Show report

Did my first two shows with VST Live last weekend and I figured I’d share my experience in case it could be of any help for possible updates. It was two pretty big shows with the same artist, same venue, back to back. I used VST live to run a video feed (with videos for all songs plus interludes) and audio, a few backing tracks, plus click track and a separate cue track for IEM.

I assembled things at first in Cubase, exported as media project and imported in Live. This worked well, only thing was some elements that had been time stretched so I made sure to always bounce before exporting.
First feature request: Being able to select what goes into the export in Cubase is great, but it would be really nice to be able to also select what gets imported in Live.
Second request: I would have wanted to for example have the click track cue the guys right at the end of the interlude videos so they could go straight into the next song. Since I worked with importing media projects, I had to have them all as separate songs, so we were forced to have a bit of a gap always. It would be good if you could import with an offset, AND/OR if there was an easy way to insert a section into the tempo track and signature track, like you can do in Cubase. I could have set this all up in Cubase of course before exporting, but I already had so much going on and the extra step would might have just caused confusion at that stage.

I was running v1.4.50 when I started out. Everything worked fine until I started having the video freeze now and then. Then I started having weird offset problems with some videos. I’d press play, video would start but would be offset by maybe half a second. Moved the video on the track and the offset would be different. I tried all kinds of things but I always had the same issues. Not with all videos but with many, and I couldn’t really trace it down to any particular video format. When things were pretty bad and we were nearing show day, I figured that an update to v2 might do the trick. It behaved…differently, but I started actually having even more issues with other things too. I was very lucky though since 1.4.70 was released like a couple of days before the shows and finally everything was running smoothly! Except for that audio became a bit fiddly:
If the start marker was too close to the first audio segment in a song, it would be a brief lag before the audio came to life. This meant that we sometimes got a very confusing count-in cue (I had all click tracks as audio files since the band wanted a cowbell sound rather than the built-in stick sound).
I also created more clear cues so they would know when to start and for other important sections, by copying the ‘high cowbell sound’ from the main click track and putting four of those in a row on a separate track. This worked well sometimes, but many times it would get messed up and it would play like if some of the elements were offset. Here’s an example of how I’d do it:
image
When this didn’t play back correctly, a workaround I found was this:
image
But even that didn’t always work. It was unreliable and of course scary to know that it might happen during the show.

Video playback worked well during the shows, but one thing that often happened was that a still from the next video would pop up in the transition between songs. You can see it in action here:

I might have some more things I’ll add later. One last thing was that some of the video that was provided had the audio in a different sample rate. When importing these, the audio would play back at the correct speed, but it would have the typical choppy/clicky sound. So something is not right with the SRC.

All in all, the shows were a great success though and the project ran really well from start to finish. I had to work around several issues but the only one that would still linger during the show was the video still pop-up like in the video. I didn’t bother with it and just ignored it. But I hope it can be fixed.

Thanks a lot for sharing!

We hope to have sorted out all video issues with the next prerelease update. Except for green lines with image files, that includes fades, non- or delayed start when positioning ahead of a video event, black when no event played or track muted, and some more.
So pls check again then, probably next Friday (version 2 only, on vstlive.net).

Also check for improved audio and MIDI locating and sync.
We don’t yet support smooth transitions between Songs, sorry. We know it’s important, but it is also very tricky because of tempo and time signature changes.

But Layers and Stacks alwas remain active until their exit conditions are met. For Layers, that means held notes (incl. sustain pedal) will keep the layer alive until those are released, plus sustain time set in preferences has elapsed. Stacks are kept alive until their input signal drops below a threshold, and also feature a sustain (hold) time preference. This may help in some cases; it would for instance allow for a sample player to play some “pause music” until the next Song starts.

As for your second request, Global Insert and Global Delete are also on our list, but you can observe our wishlist thread and see that it converges to infinity, so we have to take it step-by-step.

In any case, thanks again for your report, it is very helpful and we apprechiate it a lot.

Thanks for your reply! Good to hear that some of these things are already in the pipeline. I can imagine that the feature request list is pretty extensive yes. Personally I’m so used to working with Cubase that I keep doing key commands and things like that. I totally understand that the program is and will be much more basic, but it gets a bit clunky for me now and then.

A few other things I figured I’d mention as well. First four are to do with order, and I saw some others reporting similar issues:

  • Dragging a song to the end of a setlist in the setlist window seems to always place it one step further up
  • Moving a song in the panel on the left side of the screen gives pretty unreliable results. The wrong song is moved and to a different position, etc. It takes a couple of tries to get it right.
  • Moving channels in the mixer is unreliable. They also get rearranged sometimes, maybe when adding more tracks or something. I programmed a pedal to mute channel one in the mixer (kill-switch for the click) but I had to remove that since it might have muted the wrong channel at some point.
  • I’m sometimes prevented from moving the end point of a song beyond the end of the last event
  • I can copy an event from one track to another by Ctrl-dragging, but doing it on the same track will only move it.