Seems like my most immediate next project is to build a pc to gig with. I'm now playing in two bands and I want a rock solid portable setup to take with me and play the keyboard through VST software on the PC. The reason why I am doing this and not using the onboard sounds of my keyboard (which is a good keyboard) is because these VST software sound so much better. It has to be. They have the entire hardware aresenal of a desktop pc versus whatever lame specs are on the keyboard. I just got a new Roland RD-700NX, which is the top of the line keyboard and they've supposedly improved the sounds drastically. It's good, no doubt. but I also have TruePianos, which is a software VST and it's simply incredible. I can't go back. So to make this all work, I need a beefy machine that will be as portable as possible.
So I want to get a very good soundcard, probably an RME. And I'm going to stuff the pc with max RAM and as high a CPU as reasonable. GPU is not a big deal. Solid state hard drive is probably a must. I'm going to run Windows. I need as small a case as possible. I will also consider rack cases if they are small since the audio hardware I'll be using will most likely be intended for rack mounting. I'd like it to be light, if possible, maybe carry with one hand. One trick is going to be to figure out what type of monitor I'll be using, it needs to be either super small or something unconventional, like a foldout monitor that can be tucked into a rack space on sliders, or something. I don't necessarily want to go that fancy as I know those kinds of things are very expensive. I'm not afraid of really unconventional setups.
I'm also aware that things like V-Machine exist, which is essentially what I'm building. But the difference is the power of what I'm building will be way more, I'm talking full desktop power, not mobile ARM power. So please, no hammering me about how expensive or overkill this stuff is, unless you see me making misinformed decisions.
Another interesting feature of this setup will be the bootup scenario. As a live gigging instrument, I'd like it to be where I turn the computer on and it boots right into the vst host software. This probably means just tweaking the startup behavior. I'm just nervous about things that can go wrong during a live gig.