Go Back   Cockos Incorporated Forums > REAPER Forums > REAPER Bug Reports

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-08-2017, 04:04 AM   #1
BlackArtMixing
Human being with feelings
 
BlackArtMixing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Default The following effect plug-in could not be loaded

I'm running Reaper 5.40/x64 Windows 10 x64 pro. This error/issue happens on multiple different projects. Basically i can't instantiate some plugins even though they are working fine in other projects or even this project! i get an error saying "The following effect plug-in could not be loaded".
If i close Reaper and open a blank project i am able to load these plugins. there is no problem with Reaper detecting them. Sometimes i already have an instance of the plugin on another track but i can't instantiate it on said track but i can drag and drop it over.
It seems to me this starts to happen at a certain point when mixing a big projects. Firstly all plugins are available and then after some time when the project gets bigger i am no longer able to use certain plugins. its quite frustrating. Waves plugins mostly seem unaffected but my UAD and fabfilter and soundtoys have issue but not with all of their plugins, only some. Also happens with VSTi's
Its a very random issue but VERY frustrating but it might be hard to provide exact steps to achieve the same but i can provide sample projects where i have the issue
In the attachment example I can't instantiate the UAD VSM-3 plugin but i can instantiate the mono version
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Reaper_Issue.JPG (40.3 KB, 219 views)
BlackArtMixing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2017, 08:19 AM   #2
overbe
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Getting same message after working for a long time in the same session, when I try loading plugin which wasn't used during that session's time. After restarting Reaper I can load whatever I want. It started happening half year ago, maybe earlier..
overbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2017, 07:26 AM   #3
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

any further insight to this? I have been having it also, on large projects with many plugins. Win7 x64. 12gb ram. Reaper 5.40
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2017, 01:14 PM   #4
foxAsteria
Human being with feelings
 
foxAsteria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Axis Mundi
Posts: 4,431
Default

In prefs > plugins > vst click the clear cache and rescan button. If that doesn't work try this: open Reaper Resources folder, open reaper-vstplugins.ini and reaper-vstplugins64.ini and delete any lines that reference the offending plugins, then rescan. Do the same thing in vstrenames if there's still a problem.
__________________
TwilightMysterySchool
foxAsteria is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 05:09 AM   #5
BlackArtMixing
Human being with feelings
 
BlackArtMixing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
In prefs > plugins > vst click the clear cache and rescan button. If that doesn't work try this: open Reaper Resources folder, open reaper-vstplugins.ini and reaper-vstplugins64.ini and delete any lines that reference the offending plugins, then rescan. Do the same thing in vstrenames if there's still a problem.
Has this fixed this specific problem for you or is this just a generic vst fix?

@ericzang, are you having this issue with specific plugins or its random? do you also have UAD, Slate, soundtoys, fabfilter, waves etc installed?
BlackArtMixing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 12:33 PM   #6
foxAsteria
Human being with feelings
 
foxAsteria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Axis Mundi
Posts: 4,431
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackArtMixing View Post
Has this fixed this specific problem for you or is this just a generic vst fix?
It has fixed for me the exact problem you described.
__________________
TwilightMysterySchool
foxAsteria is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 08:07 AM   #7
BlackArtMixing
Human being with feelings
 
BlackArtMixing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
It has fixed for me the exact problem you described.
Unfortunately it hasn't fixed the problem for me. in fact, its now worse with more plugins now reported as missing. It's not that reaper cannot find them at all. if i open a blank project, i can add these "missing" plugins without any issues

Is it reasonable to think that a dev might actually look at this issue and attempt to help resolve it?
BlackArtMixing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 10:16 AM   #8
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

My situation is very similar to blackart's. Deleting lines in the .ini/rescaning plugins has no effect (thanks for your input though FoxAsteria). It is as if my project has reached its limit for adding new vst/vsti plugins. It is not specific to any certain plugins, any plugin that is not already loaded in the project will not load. This includes Reaper vst plugins such as Reagate. JS plugins are ok. I can load an unlimited amount.

My RAM is not full, I have 12gb. Win7 x64, Home Premium SP1. i7 960 3.2Ghz.

I usually have Heda's Track Inspector script running, but the behavior happens with it not running also. I have also experienced this problem over a year ago.

