Author Topic: What is VST System Link?  (Read 2326 times)

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Online chrisNova777

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What is VST System Link?
« on: September 01, 2014, 05:15:03 PM »

VST System Link
VST System Link is a network system for digital audio that allows you to have several computers working together in one large system.

This revolutionary new standard brings true connectivity and platform independence to the digital audio world. VST System Link enables the transfer of synchronization,transport and audio data between two or more workstations equipped with compatible software and hardware over standard digital audio cabling systems such as ADAT, TDIF, AES/EBU or S/PDIF. Because it uses the audio stream itself, synchronization is completely sample accurate, even across multiple workstation configurations. VST System Link lets you take your audio projects to new levels of complexity, and offers unbelievable flexibility in your working environment.

When using a VST System Link setup, please have a look at these tips and recommendations:

    The first thing to check is that you are using the latest Cubase, VSTack or Nuendo version.

    Test whether the audio cards are actually System Link compatible by using the "Self Test" feature in the System Link dialog. All that needs to be done is connecting the chosen VSL output to the VSL input of the same card, enabling the self test and activate System Link. Proceed as above with all involved audio cards. If no errors occur, the tested cards are apparently System Link compatible.

    It is essential to configure the audio clock between the systems correctly. One(!) machine must be the clock master, all others must be properly configured for clock slave operation! This is essential for VST System Link.

    All machines/projects with loaded projects have to use the same sample rate.

    The computers must be set up so that every computer is visible in the list of connected computers on each computer in the System Link, without errors such as wrong naming for the individual computers. The key here is ensuring that everything is properly locked and clock synced.

    Make sure to use digital cables when connecting via S/PDIF, normal analog RCA (audio) cables will not work.

    There may be hardware which fails, because VSL relies in 100% data integrity (means all bits must be passed without any modification). This also means you must not attach anything that alters the digital data (like DSP volume/pan etc.) in the audio cards control panels (e.g. channel volume/pan in RMEĀ“s HDSP Totalmixer).

    Always use 32 Bit ASIO drivers. 16 Bit drivers will most likely not work. Some older ASIO drivers have different bit depths when using certain buffer sizes, e.g. when using VST System Link with RME Digi96/8 cards make sure to use 256kB (6ms) or 1024kB (23ms) ASIO settings.

    Check that >Transport >Sync Setup... >Time code Source is set to "VST System Link" and >Machine Control is set to "None"! You can't use MMC together with System Link, in Nuendo 9-Pin Sync should also be disabled!

    There are problems with some audio cards when using auto dithering and copy bit mode on their S/PDIF ports. We have checked VSL with Steinberg's VSL 2020 audio card, as well as with RME hardware, Hercules (16/12 FW), M-Audio Delta 1010, Event Layla 24. MOTU and Layla20 cards tend not to work reliably for System Link. Steinberg cannot influence this, so please contact your audio card manufacturer.

    Because we cannot test every combination of audio cards available, there may be some combinations which do not work with VST System Link. If you have a combination of cards which is not listed here please let us know, after you have double-checked that everything is configured correctly and the problem is not related to the audio hardware or drivers themselves.

    With "good" audio hardware, well-written ASIO drivers and the proper settings, VST System Link works perfectly. VST System Link relies on a correct implementation of ASIO2. Only a correct ASIO2 driver provides time-stamped sample buffers, and VST System Link relies on these to determine the system-wide "real time".
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 05:18:46 PM by chrisNova777 »