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Tales of Home - A Snippet


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#1 xiaoan   Members   -  Reputation: 912

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Hi everyone, here's a short snippet of a piece that I composed using a new (to me) bare-bones closed score system. The PLAY engine kept overloading my CPU so I decided not to finish it. Guess i'm going to have to get a different percussion library.

 

https://soundcloud.com/lixiaoan/tales-of-home-snippet

 

Xiao'an


Li Xiao'an

Composer | Music Director

www.xiaoanli.com (Personal)

www.eastcoastscoring.com

Twitter: @lxiaoan

 


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#2 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:32 AM

Nice piece!

 

PLAY is, indeed, cumbersome. But there are some work arounds. What is your set up like? Depending on your software, you can freeze certain tracks and lighten up the RAM load on your CPU. Increasing RAM can definitely help - if you have the room. Finally some DAWs do better than others. For example, Sonar was one of the WORST in my experience for handling VSTi RAM and performance. A change from Sonar to Reaper yielded HUGE gains in what my computer could do - all with everything else (the samples, HDD set up, RAM, etc) being the same.


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#3 xiaoan   Members   -  Reputation: 912

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

I have 32g of RAM and a 3.4gHz Intel Quad Core i7 CPU (iMac). My programs are installed on an SSD, my projects are saved on a regular 1TB hard drive, and my samples are loaded on a 4TB G-Drive with a FW800.

There were around 44 separate tracks, but they never all play simultaneously.

 

I can load a ton of samples but load more than 3-4 instances of PLAY and it just keeps overloading. I'm in the process of learning how to use Reaper. Have you found that PLAY works better there? I currently use Logic 9.1.8 and to be perfectly honest it is more or less capable of doing most of what I want to do.

I'm pretty confident that if I were to replace my PLAY percussion libraries with CinePerc, I wouldn't have any problems with the CPU overloading, but i'm not sure if that confidence is unwarranted. Do you think it's a problem with Logic?


Li Xiao'an

Composer | Music Director

www.xiaoanli.com (Personal)

www.eastcoastscoring.com

Twitter: @lxiaoan

 


#4 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1053

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

Hey,

I wish EastWest would still use Kontakt... PLAY is ugly, bloated and a lot less versatile, plus I had massive problems with the iLok when switching to the new machine. And EastWest's support wasn't exactly helpful. Anyway, everything's good now and I don't see why you should have a CPU problem, so there should be some fix.

Might be some kind of problem with your iMac's CPU or even GPU management.
What's the rest of your setup (what OS, audio interface, buffer setting, sample rate, graphics card...?)

I'm currently working on a project with 40+ tracks - of which about 30 have instances of PLAY on them - in Ableton Live (32-bit!) without problems and with low latency on my far inferior Macbook Pro (Retina, 2.6 GHz Quad i7, 16 GB RAM). In Logic, things run even smoother.

...Heh, sorry for not commenting on your music at all - will give it a listen later, right now my ears are toast. ;)

Cheers,
Moritz

Edited by Moritz P.G. Katz, 11 February 2013 - 04:25 PM.

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#5 xiaoan   Members   -  Reputation: 912

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

My audio interface is currently not in the picture as I sequence on headphones and I just use the output from the iMac. I mix with an Apogee Duet but i'm working with audio files then and never have a problem.

My OS is 10.7.5. I use 44.1 or 48kHz most of the time for my sample rate. My buffer setting i think is 1024 and honestly I have no idea what graphics card i'm using, haha.

 

It does sound as though i'm doing something wrong. I'm partially relieved because then it'll be a problem that I can fix. I wonder if uninstalling and reinstalling the PLAY software so that I KNOW I have the latest version might do anything.

Your technical feedback is much more valuable to me than someone just listening to it, haha, so I appreciate what you've said so far. Thanks man!


Li Xiao'an

Composer | Music Director

www.xiaoanli.com (Personal)

www.eastcoastscoring.com

Twitter: @lxiaoan

 


#6 mychii   Members   -  Reputation: 425

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:22 AM

I got to agree on that East West problem.

 

Even though I like East West, it eats up a lot of memory. I had like up to 16 tracks when I tried it and it already complained (I'm using FL Studio 10 as my DAW in Windows, by the way) but my memory was up to 2.2 GB anyway, so I thought it was just my computer.

 

Anyway I'm pretty sure graphic card won't have any effect on it whatsoever, because graphic card is a matter of display (If you have too much 3D graphics displayed on your DAW/having dual display, then its graphic card issue if computer becomes slower and laggy, but won't effect your audio result at all). However, low on memory/intensive CPU can get your DAW to work slowly/crash, or even stop your computer.

 

I used East West symphonic orchestra Gold, and I saw that each instrument takes around 150 MB memory in average, so 44 tracks probably takes around 6.6 GB, so it should be not problem for your computer spec. I'm guessing its the PLAY that does not keep up with the CPU, but I don't really know how intensive it would be in your current DAW.

 

 

About your music, I really love the intro. A magical start for tales is always working for me.

