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Topic: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

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  1. #1

    ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    I just purchased Garritan Classic Pipe Organs, which comes with ARIA Player.

    I was hoping to use it on a laptop (Macbook Pro, 2.5 GHz i7, 4 GB RAM, 7200 rpm Serial-ATA disk) for live performance at my church (as an interim solution until we can replace the ancient organ in the choir loft).

    I am having problems with the sound breaking up intermittently. Sometimes I can play big chords and fast scales using presets with all 16 slots loaded with no problems, but sometimes with a preset with only 6 slots loaded a simple four-note chord will not sound continuously for more than a couple of seconds.

    In the settings view I can see that sometimes the disk activity is very high (up to 50%) right after I've loaded a preset, and when I hear the break ups the "Disk Loss" number goes up. It seems as though initially it needs to load more data than the disk can fetch, and then after it's cached more samples in memory (if that is what it does) the disk usage goes down almost to 0% and no break ups or disk losses occur.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Is there any adjustment I can make to the settings to minimize this effect? Is there a way to preload the sounds before actually playing the notes? I am afraid of switching to a different preset and then having the sound come out in pops and crackles at the start of a piece.

    I think I should have enough memory and processing power (lowering the number of slots and disabling sound effects does not seem to help). If I need to get an external sound card, I can do that, but the disk loss makes me think that it's not the sound card that's the problem.

    Thank you for any suggestions you can give me.

  2. #2

    Re: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    if you are using the pipe organ library without any host like Logic, DP etc.,,
    go to the ARIA preferences and you will see a panel like this....



    your Buffer Size is probably set too low,
    highest setting will provide glitch free performance, but at the cost of significant latency, (delay)
    the lower the number, poor audio performance, but significantly decreased latency.

    try a setting of 256, that should give a very minimal amount of delay but good performance,
    it just takes trying a few settings to find the one that is the most reliable and feels OK to play.

    Dan

  3. #3

    Re: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    your Buffer Size is probably set too low,
    highest setting will provide glitch free performance, but at the cost of significant latency, (delay)
    the lower the number, poor audio performance, but significantly decreased latency.

    try a setting of 256, that should give a very minimal amount of delay but good performance,
    it just takes trying a few settings to find the one that is the most reliable and feels OK to play.

    Dan
    First of all, thank you for your reply.

    Turns out my buffer size was set to 512. I set it to 256 to see if that would make the problem get worse, but it didn't. Now I'm having trouble reproducing the dropouts, which I guess is a good thing if it stays that way. :^)

    I am really baffled by this. I wonder if it could be caused by interference from other applications trying to access the disk at the same time. I will continue to play with it and report back if I find anything definite. Thanks again.

  4. #4

    Re: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    Quote Originally Posted by ekortright View Post
    ... I wonder if it could be caused by interference from other applications trying to access the disk at the same time...
    oops - You definitely don't want anything going on at the same time as when using ARIA. Dan has given you the #1 reason people experience dropouts and crackling when using soft synths.

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    Hi Ekortright,

    I don't know much about the Apple laptops like yours, but you mentioned Serial-ATA 7200 rpm.. is this hard drive an external drive or the internal drive and if it is an external drive, is that where the ARIA library is installed?

    Dan

  6. #6

    Re: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    Hi Ekortright,

    I don't know much about the Apple laptops like yours, but you mentioned Serial-ATA 7200 rpm.. is this hard drive an external drive or the internal drive and if it is an external drive, is that where the ARIA library is installed?

    Dan
    Dan: It's the internal hard drive, and it is where ARIA and the sounds are installed, along with the operating system.

    Randy, it's strange. The dropouts were pretty heavy even after I had quit all other user applications, and after they went away, they stayed away even as I started up browsers, word processor, etc. I was thinking that the operating system tasks that run in the background might be getting in the way of ARIA (if so, then it's pretty sensitive!).

