Old 03-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Zoom Out Sliggishness (ME)

Hi my friends,

I've been experiencing a Lot of what I guess I'd call wonkyness with Reaper. I really don't know which version some of it might have started, at present I'm using 4.32 for my serious work.

I posted a little about some of it in this post.

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...9&postcount=74

One of the things that's becoming a problem and starting to bother me is how sluggish the Midi Editor is when zoomed out vrs zoomed in. When the ME is zoomed in to 1 or 2 measures everything works smoothly, I can move notes around and adjust velocities very quickly. However, if I'm zoomed out to 7 or 8 measures Reaper gets extremely sluggish and feels like it's going to crash at any moment.



The computer I'm on is an i5 with 8-gig of ram and the project shows CPU about 7% and RAM about 950meg. I'm thinking it might have something to do with ram because a "New Project" doesn't exhibit this behavior, however 950meg isn't huge.

I'm hoping there might be a setting I'm overlooking or don't know about? It doesn't seem right that there should be any difference between being Zoomed In or Out, right?

I wasn't sure where to post this, I wouldn't call it a bug, it's just undesired behavior and it's happening with R4.32 so posted here.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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Something else I'm starting to realize is that Reaper commits all CC data to memory, is that correct?
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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Okay, it looks like the problem has to do with whether CC lanes are visable or not. If I eliminate all the CC-lanes the problem seems to go away and Reaper responds as expected. However, add one or two CC lanes and everything slows way down if I am zoomed out to more than a few bars.

Anybody else experiencing this?

Why should zooming or the number of CC lanes have anything to do with this?
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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I get the sluggish marquee glitch I mentioned recently at real close zoom. Just tried it on pre14 before installing 15. Same behavior. I see the edit cursor problem but noticed it in the piano roll mostly. Have to click 2 or 3 times to get it to move. Erratic and unpredictable however. Curious what you refer to in your second post. I saw some strange things with macros that cut some notes and CCs, did other stuff then re-pasted. They worked fine in the past. But I figured I'd let it go until some kind of official release came out. My main beef is with timeline wonkyness. Some of that has been around for a while. I've also seen undo things that seemed out of order.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
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THanks FnA, I think I've figured it out.

Although it seems to only happen when I have CC lanes visible, I think it's actually due to the amount of events or data that's shown on the screen at one time.

When zoomed out there are far less events on the screen than when zoomed in and the CC lanes will probably have far more data or events in them than anything else.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:41 AM   #6
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That was kind of my experience as well. More editable stuff on screen, worse problems. It got better with an update but still pops up occasionally. I often use marquee as a quick unselect. Marquee works good for you? A guy said he had a similar problem in arrange, but he never came back. Have not seen any other complaints really, so I was wondering if it's a system specific thing. No biggie I guess.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FnA View Post
Marquee works good for you?
Yes marquee basically works okay, it's sort of always been a little dicey.

I think what we really need is an intelligent way to draw in CC events or probably the best solution would be an action that would remove similar events going left to right.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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I can't reproduce this... and I have tested with thousands and thousands of notes and CCs.... but it slows a bit for zooming.. but then it caches it or something and goes back to quick redraws... strange.

But I think the CC lanes editor needs a major update by using lines like the automation in tracks... it is already there... something like using ReaControlMidi Control Change but inside the midi editor. This way it would save to redraw thousands of CCs for smooth curves like now.. This is the reason I moved to using ReaControlMidi and Automation instead of the CC lanes.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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Hi heda, actually I caught this by accident. I'd set up the number of the Events per quarter note in Preferences to 1280 for an experiment and then forgot to set it back.

I have a Kontakt instrument that uses up to 26 CC controllers and I had 5 of them all showing at once in the CC-lanes.

To make a long story short, for about 6 months I kept noticing the ME getting klunky and slow. I just put up with it, rebooting often, until one day I decided enough was enough and posted it in Reaper.

I also started to check things out and once I realized it had to do with the Zoom it didn't take much to figure out the amount of data and screen correlation. Heh heh, that's when I checked my Preferences and found the "Events per quarter note" thingy.

