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#1January 27th, 2010 · 08:38 PM
1 threads
4 posts
United States of America
Using Computer for "FX/AMP MODELING" Live Play
Okay, is it possible? I could care less about recording. I'd love to use Logic and other FX software on our Mac G5 to handle all mixing, effects, and out put them to monitors to jam live.

This way I have a software mixer and limitless effects I can use on guitars. I have way less gear to buy. But the computer has to recognize and effect/mix multiple channels at the same time.

Right now I'm only looking at handling 3 guitars and 1 mic.

I assume we'd need at least an Audio Interface PCI card, maybe a PCI Mixer Card. But what about amps, do you still need them, or could you somehow do it with preamps output to Monitors. Where do you put the preamps? How do you amplify and hook up the sound out from your computer to Monitors.

I'd love to do this, if anyone has any good answers for how to set this up or another forum, site with information on using a computer as a effects/mixer processor, I'd love information.
#2January 27th, 2010 · 08:58 PM
181 threads / 54 songs
1,930 posts
Canada
well For live stuff I use a Behringer XENYX 1204FX mixer that is plugged into my computer and the computer and mixers output goes out to the monitors/PA etc...

I dont think theres a way to use your computer as a mixer becuase youd have to plug your instruments into it?
#3January 28th, 2010 · 08:26 AM
187 threads / 27 songs
2,806 posts
Germany
No
#4January 29th, 2010 · 04:59 AM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
Do you still want to know?
#5January 29th, 2010 · 03:38 PM
1 threads
4 posts
United States of America
Okay.

Yes there is a way Triton. Perhaps I got my wording a little wrong.

But I found the answer elsewhere. The best way to do it is use a Firewire External Audio Interface hooked up to your computer.

It will allow you to mix, effect each signal using software,  send it back to the Audio Interface and then off to monitors. And it works good enough that people do it this way in live shows. You have to get a pretty decent interface, like the Focusrite Saffire LE Firewire Audio Interface. $230.

But thats it. No need for an external mixer, no need for expensive Sound or PCI Interface cards. Heck no need for amps. You can do it all over Active PA monitors. Logic and Mainstage have Amp plug ins that model your guitar pretty much after any amp in existence.

You can even get USB footpedals or use existing footpedals you own, assign them in logic and use the computer effects instead of the Pedal effect.  Giving you pretty much every pedal on Earth.

Hey, I havent set this up yet, but I've done the research. If anyone has an warmings for me I'd thank you.
#6January 29th, 2010 · 04:34 PM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,380 posts
United Kingdom
gcburns wrote…
Okay.

Yes there is a way Triton. Perhaps I got my wording a little wrong.

But I found the answer elsewhere. The best way to do it is use a Firewire External Audio Interface hooked up to your computer.

It will allow you to mix, effect each signal using software,  send it back to the Audio Interface and then off to monitors. And it works good enough that people do it this way in live shows. You have to get a pretty decent interface, like the Focusrite Saffire LE Firewire Audio Interface. $230.

But thats it. No need for an external mixer, no need for expensive Sound or PCI Interface cards. Heck no need for amps. You can do it all over Active PA monitors. Logic and Mainstage have Amp plug ins that model your guitar pretty much after any amp in existence.

You can even get USB footpedals or use existing footpedals you own, assign them in logic and use the computer effects instead of the Pedal effect.  Giving you pretty much every pedal on Earth.

Hey, I havent set this up yet, but I've done the research. If anyone has an warmings for me I'd thank you.

Cool lets hear it when you are set-up. I heard too that firewire is very good for audio, but never heard anything played through it
#7January 30th, 2010 · 09:53 AM
187 threads / 27 songs
2,806 posts
Germany
This Focusrite Interface is just another audio interface. They promote with zero latency but in practice you'll get drop outs. Maybe this can be fixed. The forum there has good rudiments. Problems with Vista (what else).
Homerecording at a higher level ok, but not for live performances.
Tell us about your experiences
#8February 1st, 2010 · 12:53 PM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
This seems like just so much bother - why not buy a reasonabley cheap mixer, and plug into that?  If the pc has backing music, then use the software programme you use to mix it with and plug this into the mixer... then that to FOH.
With reasonable mixers at low prices (probably less than the firewire audio card) I honestly cannot see why you would want to do this.
Just a thought.
#9February 1st, 2010 · 02:18 PM
1 threads
4 posts
United States of America
What?
Why bother? Forget mixing for a second. The key point of using the computer is having every amp and every footpedal effect in existance for guitar play. Logic Pro Studio provides this type of modeling. Since I'm running stuff through the computer anyway, I wonder why not use the Logic mixer.

