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Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

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Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby Credo » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:55 pm

I'm looking for tips on how to trouble shoot disk loss issues with Aria on my system.

The Kit:
Windows 7 64bit

Motherboard is ASRock A770DE+
AMD Phenom II 1090T X6 with all cores locked and stable at 3.6ghz with multipliers (stock NB, SB, and other bus speeds). HEPT timing is disabled (tried both for HEPT, audio seems smoother with it disabled). Installed is 8 Gig Ram at stock speed and timings. The system has passed numerous stress, disk thrashing, and memory tests. Power supply looks good and stable under full load.

Everything OS, DAW, and Aria related are installed on PNY SSD SATA III media through SATA III PCIe boards. Windows caching gets its very own dedicated Samsung 840 SSD drive that serves no other purpose but caching and other misc. temp directories. The system drive itself is also on a larger Samsung 830 model drive.

My audio card is the PCI based M-Audio Delta 1010 with the stock 19" breakout rack. I'm showing that I have v6.0.8 64bit ASIO drivers installed.

I'm running the 64bit version of CuBase 8 Pro as my primary VST host.

I'm showing that I have v1.620 of Aria Player with v1.757 engine.
I've double checked that it's the 64 bit version of Aria.
I've tried both multi output and regular versions with the same issue popping up.

Problem:
Sadly, with some of the Garritan Libraries I've recently started using more often with Aria Player, I'm starting to notice clicks and notes dropping out and the player keeps counting up on the disk loss counter. In terms of processor, memory, and disk activity my PC isn't even breaking a sweat with the Aria plug-in so I'm not sure where else to look to sort this out.

Some patches do it far worse than others...Particularly those with more options that can be tweaked in real time that I'm starting to find in sets like "Instant Orchestra" and "Jazz and Big Band".

As an example, the C Sax patch in the "Jazz and Big Band" collection drops notes and gives a disk loss counter increase on the settings tab pretty much every time I try to use it with long sustained notes. Usually I can keep tweaking ASIO buffers to massive sizes of well over 512 until the patch is useful but there should be a better solution that I'm missing? I've been able to run some pretty beefy plugins with almost no latency and really small buffers up until now...

I notice that I get this more often when actually playing live through a MIDI controller attached via USB and leaning into the keys for aftertouch effects than when playing back sequences (even if the sequences have a ton of aftertouch data in them). I gave it a try with a classic KX76 controller via the Delta 1010 MIDI DIN connection (as opposed to the motherboard's USB2 interface) as well and disk loss didn't go away when playing live.

None of my other VST plugins do this, so I'm thinking I must be missing something (probably obvious) that is specific to Aria.

Stuff I've tried thus far:
Checking for latest system and device drivers from top to bottom.

Reinstalling the sample set to a different drive on a different make/brand of SATA III host in a different PCIe slot (in case I had a botched sample or flaked out SATA host).

Fresh install to a new hard drive on the motherboard's built in SATA II interface.

Running Aria in stand alone mode to rule out Stienberg's ASIO Guard compatibility issues.

Trying working in different sample rates.

Testing with a different sound card/chip (onboard VIA chipset with many flavors of drivers including ASIO4ALL and/or Generic ASIO>WDM drivers).

I still get the clicks and drop outs and a rising disk loss count (worst at 44.1k sample rate) :(

Sticking with 48k sample rates and Increasing Inst. Disk Precaching buffer size to 128Kb seems to help somewhat on my system. Pushing up the "Max Engine RAM" seems to help at times as well. So with that in mind I'm convinced there's got to be a solution here....I'm just not able to find it and 'lock it in'. Just when I think it's fixed from a buffer tweak or whatever, it starts doing it again.

I'm sure it has something to do with my PC setup, as I've used these Garritan Libraries/Players in the past on really old AMD dual core and quad systems with no problems. Just looking for ideas on how to 'properly' trouble shoot this thing and get it locked in.