@Blackart: I have installed some plugins from all of those companies you listed, except UAD. Only fabfilter volcano is on this project though.

Tests:

If I delete many or all plugins, only 2 or 3 new plugins will load.

If I delete all plugins, save the project without plugins, close reaper, reopen the project, I can load any plugin.

If I close Reaper, start a new project, add many plugins that are not used in the problem project, open the problem project in a new tab or as the only project (new one is closed), some previously ok plugins of project cannot load, but the ones from the new project can load.

After closing the problem project, loading plugins on a new project is still limited. Closing Reaper and restarting a new project allows new plugins to be loaded.

Last edited by ericzang; 08-17-2017 at 01:36 PM.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 10:52 AM   #9
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

Instead of how much memory the computer has, it would be more helpful to know how much memory the projects are consuming. Apologies if this was already listed.

Secondly, based on the symptom it would be helpful to know how many VSTs are loaded when this occurs. Those can be counted up in the FX tab in the Project Bay window. There may be a better way but that's the first that comes to mind.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 11:52 AM   #10
BlackArtMixing
Human being with feelings
 
BlackArtMixing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Instead of how much memory the computer has, it would be more helpful to know how much memory the projects are consuming. Apologies if this was already listed.

Secondly, based on the symptom it would be helpful to know how many VSTs are loaded when this occurs. Those can be counted up in the FX tab in the Project Bay window. There may be a better way but that's the first that comes to mind.
I've attached a screenshot from my performance meter

RAM USED 4330MB
181 FX
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Reaper_Issue2.JPG (14.2 KB, 88 views)
BlackArtMixing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 11:53 AM   #11
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackArtMixing View Post
I've attached a screenshot from my performance meter

RAM USED 4330MB
181 FX
Excellent, I don't know what the limit is but that's certainly helpful to whomever does.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 12:16 PM   #12
ivansc
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Near Cambridge UK and Near Questembert, France
Posts: 17,204
Default

BAM - have you checked the UAD window to see how much dsp you are using with the projects that glakk with that UAD plug?

And of course the obvious one that always seems to cause issues - you arent using any plugins on the master bus in the faulting projects, by any chance?
__________________
We are in a rudderless ship with a fool at the wheel who doesnt even realise it ain`t working any more
ivansc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 12:19 PM   #13
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Thanks for your input Karbo and Ivan.

RAM: 2437MB
FX: 143

After this screenshot, I removed all fx from master bus. This allowed me to insert 6 new plugins. Then the same failed to load issue occurs.


Last edited by ericzang; 08-17-2017 at 01:03 PM.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2017, 11:58 PM   #14
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Attached here is a test that is reproduceable by me, and perhaps others? It is a blank project with only 1 track. This track is loaded with 109 fx (free/easy demo ones so others can try it).

The last two fx, ReaVerbate and ReaXcomp, have the "could not be loaded" problem on my system, consistently even after a reboot.

The attached project uses these fx packs:

GVST http://www.gvst.co.uk/packages.htm
mda http://mda.smartelectronix.com/
melda free pack https://www.meldaproduction.com/download/plugins
Toneboosters: http://www.toneboosters.com/download/
ReaFX of course

I was then able to load some additional fx: some from HOFA free 4U package, Blue Cat Gain and Freq Analyst (I suspect these are more simple/smaller fx?). After this, so far I have not been able to load more unique effects. Loading duplicate fx is ok (unlimited it seems).

So, if you try this project and if all fx load successfully, keep adding more fx to see if you have the same problem I have. Thanks!
Attached Files
File Type: zip fx load test.zip (24.8 KB, 27 views)
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2017, 01:25 PM   #15
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Or instead of loading the above project, just load lots (100+) of unique (no duplicates) plugins on a track or tracks. The number varies up to how many cause the problem for me, I think there is variance depending on how large a plugin is.

Another test to try is after creating a project of a hundred of so plugs, close it, load another project with many plugs, any problems?

Last edited by ericzang; 08-18-2017 at 02:22 PM.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2017, 07:34 PM   #16
foxAsteria
Human being with feelings
 
foxAsteria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Axis Mundi
Posts: 4,431
Default

Have you guys by any chance changed the names of your plugin dll's? This seems to be a problem of Reaper not recognizing them by name.
__________________
TwilightMysterySchool

Last edited by foxAsteria; 08-18-2017 at 07:47 PM.
foxAsteria is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2017, 12:38 AM   #17
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

I likely have renamed some dlls, but many fx that are not renamed can have this problem. For example, in my test above, if I had loaded any of the ReaFX first (not renamed), they would load successfully.

