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East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Printable Version

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East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Viktor - 12-03-2017

In the midst of the Black Friday Sales I decided to go for East Wests Hollywood Brass Diamond. It's a pretty good sounding libary but reaaaally annyoing regarding everything else. The problem that I'm dealing with right now makes music making borderline impossible.

If usally just load one instance of play, since it's so heavy on CPU and whatnot and I usally already know what I wanna hear, so I render single tracks and then meld the whole brass section together. Despite this efforts to keep the performance as steady as possible, I get a lot of terrible artifacts when rendering, take a listen: https://instaud.io/1v9M

It's relativly quit, but it still bugs me. Especially since I have trouble locating the source of the problem. At first I thought it was the CPU; I had trouble with dropouts while rendering in Reaper full-speed offline, as fast as possible and my CPU was run to 100%. Then I changed the rendering mode to 1xOffline, which made the cpu only go to 30% and the dropouts were gone too. I don't get the same problem with Kontakt. I also don't get these noises, while playing it via the PLAY vst in Reaper.

Diskload and Ram look also pretty okay while rendering and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Still, these shitty noises. I tried ajdusting the buffer, I tried changing the driver, I tried all the four reaper rending modes. Nothing really changed that much. Does anyone have any clues on what could be up? I'm thinking of trying it out with a different DAW, and I heard having the samples of EA Brass on a different harddrive then I'm rendering to might help. I will give this a try when I got one handy.

Does anyone have different tips for that? I would be very thankful.


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Otto Halmén - 12-03-2017

Reaper has an option to render non-recording tracks slightly ahead of time to save CPU. It's turned on by default. Reaper itself warns that it may be incompatible with certain plugins, so you could try turning it off.

Another thing you could try is seeing if you can adjust how big the chunk of RAM is that Play uses to cache streamed samples. The combined sizes of the caches of different sampler plugins might exceed your physical RAM, which causes portions of the RAM to be stored on the hard drive. This slows access to samples substantially, and Play may or may not deal with such performance issues by simply failing and glitching.


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Viktor - 12-03-2017

Thanks for the tips! I will try them out later. I only use one istance of play, that could be too much of course, but if that would be the problem it should show in my task manager right? Their I see that Reaper (and with that probably also Play) uses 3 out of 8 gb of ram, so it should be fine.
The really weird thing is, that that when I put a reverb on it, the artifacts are also affecting the reverb and are on top of the reverb isntead of being reverbated. Pretty weird if that mistake would come from a plugin.


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Samulis - 12-04-2017

As always, use ASIO if you aren't already, though I assume you are.

Play also has a settings tab, and I believe you can adjust some stuff in there regarding what gets loaded, how much, and when to cut out on the CPU.

I would venture to suggest it is the DFD (direct from disk) system that is eating your CPU, but I can't be sure. Play makes heavy use of DFD, but it can be overriden by going into the settings tab and telling it to load everything into memory. Of course, this may not be to your liking, as it takes considerably more RAM (you may even want to consider upgrading to 16+ GB if possible).

Are you running a laptop per chance? Many laptops have slow-as-molasses 5400 RPM drives that are really not suitable for DFD virtual instruments (even an external 7200 RPM USB 3.0 drive would be better, although adding a mSATA/M.2/second drive/replacing the existing drive with SSD's are all options if that is the case).

Lastly, use the lighter patches, especially with the legato ones, marked 'L', I believe (which are absolute system-killers otherwise). The full ones honestly don't sound all that much better!


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Otto Halmén - 12-04-2017

(12-03-2017, 10:54 PM)Viktor Wrote: I only use one istance of play, that could be too much of course, but if that would be the problem it should show in my task manager right?

No, the task manager won't show RAM allocated by plugins. Here's a screenshot to illustrate:[Image: taskmgr.png?raw=1]
Left: Task Manager (Windows 10) - Center: Sforzando (VSTi) - Right: Performance Meter (REAPER)


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Viktor - 12-04-2017

Thanks everyone for the help so far.

(12-04-2017, 01:53 AM)Samulis Wrote: I would venture to suggest it is the DFD (direct from disk) system that is eating your CPU, but I can't be sure. Play makes heavy use of DFD, but it can be overriden by going into the settings tab and telling it to load everything into memory. Of course, this may not be to your liking, as it takes considerably more RAM (you may even want to consider upgrading to 16+ GB if possible).

Thats probably what it is. I adjustet the Sample cach function to the highest, 5, which means Play now uses more Ram then Disk. On top of that I disabled the CPU Load Limit. The noises are nearly gone. I now tried it three times with these settings and I've gotten two renderings with no noises and one with one artifacts, which is way better then before.

Weirdly enough I get more artifacts with ASIO, I use Direct Sound right now, which makes me believe that I configured ASIO wrong.

I will on top of that try Ottos reaper render trick and see if that gets me nearer to a 100% success rate, but that is already much better. Thanks a lot, guys.

EDIT: Well, well, well, it doesn't look as rosy anymore, I'm getting more artifacts again, without changing anything. At least I get from time to time an artifactless render. Far from perfect condititions but still better then before.

Changing it back to ASIO and setting the block size to 512 seems to have made it work again now for 2 clean renders of 2 renders. This is a wild ride...


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Viktor - 12-04-2017

Ah, this is kind of emberassing, but I guess requesting the block size in reapers settings really made the difference and not just in the ASIO4ALL Setup...well, well. I might later to reverce your advice and set everything like it was before except the ASIO driver to see, if it really was just THAT. But one the other hand regarding all your advice already decressed the artifacts, so I guess it all plays a roll. Thanks a lot again.

While were at the topic, because I could swear I've tried a lot of things with asio, does the requested blocksize always have to be divideable by 32? Because I think I messed up some things possible by getting it in with something rather random before, and that could have caused the ASIO driver to have no effect on the artifacts - If being divideable by 32 would by important for the blocksize.


RE: East Wests Play VST is driving me nuts - Otto Halmén - 12-05-2017

(12-04-2017, 10:45 PM)Viktor Wrote: While were at the topic, because I could swear I've tried a lot of things with asio, does the requested blocksize always have to be divideable by 32? Because I think I messed up some things possible by getting it in with something rather random before, and that could have caused the ASIO driver to have no effect on the artifacts - If being divideable by 32 would by important for the blocksize.

The "magic rule" is powers of two (i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc.). This is not enforced in VST development (and, indeed, a VST should assume that the incoming buffer can be of any size at any given moment), but might be on the hardware side, since a buffer whose length is a power of two allows for a slightly more efficient implementation.

One more thing:
[Image: reaperprefs.png?raw=1]
Try increasing "Thread priority" and "Behavior". Also try the "Anticipative FX processing" with a "Render-ahead" of a few hundred ms if you haven't already. Note that cranking them (like shown in the above picture) may cause REAPER to not play nice with other programs running simultaneously. (At least that's what happens when I use this kind of setup.)