VST System Link? Vienna Ensemble?


I think it’s time for me to learn how the big boys slave machines together as my compositions are just getting too big for one machine—even with the new Sandybridge. So… I’ve got 2 Cubase licences so I can go with System Link, but I’ve heard good things about Vienna Ensemble.

Can I get some insights on how to do this? I run Windows XP and 7, with Cubase as I said. I have gigabit ethernet. I need MIDI and lots of VSTis but I also do 10-15 audio tracks per song. Latency and stability are my big concerns.

Suggestions on how to proceed? Resources for learning more (besides the marketing videos I’ve seen for VEP and the terse descriptions in the Steinberg docs).



Doesn’t System Link require all PCs to have an audio interface and use up one channel on each?

VEPro just works over Gigabit Ethernet and doesn’t require an audio interface (nor Cubase) on the slave machines.

Vienna Ensemble is a professional solution. Just go to their website and check out the videos. The software is updated regularly and it seem to work perfectly for almost everybody.

I have both and I think VE Pro is more user friendly than VST system link. I barely use VST system link even if I have everything set up for it.

If you go the VST system link route you’ll need an additional audio interface, so it’s about the same price than VE Pro. Also you will need to use an ADAT interface in the master and in the slave in order to have 8 mono channels available (you will have 10 channels if you use both ADAT + spdif).

The advantage of VST system link is that you can route audio to your slave computer and therefore you can use it as an external FX unit, for reverbs for example.

But if you only need to load sample libraries or VSTis in a slave computer VE PRO is easier to use and much better IMHO. Plus Vienna has one of the best support out there.

Another advantage of VE Pro is that you can use it to load vst instruments in your master PC, when you will be using a 64 bit OS with cubase you will be able to load instruments outside cubase, so you can use it like a kind of a bridge.

Do VST instruments need to be loaded on the slave computer in order to work? Or do you just call them up from the master computer where they are installed?


Yes you need to install them on the slave computer with both VSt System Link and VE Pro.

Thanks for that. So OK, If I install VE Pro on my macbook pro (slave), I already have Halionsonic installed on the slave too, but do I now need to install it again as AU version?


If it’s already installed, you just need to point VE Pro to your plugins folder in the slave computer.

I agree, I have 2 Cubase licenses and VE Pro that I used to run with sys link. I really never use sys link any longer. Also the ability to use VE pro with problem 32 bit apps is great (like NI B4) and u can set up buss inside VE that are easy to mix effects from also the panning is great in mixer. You can also set up separate outputs to run plugs inside your master computer. It really seems to work well. I did have trouble in past with GUI on my MAC w/Vienna Cube but I now just rum that on PC instead. Might have been fixed already in updates but I have not checked :slight_smile:
It’s free to try and they have great support via email

If it isn’t already installed as AU, then yes you do need to install the AU version, as VE Pro does not load VST plugs on OSX.


VEPro does not support effect pluggs and far from all VST instruments. VST system Link is a far better soultion for 100% compatibility.

Which FX plugs and which Instruments? Have you reported this to VSL? If you don’t tell them, they can’t look into it. :wink:


I run both VEPro and VST system link. The reason for VEPro is to access 64 bit memory adressing but still run DAW (both Logic 9 and Cubase 5.5) in 32 bit (to avoid some 3. party upgrade problems, like Waves). This is mostly run inside the master computer, a MAC. The VE Pro does also give me access to my PC and Cubase 4 (where I also run Cakewalk and Samplitude), but for this I prefere the VST system link.

The two reasons for me to have the Cubase 4 running on a PC with system link is:

  1. To use older software that Steinberg chose not to support anymore when issuing Cubase 5. One of my most used instruments is Steinbergs old USM (I do have a lot of other more modern pluggs like Komplete, Omnisphere and HALion4 to mention some, but for some sounds I still come back to old USM).
  2. To use older 3. party software, not supported any more, thus no upgrade for DAW upgrades. Examples are Dabruka and Latigo and Native bundle from Native Instruments (the last being an FX and the “best” soft reverb ever!).

Vienna support has been notified what software is not supported long time ago.

I must say it is really anoying that one have to ditch good software just because your favorite DAW has a new release. Thus I have “frozen” my level of upgrades now. Won’t upgrade Cubase (or Logic for that matter) for hopefully many years and the VST link is helpful in that way. That is; until the computer breaks down, which leads to buying a new one with a operative system that don’t support my software. Then I’ll do the same “dance” all over. I have reconed that almost 50% of my time goes to dealing with tecnical matters and 50% to write and record music. I whish time spent on tecnical matters were close to zero. Thus the “freeze”.

Fair enough. I don’t need any of the plugs you mention. However, you’ll notice that I’m still on Nuendo 4, but that’s because N5 didn’t have any features that I needed.


Yes I noticed. I have a friend that has done the same. Still on N4.

By the way: My VEPro scans all VST pluggs on the MAC, fully usable in Logic through VEPro, however most of the plugs on the MAC also comes with AU/Component options so there is really no need for this scan. Through VEPro I can in Logic however use some VST instruments on the PC that are just .dll/VST. But as mentioned, only those supported in VEPro. :slight_smile:

Actually that’s not quite accurate. VE Pro doesn’t load VST plugs on OSX; it only loads AU plugs. It has a VST connector, so that you can use it in Cubendo, but that’s it.