Once I discovered it I set my Preferences to 128 for "Events per quarter note". That's been working fine until yesterday when I had 6 midi tracks in the Track List showing their events. This could become a real problem.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
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I Tod.. I spoke too soon... You are right... I was not zoomed out enough.. If I zoom out when many more notes are visible then it slows down... Also Trying to add CCs to a lane when zoomed out is very slow. Slower than moving notes.
I've tried with my selecting stress test project that I posted for another issue here http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=120319

But I guess Cockos has not optimized this because it must be having thousadns of events to notice it. I have that option events per quarter note at 32 default.
But Using automation of the tracks with ReaControlMidi I don't have to use midi editor CC lanes now.. it's much cleaner and you don't enter so many CC data and the result is great. You can have multiple ReaControlMidi for more CC's because it only allows you to configure 5 per instance.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heda View Post
I Tod.. I spoke too soon... You are right... I was not zoomed out enough.. If I zoom out when many more notes are visible then it slows down... Also Trying to add CCs to a lane when zoomed out is very slow. Slower than moving notes.
Thanks a lot heda, now I know it's not just me. Yeah, adding CCs or just selecting them is scary. I say scary because after years of working with computers, slowing down like this is usually associated with crashes or the BSOD.

Quote:
But I guess Cockos has not optimized this because it must be having thousadns of events to notice it. I have that option events per quarter note at 32 default.
Yeah, for me 32 is not enough. Even 128 can create stair step events that lead to the zipper effect.

Quote:
But Using automation of the tracks with ReaControlMidi I don't have to use midi editor CC lanes now.. it's much cleaner and you don't enter so many CC data and the result is great. You can have multiple ReaControlMidi for more CC's because it only allows you to configure 5 per instance.
I think my midi programming is a little to intimate for that. Intimate might not be the right word. I use a lot of CCs, much of them up close and precise. I like the way ReaControlMidi works, the devs just need to put the same controls in the CC lanes. Either that or have an intelligent way of using events.

Also in regards to this sluggish problem, there might be a flaw with Reaper that needs to be worked out. Are there any other DAWs out there that get sluggish when data and events are prevalent?
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
Thanks a lot heda, now I know it's not just me. Yeah, adding CCs or just selecting them is scary. I say scary because after years of working with computers, slowing down like this is usually associated with crashes or the BSOD.
hope not... never had a BSOD... had some crashes.. but all related to have project start measure to 0 instead of 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
Yeah, for me 32 is not enough. Even 128 can create stair step events that lead to the zipper effect.
just discovered the zoom dependant option there... maybe it is interesting for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
I think my midi programming is a little to intimate for that. Intimate might not be the right word. I use a lot of CCs, much of them up close and precise. I like the way ReaControlMidi works, the devs just need to put the same controls in the CC lanes. Either that or have an intelligent way of using events.
for my personal use I am always going to use automation lanes on tracks instead of CC lanes inside the midi editor. But I understand also CC edits are better for some things.. I like to use them for the sustain pedals... but for dynamics and layer blends I like to use ReaControlMidi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
Also in regards to this sluggish problem, there might be a flaw with Reaper that needs to be worked out. Are there any other DAWs out there that get sluggish when data and events are prevalent?
I find overall Reaper responsiveness better than other DAWs, even peak waveform generation is faster. I don't know how Cockos do it but it is just faster and better. But there are still some optimizations needed as this example.. or also resizing a track height while playing.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heda View Post
just discovered the zoom dependant option there... maybe it is interesting for you.
Thanks again heda, yes I've tried that but you have to zoom in really close to draw steep curves. When I'm zoomed in that close it's impossible to see where I'm at in terms of the notes and the grid. I need to see at least half measures when drawing in CCs, preferably whole measures.

I think an intelligent or smart way of doing this would be best. Something that will add an event when the draw cursor is one CC value above or below the last event. Also it would not add any events unless the cursor does go above or below.

On top of that we need something that will detect similar events when we're editing the CCs and delete them. Either that or an action to eliminate similar CCs that are in a selection. Actually an action to eliminate similar events solve a lot of problems.

