Old 02-26-2019, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default GUI lag -the interface issue that remains

Ok, I know there already are maaany threads on this subject -here and in other forums. But many, if not most of them, are several years old and all too often examples are from older os, like Sierra and such. Still, nothing has changed and the threads just seem to die out. And yet, running Reaper of a new Mac with retina screen is far from a ok experience. With that said, and I cant stress it enough, I love Reaper and that's kind of why I think we should gather up (again... I know) and share our experiences (yes, again) and perhaps, just perhaps, the developers will start to adress this issue once and for all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz94Umls47M

See video above! So, this is what I'm working with on my Mac 27" retina from last year at 2k resolution. 8GB GPU, 40gb ram, ssd and so on and so forth... and note, this it NOT even during playback and all envelopes are hidden.

Do you have similar experiences?
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:29 PM   #2
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Interesting. On my early 2015 MacBook Pro 13" (i7, 16Gig, no dedicated GPU) it's quite snappy. Not as snappy as the windows version, but lightyears away from what you show in your video.

Two questions:
- there are a lot of tracks in your project. Like - a lot. Does it feel the same with 5 or less tracks?
- what happens if you switch the resolution to 1080p or less?
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:37 AM   #3
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Interesting. On my early 2015 MacBook Pro 13" (i7, 16Gig, no dedicated GPU) it's quite snappy. Not as snappy as the windows version, but lightyears away from what you show in your video.

Two questions:
- there are a lot of tracks in your project. Like - a lot. Does it feel the same with 5 or less tracks?
- what happens if you switch the resolution to 1080p or less?
Yes, there are a some tracks but not that many. About fifty-ish or so. But the gui response is almost as equally bad with less, or even no, tracks. And the issue is definitely connected to the screen resolution. No doubt about that. So if lowering the resolution to what you might be running on your 13 inch improves. "Open in low resolution" improves even more -but that looks horrible... so that's not really an option.

But, as I wrote in the first post, the problem is not that Reaper doesn't work on lower resolutions but on high resolution monitors. Like 2k-ish and up.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:13 AM   #4
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I have the same experience as rstockm on my 2015 27" iMac, so I'm not sure there's a direct correlation between screen resolution and CPU specs and how laggy REAPER gets.

REAPER is a bit less snappy than on Windows for me, but nowhere near as bad as your video.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:00 AM   #5
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I have the same experience as rstockm on my 2015 27" iMac, so I'm not sure there's a direct correlation between screen resolution and CPU specs and how laggy REAPER gets.

REAPER is a bit less snappy than on Windows for me, but nowhere near as bad as your video.
Cool, that's really interesting! So you mean that scrolling and like resizing trackpanel are smooth? You say not like on a pc but still smooth? I've tried on a few macs with retinas and all have the same unresponsive feeling -especially when there is a full mix loaded. At what resolution are you running at?

If you're not sure, you can see it here:

https://bestfirms.com/what-is-my-screen-resolution/

Last edited by sw_; 02-28-2019 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:10 AM   #6
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Cool, that's really interesting! So you mean that scrolling and like resizing trackpanel are smooth? You say not like on a pc but still smooth? I've tried on a few macs with retinas and all have the same unresponsive feeling -especially when there is a full mix loaded. At what resolution are you running at?
I wouldn't say smooth, but probably about twice the refresh rate as shown in your video for scrolling and zooming, though not much different for track panel resizing. I haven't noticed any difference with large track and/or plugin counts.

I'm not running in low resolution as I tend to use marquee zoom and keyboard shortcuts to do different zoom levels, and use my faderport to jump to markers so I don't deal with mouse wheel zooming and scrolling so much.

The meters seem to be working differently, as the refresh rate as set in preferences seems to hold even if scrolling and whatnot lag. Not sure why that would be.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:41 AM   #7
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I wouldn't say smooth, but probably about twice the refresh rate as shown in your video for scrolling and zooming, though not much different for track panel resizing. I haven't noticed any difference with large track and/or plugin counts.

I'm not running in low resolution as I tend to use marquee zoom and keyboard shortcuts to do different zoom levels, and use my faderport to jump to markers so I don't deal with mouse wheel zooming and scrolling so much.

The meters seem to be working differently, as the refresh rate as set in preferences seems to hold even if scrolling and whatnot lag. Not sure why that would be.
If I get it right, resizing track panel is about the same as for me but you notice smoother refresh rate in other aspects as scrolling and zooming? But then I kind of think, and even if you don't consider it as much of a problem as I do, your Reaper suffers from the same symptoms. It should not, even the least, run with lag and low refresh rate I think. And I really do think that the developers should deal with it and make Reaper as smooth experience as it is on PC... and I don't think they'll do it unless they know that this actually is an issue.

