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Topic: For Mac users with CPU issues

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  1. #1

    For Mac users with CPU issues

    Some Mac users have reported getting sound crackles in GPO, even with a moderate number of instruments loaded. The performance differences observed between PCs and Macs seem to be directly related to the differences in the standard CPU clock speeds of each kind of machine (in Macs the clock speeds currently range from 1.2 GHz in basic G4 portables to 2.5 GHz in top G5 models, while present PCs go now from 2.4 GHz to more than 3.6 GHz). Although G4 and G5 chips are said to compensate for the clock speed difference with a more parallel and better CPU architecture than Pentiums, the software developers not always take advantage of this optimized architecture. This seems to be the case with Kontakt Player, which was first designed to be run on PCs, and then ported to the Mac.

    Anyway, after using GPO in my single 1.8GHz G5 Mac for some months I have found that it is definitely possible to load and play a complete orchestra on a Macintosh without crackles. First of all, I have used Sibelus, Cubase SX and Digital Peformer and by far the third option is the best one for GPO. Apart from the valuable tips which have already been given in the forums to save CPU power (increase buffers and latency, use dry instruments, etc.), I have found three more ways of getting the most of a Mac without compromising quality:

    - In a G5 open Energy Saver and check in "Options" that the processor speed is set to Maximum (the Automatic setting does not work with Kontakt Player).

    - Use the latest version of GPO, but consider using also the "old" instruments if necessary. I have renamed the "Backup GPO Library" folder (which is created after updating GPO) to "Eco GPO Library" and if you drag this renamed folder inside the "Instruments" folder, you will be able to choose between "Dry", "Wet" and "Eco" instruments. Eco instruments are much less CPU hungry. Of course this is only useful if you do not need the new features (new controllers, length, variability, etc.). Note that even if you use the non-keyswitched or non-aggressive versions of the new instruments, they will consume more CPU than the old ones.

    - Finally, at the expense of a some loss in quality, consider lowering the polyphony of some instruments (place the cursor over the polyphony assignment number and scroll the mouse down). This also saves some CPU and the effects in the sound can be unnoticeable (if you don't go too far !).

    With these settings I can load and play perfectly well a full orchestra with reverb in my Mac and Digital Performer (Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel,..., I still have not tried Mahler :-)).

    Finally, being a distinguished customer and partner, it would be great if Gary could ask NI people for a re-coded version of Kontakt optimized for G5 :-). I am sure it could be much more efficient in Macs.

    I hope this helps the GPO community.

  2. #2

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    Quote Originally Posted by quartet
    Anyway, after using GPO in my single 1.8GHz G5 Mac for some months I have found that it is definitely possible to load and play a complete orchestra on a Macintosh without crackles. First of all, I have used Sibelus, Cubase SX and Digital Peformer and by far the third option is the best one for GPO. Apart from the valuable tips which have already been given in the forums to save CPU power (increase buffers and latency, use dry instruments, etc.), I have found three more ways of getting the most of a Mac without compromising quality:
    Interesting you brought up Cubase SX. I have Logic, SX, and DP. SX is the only one of the three that crackles with GPO (and with EW Gold too). Not sure why though and I have tried every troubleshooting method known to mankind it seems. Kicking the buffer up to 512 helps but 256 is where it needs to be to have any decent real time playability.

    Oh Well.
    Chris

  3. #3

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    If NI could take advantage of the "Velocity Engine" that would solve a lot of problems. But, the work arounds seem to work okay.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  4. #4

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    Quote Originally Posted by quartet
    Use the latest version of GPO, but consider using also the "old" instruments if necessary. I have renamed the "Backup GPO Library" folder (which is created after updating GPO) to "Eco GPO Library" and if you drag this renamed folder inside the "Instruments" folder, you will be able to choose between "Dry", "Wet" and "Eco" instruments. Eco instruments are much less CPU hungry. Of course this is only useful if you do not need the new features (new controllers, length, variability, etc.). Note that even if you use the non-keyswitched or non-aggressive versions of the new instruments, they will consume more CPU than the old ones.
    This is good advice and something I was considering posting myself after stumbling on it recently. I actually removed the Wet instruments folder as well since I never use them; makes navigating that little menu easier and I'm less likely to load a CPU-hungry wet instrument by mistake.

    Brian

  5. #5

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    Thanks for posting this.

    Does SX still crackle even when on a G5 with oodles of Ram? If so, I will migrate to another sequencer (like Logic or Digital Performer) when I get a chance to upgrade to a nice newer Mac (pref. a G5 dual 2.5 ghz with 4 gb of ram OK - dreams sometimes DO come true, you know.)

    Jerry Wickham
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!
    http://www.mylegacyfilm.com


  6. #6

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    Quote Originally Posted by jesshmusic
    If NI could take advantage of the "Velocity Engine" that would solve a lot of problems. But, the work arounds seem to work okay.
    That would be a dream come true, but... I doubt that NI will build a new Kontakt Player from the ground up for mac users.



    Jerry Wickham
    MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4GB Ram OSX 10.5.8
    Korg TritonLe & MAudio Oxygen 8
    T3, Logic 9, DP7, K2, GPO4, Strad, Gofriller, C&MB, Finale 2010

    My Website!
    New Film Scores!
    Also, Ever think about having your very own personal documentary? See my new Website!
    http://www.mylegacyfilm.com


  7. #7

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    a part of an old humurous General Motors verses Microsoft story.....

    If Apple made a car it would run on solar power, but could only be driven on 5% of the roads....
    I'll see if I can find that little story, it's great for those who have never heard it... I love both Mac and PC.
    DPDan, OK here it is.... At a recent computer exposition (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the
    computer industry with the auto industry and stated "If General Motors had
    kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be
    driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

    In response to Bill's comments, GM issued a press release stating: If
    General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
    driving cars with the following characteristics:
    1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
    2. Every time the lines in the road were repainted, you would have to buy a
    new car.
    3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would
    have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off
    the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For
    some reason, you would simply accept this.
    4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your
    car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to
    reinstall the engine.
    5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable,
    five times as fast and twice as easy to drive-but would run on only five
    percent of the roads.
    6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be
    replaced by a single General Protection Fault warning light.
    7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.
    8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and
    refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned
    the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
    9. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to
    drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same
    manner as the old car.
    10. You'd have to press the Start button to turn the engine off.

  8. #8

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    Quote Originally Posted by quartet

    - Finally, at the expense of a some loss in quality, consider lowering the polyphony of some instruments (place the cursor over the polyphony assignment number and scroll the mouse down). This also saves some CPU and the effects in the sound can be unnoticeable (if you don't go too far !).

    I hope this helps the GPO community.
    Does this mean one should keep more polyphony than actual notes required?
    i.e. 1st Violins at most divided into three with a polyphony of three -- will be as good a quality as three with polyphony of six?

    jerry

  9. #9

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    a part of an old humurous General Motors verses Microsoft story.....

    ...This is a charming story, even for one who has spent over thirty years in information technology:-)

    Ed

  10. #10

    Re: For Mac users with CPU issues

    This is the performance we Mac users could expect if NI reworked Kontakt Player (as Adobe guys, among others, did):

    http://www.apple.com/powermac/performance/

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