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View Full Version : Using Reaper to Host VST VI's in Pro Tools


DonaldM
11-08-2013, 05:47 AM
As always with the digital world, there's a dozen ways to do anything. Here's how I use Reaper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwTpL6EBGB4) to host my VST virtual instruments from within a PT instrument track. Hope it helps any of you wanting to do this.

lownotesinc
11-08-2013, 07:45 AM
Interesting! I've been doing almost the exact same thing for about two years now. So far, it's been working well.

YYR123
11-08-2013, 07:56 AM
Interesting! I've been doing almost the exact same thing for about two years now. So far, it's been working well.
Situation is that most people here haven't had to do this before - b/c they had compatable versions of the VI's but since several of the manufactures haven't or won't go to AAX-x64 this is where reaper bcame a revelant resource to help people meet their end.

Obviously you can still host VST based VI's in reaper as well as the other formats that are not yet AAX-x64

Shan
11-08-2013, 10:50 AM
Hosting VI's in REAPER has been a go-to solution for a ton of us for almost 6+ years now since the PT 7 era. A few session templates could probably still be found in the old LE forum somewhere and will still work. The brilliant devs at Cockos were great to work with on this during their own betas. I think I drove schwa nuts a few times with my nit picking to get it going right in PT. They kept the spirits up with some humorous names of their beta builds that included Pro Tools though. :D

It's hard to believe many of us have been using the ReWire solution in PT for over 11 years now. :eek: Avid had a competing solution called DirectConnect back in the day. The 3rd party VI developers didn't adopt this at all. I recall only about 3 who jumped aboard. We then petitioned here on the forum, more like rioted actually :D , for ReWire support. This was before there was a clause in the forum terms of use that prohibited petitions and polls. We finally got our ReWire support in PT and I knew this would be our back door to getting VSTi's going in Pro Tools. From there I approached Angus at FXpansion, and a few others, to develop a VSTi to ReWire adaptor. Creating bridges like this from different plug-in formats was pretty much his specialty and only product back then. He emailed me back 2 days later and had the first working VST to ReWire Adaptor up and running. We finally got our VSTi hosting in PT. DirectConnect eventually morphed into HTDM and other parts of PT, and the VST to ReWire Adaptor morphed into the VST to RTAS Adaptor. The rest as we say is history. Thought I'd throw in a bit of PT history trivia here for my first post of the day. :D :D

Shane

Jay_uk
11-08-2013, 12:53 PM
Great backstory Shan

I don't use it but i expect i will soon.
Does it save the load on PT at all ?
Say, rewiring Kontakt as opposed to using it rtas… AAX
Or any other VSTi for that matter.

Thanks DonaldM for the link

spenner
11-08-2013, 02:48 PM
Awesome video DonaldM. It looks like the VI hosts are here to stay. :cool:

Great backstory Shan


+1. Really great to have guys like Shan in the PT community. Using VEP5 now but I learned about Reaper ReWire, and Vanilla Disc Cache (http://duc.avid.com/showpost.php?p=1351558&postcount=175) from him, both tremendously enhancing my Vanilla workflow.

Shan, if you are ever in Atlanta, all you can eat vanilla ice cream cones on me. :D

Shan
11-08-2013, 03:23 PM
Great backstory Shan

I felt like an old DUC telling that one. Hey you APAChickens, get off my damn lawn!! :D :D :D

I don't use it but i expect i will soon.
Does it save the load on PT at all ?
Say, rewiring Kontakt as opposed to using it rtas… AAX
Or any other VSTi for that matter.

Thanks DonaldM for the link

I haven't checked recently but on my old 2008 Mac Pro 1,1 and Q6600 PC, I recall REAPER using only 2% CPU in the PT system usage window during some benchmark tests. I would imagine on a current i7 this would be very well under 1%. There are still many benefits using ReWire to host VI's:


Can host 64-bit, 32-bit or any-bit plug-ins in any version of PT. The bit depth doesn't matter.
Can stream any sample rate, bit-depth or type of audio files from VI samplers/sample players etc.
Flac, wav, ogg, mp3, and all other audio formats supported no matter what the bit-depth/sample rate of the PT session is.
Can do offline rendering/bounce in PT.
VI's are hosted outside of PT and can use as much RAM as needed. Good for older 32-bit versions of PT.
Works in any version of PT that supports ReWire.
If the plug-in crashes, PT won't crash.
If PT crashes, the plug-in won't crash, hence one can save the plug-in preset if necessary before closing.
Takes advantage of and uses Dynamic Plug-In Processing in PT.

