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Problem with Sibelius and Synchron-ized SE
Last post Tue, Sep 24 2019 by andi, 23 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Jul 09 2019 13:49
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

I have a Sibelius playback configuration which uses 7 instances of Vienna Ensemble to provide all the orchestral instruments I need.  One of these instances contains Appass. strings, another conta ins Solo strings, another woodwind, brass, and so on.  This setup has worked brilliantly for years, using the original VI Special Editions 1-4.

Last week I bought the Synchron-ized SE, and have been trying to create a parallel setup using the new Synchron-ized libraries.  I've created a new Sibelius playback configuration, using the new SY soundset, and loading the Synchron player instead of VI.  And I've imported the new house style.  But there's a problem.

By default, the strings chanels in the Mixer use the Solo Strings instances, rather than the ensemble (Appassionata) strings.  So I have to manually change the assignment of the instruments from (Auto) to the correct Appassionata strings channels.

But when I do this, Sibelius stops observing changes of articulation!

I've tested this over and over again.  When the mixer setting is left at (Auto), all works well, but as soon as I change it tomanually specify an instrument, the articulations (pizz, staccato, arco, etc.) are ignored.

I'm also getting clicks in the playback, as though two programs are trying to access the sound device simultaneously.  I've noticed exactly the same effect when I forget to minimise Sibelius before playing a wav file in Wavelab - Sibelius still has the sound device attached and that produces exactly the same clicks.  I don't get this with my VI setup, only the Synchron-ized version.

Help, please!

Posted on Tue, Jul 09 2019 15:36
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello MikeHC!

As you have noticed yourself, making channel or output assignments in the Sibelius mixer leads to trouble. So I recommend resetting all instruments to (Auto) there.

It can have different reasons why instruments play on the wrong channel. Maybe the instruments in your score (from the Sibelius "Add or Remove Instruments" menu) don't fit with the programs you have chosen on the Manual Sound Sets page. For SYNCHRON-ized Special Edition Appassionata Strings, you will need the Sibelius instruments with "[VSL Special Edition]" at the end of the name and the Manual Sound Sets programs with "Appassionata (SE3)" at the end of the name.

More help can be found in the Troubleshooting chapter of the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual.

I'm not sure what kind of clicks you mean. Maybe it helps, if you deactivate "Release device when Sibelius is in the background" in the Sibelius Audio Engine Options menu.

Best regards,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Jul 09 2019 16:40
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

Hi Andi

Thanks for the tip about the [VSL Special Edition] instruments - that wasn't necessary for the VI versions? - or if it was, it made little difference because I've never used those instruments.  But that, together with switching the manual sound sets to reference the "appassionata (SE3)" programs, seems to have fixed the problem with the strings articulations.

(BTW that information doesn't appear to be in the Optimising Sibelius Playback PDF - might be worth adding it.)

I think the audio clicks are possibly a performance issue.  When running my Synchron setup on the score I'm working on, the CPU is running at between 70% and 90%.   In contrast, when I use my VI setup - for exactly the same score and the same instruments - it runs at around 20% - 30%.  And I don't get the clicks.

Why is the Synchron-ized SE so much more demanding?  It could be a bit of a showstopper for me.

(I tried the "release device" option - made no difference.)

Mike

Posted on Wed, Jul 10 2019 08:27
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello Mike!

Good to read that using the correct instruments solved your problem. The same Sibelius instruments are needed for the VI Special Edition as well.

SYNCHRON-ized instruments need more CPU, because the impulse rendering for the reverb needs CPU that the VI version didn't need. You can try the "Use Light Convolution" option in the Synchron Player Preferences under "Engine" or use one of the algorythmic reverb mixer presets ("noCon") at the end of the name. Please note that the "Use Light Convolution" option has been added recently. So you might have to update your Synchron Player.

Best regards,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Jul 10 2019 21:20
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

I've been experimenting a bit and it seems that the high CPU usage occurs even when instruments are not actually in use?

As mentioned at the start, I have 7 instances of the Synchron Player in Vienna Ensemble (strings, solo strings, woodwind, sax, brass, percussion, choir), each one loaded up with around 16 instruments.  That way I can use the same Sibelius playback configuration for almost any score irrespective of the instrumenation - I produce around 40 scores a year, so saving separate playback configs for each score would be unmanageable.

This has worked fine for years with VI.  But it doesn't work with the Synchron SE - the CPU usage is too high and I get clicks and pops in the audio, as noted above.

However, when I set up a new playback configuration with only the instruments I actually need for this score, it worked fine, with CPU running at about 25%-40%.  That seems a bit odd ... why would it need to do all that "convoluting" for instruments that aren't even in the score?!

