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Topic: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

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  1. #1

    Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    Hey folks.


    I have GPO set up with two separate DLLs. I did this, before I discovered the TenCrazy SustainFix plug-in, so I could use both sustain & legato modes in a single project. Unfortunately, I have old projects that still use the two separate VSTi DLLs. I have used the two interchangeably, since I have to re-set the sustain setting in Kontakt for each session anyway, and because I forget which DLL I originally created for which mode. [I know...this was dumb; but I didn't catch myself soon enough.] For this reason, I have need to transfer presets between the two VSTi DLLs.

    In Sonar, I can save VSTi presets (using the VSTi Save command - NOT the DXi wrapper Save command). However, if I load a VSTi preset in GPO it crashes Sonar. [My other wrapped VSTi soft-synths can load VSTi presets just fine. But GPO crashes almost immediately.] DXi presets work fine for Save and Load. However, DXi presets are unique to a specific DXi (or wrapped VSTi, as in this case). So I can't use my DXi wrapper presets from one GPO VSTi DLL in the other.

    I've already worked through this with both Cakewalk and Garritan; but nobody can find a reason for the crashes, or a real solution. My temporary workaround it so load a VSTi preset, then IMMEDIATELY save it as as DXi preset - before Sonar crashes. This allows me to transfer presets using the VSTi preset files (*.fxp); but the procedure is a bit tedious.

    Is there any way to transfer DXi presets from plug-in to plug-in? I've tried Cakewalk's Plug-in Manager which allows preset Import/Export; but even that won't allow transfers between two different plug-ins. [I guess it's just a backup or PC to PC transfer tool for identical plug-ins.] Or, has anybody else had and solved the crash issues with loading VSTi presets in GPO using Sonar?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    Well, I may be missing something. I had the problem, but remembered that the best way to load VST presets is from the synth rack, which has not yet caused a crash. I don't know why the other way causes problems, but it always has. I have never found a way to convert DXi presets to VSt presets. Generally speaking, I don't really want to, as the VSt works better with GPO-Sonar because of a long standing tempo glitch involving NI, Sonar, and GPO. I think the problem comes from NI.

    I still have the feeling that I am missing part of your problem, so I will ponder it a bit more. Do you you have the latest VST update from Cakewalk?

    Richard

  3. #3

    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    Correct me if I'm wrong...but you can't load VSTi presets from the Synth Rack. The Presets menu on each Synth Rack instrument is for DXi presets. Since each VSTi is wrapped as a DXi in Sonar, each one can have DXi presets. However, if you open a VSTi synth's Properties page, you will notice a very small "Preset Options" menu just below the DXi wrapper Presets drop-down list.

    The VSTi "Preset Options" menu saves and loads *.fxp and *.fxb files. As with any other file save, you can choose a folder and type a file name, which then has the ".fxp" or ".fxb" appended to the end.

    The DXi Presets menu just saves and loads named presets - which all appear in one drop-down list. You type a name and click the Save button. You never chose a folder; and you never have the opportunity to choose between a Bank save (*.fxb) and a Preset save (*.fxp).

    GPO crashes when I load VSTi presets from the "Preset Options" menu. I can open a *.fxp or a *.fxb file in either of my two GPO VSTi instances (both of which are wrapped as DXi plug-ins in Sonar). The DXi presets drop-down list is unique to each specific plug-in.

    I know that there is a DXi version of GPO. I never use it because of the long-standing tempo bug. Nevertheless, because all VSTi plug-ins are wrapped in the Cakewalk VST wrapper for use in Sonar, it is possible to save DXi presets for each wrapped VSTi. However, you can't access DXi presets created in my "GPO 1" VSTi when using my "GPO 2" VSTi.

    I'm using the most recent non-beta version of the VST wrapper. I will try the newest version once Cakewalk finishes beta testing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    "Correct me if I'm wrong...but you can't load VSTi presets from the Synth Rack"


    Well, yes you can. I do it many times a day.

    When you have selected the synth rack from the view menu, you then have options of VST or DXi. Select VST. Then select the big + button at the left. Then you will see the highlighted bar, and at thel right of the bar, a down pointing triangle, probably in the default preset area. Select that triangle, and you should then see a list of presets. If not, something is out of whack.

    Richard

  5. #5

    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    I don't understand what you mean by "you have the options of VST or DXi". If you mean which synth to insert (DXi or VSTi version) then....gotcha.

    I see the small downward facing triangle next to the words "Default Preset" on the highlighted green bar. However, when I click that, I get the same drop-down list of presets that I get from the DXi wrapper drop-down list in the Synth Properties window (i.e. the Kontakt window). And, until I saved each of my *.fxp presets in the DXi wrapper (using the DXi preset text field and Save button - right next to the big "X" Delete button), there was NOTHING in that list. I don't see any option in the synth rack to open a *.fxp file (what I am referring to as a "VSTi preset") or a *.fxb file (a VSTi bank of presets).