Thanks,
Credo
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Credo
 
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Re: Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby Credo » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:47 pm

Follow Up:

Makemusic replied to my service ticket in short order. I'd already tried most of the things they suggested in their initial trouble shooting reply, and also had opened a public ticket at Plogue's forum. Makemusic's initial response was quite helpful, in that I was cued in on some diagnostic tools for further dialogue.

I elected to follow a dialog with Plogue since they seem to do alot of the ground work (at the driver and hardware related levels of the engine) and they quickly noticed what 'trouble shooting' hoops I'd already gone through. They quickly took me to a different level so I voluntarily closed my ticket with makemusic and continued the quest through communications with Plogue. (Nothing against Makemusic support....it just seemed logical for me to communicate with Plogue at the time)

After some weeks of exchanging logs and other reports with Plogue...I noticed steady improvements as my Aria engine progressed from version 1.757 to 1.801 step by step.

Last night I found the 1.809 update here at makemusic (thanks SysexJohn for the heads up).

After a pretty heavy all night test session, I now seem to have much better performance since upgrading to the 1.809 Aria Engine. Each step seemed to get better and better.....yay!

Hopefully it's all fixed now.......but at any rate, I'd like to thank those at Makemusic and Plogue for the efforts on this case.

Credo
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Last edited by Credo on Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Credo
 
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Re: Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby SysExJohn » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:33 am

Great!

So pleased to learn you finally have it fixed, and that my heads up alerted you to latest engine.
I've been following your long running saga. Full marks for perseverance.

FYI, I don't monitor the ARIA updates web site constantly, but a reply by David to one of my queries alerted me to the imminent release of 1.807. It just happens that I checked it on Saturday, just in case. ;)

Good to know you have it sorted, as I'm just about to move to 7 Pro with a hybrid disk.

On a totally separate tack, I do wish there was some backward compatibility maintained with computer hardware interfaces. Some years ago I invested in the E-MU 1212 audio interface (PCI) and upgraded it to a 1616m system. Soon after I managed to get a cardbus version.

Why, oh why, did they drop cardbus on every laptop from 7 onwards? (I need it for concerts.)
Sure I can get an expresscard to cardbus adapter, but the combination sticks out of the side of the laptop some 5.5 inches. Rather defeating the point of having a laptop, and making it rather vulnerable to knocks. (The Startech.com adapter at least works.)

Rant over!

Glad you're making music (sorry) again.

Regards,
John.
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Re: Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby Credo » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:05 pm

SysExJohn wrote:Great!

So pleased to learn you finally have it fixed, and that my heads up alerted you to latest engine.
I've been following your long running saga. Full marks for perseverance.

FYI, I don't monitor the ARIA updates web site constantly, but a reply by David to one of my queries alerted me to the imminent release of 1.807. It just happens that I checked it on Saturday, just in case. ;)

Good to know you have it sorted, as I'm just about to move to 7 Pro with a hybrid disk.

On a totally separate tack, I do wish there was some backward compatibility maintained with computer hardware interfaces. Some years ago I invested in the E-MU 1212 audio interface (PCI) and upgraded it to a 1616m system. Soon after I managed to get a cardbus version.

Why, oh why, did they drop cardbus on every laptop from 7 onwards? (I need it for concerts.)
Sure I can get an expresscard to cardbus adapter, but the combination sticks out of the side of the laptop some 5.5 inches. Rather defeating the point of having a laptop, and making it rather vulnerable to knocks. (The Startech.com adapter at least works.)

Rant over!

Glad you're making music (sorry) again.

Regards,
John.


Amen on the frustrations of Legacy support.

Consumer Perspective: On one hand it's frustrating that the instruments we took out 10 year mortgages to purchase are obsolete before we even open the box. On the other hand, it's exciting how much smaller/lighter/efficient things get, and how prices drop with each new generation of technology.

