For the first time in many years I decided to give VST Connect another chance yesterday. I used it once, long ago in its early days, and found it to be flakey, to say the least. Surely by now the software would be mature and technically solid?
Despite the assurances of the manual, setting up was *not* easy - and having settings 'helpfully' automatically sorting themselves out behind the scenes did not make the process easier, but just lead to much head-scratching as to what had ended up being routed to where. Did Talkback need setting up in Control Room? Or did it need disabling? Do the Dim controls of VST Remote and Control sync together, or are they mutually exclusive? How do I switch to a different talkback mic? Many such questions - no answers.
The first showtopper appeared immediately. You have to have EXACTLY synchronised software versions on the local and remote machines - I had downloaded my software from Steinberg's link, yet this wasn't the latest version. Really? facepalm...
The first big snag was that the audio being returned to me was routed to the main output, yet not my headphone output - I had my speakers muted, so this one took a long time to track down. After a lot more head-scratching I ended up having to route the main out into my headphones. I didn't want this, but I had to take the expedient option. I never sorted that one out properly.
The remote performer was getting a short delayed version of his vocal back into his headphones all the time. It sounded fine to me at my end. We tried everything we could think of, but to no avail.
Then I discovered that when I had Talkback switched on it not only dimmed the backing, but also dimmed the feed from the remote to me. When unlatched his level went through the roof! Crazy.
The remote's laptop then crashed each time we started recording. We did this four times before deciding to give up.
All in all not the best experience, and not one I'll be hurrying to do again. I would have thought that this technology had matured by now, but it seems not, at least from my experience.
Is anyone using VST Remote successfully?
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VST Connect experiences
Exploring the tools and techniques for long-distance recording projects.
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