Backing music? We're not Beck. I sure hope I can use my computer for more than backing music.
#10February 1st, 2010 · 02:29 PM
1 threads
4 posts
United States of America
Confused
I'm confused what people use Logic for if this isnt possible. Do they just want you to record one instrument at a time and not have it monitored out with effects? Logic Studio also has something called "Mainstage" which was designed for live play. If you cant route instruments through and back out of the computer, what are you doing with it? I'm obviously trying to grasp an understanding without actually doing it yet. I tried it with a Mac lap top, but right now all I can do is hook one guitar up to the sound card through USB. There's like a .02/sec delay, which is annoying at first, but the effects seem clean and the guitar sounds great.
#11February 1st, 2010 · 04:27 PM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
Ah, now I understand more.  You want to use the laptop as a live effects processor, with amp modelling etc on board. 
Yes, that makes sense - it may be possible to do this for two simultaneous mono feeds (one stereo, feeding two mono channels).  Each of these will be able to have their own effects, or you could create an effects channel to send both instruments to (eg, reverb). 
I guess the output from the laptop woud ideally go to a mixer, but if you're only doing guitar through it, then you could send the signal to a clean sounding amp.
You've touched on the one issue that is likely to spoil this idea though... latency.  It's a real so and so, and can make it difficult to play if your performing with others.
You were scathing about the use of backing tracks... just about every big band uses them, and quite a few smaller bands too.  My own 3 piece uses backing tracks on about half our the songs we play.  It makes it possible for us to play songs like Comfortably Numb and Sweet Child of Mine so that they don't sound empty.
Cheers
Jim A
#12February 2nd, 2010 · 06:05 PM
1 threads
4 posts
United States of America
Thanks for the info. Yes, I'm just frustrated. I question my solution. I dont know enough to find the answer. Lots of tutorials, but none yet on setting up equipment for the type of thing I'm doing. Most of these people already have experience mixing so they just assume the set up is obvious.

There are videos of people using software amps/fx all over youtube. Just Youtube "Using Mainstage". They're not worried about latency. Most of them have Midi devices. I suppose those are going thru an external mixer. Either way, they dont show how they're actually hooking it to their computer!

Because there's no talk about latency, I'm starting to figure the instruments might not even go through the computer. The computer might just be supplying the effect to a channel/patch on the mixer. (Now if I can verify, figure out what I need to make it happen, and see how it is all hooked up)
#13February 4th, 2010 · 10:59 AM
159 threads / 32 songs
1,956 posts
United States of America
you can get away from latency if.
A. you have a smokin fast computer (this bogs down if you are gonna use a bunch of plug-ins like amps and effects)

B. you keep the amount of tracks running through it down to a very small number, and you optimize your computer for this ( turn off all unnecessary programs ).

you will still need some kind of interface to the speakers. If using the sound card you'll probably need some kind of adapter to go from soundcard output to whatever your gonna use as your PA . Most pro's will run their computers through a mixer IE.. They would plug their guitar into some kind of DI or preamp. Run that into a mixer out to the computer ..back from the computer into the mixer... You have to have your computer set up with almost 0 latency.  That means smoking fast very powerful computer and very very low buffers, set up in the programs. 

A firewire interface with it's own PCI card is what I would look into.. it takes a lot of the work off the computer and speeds things up.  firewire is faster because it allows information to travel in both directions at the same time.. USB does not. If it has it's own PCI card. it is designed to work with the interface in that fastest way possible. Taking 98% of the latency issue away from the computer. Think rewire.
 
 There are lots of ways to hook the computer up. you'll just have to figure out what is going to be best for you..
#14February 4th, 2010 · 01:03 PM
187 threads / 27 songs
2,806 posts
Germany
from that moment you send a signal into a computer and pass this signal through any kind of software you ALWAYS have latency.
the latency can be reduced only by using hardware. electrons are running with light speed. software doesnt.

Like I said computers for recording is ok, but not for live gigs
#15February 4th, 2010 · 05:52 PM
159 threads / 32 songs
1,956 posts
United States of America
I reread your post.. what kind of monitors are you talking about ?  Self powered ?  If self powered speaker (amp inside the speaker cab).  you just need to run you outputs (computer sends) to the monitor inputs.

If they monitors are not self powered.. you'll need more stuff. Possibly a mixer (maybe not though) a power amp of some kind to send to the speakers.  You need to learn about PA /monitor set ups, and about ohms matching, and the different kinds of cables, and connectors you might need to use.


 In person I could show you real quick like.. Over the internet it's a lot of information to try to pass to you.
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