Mike

Posted on Thu, Jul 11 2019 11:19
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello Mike!

You could disable channels in Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 that you don't need for a particular piece. Enabling/disabling channels can be automated by MIDI commands with help of the automation mapping in Vienna Ensemble Pro.

Best,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Jul 11 2019 13:15
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

Thanks.

Do I need VE Pro for that?  I have a licence for VE Pro 5 which I used back in the days when I needed multiple networked computers to run all this stuff.  But I stopped using it because of the lack of high DPI support, and the normal VE Pro seems to do everything I need nowadays since I can run everything on a single computer.  (Or could with VI, anyway!)

Individually disabling every unwanted channel (when I have around 100 channels over 7 instances) would be something of a pain (even with MIDI commands), but it might be manageable if I could disable entire sections (e.g. choir) when I'm not using them.  From what I can see, simply disabling the Master Bus channel has the effect of disabling all the channels that are routed through it, but not knowing exactly what's going on behind the scenes, it's hard to be sure if this is an approach that would work.  After all, it doesn't make much sense that disabling a channel reduces CPU requirement, when that channel isn't being used in the score in the first place!

Mike

Posted on Thu, Jul 11 2019 19:20
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello Mike!

Yes, you will need VE Pro 7 to do that. As you have suggested, you can group sections in folders and enable/disable the whole folder.

By the way. VE Pro 7 also supports HiDPI resolution.

Best,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Jul 11 2019 19:54
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

Hi Andi

OK thanks.  So I need VE Pro 7 to do what exactly? - just to send the MIDI commands to disable channels? Disabling "manually" seems to work OK with the normal VE.

Also can you explain exactly why the CPU activity is still so high even when most of the channels are not in use in Sibelius?  That was never the case for VI - I was able to set up dozens of instruments on the off-chance that I might need one and the only overhead was the loading time when I first launched Sibelius.  But with Synchron, that approach no longer works and it is going to force a whole new way of working.

So I'd like to know exactly why this is the case.  It seems to me that it's a bug! - and if it's a bug, then hopefully you might fix it, which would make it easier for me to justify spending a lot of effort setting up a Synchron-based setup.

But if it is some weird technical restriction of the Synchron engine - that the mere fact of loading an instrument into a channel makes the CPU usage go through the roof even if most of the instruments are not being used - then I think I might stick with VI at least for now.  So far, I haven't exactly been overwhelmed by any increase in the quality of the output compared with VI.

Mike

Posted on Fri, Jul 12 2019 10:33
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

PS just found another anomaly: my score contains a French horn part (Horn in F from Sibelius instruments list).  But instead of loading the program Horn (sound ID brass.horns.french horn) from the manual sound set, it's loading program Wagner Tuba (sound ID brass.horns.wagner tuba)!

Posted on Fri, Jul 12 2019 11:53
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello Mike!

I've got good news. Our developer looked into the CPU usage of Synchron Player components and he was indeed able to improve the CPU performance for instruments that use Room Reverb and remain silent. This optimization will be included in the next Synchron Player update. It should make a big difference for your template.

I'm not sure, if I understand the problem in your latest post. The Sibelius instrument "Horn in F" has the Sound ID "brass.horns.french horn". The program "French Horn" from the sound set "VE SY Special Edition" has exactly the same Sound ID. If an instrument plays on the wrong channel, this can have different reasons. Please check out the Troubleshooting chapter of the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual.

Best,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Fri, Jul 12 2019 13:11
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

Hi Andi

Great news about the CPU problem.

I think I fixed the french horn problem - I had to change the two French Horn entries from the manual sound set to other (random) instruments, then save, then reset the channels to the correct ones.  There's definitely something going odd there, though - probably yet another Sibelius bug that Avid can't be bothered to fix.

Mike

Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 13:40
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

I seem to have encountered another problem with Sibelius and the Synchron SE.  It's ignoring all my dynamic markings!

I have a test score which starts ppp and has a hairpin over several bars going to fff.  Uses the newly installed VSL house style, which was imported with all options checked.

When I load up my VI-based Playback Configuration, it works fine.  When - using the same score - I switch to my Synchron-based Playback Configuration, all I get is a single constant volume level.

The playback config (as per my other recent post) has several instances of VE (not Pro) each of which has several instance of the Synchron Player assigned to difference channels.  All the Syncrhon Player instances have Vel.XF on controller 11, expression on 12, and master volume on the default of 7.  Vel.XF is switched on (lit blue).

What have I missed?  It can't be anything in Sibelius, because the same score works fine with VI (unless there's something you're supposed to change in Sibelius if you're using SY rather than VI).

Mike

Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 14:43
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 51

Hi Mike.

