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Topic: Mac mini GPO Performance

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  1. #1

    Mac mini GPO Performance

    Okay, I've finally tried to get a moderately large score to play back in GPO via Finale 2005b on my 1.42 GHz Mac mini with 1 GB of RAM.

    The results, unfortunately, are not encouraging.

    Here are the instruments I'm using:

    GPO Player 1
    Flute Player 1
    Flute Player 2
    Eb Clarinet Solo
    Bb Clarinet Solo
    Bass Clarinet Solo

    GPO Player 2
    Trumpet 1 Player 1 KS
    Trumpet 1 Player 2 KS
    Trumpet 1 Player 3 KS
    Trumpet 1 Solo KS
    Trumpet 1 Player 1 KS

    GPO Player 3
    Tenor Trombone Player 1 KS
    Tenor Trombone Player 2 KS
    Tenor Trombone Player 3 KS
    Bass Trombone 2 Solo

    GPO Player 4
    Chromatic Harp 1 Lite
    Steinway Piano Lite
    Double Bass Pizz Solo

    Ambience reverb is set to "Bypass."

    Everything starts okay, but when the dynamics get more intense and/or the music gets busier, I get a ton of cracks in Finale, and, shortly thereafter, playback grinds to a halt in a sea of cracking, usually picking up much later when the texture thins out.

    I tried the "Record to File" option in GPO studio, after quitting everything except GPO Studio and Finale, turning AirPort off, setting Finale playback to "Non-Scrolling (pre-scan)," and minimizing the Finale window and all GPO windows except the "Record To File" one.

    Some of the cracks audible during initial playback are eliminated in the recorded file, but the big problem is that in many areas where the texture is dense, the tempo speeds up! The resulting AIFF file is therefore useless.

    What to do? Is it even possible to get a score like this to play back on my hardware? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    What are your sound settings (16/44.1, 24/48 ...) and have you tried without the piano?
    Aaron Clark, C/C++, J2EE, Flash, Perl and PHP programming.
    Logic Pro 7.0.1, G5 1800x2, 3 Gig ram, GPO and GOS lite.
    My site: http://www.clarkaudio.com
    Where I work now: http://www.blinex.com/

  3. #3
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    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Thad,

    Seems that you are the first to try GPO on a Mac MIDI .

    You received your Mac MIDI before I and glad to hear that GPO installed okay. You should be able to get more than 17 instruments or substitute If you omit the piano do you still have the problem?

    I presume you are using all dry instruments? I am wondering if it is the sound card that is the issue. Try raising your buffers as high as you can and make sure it is set to 16/44.1 and see if that helps.

    As far as the tempo speeding up, I never heard of this before and don't know if it is even possible for GPO to affect tempo in Finale. This is very strange. I'll ask Finale about it.

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Hi Thad,
    Welcome from another fellow Finale user!

    In addition to upping the buffers, you may get better playback if you lower the sample resolution in GPO Studio.

    the default is 44100
    I can usually set mine to 22050 or even 19200 (buffer set to 512) without a noticable loss of sound quality with a lot of instruments playing at the same time. (except where xylophones, glockenspiel, and other instruments which have a ring to them in the first place - They tend to sound SLIGHTLY digitally distorted) (I recorded my contest piece in 22050 and didn't notice a difference from the 44100).

    This is the only way I have seen to allow MY setup - much less beefy than yours in speed and Ram - to play without the crackles, stops and what not

    Cheers.

    Jerry Wickham


    PS - The tempo change problems are probably from the increase of notes being played (less time for the "decay" of the sample to happen in the buffer) and your CPU gets overloaded.

    Decreasing your polyphony will also HELP GREATLY!!! Play around with it.
    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


  5. #5

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Hi,

    Thanks all. Gary, I don't think GPO is affecting the actual tempo in Finale. What I think is happening is that the CPU is getting overloaded (you can see it going over 100%) and therefore, not all "frames" of audio are getting written to the AIFF in real time, hence the "speeding up" effect -- imagine cutting out every other frame of a strip of 35mm film, and you get the idea.

    I am of course using all dry patches (I moved the "wet" patches out of the GPO folder so I wouldn't accidentally load them) and the maximum buffer. My sound resolution is 16 bit/44.1 KHz, and I have been outputting through the M-Audio Firewire. I will try using built-in audio instead and seeing if that makes any difference. The M-Audio device takes up a certain amount of system resources, but not much -- I am, for instance, able to play demanding 3D games with the audio going through the M-Audio without taking a significant frame-rate hit. But I suppose every little bit helps.

    I did try changing the sample rate to 32 KHz, but then I didn't get any playback at all. (Maybe I needed to change the resolution of the the M-Audio to match?) I guess I'll have to try 22.05 KHz through built-in audio, but I'm not super-enthused about dropping below 44.1 KHz if it can possibly be avoided.

    Decreasing your polyphony will also HELP GREATLY!!! Play around with it.
    How do I do that? The manual says to position your mouse over the box with the pair of eighth notes and moving the scroll wheel, but obviously, the Mac version doesn't work like that. (I even have a scroll wheel mouse, but it doesn't do anything in this case!)

    Someone else suggested recording one section (group of instruments, not section of the piece) at a time, then joining the AIFFs in a multi-track audio editor. That sounds kind of tricky to me, and I don't own a multi-track audio editor, but if anyone has newbie-friendly advice regarding that, I'd be most grateful.

