Old 04-01-2017, 08:36 AM   #1
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Default Performance issues - Reaper unusable

Hi,

my main source of sounds are my hardware synths and drumcomputer that get sequenced and mixed in the box. To do this i have an ssl MadiXtreme with 128 inputs/outputs. I usually mix everything "live" until i am happy with the sequencing and record everything in the end to finalise the mix with the recorded material.
That means i have quite a few live inputs and as well as a lot of plugins running in realtime.
This works without problems in Logic and i have worked like this for years. Usually i run a buffer of 64 or 128 with very little latency so i can play every Synth from my master keyboard.

In Reaper this doesn't seem to work.
At first i had a latency of around 1 second with a buffer of 64!
Completely unusable for playing any Synth from my master keyboard.
Then i discovered the "anticipative FX processing". Switching this off removes the latency but now i get a lot of pops, clicks and distortion. Typical sound artefacts for an overloaded audio system. Increasing the buffer did help a little but i still have lots of artefacts and i have the latency back.
Even with a buffer of 1024 and an unusable latency i have artefacts!

I wonder if Reapers audio engine is up to the task?

In Logic i run everything very smoothly with lots of tracks, lots of plugins, lots of live inputs and lots of audio samples in the arrange with a buffer of 128 without any artefacts at all. I've done countless projects like this.

What am i missing?

Here are my current computer details:

MacPro 4.1
2x 2,26 Ghz QuadCore
32 GB ram
MadiXtreme 128
OS 10.9.5
SSD Harddrives


I am going to switch to a Windows system soon as Apple decided not to build any professional computers anymore .
The machine is already here:
HP z820
2x Intel Xeon Quad Core E5-2637 3,5 Ghz
32 GB Ram
MadiXtreme 128
Windows 10
SSD Harddrives

Last edited by Distressor; 04-01-2017 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:50 AM   #2
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Yeah, the most recent pro machine from Apple is 2012.
It's Hackintosh territory out there at present! So happy to be mid-cycle at the moment! Apple can get it back together any time now though...

Try disabling AfxP per track for any track with a non-compatible 3rd party plugin instead of globally in preferences. This is a thing with 3rd party plugins. Many are not compatible with AfxP.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:32 PM   #3
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Hi Serr,

thanks or the input!

How do i know if a plugin is compatible?
I would also prefer not to constantly change the Afxp settings on tracks.
This sounds kind of messy to me. And you can't see what mode which track is in either.

What is Afxp for anyway? I already have the buffer setting.
It seems to me they both do more or less the same?

I would love to stay on OSX but it seems Apple is not interested in professionals anymore.
iPhones sell much better i guess. I also think that OSX is getting worse with every update. But that's just me. I don't want to start no flame war over this. I'll get a customised Windows 10. That should work as well somehow. And it will be only for Audio anyway.
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:55 AM   #4
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Does nobody here work with hardware anymore???
There must be more people who stumbled over this.
This is a total dealbreaker for me and i am concidering dropping reaper all together again
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:52 AM   #5
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I have logic9 on basic 2011 Mac mini with 8gb that runs logic and reaper ok.
Frankly if logic is running your outboard gear ok I am wondering why you want to move to Reaper?
Fwiw there have been issues in Reaper with external hardware synthetic forever. If you decide to go ahead talk to Readave on here. His synth setup is huge.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Frankly if logic is running your outboard gear ok I am wondering why you want to move to Reaper?
Because i need to get away from Apple. Not that i want to. I've been an Apple user for the past two decades. They simply have no computer that i want to buy anymore and the OS gets more annoying with every update. Not that windows is any better. But if i need to use something annoying i at least want it to be as fast as possible. Apples MacPro is a joke.

Logic is also getting worse. There are some nice new additions in Logic X but the workflow was crippled and is very annoying to me. I need something with future.
Logic looks like a toy and my old MacPro is not getting faster.

Looking at the computer market I personally think we live in terrible times.
OSX and Windows are designed to harvest as much private data as possible while great features are removed. Look at iTunes for example. This once best music player has been completely destroyed. Basic functions have been hidden and it uploads your whole music library to Apples servers! It sends every song you play to Apple every time! If you block this it will punish you with a popup window for every song you click on! I had to search for a music player the first time since 2001. The most recent OSX even looks like it soon will be as closed as iOS.