An unsuccessful loading of an fx seems to happen when I have breached some sort of capacity. This will happen to any fx.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2017, 12:51 PM   #18
foxAsteria
Human being with feelings
 
foxAsteria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Axis Mundi
Posts: 4,431
Default

I don't think there's any plugin count limit. I don't have a lot of the the plugs you mention besides Melda and some GVST, but I managed to load all the plugins on my computer into your test project, 1230 in all, and though it slowed the shit out of my computer, I could still add more.

Something weird's going on in your setup. Have you tried reproducing this in a fresh, portable installation?
__________________
TwilightMysterySchool
foxAsteria is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2017, 02:18 PM   #19
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Thanks, that is a good idea to test on a clean portable install. I did that just now and unfortunately I still have the same result. Maybe something about my win7 setup. My computer was setup initially by ADK (audio computer builders) in 2010, but my setup is certainly modified since then. I experimented with some settings, but no improvement so far:
paging file, background services/programs, process priority.

Also did a vst clear/rescan and limited it to just a few folders, same result, but I'll try a few different combos of fx folders.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2017, 02:24 PM   #20
foxAsteria
Human being with feelings
 
foxAsteria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Axis Mundi
Posts: 4,431
Default

Well you might also try scanning for duplicates with something like Duplicate Cleaner Free. Sometimes having multiple dlls in different with the same name can cause problems. Re-installing those plugin bundles can't hurt either.
__________________
TwilightMysterySchool
foxAsteria is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2017, 02:17 AM   #21
foxAsteria
Human being with feelings
 
foxAsteria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Axis Mundi
Posts: 4,431
Default Another "solution"

I ran into this problem again, so here's another potential solution if anyone's interested(it's working for me). This will happen if you've renamed plugin dll files.

You can just change the name back, but any project referencing the new name will begin to report the plugin as missing. You could duplicate the dll and have one with each name, but you'll have to remember you did that if you ever update the plugin. Some projects will continue to use the old version, but I guess this is the most immediate solution.

The per-project solution is to open the RPP file with a text editor, search for the missing plugin and rename it there to the current plugin name. Now the project will be able to find the "missing" plugin file.
__________________
TwilightMysterySchool
foxAsteria is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 09:49 AM   #22
ry_cooder
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
I ran into this problem again, so here's another potential solution if anyone's interested(it's working for me). This will happen if you've renamed plugin dll files.

You can just change the name back, but any project referencing the new name will begin to report the plugin as missing. You could duplicate the dll and have one with each name, but you'll have to remember you did that if you ever update the plugin. Some projects will continue to use the old version, but I guess this is the most immediate solution.

The per-project solution is to open the RPP file with a text editor, search for the missing plugin and rename it there to the current plugin name. Now the project will be able to find the "missing" plugin file.
I have always had this problem, and still can't find a solution. Usually it happens with bigger projects with a lot of plugins and freezed tracks, even if my RAM or CPU usage is at 40%. Unfortunately your solution doesn't apply to my case because I didn't rename plugin. Did you find any other solution or the problem is still there?
ry_cooder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 09:32 PM   #23
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

This issue is still a mystery to me. Fortunately it only happens after I have loaded one of my heavy projects with many plugins, then open another moderately heavy plugin project. Then that second project may not be able to load some plugins. The workaround is simply to close Reaper, then open the next project.

But in my tests, I have been able to make it not load some plugins on the first launching of Reaper with no previous project loaded. The test project I think had about 100-200 plugins. The threshold number of plugins after which plugins would not load was variable, depending on what plugins were successfully loaded. I also tested on my Win 10 Netbook with similar results.

Fortunately I don't currently have a project that crosses that threshold.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 04:42 AM   #24
ry_cooder
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericzang View Post
This issue is still a mystery to me. Fortunately it only happens after I have loaded one of my heavy projects with many plugins, then open another moderately heavy plugin project. Then that second project may not be able to load some plugins. The workaround is simply to close Reaper, then open the next project.

But in my tests, I have been able to make it not load some plugins on the first launching of Reaper with no previous project loaded. The test project I think had about 100-200 plugins. The threshold number of plugins after which plugins would not load was variable, depending on what plugins were successfully loaded. I also tested on my Win 10 Netbook with similar results.

Fortunately I don't currently have a project that crosses that threshold.
Yes, I am exactly in the same situation. It's like there is a limited number of plugins that Reaper can load per session. I tried to solve by freezing a lot of tracks, but it didn't work. Both freezing and rendering are great to reduce CPU usage, but by freezing Plugins are still stored somewhere in the project data, and their threshold number is easily hit.

I think this is a Reaper bug. There is no correlation between CPU/RAM usage and the plugin not loaded error. It's really annoying because it is time consuming. I often find myself in the middle of a mix in the situation that I can't add more plugins without rendering tracks. And sometimes rendering is not the best solution, what if you need to tweak some eq settings later? My workaround is to have several backup projects, and recall individual tracks or busses one by one if I need to tweak them, but hey what a waste of time..

Last edited by ry_cooder; 02-01-2018 at 04:53 AM.
ry_cooder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 07:40 AM   #25
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

^This kept sounding familiar to me so I started digging...

https://support.presonus.com/hc/en-u...One-on-Windows

If you bridged all the plugins into a or multiple separate processes it might avoid this - I would consider trying this more of a test to confirm if the above than a workaround/fix. It's also possible the number/limit seems unpredictable because it is tied to how many "unique" DLLs are loaded...

http://forum.cakewalk.com/rss-m3468760.ashx

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/show...postcount=139&

Last edited by karbomusic; 02-01-2018 at 07:50 AM.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 09:14 AM   #26
ry_cooder
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
^This kept sounding familiar to me so I started digging...

https://support.presonus.com/hc/en-u...One-on-Windows

If you bridged all the plugins into a or multiple separate processes it might avoid this - I would consider trying this more of a test to confirm if the above than a workaround/fix. It's also possible the number/limit seems unpredictable because it is tied to how many "unique" DLLs are loaded...

http://forum.cakewalk.com/rss-m3468760.ashx

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/show...postcount=139&
Thank you for the input and the documentation. I opened a project running all plugins as separate process and...bum! No more "plugin could not be loaded" error, this is incredible!
But in this way the playback is lagging as hell, still ok at 1024 but it doesn't seem really stable...Maybe should I run fewer plugins as separate process?



So it seems a Windows issue, it makes sense to me. I am always having troubles with DLL and Runtime Libraries while mixing large projects, and this is for a Windows buggy and useless limitation...this is so frustrating
ry_cooder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 09:20 AM   #27
ry_cooder
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
^This kept sounding familiar to me so I started digging...

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/show...postcount=139&
According to this post, the solution would be to use only plugins with dynamic linking. Maybe in Repaer should I try to run only the plugins with static linking as separate process ? But how can I know which plugins have a static or dynamic linking?
ry_cooder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 09:42 AM   #28
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Wow, thanks Karbo, mystery explained! That post in the GS link mentions an FLS Checker plugin for vsts. I couldn't find it in Google, anyone know where it is? I'll post on the GS thread.
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 09:45 AM   #29
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_cooder View Post
According to this post, the solution would be to use only plugins with dynamic linking. Maybe in Repaer should I try to run only the plugins with static linking as separate process ? But how can I know which plugins have a static or dynamic linking?
I could be wrong but I don't think it's super easy... probably can be done by running a tool called dumpbin.exe /imports against each VST DLL then deducing which library it is statically linking to but that seems way more than a user making music should have to worry about. AFAIK, this isn't Reaper's fault I don't think. If it has some statically linked libraries it might could be recompiled differently but my guess is that's only going to buy a handful of extra VST slots if any.

I suppose the first order is to open the Project/FX bay which lists all instances of plugins, maybe you could glean a pattern and figure out which ones are most likely culprits and just run those in a dedicated process. If I understand correctly, Reaper would load the VST dynamically but the VST itself may link to some other DLL in windows statically (such as the C runtime) hence the problem. I'd have to dig and research more to feel more comfortable about what I'm explaining - However... on the surface, this does seem like a plausible candidate for the root cause.

