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V-Machine Feedback?


wd8dky

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  • 8 months later...


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I know the original post is nine months old, but I just joined up. Maybe there's some interest now in the V-Machine.

 

I'm in a very lengthy, painful process of trying to decide how to morph from hardware keyboards into virtual. After months of research I came across the Receptor -- very expensive at $2,500 -- and then later to the V-Machine, about $599.

 

I just talked to SM Pro Audio, and they said v2.0 will be out in a few weeks -- way behind schedule -- and that it should have all the bugs worked out. As for the $200 drop-in upgrade that will increase its processing power, that could still be months away. I'm a little nervous about complaints I've read about the original version, even after many upgrade downloads available on the website. I can't see using more than three sounds at a time -- the VB3 on one controller and a piano on the other, possibly layered with strings. TruePianos comes with it and is supposed to give very little drag on the processing. I don't want to spend on a receptor, and I don't want to have to rely on a laptop on stage.

 

So that's where I am.

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From what I remember reading elsewhere, to the best of my recollection...

 

--- it was buggier in setup than in live performance (better than the other way around!)

 

--- the buginess has been significantly reduced in their software updates

 

--- its processor has enough power to do a good job for sample playback, but can get bogged down if you're trying to do much in the way of real-time processing of synthesizer emulations

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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With a new product or recently released product, I would wait to make sure that the bugs that would be bothersome to you are gone, and the quality is there, before buying. In particular, I would want to be reading positive user feedback at places like this forum.
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+10.

 

If you're looking to build a "beta" rig for giggles, it can be fun and giddy to be out on the bleeding edge of new music technology. Giddy like that feeling you get on a motorcycle when you finally realize you took that apex too hot.

 

If you're looking to build your gig rig, proven and stable are non-negotiable.

 

 

..
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I have a Receptor rev. A and a V-machine. The V will run one plug at a time, a new Receptor is way more powerful. But - if all you need is one plug, the V is compact and easy to use. I have VB3 (B3), OP-X (Oberheim and more) and Stringer (string machine) in mine, and they work flawlessly. My Receptor usually handles AAS Ultra Analog, NI Pro-53, a souple of instances of FM8 and Kontakt 3.
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if all you need is one plug, the V is compact and easy to use. I have VB3 (B3), OP-X (Oberheim and more) and Stringer (string machine) in mine, and they work flawlessly.

 

So do I understand correctly that you cannot run VB3 and Stringer at the same time? And would that be because the design of the piece doesn't permit it, or because it doesn't have the horsepower?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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So do I understand correctly that you cannot run VB3 and Stringer at the same time? And would that be because the design of the piece doesn't permit it, or because it doesn't have the horsepower?

 

It doesn't have the horsepower (1GHz CPU). The outputs are also -10 so it's hard to get the V-Machine loud enough if you're planning to take it live. Although the software and firmware improved significantly in the year that I had mine, I finally gave up and sold it. There was also a CPU upgrade in the works, but times being what they are, it has yet to materialize. SM Pro Audio also had a V-Rack in the works that had a lot more horsepower but it was never released. In spite of my negative experiences with the V-Machine, I'd probably get a V-Rack.

 

 

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

My Genesis Tribute Band: www.sellingfairfaxbythepound.com

 

 

 

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...SM Pro Audio also had a V-Rack in the works that had a lot more horsepower but it was never released. In spite of my negative experiences with the V-Machine, I'd probably get a V-Rack.

 

I'm rooting for the underdog (SM Pro Audio in this case vs. Muse Research). Without (hopefully) sounding political I'm all for the basic tenets of free-market capitalism e.g. make as much money as possible by all means, especially if the supply is low while demand is high, etc. I also like the idea (which isn't mutually exclusive of free market capitalism nor vice versa, mind you) of *healthy competition*, and choices/options for consumers. Outside of laptop rigs, I see a void of competition to the Muse Receptor. Kudos, to Muse Research for their success and saavy on all fronts, btw. If SM Pro steps up with their proposed V-Rack and it offers most or all the functionality of the Receptor (not inviting argument over which Receptor model) for say 1/3, or even around 1/2 the cost of similar Receptor...I won't speak for others, but I'll probably be interested in buying the V Rack.

Hammond-Suzuki XK-3c, Neo Instruments Ventilator, Moog Music Little Phatty Stage II, Kurzweil PC2r.
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  • 4 months later...
I've been considering the V-Machine as well; mainly to just run VB3 and MiniMogue (not using them at the same time). I have an HP netbook with equivalent specs and using that to run those same VSTs and it's working out fine. And damn does that little HP put out some huge volume!! I was shocked - it sounds great! So I might just keep using it for indoor gigs at least. One coming up so I'll report on that afterwards.

