Jump to content
mibby

AudioGridder (FREE Plugin Host)

Recommended Posts

https://audiogridder.com/

From the website:

Quote

AudioGridder is a plugin host, that allows you to offload the DSP processing of audio plugins to remote computers running macOS or Windows.

I know nothing about this, but it sounds like a pretty great idea to offload your resource hogging plugins and virtual instruments to another machine!

Of course my immediate questions are “what about latency” and “how difficult is it too set up and maintain”?

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A guy on another forum reported back that it seemed to install OK, but he couldn't get his two machines to connect and left it at that.   He was on a Mac and a PC, so that might have been a problem.   Also, you have to install the plugin you want to offload onto the other machine, so licensing might be an issue....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following thread may be useful to those interested in giving this a try: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/1314573-audio-gridder.html .

Overall it seems rather promising.  I'm going to try to set it up using my Windows 10 laptop (client) and old Windows 7 workstation (server) to allow me to indulge my inner plugin-***** without melting down the laptop. 😁

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another reply from another user who tried it out over on the Indie Recording Depot. I don't think he'd mind me posting here...
 

Quote

 

I took one for the team here - installed it to check it out. Very interesting in concept and execution. I installed the beta 1.1 version and not the stable 1.0 version. I installed the server version on the desktop and ran it. It runs silently in the background until you call it up. You give the server an ID number and it just waits.

On my laptop I installed the actual plugin. You put an instance of it in your plugins in a channel, and if all is working well it will detect a server running on the network. Here’s where it gets interesting. The server has already scanned what plugins its own hard driv. There are some very curious side effects of this. Firstly, your user machine could (in theory) could run with zero VST’s installed, and you could run them all off your server. This presents some very interesting licensing issues. Although I haven’t tested it, could you transfer all your iLok licenses to the server and then have multiple computers use those plugins? I know I hate having to transfer licences from laptop to desktop.

Another very interesting thing I noticed was that the plugin itself is running on the server. On the user machine your running Audiogridder, and then within that you call up an instance of a plugin that is hosted on the server. The server loads up the GUI of the plugin, and then transmits a video of that GUI into the Audiogridder within your user machine. I realised this when I moved the plugin window on my server, and then on my laptop could see the desktop of my server! So it’s essentially “remote desktoppping” the plugin’s GUI across to the user machine. All in all a weird implementation, because when the GUI of the plugin is on your screen, you can’t resize it any way. So I had a plugin way off on the side of my laptop screen, of which about 30% was inaccessible.

The actual plugin performance was really good. Surprisingly good, but to be honest I had 1 plugin running on the server. I can imagine that this setup would be a life saver for those people using dozens of plugins per channel. How it would handle the lag, and how it would interact with plugins that you’ve put in your actual channels I wouldn’t even know how to predict.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried this last month and wasted an hour of my life. VSTs wouldn’t scan and ones that did, GUI  wouldn’t show. This will be great and useful down the line when reliable 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very challenging thing to implement. I wish it worked like we would like to but I doubt it could be than in this way.  It would be better  to implement DAW with special client/server architecture. And to be honest I am little surprised nobody is working on that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Teleport was doing this years ago. That's not quite the right name and I think it is now somehow related to our 32bit bridging software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, scook said:

http://www.fxteleport.com/index.html

Cakewalk purchased BitBridge from them.

Thanks scook!

I manage to remember bits and pieces. I worked with fxteleport back then. It was cool being able to move audio around that way but yes. Latency was a battle.

I guess the new solution is Dante or such?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IDK, I have not bothered with more than one PC at a time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some other products in this area, but usually not free:

Vienna Ensemble Pro might be the standard for offloading plugins across the network? There's probably an orchestral composer in here who could say.

Waves SoundGrid is a proprietary product like this... only handles Waves plugins though. And I think you overpay for the hardware quite a bit. Waves isn't a charity of course. Might have originally been targeted toward live sound but you can use it to free up resources.

MuseBox was something that did "vst in a box" several years ago but I'm not sure end users could just install plugins. I think that is defunct.

Reaper may still include "ReaMote" which can offload plugin DSP across the network.

Apple Logic used to have Logic Node. I think this was dropped for X.

I have not used any of these personally. I believe you do start needing to think about purchasing multiple licenses for multiple nodes for some companies, if you only have one ilok license, etc.

Dante is exciting but I think it only routes audio, like an external synth, and you'd be on your own for remote access to the other computer, and sending MIDI. There are standards here that are evolving so maybe there's an official one for midi over LAN. Otherwise I think Apple has one and someone made a compatible version for windows machines. It's been a long time since I looked though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've spent the last few hours playing with the VEP7 demo to create a virtual FX rack on an old Win 7 workstation to off-load some CPU-heavy plugins from my complex Cubase 11 projects (running on a Win10 laptop).  Overall it was *very* easy to setup and get VIs from the VEP server to play in Cubase.

