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VE Pro 5, Kontakt 5: Distorted Audio during Tempo Changes
Last post Thu, Feb 25 2016 by Trailerman, 85 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Dec 02 2013 00:52
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

I have a support ticket in with NI re: this Kontakt issue. I find it hard to believe that there aren't more Cubase users having this problem. 

Interesting that it's potentially a VST issue. I have not used tempo sync loops in Kontakt much at all in the past, so I might not have had this issue show itself in the past.

Posted on Mon, Dec 02 2013 08:53
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608

The thing is, it doesn't matter what the host is, Windows slave machines always run the VST version of Kontakt, so even if you're using Logic you are still using VST on the slave.

This tells me that it's not a VST Kontakt problem per se, but it is either a Cubase problem, or a VST connector problem. Does anyone here have Studio One or any other VST host to check? Actually as DP now can use VST, it could be checked using that, couldn't it?

Regarding people not having problems with Cubase, be aware that there are many more Cubase Windows users than Cubase Mac users, and it may not even be a problem in Windows. I can't test it for you, as I'm not using slave machines.

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
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Posted on Wed, May 07 2014 17:37
by imzadim
Joined on Mon, Nov 23 2009, Posts 33
Hey guys,


Any progress on this? I'm also having this issue. I can also confirm that it doesn't happens with DP or Logic. It does look like something Cubase needs to resolve with Kontakt in collaboration (instead of throwing the ball to the other side).


This is a pretty big issue, hopefully it gets resolved soon...


Thanks!
Posted on Tue, Jul 08 2014 06:45
by Jdiggity
Joined on Sun, Jan 15 2012, Newcastle, Australia, Posts 6

Increasing the buffer size in my VEP server instances in Cubase fixed it for me. Took some of the load off of the CPU.

i was running 7 instances within Cubase (each with 4-7 instances of kontakt/play) at a latency value of 1 (buffer of 128). Increased them all to a latency value of 2 buffers and no more problems... Yet.

Posted on Tue, Jul 08 2014 07:14
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

Jdiggity, have you tried putting a tempo change in your Cubase sequence and as you play across it, with Kontakt is ext sync mode, and you're not hearing a click or pop? Or try a tempo ramp up or down and see if it clicks.

would love to think that increasing the buffer as you said solves the tempo change Kontakt midi sync issue.

thx,

Mr A

Posted on Tue, Jul 08 2014 15:30
by Jdiggity
Joined on Sun, Jan 15 2012, Newcastle, Australia, Posts 6

Hi mc202vt,

I am getting the distortion/clicks again. Not as bad as before, but my buffer workaround is no longer working for me, as it seems I am using too many instruments. 

As mentioned by others, the issue is a CPU spike, so increasing my buffer size's gave my CPU enough head-room so that it wouldn't max out when tempo ramps occured. However, as I have been working on the same project, I am adding more instruments, some of which are synthesizers, which are using more of the CPU and causing the distortions to happen again.

Fortunately I can afford to use tempo jumps in place of ramps for this particular project, but I will have to find a 'cure' before I start my next one.

You can see from this screenshot that my CPU spike occured across all Cores, reaching about 77%.

When I finish this project I shall do some testing and report back here with the findings (if any).

Posted on Thu, Jul 10 2014 15:59
by dlpmusic
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Posts 270

This is a big problem that no one seems to be addressing.  I have to export all my mixes as the problem is not in the export.  In real time I have issues with every tempo change.

Posted on Fri, Jul 18 2014 07:57
by brett
Joined on Fri, Aug 19 2005, Australia, Posts 78

I've done some more work on this.  IMO it has nothing to do with VEP but is a Kontakt issue (or Kontakt plus Cubase issue - I'm on Cubase 6.0.7).  It is really only a problem with complex patches, or for those of us with large templates where the effect is exaggerated.  

I've finally come up with a simple repro that anyone who owns NI Komplete can test.  I'd love to hear if you can reproduce this in your host.

Firstly, set your soundcard buffer as low as it will go to exaggerate the effect but certainly no higher than 256.

Here is the repro (in Cubase for PC):

1- Load up Cubase

2- Open a new empty project

3- Open up the tempo track (Control-T)

4- Draw in a long tempo ramp over several bars (make sure the insert curve dropdown is set to 'ramp' and not 'jump')

3- hit F11 and load up an instance of Kontakt

4- load up 16 channels of the patch 'Scarbee Clavinet - Full.nki' from the Scarbee Vintage Keys library which is part of Komplete (I chose this patch because of it's complexity and because it is part of NI's Komplete.  There are plenty of other patches from 3rd party libraries that are equally complex and demonstrate the same effect - several of the 'combined' patches from Spitfire's Sable library come to mind)

5- hit F12 to see the 'VST Performance Meter'

6- Ensure that Kontakt is syncing to the host tempo by clicking the 'Master' tab (to the right of the 'Browse' tab) at the top of Kontakt, and checking the 'Ext' button  is lit yellow

7- Move the transport to just prior to the first bar of the tempo ramp and push play

8- watch the ASIO 'meter' go ballistic when it hits the tempo ramp. (Note, that nothing is actually playing)

----------

9- Switch off Kontakt's 'sync to host tempo' by clicking the 'Ext' button off

10- watch the ASIO meter drop down to almost zero

The lower the soundcard buffer is or the greater the number of complex patches there are in your template, the more exaggerated the ASIO spiking.  For those of us working in film and tv this issue is critical.  Avoiding tempo ramps and relying on tempo jumps reduces the frequency of the spikes / crackles / pops but doesn't eliminate the problem.  Simple patches with few groups/zones and little to no scripting aren't affected, only complex patches like the Scarbee clavinet patch but there are plenty of others.  Even if the patch is only moderately complex the culmative effect of many such patches (particularly if you are using Kontakt banks) adds up across a larger template..  