The meters run good for me too, no matter screen resolution. However, they freeze and moves super laggy when scrolling and or zooming. Just like on this video I found from some other user:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmdIOlI81Fg
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:46 AM   #8
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If I get it right, resizing track panel is about the same as for me but you notice smoother refresh rate in other aspects as scrolling and zooming? But then I kind of think, and even if you don't consider it as much of a problem as I do, your Reaper suffers from the same symptoms. It should not, even the least, run with lag and low refresh rate I think. And I really do think that the developers should deal with it and make Reaper as smooth experience as it is on PC... and I don't think they'll do it unless they know that this actually is an issue.

The meters run good for me too, no matter screen resolution. However, they freeze and moves super laggy when scrolling and or zooming. Just like on this video I found from some other user:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmdIOlI81Fg
Yep, I'll be a happy man once this is fixed.

I don't entirely blame the REAPER devs though, as Apple are notoriously bad at communicating with developers.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:01 AM   #9
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Yep, I'll be a happy man once this is fixed.

I don't entirely blame the REAPER devs though, as Apple are notoriously bad at communicating with developers.
I totally agree with you not blaming Reaper entirely for the issue
-even though I'm not seeing this kind of bad response in any other apps.

However, I think it's really bad that they're sort of not open with it. The very least they should do is to comment it.. maybe give us mac users some words of comfort like "We know about it and we're working on it" or something... I would really appreciate it!
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #10
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I totally agree with you not blaming Reaper entirely for the issue
-even though I'm not seeing this kind of bad response in any other apps.

However, I think it's really bad that they're sort of not open with it. The very least they should do is to comment it.. maybe give us mac users some words of comfort like "We know about it and we're working on it" or something... I would really appreciate it!
Well, it took Apple a good year or two to fix the problem in Logic, so I guess it's not so easy for some programmes. Evil Dragon said in another thread recently that REAPER doesn't use GPU, so I guess that doesn't help.

Justin has commented on it though, somewhere in the OS X forum, I can't remember exactly what he said, but he was asking for experiences and looking into it. No idea where they've got to with it though.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:18 AM   #11
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I've maybe had bad lag like that caused by video files somehow embedded into the project file data. That's probably not it, but worth looking for anything bizarre in the Project/Media Bay.

Aside from that one really weird case I can't say reaper has ever been slow like that on my macs. I've only updated to Sierra though.

Is there any difference with a portable install?
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:44 AM   #12
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I've always had issues like this on multiple Macs. It's either the UI or the plugins that glitch and get laggy. Or the playhead would just shake around on the screen. But i've not seen it as bad as in that video.

With everything going on in Apple land in regards to the move to Arm CPUs, the reported issues with Thunderbolt/USB/WIFI/Bluetooth etc., fixed RAM and SSD's, 'AND' the potential cost of the new Mac Pros.

Well.. i got myself a cheap windows machine to see how things are on the other side. And man, it's so much better. I liked REAPER before, now i'm fully in love with it. But it's early days, i've yet to try my Waves plugins with it yet - which were always an issue.

I guess my point is that there's only so far the devs can take a multi-platform modular software like REAPER. I'm convinced the Mac version, while brilliant, will always have it's flaws. But, seeing a 200 quid secondhand PC run rings around my 1500 quid Mac, it's a bit of a wake up call.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:53 PM   #13
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And the issue is definitely connected to the screen resolution. No doubt about that. So if lowering the resolution to what you might be running on your 13 inch improves.
I just switched to 2560-by-1600 resolution (which is the generic panel resolution of my MBP 13" Retina) and noticed no significant drop in framerate at all.

Maybe the GPU is key here?
(Intel Iris Graphics 6100 for my MBP)
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:22 AM   #14
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For me the problem was always worse when i had extensions running, particularly control surfaces. Try and disable/clear anything runnin if you can. I'm relatively new to REAPER being a Logic user so don't know how easy that is to do, but if you can trash the preferences/extensions easily - well worth a try.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:24 AM   #15
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I just switched to 2560-by-1600 resolution (which is the generic panel resolution of my MBP 13" Retina) and noticed no significant drop in framerate at all.

Maybe the GPU is key here?
(Intel Iris Graphics 6100 for my MBP)
From what I've heard these last days Reaper doesn't use the GPU for its interface. But maybe this could be it? It would be so interesting to see how your gui is acting since I've never heard or come across Reaper on mac with a smooth interface. Could you upload a video of it? Like ten tracks, scrolling and resizing stuff..

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208721
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:06 AM   #16
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From what I've heard these last days Reaper doesn't use the GPU for its interface. But maybe this could be it? It would be so interesting to see how your gui is acting since I've never heard or come across Reaper on mac with a smooth interface. Could you upload a video of it? Like ten tracks, scrolling and resizing stuff..

