Old 09-08-2017, 08:20 PM   #1
radiopoet
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Default Reaper audio dropouts on playback

Reaper 5.4

Mac Pro Early 2009 4.1
2 Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.26 GHz (8 cores)
12 GB DDR3 ECC 1066 MHz RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 512 MB graphics

Lynx AES 16e PCI-e sound card
Lynx Aurora 16 VT AD/DA converter

Brand new fresh install of OS X 10.10.5, updated, on a brand new Samsung 850 EVO SSD, fresh install and updates of plugs from Waves, Plugin Alliance, Empirical Labs, Kush, Fab Filter, Slate and other reputable companies.

Watched Kenny Gioia vids, read manuals, everything should be set properly for clean playback of an under 40 track production with no VI's, but Slate Reverbs on 2 buses. With just a couple of plugs, and a 1024 block size, it plays clean. If I put like 5 VST3 or AU plugins on the 2 bus, it only makes it about 20 seconds into the track before choking. CPU use total below 9%, RAM use 747 MB, 6 FX 5.03% CPU- this makes no sense to me....

I'm trying to switch from ProTools 12.5 Native and clients are giving me some space to do this. I love Reaper, and will be bitterly disappointed if this isn't going to work in a professional (read: feed my family) environment.

Is this simply a case of not enough Mac, or new enough OS X, and I need more computer, or would this require me to switch to a PC? I track (usually no more than 16 tracks at once), overdub and mix here, and need all of these activities to be rock solid.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Jay Hallstrom
http://www.radiopoet.com

Last edited by radiopoet; 09-08-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:54 AM   #2
Vasily
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it shouldn't be like this. little checklist:

1. are you running 64-bit version of reaper? and I hope that's 5.40, not 5.04
2. do you have latest drivers and firmware for your Lynx stuff?
3. do I get it correctly that on the same machine with the same plugins protools works fine?
4. are you able to trace with what plugins does it happen?

as for "do I need to try Windows" -- nobody knows. maybe it will work out of the box. you may try the bootcamp stuff as your computer seems powerful enough. but it should work in os x as well, unless some of your plugins/drivers are known to work much better in windows or something is very broken.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:15 AM   #3
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That should be a powerful enough machine to run mixes with hundreds of tracks and plugins for studio work or still a lot of inputs and plugins for live sound work. Reaper with OSX is about the most stable combination you can make for a DAW.

And it's all fun in theory!

Now, there are a few gargantuan MIDI instrument plugins available nowadays that might put some strain on a slightly slower CPU like yours. (The 2.26GHz was the slower option for that machine.) It's possible such a plugin run at low latency live sound settings could be a bottleneck. But you haven't mentioned anything like that.

That your CPU use is is basically a machine at idle strongly suggests a crashing plugin however. My guess is one of your plugins isn't compatible with Reaper's Anticipative fx Processing feature. The workaround for that is to disable AfxP for any track with such a plugin inserted (Not globally!). Compatibility with Reaper AfxP isn't a published spec. You just have to determine that with any 3rd party plugins you want to use.


But before we get into that, some system basics.

What sample rate are you running?
Are you controlling sample rate and/or block size from the Reaper preferences/audio/device page or with a different app or control panel app?
(Maybe post a screen shot of preferences/audio/device page showing your settings.)
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:07 AM   #4
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Maybe you have that Avid extensions that f*cks up other DAW's?

It's called something like Avid_audio extension. Remove it. It doesn't affect PT and I really wonder what it's for.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Maybe you have that Avid extensions that f*cks up other DAW's?

It's called something like Avid_audio extension. Remove it. It doesn't affect PT and I really wonder what it's for.
You mean the Avid driver meant for allowing system audio to use the Digi interface but that never worked? (I dropped off PT at the v9 update DOA debacle and thus am unaware if that ever changed.)
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:05 AM   #6
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As others have said- this sounds like either an errant driver or possibly a plugin issue. First suggestion would be to find the Avid driver others have mentioned and remove that- I've seen that happen, too.

One other thing- I'm fairly certain that your Aurora is class-compliant, but have you made sure you are indeed running the latest and greatest drivers for it?

Your specs indicate that Reaper should indeed run fantastically- I'm quite sure that this isn't a Reaper issue per se- it's something else here. Failing all of the above, I'm still more than happy to come over and take a look. (Jay and I are practically next-door neighbors)
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:17 PM   #7
radiopoet
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Thanks to everyone for the assistance and insight!

Yes to 64 bit and to having Reaper control both sample rate (96kHz) and block size as a default. And as to refusing anticipative FX on a track by track basis, anytime I tried to set a track with plugins to refuse, the system was totally garbled and unresponsive. In other words, I don't seem to be able to use that option at this point. There are no Virtual Instruments, only audio tracks.