Quote:
for my personal use I am always going to use automation lanes on tracks instead of CC lanes inside the midi editor. But I understand also CC edits are better for some things.. I like to use them for the sustain pedals... but for dynamics and layer blends I like to use ReaControlMidi.
Yeah I need the CC lanes. Most of my orchestra instruments have keyswitchs and at least 2 to 4 controllers for expression, usually 4. On top of that most of them will also have velocity layer crossfades so add 2 to 4 controllers on top of that. Of course there's also CC7 which is used on all of them.

Quote:
I find overall Reaper responsiveness better than other DAWs, even peak waveform generation is faster. I don't know how Cockos do it but it is just faster and better. But there are still some optimizations needed as this example.. or also resizing a track height while playing.
Yes, I have no problem with Reapers general responsiveness at all and I think it's great.

However, I've never run into this problem we're talking about here in any other Midi Editor nor have I heard it mentioned.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #14
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I know this thread is about ME sluggishness but I had a brief moment of sluggishness moving around midi items in the main arrangement window (whatever the proper terminology for that is)... can't seem to replicate it so maybe it was a momentary thing, but it was pretty much exactly like the licecap in this thread
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:22 PM   #15
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hmmm I don't find that here... just tried adding a slew of cc lanes and no problem...

wondering this... even if your computer is decent cpu etc, what is your video card? That has a big effect on what the screen draws do.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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hmmm I don't find that here... just tried adding a slew of cc lanes and no problem...

wondering this... even if your computer is decent cpu etc, what is your video card? That has a big effect on what the screen draws do.
Thanks hopi, The computer is an i5 quad with 8gig of ram. The video card is a NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS which may not be great for gamers but I don't think is too bad otherwise.

It isn't the number of CC lanes that are a problem, it's the number of events. One track with one CC lane 56 bars long filled in with CC events at 128 events per quarter note will cause a noticable slowdown. Add another CC lane, fill that in too for 56 bars and it's very noticable, very sluggish.

Now that's with all 56 bars showing in the ME. The slow responce improves as you zoom in to lesser bars.

Actually I'm not sure why the video card should be of concern. In my tests I'm using one note thats about 4 bars long so it's easy to see and grab. In my tests I'm just moving this note around.

Unless Reaper is completely redrawing the screen by just moving the note it shouldn't be a problem, should it? Heh heh, do you think Reaper might actually be redrawing the whole screen as I move the note?

The more I think about it that's probably the case (oh no ) and if so, I wonder if there might be any way around that.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:15 PM   #17
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I am now experiencing this same problem : when there are a lot of CCs visible in a lane, there is a slowdown - proportional to the quantity of events -. Close the lane or zoom in and the problem is gone.

Iīve opened an issue in the tracker :

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=5025
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soli Deo Gloria View Post
I am now experiencing this same problem : when there are a lot of CCs visible in a lane, there is a slowdown - proportional to the quantity of events -. Close the lane or zoom in and the problem is gone.

Iīve opened an issue in the tracker :

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=5025
Thanks Soli, it would be great if this could be improved.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:32 AM   #19
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When zooming and scrolling in either the MIDI editor or the arrange there's always been about a 10% increase in CPU for me which is normal but something has happened in the last few months which has seemed to increase the overhead load a a lot to the point where even a haswell 4.3GHZ can struggle (at latencies of 64 samples).

I'm hoping that this can be looked at and optimised at some point.

Some of it I need to really look at though as there are a few suspicious plugins that GUI wise might not be helping (even when not visible)
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
TThe video card is a NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS which may not be great for gamers but I don't think is too bad otherwise.

[...]

