I have a problem that I hope someone might be able to help me with.
A while back I started a ”keyboard orchestra” with my student where we play various music from orchestral (classical, soundtracks etc.) to synth ensemble and other stuff. The way we do it now is using a selection of various digital pianos and hardware synthesizers. It’s working fine but it Is a lot of work because we don’t have a dedicated room for it so before every rehearsal I have to collect all the instruments from different rooms and hook it up to a sound system and it takes some time.
The way I would like to do it is to use a number of midi controllers either together with the students computers which unfortunately are basic Chromebooks or using a better computer that can be used as one sound source for all the keywords, about 5-7 students at the same time.
I have tried both ways with not entirely satisfying result. The problem with Chromebooks as I understand it is that you can’t really install any VST-like plugins. Instead I have experimented with using Soundtrap which is an online DAW. This works ok but is dependendent on stable WiFi-connection that’s not optimal, especially in performance situation. There’s also a little bit of latency, not too bad but still a little too much. I would also kind of need an audio interface for each student for more robustness, as for now we’ve used the headphone out.
The other way I’ve tied is to set up a project in logic or MainStage on my MacBook Pro where I create a track for each sound/student where I set different Midi-channels for each track and then send corresponding midi-channel from the different controllers. This kind of works but is very unstable and some tacks are getting ”hung up” almost every time where a sound keeps on sounding and I have to close the program to reset it. I have used both USB-MiDI with a USB hub and good ol’ DIN-midi with an ESI M8U interface to hook up the controllers to the computer, both with similar result.
Do you have any suggestions for good solutions for this particular situation? There is a possibility to install android apps on my students Chromebooks so maybe that could be a solution? Are there any good sounding, good working musical sound apps for android?
And for the one computer solution, are there better programs than Logic Pro / MainStage that handle these things better or are there better workflows than the one I described to make it work in a stable way?
Any input is hugely appreciated🎶