With the public beta release of 64-bit Kontakt 3.5, along with new releases imminent from the Vienna Symphonic Library, I think it’s safe, and probably prudent, for professional composers to begin considering how they’ll upgrade their studios.
BIG NEWS EVENT #1
The first wave of big news is from the Vienna Symphonic Library and their new dual platformVienna Ensemble Pro. To explain. The Vienna Ensemble is not a sample library. It’s a virtual mixing board. Originally, the Vienna Ensemble was just for the Vienna Instruments allowing you to tie farm systems with the Vienna Instruments to the main DAW via LAN cables.
The Vienna Ensemble PRO goes to the next step. It now allows you to use any VSTi you want with it, not just the Vienna Instruments. AND! Only the main DAW machine will need an audio card. In short, the Vienna Ensemble PRO not only replaces FX-Teleport, but also expands the concept with a virtual mixing board.
For PC owners, this is great news. But for Mac owners, it’s stupendous news as Mac owners were left out of the FX-Teleport revolution. With the release of the Vienna Ensemble PRO, really any day now from what I’m hearing, Mac owners will no longer have to shell out bucks to put audio cards and MIDI interfaces into farm systems. Composers who are Mac-based with multiple systems will only need a Gigabit router to connect multiple computers in the studio which you can buy at Target, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Amazon, and so on!
The cost from Vienna, depending on the exchange rate, is about $125US. AND! It also works on P4s. Then there’s the Gigabit router cost and about $30 in LAN cables.
According to the Vienna site, the Vienna Ensemble PRO works with your “favorite” VSTi. I would think it’s fair to infer “favorite” as being Kontakt in one flavor or another (chocolate mocha? berry mint?).
What this yields is a dual standard for audio and MIDI connections and a virtual mixing board.
This is a major system integration issue that’s now solved – if what we all read is true.
BIG NEWS EVENT #2
Native Instruments has announced the public beta release of Kontakt 3.5 64-bit. Note that downloading it overwrites any existing K3 installation.
The folks at VI-Control.net/forum have been doing a lot of beta testing. Follow the link and read the results of their findings. Overall, most encouraging, especially now that on the Mac, K3.5, in standalone mode, can read all the RAM available in your Mac system.
BIG NEWS EVENT #3
Yes, we’re now at a place where depending on the software you’re using, you can pretty much do most of what you want on one machine, possibly two, assuredly, three. If you’re buying a new DAW, you want an 8-core system, with 6-8GB of RAM or more. My opinion is that right now, for today, this moment, the Mac Pro Nehalem has the edge for now. My opinion is based on what I’m seeing as ease of system integration, not which platform has the fastest RAM chip.
If you’re planning to get a new system, this is what I’m seeing for mid-April 2009. Conditions subject to change without notice.