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Topic: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

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  1. #1

    Angry GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    I posted earlier this week I was hearing crackling with GigaPiano 2 LE (convoluting) on my GS3 system, others noticed the same thing. Now I have tried Black Grand and have the same problem!!

    The system:
    WinXP SP2, GS3 and NOTHING ELSE INSTALLED
    MB: MSI 865PE Neo2 S with P4 2.6GHz and HT disabled
    MB audio AC97 chipset disabled
    1GB RAM, 400MHz DDR
    4.3G EIDE hd for os & apps
    40G SATA hd for samples
    Echo Mia audio card (not MiaMIDI)
    Midiman USB Midisport 2x2 MIDI interface
    Sony DVD-RW drive
    video card: unknown

    I have the Mia buffers set to 256. 512 is too much latency to make use of the finer points of playing a piano library such as Black Grand. I will attempt to reduce crackles and note which buffer setting yields zero crackling later today. When I tested it before with GP2LE, 512 buffers did not improve the crackling but increased latency too much.

    I have GS3 attached only to outputs 1/2 on the Mia and I'm using the SPDIF out (1/2 are routed both to analog and digital outs). Listening to it via the Monitor Mixer of my M-Audio Delta 1010 in my DAW machine.

    With the Black Grand Close perspective with convoluting (patch 1) loaded, the memory meter is about 50-60% peak while playing, the crackling is present even on a single note but can be heard all over the place when playing with the polyphony meter under 24. The CPU meter is never seen above 10%, but it kind of "flickers" and it's hard to say where it's going when it does that. Normally it's at 6% while playing BG.

    With these buffer settings on the audio card, there is no crackling with the PMI 290 demo lib, no crackling with the MegaPiano lib, no crackling with the full convoluted Rain Piano that came with BG, no crackling on any other sound I load up (freebies with GS3 solo) other than GigaPiano 2 LE with the pu/pd convolution.

    The only thing that's different with the "big" sounds loaded (BG and GP2LE) is the memory meter. The CPU is always low under 10% and usually about 6% with which ever sound I load.

    From watching the meters it does not *seem* like I am running into a CPU/horsepower problem causing the crackling. Echo web site says use a "genuine" (like there are counterfeits?) Intel chipset (which I have) for best compatiblity with the card.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for fixing this?

    Things I am going to try today to sort out the problem:

    1. Load up the instrument, get the memory meter up there, then try and play back a sound in another application like Windows Media Player and see if it crackles... effort to isolate the problem to GigaStudio.

    2. Enable the on-board motherboard AC97 sound device (disabled now) and try it with that card and the spdif out on it. I don't know if it'll do 24 bit or if it's even possible to set the latency/buffers with this card.

    3. Call Tascam

    4. Call Echo

    5. See if I can get Tascam to call Echo & sort it out (because I am sure Tascam's likely to tell me to increase buffers, and if that doesn't work, call Echo... then Echo's going to say hey if it doesn't crackle when you run an app other than GS3, then it's the app's fault, call Tascam... I've done this before...)

    6. Run the non-convoluting lib... which stinks... because the convoluting patch sounds SO GOOD!!!

    Is anyone else using this motherboard with success? Or this Mia card? This can't be that uncommon of a setup, can it?

    Thanks !

  2. #2

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    I'm having the same problems with the white grand... Try setting the sample rate to 48,000 or 96,000 and see if it helps. I have to say that it did seem to reduce the crackling i have by at least 50 percent. It did not get rid of it entirely.

    This fix comes straight from Chris at Tascam tech support. He also said that they are working a fix for "stacked instruments" which is where i have had all of my problems

    Best
    giga...

  3. #3

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    I'm running sample rate 44.1K... which rate are you running that had problems?

    aha it does sound like a tascam problem!! going to call them tonight hopefully.

    see ya-

  4. #4

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    I was running 44.1 and was told to switch to 48 or 96

    giga...

  5. #5

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    I'd say this is most likely a memory (misconfiguration) problem.
    When smaller piano libraries load and play fine and the largest at this moment fails to play, you will likely find that memory shortage is the cause of the pops&clicks.
    First you must use Matthias Henningson's great optimizer: http://henningson.triona.se/musikban...dOptimizer.exe

    It's 100% safe and works on all my systems.
    Use the program to show your current memory settings, write them down and use one of the optimizer settings. Save, reboot, and reload BG in GS3. See what the memory meter shows.