Also, when I did the clean install from a new SSD, Pro Tools was not invited to the party, and the other drive which had PT on it was removed from the Mac so I wouldn't get any interference from Avid. The Lynx Aes16-e (sound card) and Lynx Aurora 16 VT drivers are all latest and (hopefully) greatest. I'll be contacting Lynx about this.

I believe everyone is right, that this has to be an issue with some plugin as yet to be determined, or something with the Mac itself. I'll keep after this, and report back when a solution is found in hopes it could be of use to someone else.

Serr, it IS all fun in theory : ) and thanks for sharing your knowledge re: the current computer, and equally important, for letting me know that Reaper and Mac OS are friendly- which is great news!

Thanks again, everyone.

Last edited by radiopoet; 09-10-2017 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Adding more information
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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I have almost the same issue with almost the same mac and have tried to fix this for month without any progress.
Logic runs flawless on the same computer with much more plugins, audio and midi tracks as well as latency compensated hardware synth and outboard effects.
I guess reaper just runs bad on those machines? I can't play more than just a few tracks without dropouts. Really sad
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:08 PM   #9
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I couldn't ask for a better machine myself. My Mac Pro is the 4,1 and it's unstoppable.

Keep asking questions and/or posting screen shots of your setup.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
You mean the Avid driver meant for allowing system audio to use the Digi interface but that never worked? (I dropped off PT at the v9 update DOA debacle and thus am unaware if that ever changed.)
It's not the driver itself, but an apparently useless kernel extension. If you remove it, AVID audio hardware works just like before, but other DAW's can access it without hiccups...

It appears to be a leftover from some older PT version, but I don't remember which one exactly. It has at least three different names.

Sorry, I don't encounter it very often, so my memory is hazy...
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:55 AM   #11
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Default Progress on original issue report

Hey all, here's what I've learned so far:

1) Talking with Lynx customer service (mfgr. of my converters) revealed that I should roll back one revision of drivers/soundcard mixer app to what was pre-Thunderbolt, and thus, more appropriate for my non-thunderbolt MP 4.1. This brought good incremental improvement.

2) Since I had done a complete, ground up install of OS X , Reaper, plugins, there were some typical things which I had been accustomed to doing for Pro Tools, but had left out of my process when switching to Reaper. These things made a good incremental improvement as well. So simple, but important. The "Mac Optimization Guide for OSX 10.10 Yosemite - SweetCare" on the Sweetwater site had them all in one place. In addition, I removed every single keyboard shortcut for any of the Mac OS add ons, as my Mac Pro is for DAW use exclusively, nothing else.

These two steps brought me to the point where at a block size of 1024 (controlled by Reaper), I'm able to mix (while using track freezing as necessary, I anticipate) at this point. Here is what the performance meter is showing:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Performance Meter 8 13 17.jpg (31.5 KB, 39 views)

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Old 09-13-2017, 12:11 PM   #12
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I couldn't ask for a better machine myself. My Mac Pro is the 4,1 and it's unstoppable.
I love mine as well; it's served me faithfully as my breadwinning machine since it was new. If I'd had the 3.33 GHz, 6 core version that you do, I bet I'd have been able to make the transition from Pro Tools without a hiccup. Thanks again for your experience and advice here to us all!

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Old 09-13-2017, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prezbass View Post
I'm quite sure that this isn't a Reaper issue per se- it's something else here
Happily, neighbor, you were on point!
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:29 PM   #14
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Hi Serr, do you have the same machine and no problems at all?
I have tried a lot but i am unable to get reaper to run smoothly with an acceptable buffer size.
I have a lot of outboard that gets mixed live in reaper so i need a small buffer for fast processing.
I can run Logic easily with a block size of 64 but i would so love to switch to reaper.

I am very busy atm but will be able to run some more test in a few weeks. maybe you have some tips for me? What block size do you run? Do you have a noticeable latency when playing through the system ( midi keyboard -> midi through reaper -> hardware synth -> audio through reaper -> audio to speakers)?

Hi radiopoet, great to hear it's now working for you.
Sorry for hijacking your thread :P.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:54 PM   #15
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I have this: http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...lem-specs.html (idle at 2.93GHz, turbo at 3.33GHz)

My non-default settings are hyperthreading off and in Reaper, Preferences/Audio/Buffering set 'audio processing threads' to the physical number of CPU cores (8 here).
These are both against conventional wisdom for other DAWs. Reaper likes to manage its own multithreading and it does best with access to all cores. I was led to this the first time my track count went over 200. Small projects don't seem to have issues no matter how bad you try to screw up the settings.

I don't do any MIDI instrument work. I use MIDI for my control surface unit when I run live sound with the rig.

For live sound work, I set the block size to 128 samples (controlling with Reaper) which gives me 10ms latency with this system. Time aligns the mains to the drums kit nicely. (cause the drums are usually about 10' behind the mains)
I use the cuemix mixer in the MOTU units for in-ear mixes for lower latency for that. Max of 36 live inputs for this setup.