Last edited by karbomusic; 02-01-2018 at 10:11 AM.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 09:59 AM   #30
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericzang View Post
Wow, thanks Karbo, mystery explained! That post in the GS link mentions an FLS Checker plugin for vsts. I couldn't find it in Google, anyone know where it is? I'll post on the GS thread.
I didn't find it either, my guess is it does something similar to dumpbin but I don't truly know. Dumpbin is part of visual studio so even it isn't a default installed tool, nor does it give an answer, one has to read the output and infer it.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 10:03 AM   #31
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_cooder View Post
I opened a project running all plugins as separate process and...bum! No more "plugin could not be loaded" error, this is incredible!
Nice!!

Quote:
But in this way the playback is lagging as hell, still ok at 1024 but it doesn't seem really stable...Maybe should I run fewer plugins as separate process?
That's my guess since bridging like this may eat up too much CPU and cause the lag. If you can find the one or ones that are the main culprits, just running those separate might solve the issue entirely.

Last edited by karbomusic; 02-01-2018 at 10:12 AM.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 03:29 AM   #32
ry_cooder
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Nice!!



That's my guess since bridging like this may eat up too much CPU and cause the lag. If you can find the one or ones that are the main culprits, just running those separate might solve the issue entirely.
This works like a charm. I have separate processed the heaviest plugins (mostly iZotope or Lexicon i.e.). No lag, no dll errors. This problem was annoyed me for almost 3 years? Now I have a nice and practical workaround. Thank you very much sir!
ry_cooder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 03:36 AM   #33
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Cool thanks guys!
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 07:18 AM   #34
karbomusic
Human being with feelings
 
karbomusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21,695
Default

Excellent that you guys got it sorted.
karbomusic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 05:48 PM   #35
Lucas_Paris
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
If you bridged all the plugins into a or multiple separate processes it might avoid this - I would consider trying this more of a test to confirm if the above than a workaround/fix. It's also possible the number/limit seems unpredictable because it is tied to how many "unique" DLLs are loaded...
This post is intended to share my recent experiences with the FLS limitation issue, and to provide some more detailed information as well as a work-around strategy. It is based on using REAPER but also users of other Windows DAW systems might profit from it to get to improve their situation.

I apologize in advance for the considerable length of this post.

1) CONTEXT

Recently I changed from FL Studio to REAPER because with FL Studio I had been suffering from CPU capacity issues as well as from plugin loading problems, both for larger projects with many plugins. After I had concluded that REAPER offers a much better multi-core approach I spent some time to rebuild my mastering template and then I started a few weeks ago to load a big project I had been working on in FL Studio previously. Everything went well until the last 3 tracks, when I suddenly got an error message every time I wanted to load a new plugin... It seemed to be the return of the 4GB RAM limit issues I experienced a few years before with 32-bit plugins, but I was using the 64-bit version of REAPER and almost all the plugins I was using are 64-bit as well. What was even more strange was that I could load without problems multiple copies of any plugins that were already present in my project, but trying to load any new plugin resulted in failure messages. What was wrong???

I searched the web for experiences of other REAPER users but initially I did not find anything that could explain it. Then I found a 2 years old thread on the Steinberg forum and while reading I started to recognize exactly the same issue as I was experiencing:

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/vie...?f=226&t=95005

Searching further with the right keywords, I finally found this and several other threads that helped me to fully understand the issue:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...-here-179.html (starting on page 179)
https://uadforum.com/support-trouble...gins-only.html
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/vie...f=250&t=123768

(I will not re-explain the FLS limitation issue here, so instead I suggest reading all previous threads that should give sufficient information)

My main conclusion is that it will probably take a (very) long time for this issue to remain present:

- some plugin developers might change their strategy but there will be for sure many FLS consuming plugins remaining
- some DAW suppliers might help us (I will give some ideas at the end) but I am not sure if they will add this to their strategy
- only Microsoft could fully take away the FLS limit but apparently they have their reasons not to do so

As a result, the only way to continue using Windows systems for large-scale projects with many different plugins is to live with this issue and to try finding work-arounds, which is the main subject of this post.

