I may be telling gma to suck eggs but if you haven't found it yet the following link is to a vstHost that works reliably under Vista Home Premium.
For help setting up VST Host with NWC, get Lawrie's excellent document VST for Dummies like me.pdf (http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful/vstfdum.pdf) from the Scriptorium.
Is vstHost something that I want to bother with now or is the technology obsolete? Some of the documentation as I am trying to go through the process (as per Lawries vst for dummies), of downloading and setting up programs seems to be quite old...say 2005, and many of the links to the soundfonts (on Hammersound at least), are no longer available. It really is a lot of trouble if indeed there is a weakest link that cannot be mended.
My problem really is that I have almost lost interest in writing (notation-wise) because I cannot get a decent playback. Very frustrating.
Vista will never change, and I can't afford to buy another computer, especially since this one works quite well for everything EXCEPT music. Kind of like getting stuck with a bad dog. It's a 12-15 year sentence! (ARGGG!!!)
I have decided that if it is worth doing, I will do it. If not, please save me the trouble (and trouble it will be!)
Hi fitzclan -
See my account of my own VST search here (https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=7506.msg52290#msg52290). This continues to work well for me, although the loopbe1 virtual cable still shows an occasional tendency to overload and mute. I can highly recommend the Merlin_Audigy sound font - it's a vast improvement over MS GM.
Do you know it the Marlin Audigy SF will work with Creative SB X-Fi Extreme Gamer card? I know it accepts Soundfonts.
I think Merlin_Audigy should work with anything that accepts sound fonts, but I've only tested it on my own setup. As its name suggests, it was designed for the Creative Audigy series of cards. My current machine has IDT HD audio, which is a totally different technology from the Creative cards, and Merlin_Audigy works just fine with that. (Still having a bit of trouble with Cantabile, especially with its interface to Loopbe1, but not enough to make me want to shift to something else yet -and not relevant to the question of whether the sound font will work with your machine.)
In the past I followed Lawrie's PDF-file and I was very happy with the results.
But on my "new" Vista computer, VSTHost or VSTSynthFont.dll are constantly crashing.
Even the last, so-called stable versions (VSTHost 1.48 / VSTSynthfont 1.060) don't last for more than one song. Especially when I try to change soundfonts, it is hurting me badly.
Also, I never managed to get usefull wav-files out of the VSTHosts recorder.
I already searched the web for better alternatives, but until now I didn't find programs that meet my expectations.
this "new" vista box - is it 32 or 64 bit? If 64 then that may well be your problem as you would need to use a 64 bit VSTHost application - I think I read somewhere that there is a 64 bit version of vsthost but I haven't followed it up yet.
Try Cantabile Lite, Bart. It's free. I'm using it on 64-bit Win7 - can't say it *never* crashes, but the crashes only happen about once a week (and I use it heavily). A small price to pay for the improvement over MS GM. For recording I use Wave Repair - it costs a little if you use it for sound editing, but it can be used as a recorder for free. Set it to record "what-u-hear" and just play your NWC file through your computer speakers. (It records the sound card's feed to the speakers, not the sound of the speakers, so the quality of your speakers won't affect the quality of the resulting WAV file).
Thank you for your assistance.
My vista is a 32-bit version Home Premium.
I just played succesfully a piano-score and selected therefor the WST25FStein soundfont.
But when I tried to change back the soundfont to merlin_gm36 I got an access violation :
(Access violation at address 03491CCA in module 'VSTSynthFont.dll'. Write of address 0000000.)
I must admit, that when I stop the VST engine before making any changes, access violation doesn't seem to appear - but on my XP this VST-Engine switching was never necessary.
I am not desperatly looking for a solution for my problem, just wanted to share my experience with VSTHost on Vista.
I will give Cantabile Lite a try.
Before Lawrie wrote his VST-manual, I always exported my files as midi files and generated audio files with Timidity.
The disadvantages were that Timidity was hard to configure (and to find) and that some NWC-interpretations like fermata, crescendos, ... disappeared.
Today, when I need an audio file, I just play the file in NWC - this way I am sure my fermatas and dynamics are right - and I record with Audacity where the preferred recording device can be selected. As far as I understand, Audacity gives the same flexibility as Wave Repair.
I am stuck only if I need a better "sound" than the default Windows GM, but until now, I have no real need for it.
I installed Cantabile Light, and you are right, this is a piece of software that I like. It is very easy and works well - even on my 32-bit Vista.
Now I can playing NWC files through Midi Yoke patch cables with confidence.
Thank you for your suggestion.
You're very welcome, Bart.