Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology (VST), first showing at the 1996 Frankfurt Musikmesse, has become a widespread standard. With VST all it takes to make a full-blown professional audio studio is a standard Windows or Apple Macintosh PC.
The performance of this type of system was to date determined by the limited capabilities of a single computer. Musicians and producers who sought to work with numerous audio tracks, EQs, compressors, reverb effects, and virtual instruments in large-scale projects often reached performance limits of their computer systems.
Now Steinberg presents VST System Link connecting computers. The link is established using a simple digital audio cable. A single bit of just one audio channel serves to connect an almost unlimited amount of systems and sync them up with sample accurate precision.
Any desired number of audio tracks with EQs, effects, compressors, and plug-ins run on computer 1, while VST instruments like HALion, The Grand, LM4 Mk II, TC Native Reverb - just to mention a few - run on computer 2. The user may opt to run MIDI tracks on the first or second computer. In either case, the computers are simply synchronized. In the latter case, computer 1 sends MIDI data to computer 2 via as many MIDI channels and virtual ports as desired.
There are a lot of advantages. Like old PCs being re-used increasing the studio's real-time music power. Every user can access as many audio tracks as desired, and as many VST instruments as necessary. Every computer in a VST System Link network adds hard drives and increases processing power. Record a guitar solo while an assistant cuts the vocal takes or mix dialogs while sounds are generated on another machine.
Clients come to the studio, notebook and a pre-arrangement ready, and simply dock onto the local system. Nuendo in the studio, Cubase in clients' home are linked via interface applications.
Dub videos simultaneously with dialog, music, and sound effects while three systems run simultaneously. VST System Link allows hundreds of MIDI channels without any timing problems. Windows and Mac computers can be combined in one network.