To finalize this context section, some information about my system configuration:

- Windows 10 64-bit system with i7-6950X 10-core/20-thread CPU and 64GB RAM (please note that I found exactly the same FLS limitation issue on a Windows 7 system)
- Main DAWs FL Studio and REAPER (I found the FLS issue on both)
- More than 1000 different plugins (UAD, Waves, Plugin Alliance, PSP, Melda, Fabfilter, Blue Cat, UVI, D16, Sonnox, Arturia, Voxengo, Tone2, Vengeance, ...)

2) MEASUREMENT AND RESULTS

One of the main problems is that the FLS limit is initially totally invisible. We are all used to focus on CPU capacity and RAM usage to avoid issues, but the FLS usage is only shown when it is too late: when no more plugins can be loaded! Therefore the first requirement for living with the FLS limitation is to know at any time how many FLS slots are left.

Fortunately REAPER offers a way to obtain this information. The debug console (access through the actions menu) has a special command "tls_avail" which responds with both the number of remaining TLS and FLS slots. In order not to type "tls_avail" every time I made a special AutoIt script running in the background, which will automatically send this command to the debug window once it opens, and close it again afterwards. All I have to do is pressing the F12 key (that I configured to open the debug console), then the debug window opens and shows automatically (via the script) the FLS status, and when I press F12 a second time the window will close again. This makes a world of difference, since it allows to check for any of my plugins their exact FLS usage, and I can see at any time how many FLS slots there are left when building a project.

Further to the above threads that were already giving some information about the FLS usage of certain plugins, I would like to share some of the conclusions after checking the number of FLS slots for each of my plugins:

- (specific to REAPER) The initial number of slots showing up without any plugin loaded is 116 for REAPER-32 and 119 for REAPER-64. However when the first plugin is loaded, 5 additional slots are used, so in reality these figures are 111 for REAPER-32 and 114 for REAPER-64.

- (specific to REAPER) At the moment a project is saved for the first time, 6 additional slots are used... and even after the menu option "Save as..." is selected without actually saving, the FLS counter is reduced with 6 slots!!

- Most plugins are consuming just one FLS slot, but for some suppliers they are all using two slots: UAD, Fabfilter, Cableguys, 2CAudio, Unfiltered Audio, Toneboosters, PSP (recent plugins with iLok), D16 (recent plugins).

- Some suppliers need a larger amount of FLS slots for their first plugin: 1st Waves plugin 6 slots (but afterwards most Waves plugins use no slots at all), 1st Melda plugin 6 slots, 1st UAD plugin 5 slots, 1st Vengeance plugin 3 slots.

- High numbers of slots are needed for the Arturia plugins (as already mentioned in other articles). Analog Lab 3 uses 47 slots (!!), 10 slots are needed for Minifilter, and 4 slots for most of the other Arturia plugins.

- Several common VSTi plugins use 2 slots each: Sylenth 1, Rapid, ANA2, Kick 2, Thorn, ...

- Finally one positive exception: 32-bit plugins!! Even if some older 32-bit plugins are using large amounts of FLS slots (e.g. Alionoctis 21 slots, Virtua Drum 20, Analog Warfare 12), when using a 64-bit DAW like REAPER or FL Studio that allows to bridge 32-bit plugins, these plugins will not use any FLS slots of the main DAW process (I will come back on this in the next section). So whereas my strategy up to now was to avoid using 32-bit plugins as much as possible, suddenly they have become much more attractive!

In my case there is one other factor that caused me to hit the FLS limit much faster than most others. Within my setup I am using several Novation hardware devices to access each of my plugins with Automap software (using dedicated Automap profiles for each of my plugins). As a result, all my plugins are accessed through special Automap DLL files which then communicate with the corresponding plugin. But... I found that these Automap DLL files each need one additional FLS slot!! So in this situation, almost all plugins need at least 2 FLS slots... which makes the issue clearly worse (please note that all the FLS slot numbers I have given here above are the numbers without using Automap).

(please see my next post for the following two sections...)
Lucas_Paris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 05:49 PM   #36
Lucas_Paris
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_Paris View Post
(please see my next post for the following two sections...)
3) WORK-AROUND STRATEGY

After understanding the issue in detail, it seemed like I had to choose between several options that would either limit my workflow (using less plugins / bouncing more tracks / taking off the Automap feature) or challenge my system resources in a different way (like bridging all plugins - but when bridging all plugins, not only each different plugin will have its own process, but also each new instance os plugins already used, which would result in a very resource-demanding situation, especially for real-time audio).