At least with windows you can still hack out most of the spy wear and make the os very small. The only downside is you can NEVER connect it to the internet. I'll be using the LTSB version of windows 10 that was modified with NTLite to make it fast, small and not spying on you in the background.

Of course all of this is highly subjective and someone else might find the direction Apple is heading beneficial. If you like to use cloud services and don't mind some company analysing your life this new 1984 must be a great time.

Reaper was looking very promising so far. I love how open and customisable it is.
I'll try make it work somehow or find something better.

I'll ask Readave. Thanks for chiming in ivansc!
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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Are you using the same plugins in reaper as you are in logic?

What happens when you have no plugins?

I'm not saying the solution is to not have any plugins going while you're recording, but it's not a bad place to begin troubleshooting.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distressor View Post
How do i know if a plugin is compatible?
It will let you know.
(Forgive the sarcasm but compatibility with this propriatary Reaper feature is not a published spec among 3rd parties.)
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Originally Posted by Distressor View Post
I would also prefer not to constantly change the Afxp settings on tracks.
This sounds kind of messy to me. And you can't see what mode which track is in either.
Well, yeah. It is what it is.
Workarounds are called that for a reason. But it DOES give you the ability to do stuff and things you might not be able to do with other products.

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What is Afxp for anyway? I already have the buffer setting.
It seems to me they both do more or less the same?
It's a look ahead kind of thing. Proprietary to Reaper. Not a straight ahead buffer but a pre-processing thing for subsets of stuff you have dialed up on the mixing board.

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Because i need to get away from Apple. Not that i want to. I've been an Apple user for the past two decades. They simply have no computer that i want to buy anymore and the OS gets more annoying with every update. Not that windows is any better. But if i need to use something annoying i at least want it to be as fast as possible. Apples MacPro is a joke.
Apple only updates their "pro" models every few years now instead of every 3 months like the period between 2000 - 2008. That's what the industry matured into at present. Certainly not any reason to switch to the consumer brand! I fear you'd be going back further in time switching to Windows than what you perceive from the slower update schedule. You CAN put together your own hardware config and find a few cutting edge components that might out do the top Apple pro machines available if you're crafty. Make sure you're up for the DIY so the bang for the buck works out there!

Hmmm... My Mac Pro is no joke! Served me well for the last 8 years. Looking forward to the next 8 years. Pretty much current CPU specs. Lots of drive bays. Could upgrade ram up to 96GB or something silly like that. (Don't need to.) Firewire/thunderbolt/USB connections. I don't need USB C or thunderbolt 3 for anything right now or any time soon. (Could get a pci card if I did though.)

I miss the constant updates too. I AM worried about the slow down there and the somewhat sloppy OSX updates as well! But the other options aren't exactly happiness and light. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not a good option. I say take advantage of hardware that is now sold for pennies on the dollar and wait on the cutting edge new machines until we see an actual upgrade in technology and not just another little mostly sideways move. Mods and repairs on this generation of tech are trivial too compared to downright shocking for the newer models!


I'll say it again. Things are ripe for someone to build an audio engine for Linux and give Apple a run for their money.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:56 AM   #9
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Don't forget that plugins can introduce latency above and beyond your buffer settings.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:01 AM   #10
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What plugins are you running while you're recording?
I haven't had any experience recording with REAPER on Mac but I've been using it now for almost a decade on Windows without issue for live performance and improvisations with lots of hardware synths and analog step sequencers.
Admittedly, I don't have anywhere near 128 live inputs but I do regularly record sessions with around 28 live inputs (24 from hardware synths and four mic preamps) and a few VSTi tracks (synths, samplers, step sequencers and arpeggiators) via a MIDI controller without issue.

I'm currently running an RME Fireface UFX with two Behringer ADA8200s clocked via a Lucid SSG192 on an older Intel Q9450 quad core which I built in 2008 and it is rock solid.. It is now running Windows 10 64 bit with 8GB of RAM and a Samsung 850 Evo 500GB SSD.

