Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Optimizing for DP and virtual instruments....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    21

    Default Optimizing for DP and virtual instruments....

    This is a copy of a post I had in the SATA drive section. I'd love to hear from people who are working with Digital Performer (or other native hosts) and Virtual Instruments like Ivory and BFD Drums.... I've got a G5 Quad and a Tascam FW-1082 audio interface that I'm trying to optimize to get everything to work well with really low latency settings....

    First I put 8 gigs of Ram in the G5. I ran activity viewer and I was surprised to find out that even when Digital Performer was complaining of limited CPU that it was only using a fraction of the available memory and cpu power. Hope they fix that soon.

    Then I installed a couple of the new Raptor 150's in place of the boot drive and the second sata drive. The speed increase wasn't really noticable, but I guess it can't hurt to have a faster drive for a boot drive, and it may help when it comes time for the system to swap info in and out of virtual memory.

    Then I pulled the optical drive (see details below) and put an ATA drive in it's place. (I use the optical with a firewire 800 case when I need access to it)

    Since I'm doing music and using a lot of virtual instruments that stream data off the drive, I was told to give them a dedicated drive for streaming so I copied a bunch of my audio sound libraries (Ivory, BFD etc) to the second Raptor and made the ATA drive my "audio record and playback drive" The ATA drive is a 7200 rpm MaxsStore that used to live in a LaCie FireWire 800 drive case. As soon as I dropped it in the G5 it came right up which was a nice suprise. The only challenge was taking out the optical drive. It was really really easy to losen the drive itself since it comes out sideways... the IDE/ATA cable was tricky since it was somehow taped with some really strong tape onto the corner of the optical drive. Once I carefully lossened the cable the drive slide right out.

    Now there's room for a second ATA drive, or better yet when a good SATA card comes out I'd like to put a couple more Raptors there. To my way of thinking if you're going to start cramming the case full of drives I like the idea of isolating them to that top drive bay area so they're not blowing hot air on my Quad processor.

    My main application Digital Performer seems a little happier since it's probably getting it's virtual instrument datas to and from the Raptors a little faster than before. Now if I give it a faster drive to record and playback audio I'm hoping that I'll have less glitching etc... I'm surprise it's not faster because this is pretty much the fastest hardware money can buy (for a native system) but I guess I'm asking it to do a lot, and Digital Performer doesn't seem to be taking advantage of the Quad processors and all that Ram yet.

    -Vincent

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL 60610
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Hello Vincent,

    I'm using DP 4.61 with a dual (circa 2004) 2.5 G5 with 7GB RAM.

    extra 150 Hitachi SATA (from the Gurus, as was the RAM ;-) internal for recording tracks and an external Glyph 80 FW400 for streaming.

    I've got pretty much a full MotU rig: MTP AV, MTP XT, 24I/O and 2408 mkIII on a PCI-424 card. Working pretty well. I'll have to get my settings later to share, but here's a summary of what one user on the MotU-Mac user group on Yahoo had to say.

    BTW, here're two good MotU groups (though I think for pure Mac hardware stuff, you're at the right place right now ;-)

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/motu-mac/

    http://www.unicornation.com/

    Here's a summary from one person on the Yahoo group regarding optimizing performance:

    "I've said before in this here forum that it is surprising there aren't
    more specific directions for a given machine and given I/O. At least
    ballpark figures. It isn't like we're configuring PCs...

    Disclaimer: I am flying by my trouser seat. I suspect this is a common
    mode. There are folks here who actually understand this stuff , which is why
    I am here. I don't pretend to.

    OK, here's where my settings are CURRENTLY. I'll make some comments alongside them.

    (This stuff is probably elementary for most. Everything works - knock wood - and my machine hasn't barked at me for awhile. My first foray, only six weeks ago, ended in a disk error. I'm still touchy about that, having been bit, and am still surprised that the default DP settings could not record
    one stereo track to a fresh HD.)

    G5 Dual 2.3 GHz, OS 10.4.5, PCI-x 424, MOTU 1224 & 2408 MkII.
    2 250Gig HDs. The record drive is currently partitioned
    per Hiro's suggestions. (Thanks Hiro!)

    My studio size is "custom" - 24 mono/16 stereo voices. 16 Busses.
    (This setting should be *no larger* than you're likely to need on a
    given project. Coincidentally, this is about the same size as the Trident I
    used to work on...)

    I refer one and all to the "Getting Started Guide," pp. 23-29
    for the rest:

    Disk read/write size - 150kbytes
    Buffer size per voice - 300k samples

    (The manual says that the voice buffer size should be about twice to
    four times
    the disk read/write size. I picked the first number mostly to ease
    up on the disk I/O. It stopped my disk errors fer sure. This may be key.
    I'm not sure how to calculate "twice the disk read/write size"
    because I'm not entirely sure of the byte/sample relationship. I use 24
    bit exclusively.
    Anyone? )

    Host buffer multiplier - 1

    (I learned more about this setting from MOTU-Mac than from the manual!)

    Work priority - HIgh

    (There's a but. There are apparently configurations that will work
    better with medium and low. The manual mentions 3rd party
    hardware. Some fiddling may be in order here for anyone with mysterious
    problems.)