    I keep hoping that the problem will not recur, but if it happened once it can happen again. I will continue to observe the way ARIA behaves and report back in case other people have the same problem. It just occurred to me that right after quitting a lot of open applications, the operating system might be doing a lot of disk access to free up virtual memory. Hmm.

    Thank you again for your answers.

  7. #7

    Re: ARIA Player sound breaks up unpredictably

    Hello again, Ekortright

    I'm sorry you're still having problems, but the solution(s) will be arrived at. Reviewing what's been on the thread and saying a bit more:

    --Getting any software instrument or library running smoothly is always a challenge, so you need to rest assured your current challenges aren't unique either to you or ARIA.

    --4 gigs Ram should be sufficient, but it is the minimum for setting up a new machine and using software instruments.

    --The hard drive speed of 7200 is excellent, but a lot of people use separate drives for installing the samples of a Library. That negates the need for the computer to be accessing both the OS and the samples at the same time on the same drive.

    --It's general practice for computers that are dedicated to musical production to be stripped down, with as few services running as possible while music is being played or worked on.

    --Finding the right buffer settings is crucial, as Dan spelled out.

    --AUDIO INTERFACES: Some people manage to use their mother board's sound card for music production, but I honestly don't know how they manage. I've never gotten more than broken up sound, stuttering, crackling, when trying to use a computer's sound card. They just weren't designed for the heavy demands of music applications and software instruments. They don't have ASIO drivers, and that's the main problem. You said in your original post "...if I need to get an external sound card, I can do that..." And I highly recommend that you do that. Having an actual audio interface which bypasses your computer's sound card, and that has ASIO drivers, is really a necessity. Besides being up to the task, they're so much more convenient. You can have it parked right next to your keyboard so you have easy access to volume control, headphone access, inputs - etc. - BUT, even though I feel you must get an interface, it's looking to me that it won't be the only thing you need to do. As you said yourself, you would get a real interface, but there's the disk loss issue:

    --The Disk usage you report is peculiar. I watched Disk and Disk Loss in ARIA's Settings window to see what the displays are when loading a Pipe Organs ensemble that uses all 16 slots. Disk didn't budge from 0% during the loading, and Disk Loss stayed the same too. Then when playing this ensemble (all 16 stops set to MIDI channel 1) the Disk percentage rarely went over 1%. My understanding is that Disk Loss shouldn't ever change from 0%.

    --SO you need to contact Garritan Support at Make Music. Log in to your account at Make Music, then write out the details of your issues:

    Garritan Support

    The first thing they'll ask to see is the log file report which can they can analyze to see what specific problems may exist. According to the published info on generating the log files, a user only makes one when asked by support staff. I'll leave it to your discretion if you want to wait until asked, or if you want to attach the log file to your original support inquiry. Here's the info on log reports:
    ------------------
    How do I generate log files?
    NOTE: This should only be done when asked by the support staff from the vendor.

    Generate Logs is an application that compresses all the log files related to your ARIA products in a single file, making it easy to send to the support staff. This file is put on your desktop and named "Aria Logs - your name.tar.gz" .

    If you actived the Generate Logs application multiple times, the most recent will keep the same naming scheme, while the older one(s) are renamed "Aria Logs - your name(date and time).tar.gz". The support staff usually need the most recent version, but keep the older ones somewhere safe, just in case, until your problem is solved.
    Where do I find this application?

    Windows

    For ARIA Player: Start Menu -> Garritan ARIA Player -> Generate Logs

    For chipsounds: Start Menu -> Plogue -> chipsounds -> Generate Logs

    For all products If no Start menu shortcut is installed: Cor your os drive)/Program Files/Plogue/ARIA/AriaReporter.exe

    OS X

    For all products:

    /Applications/"Your ARIA Product"/Generate Logs

    Examples:

    /Applications/Plogue chipsounds/Generate Logs

    /Applications/Garritan ARIA Player/Generate Logs
    ----------------------------
    Randy

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