I'm in the process of upgrading this system to an Intel i7 7700K as my budget allows.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Hi ReaDave,

thank you for participating!

Maybe it runs much smoother on Windows?
I am waiting for the OS mods atm and hope to start testing on windows next week.

To be honest i have never tried to have all 128 inputs live at the same time.
Usually it's between 20 and 40 inputs and 10 outputs or something like that.

I usually have some Soundtoys, Eventide, D16 and Waves plugins running and some TAL & Kontakt samplers as well.

My test song has 25 tracks with 28 plugins in total.
Six tracks have virtual instruments (Drumazon, 2x Tal Sampler, M1, Chromaphone)
Two tracks have live inputs (JD990 & MKS80).
That's a very simple song so far that logic would do easily. Reaper only plays it Afxp enabled.
I played around with the different values and got it to behave a little better. Latency is not perfect but ok. But i still have clicks and pops though.
I might have missed something in the setup.
Maybe you can take a look at it?


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Old 04-03-2017, 12:32 PM   #12
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Underneath the Add/Remove buttons in the plugin window, to the right of CPU usage, you can see how much latency is added by a plugin (the first number).

For instance, Echoboy adds 64 samples to your latency (this is VST, I've found that VST, and especially VST3 tend to work better in reaper than AU's, not always but it's worth testing both versions). Soundtoys also have a PDC error in Reaper, and will be around 30 samples out of time until you render them (then they are spot-on timing -wise).

Unfortunately, this makes Soundtoys more of a mixing tool than a tracking tool.

Your tiny media buffer may be causing clicks and pops too. It should be fine left at the default (it will NOT add 1200ms of latency!).
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:43 PM   #13
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Your tiny media buffer may be causing clicks and pops too. It should be fine left at the default (it will NOT add 1200ms of latency!).
It may very well cause pops/clicks related to disk. That buffer is basically how much of each audio file gets buffered into memory before playback. It gets buffered per play position FYI. Being that low, he could be starved for data from disk because enough wasn't loaded into the buffer (no wiggle room). It may be worth exporting the configuration as a backup and setting some of those tweaked settings back to defaults because it is easy to mop oneself into a performance corner if they aren't 100% sure what each one does, side effects etc.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judders View Post
Underneath the Add/Remove buttons in the plugin window, to the right of CPU usage, you can see how much latency is added by a plugin (the first number).

For instance, Echoboy adds 64 samples to your latency (this is VST, I've found that VST, and especially VST3 tend to work better in reaper than AU's, not always but it's worth testing both versions). Soundtoys also have a PDC error in Reaper, and will be around 30 samples out of time until you render them (then they are spot-on timing -wise).

Unfortunately, this makes Soundtoys more of a mixing tool than a tracking tool.

Your tiny media buffer may be causing clicks and pops too. It should be fine left at the default (it will NOT add 1200ms of latency!).
The error is 31 samples.
You can use a JS time adjuster on the track set to -31 samples to let you use the plugin in a live mix and doing parallel work with it.

You absolutely want to disable AfxP for any track with a Soundtoys plugin inserted! (Only disable per track! Leave it on globally.)
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:10 PM   #15
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The error is 31 samples.
You can use a JS time adjuster on the track set to -31 samples to let you use the plugin in a live mix and doing parallel work with it.

You absolutely want to disable AfxP for any track with a Soundtoys plugin inserted! (Only disable per track! Leave it on globally.)
That negative delay is adding 31 samples to latency though, surely?

What's the deal with Soundtoys and AfxP? I've not had any problems.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:29 PM   #16
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That negative delay is adding 31 samples to latency though, surely?

What's the deal with Soundtoys and AfxP? I've not had any problems.
It sure is!
It would need to delay every other track on the board by 31 samples.

31 samples isn't much. No reason to avoid it even for live sound or live performance use. Critical to be aware of if you like to do parallel processing though!

Maybe their issue with AfxP is related to the PDC error?
AfxP crashes in Reaper are a little bit cagey. You can run suspect plugins in small/medium projects and never know the difference. Dial up a 300 track project with just as many plugins and automation, etc etc and these faux pas start to appear. The telltale is when you get clicks and pops but are not maxing out your CPU (even a single core). That means AfxP is struggling with a plugin.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:36 PM   #17
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It sure is!
It would need to delay every other track on the board by 31 samples.

