Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Forum Jump  
Strange, inconsistent playback in Finale and VE Pro
Last post Tue, Aug 07 2018 by shnootre, 10 replies.
Options
Go to last post
Posted on Mon, Jul 23 2018 21:17
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65

I have recently switched computers. I now have a 2017 iMac, 32gb ram, running OSX10.13.5. I'm using Finale with Vienna Ensemble Pro, and a relatively small template (8 instruments plus percussion). 

My problem is that I am suddenly getting very inconsistent playback behavior. Sometimes I get a ton of stuck notes, incorrect articulations, dropped and missing notes, etc. And sometimes the playback is just fine - perfect. I just can't figure out how to determine this behavior or get the good playback. Rebooting makes no difference. 

When I am getting the stuck notes, if I audition the instrument - i.e. put the cursor in an instrument's staff in finale and play back via my midi keyboard - I also get stuck notes. So if I just noodle around on, say, a flute stave, some notes will stick, some won't sound. Obviously I don't get this weird behavior when the file is playing back well. 

I am really baffled. I can't imaging I am taxing my machine too much (it's an iMac Retina 5k, 27 inch, 2017 - 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5). When I watch the processor activity in Activity Monitor, Finale does jump to between 100 and 103%, but that is no different than any other time I've done that check (Finale always sends my machine past 100% - sometimes even more). 

Please advise if you have any ideas. I hope eventually I will at least stumble on what behavior triggers the change from perfect to deeply flawed playback, but so far I haven't. 

Daniel Sonenberg
Posted on Tue, Jul 24 2018 00:06
by Ariam
Joined on Tue, Sep 12 2017, Posts 15

Hi Daniel, 

I'm using Finale 25, but on Windows 10. I don't have that problem, but hope a couple of suggestions might work for you. 

Sounds to me like maybe a MIDI note-off signal may not be be getting through on the MIDI stream causing hanging notes in mid-comp preview playback. In Finale on Windows you click inside a bar and hold space-bar to audition from there, or ctrl-shft-spacebar. (Not sure what it is on the Mac).

If your ensemble is small (8 VIs) it shouldn't be a problem with RAM/cpu overload I wouldn't have thought. However it *might* have something to do with that, and/or latency problems (??) (through your interface even).
I would try increasing the latency on your interface to 512 or so. You'll need to experiment.

NB When you stop|restart play in a certain bar in Finale, the software and cpu/ram have to somehow make sure all those samples are there in ram to sync things for playback, or you need a very fast streaming SSD. Maybe you could double-check in VSL Player that the samples don't automatically unload to conserve RAM if your ensemble is small. You can uncheck that in VSL VI player, also in Kontakt.

Finally, to try and diagnose the problem if the above suggestions didn't work, try the same piece but just with native Finale softsynth sounds (and maybe without VEPro?) to completely simplify things and minimise processes. Do the notes still hang etc in that setting? 

Hope this helps..

Cheers, A 

Posted on Tue, Jul 24 2018 03:03
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65

Thanks Ariam, 

I will work through these suggestions. I do have a good external SSD where all my VSL samples are. As for my interface - I sort of am not really using one now... I am going out from my computer into a Schiit Modi DAC, and then into a Magni 2 headphone amp. I don't think I have an option to set the latency on there - never thought about it until now. 

I will double check w/ the Finale playback. 

What's so strange, though, is that the problem is there, awfully, and then it isn't. Like if I play around with the file enough, it eventually stops happening, and then playback is perfect - crystal clear, no problems. But a fresh reboot doesn't achieve this result. If I scan around in the piece, eventually it works out. Hope it's not some weird compatability thing. 

I also did note that when it's playing perfectly, my CPU is also maxed out, according to Activity Monitor, both by Vienna Ensemble Pro and Finale. That's no different than what I've always seen (though I might have hoped it'd be a little less extreme on the new machine) 

Daniel Sonenberg
Posted on Tue, Jul 24 2018 22:49
by Ariam
Joined on Tue, Sep 12 2017, Posts 15

Hi Daniel,

I'm more a composer than a tech guy, but because I've used Finale for so long (although on Windows) I thought maybe I could/can help? ^^ .. certainly hope so..

I don't think the cpu should be maxxed out like that.  Not sure why.

Have you tried opening Finale after a reboot of your Mac, then reopening your Finale file, and hitting "Play" (on the playhead toolbar), and letting the entire WIP (composition) play from start to finish? After this fully completes, does the attempt to audition mid-measures with the playhead still cause problems? If so (reasoning from first principles) that might mean that not all samples were loaded into ram when you first started trying to audition mid-piece (possibly). And could also explain why things improve for you with time (as more of the required patches are loaded at various measures in the piece)..

Also I'm wondering whether your ram is sufficient to run Finale, VEP, and the VIs simultaneously? An i5 only has max 4 cores that I know of (but maybe there's more in a Mac?) I'd maybe try and reserve a whole core for Finale only.

A more tech-savvy user on here might have some other suggestions for you hopefully

Hope this helps,

A

Posted on Wed, Jul 25 2018 03:13
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65

Thanks Ariam, 

I think you are onto something with the samples not being fully loaded. Generally letting the file play makes it go smoothly. 