 

As a whole, I feel safe, and its a very charming place, huge, and majestic as a home. Its like a magical castle or something with a lot of nice people inside. I hope I get it right.

I also really love your transition on being loud and becoming so thin (0:28 - 1:17), as if I was entering a big gate of the castle, went to a big arcade, to the alley, until I reach my own small place there.

 

Thanks for sharing, by the way!



#7 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1053

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:57 AM

Anyway I'm pretty sure graphic card won't have any effect on it whatsoever, because graphic card is a matter of display

As a matter of fact, graphics can have a serious impact on performance, especially when you have a lot of floating windows with software and plug-ins not optimized for graphics performance. I quickly ran into this problem with my old MBP as it only had an integrated Intel HD GPU.
On my new machine, I disabled the graphics switching feature that would switch to the weak on-board GPU when the MBP feels it doesn't need the powerful GPU and can save some power. I have the power adapter plugged in most of the time anyways, and graphics performance shouldn't become the achilles heel with the powerful CPUs we can use today.

My OS is 10.7.5. I use 44.1 or 48kHz most of the time for my sample rate. My buffer setting i think is 1024 and honestly I have no idea what graphics card i'm using, haha.

Seems like there's no graphics switching feature on iMacs, so that lead was wrong... if you're curious though, you can find out what card you're using by clicking Apple -> About this Mac -> More Info.

Reinstalling the PLAY engine and iLok drivers might actually help - and it's easy to miss an update, EastWest's product support is very lacking and sometimes downright confusing. Double-check their downloads pages. Nevertheless, if that fails I'd write a mail to support. Might take them a few days to get back to you, be warned!

Your technical feedback is much more valuable to me than someone just listening to it, haha, so I appreciate what you've said so far. Thanks man!

Sure my friend, hope I can help - I know how frustrating it can be to be hindered by technical obstacles like this. Rest assured, with a CPU/RAM behemoth like that sitting on your desktop, Logic really shouldn't be complaining even with 50 instances of PLAY @ 256 samples.

Does it make a difference performance-wise if you use the Apogee's Core Audio driver?

Cheers,
Moritz

Edited by Moritz P.G. Katz, 12 February 2013 - 05:58 AM.

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#8 mychii   Members   -  Reputation: 425

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:26 AM

As a matter of fact, graphics can have a serious impact on performance, especially when you have a lot of floating windows with software and plug-ins not optimized for graphics performance. I quickly ran into this problem with my old MBP as it only had an integrated Intel HD GPU.
On my new machine, I disabled the graphics switching feature that would switch to the weak on-board GPU when the MBP feels it doesn't need the powerful GPU and can save some power. I have the power adapter plugged in most of the time anyways, and graphics performance shouldn't become the achilles heel with the powerful CPUs we can use today.

 

Oh my, I didn't realize that. I better get a new machine too then. I am currently in MBA with integrated Intel HD GPU, and its totally limited when it comes to East West orchestra (it is supposed to have around 3.5 GB memory but the graphic card takes up to 1.6 GB memory, leaving me around 2.2 GB ... sad).

 

Thanks for the correction Moritz!



#9 xiaoan   Members   -  Reputation: 912

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

The problem is, I run my samples off a firewire drive, and I only have one firewire port, so I can't connect the Apogee (i'm using the old firewire version). Do you think it'll make a difference? I'd love to run both at the same time but i'd have to buy a firewire repeater or a thunderbolt - firewire adapter.

 

Honestly having one firewire port is just ridiculous. Do you have any solutions for that?


Li Xiao'an

Composer | Music Director

www.xiaoanli.com (Personal)

www.eastcoastscoring.com

Twitter: @lxiaoan

 


#10 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1053

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

The problem is, I run my samples off a firewire drive, and I only have one firewire port, so I can't connect the Apogee (i'm using the old firewire version). Do you think it'll make a difference?

It might help, not too sure about that, just wanted to check... I can definitely recommend switching to the Apogee anyway, the D/A conversion will be better, allowing a better monitoring sound.
Not to mention the possibility of doing some nice recordings with the Duet's pre-amps, which sound lovely!

Honestly having one firewire port is just ridiculous. Do you have any solutions for that?

My MBP has no native Firewire ports at all... the Thunderbolt -> FW800 works flawlessly though, even when daisy-chaining. I have it hooked up to a FW800 HDD which in turn is chained to my FW400 audio interface (Focusrite Saffire Pro 40).
On that note, doesn't your G-Drive have a second FireWire port? You should be able to daisy-chain your Apogee interface then!

Cheers,
Moritz

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#11 xiaoan   Members   -  Reputation: 912

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:47 PM

I've tried but when I daisy chain my G Drive and Duet, I think the duet suffers from lack of power, since it's bus powered. I might give the thunderbolt converter a go.


Li Xiao'an

Composer | Music Director

www.xiaoanli.com (Personal)

www.eastcoastscoring.com

Twitter: @lxiaoan

 


#12 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Sorry for my delay in response. To be honest, I haven't been able to read the full thread yet so I might be redundant.

