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VE3 audio drop outs
Last post Thu, Apr 16 2009 by morphlite, 43 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Apr 14 2008 10:55
by orchestralalala
Joined on Sat, Nov 17 2007, Posts 76

I installed VE3 on a macbook with my G5 as master running DP5.13 (all specs below)

Performance looks promising on both G5 and macbook (within reasonable limits given what they are!) and I've been monitoring performance with 'activity monitor' as well as by working with a few familiar projects.

However, I'm getting quite frequent audio drop outs for some reason which can even disturb DP's playback (ie DP misses a beat). It is not just the VSL samples that drop out but ALL audio including DP's click track. It's not like the normal crackles and pops of a VI under strain, instead during playback/ recording everything just *stops* for a split second and then carries on. There doesn't seem to be an obvious cause in that the problem can be just as severe in a very light project, even with VE3 just sitting there with only a couple of VI's loaded into it which are not even playing back any midi tracks!

I am used to pushing my set up to its limits with VE2 and other soft samplers and heavey duty VI's like BFD to the point where the graphics get slow, the CPU meter clips and the audio has occasional crackles and pops - but even in those situations it is always still possible to work in DP ..... but this problem I am getting with VE3 is make working very difficult because it actually affects the playback timing - which of course ruins any record take performance!

It happens even when the system shows little strain - ie G5 might be around a steady 60- 70% CPU and macbook at around 50% (and both still with free RAM).

So I'm hoping there might be some kind of system prefs setting that might be causeig this or some other solvable issue (?) - because if I can get rid of these drop outs I will be very happy indeed with the extra headroom having VE3 on my macbook will give me!

Any help / advice appreciated. Apart from this issue I love it! Smile 

Master

G5 dual 1.8GHz

4GB RAM

10.4.11

DP5.13

828 mk1 

All latest VE3 / VI updates

Slave

Macbook 2.2 GHz

4GB RAM

10.5.1

Samples on a dedicated clean Lacie d2 quadra using macbok's FW400

Posted on Tue, Apr 15 2008 22:34
by orchestralalala
Joined on Sat, Nov 17 2007, Posts 76

*bump* 

I'm sure VSL team are very busy and most users are getting to grips with VE3 in their own way, but I'd really like to hear if anyone else has experiencd a similar issue or can give any advice.

Thanks :) 

Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 12:57
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

 Hi orchestralalala ;-)

I have the same isue here in a comparable setup (G5-master- dual 2.3 / OSX 10.4.11 / 7 Go Ram & MacBook-slave-Core duo Intell 2.16 / OSX 1.4.11 / 2 Go Ram) drop out of sound.

I tried to see if some particular sound, articulation, controler cause the drop out but it's random so couldn't figure anithing intersting.

My guess it's that the FW 400 for the external Drive is to slow...i have a MacWay 500 Go with FW 400 on my MacBook (comparable to your Lacie FW 400) but maybe someone from VSL can test that and confirm or not...if it's the case we are in trouble because there is no FW 800 on those Mac and no easy e-Sata option...so i hope i'm wrong !

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 13:35
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

 Ok making some more test bring me to think that the problem come from the network flow.

The activity monitor indicate precisely the drop of sound by a drop in the network flow...

That doesn't meen that FW 400 port insn't slowing down because if it does i guess that might cause the network to stop transfering information...?

I'm not technical enough to tell you more...but i'm shure that someone here at VSL will answer us about that and also if other user are experimeting the same problem/limitation.

stephane 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 13:53
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9052

FW400 has a theoretical throughput of ~ 40 MB/s, which will in fact give you ~ 30 MB/s (equals ~ 170 streams of 44,1 16bit stereo samples) adding about 10% CPU load ... so we shouldn't see any bottleneck here

 

more probable is a load coming from the GUI, especially if you have a large screen ... we noticed already several times (especially on PPC macs) that GUI ressources are forcing a lot from the CPU .... try to minimize interfaces to see if we are on the right trace ...