I've left a support ticket with NI

Brett

Posted on Fri, Jul 18 2014 15:50
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

Hey Brett,

I can repro this problem here for sure. What exxagerates the pop/click in Kontakt is when any tempo synced effects are present in the patch (i.e. delays, etc) while in ext tempo sync. I score in TV/film and I am always dealing with a click where there is a tempo change. This serverely slows my workflow down ans sometimes, I'm not able to totally get rid of the noises this issue creates. I can never use a tempo ramp in my composing due to this.

Definitely a Kontakt problem in Cubase, and NI has never responded to my support ticket of months ago. Guess I'll have to do it again.

Keep us posted on any luck on your end.

Thanks,

Mr A

Posted on Thu, Aug 07 2014 01:28
by brett
Joined on Fri, Aug 19 2005, Australia, Posts 78

For what it's worth, NI haven't responded to my first support ticket of 3 weeks ago, nor a second support ticket I posted 2 weeks ago.  So I posted a third support ticket yesterday alerting them once again to the first two tickets.  I've also posted on an existing thread similar to this one on the NI forums three weeks ago and have had no response there either.  

Pretty shabby effort.  It's not as if I haven't done any leg work at my end. I can only hope that they respond to other devs like VSL quicker than ordinary paying customers like me

Posted on Thu, Aug 07 2014 06:30
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

Yes Brett, NI did respond and asked for a video of what the problem is; they asked me to install some video capture software to do this and I'm not about to put something on my computer to do this. I really do need this problem solved and it is so easy to repro that I don't understand why they need me to do all of this for them. If only I wasn't so busy........

Mr A

Posted on Thu, Aug 07 2014 06:36
by brett
Joined on Fri, Aug 19 2005, Australia, Posts 78

Ridiculous isn't it.  The repro takes 2 minutes...

Posted on Sun, Aug 17 2014 02:48
by brett
Joined on Fri, Aug 19 2005, Australia, Posts 78
I wish life didn't work this way but the squeaky wheel gets the oil...After a public prodding in their forum NI finally responded and have claimed they reproduced the issue.  I hope it's not a stock response because there was nothing in the email that was particular to my support request but fingers crossed, true to their word it has been reported to the appropriate team.B
Posted on Sun, Aug 17 2014 03:26
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

Thanks for the update. Fingers crossed that they get the hint and help us all out on this. Keep us posted.

Best,

Mr A

Posted on Sun, Aug 17 2014 16:34
by dlpmusic
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Posts 270
brett wrote:
I wish life didn't work this way but the squeaky wheel gets the oil...After a public prodding in their forum NI finally responded and have claimed they reproduced the issue.  I hope it's not a stock response because there was nothing in the email that was particular to my support request but fingers crossed, true to their word it has been reported to the appropriate team.B

Awesome news....I have about given up that this would ever be fixed.

Posted on Sat, Oct 18 2014 18:33
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

We're in October 14 now and still no progress on this EXT Sync Kontakt bug. I have submitted a video and an audio clip of the issue, as per NI's request. Not sure how it will give them any more data to solve the issue though. Brett's repor is so easy to do and so definitive.

I'm finishing up a short animation project with 6 tempo changes on cuts to picture and eerytime I get a click. So dealing with this is just aweful and so slow.

Brett, has Cubase been adequately informed of this situation? I know I submitted something to them as well a year back.....

Best,   Mr  Anxiety

Posted on Mon, Oct 20 2014 02:18
by dlpmusic
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Posts 270

Yes...incredibly frustrating that this is not fixed.  I am fairly convinced this is VE PROs issue to fix as I am getting gliches with more than just Kontakt.  I suspect that this is a VE PRO problem when used with Cubase.  Try and do a tempo change with a "ramp" and you can almost see your VE pro computer explode.

Posted on Mon, Oct 20 2014 03:34
by mc202vt
Joined on Mon, Feb 14 2005, Posts 21

Well, I'm actually thinking it is a Cubase (VST) issue in tandem with less than stellar scripting in Kontakt that's our problem. Other DAW users are not commentling about any issues...... Logic and DP, although they use AU not VST plugins.

FYI - A workaround is increasing the buffer size substantially. This can at least get you past tempo jumps..... not sure about ramps though.

It does need to get solved, and someone needs to just admit the problem and offer a solution... Steinberg & NI.

Mr A

Posted on Mon, Oct 20 2014 12:04
by brett
Joined on Fri, Aug 19 2005, Australia, Posts 78

@ Mr A - I haven't filed a bug report with Steinberg as I'm quite sure it's a Kontakt bug.  There are similar threads I've participated in on VI and NI that seem to suggest this.

@dplmusic - No, it's not a VSL bug.  If you try my repro above you'll see that whether or not you host Kontakt in VEP is irrelevent.

I'd love users of other DAWs to report back but although I've posted this repro on the NI forum no one has reported back.

I suspect that VI-heavy film composers are very much in the minority and so are a low priority to NI when it comes to bug fixes.  Squeaky wheel gets the oil and there are not enough of us to be squeaky...

Posted on Mon, Oct 20 2014 13:44
by dlpmusic
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Posts 270

This thread is so old that post you are referring to is mine which I forgot I even posted that.  I do remember doing some tests and that was obviously what I saw at the time.  Kontakt indeed seems to have issues with this.  I recently saw this behaviour in another plugin and started to think it might be a VE PRO problem.

it has been sooooo long since I did my original test with Kontakt that maybe someone else can test an instance of Kontakt inside Cubase vs VE PRO to see what the results are.  I run a 128 buffer which is important as I know if you run a 256 or higher you might never see this behaviour.

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