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Topic: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!

  1. #1

    If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!


    After my own bad experiences and reading some other people\'s stories, I think it will be interesting to try this experiment.

    If you\'re running Gigastudio and a midi sequencer on the same PC, and getting high polyphony (better than, say, 120 notes at a time), and low latency (equivalent to a hardware keyboard\'s response), PLEASE post a reply to this thread.

    If this situation describes you and you can possibly manage the time, please give a brief description of your setup.

    Mine\'s a PIII800, Pulsar 2 soundcard, Unitor 2 (USB), Logic AP 4.5, 256mb ram, 2 fast UATA66 drives.

    At between 50 and 120 voices polyphony, Giga brings my PC staggering to its knees and eventually locks it up.

    Like I said, if there\'s a few people with good experiences out there, the rest of us would like to hear from you. I certainly need a little reassurance that I shouldn\'t just dump this gear and go hardware.


  2. #2

    Re: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!

    If it helps, I\'ve listed my setup below. I\'m getting ~110 voices, occasionally as high as 138. For some reason, the instrument(s) I\'m using have a big effect on how many voices I can get - the XSample harp is the one that\'s gotten as high as 138, but the vibrato strings on AO top out at around 80.

    K6-II 500 mhz
    384 mb ram
    20gb Western Digital for gigs,
    30gb Maxtor for programs (I was originally going to put the gigs on the Maxtor, but the benchmarks aren\'t showing that big a difference between the drives. I may do that eventually, though.)

    I haven\'t measured latency, but I haven\'t noticed a problem.

    I run Cakewalk and GSt on the same machine.

    I\'ve applied just about all the tweaks mentioned in killerbobjr\'s post in the archives. I have a \"dual boot\" setup, one stripped down win98 for giga, another \"normal\" win98 for internet etc.

    >I certainly need a little reassurance that
    >I shouldn\'t just dump this gear and go

    It took me a lot of twiddling to get my setup to this state, and I\'ll bet there are more tweaks that would improve matters (though the K6-II is apparently a big problem) - don\'t give up!


  3. #3

    Re: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!

    I\'m not getting optimal results from my setup but it works so far. I\'m using:
    PIII 533MHz
    384MB RAM
    2 UDMA ATA66 HDD (Seagate Barracuda and Quantum)
    Win 98 Lite
    Logic Audio Gold 4.5 on the same machine
    Echo Gina
    MOTU Flyer

    I\'m getting around 110 notes polyphony. Latency is not too good but tolerable. All previous posts on tweaking the system was applied. I actually had to re-format my entire system 3 times to get a fairly stable system. Somehow after re-formatting, things seems to work better. But it really is a pain to do that - hope I don\'t have to do that again...

  4. #4

    Re: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!

    I have just purchased a PIII-733MHz machine and have spent the past two days installing all my software, including an install of Gigastudio this evening. To my amazement, I am getting the full 160 voices at peak load.
    This is without yet having performed *ANY* of the optimization tweeks. I am still running Gigastudio and the instruments from the same single harddrive (different partitions, but the same physical disk).
    The computer is running both Gigastudio and Cakewalk as I am typing this message with three browser windows and Notepad open on the same machine, connected to the internet, and the number of voices is showing between 120 and 142 on the piano piece playing back from MIDI right now.

    The Motherboard is an ABIT VL6 (133MHz bus using VIA chipset)
    PC-133 memory SDRAM sticks (256MB)
    PentiumIII-733MHz processor
    The current single harddisk is a Seagate ST315323A - ATA66 - 15 Gig drive that came with the machine. I plan to move over an additional, faster, Maxtor 30Gig - ATA100 drive which is currently in another machine.
    Win-98 SE Full version OS (Although I have disabled most of the active desktop crap and installed the newer MSIE-5.5 browser).
    I have not yet decided which soundcard I will buy to go into this machine, so I have put a SB-live (full version) in the machine for now. These results are achived with the SB-Live.

    I have not tested the latency, but since the SB-Live card is not GSIF compatable there is little point.

    These same unexpectedly great polyphony results were achived with both the Nemesys GigaPiano and my own Trachtman SteinwayC-8-Layer pianos as test instruments.
    I had to duplicate the MIDI piano track on two different MIDI channels so that the number of MIDI events demanded the large number of voices, but having done so, the playback was fine except for some pops/crackling at very high polyphony(130+ voices), which I hope will be cured when I install the faster harddisk and do the memory optimization

    When I first installed the Gigastudio it was initially maxed out at 64 voices, even after setting the slider to a tentative 120. I installed the current update patch (ver 025) and upon reboot was getting the max of 120 voices as set. Moving the slider all the way up to 160 only gave me the full max of 160 voices after I rebooted once again. I suspect that there is a residual bug somewhere in the program such that you don\'t get the effect of the voice setting changes until the computer is rebooted.

    All in all, I am pleasantly surprised, and can attest to the fact that the advertised 160 voice polyphony is indeed achievable.

    Warren Trachtman http://www.wstco.com/

  5. #5

    Re: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!

    I upgraded my machine from athlon 550 to T-Bird 900mhz. Previously I got 80 poly using gigapiano and trachtman steinway C. Now with the T-Bird 900, I\'m getting 160 poly. I haven\'t measured latencies, but if there is, I don\'t feel it at all - my card is SB Live platinum which is not GSIF either and I am using the SPDIF output.

    My machine\'s configuration:
    - Processor: Athlon T-Bird 900Mhz
    - Motherboard: ASUS A7V with VIA KT 133 chipset and on board Promise Ultra ATA-100
    - Harddrives: Seagate Barracuda 20 gig for system, Maxtor 40 gig for giga files both connected to VIA\'s IDE (ultra ata-66) on Primary and Secondary masters
    - CDROM: nobrand cdrom connected to the onboard Ultra ATA-100 controller
    - Memory: 384 Meg PC133
    - Video card: ATI Xpert 98
    - Sound card: SB Live platinum

    NOTE: make SURE that you DON\'T USE any of the IDE SLAVE ports. This slows down your harddrive throughput and add BIG latencies. And make sure you don\'t plug your harddrives to the Promise ATA-100 controller - this also add BIG latencies.

  6. #6

    Re: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!

    Occasionally I can achieve 160 voices
    (it depends on which samples are being used and how I\'m playing them). Anyway, for
    comparison, when playing the Steinway B piano with the pedal down:

    Gigastudio only (no DSP): CPU-61%(Gst\'s indicator) voices-140
    Gigastudio plus Logic 4.2.2 (MIDI thru only, no audio channels): CPU-53%

    There seems to be a direct relationship between the CPU usage and the max #
    of voices, but which ap is the culprit? The MIDI channel seems to be
    getting overloaded...but I\'m not sure if it is in Logic or at the front end
    of Gigastudio. Or possibly the Delta 1010 midi input is getting choked while it is busy converting audio.

    Audio test using Logic 4.2.2:
    1. Recorded Steinway B and AO sustained strings onto Logic\'s midi tracks.
    2. Mixed MIDI tracks onto Logic\'s audio track 1.
    3. Recorded Gigaharp onto Logic midi while monitoring audio track 1.
    4. Mixed Gigaharp onto Logic audio track 2.

    There were no audio problems encountered with the simple arrangement I was playing. I
    need to repeat this process while monitoring CPU usage and voice utilization
    to find out where degradation occurs...will let you know.
    Also I will continue filling up audio tracks in Logic (there are eight
    available in the current arrange window) to see how far I can get.

    My setup:
    384 MB ram
    separate Ultra ATA 66 for Gig files
    Delta 1010
    Win98, video acceleration off, USB interrupts disabled, Windows managed virtual memory
    Gigastudio 2.01.25
    Logic Audio Platinum 4.2.2


  7. #7

    Re: If You Have High Polyphony+Low Latency on Giga + Midi sequencing, please reply!


    I am getting around 110 voices on

    Celeron 400
    Asus P2B
    256 MB PC-100 RAM
    SB AWE64 Gold
    Maxtor 7.200rpm, 10GB 512kB Cache
    Encore 4.0 as sequencer
    Win 98

    To have stability in all situations I set the polyphony limit to 90 voices which is ok for most situations.


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