 

network and firewire shouldn't collide (unless you are using TCP/IP over firewire) and you don't put more load eg. on a 100 Mbit network as it can handle

 

you should also avoid to have a FW audio device and disk on the same controller .... this will most probably produce dropouts

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 14:58
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

Hi Christian,

I tried to minimize the GUI window in my slave but that doesn't change the drop out isue.

I also change the sample freq from 48khtz to 44,1 Khtz to see if that influence the drops but no.

CPU charge doesn't got up to 20% on the MacBook (slave), but i have to say that the drop occur only on the sounds comming from VE3 slave (so ethernet network)  machine, it apparently doesn't cut my Master Mac sound.

No FW audio device on the slave machine, Motu 828 MKII on the master Mac has it's own FW port.

Is there different kinds of Ethernet network ? like Giga### or anything like this ? i ear about that but doesnt' really know about it...might be that we need a faster Ethernet Hub or something ? 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 15:53
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9052

now this might be where we could find a reason ... your both macs have gigabit network, yes? and does the status also indicate they are using gigabit - or do you have a 100 Mbit switch or hub between? then everything would slow down to 100 Mbit, in case of a hub instead of a switch actually to half duplex (what's the device model?)

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 16:39
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

 this is where you'll have to help me because i'm not expert...

1-How can i check if both my mac have gigabit network ? 

2- the device model is D-Link DIR 100 (it says Broadband)

I don't know how to check if this is Gigabit or anything else, but i'm afraid that this is the problem...can you point me where to look to be shure about that ?

thanks. 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 16:54
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9052

the general speed of your network interface cards should be viewable in network preferences and system information,

for the actual speed you need not to look: the D-Link DIR 100 is a router (device connecting a local network to the internet) with a bult-in100 Mbit switch, so your used speed is limited to 100 Mbit.

 

i'd assume your macs are set to *use DHCP* - this means they might possibly receive a different IP address over the time ....

check with your network utility to what IP range it is set (i'd assume 192.168.0.x where x can be any number between 1 and 254)

 

to make a long story short: to have a working gigabit connection all involved devices need to be gigabit ...

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 17:03
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

 ok this is what i find for the Mac :

Ethernet :
  MAC Address :    XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
  Options Média :    Duplex intégral, flow-control
  Sous-type Média :    100baseTX

And for the D-Link it is a 100Mbit i checked

so if i get your point i have to buy a new one that is Gigabit to use VE3 full power ? or is it a matter of settings ? you are right about the DHCP etc...that's how it is set.

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 17:06
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9052

in case your main mac has 2 network ports and you have a spare cable and you can leave your macBook without internet for a while i would know a quick solution (until you get a gegibit switch or to check it out)

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Apr 16 2008 17:13
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

ok thank you Christian i'll chek on that !

stephane 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 07:39
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

Hi Christian,

Just on more question about the Ethernet conexion.

If I connect my two Mac directly without going through the Hub it will automatically be in Gigabit or is there anything i should do to set up the Mac ?

I'd like to make the test before investing into the new Ethernet Gigabit Hub ;-) 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 12:32
by MS
Joined on Wed, Feb 19 2003, Liechtenstein, Posts 1727

 If both of your macs have Gigabit interfaces, then you can connect them with a normal ethernet cable and get full speed. You need to configure the network settings manually however.

Martin 

--
Martin Saleteg
Software Developer
Vienna Symphonic Library GmbH
Posted on Thu, Apr 17 2008 14:43
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

 Thanks Martin ;-)

Apparently both my Mac give me the option for 1000BaseT Ethernet connexion so i guess they are ok for Gigabit Network...then a friend told me i just have to buy a switch and not a router as my freebox is allready a router...so 'ill try that and keep you posted !

thanks for the helps and tips.

stephane 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Fri, Apr 18 2008 07:21
by Stéphane
Joined on Tue, Mar 11 2003, Nantes, France, Posts 149

Hi Stéphane,

A 1gb switch connected to the freebox is a good solution, and be sure to disable airport on your macbook, it lowers the low latency performance.

