Helpful ReplySonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player

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PopStarWannabe
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2017/03/18 14:51:10 (permalink)

Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player

Hello!
 
I have 2 PCs, none of which is very strong in terms of processing power:
- a 2-core Intel i5 (i5-3317U @ 1.70 - 2.60 GHz)
- an older Intel Core 2 Quad (Q8200 @ 2.33 GHz).
 
Each PC has its own audio interface.
 
What would be the most efficient and safe way for me to use both PCs on a single Sonar project, so as to benefit from the power of BOTH processors together, without having to invest in extra hardware/software?
 
Of course using only Sonar I mean. I know about Reaper's ReaMote feature, but don't wanna go that way.
 
The only way it occurred to me is this:
 
- run Sonar as a sequencer on the 1st PC;
- some MIDI tracks from this 1st PC send MIDI data (via MIDI cable) to soft synths on 2nd PC (which also runs Sonar, but only for playing the soft synths and applying effects to them);
- audio output of the 2nd PC is fed back into interface of 1st PC for auditioning via S/PDIF (hence no DAC conversion - hence no latency in 2nd PC) ;
- at the final stage of mixing, I record the output of 2nd PC as a single stereo track into the sequencer (1st PC).
 
Any other suggestions?

- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#1
JohanSebatianGremlin
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 16:46:01 (permalink)
I suppose it would work but I have to wonder if in the end any advantages outweigh the potential drawbacks.
 
My first thought was about how much effort I put into getting my current studio computer build to be as silent as possible. I'd hate to imagine what'd be like to try to work in a studio with two computers chugging away at the same time. 
 
My second thought is about how many of the synth plugs I use today sync to host clock for things like LFO's or on board time-based effects. I could see host sync being an issue if the plugin machine is just sitting parked and receiving MIDI notes from the master machine. You might be able to just set the tempo the same on both machines and be fine, but then again you might not. I would depend on the plugin in question I suppose. And either way, projects with any kind of tempo changes would be a challenge.

Then there's the flying everything in to a single two-track mix via spdif. This should work just fine. But you end up with a two track mix of your synths. I know I'm being nit picky here but lets face it, you can pick up a brand spanking new digital 8-track recorder for under $200 and record in pristine digital with twice as many tracks as the Beatles ever needed. But that limits you to 8 individual tracks. There are reasons we use DAW's. And one of those reasons is because you can have as many individual tracks as you need. So why would you want to limit yourself by burning all your synths down to a two-track mix?
 
Now to be fair you could easily get around the two-track mix limit by streaming each synth over spdif one at a time to separate tracks. But doing it that way then presents a very obvious question. If you're going to use a second machine to process your synths and then stream those synths over one at a time to separate tracks, why not just run the synths on the primary machine and freeze them? You're essentially doing the same thing by doing it that way and keeping your setup much simpler.

 
If gear was the determining factor, we would all have a shelf full of Grammies and a pocket full of change.  -microapp
 
i7, 32gb RAM, Win10 64bit, RME UFX
#2
gcolbert
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 16:52:59 (permalink)
The thought crossed my mind once.  Couldn't think of any practical application.
I do occasionally use a second computer running Dim Pro as an external synth and feed the audio into Sonar.
 
Glen

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#3
paulo
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 17:41:00 (permalink)
As has been said, I can't see that it's really worth all the effort. The freeze button is your best friend with soft synths once processing power starts to become an issue - once frozen it's just audio like anything else. You can even choose to apply fx or not at point of freezing, so you still have the flexibility to tweak them in real time if you like.
#4
PopStarWannabe
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 17:48:18 (permalink)
Damn... those could be real problems.
 
Well, as to the host sync there's also Midi Time Code and Midi Machine Code. Those might sync the 2 sequencers and the time-based effects and LFO problems would be solved... I guess. I still have to explore that.
 
The idea was to have as many tracks in real time as possible without freezing. I would apply effects on the synths machine as well, and only record the final result in the sequencer. For instance I could have in that machine just drums and bass synths or just keys, etc
 
But you might be right - in the end it could get cumbersome.
 
But still - had this been around for Beatles to use in those days, they would have put out 3 times as many albums :)
 
I am just very frustrated that none of my computers can handle by itself a project from start to finish (without lots of freezing and then unfreezing for more tweaking and so on...). So I thought maybe together they could have done the job...

- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#5
Matt
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 17:54:25 (permalink)
You can do this... and instead of midi you can connect an ethernet cable and use midioverlan... though it makes the most sense if you're going to load a bunch of ram-intensive orchestral samples that aren't tempo-synced.
 
But if you're going to connect with an ethernet cable why not use VEPro server mode.  This solves all the sync issues and the audio comes back to your main machine via ethernet so you don't have to route any audio.  It was designed to do exactly what you are looking to do.  Plus both computers will open/save as one project.
 
BTW I emailed support about this (I may run Sonar on 4 machines) and they didn't specifically give me the ok to violate the EULA but they implied with a nudge nudge wink wink that as long as I was the sole user they didn't have a problem with it.
#6
PopStarWannabe
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 18:02:14 (permalink)
Matt why not use VEPro server mode.

It costs 285 Euros... Plus it is not faul-proof. It has some serious problem that they admitted to. I read on their forum...
 
Reaper has a feature called ReaMote that allows effects chains or even soft synths to be processed on e different machine via LAN.





- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#7
chuckebaby
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 21:30:28 (permalink)
The thought had crossed my mind once, I combatively came up with a good strategy.
I bought an Intel I7

Chuck Jones 
The Elements Of Love
Windows 8.1 X64 Sonar Platinum x64
Custom built: Asrock z97 1150 - Intel I7 4790k - 16GB corsair DDR3 1600 - PNY SSD 220GB
Focusrite Saffire 18I8 - Mackie Control
   
My Sonar X2 tutorials:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZS61Wg-XY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruAnAPR6-hQ
#8
Sanderxpander
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/18 23:06:01 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby chuckebaby 2017/03/19 01:38:47
Your license doesn't even officially allow you to run two copies of Sonar simultaneously.

I also see more problems than advantages. I'd recommend freezing religiously until you can afford a computer upgrade.

EDIT: Also, just because you're skipping DA/AD doesn't mean there's no latency, usually the largest part of latency is the audio buffer. Since your main Sonar has no idea what the latency is for the external instrument you'll end up doing a lot of manual corrections.
#9
kitekrazy1
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/19 20:43:48 (permalink)
PopStarWannabe
Matt why not use VEPro server mode.

It costs 285 Euros... Plus it is not faul-proof. It has some serious problem that they admitted to. I read on their forum...
 
Reaper has a feature called ReaMote that allows effects chains or even soft synths to be processed on e different machine via LAN.








 That's an affordable option. I've never used it.  VEPro is awesome though.

Sonar Platinum, W7 Pro 32GB Ram, Intel i7 4790, AsRock Z97 Pro 4,  NVidia 750ti, AP2496
 
Sonar Platinum, W7 Pro, 16GB Ram, AMD FX 6300, Gigabyte GA 970 -UD3 P, nVidia 9800GT, Guitar Port, Terratec EWX 2496
#10
Matt
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/19 23:05:54 (permalink)
kitekrazy1
 
That's an affordable option. I've never used it.  VEPro is awesome though.

Verified.  I use it.  Every pro composer I know in LA uses it.  Discounting it because of "some serious problem" is not accurate info.
#11
PopStarWannabe
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/20 10:52:14 (permalink)
Thank you all for you input!

- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#12
fresh101
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/20 23:11:13 (permalink)
This sort of thing use to be done a lot back in the day. Especially before the more powerful multicore processors became available. In fact their use to be hardware units manufactured specifically for this purpose (v-machine, Muse Receptor, AudioStation, etc). That and using vst's in live performances before laptops became stable enough to do the job. I remember certain soundcards had onboard synths or samplers and fx to offset some the cpu stress giving you a similar effect. 
post edited by fresh101 - 2017/03/21 01:07:43
#13
PopStarWannabe
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/20 23:21:59 (permalink)
fresh101
This sort of thing use to be done a lot back in the day
.


Yes, that's what I'm talking about.
However, looks like I've already been presented the actual viable option: Vienna Ensemble Pro. It's just that I can't afford any investment yet.
 
By the way, I came across this: https://www.audinate.com/products/software/dante-via
Has anyone had any experience with that one?

- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#14
fresh101
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/21 01:09:29 (permalink)
PopStarWannabe
 
 
By the way, I came across this: https://www.audinate.com/products/software/dante-via
Has anyone had any experience with that one?


That looks pretty cool.
#15
jatoth
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/21 18:56:34 (permalink)
Have you looked at Cantabile?
Very nice VSTi host.
 
https://www.cantabilesoftware.com/about

John
 
X3e Producer, Sonar Platinum, Sweetwater CreationStation i5 3.1gHz, 12 GB RAM, 500GB SSD OS drive, 1TB SSD audio drive, 1TB archive/misc drive, dual 22" monitors, Windows 7x64, SaffirePro40 (firewire), MOTU MIDI Express XT, Behringer BCF2000, dbx 586, Samson Servo 120a, Yamaha HS80M, Auratone 5c Cubes, Sennheiser HD650, Sony MDR 7509HD, Sony MDR 7506, Kurzweil K2500XS, Roland XP-30, Proteus 2000.
#16
Krokodilen_SX
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/21 21:19:59 (permalink)
Hi,
 
It was a while ago but http://www.fx-max.com/fxt/product.html did work for me running vsts on a second pc.
 
 
#17
PopStarWannabe
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/21 21:31:57 (permalink)
Krokodilen_SX
 http://www.fx-max.com/fxt/product.html did work for me running vsts on a second pc

 
It has been abandoned for years now... Last listed operating system is Windows XP. So not sure if it works on 64-bit Windows 10...

- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#18
Krokodilen_SX
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/21 21:48:37 (permalink)
I know..
 
Just hoped someone was brave enough to try it in compatible-mode ;)
I haven´t found something similar @64bit yet though and I´m one computer short for trying it out myself.
#19
Sanderxpander
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/21 22:07:22 (permalink)
Dante? Waves StudioGrid?
#20
Jeff Evans
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/22 08:37:27 (permalink)
I am someone who uses multiple computers in my studio. 4 in fact. (3 Windows machines and one Mac) Firstly to the non believers, the end result is much more than the sum of the parts. No single computer can compete with multiple computers, end of story.
 
I am on Studio One but I only use one machine to do all the sequencing. That is important. Two of them do virtual synths and the fourth often doing a classy reverb etc.
 
The way I have got them all connected is via audio and midi. I have got audio connected via analog and digital in both directions between all machines in fact. I find it is the best way to do it. (I do have a Yamaha digital mixer which brings all this together rather well, analog and digital audio all at once)
 
Two of them are networked and there are some free Reaper plugins that allow you to send audio (and midi) via the network and back. It all works great except the network takes about 5 to 6 ms in latency including return latency. So I just adjust those tracks to play about that sort of time early and they all come out in sync.
 
You need a mixer to combine the audio outputs from the other machines. I turn all that into audio in the main machine just before the mix.
 
It is quite cool. One of my machines is a 32 bit machine running all the plugins I cannot run on the 64 main machine. 
 
I like the way the 4 machines can go off into different directions and do different tasks but for a big session they all come together as one. I find the main machine can relax a little and is not strained in the least. 
 
Like I said no one single computer can come even close to this. It is amazing. You just need to have the computers to do it that is all. It is the equivalent of about 12 cores or more. 
 
 

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#21
PopStarWannabe
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/22 12:04:45 (permalink)
Yes, Jeff Evans, thank you!! That's what I wanted to hear.
 
When you mentioned the free Reaper plug ins you mean ReaStream, right?
 
 

- Asus P5B-E
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @2.33 GHz
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- RME Fireface UC (ASIO Driver)
- Sonar X2a Producer (x64)

#22
pwalpwal
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/22 13:40:22 (permalink)
that does sound like an approaching-ideal setup jeff

just a sec

#23
SigiZ58
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Re: Sonar on 2 PCs simultaneously for 2x processing power? 2nd PC is just a synth-player 2017/03/23 15:15:03 (permalink)
Sanderxpander
Your license doesn't even officially allow you to run two copies of Sonar simultaneously.



Exact this I doubt. Shortly I bought a second license. Only to find out that it did not appear in my account - only to find out it is not possible to have two licenses of SPLT or Pro in the same account. It needed a while until I got my money back and the first bought license up and running again. If you want to have several licenses each of them needs an own account.
#24
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