Actually I'm not sure why the video card should be of concern. In my tests I'm using one note thats about 4 bars
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.p...rs#post1272101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
The more I think about it that's probably the case (oh no ) and if so, I wonder if there might be any way around that.
In the thread I linked to above, it was the "wrong" nVidia driver causing trouble (in that case crackling, but there have been other 'slow redraw' issues with gaming cards in the past).
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #21
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This is 1/128th notes with CC events mostly drawn in 1/128th on a 2009 Mac mini with dual core CPU (and an nVidia GFX onboard chip), had to limt framerate to keep the .GIF size in check tho:

https://stash.reaper.fm/19225/no_slow_redraw.gif


Same / similar on a dualcore Vista laptop with IGP (dang, cut off the ruler, it's 57 bars of 1/128th events fully zoomed out):




So what I'm saying is that there must be more to it than only "draw so many events in the CC lane and zoom out" etc. since that doesn't trigger an issue here. As long there is no clear recipe to reproduce, it doesn't do any good in the tracker, sorry.

My bet for this is on unlucky GFX hardware/driver combination. Like I already implied briefly, gaming cards of all sorts have a somewhat bad record in DAW environments and my suspicion is that this has to do a lot (if not all) with their drivers. It's known that different versins can behave wildly different and older versions may have less issues than the newest, sometimes there's only one or a few "golden" versions for a particular game/application/OS and so on. Alas I can't investigate / verify that for you unless you send me your computers.

Last edited by Ollie; 12-19-2013 at 07:06 AM. Reason: removed large GIF embedding
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.p...rs#post1272101



In the thread I linked to above, it was the "wrong" nVidia driver causing trouble (in that case crackling, but there have been other 'slow redraw' issues with gaming cards in the past).
Interesting! I'll look into this more myself as this might be the cause for me. I'm on win 8.1 with a haswell 4.3ghz and a Nvidia GTX770 which is powering 4 monitors (plus the onboard intel GPU is powering a 6th monitor).

I never had issues of scrolling causing such high loads befor though or causing crackling but I have now so will look to this.

It might be the secondary intel mobo GPU as before I had a low power nvidia doing the 6th monitor but have no space on the mobo left for one! yikes!
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:24 AM   #23
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Ollie, since you know your way around threads, do you recall coming across any threads that deal with project sizes massively bloating when using lots of kontakts?

I've got a big orchestral set up made up of mostly kontakt instruments and just the tracks themselves with no items makes the project 44 megabytes!

I did a search and I have a feeling it's to do with the way kontakt is setup to save information. I'm sure it doesn't have to be that big!
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #24
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This is 1/128th notes with CC events mostly drawn in 1/128th on a 2009 Mac mini with dual core CPU (and an nVidia GFX onboard chip), had to limt framerate to keep the .GIF size in check tho:
Hi Ollie and thanks.

I know it looks like you've got a lot of CC events but I think the problems I've had and what Soli Deo Gloria is experiencing is due to much denser CCs.

I don't recall offhand where I had my Tics per Quarter Note, maybe something like 250, but the density definitely makes a difference. However, the number of notes don't seem to be a problem.

Other than the Zoom sluggishness in the ME I haven't had any other sluggish problems other than it getting sluggish just before the occasional crash.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:21 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by musicbynumbers View Post
Ollie, since you know your way around threads, do you recall coming across any threads that deal with project sizes massively bloating when using lots of kontakts?

I've got a big orchestral set up made up of mostly kontakt instruments and just the tracks themselves with no items makes the project 44 megabytes!

I did a search and I have a feeling it's to do with the way kontakt is setup to save information. I'm sure it doesn't have to be that big!
Hi mbn, how many Kontakts are you talking about, and are they each full?

Are you sure you mean 44 megabytes, that's really not much, Reaper takes at least 44 megabytes when it's empty, at least it does on my computer?

Are you using DFD mode in Kontakt, that makes a huge difference?

Also are you aware of the Purge options in Kontakt, that can really cut things down.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:51 AM   #26
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Hi mbn, how many Kontakts are you talking about, and are they each full?

Are you sure you mean 44 megabytes, that's really not much, Reaper takes at least 44 megabytes when it's empty, at least it does on my computer?

Are you using DFD mode in Kontakt, that makes a huge difference?

