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Re: How to go all Software with guitar multieffector and looper

Hey Luis, I've gotten a few requests for this from group members so it seems on topic so I'm going to post it to the list.  Feel free to ask about any clarifications. Here's a slight edit form one I sent out his morning.

I originally started off with a JamMan, and later progressed to a
Repeater and later for a short time a Looperlative.  4 years ago
I purchased a Toshiba Satellite laptop.

The toshiba was a dual core (first gen) running at 2 gighz with 2 gig
of ram and I can still do a lot with it.  Luckily it had a compatible
Firewire chipset, as there are issues if you're going firewire and I
was (coming from the mac world where they adopted firewire really

If you're not going firewire then the choice is less of an issue I
think.  I did because I was already using a MOTU 828 with my Mac G5
and I heard that it is better for audio performance.  I know a lot of
people seem to do fine with USB2.  However if I were doing this all
over, I might look more seriously at getting a Mac laptop.  I find
them a lot less finicky than Windows machines, but there are some
software packages that have not been ported to the Mac.  Mobius has

The MOTU 828 gets me a buffer of 192 samples which is pretty
unnoticeable to me. I think I get a round trip latency of less than
12ms.  My mind had no issues compensating for it, it's like playing
on stage with your guitar amps about 10 feet behind you.

Some VST effects introduce latency into your system because they
need a bit more time, but these (Like PSP's Vintage Warmer) are
easily avoided or just used in mastering/mixdown when real time
isn't an issue.  Amplitube is made for real time performance so it
is not an issue at all, though it is fairly heavy.

Recently I looked at that Toshiba laptop and laughed at it.  It's been
more or less a desktop machine even though it was purchased with the
intent of live performance.  I think other than some time taking out
out on the local light rail system when I had a 45 min commute and I
could fool around with it to and from work, it left my studio about 2

So, when my POS general use laptop died (I keep the toshiba off the
internet to avoid issues) I figured it was time to upgrade and I
decided to stop lying to myself about performing live.  I like jamming
with other musicians but frankly even with an ultra small easy to
transport system I just didn't care to perform live.  I'd rather just
go over someone's home or invite someone over for an afternoon

So anyway, I recently purchased a Dell XPS 420 desktop.  It's pretty
quiet, and not I seem to have plenty of headroom in the cpu and ram
department.  I had to be more careful with the laptop, but don't get
me wrong, I could get a lot of stuff running, but when I started using
Amplitube for guitar sounds I could tax the processor to the point of
popping and clicks if I had another CPU intensive plug in like
Omnisphere running.  I bet with a new laptop that wouldn't be as much
of an issue. (the toshiba's about 4 years old I think)

I almost just started using my old G5 dual Quad Core machine.  Frankly
it's just as powerful as the new Dell but there were a few drum
instruments I use a lot that aren't ported for the Mac.  Jamstix and
mDrummer.  Really most of the good stuff does end up on the Mac.
There are just a few quirkier oddball things that are Windows only.

When my friend Kane comes over I'll often set the G5 up so that he
can loop via Augustus loop that's synced via midi.

The Dell came with Vista 64 and it's been trying.  My IK Multimedia
stealthpedal (to control Amplitube better) doesn't yet have 64 bit
drivers.  Vista REALLY wants you to be careful and basically
constantly bugs you about everything.  The good news is you can
basically get in and disable all of that.  If you do go with a Vista
based system I can help you avoid some of the pitfalls.  Now that all
the quirks have been worked out, it has been smooth sailing and the
machine is pretty great. I run my guitar into the MOTU 828 as well as
a DSI Mopho, Roland SonicCell and a few other hardware bits.  The
guitar tracks get effected by some flavor of Amplitube.  I think it's
the best amp modeler out there, but if you're going that direction try
all the demos. Other good ones I've found are Overloud's TH-1 and
Flying Haggis. (I think Flying Haggis is PC only)  All of this is
hosted by Live 8.  I like it because it's really made with live
performance in mind and even though I don't leave my studio, I do all
my stuff improvised in real time. I tried a bunch of other hosts to
see if I liked one more, but nothing seems to work as well or have as
intuitive an interface than Live.  I use MOTU's Digital Performer for
the Mac, but if I was going Mac from point A, I'd probably go Logic.
I know Per likes Bidule, but although flexible it seemed like a lot of
work to get started, but it does have a useful modular style.

Other tracks get VSTi synths.  There's a wealth of amazing stuff out
there now.  I love NI's KORE 2 (synths and effects processor) and
Zebra 2, Omnisphere, Alchemy, Korg's Legacy Collection, Helix... there
are a lot of great instruments, again most with demos. It's really
subjective so you're just going to have to explore.

For effects I like the Audiodamage stuff, Uhbik, Camel Audio stuff,
NI's Reaktor (also great for synths)  Again, it's a big world and
you'll have to dig to find what you like best.

The only thing I currently want to add to my system is a second
monitor.  I'm going to go with a touchscreen as a lot of the software
has cool xy "pads" built in and I think there's potential for a lot of
fun there.  I almost went with a HP Touchsmart computer and if I were
starting from nothing at this point and preforming I probably would
get this computer.  The stock ones are a little wimpy, but you can
order direct from HP and build quite a screamer.  Bigger than a laptop
(the size of an iMac) but when you put that bad boy up in your rig and
people watch you touching it the girls will be throwing their panties
at you in no time. The only reason I didn't go that route was money
was a little tight and I could get more power for my money with a
traditional machine and I already had a good 22" monitor.


On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 6:52 AM, L.Angulo <labaloops@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Mark,
Ive been wanting to do this as well use SW fx form my guitar and loop it all with mobius but ive never done it cause it looks a bit complicated,people use bidule,mainstage etc.ive never tried more than a single software on my PC or mac so i dont know how it compares to using hardware but the one thing i do not want is latency or constant crashes in using such configuration,i wont be so picky about the sound as long as is as good as lets say a hardware amp simulator like the vox tonelab or Boss GT.
 so would you be so kind to explain me in detail how you do this?
I am actually going to then save this email of yours and start trying it out,i am sick of carrying stuff around!
thanx man


--- Mark Sottilaro <zerocrossing@gmail.com> schrieb am Di, 23.6.2009:

> Von: Mark Sottilaro <zerocrossing@gmail.com>
> Betreff: FS: Vox Tonelab SE and Boss FV-1
> An: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Datum: Dienstag, 23. Juni 2009, 22:33
> I was mentioning my Boss VF-1 today
> and it occurred to me that it's
> been mostly unused for the last few years.  Sad, but
> I'm so deep into
> VSTlandia (wouldn't this be a good place for Per to live?
> ;) ) that I
> just don't need it. I was also hanging on to my Vox Tonelab
> SE too for
> when I ran out of CPU cycles (I'm mostly using amplitube
> these days)
> The truth is with my new box I'm just going to use it even
> less, or
> not at all.
> Boss VF-1 $160 shipped to the continental US
> Vox Tonelab SE: $260 shipped to the continental US (I have
> an extra
> power supply for it too)
> $400 gets them both!  They're a great pair (that's how
> I used them)
> Both have been lovingly cared for and have spent their time
> mostly in
> my smoke free home studio.  Many here can vouch for
> me.  I'm even nice
> sometimes.
> Mark