    I know from experience that 1 GB is not enough to successfully run very large piano libraries. BG is 16 layers up, 16 down and 16 release layers. 48 x 55 = 2.640 samples give or take a few %. With a buffer size of 512 k you reach a total memory load of 1.4 GB. If the buffer size is 256k, you still have to expect some 700 MB of FREE RAM to be filled. Give XP and GS3 200 MB each and you need 1.2 GB minimum or better 1.5 GB- to leave some overhead for Windows under-the-hood de-bugging processes. If you start a sequencer on the same system you will need even more.

    Now I must admit that the calculation above is based on wild assumptions (512 or 256k buffer IS a huge difference!) Nevertheless, I make my own piano libraries and found that a clean WinXP install without the memory tweak by Matthias cannot load the Emperor (which has 12x12x4 layers) with 1.540 samples in a 1 GB memory chip. So it does not surprise me that the larger BG would cause some memory load problems.

    please use the Matthias tweak and report back what the memory indicator in GS3 says.
    Best regards,
    Michiel Post


  6. #6

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Post
    I'd say this is most likely a memory (misconfiguration) problem.[snip big huge useful post]
    please use the Matthias tweak and report back what the memory indicator in GS3 says.

    welll... ok. thinking...

    The card does not crackle any more with 64-byte buffers than it does with 128 or 256. It's currently set to 256. I have set it down to 64 with no ill effects but still crackling. So reducing the buffers should reduce the memory requirement right?

    I'll run the optimizer util tonight. Also going to do a bios upgrade on the motherboard (it's WAY out of date) and do some PCI bus trimming (there are a total of 10 USB ports on this box!). Also going to do the 3.01 patch update and see if that helps any. I'll report back as soon as I know something more!

    Thanks for the insight. It's very useful. Maybe I'll just go out at lunch and pick up a 512M mem module and make my life a lot easier.

  7. #7

    SOLVED!!

    Well I was planning to pick up a 512M module on the way home but I didn't have my credit card with me. Good thing!

    I came home and we (my assistant engr. and I) began going through the PC with a fine-toothed comb with respect to IRQs and disbaling unused hardware. We updated the BIOS, installed the Giga 3.01 patch, moved the audio card around to different PCI slots, etc. Eventually we got the Mia on its own IRQ and everything running smoothly. Still getting crackling.

    At this point we could hear crackling on GigaPiano II LE, any of the Black Grand patches, and the PMI Bos290 demo. We didn't hear it on MegaPiano2 or on any of the electric pianos I have. Didn't really try much else.

    We then tried the memory optimizer that Michael reccomended and of course it does not work because we only have 1G of RAM. Our memory meter was running about 40% with Black Grand Close full conv. and under 10% with all other libraries. Hard to believe it was a RAM problem.

    Turns out it is the digital out on the Mia. We were using the digital out on the Mia and when we used the analog outs on the Mia, no crackling at all. In fact, using the analog outs thru my PM1000 channel strips kind of sweetens up the sound of the pianos anyway as the PM1000 is known to do.

    So it's solved! If you're having crackling problems on the Mia with digital outs, try the analog outs. I don't know if this applies to other cards but probably does to other Echo cards.

    See ya-

  8. #8

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    Were you using a short 75 ohm cable on the digital out? If you were using a long audio cable, that could have caused the problem. Go for a nice, fat video cable with the yellow ends, and keep the wire as short as possible.

    Anyway, it's good to hear that the crackling problem is solved, and that it's one less bug for the Giga team to worry about.

    -JF

  9. #9

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Were you using a short 75 ohm cable on the digital out? If you were using a long audio cable, that could have caused the problem. Go for a nice, fat video cable with the yellow ends, and keep the wire as short as possible.

    Anyway, it's good to hear that the crackling problem is solved, and that it's one less bug for the Giga team to worry about.

    -JF
    It was a video cable, under six feet, but not any kind of high-end cable.

    But at this point, I've been recording with it the other way, and I dig it. Works for me

    Thanks you guys for the suggestions.

  10. #10

    Re: GS3 crackles with Mia & piano libraries

    > "It was a video cable, under six feet, but not any kind of high-end cable."

    That should have done the trick. Electrons don't care about brand names!

    -JF

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