance here though - I don’t know VST Live at all.! But I have been intrigued by its potential (and the speed and attentiveness of the devs responding to users here on this forum - outstanding.!)

Good topic - will keep watching… :+1: :smile:

Running at 64 samples with a Beelink Ryzen Mini PC and Steinberg UR242 no problem. Will try with a much larger setup.
And yes, we do share that dream :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hey ! Same PC with same 64 samples here (GTR7 Hermes orange) with a MOTU AVB audio interface (828es) and the monitors mixes are done on the MOTU. For my one-man-band gigs, I use a Tascam Model12 as audio interface and the mix is done into VL. Main output is routed to the Model12 9-10 channels, drums to channels 7-8, bass to channel 6 and metronome to channel 5 (just for the occasional drummer’s IEM), so I can move the physical faders during the show, and do a quick EQ if necessary.

The GTR7 has 2 USB4 ports, so I have a touch 10" monitor connected with a single USB-C cable. I can also control the PC wirelessly with a tablet running Remote Desktop.

Just wanted to share my setups :blush:

Hi, we use VST Live in rehearsals with an RME Fireface UC sound card, and for live shows we plan to use a Bheringer X18 digital mixer, all on Mac. Buffer 128. We do the monitor mixes with the RME or the Digital Mixer, we all use in ears. The band is made up of Drums (Electronic, Roland TD30), bass, guitar, backing tracks, two voices, Vjey and lighting. We assign independent output channels in VST Live for all instruments and voices. For bass and guitar, individual stacks for each song/part, with amp simulators, with detailed work for each part of the song. Voices with global stacks. Some insert effects on the VST live output channels. Then everything arrives through separate channels to the mixer (RME or Bheringer x18), where the final mix and the monitor mixes are put together.
We have been rehearsing this way for a long time, and we have been polishing the sound and details a lot. Monitor mixes are no longer touched. We have had some problems with some amplifier simulator plug-ins (neural DSP), but we are pushing the system to the limit, using about 150 stacks, with simulator insertions (the system shows only 20% CPU usage). Preloading parts is essential for the correct performance of plug-ins. In the last month I have replaced a few Neural with Tonex (while waiting for a solution), and I am running the program with practically no problems.
When everything is more stable, we will add the use of DMX and video, for now we do that with a separate system.
I think the program has great potential, and is constantly improving.
We haven’t used it live yet.
Sorry for my English, I’m using Google translator.