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Onboard LAN vs NIC
Last post Wed, Feb 05 2014 by MWE, 14 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Feb 02 2014 19:56
by Pingu
Joined on Wed, Dec 28 2005, Posts 126

I've just set up a network of 3 brand new Win7 machines, and have spent several weeks trying to eliminate the audio dropouts I'm suffering when using VEPro. I've turned off green Lan and energy-efficient lan, and turned on jumbo frames, tried more buffers; I've also swtiched my cat 6 cables. I've finally got to where I only get occasional dropouts, rather than 10-20 a minute, but most people seem to have connections that have no such glitches. And I'm concerned that the software designers say that using jumbo frames will actually make performance worse - it seems to suggest that the improvement I'm seeing when they're turned on is for the wrong reasons, and probably addressing the problem in the wrong way.

The last thing I can think of is that it might be because I'm using the onboard LAN connections on my computers. Has anyone had similar issues that have gone away after fitting PCIe network cards?

Posted on Mon, Feb 03 2014 05:39
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2723

Can you give more details about your hardware, and how it is set and how you have organize your VSL setup

MacBook Pro 2019 16" + 2 x Odisseey G9 49" Big Sur

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd

Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series, Many Synchronised libs
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Mon, Feb 03 2014 14:06
by Pingu
Joined on Wed, Dec 28 2005, Posts 126

Sure:-

Main machine - ASUS P9X79, i7 6core 3.4 GHz, 64GB RAM, Echo Layla 3g soundcard, System on 240GB SSD, Vienna samples spread over 3x480GB SSD

1st Slave - Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, i7 4core 3.2 GHz, 24GB RAM, System on 240GB SSD, Vienna Samples on 240GB SSD, other samples on 2x1.5TB Western Digital 7200rpm HDD

2nd Slave - ASUS P8Z77-VLX, i7 4core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, System on 1TB HDD, Vienna samples on 240GB SSD

All three machines are connected to a Belkin f5d5141-5 switch via cat 6 cables. I've set them all with jumbo frames enabled, green LAN disabled, and static i.p addresses.

Posted on Mon, Feb 03 2014 22:27
by kleinholgi
Joined on Sat, May 09 2009, Posts 171

First the obvious points :

Any Virus Scanner ?

Have you tried to throw away iTunes  with all the Apple stuff ( Apple Mobile whatever... ET wants to phone home...)

To be honest, I don´t think that is is something like that.

What about IRQ settings, memory or other ressource sharing of the Lan onbord chipset or the audio interface with other units ?

Any Firewire devices, Liquidmix, UAD, SSL Duende, TC Powercore etc ?

Your drive specs are crazy, I wouldn´t expect any problem with that unless driven horribly hard.

Is the Echo Layla  working stable without Vienna or do the problems only occur when both are at work ?

Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 03:31
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2723

Hi

Your configuration is impressive !

Did you check the load of each computers ? OK ? 

Why did you spread your Vienna samples on the three computers ?

What VSL  lib do you have to use almost 2 TB 

Are your SSD in a Raid 0 ?

What other player do you use ?

Do you use MIR PRO ?

Are your SSD on SATA III ?

I would run speed test on the slaves to see if there is not one that is behind.

Did you check the speed of the SSD on your different boards ? (some people had very bad surprise on loosy moterboards running there ssd at 1/2 the speed) 

If you work with the main and one slave are your problems gone ? (if yes you may have to put 2 x ethernet cards in the main and plug directly the slave on separate ports and not use your gigabyte switch

It is said that it is better to have the same slaves when you work with video, with audio it could be the same ! 

When you say "static" IP adresses, do you mean FIX  IP adresses ?

The joke of the day : go on a 12 core Macpro ! LOL

MacBook Pro 2019 16" + 2 x Odisseey G9 49" Big Sur

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd

Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series, Many Synchronised libs
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 06:24
by MWE
Joined on Thu, Apr 02 2009, Netherlands, Posts 122

Not sure, but i would ask myself how many audiochannels i was sending over the network from both slaves? Also at what sample and bit rates.

Do you run other network demanding software such as remote desktop? 

Would a qos router or switch make a difference in order to prioritize net traffic?

Are the dropouts occurring in the network ? or could it be one of the machines itself? 

Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 10:01
by Pingu
Joined on Wed, Dec 28 2005, Posts 126

Hi again Cyril, and thanks for taking the time

Cyril wrote:

Did you check the load of each computers ? OK ? 

Why did you spread your Vienna samples on the three computers ?

What VSL  lib do you have to use almost 2 TB

I think the load's OK. So far all I've done is load a single instance of VEPRo on each, with one plugin inside it. On slave 1 the CPU indicator in VEP tends to sit at about 5%, going up to about 10% if I play a Kontakt instrument, and about 7% if I play a Vienna instrument. Slave 2 sits at about 9% even without loading an instrument - I need to look into that - possibly I have the number of threads set wrong?

I spread everything purely to take the load. I'm the kind of composer who likes to be able to tinker with everything up to the last minute, so the idea of bouncing stuff doesn't appeal. I figured I would split the Vienna stuff so that I could run quite a large orchestra, with MIRx turned on. Then I spread everything else too, for scenarios where I'm not working with orchestra. So if I'm doing pop, my basses are on one machine, guitars on another and drums on another, etc. I don't have that much Vienna stuff - I just believe in a lot of redundant space on drives. I'm guessing my SSDs are about half full.

Cyril wrote:

Are your SSD in a Raid 0 ?

What other player do you use ?

Do you use MIR PRO ?

No, I didn't raid the SSDs, but I really don't think my issues are down to the performance on individual machines.

On Slave 1 I also run Kontakt 5.3, SWAM, ARIA, Engine, Superior Drummer and Chinee Orchestra - but the dropouts don't seem dependent on this either. When they occur at all they can occur with only VI loaded.