But after considering in more detail, I found that actually the various ways in which plugins can be configured within REAPER allow using than one process to run plugins, without the need of bridging every single plugin and thereby creating hundreds of additional processes. REAPER enables the user to select one of several process options for each individual plugin:
- either running as a part of the main DAW process,
- or in a separate second process, intended to run buggy plugins without crashing the main process,
- or in a separate third process, reserved for 32-bit plugins only,
- or in a dedicated process (one process per plugin instance, an option which can be selected for both 64-bit and 32-bit plugins).

As a result, 3 separate processes are available to run plugins, thereby offering 3 times the number of FLS slots, and in addition dedicated processes can be used when more slots are needed! After making some calculations on the average usage of various plugin types in my projects, I changed my REAPER configuration as follows:

- all 64-bit VST plugins are set to run in the main process, except UAD/Waves/Fabfilter/Arturia/Mux/Bidule
- all 64-bit VSTi plugins, as well as all Waves VST and Fabfilter VST, are set to run in the second (separate) process (normally I use less different VSTi than VST plugins, therefore I added all Waves and FabFilter VST plugins to the second process for a better balance)
- all 32-bit VST and VSTi plugins, as well as all UAD plugins, are set to run in the third (32-bit) process (for all UAD I now only use their 32-bit version instead of the 64-bit version, since I will not use many 32-bit only plugins and as a result the remaining slots in the 32-bit process become available for my full UAD collection)
- all VST/VSTi plugins with high individual FLS usage (e.g. Arturia) and all plugin racks (e.g. Mux, Bidule - which can contain other plugins and therefore may have high FLS counts) are set to run as dedicated process (in practice there will be only a few of these per project, which does not cause any issues for the total number of Windows processes)
- finally, I have added for each of my plugins an additional JBridge version into the REAPER FX Browser, so that in case I would be out of FLS slots in one of the 3 processes (in case of a very large project) I can always add a bridged version of any plugin (running in its own Windows process without FLS limitation).

In this way I can use as much plugins as I need, I do not have to bounce any tracks, I can keep the Automap feature (I have just taken off the Automap option for certain plugins) and my CPU cores only see a few additional Windows processes. To give an idea of the improvement: for the project that initially caused me the FLS shortage issue (due to a FLS count at zero), I now see a FLS count of 72 for the main process (i.e. almost two third remaining) and for the two other processes I still have a lot of FLS capacity left as well (without using any bridging into separate processes).

4) SUGGESTIONS FOR DAW SUPPLIERS

I would like to end with two suggestions for the DAW suppliers:

- offering a direct view on the number of the remaining FLS count, ideally for the various processes within the DAW environment (e.g. for REAPER I would appreciate to be able to see the exact FLS count also for two other processes - the separate and 32-bit ones). It would be great to have next to the CPU and RAM indicators - as we can find on every DAW - a figure showing the remaining FLS slots per plugin process!

- increasing the number of Windows processes to run plugins (why not offering 5 or 10 additional processes bringing each their additional FLS capacity, with either manual or automatic configuration per plugin - like a CPU can have 10 cores, a DAW could have 10 Windows processes to run plugins in and then the FLS issue would be totally gone)...
Lucas_Paris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2018, 12:53 AM   #37
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

this is great info, thanks a lot!!
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2018, 05:42 PM   #38
Lucas_Paris
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericzang View Post
That post in the GS link mentions an FLS Checker plugin for vsts. I couldn't find it in Google, anyone know where it is? I'll post on the GS thread.
You can download the FLS Checker plugin here:

http://planetnine.jp/wp/2018/03/25/fls-checker/

It gives the same info as reading the number of slots through the REAPER debug console but it uses one more FLS slot. However it also allows to measure the number of used slots in the separate 64-bit process, which is very useful when using both processes to have more FLS slots (see my previous post with work-around strategy for the FLS limitation problem).
Lucas_Paris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2018, 06:42 PM   #39
ericzang
Human being with feelings
 
ericzang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 333
Default

Great, thanks!
ericzang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2018, 12:48 AM   #40
BlackArtMixing
Human being with feelings
 
BlackArtMixing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Default

many thanks for the info. i'm glad i checked back on this thread and now it makes much more sense. I hope this becomes much more visible in the future
BlackArtMixing is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.