#1
First of all, I'm brand new so I don't know if this is the right thread, or if this has been asked already.

That aside, I've been practicing using only VSTs for the best part of two years, and my practice amp and pedals are just gathering dust now. A signed band has just invited me to join their ranks, with the proviso that at some point I would be able to play live with them.

Now, despite that shitty 15 watt amp, I have no really good gear to speak of. I could buy a good quality amp and cab on finance, but it would take me a while to get a good sound out of them (and to pay the ****ers off).

So recently I've been thinking of putting my recording knowledge to good use and playing using my VST presets live, at least until I get some money. I've been developing the sound and now my presets sound pretty decent, and not only that but I can tweak them on the fly with more flexibility and effects than I think I would ever have on an amp+cab, unless I had a £1000 setup to go with them.

Has anyone tried this? Problems I anticipate are: latency, however I can cut this down to about 260 samples with a fast laptop (so roughly 0.006 seconds delay between my playing and the processed sound). Another problem is reliability: if the laptop decides to crash or suddenly run a lot slower, then I haven't really got a leg to stand on (that said, my diagnostic skills have gotten better through years of pulling my hair out over computers and DAWs, so I'm confident I could address most problems).

Other than that, it seems like it'd be smooth sailing. Amps and cabs aren't without their fair share of problems too. As for the amplification, I would like to spend £200 on some lovely KRK monitors so this would be a good reason. My rig would literally just be a laptop and some KRKs.

Any thoughts?
#2
I've got no experience playing live with VSTs but I personally wouldn't trust a laptop. Like most things, they work until you need them to. I think there are too many things that can go wrong.

For playing live, can you not borrow another band's amp until you get your own? Has your band's other guitarist got one you could borrow? I know you say the band's signed but unless you're going to be headlining a nationwide arena tour, I'm pretty sure you'.ll be fine borrowing an amp.
#3
Without a pretty loud preamp and decent size pa speakers your laptop rig probably wont be loud enough to compete w/ actual guitar/bass cabs cranked up.
#4
I'd recommend using Ableton Live for this sorta thing. It's pretty much tailor made for it, you would need a decent PA system though.
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#5
instead of running to some monitors, i suggest running to the PA. i see no reason not to do this if you are comfortable with it and have a laptop that can handle it.
#6
I haven't played live in a while, but...because my main job was keyboard I use to bring my desktop along with me live. I played guitar on a few songs and ran it through my computer via VSTs out of my interface to the PA.

I used FL Studio and for guitar had different tracks on the mixer saved for different sounds. They were all muted except for the ones I needed for that song.

I used TSE 808, Le Pou LE456, Le Pou SoloC, and Le Pou Lextact and they all sounded fine live. My impulse loader Keifer was ran behind what ever amp sim I was using (I just sent all amps to one mixer channel with Keifer and everything post amp sim to reduce CPU usage). Then ran a compressor behind Keifer.

Everything worked out great. I suggest you practice with a full band and PA though before you decided if you want to do it this way. Also you may need a foot pedal MIDI device to trigger effects if your going to be going on and off of effects.

I suggest FL Studio for anything live as its the simplest way to go about it, in my opinion, especially if your using keys also. I never had crashing or lag problems with my setup, but I had a reliable PC as well.