31 samples isn't much. No reason to avoid it even for live sound or live performance use. Critical to be aware of if you like to do parallel processing though!
I guess it depends on sample rate too, but when you add the reported latency you're up to 95 samples. That can definitely make a difference to my playing.

Quote:
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Maybe their issue with AfxP is related to the PDC error?
AfxP crashes in Reaper are a little bit cagey. You can run suspect plugins in small/medium projects and never know the difference. Dial up a 300 track project with just as many plugins and automation, etc etc and these faux pas start to appear. The telltale is when you get clicks and pops but are not maxing out your CPU (even a single core). That means AfxP is struggling with a plugin.
Oh, okay. I tend to freeze tracks as I go, which may be why I haven't run into problems.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:39 PM   #18
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I guess it depends on sample rate too, but when you add the reported latency you're up to 95 samples. That can definitely make a difference to my playing.
~2ms @ 44.1k right? I'm not denying it but that is scarily close to being irrelevant as a player; I'd not have replied had it been 5ms and I like stuff to be spot on regardless so it's academic.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:52 PM   #19
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I guess it depends on sample rate too, but when you add the reported latency you're up to 95 samples. That can definitely make a difference to my playing.
That would be almost 2ms at 48k sample rate.
So, yeah if you were already riding the edge of perceptibility in your system for live sound/performance to where 2ms pushed you over the edge that would be an issue.

Some of the USB interfaces barely let you make under 11ms with a 64 sample buffer and no plugins up. Zero headroom to do anything with that!

Remember that the plugins don't cumulatively add to your system latency though. It's only when the latency you set the system for can't accommodate a PDC value that it adds another block of latency to the system. If you cross THAT line it's all over for live performance!
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:57 PM   #20
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Adding to existing latency would make more sense.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:57 PM   #21
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~2ms @ 44.1k right? I'm not denying it but that is scarily close to being irrelevant as a player; I'd not have replied had it been 5ms and I like stuff to be spot on regardless so it's academic.
I can feel a difference between a 64 and a 128 sample buffer at 48k.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:58 PM   #22
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Adding to existing latency would make more sense.
Yeah, that's what I meant. I didn't mean that 2ms of total latency is unplayable! I'd never be able to take my ear away from my guitar cab!
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:00 PM   #23
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Remember that the plugins don't cumulatively add to your system latency though. It's only when the latency you set the system for can't accommodate a PDC value that it adds another block of latency to the system. If you cross THAT line it's all over for live performance!
Ah, cool. I had that confused. Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:05 PM   #24
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Yeah, that's what I meant. I didn't mean that 2ms of total latency is unplayable! I'd never be able to take my ear away from my guitar cab!
I was about to call you a little latency snooty but knowing you I figured I was missing something.
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:14 PM   #25
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I was about to call you a little latency snooty but knowing you I figured I was missing something.
Hehe
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:58 PM   #26
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Hmmm... My Mac Pro is no joke! Served me well for the last 8 years. Looking forward to the next 8 years. Pretty much current CPU specs. Lots of drive bays. Could upgrade ram up to 96GB or something silly like that. (Don't need to.) Firewire/thunderbolt/USB connections. I don't need USB C or thunderbolt 3 for anything right now or any time soon. (Could get a pci card if I did though.)

I miss the constant updates too. I AM worried about the slow down there and the somewhat sloppy OSX updates as well! But the other options aren't exactly happiness and light. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not a good option. I say take advantage of hardware that is now sold for pennies on the dollar and wait on the cutting edge new machines until we see an actual upgrade in technology and not just another little mostly sideways move. Mods and repairs on this generation of tech are trivial too compared to downright shocking for the newer models!
I guess you still have one of the cheese grater MacPros? 4.1 or 5.1?
I was talking about the stupid trashcan.
The trashcan is a joke!
It's slow. You can't upgrade it. No expansion slot at all. Ridiculously expensive!
I don't think Apple will build something like the cheese grater MacPro ever again.
They focus on consumer stuff with the iPhones, iMacs and useless MacBooks without USB and no ESC button, lol.
The old MacPros were great. Best computer i ever bought in my life! Still using it atm.
But the whole design is yesterdays technology. An up to date workstation PC from HP or Dell outperforms it easily.
I need something that will get me through the next 6 years. Thats about how old my MacPro is.

