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Topic: Timing problems

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  1. #1

    Timing problems

    Working with Sibelius 4.1.5 and Garritan personal orchestra, I have recently begun to experience timing problems during the midi playback. This occurs even when I've recorded the whole project to a file using Garritan Studio.

    I have not noticed this problem previously - say, a year back. I've tried at two different computers opening the same project files (.studio and .sib), but the timing problems is present in both. On the first computer i use EMU-0404 but can't get a satisfying result with the ASIO drivers, therefore I tried the ASIO4ALL software and did actually get better results. I configured the latency all the way up to 2048samples, although I don't know if this can mean some kind of troubles?

    I need to know how you will get the best and most accurate timing for your midi projects. What settings, hardware and software will guarantee an flawless or at least close to flawless tightness to your midi?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Re: Timing problems

    Is it CPU related?

    Just curious... cheers

  3. #3

    Re: Timing problems

    Hi,

    could you describe more precisely what your timing problems are? Something like audio generally too late, or stuttering as a whole, or single notes hanging?

    Some pointers - How much tracks do you play simultaneously? Are the samples on a separate disk? Lame disk or fast disk, IDE or SATA, how much buffer? Are you using reverb or effects? Could the sample drive be fragmented?
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  4. #4

    Re: Timing problems

    Hi Hannes,

    my timing problems seems to be CPU-related, because when I have alot of tracks playing back at once the problems get far worse. However, I can often sense an inaccurate timing when just playing back a single instrument. I don't know really how to describe this better than that it sounds just as though I have untight musicians playing my score.

    One interesting thing about all this, is that I haven't had this problems before.

    I'm using Sibelius 4.1.5 with Garritan studio. Is it really necesseray to have the Garritan samples on a separate disc? Because I figured it wasn't, seeing as the sample library is so small. Moreover, this has not been a problem before.

    Lame disk or fast - I don't know, how can you tell? My disks are IDE and the buffer setting (I guess you mean the midi buffer?) is set to 2048samples - the highest possible in ASIO4ALL. In Sibelius though, you can't set the buffer in samples but rather milliseconds, and I have chosen 512 for the GPO devices.

    What settings should I stick to in ASIO4ALL by the way? The default settings is to resample 48kHz->44.1kHz, do you recommend me to change this?

    Hope you come up with some possible solutions to this! Thanks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    Hi,

    could you describe more precisely what your timing problems are? Something like audio generally too late, or stuttering as a whole, or single notes hanging?

    Some pointers - How much tracks do you play simultaneously? Are the samples on a separate disk? Lame disk or fast disk, IDE or SATA, how much buffer? Are you using reverb or effects? Could the sample drive be fragmented?

  5. #5

    Re: Timing problems

    Hi,

    I would disable the resample 44.1 - > 48 kHz option since resampling costs CPU. GPO is 44.1 KHz anyway, so take care everything in your audio chain uses this.

    Then you should systematically try out where the bottleneck is. Possibilities:

    - harddisk
    - bus system
    - cpu
    - a program internal anomaly
    - some midi feedback that runs hot
    - a hidden process that costs CPU power

    You can try to narrow this down by looking at the CPU meter, checking whether your samples are fragmented, having a test cue with only one voice, disabling instruments in the Kontakt player with a multi-voice cue etc.

    Since you experience it also while recording I don't think it is the audio card.

    512 samples buffer should be fine for playback with Asio4all (try to have both settings like that).
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  6. #6

    Re: Timing problems

    This really sounds like MIDI jitter from bad input timestamps in Garritan Studio.

    Garritan Studio's input MIDI is less spot on if buffer sizes are too big.
    Thats why its important to uses buffer Sizes that are never greater than 512 samples.

    You say you are using to 2048 samples. can you try to lower this (i know it will not help your cpu)

    Cheers
    David Viens, Plogue Art et Technologie Inc.
    Montreal. http://www.plogue.com

  7. #7

    Re: Timing problems

    Thank you both for your suggestions. I will try it and post here how it works out.

  8. #8

    Re: Timing problems

    OK, here's what I've come up with:

    This timing problem of mine can't really have anything to do with ASIO4all, at least not directly. I know this, because ASIO4ALL was in fact an application I chose to try out because of the problems.

    I tried to lower the buffer in ASIO4ALL from 2048samples to 512. Then I tried running a project in Sibelius with Garritan Studio, but the only difference from before seems to be that there are more "crackeling" noise during playback - I would guess CPU related stuff.

    I'm a little curious, seeing that this problem was not present say a year ago. And the ASIO drivers on my soundcard (EMU-0404) does not seem to work? I know this, because when comparing them to ASIO4ALL, the difference is like night and day.

    Some facts about my computer:

    CPU: Intel Celeron 2,40GHz
    2 GB RAM
    Windows XP Professional
    EMU 0404
    Garritan Studio 2
    Sibelius 4.1.5

    And another question: In ASIO4ALL I have now got the buffer setting 512samples. What should I set the buffer to in Sibelius? In other words: I need to know how many milliseconds equals 512samples, since Sibelius uses ms for setting the buffers. Thanks...

  9. #9

    Re: Timing problems

    Carabus,

    I really want to help you. But there is way too much guessing involved here.

    What you want to do is to write a strategy on an empty piece of paper how you can test every part of the chain individually so you can rule out them one by one.

    For example if you think it is CPU related then you want to look at the CPU meter in windows as I suggested.

    Next example: If you think it comes from your audio card then it should not occur if you render to a file.

    A strictly systematical approach is the only thing that will help you here, and I have outlined it in the other post.

    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  10. #10

    Re: Timing problems

    Hannes,

    sorry for acting like a big baby, but I've been a little desperate the last few weeks!

    I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your support.

    When bouncing with Garritan Studio, the bounce is done in real time and the timing problems is present in the final wav. Hence - as you say - the audio card cannot be the problem. It must be the CPU. 2.4 GHz just isn't enough, it seems. What kind of processor do you recommend?

    Thanks

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