Also are you aware of the Purge options in Kontakt, that can really cut things down.
I mean 44MB for reaper's project size (.RPP) as a file on the hard drive

ram wise that set of orchestral instruments takes up 14GB which is to be expected. I just expect the actual info for kontakt to be so big within the RPP file

It's probably because it saves every kontakt parameter in case it's been edited from the preset and although I know you can ask reaper not to save this stuff. I need to try this out to see if it works.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:24 AM   #27
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I mean 44MB for reaper's project size (.RPP) as a file on the hard drive

ram wise that set of orchestral instruments takes up 14GB which is to be expected. I just expect the actual info for kontakt to be so big within the RPP file

It's probably because it saves every kontakt parameter in case it's been edited from the preset and although I know you can ask reaper not to save this stuff. I need to try this out to see if it works.
Aah, okay, yes I misunderstood.

I haven't really been checking the size of the project files on disk, heh heh, maybe I should.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #28
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I know it looks like you've got a lot of CC events but I think the problems I've had and what Soli Deo Gloria is experiencing is due to much denser CCs.
Soli Deo Gloria didn't specify any event counts, also increasing the "events per quarter note considerably is be potentially live ammo), however...

Quote:
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I don't recall offhand where I had my Tics per Quarter Note, maybe something like 250,
Ticks Per Quarter = overall temporal resolution of events, "Events per quarter note when drawing in CC lanes" = how many CC events can be created by drawing (just saying, not to be confused).

But increasing that number doesn't necessarily mean they'll be created in that density (since it's zoom dependent even when the corresponding checkbox isn't checked, I guess the mouse resolution is the limit then). Also, events created by controller input doesn't follow that setting if I checked that right.

Anyway...

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Originally Posted by Tod View Post
I'd set up the number of the Events per quarter note in Preferences to 1280 for an experiment and then forgot to set it back.
But you did set it back to 250, right? And did that fix the problem?

The default is 32, but setting this to 320, then drawing 6 CC lanes full of events over 47 bars from start to end again (pretty tedious thing to do and maybe nothing that would exist in a real project) didn't make a lot of a difference either, that's (in theory) 360,000 events in view, lets subtract a few gaps and say that's 300,000 events (that's 3 times the internal event memory of many hardware workstations/sequencers) and then it got more jerky indeed but still nowhere near what we see in your .GIF.

So what number of events are we talking about? Can you post a minmal example project (minus any plug-ins, so it's easier to assess the amount of events) that creates a behavior like in the GIF for you?
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #29
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Default A (new) recipe to experience sluggishnes in the Midi Editor

As the "Midi Editor : Zoom out" issue was labeled "misdirected", I will reproduce a similar and - hopefully - more clear recipe to experience some redraw sluggishnes. Here it goes :

First of all, this assumes youīve got 128 events per quarter note in the Preferences/Editing behaviour/Midi Editor section.

01 Create a track and insert a one measure empty Midi item.
02 Enter the Midi Editor and draw a note in each beat.
03 Draw a CC curve for each note. You should see something like this :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mvqi251pns...%20measure.jpg

04 Get out of the Midi Editor and duplicate the item many times until it reaches 150, or even better, 200 measures - and if you want more, fine! -.
05 Glue all the items.
06 In your expanded item, enter the Midi Editor.
07 You should see all the item on screen. Zoom in and out just a little, to see if itīs smooth.
08 Get out of the Midi Editor, and do the same : zoom in and out a little. Compare the movement of the zoom in the Midi Editor with the Arrange view zoom.

If itīs not related to the hardware/software setup of any particular machine, you should notice a certain sluggishnes in the redrawing of the screen when you see something like this and you zoom in and out a little :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ynsl6t347r...luggishnes.jpg

But, NOTICE THE FOLLOWING :

A) With high levels of zoom in ,as in the image 01 of the first link above, the problem dissapears.

B) When you close the CC lane/s, the problem also dissapears.


Well, I hope this has been clear enough.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:22 PM   #30
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Hi Ollie, I'm tied up with some other things right now but maybe tomorrow I can check this out a little more.

I'm sure that when I found my mistake of 1280 tpq I changed it, either to 256 or maybe even 128.

