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  • VSL in Cubase 4 - VI vs. VE

    Hello, I have been experimenting with VI and VE in Cubase Studio 4, and have found that I can run far more samples using VI instances in 'instrument tracks' than by using multiple VE instances (and midi tracks). While I'm happy to have found an approach that allows me to load the number of sounds I want, it is very frustrating to wrestle with the VI/Instrument Track approach for the following reasons: 1 - extra 'mouse clicks' involved in accessing each instance of VI in order to make changes to the patches, etc. (click once to open 'edit instrument', then click again to 'show window'). 2 - loading presets at the VI level seems to be broken 3 - each VI Server window has the same name, so it is practically impossible to approximate the convenience of having multiple instruments loaded and ready for viewing/editing as is available via VE Can something be done about this? Thanks in advance!

  • You don't say in your post, but I'm assuming that you are using OSX (because of the lack of formatting in said post...!) Please could you confirm, as VI works differently in XP, whereas VE works the same on both OS, and I don't want to give you incorrect information.


  • Yes, that's correct - I'm in Leopard (and loving it ; ) ). Other possibly environment info: Mac Pro, octo 2.8 Cubase Studio 4 Thanks!

  • It seems to me that the main problem you are having is that you are limited by the number of samples you can load in VE. I'm really not sure why that is. One VE can load Instruments on 16 different MIDI channels. One Instrument track loads one Instrument. That's it. I would have thought that loading 16 VI for every VE would increase the load on your system.

    One thing occurs to me. You say you have tried running multiple VE instances. However, my 17GB template only takes up 5 instances, and due to the limitations of your OS, you won't be able to load anywhere near as much as that. How many instances were you trying to load?

    DG


  • I had four instances of VE open as VST instruments. None of them had more than 10 instruments loaded, and each instrument only had one patch loaded. Admittedly there seemed to be zero hit on the cpu (not by the meter in cubase, anyhow), whereas loading all those as VIs via Instrument Tracks is definitely showing a CPU hit. But as it is now, I have 27 instances of VI on Instrument Tracks, 20 of which have full SE_Plus instrument matrixes loaded and the playback is nice and smooth versus trying to go the VE route in which case playback would stutter massively as soon as anything tried to playback out of the third VE. Like, as long as only two VE's were being asked to play anything all was well, but as soon as I asked for playback from any 3 VE's simultaneously I got massive stutter (but only from instruments in that third VE). I tried doing the standalone via IAC thing but that crashed cubase immediately everytime (seems to be something about cubase and IAC that I can't suss out via forum research). As it stands, I can get where I need to go for the current project with the approach I'm using now (VI via Instrument Tracks) but I'd love to be able to do it differently as larger projects are bound to come up. Any suggestions are much appreciated! Thanks!

  • several informations missing:

    computer - GB RAM, GHz CPU, CPU type, drive sample content is stored on, audio interface used ...

    stuttering is in most cases a sign for not enough bandwidth, in most cases from the harddisk, sometimes from the CPU or low memory (eg. pagefile too heavily used) - also disk and audio interface both connected through firewire often is causing such bottlenecks.

     

    i personally have not heard about too many people beeing happy with IAC - flawless functioning seems to be highly dependant on your system setup.

    christian


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • I don't have any suggestions, other than things cm was mentioning, but I still don't understand why you had 4 VE instances open. You can stream 27 tracks from 2 instances. In order to get a good comparison you would need more than 32 VI loaded.

    I would also experiment to see what happens if you start to load Instrument tracks, rather than a 3rd VE. You will certainly get an extra 2.5GB of RAM to use, if you have it.

    DG


  • Mac Pro 8-core 2.8 MHz 6GB Ram Internal SATA 1TB 7200 (Caviar Black) 828 (original) I don't see how it would be a drive issue since playback is normal in the current scenario (VI via Instrument Tracks). Memory issues might make sense, but only if I could understand how 27 VIs operate more efficiently than 3 VEs. Help? Thanks.

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    @DG said:

    I don't have any suggestions, other than things cm was mentioning, but I still don't understand why you had 4 VE instances open. You can stream 27 tracks from 2 instances. In order to get a good comparison you would need more than 32 VI loaded.

    I would also experiment to see what happens if you start to load Instrument tracks, rather than a 3rd VE. You will certainly get an extra 2.5GB of RAM to use, if you have it.

