I just wanted to share a recent experience I had with the XITE-1.  My current studio set-up includes a desktop PC with the XITE, and I have been preparing a Win7 MacBook Pro laptop to use as a mobile XITE-1 host.

Last week, I travel\ed to the UK to work on a few songs in another studio, which is MacPro / PT- Live based.  Even though I use the Sonic Core software to do most of the mixing in my studio, what I really couldn't do without are the synths, both stock and a few DIY Modular patches that cannot be easily achieved elsewhere. Having these synths recorded previously wasn't going to cut it, since we wanted to continue to work on the MIDI sequences.

Thing is, my laptop is not nearly as powerful as the desktop, so even though I can open the same project, it tends to drag along (mostly because of too many audio tracks and VSTis), and latency has to be pushed up.

Another problem was syncing both computers: using MIDI to slave one Live to the other doesn't work very well, and the slave's playback is slurred and warped, with bad sound.

What we did, in order to work through this, was to load my Live project in my friend's Mac Pro, and treat my whole set-up as a sound module. By connecting the XITE to his Digi003 via MIDI and ADAT, I set up each Scope synth as an external instrument in the main computer, and soon I had my MIDI tracks routed to those, effectively playing them from the studio computer. Using Live's External instrument plug-in you can make up for the latency in your Scope ASIO system (in case you want to route the MIDI via the Seq ports, for VSTis, e.g. - you can just connect the hardware MIDI input to the synths and get zero latency), and select the audio inputs for monitoring, which brings this as close to working with a VSTi as possible.

Because the DIGI003 only has one ADAT port, we were limited to 8 audio I/Os, but we could work with that, because the project's sequences were loaded on a single computer, and so freezing and recording the synths was a breeze. Another bonus was that we were able to play the VSTis on my laptop from the main computer, which was nice since a few of those still aren't cross platform. Of course, MIDI control of the Scope synths can be achieved from both computers, simultaneously if you like, courtesy of the MIDI mergers.

I thought I'd share this, because this was the main reason I signed up for the XITE-1, to be able to take these wonderful sounds with me, and it works. I had to remove the XITE-1's rack ears so I could fit it in my travel bag, but it was cosy and the whole thing plus the laptop weighed under six kilograms, so it wasn't a big pain to carry them along with me.  One MIDI cable and a couple of ADATs was all it took to connect both systems.

 The A16U stayed in the studio, so I only need to plug in a couple of Firewire and MIDI cables, and all is as if I'd never left.

Just another episode to show how Scope can be powerful and simple at the same time.


Tau November 2011