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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I've been considering the V-Machine as well; mainly to just run VB3 and MiniMogue (not using them at the same time). I have an HP netbook with equivalent specs and using that to run those same VSTs and it's working out fine.

Can you run the netbook with the lid closed, and simply call up your patches from your keyboard, without needing either visual feedback from the screen nor access to its keyboard? To me, that would be ideal, as it is the "open" nature of the netbook that makes it seem so precarious and susceptible to damage of some sort, IMO. Well, that and maybe the hard drive, though you could get around that by substituting an SSD.

 

I guess the V-Machine still has an edge in just how small it is, and that there is a small set of buttons and a small display, for some on-unit functionality of a sort that would still require a fully open screen to duplicate on a netbook. I wonder if it also had an advantage in reliability/stability (i.e. lack of glitches).

 

I might just keep using it for indoor gigs at least. One coming up so I'll report on that afterwards.

Oh no! Never say you have a gig coming up with a piece of gear and will report back afterwards. Almost invariably, when someone says that in any online forum, you never hear from them again. It is apparently an invitation to alien abduction.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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The VFX setup/config environment has been available for Mac for a couple of months. Both the Windows and the Mac version seem to be perpetually beta, but I have high hopes that this is the year of "V1.0" :confused:

 

http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/service/vmachinedownloads

 

For simple setups, which is realistically all you should probably try with the current hardware, you can actually install a VST on the device without using the "host" software; all you need is a thumb drive. So, even if the Mac software isn't ready for prime time, you can still use the box if you have some computer savvy and don't mind fiddling with text editors and file/folders.

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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I've been considering the V-Machine as well; mainly to just run VB3 and MiniMogue (not using them at the same time). I have an HP netbook with equivalent specs and using that to run those same VSTs and it's working out fine.

Can you run the netbook with the lid closed, and simply call up your patches from your keyboard, without needing either visual feedback from the screen nor access to its keyboard? To me, that would be ideal, as it is the "open" nature of the netbook that makes it seem so precarious and susceptible to damage of some sort, IMO. Well, that and maybe the hard drive, though you could get around that by substituting an SSD.

I haven't tried adjusting the power settings but the default is that the netbook goes into standby when the lid is closed. But I can change patches from my keyboard controllers quite easily and have sliders mapped to drawbars and so forth so I don't have to deal with the netbook's interface at all.

 

As for size, the netbook is quite small (10" screen) but very bright and will last about 9 hours on its battery.

I might just keep using it for indoor gigs at least. One coming up so I'll report on that afterwards.

Oh no! Never say you have a gig coming up with a piece of gear and will report back afterwards. Almost invariably, when someone says that in any online forum, you never hear from them again. It is apparently an invitation to alien abduction.

Heh! Not here - I already promised Mate Stubb! But we do lots of outdoor gigs in spring and summer which is why the V-Machine caught my interest.

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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It's working great at practice and I don't foresee any problems as it'll be a low key gig. I've been considering using the netbook at the outdoor gig as well.

 

What kind of latency are you getting from your netbook? sample buffer size?

thanks

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I'm in a very lengthy, painful process of trying to decide how to morph from hardware keyboards into virtual. After months of research I came across the Receptor -- very expensive at $2,500 -- and then later to the V-Machine, about $599.

The high-end Receptor 2 Pro Max is $2500, but at the moment the standard Receptor 2 is $1600.

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Should have two more viable options by the end of the year:

 

MuseBox

 

and

 

V-Rack

 

MuseBox is a down-scale Receptor; V-Rack is an up-scale V-Machine. Prices will likely be $800-$1000 -- right in the middle.

 

Also, by the end of the year there will also be a CPU-upgrade kit for the V-Machine; this will bring it on par with the V-Rack's performance, but the latter will still have the edge as far as the audio hardware and connections.

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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Should have two more viable options by the end of the year:

 

MuseBox

Where are you hearing that? Many have been waiting for this unit for a while now.

 

Meanwhile, the page you linked to still says this.

 

The MuseBox will be available in spring 2010 from authorized retailers with a U.S. MSRP of $1299.99. Find out more at www.museresearch.com.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Should have two more viable options by the end of the year:

 

and

 

V-Rack

 

 

The V-Rack is "to be announced" since years and I doubt it will appear to the end of this year,- maybe never.

 

If it appeares, the specs are so outdated, you don´t want it anymore, I fear.

 

I also find it extremely uncomfortable to use a additional computer to do the setups/presets, regardless it´s a V-Machine or V-Rack.

That´s not a good concept to work fast during rehearsals or to do any changes necessary before a gig, maybe during a sound check.

 

IMO, if I´d have to carry around a computer anyway, it should do all the work incl. hosting my plugs and libraries, these being editable directly on that machine.

 

A.C.

