Old 03-07-2021, 06:48 AM   #1
sridhar
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Default M1 Mac Setup & Performance

Hi, I just got the new M1 Mac Mini to replace my old 2012 Mini. Iím in the process of setting it up and testing things out. Currently my main system is a Windows Ryzen machine where all of my reaper projects are. I needed guidance with some issues Iíve been having.

Plugins
I realize at this point thereís not much I can expect in terms of plugin compatibility and performance but just wanted to check if anybody is having similar issues to me.

Iíve been having trouble getting some plugins to show up on the ARM version of Reaper. Specifically, VST3 plugins. Only a few vst3 plugins got scanned and are usable on the ARM version and Iím not sure how to get the rest to work. Tried clearing cache and rescanning but to no avail. Maybe thereís something Iím missing or itís just too soon to expect vst3 plugins to work with M1. The same vst3 plugins show up on REAPER64 though.

Another doubt I have is whether itís better to use AU or VST/VST3 versions of plugins right now? Iím kinda forced to use VST because my projects on the Windows system use that and Iíd like to be able to run them on both to test things out and work. Having a second system at home to run the projects on is very useful and Iíd like to keep projects compatible on both machines.

I tried to load a project with lots of tracks and FX from the Windows machine on the M1 to test things out. Some plugins that reaper can usually see and use donít get recognized on project load (on REAPER64, the ARM version doesnít recognize a lot more plugins. All vst3 plugins to be specific.). Not sure what the issue is. If anybody has any experience with this Iíd appreciate the help.





Taken that elysia plugin for example. Itís on the VST3 list but doesnít show on project load.

Performance
Again I know not to expect too much at this point but loading the project from the Windows system on this didnít go so well for the REAPER64 version. Itís just not playable and Reaper becomes laggy and slow. On idle the FX take around 500%-600% and overall CPU utilization is around 80%-90%. For context the CPU utilization on the Windows Ryzen machine is about 20% and 16%-18% for the FX.

Things fare better on the ARM version of reaper but since so many plugins donít load on that version I canít really compare both directly.





I didnít expect any massive CPU improvement from the M1 but didnít think itíd be this bad.

So just wanted to see if anybody has experienced something similar or if anybody has some advice. Iím sure Iím doing something wrong or havenít optimized reaper settings for the M1. Is there anything Iím supposed to do to the Buffer settings to make it run better or is this just the Rosetta/Plugin compatibility issue?

Latency
I was initially disappointed at first to get higher latency than the old mac mini especially since I got used to great low latency performance on the Ryzen machine but I ran a Low Latency Driver install by Focusrite for my second gen Scarlett Solo that I found on their site and that improved things massively. Havenít tried out any other audio interface to see if itís improved systemwide or only for the Scarlett. Sometimes I have to flip between sample rates to get the lower latency working again but otherwise doesnít seem to be a problem.


So to summarise. Iím probably an idiot who didnít install things correctly/setup preferences correctly or just am expecting things too soon. Thought Iíd start this thread to let others chime in with their experiences with the new M1 machines. Maybe we can help each other get things going faster.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me.
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:20 AM   #2
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Some notes for M1 users:
  • When using the Intel build, JSFX will be pretty slow, apparently, due to the way Rosetta2 handles JIT code.
  • When using the ARM64 build, any VST3 plug-ins used will have to be ARM64 native, REAPER does not yet support VST3 bridging. Intel VST2 plug-ins can be used (bridged) from Intel to ARM64.
The first issue is one that might be possible to fix, we should investigate this (perhaps there's some way to notify Rosetta2 that the code changed, but it's not looking great).

The second issue is one that is definitely possible for us to fix, it will involve adding VST3 bridging support, which is something we've been meaning to do but is a lot of work.

So, for now -- either:
  • use the Intel build and avoid JSFX
  • use the ARM64 build and find native ARM builds of your VST3
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:41 AM   #3
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Hey Justin! Thanks for clearing that up. That explains what I've been seeing. My projects use quite a few JSFX. I just assumed it was something to do with VST/AU plugins, never suspected JSFX to be the CPU hog. Something like a reeq JSFX is taking about 20% of the CPU on the Intel build!

Great to hear that you're looking into it. I'm sure it'll come out soon enough as with most other features/fixes for the M1. I guess I'll have to keep an eye on each plugin and just wait for native versions to come out till then. Thanks for taking the time to explain the problem and for looking into the solution.

Any idea why a particular VST3 effect is not being linked to the old project even though it shows up in the FX folder? Or is that a VST3 bug as well?
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar View Post
Any idea why a particular VST3 effect is not being linked to the old project even though it shows up in the FX folder? Or is that a VST3 bug as well?
Not sure I understand this question
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar View Post

I tried to load a project with lots of tracks and FX from the Windows machine on the M1 to test things out. Some plugins that reaper can usually see and use donít get recognized on project load (on REAPER64, the ARM version doesnít recognize a lot more plugins. All vst3 plugins to be specific.). Not sure what the issue is. If anybody has any experience with this Iíd appreciate the help.
That's what sridhar is referring to.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:21 PM   #6
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Yeah I'm referring to some plugins not being linked on project load even though Reaper can see and use them otherwise.



You can see from the screenshots on the first post that the Elysia Niveau Filter VST3 isn't found on project load but I can find and add them to the track here after the project is loaded. Not sure why that is. Maybe the plugin version is different on the windows machine? I'll check on that a bit later and see if that's the problem.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Some notes for M1 users:
  • When using the Intel build, JSFX will be pretty slow, apparently, due to the way Rosetta2 handles JIT code.
  • When using the ARM64 build, any VST3 plug-ins used will have to be ARM64 native, REAPER does not yet support VST3 bridging. Intel VST2 plug-ins can be used (bridged) from Intel to ARM64.
The first issue is one that might be possible to fix, we should investigate this (perhaps there's some way to notify Rosetta2 that the code changed, but it's not looking great).