    The main buffer setting is usually 1024. DPs monitoring (or Cue Mix)
    makes this possible. Using VIs with low latency and high track count
    is a bear. I haven't gone here yet.

    Maybe a set-up wizard for these settings might be a good thing. It
    could be very daunting for a newbie, which is what I felt like
    for awhile, and I am not.

    The manual ultimately implies you have to play around with the settings
    until everything pats down nice. I hope this list is of some use
    to anyone feeling frustrated about their system."

    Best,

    Iver

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default Second SATA for BFD

    Hello Vincent et al,
    I'm really bummed out right now. I'm a science teacher and I can't even get a program running on my mac. I recently bought a second SATA drive for BFD because a second drive was advised to do so. However, I am a newbie and extremely confused. I want to maximize the performance of my music programs but I can't seem to install BFD correctly to that second drive. I keep getting "BFD folder does not appear to be valid" messages when I start DP 4.61 or Live 5. How do I use that second drive? How do I install BFD the right way in OS X (10.4.4) ??

    The forums on BFD don't help and tech support won't write me back.I am running DP 4.61 on my main drive and I have a GForce Melotron Garritan Virtual Orchestra and a minimoog for virtual instruments. Where should those goMy interface is a MOTU 2408 mach 3.

    I would be eternally greatful for some help from you dudes who seem cool and knowledgable! Think about the positive Karma you would get back...
    Roger

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Mobius Strip
    Posts
    13,045

    Lightbulb

    Roger,

    I assume you already know how to initialize and install your drive, that it shows on the desktop. I have no idea on audio etc though.

    Applications should go with the boot drive OS.

    Most of us follow the tips for "moving home directory to 2nd drive" to free up space and improve performance, and to put data files on 2nd drive.

    Even more drives, sometimes on RAID, can also help with performance.

    There are a huge number of links and articles in the "Troubleshooting & Upgrade" FAQ on using Disk Utility and from Apple as well as on performance (weak on audio I confess).

    You should add what Mac and upgrades you've got to your personal profile so we can tell at a glance what.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Hey Roger. First I would make sure that you have the latest BFD installer which you can get from their website (1.5.0.33b at this time.)

    The plug ins and standalone program get installed on your boot volume. The drum kits, samples etc can be installed on your other drive, and once it's installed, you can always move it. Once you've done that you just click on BFD's prefs and tell BFD the path to where it's at....

    Give it a shot and let us know how it goes : )
    -Vincent


    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dubuque
    Hello Vincent et al,
    I'm really bummed out right now. I'm a science teacher and I can't even get a program running on my mac. I recently bought a second SATA drive for BFD because a second drive was advised to do so. However, I am a newbie and extremely confused. I want to maximize the performance of my music programs but I can't seem to install BFD correctly to that second drive. I keep getting "BFD folder does not appear to be valid" messages when I start DP 4.61 or Live 5. How do I use that second drive? How do I install BFD the right way in OS X (10.4.4) ??

    The forums on BFD don't help and tech support won't write me back.I am running DP 4.61 on my main drive and I have a GForce Melotron Garritan Virtual Orchestra and a minimoog for virtual instruments. Where should those goMy interface is a MOTU 2408 mach 3.

    I would be eternally greatful for some help from you dudes who seem cool and knowledgable! Think about the positive Karma you would get back...
    Roger

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL 60610
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Hello Roger,

    First, we should probably collect as much information as possible:

    What kind of Mac (G4, G5, etc) with what processors (speed in MHz or GHz)?

    How much RAM do you have?

    Have you run diagnostics on the disk?

    I don't use BFD, but I'm guessing that it streams samples from disk which is why a second drive is recommended. In fact, a _third_ drive might be relevant too. I have the system, apps and storage on the primary drive, a second (internal) drive for tracking (i.e., recording) and a third (external) firewire drive for samples (streaming from disk for Kontakt, etc.). You might want to check the MotU-Mac group on Yahoo:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/motu-mac/

    and Unicornation:

    http://www.unicornation.com

    as well. While I didn't read them (as I don't use BFD) I've noticed a fair number of posts on the MotU-Mac group from people having problems with BFD.

    While DP is, in my opinion, a really easy program to learn to use, it is the case that it won't work if things aren't correctly installed. This can be...and I speak from way too many experiences...really frustrating.

    You may want to remove BFD and re-install it.

    How much experience have you had configuring these sorts of things? I don't mean to sound condescending, but if this is your first foray into computer-based (multi) media, be prepared to spend some time and be prepared to troubleshoot, uninstall and possibly even reformat drives. I'm not saying it'll be necessary, but it's possible.

    I've been messing around with computer audio for almost 20 years and have spent _many_ hours troubleshooting things. While things nowadays are much simpler and more powerful than even a few years ago, there are gotchas that can getcha.

    Just be patient and document everything.

    If it makes you feel better, ;-) , just last night I had to figure out why some audio was coming out of the MotU 24I/O instead of the 2408mkIII. I got it working pretty quickly, but there was plenty o' swearin' going on here, I'll tell you. ;-)

    Best,

    Iver

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •