Maybe you want to be able to use your favorite amp simulation plugin on stage
Maybe you’d rather use your virtual rhodes instead of lugging the real thing
Maybe everything you do musically in the studio is done with software instruments and fx, and you want the same instruments on stage with you.
Heck maybe you use a mack and have an old pc sitting around that you’d like to turn into a vst module.
Whatever the case may be, BloXpander may be the answer
What is BloXpander?
It is basically an asio based vst/vsti host created specifically for use by engineers and musicians in a live situation.
It’s for those that want to use their plugins, but don’t really want to deal with a full DAW on stage just to do it.
It has a pretty slick interface, which is optimized for touch screen use. So it’s easy to navigate, with a mouse or with your fingers.
There’s a bunch of audio/midi routing options, including 24 channels, 4 bus channels, and 1 master bus.
You get 6 “inserts” or slots per channel…
this is where you can load either a vst instrument or effect.
How about control and routing?
There’s tons of it, depending on what you want to do you can map you midi controller accordingly.
You can even have it control up to 8 parameters of 8 different plugins with only 8 knobs and 8 buttons, easily switchable.
The midi and audio routing options are just as deep.
With midi you can send any channel or number of channels to another or other multiple channels.
Easy to create splits, stacks, and layers with.
You can also route the multiple outputs of your multi out plugins, to their own channels for individual processing on each channel.
How fast is it to load your plugins?
This is what I really like, all you have to do is double click on one of the squares to load a plugin.
This takes you to the “case” where all your plugins are stored. They can be searched or separated according to various parameters.
Once you load a plugin for the first time, the software takes a screenshot of it, so now all of your plugins are represented by a graphical representation of each.
I really liked how this system was setup.
In addition to loading one at a time, you can save scenes or libraries. Libraries are more like a “collection” of plugins you want to draw from for a specific purpose. Maybe for live use, one for studio use, one for pop, etc.
Scenes recall the entire state of BloXpander so you can think of these like songs, where everything you need is in there. Collections of scenes can be stored in sets, for recalling entire shows with one double click or midi messge.
So what’s final thought on this product?
I think it’s a really useful product for those in live situations, or those that simply want to turn a pc into a sound module/fx rack. Those with hardware gear can use something like this without needing to purchase a full daw specifically for using as a vst rack.
You can use this to expand/offload your vst processing to another computer, the options are pretty much endless.
A few gripes I had was that the program is full screen, period, there is no in between. But then again, for live use, that’s good, all you have to deal with is this interface.
I also wish it could be loaded as a vst itself, I could see many uses for this in the studio as a vst rack for gathering all of your favorite plugins in one place, the organizational features alone would be worth it.
All in all, I think it’s a great product, I really like how simple and efficient the interface is, and I can only imagine how it feels to use a touch screen monitor or device with this thing.
Go checkout the demo, and see what you think for yourself. Eareckon BloXpander