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Old 4th October 2011 | Show parent
Gear Head
I know of many guitarists who are already doing this live with excellent results!

Some are using Axe FX, some Line 6 and others (like myself) use guitar rig with a laptop (I'm a bass player atm).

I've since gone back to using a triaxis for my overdrives/distortions but this has nothing to do with sound quality and everything to do with reliability and setup/pull down time. In fact, FOH bass guitar sound is actually much better (and repeatable) but the issue is setup time and reliability. For instance I had my laptop racked with a fireface 400 but you have to wait for it to boot, you then have to start up the host etc... (yes this can be automated, but it still takes the same amount of time).

There are also reliability issues. Firewire particularly is a flimsy connection, it doesn't take much of a knock on the lead to rip the firewire port off the motherboard. You can get around this by racking up the laptop, but its still no where near as forgiving as an XLR or TRS...

The problem that I see atm with using VST's is that you really need to take a rack along. Either you will have a rack based product that hosts your VST's or you will have a laptop with an audio interface that ideally should be racked. It completely defeats the purpose of being portable if you have to carry a rack around.

What someone needs to do is build a VST host in a small floor board pedal! V-MACHINE by SM Pro Audio seem to have started work on this but I'm not sure if it ever made it to the shelf.

I've thought about modifying my setup (rme fireface 400 -> laptop (running brainspawn's forte as vst host) so that it fits into a pedal board, but the flimsy firewire connectors, as well as harddrive etc.. scare me.

So, in my opinion its not really the processing power that needs to catch up, because the software and processing power is already *good* enough for live use. Its more that the interface needs to change before more guitarist will start using it.