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  • Automating Instruments in the slave computer using Ableton Live? (VE Pro)

    Hi, I've networked my desktop (mac mini) and laptop (mac book pro) together with my desktop running Vienna Ensemble Pro as the slave computer and my laptop running Ableton Live as the master computer (with VE Pro as a pluggin). I have several instruments loaded into VE Pro on my slave computer coming through into Live via several instances of Live's "External Instrument" instruments. I want to automate parameters of my instruments in VE Pro from Live (for example the macro controls on an instance of NI's Massive). No parameters from VE Pro show up in the automation lanes in Live and I can't seem to find anything in the manual that covers this. Is it possible to automate the VE slave program from Live? If so, how? Thanks in advance Gareth

  • Did you ever work this one out? I'm just going through the same thing myself! Cheers, Alan

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    Yes, the automation (not transport) works perfectly between Ableton Live 8 and VEP even in a networked environment; at least in my Windows 7 64 bit setup networking two laptop PCs. I think that Puzzlefactory misspoke in saying they use the External Instrument device in Ableton to connect to the VEP. While this works for ReWire devices like Reason, it will not be useful for VEP. You need to use the VEP plugin as described in the VEP manual inserted into a MIDI track in Ableton (which I assume you are doing already?).

    Note that the transport ON/OFF from within VEP is still not working (but does work in other DAW’s like Pro Tools 10). I know that VI’s engineers are aware of this bug with Ableton Live and I suspect that it will be fixed in the next update.

    If you are unsure how to get Ableton to recognize the parameters you have assigned in your VEP instances, here are a couple of examples NI Komplete’s Absynth (e.g, run on your host computer) and Omnisphere (e.g., running on your slave):

    1. Make sure that you have your license keys attached to both computers and that VEP is installed on both computers and they are visible on a gigabit network.
    2. On your host computer, launch the Vienna Ensemble Pro Server (64-bit).
    3. On your slave computer, also launch the Vienna Ensemble Pro Server (64-bit) installed on the slave computer.
    4. Now launch Ableton Live.
    5. Create two MIDI tracks: one for routing to the VEP server on you host and the other for routing to the VEP server running on your slave.
    6. From the plugins folder in Ableton, drag and drop the Viennna Ensemble Pro VST plugin into each track.
    7. From the VEP plugin in the host computer track, select “Connect”. You should see two (NEW) available instances of VEP to choose from: one on the host and one on the slave. Choose the new one on your host computer and push the connect button. A VEP mixer window should pop-up. From the VEP tool bar, select Channel/Add Plugin and select Absynth (if you have that installed, or some plugin you want to automate in Ableton). If you use Absynth, let’s use the Backward Rhodes preset as an example. Press F5 to bring up the Automation Mapping window. Select Add entry/Select Source and choose Parameter 1. Press the “L” for learn button to the right of the Select Destination button. Go back to Absynth’s window and navigate to the Perform window in Absynth and move the slider under the “phasey” controller in the Backward’s Rhodes preset. Now if you look at the VEP Automation Mapping window, you will see that the words “Select Destination” have been replaced with information about the “phasey” controller in Absynth. You can also directly select controls to be automated instead of using the learn feature; but the learn feature is probably faster and more fool proof.
    8. Now you are ready for Ableton to learn this parameter so that it can be automated. Go back to the MIDI track you are using to route to VEP running on the host and select the “Configure” button in the VEP plugin in the Track View (not the plugin’s window, but the VST interface running in the Track View Selector in Ableton). The configure button color will change from grey to green. Go back to Absynth and move the move the slider under the “phasey” controller in the Backward’s Rhodes preset again. Now when you look in Ableton. You will see that the Parameter 1 in VEP has been mapped in Ableton. Unfortunately, VEP does not pass the name of the control being automated, so you will just have to look in VEP to see what each parameter is mapped to. Maybe in a future version of VEP, the name of the parameter will also be passed to the DAW.
    9. Go back to the VEP plugin window in Ableton and click the “preserve” button and name the instance e.g., “Test automation on host” so that your changes to that VEP instance are saved with your Ableton Live session.
    10. On the MIDI track you want to rout to your slave computer, repeat steps 7 through 9 for your slave computer, but try a different instrument on the VEP slave instance (like Omnisphere).
    11. Omnisphere usually does not pre-assign many of it’s parameters, so you may need to go through the Utility/MIDI Learn and Automation features in Omnisphere to assign automation to the controls you are interested in automating before beginning steps 7 through 9 above.

    Anyway, hope that helps. Thanks for using VEP with Ableton Live. I think we are somewhat of an orphan group because (unlike us) many Ableton users do not need the CPU and memory expansion that VEP makes possible. However, I think that VEP is great for any DAW user (32-bit and 64-bit) because it allows you to set up pre-configured sets of instruments that can be used in any number of Ableton Live projects and these same saved VEP sessions can be used by any other DAW; which is especially helpful if you use more than one DAW in your production environment. I look forward to further improvements in VEP.