Btw you have thunderbolt in your MacPro? As far as i know this is not possible.

Another big issue is OSX itself. Some stupid moron at Apple decided they have to release a new OS every year. So every year they just release some useless beta software. They used to release something new when it was ready and not when it's that time of the year again. I'm still on Mavericks and i'm not going to update to some slow beta OS that has build in spy wear.
I need something reliable.


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I'll say it again. Things are ripe for someone to build an audio engine for Linux and give Apple a run for their money.
Yes sir!
And make Linux more easy accessible for non IT people like myself. It's still very complicated i think.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:06 PM   #27
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Thank you all for the great infos so far!

I have set the media buffer back to 1200ms and i have also played around some more with the other settings. It's not yet perfect but it's getting better.
I'm not used to tweaking stuff this extensively. With Logic it would just work right away.

But it seems it has to work somehow. I just have to find the right combination of settings i guess?
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:55 AM   #28
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Cheese grater? Trash can?
Alright then...

The 'trash can' downgraded the modularity and expandability for some questionable cost savings IMHO too.

Rumor is Apple now considers the 'trash can' Mac Pro and USB-C Macbook mistakes and next year will finally see upgraded pro machines (Mac Pro & Macbook Pro) and the Mac Pro will return to a modular design. But... Last year they said new Macbook Pros coming in 2017 and the year before that they said coming in 2016... and nothing.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:11 PM   #29
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Rumor is Apple now considers the 'trash can' Mac Pro and USB-C Macbook mistakes and next year will finally see upgraded pro machines (Mac Pro & Macbook Pro) and the Mac Pro will return to a modular design.
Well, they are mistakes. I lost faith in Apple.
I don't think they will build anything professional anytime soon.
But you never know... time will tell.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:11 AM   #30
reapercurious
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please post your performance meter output

View > Performance Meter

also, I guess you've already talked about your sound card but I need to look again.
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:05 PM   #31
Distressor
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Hi, here is a screenshot of the performance meter and the settings that i am trying at the moment.
Latency is ok when playing but there are still clicks and pops even though the test song is still small.
Sometimes playback stops for a microsecond and then continues with a short burst of noise .

I am using an SSL MadiXtreme 128 sound card that i had no problems with so far.
It runs at 44100Hz and is steady clocked from a Mutec Smartclock.
There are 4 Ferrofish A16 MKII and the SSL AlphaLink that do the AD/DA conversion connected via Madi and some more stuff via Adat. All clocked from the Mutec. I've worked with this setup for quite some time now and never had any problems in Logic.




Last edited by Distressor; 04-23-2017 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:08 AM   #32
snooks
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Try increasing the size of the anticipative FX buffer to 200ms. That delays playback start by that amount, but doesn't affect anything you're live monitoring.

Also "Allow live FX multiprocessing on" is good to enable if you have many live monitored tracks. The warning is for very low latencies (eg 32 samples or so) only, at least on Windows. There might be a higher buffer size that's the danger zone on Macs.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:25 AM   #33
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Quote:
Looks like you have 16 threads available-try changing the thread priority to 'highest' [recommended] and try a larger render-ahead setting.
Rearun your performance tests.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:49 PM   #34
Distressor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snooks View Post
Try increasing the size of the anticipative FX buffer to 200ms. That delays playback start by that amount, but doesn't affect anything you're live monitoring.
Hi, i had it on the default (200ms) before but that would delay the live inputs with plugins quite a lot and made any live playing impossible. That's part of the problem. I need reaper to process live inputs through plugins while playing recorded audio through plugins. The live inputs will be synths played by midi from reaper or by myself from the masterkeyboard. I have worked like this for years now in logic without issues. Maybe reaper is just not made for this workflow?

I cant test new settings at the moment because i have to work on a project overseas. I'll be back in my own studio late next week.

Thanks for all the suggestions. Keep em coming I really want this to work.
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