My first synth was nearly 2k 'used' (and back then 2k could get you a pretty clean low mileage used vehicle)! It weighed what seemed like tons, took a custom $500, 60 pound rack to support the thing in a playable manner, and I spent a good deal of my free time and not so free money fiddling with pricy tubes, cleaning poorly designed pots, repairing massive heat damage caused by the unit's own design, replacing ultra-crappy-leaky but super expensive battery cells, soldering, and reflowing PCBs/replacing part after part. Nevermid the significant energy bill increased cause by the mess. The massive parallel cables (and other junk) to stow it all and hook it all up alone cost me many a month's pay, and I had to resolder the ends of those 'simple but expensive' cables at least once a month despite an elaborate 'care system' with all sorts of costly 'protective/management' gear. I needed $80 jewler's glasses and a small electrics shop to even think about keeping the thing running!

Today I can get a complete DAW in a box with an assortment of soft synths, and a pretty high end PC or Laptop for 2k. I get frustrated when some quazi-demo VST plugin that was more or less free as part of a gizmo bundle gives me a problem and I have to plug in a new hard drive to make room for 60 gig of stuff when I only need an 18meg 'piece of it'....and sometimes crap just never works for me and it's money down the tubes...but I gotta tell ya....it's a PIECE OF CAKE compared to what I grew up with.

So I guess that's where the perseverance comes from. I started with acoustic pipe organs...entire weekends spent putting fishy smelling glues on bits of leather...stuff that sounds great if it's 72 degrees in the room and you can maintain a perfect 20psi of air pressure on this rank, 40psi on that one, and less than 1psi on yet another...but grates your ears if it's anything else....etc. Instruments that (at the time) very few souls actually got to play unless they'd spent at least 2 years kissing butts/playing politics, untold amounts of money enrolling in the 'right programs', and another decade gaining the skill to get 'guilded'. (No, I never got to play them....but consider myself fortunate to have been invited to work on some). Irony...the main reason the instruments required so much expensive maintenance, was BECAUSE they refused to let anyone actually PLAY the things and keep the humidity and dust blown out! Go figure.....

Don't get me started on the nightmare of activity required to gather a group of musicians to form a parade band or community orchestra...let alone a professional one. By the time it's done...'the music' part was a walk in the park. It's all the 'other people/political and fundraising' acrobatics that takes 90% of the effort :(

Developer's Perspective: It has to be just as frustrating for the small companies trying to churn out these products. They'll spend 2 decades building a product and barely breaking even...if eeking out a profit at all, and just when they're able to get the old debts cleared up and start earning a little gravy...some GIANT (or other competitive forces) steps in, buys up a dozen companies over-night (usually for a fraction of what they're really worth), then releases stuff that makes their 20 years of ground level R&D look like fisher price toys, AND they cut the price down to nothing since they have the marketing and customer support engines to 'sell in mass'.

It's difficult for everyone.....

I think maybe it's past time for us musicians to get more 'organized' as a collective and find ways to get in on the 'money-wheel' that other industries 'rely upon' to keep up with the times and do more with pools of 'everyone elses' money', so we spend less of 'our own personal' money. John Philip Sousa taught us a few things about turning music into an economic industrial powerhouse. He also showed us a few critical mistakes that ultimately brought down the very empire he helped create. Yet...at times it doesn't seem that as a collective force, musicians have learned either lesson.

I could rant on for hours with opinions about the 'last man standing' attitude now prevalent in the world of Music Academia (one that refuses to get with the times on how it finds investors, and approaches the concept of risk management for individual professional musicians)...but I'll save that for the graduate school thesis that I'll never be invited to write and submit (and couldn't afford anyway, since higher ed for fine and performing arts is all out of our 'own personal pocket-book these days').

The cool thing about it is...........
Be it with sticks and wax whistles in the backwoods, or state of the art cutting edge technologies in world class studios and conservatories....people continue to make music :)
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Credo
 
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Re: Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby SysExJohn » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:45 pm

Credo wrote:Amen on the frustrations of Legacy support.

Consumer Perspective: On one hand it's frustrating that the instruments we took out 10 year mortgages to purchase are obsolete before we even open the box. On the other hand, it's exciting how much smaller/lighter/efficient things get, and how prices drop with each new generation of technology.


