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Frustrating.
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mos6502
Posted 2009-05-21 5:39 AM (#14720)
Subject: Frustrating.


Member

Posts: 29
25
reViSiT completely crashed my host twice this evening, both times erasing a bunch of stuff I was doing despite trying to save every 5 minutes. reBUS is very noisy, adding a new layer of noise every time I add a new instance. All the extra legwork involved in setting up bunches of channels and MIDI notes to trigger patterns... using external programs to audition samples... putting up with cracks and pops almost every time I start playback, despite every other piece of software performing flawlessly under current driver settings... being unable to play samples in the sample & instrument lists, without having to wait 5-10 seconds between each note (and Caps Lock audition mode doesn't seem to work at all)... putting up with even more popping and clicking that wasn't there before when I enable a volume envelope, even when I go for a smooth fadeout... and finally, having to disable multi-core CPU capability in my host because if I don't, if skips beats and pops even more frequently and won't play ball with the rest of my software...

Every time I use reViSiT I feel like I'm doing battle just to get everything working properly. I hate to say it but I'm about ready to give up on the thing.

-Owen
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chrisnash
Posted 2009-05-21 11:59 AM (#14721 - in reply to #14720)
Subject: RE: Frustrating.



Developer

Posts: 746
50010010025
Location: England
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.

Somehow, SONAR seems to present reViSiT with problems that just don't exist in other hosts. I'm convinced this is because of its WDM foundation and the way it interacts with VST plugins. VST support, for example, works through a DirectX plugin wrapper - even in v8, this wrapper is still present, though Cakewalk have tried to make it look like there's native VST support. For me reViSiT also only works in ASIO mode, with multi-processing disabled - and even then it's not always smooth. It wouldn't surprise me if their ASIO support also worked through a wrapper to WDM.

To date, it's been very difficult for me to do any amount of debugging in SONAR, since the demo version expired after 30-days and then became useless. Cakewalk, however, have now very kindly provided me with a full copy of SONAR 8 PE, to help me debug more easily - and I may now have a contact in the company who might be able to get answers to technical questions.

I can only hope that you decide not to give up on reViSiT just yet, and perhaps can even spare some time to help me quash these bugs, as I learn what exactly is misbehaving.

All the best,
Chris
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chrisnash
Posted 2009-05-21 9:31 PM (#14722 - in reply to #14721)
Subject: RE: [Less?] Frustrating



Developer

Posts: 746
50010010025
Location: England

Okay, I've spent most of the day in SONAR, working on improved compatibility and performance with fairly dramatic results:

  • I discovered a bug in the reViSiT audio engine that causes SONAR (and possibly other hosts) to crash with buffers over 1368 bytes. This bug was causing reViSiT to copy 4 times as much memory as required, at certain points. As a result, not only should the fixed version be more stable, but also better performing (as it will be copying less memory). Odds are your crashes were caused by this bug.
  • I've removed some code in reViSiT that could potentially interfere with a host's attempt to use multi-processing. In earlier versions, this code gave reViSiT a slight performance boost, ensuring that reViSiT got to do all it's processing on one core, without interference. With the more widespread availability of multi-core processors, combined with other optimisations in the reViSiT audio engine; this tweak is no longer needed. Also, now that this restriction has been removed, a few parts of reViSiT have be parallelised, which might also lead to performance improvements.
  • In the late beta versions, I used the Intel C++ Compiler rather than the Microsoft one, in order to improve performance. Although reViSiT did run a bit faster, the Intel compiler complicated the build and debug processes, and was subsequently abandoned. More recently, I have made changes to the audio engine that allow the Intel Compiler to take make even more optimisations, and thus I am once again investigate whether the performance increase now justifies its use.
  • Larger audio buffer sizes appear to interfere with reViSiT's ability to keep time - notably, when to trigger frames. While this doesn't lead to pops, clicks or crashes, it does mean that reViSiT's patterns don't sound correct in such situations (e.g. effects and envelopes). The workaround is to reduce the host's latency (e.g. to less than 20ms) - but I'm investigating further, as to what exactly is going on, in the hope of coding a fix. This bug appears to exist in all hosts and drivers, but may have appeared more noticeable in SONAR, since the default buffer size is quite large.

As a result of all this, the version of reViSiT I am working on now, otherwise appears to be very stable and performing well, in SONAR  - working with Use Multiprocessing Engine enabled, in WDM/KS, MME and ASIO driver modes, with no pops or clicks, even with a latency of 1.0 msec (WDM/KS, 44 samples, 2 buffers). Naturally, mileage varies depending on your sound drivers. For example, these results were taken with the newest drivers (v1.1.1) for my Mackie Onyx Satellite - previously, this soundcard barely worked with SONAR.

So, if you can just hang in there for a week or two, I hope to produce a new version of reViSiT that should address the issues you're facing.

All the best,
Chris

 

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mos6502
Posted 2009-05-22 12:00 AM (#14723 - in reply to #14720)
Subject: Re: Frustrating.


Member

Posts: 29
25
If you couldn't tell, I was a tad miffed at last post :-) Tends to happen when I lose good ideas to fickle technology, I hope I wasn't too discouraging.

I'm glad you were able to get a copy of Sonar and possibly Cakewalk's ear to some extent. Sounds like you're already making headway, and interestingly I hadn't even whined about the lack of WDM support - but if that's slated to work in the next release it would be welcome news. I tend to get equal latencies (about 8.7 msec, I need that or better for the type of stuff we normally do in the studio) out of WDM and ASIO driver modes, but on rare occasions noticed minor benefits to WDM in my configuration. It really wasn't enough to make a fuss about but options are good.

So... I'll hang tight until the next release, check it over once it's out and if there's anything specific you need from me before or after that point I'd be happy to assist. I can provide system and software specs if needed, not sure if that's helpful or not in this case.

Best of luck and thanks,
Owen


Edited by mos6502 2009-05-22 12:02 AM
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