For studio work, I set the block size to 1024 for headroom. I don't monitor any inputs live. I use the MOTU cuemix for overdub monitoring. I've had as many as 350 tracks and more plugins running in a HD 5.1 mix before. I can get occasional hassles from buggy 3rd party plugins but the solution is almost always to disable AfxP for the track with the buggy plugin. Otherwise I'm not really sure how you'd max this machine out. Every now and then I'll do some live fx work (like some Effectron or other analog unit for dub style work). Often I can simply set the block size to 128 samples and just run whatever I'm working on. For a larger project with more hungry plugins I might have to print stems to work from. There are certain buggy plugins I will avoid tracking with live (I'll make stems) because you can lose a take if there's a crash (results in underrun-like dropouts). (Soundtoys and Universal Audio are the usual offenders here.)

I'm told some of the heavier weight MIDI instrument plugins can be very processing heavy. If I ever get into any of that, I can upgrade this machine to dual 3.5GHz or 4GHz 6 core CPUs and faster ram. (Which would be fun anyway but I can't justify right now.)

Rule of thumb:
CPU maxed in Activity Monitor? (yes, even a single core)
If no, then it's a crashing plugin.

PS. I'm a Protools refugee too. I jumped ship at the v9HD update debacle. Reaper was a huge upgrade in performance and stability and the advanced editing features over PT are wonderful.

PPS. I did recently discover that for 48k or 44.1k projects, 512 samples is the max block size to use. It turns out some interfaces have a max block size they will work with and will get crashy if you set it bigger. It's 1024 samples at HD sample rates for my Apogee but then 512 samples for SD sample rates. (Curiously following the time interval there.)
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:33 AM   #16
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Very interesting read. Thanks a lot Serr!
I'll go through the settings and do some more testing once i am back.
I have to be in an airplane in 2 hours.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:44 AM   #17
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Default Serr and Distressor

I'm grateful to both of you for jumping in here. These threads hopefully help everyone both now and future when they may have similar needs.

Serr, your details were so helpful, and Distressor, my situation at present (another Pro Tools refugee) is working, but only ITB so far, so I need to get things stable enough that I can try to route the analog summing system that I felt I needed with PT.

I'm very happy with the sound I'm getting through Reaper even ITB, which I can't say the same about with PT. Everyone's hearing curves are different....

Have a great day, everyone!
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:07 PM   #18
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Default Same problem here

I've been having the exact same problem as the OP - constant audio dropouts every 1-2 seconds in Reaper. I do not have these same issues in Pro Tools or Logic on the same setup - it is extremely frustrating and making Reaper unusable for me. Here's my setup:

2011 Mac Mini Server OS 10.12.6
SSD external system drive
Audio files on internal HD
Reaper 5.61
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd gen (also tested built-in audio, same result)

I've tried every combo of buffering, anticipative fx, multiprocessing, etc settings and nothing gets rid of the glitching. This even occurs on a session with no plugins and only 1 stereo audio track. I can run massive sessions on both Logic and Pro Tools with no issues, so this is definitely a Reaper thing.

One interesting point though - the stuttering is only in playback. If I do an offline render, the file is perfect, no glitches.

At this point, I've moved Reaper sessions over to Logic. If anyone has updates, I'd love to hear solutions. Hopefully this can get fixed in a new version soon. I like almost everything about Reaper except for this.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trobot View Post
I've been having the exact same problem as the OP - constant audio dropouts every 1-2 seconds in Reaper. I do not have these same issues in Pro Tools or Logic on the same setup - it is extremely frustrating and making Reaper unusable for me. Here's my setup:

2011 Mac Mini Server OS 10.12.6
SSD external system drive
Audio files on internal HD
Reaper 5.61
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd gen (also tested built-in audio, same result)

I've tried every combo of buffering, anticipative fx, multiprocessing, etc settings and nothing gets rid of the glitching. This even occurs on a session with no plugins and only 1 stereo audio track. I can run massive sessions on both Logic and Pro Tools with no issues, so this is definitely a Reaper thing.

One interesting point though - the stuttering is only in playback. If I do an offline render, the file is perfect, no glitches.

At this point, I've moved Reaper sessions over to Logic. If anyone has updates, I'd love to hear solutions. Hopefully this can get fixed in a new version soon. I like almost everything about Reaper except for this.
try to set (Preference - Audio- Buffering) "Media buffer Size" to : 4000 (instead of 1200, default). For my Mac, It helps a lot.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:22 PM   #20
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Default no improvement

Thanks for the suggestion, Arpegia, but no improvement for me. I even tried 8000ms, same problems.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Thanks for the suggestion, Arpegia, but no improvement for me. I even tried 8000ms, same problems.

I don't know about your Mac , but the other thing which improve performance on my Mac pro is to set "Multi Threading OFF"

do you know how to do that ?
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