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Wasn't the idea of a dev having to spend time coming up with s special build of their softsynth one of the things that doomed the Receptor? Do you think Native Instruments or Spectrasonics (for just two examples) are going to spend resources to port their stuff to a format that the Raspberry Pi can run? Can the Pi actually run heavyweight VSTs like those? I think these might be the flies in the ointment here.

I would be totally cool with a light and inexpensive R-Pi type of computer that could be built into a keyboard and give me a nice multi-sampled AP and EP, and maybe a few other basic sounds. This sounds like a project that might take some time and would probably not offer much of a monetary return for whoever works on it. And truth be told, for me, some of these cheaper 61-note lightweight synths are showing up with fairly decent sounds these days. But I would still love to be able to bring my 10-lb Roland APro to a gig, fire it up, and have my Native Instruments Grandeur acoustic piano and Scarbee EP ready to make noise, without bringing anything else. That would be a kick - but it doesn't sound like something that's gonna happen, unfortunately.

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Recompiling for different Cpu and OS is only difficult when the OS and the interfaces are very different. Cross compiling from Apple Unix to Linux or even to a working windows program can be easy when the software is professionally set up, more or less similar between x86 and Arm (like the new apple or, differently, the RPi.

Specific hardware will not run "VST"s mostly because dedicated chips can run specific tasks faster than general purpose CPU's.

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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Wasn't the idea of a dev having to spend time coming up with s special build of their softsynth one of the things that doomed the Receptor? Do you think Native Instruments or Spectrasonics (for just two examples) are going to spend resources to port their stuff to a format that the Raspberry Pi can run? Can the Pi actually run heavyweight VSTs like those?

I think any proprietary software of one company that is linked to/dependent upon the proprietary software of another company can mean trouble at some point for the user in the future. The Receptor was a good example of that, but actually so is any Apple or Windows software for that matter. Perhaps an open OS that the developer has control of could end the update game of chess.

I am sure there is some software like the Sprectrasonics that the current Raspberry Pi is not ready for. Will it or a similar sized computer on a card ever be? Who knows. There are some very powerful mini computers though. The fact that a few newer Korg synths are built on a Raspberry Pi is telling of the possibilities of that tiny thing.

We have discussed these ideas for many years now, but I still think it is doable and can happen at some point. I wish it would be sooner rather than later. All we need is some creative thought in how to, and in a way that makes it profitable for developers and midi controller manufacturers to be interested.


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I can imagine in near future something like Native Instruments keyboard with integrated Kontakt on PC that allows to load NI compatible software. The problem seems to be the compatibility. NI dont seem to support the products for the long time.

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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Do you think Native Instruments or Spectrasonics (for just two examples) are going to spend resources to port their stuff to a format that the Raspberry Pi can run?
The Raspberry Pi is pretty underpowered for running some of the more demanding VST software, but the bigger problem is that there are (almost) no VST makers offering anything on Linux. I'm hoping Apple's switch to ARM results in more VSTs ported to Linux, but it's still a long shot. While it's the same hardware architecture, developing for Linux is not as attractive as the Windows, MacOs and iOS markets.

That may all change if Intel and AMD decide to start producing ARM hardware for something other than the mobile and server markets, but in the meantime ARM is either Apple or maker/developer boards like the Raspberry Pi.

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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
I would be totally cool with a light and inexpensive R-Pi type of computer that could be built into a keyboard and give me a nice multi-sampled AP and EP, and maybe a few other basic sounds. This sounds like a project that might take some time and would probably not offer much of a monetary return for whoever works on it.
I have a DIY Pianoteq Sound Module built around a competitor to the Raspberry Pi - with a touchscreen for ease of use (click here to see). As I mentioned before there are almost no other commercial VSTs for Linux on ARM, so while I've got Acoustic and Electric pianos covered in Pianoteq, I'm still hoping someone will port over a decent Hammond organ. To round out the the sound set I will install the U-He synths which support Linux ARM.

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Originally Posted by Groove On
As I mentioned before there are almost no other commercial VSTs for Linux on ARM, so while I've got Acoustic and Electric pianos covered in Pianoteq, I'm still hoping someone will port over a decent Hammond organ.

Have you tried setBfree?

(I've only played with it for a few minutes, and it seemed OK to me, but I'm very much not a Hammond expert.)

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Originally Posted by bfields
Have you tried setBfree?
Yes. But when compared to the commercial offerings on Windows/Mac/iOs ... it's just okay.

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Originally Posted by Groove On
Yes. But when compared to the commercial offerings on Windows/Mac/iOs ... it's just okay.

Thanks, I can believe that.

For my purposes it seemed like it would be good enough.

Personally what I never figured out on Linux was how to manage the VSTs, map MIDI (e.g. for splits and layers), manage playlists of preset configurations, etc. I tried a few things but didn't manage to get anything working. Admittedly I didn't put a lot of time into it.

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Something else to keep in mind: the VST format is very Windows-centric. It's basically a .DLL with extensions, which is why you don't see VSTs supported in non-Windows environments.

In order for there to be a hardware-agnostic universal sound engine platform, somebody would need to come up with a hosting environment that isn't tied to a specific operating system. Which I think it totally doable. The hard part would be convincing enough publishers to sign on to it, and it would need some sort of DRM so that publishers could be confident they weren't going to get ripped off.

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I've compiled VST stuff on Linux too, maybe an older version but it's possible. Most likely it's possible to create a perfect audio solution on Linux in the sense that Linux is better at system talks than windows, speaking in general. There is Ladspa and Jack as "plugin" or "program audio connect" standard on Linux, so it is possible to connect a standard USB Midi keyboard and UAI 2.0 compatible USB audio interface (driver included in recent Linux), establish audio sinds and sources and run "plugins" based on Ladspa elements. Most of Ladspa (much of which used for later audio implementations) isn't very compute hungry or with complicated UI, but there are good reasons to use it. Under Jack as audio manager, those plugins will run accurate, sample for sample (something only more recently claimed by Steinberg, too), and there is quite a bunch of audio tools for Linux, not with the approach appealing to windows nerd, probably.

There's just one thing troubling about it, which is there is not a sample accurate Usb Midi input to my knowledge. Sample accurate midi messages is supported in the latest Jack tools, but there are not many programs that use it, and to my knowledge not interfaces that actually use it with accurate Midi time stampts or something similar. For pro type of use, the jack audio elements are pleasant because Linux is good at multi processing and sample accuracy is something I very much want.

It would be possible to port a Windows or Mac audio setup to Linux, but you'd need some equivalent drivers for audio and Midi, and Linux will not like the clearly undefined behaviours going on in there,and in the case of the Mac OS, there's probably commercial issues porting the Mac audio systematics, not so much technical ones. There is Jack for Windows, there are simulators, but the real problems aren't technical Linux limitations, and perfection isn't achievable with the x86 or Arm platforms mainly because none of them have true real time support for audio processing, too much virtual memory uncertainty, task switch overhead, on and off CPU network contention, so there's that.

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Originally Posted by Stefan011
I can imagine in near future something like Native Instruments keyboard with integrated Kontakt on PC that allows to load NI compatible software. The problem seems to be the compatibility. NI dont seem to support the products for the long time.

Yes. Or UVI Falcon, or Play or other sample player. Leave an available .nvme slot inside, and some reasonable amout of memory (or ram empty slot).
My money is ready.

Maurizio


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I just need a single enclosure for an M1 mac mini, MIDI controller, portable monitor, and audio I/O.

It's openlabs all over again.


I make software noises.
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