I'm sure I missed a few other points. I always found my own system to run a bit smoother having the VI's hosted outside of PT on some of my older computers. I start with AAX/RTAS as my first step whenever possible though. It's good to have alternative tools to use in the audio toolbox.

Shane

YYR123
11-08-2013, 08:48 PM
So was the main use for vst instruments (that weren't RTAS) or to run lighter loads in PT?

Shan
11-09-2013, 12:55 PM
As for myself, I start with AAX/RTAS as my first step if they're available. In the past I noticed many NI VI's operated better when hosted compared to being instantiated as native RTAS in PT.

Shane

groundcontrol
11-09-2013, 08:27 PM
Confirmed.

DonaldM
11-11-2013, 11:53 AM
Awesome video DonaldM. It looks like the VI hosts are here to stay. :cool:


Thanks, Spenner! Yeah, I agree. Like everyone else I have plenty of AAX plugs, but there are some nice ones out there that aren't ever going to be AAX and its great to be able to still use them via Rewire, or hosted in something like VEPro or the Blue Cat Audio MB-7. I just wish the Rewire avenue was a 2-way street. I've never really understood why it isn't. I'd love to be able to just send an audio signal from any source in PT TO the Rewire host (Reaper, say), add whatever processing I want there, just like sending to an Aux bus, and then send it back via Rewire to the main mix. I guess there might be latency issues, but I'm not sure why, since its all "in the box" anyway. How different would it be from Send/Return on an Aux bus? Does anyone know the technical reasons why Rewire can only go From the host to PT but the other way?

Shan
11-12-2013, 07:28 PM
...I just wish the Rewire avenue was a 2-way street. I've never really understood why it isn't. I'd love to be able to just send an audio signal from any source in PT TO the Rewire host (Reaper, say), add whatever processing I want there...

ReWire is a bidirectional protocol, but it's up to the developers of the app to include it. A DAW like REAPER can both send and receive, but as you know PT can only receive unfortunately. I've sent audio out from PT to other audio programs like REAPER and then routed it back into PT. There's a few ways to achieve this. In the past I used ReaStream via the old VST to RTAS Adapter. I also had success using optical audio looped back into the computer. Too bad we didn't have this functionality natively at the OS level.

Shane

DonaldM
11-13-2013, 06:08 AM
ReWire is a bidirectional protocol, but it's up to the developers of the app to include it. A DAW like REAPER can both send and receive, but as you know PT can only receive unfortunately. I've sent audio out from PT to other audio programs like REAPER and then routed it back into PT. There's a few ways to achieve this. In the past I used ReaStream via the old VST to RTAS Adapter. I also had success using optical audio looped back into the computer. Too bad we didn't have this functionality natively at the OS level.

Shane

Right. I know I can export and audio track from PT and import to Reaper (or Reason for that matter). I did NOT know until you posted this that Rewire was, in fact, BI-directional. No one has ever told me that. In fact, every time I've asked about this its always been discussed as if it were UNI-directional. But if Reaper is BI-directional, I wonder if Reason is too? If so, would be interesting to see if I can use that running Reason and Reaper from within PT instrument tracks. Create a synth sound in Reaper, and run it through one of the many processing units on Reason with audio back out to PT. That would be fun!

Shan
11-13-2013, 12:17 PM
...But if Reaper is BI-directional, I wonder if Reason is too?...

Reason can send and receive ReWire, but to a very limited degree when it comes to receiving it. It can only host/receive from ReBirth, which I always thought was odd. I'm not sure if that's changed in newer versions of Reason.

Shane

DonaldM
11-14-2013, 09:41 PM
Reason can send and receive ReWire, but to a very limited degree when it comes to receiving it. It can only host/receive from ReBirth, which I always thought was odd. I'm not sure if that's changed in newer versions of Reason.

Shane

I'm going to play around with it and try to find out! I'll report back. If the protocol for Rewire is bidirectional, then I wish all the DAWs out there, especially PT would just implement that way! Why limit the option?

Shan
11-16-2013, 10:49 AM
...Rewire is bidirectional, then I wish all the DAWs out there, especially PT would just implement that way! Why limit the option?

It was implemented in PT over 10 years ago by digidesign with a different agenda fitting that time period. This would be a very big development cycle to have it go both ways in PT. I still wouldn't mind seeing it though.

Shane