jarucopunk
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:30 pm

PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:21 pm

I have this crazy idea to implement RasPi as a standalone VST host/sampler like the MuseResearch Receptor and the SM Pro Audio V-Machine. From watching omenie's and echolevel's excellent work I think it'd be possible! I decided to write down my conclusions to see if I can get any input from you guys.

What do you think about the following setup?

Input
- DIY MIDI input via GPIO (since MIDI over USB eats up a lot of resources). Velocity sensitivity (?)

Software
- Non-WINE VST host such as JOST (http://www.anticore.org/jucetice/)
- LinuxSampler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinuxSampler
- Other interesting soft http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/apps/categor ... d_samplers

Output
The only option for good audio right now seems to be via HDMI. I wonder if it will be possible to use faster USB audio cards with MIDI built-in.

Thoughts?

echolevel
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:24 am

Sounds like quite a project! I'm sure it's possible, in terms of getting all the VST API calls hooked up, but I suppose then it's a sliding scale of resources vs capability. I can't offer much in the way of practical advice, except for the fact that I'd imagine OSC would be a much better way to control this. Buuuut...that might defeat the point of the endeavour since it would require a computer to be involved somewhere along the way... Mind you, there are *some* controllers out there that'll send OSC - notable the Lemur, via a standard cat5 crossover cable. But Lemurs are stupidly expensive (and now out of production, I think), therefore at odds with the idea of a RasPi-cost standalone VST machine.

Probably best to ignore that cyclical musing and aim for a GPIO MIDI interface. It's what I plan to do, anyway :) Good luck!

jarucopunk
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:30 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:21 pm

Unfortunately I'm not a programmer and I don't even have the Pi yet. I got this idea after deciding to buy an electronic drum kit which has crappy onboard samples (most of them do, so people play them through software). But I think I'll purchase the Pi so I can start learning hands-on.

I'll keep following everyone's progress. Thanks for sharing!

PS: If USB latency can be resolved in future updates, this would really make things easier hardware-wise!

jdubin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:27 am

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:01 pm

Take a look at http://www.monoprice.com/products/produ ... 1&format=4 - at ~$30, this might be a relatively inexpensive way to get audio out of the Pi w/o having to use USB audio.

jarucopunk
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:30 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:53 am

Thanks! That does look like good solution for clear analog sound.
Would it be possible to power up both devices off one 5v adapter (to keep things in one box)? Since RasPi is 5v 300mA(model A)/700mA(model B) and converter is 5v 2A, would everything work ok on a 5v 3A DC adapter?

PS: I just found a cool piece of soft, Oracle VirtualBox, which should allow me to install Raspbian and start learning it before I actually get the Pi in my hands! :)

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:37 pm

jarucopunk wrote:Thanks! That does look like good solution for clear analog sound.
Would it be possible to power up both devices off one 5v adapter (to keep things in one box)? Since RasPi is 5v 300mA(model A)/700mA(model B) and converter is 5v 2A, would everything work ok on a 5v 3A DC adapter?
According to the picture:

Image

it ships with it's own power supply, which has a simple barrel connector (by the looks of it). The spec page says the device power requirements are 5V, 5W max (which equates to 1 amp). It should be possible to jerry-rig some leads to allow the use of one psu, but it's a bit of a faff and there's always the remote possibility of some sort of earth loop issue, I suppose.
In any case it's worth mentioning that any HDMI converter you purchase should have the capability of being powered externally in some way (some use a USB port just for power) - the HDMI spec wasn't designed for adapters hoovering power out of the HDMI 5V power rail - it can fry a protection diode on the Pi.

Edit: full marks for your idea on implementing a VST host btw! Be aware that Jack (should it be required by any of your applications) may not be supported yet - it might be an ALSA thing (it is rather alpha at the moment).

mikkel
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:39 am

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:46 am

I was actually thinking about the exact same thing. I don't know whether you started programming yet, but I thought I'd share some advice. In terms of the DSP I'd probably go with PureData as host for the VST's. There's even a dedicated vst~object, that will let you load your plug-ins directly into yout patch. I haven't had PD running on my Pi since july, where the audio drivers were still not really working properly, but it might be resolved at this point.
I'm curious to hear how far you've taken the project so far..

Cheers

johann
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:52 pm

Are you thinking about this for your own built VST plugins?

I don't think there are any arm binary plugins available.

brettins
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:29 pm

Hey jarucopunk, I've been toying around with this idea for a bit and just saw your post. How far have you gotten with this?

pitinga
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:37 pm

Hi... I'm starting a similar project.

Someone managed to advance this project?

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AutoStatic
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:27 pm
Contact: Website

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:22 pm

You can only run native Linux VST's and then you have to first compile them for ARM which probably won't work. But who needs VST's anyway when there's LV2. There are even LV2 ports of some great VST's which might run on the RPi. But the RPi probably can't be used as a hardware VST host.
RPi and real-time, low-latency audio: http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/raspberrypi
RPi audio repository: http://rpi.autostatic.com/
RPi and audio blog: https://autostatic.com/tag/raspberrypi/

pitinga
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:24 am

I don't know about LV2. I read about it for the first time now in the last post.