However, it's not at all clear how to insert an FX plugin (running on the VEP server) into a plugin slot in Cubase.  It seems like the only choice is to assign FX plugins to audio channels corresponding to the VIs running on the VEP server (rather than to a track running a local VI in Cubase).

Another big shortcoming is that if you click on the GUI launch button in Cubase, the GUI is only displayed on the server rather than the client (where you're actually working). So if your plan is to locate the server in another room (to reduce noise), you can't operate the FX plugin controls.

It's hard to believe that AudioGridder *can* do this while VEP cannot.  It makes me think I'm missing something.  Am I?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After spending hours with VEP7 (which is needlessly complex for my simple intended application of creating a virtual FX rack on my old Win 7 workstation), I tried AudioGridder ... and it works!

It was super simple to setup: just install the server and plugin software, let it scan your plugins (on the server), add the client plugin into an insert slot, select the server and connect, then choose the FX to run on the server.  That's it!

And unlike VEP7, I now *am* able to see the plugin's GUI (and operate the controls with seemingly no added latency).  What's more the software appears to be coded very efficiently (judging from the small file sizes) and (at least thus far) is very stable.  Also unlike VEP7, which found only ~50% of my VST2 plugins and none of my VST3 plugins, this found all of both types!  It even lists them in a nice window (on the server) so you can see what's available (see screenshot).  A similar list (see screenshot) is shown on the client plugin (in Cubase).

This is absolutely brilliant!

I'm going to torture test it tomorrow with my most complex projects to see if it holds up.  If so, I'm going to send the author some money.  He deserves it.

BTW, I installed this version in case anyone else wants to give it a try:

image.png.65a00f0262bf0465c392bc45e464189c.png

 

Server Plugin List (my old i7-950 Windows 7 system):

image.thumb.png.59bfe6d6f1d2dac1c8c74e923f6e8a5d.png

 

Client Plugin Window (Cubase 11 Pro):

image.thumb.png.0ac079f72ce1ed61ae6e77c8a455ebbc.png

 

Server Stats:

image.png.7846f76f15c08fe9792bbbcd71c768d5.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any chance of posting your server settings too please? I just couldn't get this to work, no matter what I tried. I tried with Acustica plugins and I suspect it may be something to do with their heavy CPU load and db sizes maybe

 

Cheers!

Edited by tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, tom said:

Any chance of posting your server settings too please? I just couldn't get this to work, no matter what I tried. I tried with Acustica plugins and I suspect it may be something to do with their heavy CPU load and db sizes maybe

 

Cheers!

Hi Tom,

I'm not sure what you mean by server settings (networking is not one of my strengths).  All I did was to run the installers (client and server) and fire it up and it worked.  I did, however, do the following (blue emphasis) as part of the installation:

Installation (https://audiogridder.com/plugin/#more-145)

1. Install the PKG on macOS or the Setup EXE on Windows. For Linux you have to extract the VST2/VST3 binaries into your plugin folders.

2. Run your DAW and insert the AudioGridder plugin.

3. The plugin will discover servers on the same network automatically via mDNS. If that does not work for you, you can add your server endpoint(s) (IP or DNS name) by clicking the server icon (this needs to be done only once, as the server settings will be shared with new plugin instances)*
Note: Server and client have to be able to directly reach each other. This is because the server will have to connect the client at initialization time.

4. Add remote plugins.

*I'm not sure how to do this on a Mac, but on Windows just run "ipconfig /all" in a cmd shell (as admin) and then copy your DNS name into "Server ID" (2nd box from the top on "Server Settings" [located on the server app]). I'm not sure if this was necessary, or if I really did it correctly, but at least it didn't prevent AGridder from working.  Maybe it's worth a try (if you haven't already done it).

 

Also, although I didn't use either of these, they may be helpful to you:

Diagnostics Locations

https://audiogridder.com/bug-report-diagnostics-locations/

Bug Reports

https://audiogridder.com/bug-reports/

 

Cheers...

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just installed AudioGridder on a different (but nearly identical) system, and was *not* able to connect the client to the server.  However, after doing what I described below, it worked.  So I guess that is an important step to do during installation.

On Windows, run "ipconfig /all" in a cmd shell (as admin), then copy your DNS name (listed as "DNS Suffix Search List") into "Server ID" (2nd box from the top on "Server Settings" [located on the server app]).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh many thanks, will read through and follow. Sorry I meant a screenshot of the Audiogridder server app settings, it has different display streaming technologies if I remember and I wondered which you were using.

cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...