No MIR - just MIRx.

Cyril wrote:

Are your SSD on SATA III ?

I would run speed test on the slaves to see if there is not one that is behind.

Did you check the speed of the SSD on your different boards ? (some people had very bad surprise on loosy moterboards running there ssd at 1/2 the speed) 

If you work with the main and one slave are your problems gone ? (if yes you may have to put 2 x ethernet cards in the main and plug directly the slave on separate ports and not use your gigabyte switch

I'm fairly sure all the drives are on SATA III - I checked the manuals to the motherboards. They're set to IDE rather than AHCI, but I believe Intel processors don't support AHCI anyway.

I'm not sure how to run speed tests. I ran the system rating thing in Windows, which returned a 7.9 out of 7.9 for data transfer speeds on each machine. Also not sure how to check the speed of the SSDs.

Sadly the problems don't go away when I just connect up two machines directly. I did that when setting up the first two, and things seemed to get better for a while - to the point where I was about to buy a new switch - but then the problems came right back, and only went away (or at least got a lot better) when I turned on jumbo frames.

And yes I do mean fixed IP addresses.

Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 10:08
by Pingu
Joined on Wed, Dec 28 2005, Posts 126
MWE wrote:

Not sure, but i would ask myself how many audiochannels i was sending over the network from both slaves? Also at what sample and bit rates.

Do you run other network demanding software such as remote desktop? 

Would a qos router or switch make a difference in order to prioritize net traffic?

Are the dropouts occurring in the network ? or could it be one of the machines itself? 

Hi MWE,

I'm not sure about the number of audio streams. As I understood it the summing of audio happens on each machine, so that all that is being passed over the network is a stereo channel, and the load remains fairly similar all the time. In any case, so far I'm only experimenting with one instrument at a time, so the load must be reasonably minimal.

The only other thing I'm aware of running on the network is Synergy, which shares the mouse and keyboard from my main machine. I guess it's possible that this is the issue. I always ran it when I was on XP without any issues, but have been out of the game for a bit, and Synergy is now completely rewritten for 64bits, so I guess it's not safe to assume that it's ok.

Not sure about the router idea - I might resort to trying it.

THe problem is definitely on the network. I have a USB audio interface which I can use to get audio out of the slaves, and playing them as standalones doesn't give any issues.

Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 11:02
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2723
Pingu wrote:

THe problem is definitely on the network. I have a USB audio interface which I can use to get audio out of the slaves, and playing them as standalones doesn't give any issues.

You need a PC specialist !

Your problem seems to be on the Windows's  side 

you can try this :

http://cyrilblanc.fr/site_principal/slave_mac.html

it's for a Master Mac and a slave Mac, but you can do this with 2 x PC

MacBook Pro 2019 16" + 2 x Odisseey G9 49" Big Sur

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd

Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series, Many Synchronised libs
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 14:21
by MWE
Joined on Thu, Apr 02 2009, Netherlands, Posts 122
Pingu wrote:

I'm not sure about the number of audio streams. As I understood it the summing of audio happens on each machine,

I don't think this is the case if you route the output of each vepro channel to its individual output bus. For example to have each instrument processed on inidividual sequencer channels. Besides this there is a setting in the vepro client and server that let you set the amount of audio channels that are streamed per instance.

Pingu wrote:

The only other thing I'm aware of running on the network is Synergy

Considering what it does, not a likely cause.

Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 17:27
by willom
Joined on Wed, Nov 30 2011, Posts 5
Hi There,

The number of stereo Busses definitely has an impact.

I have narrowed my dropouts to this exact cause. I'm currently running a Mac Book Pro as the master, with 2 windows 7 PC's.
I have an instance for each section of the Orchestra on both PC's. One PC runs front mics. One PC runs surround Mics.

In each instance I have roughly 5 instances of play. (basses, Celli, Violas, etc etc) All outputting to their own stereo bus.

I have a total of around 40 stereo busses and when things get busy, I get drop outs. Now, send each instrument to just one stereo pair and the problems go away. I'm not even removing the busses.

My question is, how do we fix this? Is this network speed? (I can't see any limits being reached? Would something like an RME souncard help?

Posted on Tue, Feb 04 2014 18:50
by Pingu
Joined on Wed, Dec 28 2005, Posts 126

Thanks guys, you're quite right, I'd completely missed that it was possible to send audio in separate channels - I assumed that VEPro just had a stereo out. On the other hand I don't think that will be the issue, as I'm only running one instrument per slave so far, and just letting it go through the main out of VEPro.

Posted on Wed, Feb 05 2014 06:18
by Cyril Blanc
Joined on Thu, Dec 19 2002, Paris France, Posts 2723

just an idea :  add a second Ethernet adaptor on your Macbook pro so you have one per slave ?

MacBook Pro 2019 16" + 2 x Odisseey G9 49" Big Sur

MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 64 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd

Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 and S25 Komplete Kontrol, DX7
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many....
--
Logic X , Dorico, Band In A Box, ORB Composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Big Band Orchestra series, Many Synchronised libs
Kontakt, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V5, Maximo, Realivox Blue. CS 80 V3, The Orchestra 2, Art Conductor, Genesis Children Choir, Lunaris, Lacrimosa

Final Cut pro
Camera full HD
Posted on Wed, Feb 05 2014 09:24
by MWE
Joined on Thu, Apr 02 2009, Netherlands, Posts 122

Provided that the buffer settings (both vepro & audio )are not excessive and increasing them does not make a difference, I would (given the configuration and performance so far) :

1. Verify the network cabling.

2. Verify the switch.

3. Test network card. (Including reverting to the factory driver configuration).

Btw is this all you have connected to the switch?

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