I have had quite a few issues with the new Synchronised SE libraries with Sibelius too, and have spent ages on some of them trying to get them to work as per my original VI Pro scores.

What i have found, is that sometimes, for what ever reason, things sort themselves out if you cut out the offending staves and copy them into new ones. 

I found that it was mostly strings that where causing the problem, and if i added the full version of a specific library to my playback configuration (for example, if i added the full Solo Strings and used the VE Strings sound set), then the Solo Strings work beautifully and fully as expected. However, if i then added the SE versions of Orchestral, Chamber and Appassionata to my config and for those libraries use the Special Edition Plus sound sets in my config, then i could have problems with Sibelius selecting the wrong instrument in the channel mixer. And dynamics and articulations could also get played incorrectly in this example too.

Like you, i've also had real trouble running the synchron version of my configutration in Sibelius without a load of pops and clicks and the CPU meters jumping of the scales, so its great to see that Andi and the guys have identified an issue with the Synchron Player that there working on a fix for.

I have to say that i can only imagine the work that's involved VSL's end to get there software to work with Sibelius, and i think that what they've achieved with the SE versions is superb, so i cant wait for the new sound set to come out with the Dimension strings special editions 5 so i can see if i prefer the VI Pro or Synchron versions...as i cant help feeling that my wallet is going to take a hammering!

Kindest Regards

Paul

Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 15:11
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

Hi Paul

Can you get the dynamics to work at all?  And if so, are you using the velocity x-fade settings as recommended on page 30 of the "Optimising Sibelius" PDF? - i.e. Vel.XF assigned to controller 11?  I've created a totally new score with a single oboe, 5 notes going from ppp to ff, VSL House Style, one Synchron Player device in the playback config, loaded with the standard Oboe (French) factory preset, but with the Vel.XF controller changed to 11 and Expression changed to 12.

This is exactly as per the VI settings, and excalty as per the instructions in the "OPtimising Sibelius" PDF, as far as I can work out.

But it plays back with all notes on a constant volume!

Oddly, if I leave the VelXF controller at the default (2) and expression at 11, then it seems to work ... but in that case why are VSL telling us to make that change?

Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 15:51
by Pieman1560
Joined on Mon, May 07 2018, Gloucestershire, UK, Posts 51

Hi Mike.

I've just made a new score as per your instructions, and i cant get the dynamics to work either...that is odd!..(they don't work at all! with or without changing the vel.XF settings) and something i must admit i haven't noticed yet, as ive been working on implimenting the synchron libraies (where they seem to work fine...but i'll go back over every stave to check as some are large) with exisiting scores and as such, havent written anything new with those libraries yet.

I think i remember seeing a thread that referenced issues with the Vel XF, that Andi seemed to resolve, so perhaps the answer lies there (im sorry mate, i cant find the link but its not that old) and when i find it i'll post a link for you here and have a go at sorting out my playback config, but I must admit, that i like the VI Pro versions so much (they work so well with Mirx and if im honest, i prefere the sound of them too!) that ive only just recently started to work with the synchron versions (although i've had them almost since launch)

I'll post back here mate once i've had a chance to play about with it a bit more.

Kindest Regards

Paul

Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 16:15
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello Mike and Paul!

Please use the Synchron Player presets as they are with Sibelius. That includes CC2 for Velocity XFade. Otherwise dynamics will not work properly. Mike, where did you read that you should change Velocity XFade to CC11?

Best regards,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 16:43
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

See attached!

File Attachment(s):
sibeliusU00201.png (260kb) downloaded 11 time(s).

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Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 17:43
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3109

Hello Mike!

The quoted paragraph mentions VI presets with CC11 assigned to Velocity XFade, but not that you should assign CC11 to Synchron Player presets.
If you look a bit further down on the same page, the following is written:

Note for SYNCHRON-ized Special Edition users: The steps described in this chapter are not necessary with the sound set “VE SY Special Edition”. Velocity X-Fade gets automatically turned on for rolls and turned off again after the rolls.

I will try to make it a bit clearer for the next manual version.

Best,
Andi

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Jul 14 2019 18:07
by MikeHC
Joined on Thu, Feb 19 2004, Devon, UK, Posts 96

OK - yeah, it's not terribly clear exactly what you're supposed to do, and the note about Synchron SE, as written now, specifically applies to the drum and percussion rolls, not to other instruments.

In my case it's probably just a hangover from years ago.  I've been using Sibelius with VSL SE since 2007, when I'm sure it was necessary to manually change the VelXF controller to 11, so I just assumed it was still the same.

Thanks for your help.  Dynamics now working. Looking forward to the Synchron Player update with the memory fix!

Mike

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