Stéphane Péneau
CASAWAVE
Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 11:18
by benbartlett
Joined on Thu, Apr 26 2007, Posts 157

It's true what your friend says: most routers are 10 or 100 base, not 1000 (ie gigabit).

However, Apples latest Airport (not the express) offers a couple of ethernet ports at 1000 base, as well as being a router. However, it does not route from ADSL, only DSL which is the standard in the US. A cheaper solution would be a gigabit switch, offering you the same result. This does not route, but optimises network flow - you have your router already.

Your setup would be (to be optimised):

Your ROUTER connects to the internet in its normal way (via ADSL filter/telephone line or whatever).
You then connect an ethernet cable form this to your SWITCH.
Connect another cable from Mac A to your SWITCH.
Connect your final (3rd) cable from Mac B to the SWITCH.
Most Gb switches come with about 8 ports. They can be noisy as they are fan cooled usually. I have mine on another location.

Both macs will be on the internet (at a theoretical 100 base speed) whilst connected to EACH OTHER at 1000 base.

Gigabit routers are surprisingly tricky to get hold of - try online, that's what I did. They're not outrageously expensive and well worth it to sort out your situation. If you can get one without a fan, fantastic. Mine is a linksys.

You could of course connect the two Macs together with a single cable (no switch) but not be online on either Mac. Unless one of these macs has two Ethernet ports, one of which could connect direct to the router (ie internet).

By the way - all Macs that are younger than about  6 years have Gigabit Ethernet ports - unlike most PC's which come pre-configured as 100 base.

Clear as Mud?

Posted on Sat, Apr 19 2008 12:09
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9052

attention: AFAIK the iMac G5s have 100 Mbit only ... 10 base-T (10 Mbit devices) should be no longer in use i'd suppose since about 10 years .... 100 base-T is pretty old already ... if routers have 10 Mbit ports than probably on the WAN-side (Wide Area Network = internet)

 

connecting 2 ethernet ports directly (using a cable) works fine if at least one of them is gigabit (these are autodecting the type of connection) - connecting 2 100 Mbit ethernet devices directly needs a *cross-over cable*

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Sun, Apr 20 2008 11:55
by groovevsl
Joined on Wed, Mar 21 2007, france, Posts 64

 Thanks to both of you for those answer and tips !

actualy i tried to connect both my mac together but it didn't work, not shure my cable is apropriate thought, i should make some further testing !

Both my mac offer me the option to switch to 1000 base T but then it doesn't work ! again i'm not shure my cables are apropriate...

As for switch o didn't found anything interestig yet...some old 5 port Giga switch working with PCI card !! i hope they exist in Ethernet only...have to check that to ;-)

So all is not working yet for me but they are some areas i have to get some more information about (switch, cables etc...) and i'll be ready to go i guess...

i'll keep you posted as it might be usefull for other user that, like me, are not pro on the network subject :-)

stephane. 

www.stephanelegouvello.com
Mac Pro Nehalem 8 core 2,26/32Go Ram/OXS 10.10.5/RME Fireface 800/Nuendo 7.0.40 / I-mac 3.2 Ghz-I5-32Go RAM-OSX 10.8.5
Posted on Sun, Apr 20 2008 14:56
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9052

groovevsl wrote:
Both my mac offer me the option to switch to 1000 base T

i don't understand that - where is such an option? a NIC (Network Interface Card) is detecting the speed of the cable and switches to the appropriate one automatically ... there is nothing you can do (except forcing a slower mode using an advanced configuration)

groovevsl wrote:
some old 5 port Giga switch working with PCI card
i don't know such devices - and i would prefer a dedicated box anyway ... reliable gigabit switches are available at USD/EUR 100.- already.

 

gigabit ports are autosensing (speed and polarity of the cable) so any good cable will do the job ...

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
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