At any rate I'll check this out a little more tomorrow.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #31
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Hi Ollie and Tod! -and everyone, of course -

Yesterday I created a thread in the Bug forum with a recipe regarding this issue :

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=132571

My "events per quarter note in CC lane" are 128 and the "ticks per quarter note" are the default. With the recipe, I also posted two Dropbox links with a couple of images , too.

Last edited by Soli Deo Gloria; 12-18-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #32
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Thank you for your perseverance and for the recipe, I merged the threads for consistency (since you really describe the same phenomenon). However...

1. Your recipe pointed to the actual culprit (though Tod noticed it earlier above, just didn't see that): The problem is the number of CC events per lane, not the overall amount of visible events - my test item contains 6 CC lanes with 60,000 events each (300,000+ visible events) -> slight slowdown. A test item created according to your recipe contains 102,000 events in a single lane -> major slowdown.

Of course I'll inquire about ways to improve this but this is not exactly a bug, if it is anything it would be a lack of performance, subjectively...

2. Let's consider how practical all this is.

- First off, how "real life" is a single item with 100,000 CC events for only 1 CC# in it? That's 200 bars filled with events @128 events per quarter from start to end, and 800 bars @default settings. I've never seen anything like this apart from this synthetical test. Tod apparently got a real life problem with this at 1280 events per quarter but that's 40 times more events than normal, creating almost a gigabyte of data somewher (compare that to the size of normal multichannel MIDI files) and making him create this thread.

So even if you're hoping for some supposed extra precision/analog-ishness by multiplying that number, how many events can that create in a real life item with regular/occasional, non-continuous CC value changes, even when you consolidate all track MIDI to a single item?

- Secondly, why are you guys increasing the "events per quarter..." to anything between 4 and 40 times the default amount in first place?

Tod mentioned some of his concerns/motivations in this thread:

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=122906

I think the graphical representation of CC value changes as bars (as opposed by lines/envelopes) may cause false misgivings about "jagginess" and "zipper noise". Even if you see a smooth line in some other DAW, it just represents a (AFAIK unknown anywhere else) reasonable number of intermediate steps (because that's the nature of MIDI).

However, this has never been a big deal anywhere because pretty much all plug-ins I know are "smoothing" any/most parameter changes to (a) avoid zipper noise and (b) to allow for smooth transition between parameter value steps. This transition time may range from n milliseconds (for (a)) to nnn milliseconds (for (b)).

Now let's put that in relation to the intrinsic "graininess" of CC events - at a "firing rate" of 32 events per quarter, that's 15.6ms per event @120bpm. That would mean that the transition time on value changes introduced by the receiving plug-in must be shorter than this to potentially cause a perceivable step. Actually I have to slow down a project to <10bpm to be able to perceive the "stepping". Back at 120bpm, if the transition time is longer than 15.6ms, any intermediate CC event would simply do nothing.

So doubling the number of events per quarter may or may not make sense at very slow tempi (depending on the plug-in), that and some technical applications involving CCs (not everyone is using REAPER for music) make it a good thing that it's adjustable in first place but like I said, it's live ammo and should be used with caution and consideration, even if you don't use e.g. vintage MIDI hardware that may choke and lock up on such a flood of events.


3. This is all only valid for parameter changes drawn in a CC lane. Controller input is quite different, suggesting that you use a controller instead or imitate what the controller does if you must have the events per quarter setting so high, because...:

(a) REAPER doesn't seem to limit the number events received from a controller, and it's independent from the Preferences setting. Some controllers can create a lot of events if needed.

(b) The max. "firing rate" of a controller may vary between different models, but the amount of events being sent is always depending on the speed of knob movement.

In other words, a controller sends the events dynamically - quick movements create more events than slow movements and that keeps the number of events in check, while it can create a lot of events if needed. It does what you might want to do too, "draw" many events on fast slopes and "insert" single events when the changes are minor and over a long time.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:01 AM   #33
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Thanks Ollie, that's a very good in depth and intelligent review. I think your practical considerations are pretty good for the most part.

There is one little thing I'm wondering about.

