I am curious if anybody knows of any hardware that could and would handle VDL2 without any problems.  My knowledge is limited in this category, but I know that a Sampler use to be able to load sounds that could be played back through MIDI.

I am wondering if there is any such external hardware that could be used with VDL2 and accessed through Finale or Sibelius for playback.  If so, I am wondering if it would handle the samples itself, to be able to load about everything possible without slowing down or freaking out the computer I am working from.  I am very new to this, so I am sorry if tis question has come up before, but my search has provided nothing.

Also, if it would work, what is a good brand?  About how much would it cost?  And what is a good source to purchase one?  Any help would be great.

One of the simplest ways to do this (although still requires some configuring) is to send MIDI out of your main writing machine either via midi interfaces or Ethernet using something like MIDIoverLan into another computer (we'll call it the ";farm"; or ";slave"; machine) which is running VDL2. This is one way to share the processor load of everything you want to do.

There's also the Muse Receptor which (in theory) could run VDL2. The nice thing about receptor is that it's not bogged down by running Windows, Mac OSX, and any number of other things your current OS might be doing in addition to running applications. Receptor is essentially a rackmounted hardware unit specifically designed to run VST instruments. They have a technology called Uniwire which allows midi and audio to be transferred by way of Ethernet. You'd need to research how to configure uniwire to be sent via Finale or Sibelius as I'm not sure if it requires you to run a plugin. They have some methods for authorizing VDL2 with the NI call/response methods, but that'd be something else you'd need to research as well. In theory, this could be a very efficient way to work. You can read more about Receptor at: http://www.museresearch.com/receptor.php

Perhaps there are still some configuration tweaks that you can perform to help dial in your current system though. A good majority of VDL users are one-machine type folks. Once the universal binary version of VDL2 is released (no date yet), this should dramatically improve performance on intel macs.
I would check into the suggestions Jim gave.

The other way to do it would be to export the VDL samples into a hardware sampler such as one of the Akai's or Korgs.  I would not recommend doing anything like this, since many of the hardware sequencers will act the same as software with less versitility, and cause more headaches for this sort of application.  Plus most of the affordable ones are step sequencers with very little control other than pads.  It would be a nightmare trying to sequence a snare or quad part.
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