I was running Finale, VE Pro, and a full orchestra template (over 50 channels in VE Pro) on my 16gb 2014 MacBook pro, with only minimal issue, so I'm hoping the iMac can handle it!! We'll see. 

Will report back when I have more definitive news - thanks for your input! 

D

Daniel Sonenberg
Posted on Thu, Jul 26 2018 15:09
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65

Following up with an update - my troubles persist. 

1) If I replace Vienna Ensemble pro with just the Finale Garritan sounds (hosted in Finale) all troubles go away. (but the sound is gross!) 

2) I don't think it has to do with loading samples. If I have the Vienna Ensemble Pro project loaded, with Finale playback working fine, and then I close and reopen Finale, the playback is wrecked most of the time, even though the samples are already loaded. 

3) I'm noticing worse problems, when the playback isn't working, than just sticking notes. For instance, articulation switching doesn't work properly during those times. Legato notes play back staccato etc. (and I am 1000% sure my hp playback preferences are correct and synced in w/ my VI Pro matrices, all of which I made myself). 

I still haven't figured out what it is that causes Finale to sit up and fly right. Sometimes playback works right from the start, but more often than not it's deeply messed up at first, and then eventually, somehow, normalizes. Once it's right, it's VERY right. Crisp, clear, all articulations perfect, no sticking notes. In other words, there isn't really a gray area, it's either deeply wrong or PERFECT. 

Daniel Sonenberg
Posted on Thu, Jul 26 2018 16:11
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65

Here's one more weird twist. 

I think I've found a way to get playback right. I now have two versions of the piece, one that is set up for Vienna Ensemble Pro playback, and one that just uses Finale Garritan built-in. 

I've discovered that if I close out of the Vienna Ensemble version (but keep VE Pro open with the instruments still loaded), then load the Garritan version and play for a little bit, and then close that and re-open the VE Pro version of the Finale file, playback is perfect. 

Have only had this work twice, but it's two out of two (after nothing else could stop the sticking notes, weird keyswitch info, and...I'm also noticing...weird controller data). 

Daniel Sonenberg
Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 14:12
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65

I am keeping this thread alive just in case anyone stumbles on it and has relevant info - I've now written to VSL tech support as well. New clues: 

1) in my latest Finale file (I make a new one each day I work), my fix of playing the Garritan only file has stopped working. 

2) if I go back to a version from several days ago, it works fine. 

3) have confirmed that all samples are fully loaded. 

4) The weirdest thing: If I have both the old and the new Finale file open, and toggle between them, auditioning a single instrument, the issues are there when I'm on the new file, and not when I'm on the old. For instance, if I position speedy in the cello part and play on my midi keyboard, if I'm in the new file, I get stuck notes, missing notes etc. Playback is just as erratic as when I actually have Finale play the score. But when I go to the older file, w/o touching the VE Pro project, and position in the cello, playback is perfect - no stuck or missing notes. 

Item 4 seems particularly important to me - but I'm not sure what to make of it. 

Daniel Sonenberg
Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 23:59
by Ariam
Joined on Tue, Sep 12 2017, Posts 15

Hi Daniel,

Apols I lost track of this thread for a bit..

Hmm, your problems and their erratic nature have me baffled too!

Seems that maybe various problems are being compounded, because often earlier saved versions of your work will run fine.
I had some problems with VEPro when I first tried it with Finale 25.5 on Windows. But I had just dived into VEPro without studying the manual, and probably I simply configured something wrong. However I did manage to get the simpler non-pro version of Vienna Ensemble to work fine with Finale.

Perhaps the programs and various patches are throwing up conflicts/incompatabilities in some way?

I would try unchecking the auto-optimise patches in the VI Player which I understand load and unload patches from ram on an as-needs basis (not sure where it is in Pro) . Also there may be a keyswitch-conflict (?double-assignents) in Human Playback (e.g. with the Garritan Library keyswitches??) You could try unchecking the Garritan GPO performance keyswitch patches in Human Preferences in Finale. Then, so long as you have the VSL keyswitching matrix selected alone within Finale, that hopefully might help? Could it be as simple as keyswitch/cc conflicts between Finale and VSL? But that doesn't really explain the erratic nature of your problems.

Also, have you tried importing the "Finale dump file" library (into Finale, available from myVSL under "Notation related")? This allows you to manually insert hidden keyswitch and CC commands into your score, as you probably know.) 

Ugh, I empathise with your frustrations and hassles!

Hope some suggestions from the above might help ..

cheers,
A

Posted on Tue, Aug 07 2018 04:30
by shnootre
Joined on Fri, Aug 05 2016, Portland, Maine, Posts 65
Sorry for my slow response! I made a major breakthrough tonight. The problem is specifically tied to my use of Vienna Event Input. If I eliminate the use of Vienna Event Input, the problem seems to go away. I have not uet tried creatiing a project that includes all of my instruments. Since I need more than 16 channels, it means I’ll need two onstances of Vienna Ensemble Pro, which is a bummer (I like being able to have all of my instruments on one board, so to speak, which I can do bu combining VE Pro w Event Input.

A search reveals that others have had stuck note issues w Event Input. It still doesn’t explain why some versions of the file work fine and others don’t, or why ai never had this problem on my MacBook Pro. Baby steps, but at least some progress!

Daniel Sonenberg
You cannot post new threads in this forum.
You cannot reply to threads in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.