 

I have 32g of RAM and a 3.4gHz Intel Quad Core i7 CPU (iMac). My programs are installed on an SSD, my projects are saved on a regular 1TB hard drive, and my samples are loaded on a 4TB G-Drive with a FW800.

There were around 44 separate tracks, but they never all play simultaneously.

 

I can load a ton of samples but load more than 3-4 instances of PLAY and it just keeps overloading. I'm in the process of learning how to use Reaper. Have you found that PLAY works better there? I currently use Logic 9.1.8 and to be perfectly honest it is more or less capable of doing most of what I want to do.

 

With the kind of power and RAM your computer has, it's strange that you're having issues but it might be due to having your samples on an external. I have a Mac Pro 8-core with 32 gigs of RAM and am also using Logic. I can run PLAY without any problems at all for the most part. There's a problem where if a project is loading, PLAY will sometimes not load the patch but I think it might be due to attempting to type while loading a new session. But I've never had PLAY overload before. I did have a problem similar to this with the Cakewalk Dimension plugin but that was after the Apple OS changed and Cakewalk ceased supporting it on Macs. sad.png

 

I mentioned Reaper just in case you were on a PC and using Sonar which, in my experience, blew when it came to sample ram management.

 

I'm pretty confident that if I were to replace my PLAY percussion libraries with CinePerc, I wouldn't have any problems with the CPU overloading, but i'm not sure if that confidence is unwarranted. Do you think it's a problem with Logic?

 

I don't think it's Logic because my own set up does just fine. And you have a newer CPU set up than I do. The only difference is that my samples are on an internal HDD and you're using an external. The graphics point might be part of the problem for sure! But I'm willing to bet my video card is lower spec than what's in your iMac, just due to the age of the computer, and I can float windows just fine while running PLAY. So it may or may not be it.

Side note: I am having the Logic EQ freeze up bug randomly, both in 32 and 64 bit mode. I tell ya... I love Logic but with the way things are going, if Apple doesn't do a serious update to Logic soon, I might just go to Cubase.


Edited by nsmadsen, 13 February 2013 - 04:42 PM.

Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#13 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1053

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

^ That shouldn't be the problem... too-slow HDD streaming should cause drop-outs, but no CPU overload.

Plus, I can confirm streaming the samples from a fast 7200 RPM FW800 HDD like the G-Drive works! (my second HDD is a G-Drive)

Cheers,
Moritz

Edited by Moritz P.G. Katz, 13 February 2013 - 04:45 PM.

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#14 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

Hmmm.... well, then I'm clueless to be honest. Because otherwise I *should* be having the same issues and I'm not. Tech support over the web is pretty hard to do. :P Wish I could be there in person to lend a hand and help out. 


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#15 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

Perhaps I'm on an older version of PLAY that's more stable? Or vice versa? To be honest, I don't update PLAY too often as I don't really trust East West that much and once I find something working I like to leave it alone! :P


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#16 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1053

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Hmmm.... well, then I'm clueless to be honest. Because otherwise I *should* be having the same issues and I'm not. Tech support over the web is pretty hard to do. tongue.png Wish I could be there in person to lend a hand and help out.

Same here!

Perhaps I'm on an older version of PLAY that's more stable? Or vice versa? To be honest, I don't update PLAY too often as I don't really trust East West that much and once I find something working I like to leave it alone!

Agreed - never change a running system, they say... I try to only update when it's necessary or when I'm undertaking a major overhaul of my system anyway. Definitely never in the middle of a project!

Best of luck Xiao'an, keep us posted if re-installing engine and iLok driver helped.
Your music's really pleasant to listen to by the way, I like the bright sounds you used. The woodwind solo @ 1.00 is particularly uplifting. smile.png

Cheers,
Moritz

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#17 xiaoan   Members   -  Reputation: 912

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:25 PM

@Nathan

It might have something to do with the PLAY version. I downloaded the update to v3, but after installing it, my versions still display v2. I'm pretty sure that it's PLAY that's causing the spikes because ALL my samples are on an external and they all load fine. I am anxious to know what you guys are doing different from me because I certainly don't want to waste this library, haha. I'm confident i'll eventually find a solution though.

 

@Moritz


I reinstalled it, but the problems were still the same. Didn't try the iLok driver but I really don't think it could be the issue. I have a feeling something's buried in my preferences that's just making things go wonky.

Thanks for your kind words about my music. I wrote it after playing Ni No Kuni and realizing that I was writing way too much epic stuff (which isn't really me, haha).

---------

I really appreciate all the help all of you have given me so far. I quite like this forum.


Li Xiao'an

Composer | Music Director

www.xiaoanli.com (Personal)

www.eastcoastscoring.com

Twitter: @lxiaoan

 


#18 Gruby Phil   Members   -  Reputation: 93

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:15 AM

Really nice track! Has that 'classic John Williams feeling' ;) I understand what you are coming through with PLAY engine. I've chosen LASS over Hollywood Scoring Strings because of that. Anyways, Keep it up!






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