    DG

    Okay, that makes sense (comparing 32 VIs to 2 VEs). And to be fair, I just crashed trying to fill in the woodwinds with VIs (only had strings and brass up). Regarding my interest in using more than 2 VEs - I was hoping to keep the different sections of the orchestra neatly tucked into different VE presets. And the large number of instruments per VE stems from my desire to have divisi legato available (violins x 6, violas x3, cellos x4, basses x2, sim. for brass and woodwinds). Of course, this is likely asking too much from one machine, but maybe not. I'm tempted to install another 10GB of RAM... but only if I can feel confident that I will be able to use all of it (stable system, etc.). The VE manual describes opening multiple standalone instances of VE.app, but that requires IAC and SoundFlower (or some other solution). Actually, now that I'm thinking of it - that does sound like the most powerful approach. Any suggestions as per interapplication midi that is not IAC? Thanks.

  •  ok - system requirements recommend a fast seperate harddrive for samples (seperate does not inevitably mean external!) for several reasons

    a) the pagefile issue (= file where virtual memory is stored) which is always on the system volume and you never can say when the operating system decides to page out some unused memory (actually doing this at high priority) ... applies also to applications which write temporary files to a disk.

    b) you don't know for sure how fragmented your system drive was before installing a sample library and also recommended is to leave at least 20% of the drive free (drive, not volume in case you have partitioned your disk)

    c) possibly you are simultaneously recording to the same disk you are streaming from (also not recommended) what would result in heavy movement of the disk's heads and decrease performance significantly.

    hth, christian


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Great tips, CM. Definitely need to defrag all disks as well as open more free space on my system drive. The library is installed on an internal disk, separate from the system. I am not doing any recording in this session. However I do have all samples playing of the same drive. I will spread the sections across a few drives (I have three internal 7200s separate from the system drive). These are certainly good and ultimately necessary adjustments. How 'bout any tips on getting the interapp midi happening so I can use the multiple standalone VE approach and really make the most of the memory capacity of this machine (as mentioned before there are 6GB installed but I would max out to 16GB in a heartbeat if I knew that I could use it all in a stable way). Thanks!

  •   i have not been aware (or misread your post) the samples are actually stored on a seperate drive ...

     

    6 GB RAM ... so say the operating system need 1 GB, maybe cubase needs 1/2 GB (activity monitor will tell you) we have maybe 4+ GB left for samples ...

    Vienna Ensemble usually runs stable up to 3.2 GB used memory (on some configs down to only 2.8 GB) ... what about filling the remaining ~ 1 GB using VI instances? maybe for percussions or similar instruments where it is often inconcise to assign tracks to VE channels ...

     

    watch your activity monitor beyond which memory usage the stange behaviour begins .... also i'd double check for cubase updates and make sure the permissions on the system are in good shape

    christian


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Cool. Actually, in my last post I mentioned going to 16GB... just remembered this machine can actually take 32GB. Sometimes I forget how sexy this rig could actually be! ; ) Speaking of Activity Monitor - I did have it open during my initial experiments. One thing I don't fully understand is the significance of the terms 'real memory' and 'virtual memory'. I mean, I think I kind of understand the concepts, but I'm not sure which numbers I should be paying most attention to or what the actual difference is. One thing I feel confident about is that I will want to go beyond the amount of memory that Cubase can address on it's own. I'm frustrated with the crashes I'm getting with IAC. Is there an alternative that you're aware of (besides just short circuiting an external midi interface, though that is certainly an option)? Thanks.

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    @harwood9 said:

    Cool. Actually, in my last post I mentioned going to 16GB... just remembered this machine can actually take 32GB. Sometimes I forget how sexy this rig could actually be! ; ) Speaking of Activity Monitor - I did have it open during my initial experiments. One thing I don't fully understand is the significance of the terms 'real memory' and 'virtual memory'. I mean, I think I kind of understand the concepts, but I'm not sure which numbers I should be paying most attention to or what the actual difference is. One thing I feel confident about is that I will want to go beyond the amount of memory that Cubase can address on it's own. I'm frustrated with the crashes I'm getting with IAC. Is there an alternative that you're aware of (besides just short circuiting an external midi interface, though that is certainly an option)? Thanks.
     

    Just one question, if you are thinking of buying more memory. Do you have an old Mac Pro or a new one? If it's a new one, 16GB is a bad number to choose. You really need to have 6x2GB sticks or 6x4GB sticks.

    DG