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Old 10-03-2019, 08:52 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
Posts: 1,057

Thanks for the advice.

At the moment, an audio interface or DI don't provide anything I need. I play small venues where there may or may not be an installed PA system. When there is, it is often unmanned and/or vocals-only. Therefore, I play through a keyboard amp which has an integrated 4-CH mixer that accommodates my hardware synthesizer. It also has direct outs in the rare event I can line out to the PA. I don't need a balanced output from the laptop because the laptop is sitting on the amp. The cable is only 3' long, so there's not much RF noise to worry about.

As far as stability goes, I've only put the WASAPI driver through a few sessions with the keytar. But, I've run many multi-hour Maschine sessions in hotel rooms without an audio interface or ASIO driver. I've never had a problem from it all. Although, that was a different laptop than the one I have now.

I will probably host non-NI VSTi's directly in REAPER. The whole reason for the host-within-a-host is to utilize the patch/sample library browser. Additionally, I can load samples within Maschine a lot easier than setting up RS5K in REAPER. Analog Lab 4 is definitely NOT NKS ready, however I did find someone online who already created an NKS profile for all 7000 presets in Analog Lab to allow them to be browsed via Maschine/Komplete Kontrol. It's very inexpensive, so I'm looking into acquiring the tool soon.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Track arranging is easier in reaper . / sizeable". If you mean any visual aspect, those are not of concern for me since the laptop is closed during the stage performance. I don't look at the screen at all.

I can't stick solely within Maschine due to lack of global volume control via MIDI. Even with my Mikro Mk2, master volume control requires multiple button presses to access via a submenu. There is no dedicated master volume knob on the Mikro. It is useful at home but I don't see needing it on stage with me for this project. I can launch samples from the pads on the Vortex keytar.

I'm trying to keep my equipment to a minimum. I already pack a laptop, MIDI keytar controller, Virus synthesizer, keyboard stand, keyboard amp, electric bass guitar, tube preamp (for bass/acoustic guitars), and associated cables. I also own a PA system that we've used to do shows. So, often I have to bring all of that and be the sound guy for the night.

I'm entertaining the idea of moving 100% to this keytar rig. I'd have to simplify some two-handed parts that can't be played on the 37 keys of the Vortex. Doing so would eliminate the Virus synth and stand. However, that would also eliminate any backup system. Right now, if the laptop fails I can play everything on the Virus.
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