 

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I also find it extremely uncomfortable to use a additional computer to do the setups/presets, regardless it´s a V-Machine or V-Rack.

For me, for live performance, the whole idea is to look at a V-Machine, not as a computer, but instead as a sound module, like a Roland SonicCell or a Motif Rack... i.e. it's just a bunch of sounds I can call up from my PX-3 or whatever, except instead of being limited to the sounds in a SonicCell or Motif Rack, I can choose from a wide range of plug-in based sound sources.

 

Similarly, if you're looking for an organ module, I'm not sure there's any down-side to using a V-Machine running VB3 compared to using a Hammond XM-2... instead of it being a "computer" I'd look at it as just another clonewheel module, except it's less expensive, more easily upgradeable to future improvements, and more versatile in that it can also do other things besides be an organ module. No?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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For me, for live performance, the whole idea is to look at a V-Machine, not as a computer, but instead as a sound module, like a Roland SonicCell or a Motif Rack... i.e. it's just a bunch of sounds I can call up from my PX-3 or whatever, except instead of being limited to the sounds in a SonicCell or Motif Rack, I can choose from a wide range of plug-in based sound sources.

 

Similarly, if you're looking for an organ module, I'm not sure there's any down-side to using a V-Machine running VB3 compared to using a Hammond XM-2... instead of it being a "computer" I'd look at it as just another clonewheel module, except it's less expensive, more easily upgradeable to future improvements, and more versatile in that it can also do other things besides be an organ module. No?

 

What he said. +1. :thu:

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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instead of it being a "computer" I'd look at it as just another clonewheel module, except it's less expensive, more easily upgradeable to future improvements, and more versatile in that it can also do other things besides be an organ module. No?

 

That's exactly how I use mine. With the V-machine I use the PC3 sliders and switches to control it. In my Receptor, I've mapped the VB3 to my B4D drawbar controller to free the PC3 up for other duties.

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For me, for live performance, the whole idea is to look at a V-Machine, not as a computer, but instead as a sound module, like a Roland SonicCell or a Motif Rack... i.e. it's just a bunch of sounds I can call up from my PX-3 or whatever, except instead of being limited to the sounds in a SonicCell or Motif Rack, I can choose from a wide range of plug-in based sound sources.

 

I know very well what users have in mind if they´re looking for the V-Machine:

A cheap or the cheapest VSTi player (as a sound module) possible.

Nothing against that demand, it could be also mine.

 

It all depends on what you want to do with it, NOW or in near future.

 

For me, personally, it´s not imaginable, I prepared some setups @home, come w/ the box to a rehearsal, a gig or a tour,- not being able to edit my presets then, except I have a laptop running VFX w/ me.

 

Really, in that case, I´d try to configurate my laptop for audio/midi performance.

 

I never ever had the case I didn´t have to make changes to any setup I prepared @home.

 

Similarly, if you're looking for an organ module, I'm not sure there's any down-side to using a V-Machine running VB3 compared to using a Hammond XM-2... instead of it being a "computer" I'd look at it as just another clonewheel module, except it's less expensive, more easily upgradeable to future improvements, and more versatile in that it can also do other things besides be an organ module. No?

 

There´s a misinterpretation in your lines. I don´t look at the V-Machine as a computer,- and you´re right depending on the "organ clonewheel module.

This exactly is the task a V-machine will do NOW w/ VB-3 and if you have the right controller keyboard to do that.

 

But,- GSi works on the next generation of organ engine and there is no guarantee, it will run on a V-Machine then.

 

In addition, there was much discussion @ KvR about processor upgrades for V-Machine since years,- nothing happened and I doubt it will.

 

A.C.

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What he said. +1. :thu:

 

It is not that flexible.

The CPU limits of a V-Machine are already reached w/ uHe Zebralette which is only 1 OSC of Zebra and has no filters.

 

As an example:

Zebralette needs 5-6% CPU on a Intel Core2Duo 1.8GHz desktop machine but is reported to get these polyphony issues on V-Machine.

 

I´m working w/ VST developers in regards of optimizing plugins and they also try to get their stuff running on V-Machine.

We know the limits very well.

 

Even a hardware upgrade of the V-Machine itself isn´t that easy at this form factor, power- and cooling demands of faster processors.

 

Actually, optimizing a freebee Minimoog clone is discussed.

Only improving the filter (which actually is 12dB LP) to 24dB LP, implementing a 12dB/24dB switch for backwards compatibility of patches and improving the audio-out/audio-in loopback behaviour doubles the CPU,- 100% increase.

If the plug will be optimized, it eventually will not run on V-Machine anymore.

 

So, a V-Rack w/ more CPU cycles, larger cache etc. would be great,- if it ever will see the daylight.

 

A.C.

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