Vienna Ensemble Pro 6

I recently learned about Vienna Ensemble Pro 6 (VEP6), which is commercial software that does everything NetVST does, and more. With the manufacturer's kind permission I tested the 30-day free trial version.

VEP6 is a bit expensive, but for professional users it will be well worth the price. It works very well, and can bridge between PCs, Macs, 32/64-bit, VST and AU in all combinations. Impressively, VSE has managed to reduce its CPU overhead to near-zero.

For non-professional users, the price may simply be too high. 275 Euro for the software itself, and then you need a USB dongle (either VSE's own or a Steinberg eLicenser Key) for every machine you want to use as a server. This brings the total price to about $400 USD, though VSE does sweeten the deal by including one license for their Epic Orchestra sample library and player.

Bottom line: If you're a professional composer, buy VEP6--it's excellent. If you're not a pro yet, but hope to become one, especially as a composer for film/TV where you'll need heavy-duty orchestra samples, think seriously about VEP6. Otherwise, use NetVST.

NetVSTHost works on Linux/Wine

I tried running NetVSTHost on a PC under Linux Mint 18 with Wine. The stock Wine version for Mint 18 is still 1.6, which is not adequate. However, updating to the latest stable version 2.0.1 allowed me to run NetVSTHost (with SynthEdit-built plugins) without any real trouble.

This is quite promising. While MS Windows is, naturally, the most "Windows compatible" PC OS, it's not always the ideal choice for PCs used as VST servers. I prefer older versions of Windows (mainly Windows 7), but that is now not only unsupported, but virtually unobtainable. Linux Mint 18 is a viable alternative.

Interestingly, the audio latency using NetVSTHost across a LAN to another computer is far less than when playing the same VST direct to the Linux PC's sound card. Most Linux distros have very bad audio latency to the sound card, which NetVSTHost avoids entirely, as it relies only on network APIs.

Compression not useful?

After quite a bit of work to incorporate David Bryant's WavPack compression library into NetVST, I have to say that at least so far, it's not useful. It increases CPU usage a lot, but provides no benefit in this application.

I recommend setting your Audio Quality selections to maximum ("no compression") at all times.

I thank Mr. Bryant for his kind assistance, and I will continue to research this issue.