While testing VST Live

Given that Cubase 12 and WaveLab 11 work great on my systems, as well as being a user of all four Pro versions, three of which are used long enough, and being a programmer and GUI designer, I can judge both performance and convenience. In the ten-point system, Cubase is 10, WaveLab is 9.9, Dorico is 5.5, VST Live is 4. The chances of the VST Live to be “best in niche” are high only if the arrogance of the Dorico team does not stick to the team and it will follow the example of industry grands (Cubase & WaveLab).
Some thoughts, issues, feature requests…

  1. I would call this program very simply - Stage. Like “Steinberg Cubase”, “Steinberg Dorico”, “Steinberg Wavelab” there could be “Steinberg Stage”. So we (the true Steinberg customers) could have nice icons in future - SC, SD, SW, SS. If the purpose of program is more than just working horse on stage, any use of it could make a stage in consciousness.
  2. Loading big video (MP4, 720p) lead to crash.
  3. Video Track Event Fade-In and Fade-Out doesn’t work.
  4. After splitting an event the second tile is selected. Pressing Delete key does nothing. Should deselect (click on empty area) and then select that tile again and press Delete.
  5. If video track has second video clip positioned right after the first, program switches to it only after few seconds, until that the last frame of first video clip is showed. If the gap created between clips, then video monitor shows blue screen, but when second clip should start, program shows the last frame of first video clip for few seconds and then switch to second clip.
    If before playing I position playhead at the beginning of second video clip and press play, then it’s playing correctly.
  6. Cannot find an option to hide Timecode in Monitors?
  7. We have Layer switching between parts of a song. It means in Layer there can be different instruments loaded, but program doesn’t switch the track’s output to that layer specified in part. This is a bit inconsistent and rise the question - if shared layer can be assigned to another part in song, why layer cannot be assigned to the same track? It allows only to create new track.
  8. Need reordering of tracks in Tracks page.
  9. The stability of program is at its “childhood” and this is understandable. Project with four MIDI tracks and two Video tracks on reopen after program restart lead to crash silently (exits without any message after selecting in Hub).
  10. Need an indicator (gauge) of loading process. Imagine I’m on stage and should know how much I need to talk to the audience while loading. This is worst example, but good after first impression on program.
  11. On the page 100 of Operation Manual there is mentioned “Audio Output” and “Audio Input” in “Audio Setup” category of “Devices Menu”, but in program there is only “Audio Driver”. It’s ok, but manual is outdated (I suppose).
  12. Closing the project could lead to a hub like it is in Cubase and Dorico. Closing the program and launching it immediately leads to a crash on the license check, sometimes a crash on the VST scan, and so on.
    It seems that after program crash there is “Steinberg License Engine” running in Windows tasks. Killing of its process is freeing memory and then VST Live is starting normally and fast enough.
  13. Sliders in Mixer. All these sliders that are subchannel’s sliders could be even smaller, better for a quick view.
  14. Moving the event on any type of track shows a transparent red tail on second screen (display/projector).
  15. Mouse activities and Keyboard commands could be the same as in Cubase. Maybe WaveLab too.
    For example - Zoom-In and Zoom-Out horizontally - done with Ctrl+Alt+MouseWheel. Why? Could be simple with Ctrl key pressed.
    Better would be if program have KeyCommands like it is in all Steinberg programs.
  16. Probably would be nice to have crossfading of video and audio clips. Now it’s very painy.
  17. Moving video clips lead to program crash.
  18. As I wrote earlier, Video needs to be in full-screen on additional displays.
  19. Of course we will have MIDI editor after all other important features will be implemented, fixed and polished.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

  1. This is most interesting bug. While using default Halion Sonic SE, all is okay. But starting to use Kontakt lead to unexpected result. I loaded Alicias Keys piano in Kontakt, played it, it sounds like sustain pedal is pressed, but I don’t used it. Then I change instrument to LABS, or BBCSO, playing some test melodies, then switched to Kontakt again, and whoala! Kontakt is still loaded with Alicias Keys. How is it possible, if I changed twice the instrument in that instance and no Kontakt loaded elsewhere in project?

Beeing a programmer yourself you will understand that we have to find a blance between fixing things or take a lot of time to reply to 20 point lists immediately :slight_smile: But all of your commecnts and requests are stored in the list, and very welcome, thank you!
here’s some: 1. I don’t quite understand 2. cannot reproduce, is that reproducible and if so, any possibility to get hold of the video in question? 3. true, not (yet) intented to so the fade handles are the bug. 4. true, sorry 5. will check, should be fluid 6. also true and TC will disappear (possibly a preference) 7. If you want an instrument to sustain thru an entire Song, you could just create a MIDI track. But I see your point, maybe an “Uber-Part” would be an interesting solution? 8. true, coming 9. we don’t accept crashes at all and would be grateful to see crashdumps. 10. but there is a progress bar when loading already, what is missing? 11. correct, sorry. You can set default audio out in the hub though 12. known issue, sorry. 13. you did find the zoom slider? Even smaller…maybe, will check 14. can’t reproduce but maybe Micha fixed that so pls. check again next version 15. working on keyboard shortcuts and remote actions 16. beyond the scope of backing-track player 17. need more details and if ever possible crashdumps please 18. will check 19. none of the competition have MIDI editing, this is not Cubase, sorry. But “we will have” - sure, but first things first :slight_smile:
Thanks again, very valuable input. Back to work.


oh, 20. there has been a report on this already here, it looks like a Mac USB MIDI problem to me, we will check asap.

That’s a bug. VST Live keeps instances of plugins for fast recall; you expect it to re-appear in its “virgin” state which makes sense.

Of course! I didn’t expect that someone will reply at all :slight_smile: So next time I will be shorter if possible. But I highly appreciate your response and I hope my further presence in this area wouldn’t discourage to discuss.
I continue on few points:
10) in some situations there weren’t a sound from layer after project is loaded. I thought that the instrument is at loading stage like it is in Cubase and Dorico. But maybe my computer were a bit busy. So I meant not about project loading progress bar and right after that the second progress bar that indicates preloading.
13) even smaller, maybe could hide empty/unused controls…

It would be like this (or even smaller):

  1. MIDI editing… “Of course we will have…” This was a bit ironic after we have Dorico becoming a DAW therefore it is more resources consuming and simple note input goes harder and harder. Of course if there is MIDI recording built then a simple MIDI editing would be appreciable, just to change recorded note length, volume, not more (or a bit more).

The new one:
21) In Stacks - the Inserts and FX-1 / FX-2 doesn’t react on incoming sound while indicator behind slider reacts so routing is correct. What I’m missing? I read whole manual (atypical for the user).

And again - Thank you for your time! I hope that as a tester I won’t disappoint your team.

But where are crashdumps? I can’t find them. AppData or other traditional places don’t have anything I would see as crashdump files. The Operational Manual could have a page that describes few steps where to search, to whom to send etc.

“VST Live” => “Stage”. Just to be a grand like “Cubase”, “WaveLab”, “Dorico”. I thing meaning VST draws the exact line, but as I see it is more than just VST host. That was on the 1).

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Not at all!

  1. don’t quite understand. smaller channels, ok. Still trying to spot the difference between your 2 pictures :slight_smile: Then there is “Visibility”, so this should add…what? What do you want to hide, MIDI?

Problem is that it’s not like snipping fingers and there it is. We’re exploring options.

  1. can you elaborate? routing is audio in->input channel (INPUT slider)->insert slots->out (OUTPUT slider) and from there (or PRE) send to fx 1 and 2 via SEND fader, thru send fx and mixed, so overall output (big slider and channel in mixer) is out + fx1 out + fx2 out.

a) way too late for that b) marketing issue c) “stage” was rejected because of beeing too close to competitor product :slight_smile:

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Look at first image where is drawn red lines. They are broken (if correctly translated what I mean) at position where Insert slots are including four dependent tracks. So with “even more” I had thought to make a difference in height even bigger.

… but then all controls like (pan, mute, solo, …) are not aligned anymore. But I understand your point. We’ll think about it. Thank you for pointing it out.


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Thank you, Michael!

In my opinion better is to see what is dependant to what rather than all aligned and difficult to understand. Maybe the same visual effect can be reached if dependent tracks are more grayed? Another idea - dependent track border can be 1 px thin while all other - 2 px and leave all aligned.

Maybe dependent tracks can be on lighter background like insert and send slots are on.

But maybe such alignment could be optional.

So ideas are full ocean, take what is lighter and quicker to implement :wink:

Brilliant back and forth comments gentlemen.
The inception of VST Live has me rethinking everything.

I think it’s a HUGE support program for SO many people.
I’m putting my bet on VST Live being No.1 within a year or so.
Leaving off the long version thoughts for now. As, i don’t have any yet! hahaha
So, thanks again for the insights.

Yep, there’s a lotta bugs though wOw - would be happy to see a ton of compliments to the DEV team in the forums.
ASIDE/COUNTER-BALANCE: Arthur’s honest comment(s) about the dev teams was interesting as well.

My ONE OPINION: haven’t thought long on it… though, ~> MIDI-EDITING IN VST Live ???

Sure, that would be a feature, though at what cost bloat-bug-wise?!!
Not sure on much yet, though always worried about features that increase crash-potentials and CPU weakening, etc.

You know what i mean!

Best wishes to all.


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I’m following this just because the level of dialogue is so good, and enlightening. Wish the Cubase forum was this rational without all the histrionics.


Yes, I rethink on my own thoughts and of course - if it’s just a VST host for live performance, then it shouldn’t have MIDI editing. But since it is going to be more complex and before live performance you sit and program everything you want to happen in parallel while you playing and jumping between predefined tracks, some light editing on MIDI have a reason to be there.
As I wrote now I have all four Pro programs and I have a chance to compare. I’m sure Dorico team wanted to make happy all its users and added light MIDI editing (Cubase style Key Editor) despite of that this is a notation program, but okay, there are many composers working differently (I like to compose with pencil on paper too).
So in VST Live could be not only Key Editor, but something more specific - Event Editor? Something that fulfills all needs to prepare/predefine live performance on stage and won’t push the team to overdo and make another hard and resource (&muse) killing software.
For example, Dorico 4 has nice new features, but it also delivered some features that I don’t need, but needed by others. This obstacle pushes me think about modular software (like I always did in my programmer’s career). This means you pay for and install only what you really need. This is the only right way I see for all four main programs by Steinberg (Cubase, WaveLab, Dorico and Stage, sorry, VST Live :wink: )
So if you really need Key Editor, you pay additional pizza to the team and install it only on workstation that really needs it. Now we have dinosaurs on each workstation, but feature use is very different. In VST Live’s case it should be as light as possible to avoid any loading and performance problems on stage. It’s more than understandable. In studio you need more features than on stage. It means - modular system :slight_smile: No other way.
For now VST Live is loading brilliantly fast on a laptop where Cubase and Dorico stuck for half of minute on checking VST3 plugins. It’s a composer’s muse killer! But growing of VST Live probably will meet the same situation.
P.S. I would like to invite @dspreadbury here because I have repeatedly emphasized the lack of lightness in Dorico, but so far I have not come up with anything meaningful to write. Here it is. The modular systems. I would pay for Dorico 5 the same 99.99 again just to have ability to disable loading of features that I don’t need. Cubase and WaveLab are okay, but the Dorico is real pain for me. Good, lovely, but hard to work. I don’t want to buy supercomputer just for Dorico while existing gear works pretty well with more harder programs. I would say again that Dorico problem is graphical interface and here VST Live is the winner because it uses graphical libraries similar to Cubase and WaveLab - fast, user friendly and not muse killer. I feel it with spine :slight_smile:
Thank you all, the teams and friends. I know I write too much. Yes, I’m writer too, now working on my seventh book, but today should cut the grass and compose some good music later. Have a nice week to alllll :slight_smile:

I write less…:slight_smile:
Thanks for all of your invaluable input.
Btw internally, Notes, Chords, Lyrics, Metronome, Beat and DMX are already Modules (partly, with connections to Tracks).

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Internally yes, of course. But they are loaded with program and cannot be unload selectively. With modular system I mean that now we have start version, after a month you’ll offer KeyCommands module (for example), there can be 80% of users who need it, but 20% of users don’t need it. So these 20% won’t buy it (or if it’s free as of standard pack on current version) and therefore those users have a bit lighter version. If we would have everything modular, then some users could assemble the lightest version rather than load everything they don’t need in their workflow.
P.S. Grass cutter is dead :frowning: It seems that a wire from induction coil is broken. Could play Chopin’s Funeral March :smiley:

Yeah got that. Just sayin that technically we are well prepared for Modules.
Good luck with you mower :slight_smile:

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Tried all sorts of videos over 1 hr long but couldn’t get it to crash or otherwise fail. Do you have this with all videos?

Project with four MIDI tracks and two Video tracks on reopen after program restart lead to crash silently (exits without any message after selecting in Hub).

Is this reproducible? We are very keen to catch crashes. You may PM vlprj file (no media like audio/video required, just the project file) if it is. Also crashdumps very much apprechiated.

Moving video clips lead to program crash.

same applies. Maybe you have some kind of video that VST Live doesn’t “like”?

I’m testing now. The crash (window is going lighter with a “Not Responding” in title) happens also with a single audio track with MP3 loaded. The same MP3 can be opened with Cubase and WaveLab with no problems. To reproduce crash I open project and zoom out to see whole audio file.
(I will send you file Proj-3.vlprj - Song2 & Song3 has long MP3 files).

Any other crashes happen randomly and cannot reproduce. Now I open project that I meant that it crashes on open, now it’s opened and no problems (except all other bugs).

Video made with Vegas Pro 19, so I’m sure it’s a standard.

Sometimes it crashes (not responding) when zooming with long file loaded. Sometimes after zooming and clicking on ruler bar. Now in some projects I tested two days ago, pressing Spacebar to start playing, moves play head back for 10 seconds and doesn’t start playing, pressing Spacebar again, nothing happens. Then again - another 10 seconds back and so on. This strange movement happened randomly since I start testing. Just restart program and hope that it’s gone. Not every time.
(I will send you file Proj-5.vlprj).
With this Proj-5 happening strange (extraterrestrial?) things :smiley: I just tested it and described above about Spacebar and mentioned about restarting program. Just right after I started program, click on Proj-5 and it doesn’t open at all. No messages, no processes in Task Manager. Then trying again and it opened, but on Spacebar it does the same as before and not playing. Clicking on Play triangle in parts list does nothing.

This behavior now is happening in every project. I’m out of studio with only laptop that uses ASIO4ALL, but in studio I have Steinberg UR242. Maybe a driver change in project causes this playing issue? Just tried to play empty project - the same. Maybe I should reinstall or try tomorrow in studio with UR242?

EDIT: Changing to “Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver” did changes - now Spacebar/Play behavior is gone.

I just get it from your comment and understood that first half of Stack works only on incoming audio (while second half can accept sends from other sources) and surprisingly there is no delay or it’s small enough to not to worry in live performance. Wow! Amazing! I added some 3rd party plugins and it processes very fast. How did you do that while Cubase don’t offer this fast processing? Brilliant! If you will keep such performance after all bugs fixed, this will be game changer in our live performances.

Not true, Sends in Stack module only receive from stack “OUTPUT” (but maybe I misunderstood).

I don’t think there’s supposed to be a difference. Processing load is really down to plugins.

I do enjoy it a lot already :slight_smile: For some, it appears to take some twist to get the concept. Also great for Singer/Sonwriter type of action where you set up one or more Stacks each for guitar and vocals, and switch everything with Parts. Lacking sustain though (like with Layers, see Preferences/Layers/Sustain), planned.

This may be the problem. There is a bug when using scrollwheel and zooming out entirely, this may cause VST Live to freeze. Got your project (thanks!) and tested replacing the mp3 and mp4 w/o problems, but all-zoom out bug is always reproducible. Unfortunately, the fix has not made it into todays’ version 1.0.10, but the next update is scheduled already.
Do you have these types of problems w/o using scrollwhell zoom (just +/-, or zoom slider)?

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