    Sonar offers several ways to load DXi presets, including the preset drop-down list on the Synth rack and the drop-down list in the DXi wrapper window (which surrounds the VSTi plug-in Synth Properties window). You can load these DXi presets for DXi instruments or for VSTi instruments which are wrapped in the VST Wrapper. However, the only way I can find to load *.fxp files (VSTi preset files) into a VSTi plug-in is through the plug-in's own Load command -- the little tiny menu just above the Kontakt Player / Native Instruments logos in the upper left corner of the Kontakt window.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    Well, a light is beginning to glow. The little tiny menu you mentioned is the way to save or load a preset that is associated with a specific project. The other list, available from the green bar, is a list of general presets such as your special symphony orchestra, your modified organ stops, etc. They will not have the file extension .fxp or whatever. This is what I have been referring to. I have not used the other presets for a long while. I have set up, for instance, all of the GPO Organ stops on 2 presets, and variations on then in other presets. When I work on an organ piece, I load the presets I will need. When I save my work, these presets will be saved with the project.

    For my projects, it works well. For you, perhaps not.

    I don't know if this is helpful, but at least we can now know what we are talking about -- I hope.

    Richard

  7. #7

    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    Hmmm....I think we are saying the same thing. Yes, in a way the VST preset menu is a way to save a specific preset for a given project. However, it's also a convenient way to save a preset for a VSTi so that it will work with that VSTi even if the VSTi is re-named, somehow modified, used in another host application, and so forth.

    [It would be VERY cumbersome indeed to have EVERY preset for every project I ever created in the "general preset menu" as you called it. Unfortunately, I don't think all DXi's offer an alternative to that approach. Notice: If you load the DXi version of GPO, there is no "little tiny menu" at all. It's a VSTi-only menu.]

    To me the "general preset menu" is something that is SONAR-dependent. (i.e. I cannot access those presets outside of Sonar, right?) The DXi preset architecture is much more host-dependent and OS-dependent. Some DXi presets (including those in Sonar) are actually stored in the Windows Registry! Here is a useful article from Sound On Sound that is the source for much of what I know about these things: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun0...pcmusician.htm

    Check out the last four paragraphs, starting with "Preset Management".

    The way I see it, the downside of the DXi approach is that presets are not globally available in any host or any instance of a plug-in. Unless the preset was created in a host application, it seems to be difficult to access it. In the event that I need to save some presets for a project without cluttering the "general preset menu" or share presets between host applications, the DXi preset management system is a pain. [Some DX/DXi plug-ins - like the Sonitus package - have their own custom preset management system, much like the VST/VSTi system. This is smart DX/DXi programming. I can use all of my Sonitus presets, saved via the "Presets" button to the right of the Reset button, in Vegas or Sound Forge just like I do in Sonar.]

    The VSTi approach, while less convenient (i.e. you actually have to load a *.fxp file to recall a preset) is much more flexible if you use multiple hosts, multiple versions/copies of a preset (as I do with GPO - I have two copies of the VSTi DLL with different names), etc. The FXP file approach would work perfectly for me, except that it crashes GPO and Sonar. :-\

    By the way, thank for responding here AND on the Sonar forum. You're probably getting tired of my short-term obsession with this topic.

  8. #8

    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    I hadn't noticed this crash before. I can reproduce it on SONAR 5.2 with GPO 1.1.6.006

    Oddly, it seems a workaround may be to use "Load/Save Bank" versus "Load/Save Preset". Apparently there could be some sort of buffer overrun or other segmentation fault otherwise. At any rate, I can't get it to crash when dealing with Banks instead of Presets, so I assume it's a good thing.

    Make sure to tell us if it works for you!

    For the record I also don't know how to convert DXi presets to VSTi fxp's (besides the method you list). And yes, it's best when presets save their presets to their own files (preferably in XML format!).

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  9. #9

    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    ...very intriguing. I will test the FXB option right now. I have not tried FXB before, as there is no bank manangement system in any of my VSTi plug-ins, except for Crystal - which I never use anyway.

    Give me a minute, I will report back directly.

  10. #10

    Re: Sonar VSTi Preset Crash - workaround?

    This is fascinating. You're absolutely right. I can load an FXB just fine.

    Here is my current theory, based on this new information. We know that Sonar saves the plug-in settings for a given project, whether you save the plug-in setup as a preset (DXi, VSTi, or whatever) or not. That indicates that Sonar has some system of internal plug-in settings recall. I wonder if the FXP files somehow conflict with the GPO implementation of this feature. Perhaps the FXB files, which have no direct equivalent in Sonar, are different enough from the internal recall system to avoid conflict.


    Markleford, THANK YOU for this information. This doesn't explain the Sonar/GPO/FXP conflict. But, for all intensive purposes, it solves my dilemma. I guess I'm an idiot for not trying it myself. It just seemed wasteful to store ONE preset in a BANK file. Perhaps that's why I never did it. (Incidentally, the saved FXP and FXB files for a GPO preset are almost exactly the same size...so much for being "wasteful".)

    Mr. Garritan...I don't know if you are following this post; but this extra info might help you troubleshoot the FXP crash... I wonder if it's worth calling Cakewalk again.

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