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208721
Kenny Gioia's videos look pretty smooth, and he's on Mac (I thought his track panels were lagging, but it's because he uses page up/down to resize them instead of mouse wheel).
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:18 AM   #17
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Kenny Gioia's videos look pretty smooth, and he's on Mac (I thought his track panels were lagging, but it's because he uses page up/down to resize them instead of mouse wheel).
I had to google him. But do we know what resolution he's at? I think it looks pretty low res when seeing the dialog boxes filling a large portion of the screen.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:28 AM   #18
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I had to google him. But do we know what resolution he's at? I think it looks pretty low res when seeing the dialog boxes filling a large portion of the screen.
Hard to say whether that's his Mac or the resolution he uploads videos on.

I believe it's only Retina displays that have the slow GUI?
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:26 AM   #19
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I'm running a 2015 retina macbook pro. Any of my videos from 2019 would show you no lag.

share a project using free plugins and I'll see if it lags.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:31 AM   #20
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share a project using free plugins and I'll see if it lags.
Plugins are not necessary, even resizing a track panel with no items or plugins in the project is laggy unless running in low resolution.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:46 AM   #21
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I'm running a 2015 retina macbook pro. Any of my videos from 2019 would show you no lag.

share a project using free plugins and I'll see if it lags.
What screen size do you have? And at what resolution? I know that Apple laptops with retinas use pixel doubling. I’m thinking maybe this is why you experience a smoother interface?

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/m...esolution.html
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:16 AM   #22
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I just switched to 2560-by-1600 resolution (which is the generic panel resolution of my MBP 13" Retina) and noticed no significant drop in framerate at all.

Maybe the GPU is key here?
(Intel Iris Graphics 6100 for my MBP)
If you have a 13” MBP at default settings chances are that you are using pixel doubling due to the small size of the screen. So most likely you’re actually at 1280x800 since a true 2560x1600px wouldn’t make any sense at 13”. Check the link in the previous post.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:55 AM   #23
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What screen size do you have? And at what resolution? I know that Apple laptops with retinas use pixel doubling. I’m thinking maybe this is why you experience a smoother interface?

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/m...esolution.html
15". I use the setting 1st setting above native resolution which scales better to 1440p for video editing. The display preference says that 'looks like' 1680x1050, my screen capture software says it's 3360x2100.

It's supposed to be worse performance but I haven't seen that at all.

Just tried the 5 resolution options and they were about the same speed scrolling, zooming, resizing tracks during playback of a mix project.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:10 AM   #24
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15". I use the setting 1st setting above native resolution which scales better to 1440p for video editing. The display preference says that 'looks like' 1680x1050, my screen capture software says it's 3360x2100.

It's supposed to be worse performance but I haven't seen that at all.

Just tried the 5 resolution options and they were about the same speed scrolling, zooming, resizing tracks during playback of a mix project.
Ok, then I take it that you're in a hidpi mode and also explains why Reaper runs smooth for you. Osx is "reading" your screen as 1680x1050 but outputting 3360x2100 -making edges tighter and less blurry. And that makes a whole lot more sense than actually having a laptop screen display set to a "true" 1:1 pixel ratio at 3360x2100 since that would make text and apps more or less unreadable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retina_display

But if you where to set the display to a true 3360x2100 resolution without hdpi and you still experience no lag at all would be awesome... and, to my ears, unheard of!
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:25 AM   #25
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share a project and I'll screen capture it with my settings.

The only lag I get is the expected one when zooming in very close on items (where peak file is not used).

btw in advanced UI settings in reaper I have Disable optimized drawing selected. I quickly tried Force optimized a few minutes ago and didn't notice any change, but maybe will for you.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:46 AM   #26
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share a project and I'll screen capture it with my settings.

The only lag I get is the expected one when zooming in very close on items (where peak file is not used).

btw in advanced UI settings in reaper I have Disable optimized drawing selected. I quickly tried Force optimized a few minutes ago and didn't notice any change, but maybe will for you.
Cool! I'm sorry, it's really not that I don't trust you it's just that I don't think you're not at that kind of resolution for this to be a problem. I set my 27" to as close to 3360x2100 is could. And you're saying that your workspace looks like this? On a laptop? Haha, it's small even on a 27"

https://i.imgur.com/uXm5lq3.jpg
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:17 PM   #27
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If you have a 13” MBP at default settings chances are that you are using pixel doubling due to the small size of the screen. So most likely you’re actually at 1280x800 since a true 2560x1600px wouldn’t make any sense at 13”. Check the link in the previous post.
Nope. I used this tool https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor to get the actual 2560x1600 Resolution. I wouldn't use it for real work, though.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:47 PM   #28
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It would be so interesting to see how your gui is acting since I've never heard or come across Reaper on mac with a smooth interface. Could you upload a video of it? Like ten tracks, scrolling and resizing stuff..
Here we go:

https://files.rstockm.de/index.php/s/EiGajegS7jz6im7

I start the video scrolling this website - which is super smooth on my mac. So the screencapture drops some frames here, thus the REAPER feels even smoother than in this video.

native 2560x1600 resolution, MacBook pro 13" retina via DisableMonitor https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor
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