Well, they haven't got much smaller or lighter or quicker or better in performance for a laptop than the E-MU Cardbus 02 with its breakout box, the 1616m! At least, for anywhere near the price. The s/n ratio of the mic and line inputs is up in the 90dB and the DAC is about 21 bit feeding into a 24 bit converter. More importantly, because it goes directly into the 'bus', extremely low latency is easy as is jitter free MIDI input. And it comes with a whole slew of effects that run directly on the card, freeing up processor.

My first synth was nearly 2k 'used' (and back then 2k could get you a pretty clean low mileage used vehicle)! It weighed what seemed like tons, took a custom $500, 60 pound rack to support the thing in a playable manner, and I spent a good deal of my free time and not so free money fiddling with pricy tubes, cleaning poorly designed pots, repairing massive heat damage caused by the unit's own design, replacing ultra-crappy-leaky but super expensive battery cells, soldering, and reflowing PCBs/replacing part after part.
I think maybe it's past time for us musicians to get more 'organized' as a collective and find ways to get in on the 'money-wheel' that other industries 'rely upon' to keep up with the times and do more with pools of 'everyone elses' money', so we spend less of 'our own personal' money. John Philip Sousa taught us a few things about turning music into an economic industrial powerhouse. He also showed us a few critical mistakes that ultimately brought down the very empire he helped create. Yet...at times it doesn't seem that as a collective force, musicians have learned either lesson.

Edited for brevity!

The cool thing about it is...........
Be it with sticks and wax whistles in the backwoods, or state of the art cutting edge technologies in world class studios and conservatories....people continue to make music :)


Yup, with you on all that.
I started my electronics engineering apprenticeship with British Aircraft Corporation in '64 making VC10's and BAC111's. Concorde was in the design stage when I was there. Barnes Wallace, of bouncing bomb fame, headed up the R&D centre. And then I got to work on the old RCA301 computers in '66 rebadged as ICT1500. 20k characters (6 bit) of core store was all we had and we wrote in assembler language. One inch magnetic tape, paper tape and punch cards.
Disk? What's a disk? Oh, those huge things with 10 MB capacity?

Back then I played a real wooden oboe ... until too much travelling took its toll.

Now I just plays the laptop. Oh well!

Regards,
John.
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Re: Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby Credo » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:19 am

SysExJohn wrote:Well, they haven't got much smaller or lighter or quicker or better in performance for a laptop than the E-MU Cardbus 02 with its breakout box, the 1616m! At least, for anywhere near the price. The s/n ratio of the mic and line inputs is up in the 90dB and the DAC is about 21 bit feeding into a 24 bit converter. More importantly, because it goes directly into the 'bus', extremely low latency is easy as is jitter free MIDI input. And it comes with a whole slew of effects that run directly on the card, freeing up processor.


I hear ya! That sounds like a nice piece of hardware. I clung to a collection of old Atari gear for quite a while for similar reasons. The audio isn't so good on them by today's standards, and it took alot of self done racking to figure out how to haul it around....but to this day there isn't a better 'sync' box for the money. Very tight midi timing...the ability to edit the serial data streams one byte at a time in real time (rather than juggling massive chunks of memory and data packets around to get at single bits and nibbles), and at ultra high resolutions that can max out the MIDI spec (and beyond) without a glitch.

As a number cruncher...it was just another not so powerful consumer grade 80s machine....but when it came to doing anything over serial ports....it was a cheap but powerful beast.

When flash memory (and platters too for that matter) and decent DSP chips (or really fast main processors) got inexpensive enough for someone like me to really start taking advantage of the power of software synths...that's when I finally retired the racks of synched up gear (but kept some Atari's around for nostalgia).

Maybe if you gathered a bunch of owners of that interface (and other devices that require that bus), you all could convince some mother board maker to do up a batch of boards that keep that legacy bus? Just a thought.......but sometimes you're not alone in needing some sort of legacy support like this. Just gotta find the 'lets get some built' lists and get yourself on them.