The second issue is one that is definitely possible for us to fix, it will involve adding VST3 bridging support, which is something we've been meaning to do but is a lot of work.

So, for now -- either:
  • use the Intel build and avoid JSFX
  • use the ARM64 build and find native ARM builds of your VST3
Cool, any ETA on VST3 bridging support? /M
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Some notes for M1 users:[list]

The second issue is one that is definitely possible for us to fix, it will involve adding VST3 bridging support, which is something we've been meaning to do but is a lot of work.
I think this means it will take quite some effort and not happen very soon.
But only speculating.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Some notes for M1 users:
  • When using the Intel build, JSFX will be pretty slow, apparently, due to the way Rosetta2 handles JIT code.
  • When using the ARM64 build, any VST3 plug-ins used will have to be ARM64 native, REAPER does not yet support VST3 bridging. Intel VST2 plug-ins can be used (bridged) from Intel to ARM64.
The first issue is one that might be possible to fix, we should investigate this (perhaps there's some way to notify Rosetta2 that the code changed, but it's not looking great).

The second issue is one that is definitely possible for us to fix, it will involve adding VST3 bridging support, which is something we've been meaning to do but is a lot of work.

So, for now -- either:
  • use the Intel build and avoid JSFX
  • use the ARM64 build and find native ARM builds of your VST3
Thanks for the info, Justin. I've been running the Intel build for a week and everything's been great so far. It's mindblowing how effcient Rosetta2 is. I've mixed 3 songs on this MBP M1 and the performance is unbelievable. REAPER and my plugins have been rock solid so far (knock on wood).
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:55 AM   #10
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A few observations I noticed with the M1:

1. As already been stated obove, avoid using JSFX on Rosetta2 at all costs. I did some benchmarking: Rendering speed drops from 55x realtime to 2x realtime, just because of one single General Dynamics JSFX.

2 Using the native ARM REAPER, the "auto" detection for the rendering Block size (settings: Audio / Rendering) seems off. Again I did some benchmarking, and a sweet spot seems to be 4096 samples for a mixed FX setup. I was able to raise the render-speed from 55x realtime to a whopping 500x realtime (!) just by changing this value. Maybe the devs want to look into the "auto" detection here. I have no idea whether or not there is a corresponding setting vor "non-rendering" states?

3. Please devs, do something against the sloppy workspace-scrolling in macOS. It's been asked for numerous times here in the forums:

https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=39
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread....crolling+macos
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=222949
etc.

The weird thing is: disabling the "throttle" options in advanced UI setup solves this issue for pinch/zoom, but not for scrolling the timeline on a Mac trackpad. It's somewhat smoother, but still has a"lag" of several pixels per movement. You can verify this by scrolling very slow with 2 fingers on a trackpad: you move and move and move and only after quite some time the workspace "snaps" into the new position, skipping 20 pixels or so. My M1 is at 5% performance load running REAPER native ARM, so there should be room for improvement...

Right now, it just feels so - well - un-Mac-like.
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstockm View Post

2 Using the native ARM REAPER, the "auto" detection for the rendering Block size (settings: Audio / Rendering) seems off. Again I did some benchmarking, and a sweet spot seems to be 4096 samples for a mixed FX setup. I was able to raise the render-speed from 55x realtime to a whopping 500x realtime (!) just by changing this value. Maybe the devs want to look into the "auto" detection here. I have no idea whether or not there is a corresponding setting vor "non-rendering" states?

"Auto" means "last audio device blocksize"
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
"Auto" means "last audio device blocksize"
Oh my - I should have read the tooltip.
My audio device is set to 512 - any ideas, why I get some 10x rendering boost using 4096 (on a M1, using just JSFX (general dynamics / smooth limiter)) - and are there any drawbacks in just doing so?
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Old 03-29-2021, 05:16 PM   #13
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Like the OP, I am coming from a windows machine, and needed my VST3s to work, so I am disappointed not to use the power of the M1 right away, but after a few weeks, I am functional on the MBP using the non-ARM build. It is pretty good for a laptop (except for JS stuff as noted), but nowhere near my i5 windows machine. Right now on the MBP, I am not brave enough to try both versions and risk either a problem or a restore from backup.

My question is what to expect once I can run Reaper ARM with bridging for VST3s that need it. Would the Developers tell me to expect a whole new level of speed compared to my current state? Lower memory utilization for the DAW and for plugins that are native ARM (ie: stable performance with more tracks in a project)? How eagerly should I be anticipating this new world, and when will it get here ?
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Some notes for M1 users:
  • When using the Intel build, JSFX will be pretty slow, apparently, due to the way Rosetta2 handles JIT code.
  • When using the ARM64 build, any VST3 plug-ins used will have to be ARM64 native, REAPER does not yet support VST3 bridging. Intel VST2 plug-ins can be used (bridged) from Intel to ARM64.
The first issue is one that might be possible to fix, we should investigate this (perhaps there's some way to notify Rosetta2 that the code changed, but it's not looking great).

The second issue is one that is definitely possible for us to fix, it will involve adding VST3 bridging support, which is something we've been meaning to do but is a lot of work.

So, for now -- either:
  • use the Intel build and avoid JSFX
  • use the ARM64 build and find native ARM builds of your VST3
thx mate
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