    Finally, I'm told Kontakt 2.0 is much more Mac-optimized. Any word on whether we can expect a new version of Kontakt Player for GPO based on Kontakt 2.0

  6. #6

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad
    Hi,

    Thanks all. Gary, I don't think GPO is affecting the actual tempo in Finale. What I think is happening is that the CPU is getting overloaded (you can see it going over 100%) and therefore, not all "frames" of audio are getting written to the AIFF in real time, hence the "speeding up" effect -- imagine cutting out every other frame of a strip of 35mm film, and you get the idea.

    I am of course using all dry patches (I moved the "wet" patches out of the GPO folder so I wouldn't accidentally load them) and the maximum buffer. My sound resolution is 16 bit/44.1 KHz, and I have been outputting through the M-Audio Firewire. I will try using built-in audio instead and seeing if that makes any difference. The M-Audio device takes up a certain amount of system resources, but not much -- I am, for instance, able to play demanding 3D games with the audio going through the M-Audio without taking a significant frame-rate hit. But I suppose every little bit helps.

    I did try changing the sample rate to 32 KHz, but then I didn't get any playback at all. (Maybe I needed to change the resolution of the the M-Audio to match?) I guess I'll have to try 22.05 KHz through built-in audio, but I'm not super-enthused about dropping below 44.1 KHz if it can possibly be avoided.



    How do I do that? The manual says to position your mouse over the box with the pair of eighth notes and moving the scroll wheel, but obviously, the Mac version doesn't work like that. (I even have a scroll wheel mouse, but it doesn't do anything in this case!)

    Someone else suggested recording one section (group of instruments, not section of the piece) at a time, then joining the AIFFs in a multi-track audio editor. That sounds kind of tricky to me, and I don't own a multi-track audio editor, but if anyone has newbie-friendly advice regarding that, I'd be most grateful.

    Finally, I'm told Kontakt 2.0 is much more Mac-optimized. Any word on whether we can expect a new version of Kontakt Player for GPO based on Kontakt 2.0
    Position your mouse over the NUMBER next to the eigth notes.
    If you are using system sound card - reducing the sample size doesn't kill the quality THAT much - try it oout - see for youtself.

    Tracktion $140 (I think)
    http://www.mackie.com

    is a very nice sequencer DAW. (multi-track Audio and Midi Workstation) - it uses the least amount of CPU resources I have seen in a DAW. It uses less than FInale. It is also the cheapest one out there!

    Let me know how things go - There are a lot of tips and helpers out here.

    I've received a TON of help here in regards to my performance and my music. (knod to Joseph Burrell, Jeff Turner, Gary Garritan, Dhazbot - and a TON of others)

    Jerry
    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: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry W.
    Position your mouse over the NUMBER next to the eigth notes.
    That's what I was doing. That doesn't work on Macintosh. I eventually found the answer in another thread, though -- click on the number and drag up or down.

    Shouldn't that be in the manual somewhere? Or did I just miss it?

  8. #8

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad
    That's what I was doing. That doesn't work on Macintosh. I eventually found the answer in another thread, though -- click on the number and drag up or down.

    Shouldn't that be in the manual somewhere? Or did I just miss it?
    I think I did say that in my previous post - yep.

    i too have the Mac version.


    JW
    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


  9. #9

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry W.
    I think I did say that in my previous post - yep.
    Hi Jerry,

    I know you're trying to help, and I'm not trying to sound ungrateful or anything, but all you told me was to position the mouse over the number (which is what I'd been doing already). You didn't tell me to click and drag instead of trying to use the scroll wheel (as it says in the manual), which was the key piece of info I was missing. The scroll wheel doesn't work -- clicking and dragging does. Maybe I'm an idiot for not realizing that on my own, but keep in mind I am brand new to this whole GPO thing.

    Again, the whole scroll wheel thing in the manual is really confusing and misleading for us Mac users. Maybe the correct instructions are in there somewhere, but I think they could use a wee bit more emphasis. (Actually, the whole Kontakt player interface really sucks, but that's not really Garritan's fault, so long as they explain it clearly.)

    Anyway, by drastically reducing the polyphony in both the piano and harp (which is fine by me, neither of them need anywhere near 64-note polyphony in this piece), I was able to prevent GPO from crashing and burning, at least. There are still periodic light clicks in the playback, but I gather that's an endemic problem on Macs, even high-end Macs. I'm hopeful that when I try recording to file, that problem will go away.

    Now, I've just got to work out how to get low concert Bb's from the bass clarinet and high concert Ab's from the Eb clarinet in Finale, and (I hope) I'm in business -- knock on silicon.

  10. #10

    Re: Mac mini GPO Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad
    Hi Jerry,

    I know you're trying to help, and I'm not trying to sound ungrateful or anything, but all you told me was to position the mouse over the number (which is what I'd been doing already). You didn't tell me to click and drag instead of trying to use the scroll wheel (as it says in the manual), which was the key piece of info I was missing. The scroll wheel doesn't work -- clicking and dragging does. .

    Whoops - assumption of facts not in evidence (To quote Perry mason) on my part - sorry.
    I know there are other mac users using dual processor G4s (1.8ghz) and higher with at least 2 gigs of ram) and they have no problems running at full resolution and stuff. People with G5's have better results - I think that RAM is the key for macs more than anything.
    2 gigs should be recommended as the minimum.
    Seriously, you should check out Tracktion though. it is a great app!


    Jerry
    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


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