I suppose the most difficult part would be drivers for the ever growing list of older OSes being dropped from the 'support list'. It can be next to impossible to get them to release code, or even specs for people to keep doing 'their own drivers' once they decide to 'stop the driver flow for newer OSes'.

SysExJohn wrote:Yup, with you on all that.
I started my electronics engineering apprenticeship with British Aircraft Corporation in '64 making VC10's and BAC111's. Concorde was in the design stage when I was there. Barnes Wallace, of bouncing bomb fame, headed up the R&D centre. And then I got to work on the old RCA301 computers in '66 rebadged as ICT1500. 20k characters (6 bit) of core store was all we had and we wrote in assembler language. One inch magnetic tape, paper tape and punch cards.
Disk? What's a disk? Oh, those huge things with 10 MB capacity?

Back then I played a real wooden oboe ... until too much travelling took its toll.

Now I just plays the laptop. Oh well!

Regards,
John.


Fun times :)
No question that you've earned the T Shirt on frustrations (with both people and machines) and sheer perseverance :)
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Credo
 
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Re: Disk Loss, Buffers and such...

Postby SysExJohn » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:53 am

Credo wrote:I hear ya! That sounds like a nice piece of hardware.

Try reading this: E-MU 1616m cardbus.

I clung to a collection of old Atari gear for quite a while for similar reasons. The audio isn't so good on them by today's standards, and it took alot of self done racking to figure out how to haul it around....but to this day there isn't a better 'sync' box for the money. Very tight midi timing...the ability to edit the serial data streams one byte at a time in real time (rather than juggling massive chunks of memory and data packets around to get at single bits and nibbles), and at ultra high resolutions that can max out the MIDI spec (and beyond) without a glitch.

As a number cruncher...it was just another not so powerful consumer grade 80s machine....but when it came to doing anything over serial ports....it was a cheap but powerful beast.


Yup! Had an Atari 520STe (which I upgraded to 1 MB) for some time. Added a SCSI hard disk to it too. Learnt much of my MIDI knowledge writing a program to load and dump banks and settings to a Cheetah MS6, Yamaha TX81 and an HS6 organ ... way back. Great little computer.

When flash memory got inexpensive enough for someone like me to really start taking advantage of the power of software synths...that's when I finally got rid of the racked of synched up gear (but kept some Atari's around for nostalgia).


A move abroad had me clearing the decks, and saying goodbye to the Atari. Shame!
Moved to and through a whole series of Yamaha stuff, from the DB50XG, SW1000XG, MU128 x2, then MU1000 x2, with PLG daughter boards, DX, AN, VL (synths) and PF and VH.
I still have all of that (boxed away) plus, now, an Akai EWI4000s and Yamaha VL70m.

Maybe if you gathered a bunch of owners of that interface (and other devices that require that bus), you all could convince some mother board maker to do up a batch of boards that keep that legacy bus? Just a thought.......but sometimes you're not alone in needing some sort of legacy support like this. Just gotta find the 'lets get some built' lists and get yourself on them.


Honestly I can't see that happening. Making a laptop just for old [email protected]!

I suppose the most difficult part would be drivers for the ever growing list of older OSes being dropped from the 'support list'.


It's why I stick to buying used laptops, mostly Lenovo, and with the gigging machines stick to X61's with XP on them. I don't need, and being retired, can't afford constantly to lay out big money for new hardware. Rather spend my spare money (there ain't a lot) on sample libraries.

Fun times :)
No question that you've earned the T Shirt on frustrations (with both people and machines) and sheer perseverance :)


Still waiting for the T shirt. ;-(

Mark you I have one from Thrane & Thrane (from Denmark), not sure if that counts, and another from Inmarsat (London) for writing and running training courses for them worldwide. That was an exhausting couple of years.

Kit today consists of a used Yamaha AN1x synth and a Novation X-Station 25 see here:
Novation X-Station 25 and Yamaha AN1x

Great fun.

All the best,
John.
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