Using a slave computer to spread the load?

Hi folk,
Can anyone chime in who runs a slave computer? Do you use VST system link? All the videos I see on youtube for it are from like Cubase 5…

I hear about people using it for Vienna Pro, but are you using a specific Vienna Pro software solution to link the two or is it something that can be used with any library? I do not own Vienna por and I don’t really do orchestral scoring so Komplete is good enough for my needs.

Do people generally use a second computer for sample libraries? To run VSTs?

As things stand now, I am using a 2012 Mac Pro 12 core with 64 gig of ram. My projects get up around 100 tracks pretty heavily leaning on vst synths and sample libraries. As I get to the middle of my productions I need to freeze lots of tracks in order to get consistent playback. I’d like to not have to do that.

I’d also like to be able to bounce all my groups stems down in real time to Pro tools. I currently have a single Apollo 16, so I’m not really sure if I’d need a second dedicated sound card for the second computer or if there is a way to have them networked in a way that the single apollo would work for that mixdown as well?

Lastly- do I need to have two copies of cubase if I am doing a system link or spreading the load for the VSTs?

A lot of questions I know! Any help from those that have a large system working well enough is much appreciated!


Today we are mostly using Vienna Ensemble Pro, not VST System Link. For VST System Link you need 2 Cubase licenses. VE Pro is much cheaper solution in this case.

You can use any VSTi or VST in VE Pro (apart from internal Cubase plug-ins).

Is anyone else’s VEP crashing on plugin scan? (Mac)

Mine seems to fall over at Soundtoys echo boy

I do it using Bidule and rtpMIDI.

Sometimes I get audio back into the DAW (up to 32 streams per instance) using the free reaStream plugin over the LAN. Reastream is great for a second machine that’s only got a single audio interface, and that’s built into the motherboard. If it’s a super latency sensitive operation (pretty rare for me) and I’m in a hurry I’ll go with direct audio connections (Usually cheap digital SPDIF built on the slave’s motherboard, but I can only get one stereo pair from my independent Bidule hosting machine with this particular SPDIF configuration, so when doing it this way I mix down and apply any VST effects inside Bidule itself on the slave machine).

Bidule can also record its own output D2D, premixed, or onto separate tracks…so sometimes, if I really need a really tight multi-track rendering for some reason, I just render it directly in Bidule and bring it into the CuBase audio pool over a standard network file transfer.

This works for me as is. I could do more if I put a nice audio card in the slave machine, or built a faster LAN setup…but for my needs, the tactics above get the job done well enough.

One thing with considering is using a spare computer as a vsti player.
Simply use a 2 channel (or more) soundcard that has midi on the slave computer. Use whatever host on that computer to load various vst instruments and connect the audio outs and midi in/out to your main computer.
This is not in anyway as useful as VEP, but if your on a budget and use something CPU demanding like uhe Diva, then it’s nice to have. It’s like having a hardware synth, and that requires a little planning, and realtime bounces :slight_smile: