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#1322191 - 12/09/09 09:32 PM VSThost, Truepianos
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
I've used Truepianos standalone for awhile with my DP. I downloaded vsthost with the intention of using Truepianos as a VSTi (next step will be to add string VSTi). Lots of questions, first is what's going on. I think I understand this is what's happening with just Truepianos and no vsthost:

DP ->midi-> soundcard-> midi->
Truepianos -> digital audio ->
soundcard -> analog audio ->
speakers

Is this what happens when I use vsthost:?

DP->midi->soundcard->midi->
vsthost->midi->
Truepianos-> digital audio->
vsthost->digital audio->
soundcard->analog audio->
speakers

So vsthost is a program that can take midi input from a source like my DP, and send it to multiple instruments, in this case just Truepianos. Then what happens? Truepianos sends a digital audio signal back into vsthost, which "mixes" it with digital audio from other instruments and sends it to the soundcard? Or does vsthost just send midi to each instrument, and each instrument sends digital audio to the soundcard?

Many more questions configuring vsthost once I understand the big picture.
thanks
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#1322248 - 12/09/09 10:37 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: MarkL
... Truepianos sends a digital audio signal back into vsthost, which "mixes" it with digital audio from other instruments and sends it to the soundcard?


That is pretty much it. It sounds to me as if "vsthost" is acting as a kind of primitive "DAW". Typically you'd be using a DAW software for recording and then using software instruments like Truepiano VST as a kind of "plug in".

But the purpose of the VST is to convert midi data to audio.

One technical nit-pick You do not send midi data to a sound card. Maybe you have an external USB interface that combines sound and mini but these are two different interfaces that just happen to share a box. So I'd write DP -> MIDI -> midi interface -> USB -> VST Host -> VST ->.....

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#1322472 - 12/10/09 08:27 AM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: ChrisA]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
One technical nit-pick You do not send midi data to a sound card. Maybe you have an external USB interface that combines sound and mini but these are two different interfaces that just happen to share a box. So I'd write DP -> MIDI -> midi interface -> USB -> VST Host -> VST ->.....


Yes, understood. My original diagram had midi going into the midi port on my Audiophile 2496 soundcard, but the diagram got so complicated I just shortened it to soundcard.

OK, now I'm off to try to understand the configuration questions in vsthost. The manual assumes a level of familiarity that I don't have with audio and midi device jargon, so this will be largely experimental.
thanks
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Yamaha P90

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#1322592 - 12/10/09 11:38 AM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
Originally Posted By: MarkL
Or does vsthost just send midi to each instrument, and each instrument sends digital audio to the soundcard?


I've used VSTHost for a while and this is how I understand it. If you have 2 separate VST instruments they are both receiving the midi data at the same time and sending their output to VSTHosts output. The power comes from the fact that you can chain various vsts to any of the instruments to create any combination of effects you want. I've linked an image of VSTHost here to show a simple routing. You may have already gotten this far in your understanding but here it is anyway.

VSTHost Example 1

This is just a basic example of what I think you might want to do. It shows an instance of Truepianos and an instance of Omnisphere. In this case, I've also added a reverb effect to Truepianos just for illustration. I've connected only Truepianos to Glaceverb. If you also wanted to run Omnisphere through Glaceverb all you'd have to do is connect the little blue box on the right side of the Omnisphere instance to the little blue box on the left side of the Glaceverb instance.

In the second example Omnisphere runs to the stereo enhancer and bypasses the reverb while Truepianos goes through the reverb first then into the stereo enhancer. I'm sure you get the idea. The routing possibilities with VSTHost are almost endless.

VSTHost Example 2
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Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1322733 - 12/10/09 02:44 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
Originally Posted By: setchman
[You may have already gotten this far in your understanding but here it is anyway.

Ha, that's a good one. I haven't made it past configuring the pull down menus that define MIDI device in, audio device out, etc.
Quote:
If you have 2 separate VST instruments they are both receiving the midi data at the same time and sending their output to VSTHosts output.

Light bulb just went on, I get it. Your examples are exactly what I'm trying to do, so it's very helpful. I'll play some more tonight, you may get a PM from me.
thanks
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Yamaha P90

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#1322982 - 12/10/09 09:31 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
OK, trying to install Truepianos as a plugin. Pull down the vsthost menu "file->new plugin". It seems to want the location of a .dll associated with Truepianos, but there is no dll to be found in the Truepianos area. So I tried pointing it to the Truepianos.exe, but it doesn't show up. How do I get Truepianos installed as a plugin?
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Yamaha P90

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#1323004 - 12/10/09 10:03 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Just curious, why not just use a DAW instead of vsthost?

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#1323006 - 12/10/09 10:04 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: MarkL
OK, trying to install Truepianos as a plugin. Pull down the vsthost menu "file->new plugin". It seems to want the location of a .dll associated with Truepianos, but there is no dll to be found in the Truepianos area. So I tried pointing it to the Truepianos.exe, but it doesn't show up. How do I get Truepianos installed as a plugin?


Maybe when you installed Truepianos it dumped the .dll in a Shared plug-in directory.

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#1323019 - 12/10/09 10:26 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: Triryche]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
Originally Posted By: Triryche

Maybe when you installed Truepianos it dumped the .dll in a Shared plug-in directory.


Yep, that's what happened. It's in Program Files\VST. Let's see if that works.
thanks
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Yamaha P90

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#1323025 - 12/10/09 10:30 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
Originally Posted By: MarkL
Originally Posted By: Triryche

Maybe when you installed Truepianos it dumped the .dll in a Shared plug-in directory.


Yep, that's what happened. It's in Program Files\VST. Let's see if that works.
thanks


Hey hey! it works. Thanks for everyone's help. Off to load a string instrument and see how the two work together.
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Yamaha P90

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#1323437 - 12/11/09 03:29 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: Triryche]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
MarkL,

I'm glad to see you're making headway. I was trying to get a video made yesterday and posted to my website to help walk someone through the process of getting started with VSTHost. Unfortunately, work got in the way and I didn't have enough time to finish it but I'm going to get something posted soon. It may no longer be of any value to you by the time I get one made but maybe it will help someone else down the road.

Originally Posted By: Triryche
Just curious, why not just use a DAW instead of vsthost?

I would agree that if you're going to do any kind of serious recording, especially when multiple tracks are involved, any half-way decent DAW would probably work better than VSTHost.

VSTHost is good in a couple of specific instances, though, First off, it's free so anyone who is just starting out working with virtual instruments or plugins can use this program as a way to get their feet wet without spending any money on a DAW. Once you have VSTHost setup correctly I don't think it's nearly as intimidating as most DAWS are, especially if all you want to do is test out some plugins.

If you have a certain setup, i.e. Truepianos and a couple of effects plugins, I think it can be easier to set up a performance and access it quickly if you just want to play and not necessarily record. I know you can do the same with your DAW but it's just one more option available.

Obviously, it's not nearly as powerful as a good DAW but it makes playing around and experimenting with plugins quick and easy.
_________________________
Kawai K-3
Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1323455 - 12/11/09 03:55 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: setchman
If you have a certain setup, i.e. Truepianos and a couple of effects plugins, I think it can be easier to set up a performance and access it quickly if you just want to play and not necessarily record. I know you can do the same with your DAW but it's just one more option available.


Ah Ha!!
Real time sound and effects!! I totally didn't think of that application at the time.
So in that aspect, do stand alone vst hosts typically offer less latency?

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#1323525 - 12/11/09 05:06 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: Triryche]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
I think any issues you have with latency may be more related to your drivers and how you have your hardware setup. VSTHost is using the same drivers that any other audio program/DAW would be using so I don't know that you will automatically see better performance.

Having said that, VSTHost may use less system resources than another DAW just because it's a smaller program so that could help with overall performance. But if you're having latency issues using another audio program I don't know that VSTHost will automatically work better.
_________________________
Kawai K-3
Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1323673 - 12/11/09 09:06 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Not sure if I would have latency issues, I don't use any vst's in real time, just post processing.

@ setchman - dumb question (MarkL,sorry for going partially off topic)
Are your sounds and/or effects from the Motif XS8 available as a vst plug-in ?
I'm pretty sure the answer is NO.
I have an S90es and just want to make sure I'm not overlooking an extraordinary feature!

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#1323712 - 12/11/09 10:22 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: Triryche]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
Originally Posted By: Triryche
Not sure if I would have latency issues, I don't use any vst's in real time, just post processing.

You're correct, latency shouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
Are your sounds and/or effects from the Motif XS8 available as a vst plug-in ? I'm pretty sure the answer is NO.
I have an S90es and just want to make sure I'm not overlooking an extraordinary feature!

You're correct again. Neither the sounds or effects are available as plugins BUT if you want to upgrade to the S90XS you can have the exact same sounds and effects. wink
_________________________
Kawai K-3
Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1323714 - 12/11/09 10:28 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: setchman

You're correct again. Neither the sounds or effects are available as plugins BUT if you want to upgrade to the S90XS you can have the exact same sounds and effects. wink


As a VST?? Or you just mean as the Motif XS?

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#1323743 - 12/11/09 11:37 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: Triryche]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
Sorry I wasn't very clear. The S90XS now features the same sound and effects engine as the Motif XS. That was one of the big changes with the new model. The only thing the S90XS can't do (in terms of sounds) is use any of the 3rd party sounds available for Motif since it still doesn't the have expansion capabilities. I can, however, create a sound using the Motif's built-in patches, effects and all, export it and then import it into an S90XS. That feature may not be useful to most people but it illustrates how the sound engines have been made identical.
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Kawai K-3
Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1323765 - 12/12/09 12:21 AM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I figured that, just like the S90es is the same engine as the Motif es.

What I haven't done is look at the specs to see what the upgrades from ex to xs are. I dare not do this as it will definitely give me a bad case of GAS, and there's no way I can justify (to my wife) the upgrade. Not that I'm hurting with the S90es, heck, I still feel spoiled owning it! I think one thing I did inadvertently find out was the S90xs has an on board sequencer.

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#1324235 - 12/12/09 08:34 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: Triryche]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
I now have a strings plugin in addition to Truepianos, and I wouldn't call it beautiful but I have both working together. There is no documentation that I can find for the dsk strings plugin, and nearly everything on the controls that it offers are foreign to me. For example the word "volume" appears nowhere, but many words I've never heard of do, such as "flanger and bend range". The sound of the strings isn't bad, still experimenting.
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Yamaha P90

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#1324242 - 12/12/09 09:11 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
I've downloaded a lot of plugins but somehow I missed that one. I'll have to download it myself and give it a try. There are so many little gems like that scattered throughout the Internet it's hard to keep track of them all.
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Kawai K-3
Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1324532 - 12/13/09 01:57 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
Originally Posted By: setchman
I've downloaded a lot of plugins but somehow I missed that one. I'll have to download it myself and give it a try. There are so many little gems like that scattered throughout the Internet it's hard to keep track of them all.


If you try it let me know how it compares to others, it's the only one I've tried. I must be doing something wrong because there is a range of voices from individual strings up to full orchestral strings, and the orchestral strings don't sound nearly as full or high quality as say the cello by itself.
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#1325799 - 12/15/09 09:15 AM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
I finally got around to playing with DSK Strings and considering that it's free, it's not that bad. Some detailed documentation would be helpful but it seems to have enough settings to get half-way decent sounds from it if you're willing to spend time making the necessary adjustments.

The only thing that you'll find that will sound better is a commercial product like Garritan or ikmultimedia's philharmonik. You can add various effects to DSK Strings and get a better sound but it just takes a lot of experimenting.

I have created a few simple videos on using VSTHost but I've just been too busy to get everything cleaned up and posted. They're pretty basic but they still may be helpful to someone who's never used the program and who's just getting started with virtual instruments. Hopefully, I can get them posted soon.
_________________________
Kawai K-3
Yamha Motif XS8
BlackGrand.com

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#1326202 - 12/15/09 08:58 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: setchman]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
Thanks, the videos would be a help for those who follow in your footsteps.
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Yamaha P90

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#1326776 - 12/16/09 03:48 PM Re: VSThost, Truepianos [Re: MarkL]
setchman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 166
I finally got some videos up on my website. If you have already been using VSTHost for a while I doubt there will be anything new there but hopefully they can provide some useful information to those who are getting started with virtual instruments and vst plugins. With the exception of TruePianos, everything else I use and reference in the videos is freeware so that should help those who just want to experiment.

This is my first shot at making videos to "educate" others (if you can call it that) so if anyone sees ways to make them better or more informative, I'd appreciate the feedback. Here's the link:

http://blackgrand.com/vsthost


Edited by setchman (12/16/09 04:32 PM)
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