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Old 09-22-2019, 09:35 PM   #1
insub
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
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Default Alesis Vortex 2 Keytar

I recently purchased a Vortex 2 Wireless Keytar to play live on stage with my band, but using VSTi is completely new territory for me. I need some advice on how to set up, etc...

But, a little back story:
I currently use a Virus TI1 Keyboard for most sounds and occasionally a Casio Privia PX-350 for piano. I'm really hoping to ditch the Casio & double tier keyboard stand because I've been promoted to front-man/lead singer. I'm going to miss the weighted keys, but I want to make a more entertaining performance for people attending our shows by getting out from behind a wall of keyboards. The Virus stays... for now (probably permanently as a backup for PC failure).

OK, here are the software I have:
Arturia Analog Lab 4
NI: Maschine 2 (all that's bundled with Maschine), Massive, Kontakt Player, Scarbee Mark 1 (70s EP), The Gentleman (piano), Vintage Organs, etc.
AIR AIEP3 Complete: Xpand2, Hybrid3, Loom, Vacuum Pro, DB-33, MiniGrand, Velvet, etc.

I'm not currently planning on using an audio interface. I can get playable low-latency from the laptop with WASAPI + onboard, so far. I might add my MOTU Audio Express if I start using REAPER for vocal FX processing while on stage.

Laptop: HP 8470P, quad i7, 2.7 GHz, 8 GB RAM. 64 bit Windows 10.

My standalone software seems to fall short in one way or another. Analog Lab basically has enough sounds for everything. It even has a "Live" mode for performing, but patch changes cancel all sounds for several seconds or more, and the latency is higher than my other VSTi's. Massive seems to work great as stand-alone. Very low latency, holds previous sounds after patch change, but it has no real instrument sounds like piano. Maschine seems to work pretty well, but Analog Lab crashes inside it.

Ableton Lite was bundled with the Vortex, but I have no experience with it. I'm not really wanting to learn a new DAW right now. I have plenty to do trying to create keyboard parts, sing & write lyrics, handle band recording, etc. Ableton might be the best way to go, but I don't have time to add that into the mix.

Basically, I want to accomplish this:
1. Have patches set up for playing 12-15 songs.
2. Launch a few samples here and there.

The Vortex has 25 presets. They can be tailored quite a lot. I think each preset can be two MIDI channels (upper, lower, or split). They can send program changes.

I was thinking of just setting up a project template with 16 MIDI tracks with different VSTis on each channel with the patches already loaded that I need. But I'm concerned that will crash the system if the tracks aren't muted when not in use. I read the sticky, but I'm still needing some hand holding. I'm hoping for some advice specific to the software I have on hand.

I'm still considering using Maschine Standalone as a host, if it will run stable. It handles WASAPI at really low latency. And, I have the Mikro controller which can load projects and browse patches without looking at the computer screen and without having to map anything.

I'd love to get to the point of outputting a click to the drummer and playing backing tracks, but my drummer and band aren't ready/willing for that yet. If you read all of this, thanks a lot!
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