But the best virtual instruments that I know are VSTi. And of course there is the need of a VST Host.

Virtual pianos like "Synthogy - Ivory II" or Sampletekk virtual pianos are VSTi. I don't know if there is good virtual pianos with good samplers for LV2.

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AutoStatic
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:27 pm
Contact: Website

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:42 pm

pitinga wrote:I don't know if there is good virtual pianos with good samplers for LV2.
Pianoteq: http://www.pianoteq.com/
But they only offer binaries compiled for x86, not for ARM.
RPi and real-time, low-latency audio: http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/raspberrypi
RPi audio repository: http://rpi.autostatic.com/
RPi and audio blog: https://autostatic.com/tag/raspberrypi/

lbsl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:27 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:37 pm

The PI is completely *not* suitable for a VST host, the poor ARM CPU support already mentioned and the resources.
You really need something to support 2Ghz at least and perhaps a whopping 4GB at least, depending on what type of VST's you use.
If you intent to use multiple Synth plugins, you most likely need over 3Ghz multicore CPU to get a decent rack of plugins running.
The PI will never be capable of doing that. Unless the guys who have done the parallella board, may also be capable of thinking out a multi-ARM cpu board. I'm certain that will come somewhere these days, but i doubt the creators of the Raspberry Pi will be capable of supporting this architecture anytime soon.

(Hint:not that i don't want to bring the Pi developers on any idea here ;))

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:57 am

Unless or until Steinberg decide to port VST to ARM it's all a bit moot, which is a pity as there are a bucketload of excellent free (as in beer) VST's out there and building a compact standalone hardware host is an attractive proposition. Perhaps if ARM ever makes serious inroads into the desktop replacement market (in any possible form) then Steiny (and plugin developers) will hopefully follow. (assuming a plug and play environment that doesn't involve retro-fail terminal faff, buggy third party dependencies and all...)

@ lbsl: Regarding the Pi for audio processing - well, it depends what you want to do. AutoStatic has demonstrated that low latency audio processing is entirely practical, but if you want to run something equivalent to Diva or Kontakt then you are obviously sol. That doesn't stop me running a wall of low latency sound (including intelligent pitch shifting) on a Pentium III laptop! :D

P J G
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:20 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:30 pm

Over two years later (since the original post) - and three more processors in the new core - is this project now worth doing?
I kind'a hope so; I would love to port my Hammond VST (NuBiLE/Spinner) to an ARM platform. It's fixed point internally so I would think there is now more than enough horse power to get the job done ...

inas001
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:07 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:05 pm

Hey, you found someone, i think. Using small environment for using one or more vst instruments inside is my thing too.
Up to now i use my v-machine ( and of course normal Computers too ) and i hope to get some success with my new raspberry 2. In the next days i get my nessesary equipment an then i will start m things. I will tell you. Andres, Germany.

GaryInThailand
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:41 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:44 pm

Any updates since March? This is an area that I'm interested in as well.

mirtidilli
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:03 am

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:38 am

Creating a plugin machine with Raspberry Pi is my idea too.
I have a raspberry pi 2 with HifiBerry.
Under the terminal (no X) using jack and jalv is possible to run an LV2 plugin. The latency is also low (I'm running with a buffer size of 64 samples). I've also tried to use the PREEMPT RT patch for Kernel, but while playing for less than a minute, Linux hangs.

My idea is to modify jalv and add an Osc library to support changing the plugin without accessing the raspberry directly.

to_the_sun
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:26 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:31 pm

I'm also looking to do this. Any updates since 2015? The Mod Duo (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mo ... ects-pedal) seems to be an interesting option, especially if it can run Max for Live devices, which I thought I read somewhere it could, but now I can't seem to verify. Still, it might not have as much RAM as I'd like.

raidmarji
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:48 am

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:50 am

I only need raspberry to run Native instruments kontakt, is that possible?

Stringrazor
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: PasPi as a hardware VST host?

Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:06 pm

I intend to use Fluidsynth soundfont player as a live MIDI host. Got my RPi 3 last week and just found that it recognizes my old M-Audio MobilePre USB audio i/f, surprising because it's not class-compliant and isn't even supported by Avid under Win10. I'v getting very decent low latency (i.e. I can't notice any delay) under Raspian and Alsa when loading Fluidsynth to access the audio device at the hardware layer. I have everything (mostly) setup for a headless-mode boot. I'll use 3 devices: a Casio USB 88-key weighted keyboard controller (with NO on-board MIDI controls), the MobilePre, and a Samsung Galaxy S5 (off-network) Android device running TouchDAW for MIDI controllers (patch changes, volume and pan).

This config is nowhere near the level of something like Cantabile Windows VST Host but it's also much simpler and more reliable. I don't want to deal with a Laptop onstage. I'd love to run VST hosts but with 1GB RAM, that's probably not going to happen anytime soon. Maybe under RPi 4 if there is ever one released......

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