Quote:
However, this has never been a big deal anywhere because pretty much all plug-ins I know are "smoothing" any/most parameter changes to (a) avoid zipper noise and (b) to allow for smooth transition between parameter value steps. This transition time may range from n milliseconds (for (a)) to nnn milliseconds (for (b)).
You might be right but I've never noticed any information concerning this, attached to any plugins descriptions. That don't mean I didn't miss it, that can easily happen with this old brain.

Kontakt is the only VSTi that I know for sure has it. It's not on by default, if you want it, you have to apply it on every parameter you control with CC. However, Kontakts main instrument volume does have it and it can't be changed. Just a little bit of Smoothing (I think it's call "Lag" now) works very well.

Quote:
I think the graphical representation of CC value changes as bars (as opposed by lines/envelopes) may cause false misgivings about "jagginess" and "zipper noise". Even if you see a smooth line in some other DAW, it just represents a (AFAIK unknown anywhere else) reasonable number of intermediate steps (because that's the nature of MIDI).
Actually for me it's the opposite, I trust the CC events because I know exactly what's happening. I don't trust the envelopes, unless they can be easily changed into CC events so you can see what's going on. The worst part is if the envelopes are tied to the latency buffer size which is the way Reaper handles it at the moment. Heh heh, this is going a bit OT but thought I'd comment on that.

I think your practical suggestions are pretty good Ollie, right now I'm mostly using 128 events per quarter note and it works pretty well. I've only got a couple of instruments in Konakt that this can become bothersome. My Steel Guitar uses about 25 controllers and that can make for a lot of CC events.

DarkStar made a JS plugin that eliminates redundant CC events and it works great. I've seen it cut the CC events in half but it will generally reduce them by a third or more. It's a little tricky to use and it's even trickier to tie it to a custom action. I've got it set up with an icon in my toolbar so all I have to do is select the midi item(s), hit the button and presto, it's done.

If I get some time I might post it along with directions on how to set it up as a custom action. I don't think DarkStar would mind.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
You might be right but I've never noticed any information concerning this, attached to any plugins descriptions. That don't mean I didn't miss it, that can easily happen with this old brain.
I guess it's pretty simple - you usually get that information only when this is missing. Whatever you lay your hands/CCs on - if it's in the audio path and doesn't have any kind of "smoothing", it will first cause zipper noise, then complaints about the zipper noise (which is coincidentally what also happened with REAPER stock plug-ins ). Any amount of CC events will not remove the noise, just change its sound/frequency and you will know if a parameter is not meant or prepared to be dynamically changed.

Even if zipper noise has been addressed, too fast transitions can cause complaints about audible "stepping", in particular on fast changes of a parameter, too slow can mean complaints about "bad response".

BTW if you turn the tempo down to 1 bpm or just insert some individual pitch events on normal tempo you can hear the "smoothing" and maybe even estimate a little how long the transition time might be. The next best thing are probably changes in timbre, while volume related parameters are probably the worst in detecting stepping or too lazy transitions/interpolation/whatever they call it.

For example ReaSynth has obviously a very short time (very few ms to remove zipper noise) while AlphaFree seems to be well in the 2-digit range (smoothing).
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:35 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
BTW if you turn the tempo down to 1 bpm or just insert some individual pitch events on normal tempo you can hear the "smoothing" and maybe even estimate a little how long the transition time might be. The next best thing are probably changes in timbre, while volume related parameters are probably the worst in detecting stepping or too lazy transitions/interpolation/whatever they call it.
Actually if the instrument or VSTi has any way of getting somewhat of a steady state tone, all you have to do is go abruptly from 0 to 127 and render it. That will tell you exactly what it's doing and whether it's linear or analogous.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:08 PM   #36
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Hi people!

First of all, Ollie, thank you very much for your detailed and valuable reply! I will surely take your advice and make some tests with my plugins. And Tod, thank you very much too for the information. There is much to learn, to read and to practice...

The motivation for my thread and the recipe was caused by a real life situation, indeed, with a brief but very dense 41 bars piece. There are some busy lines in it, and I experienced some sluggishnes in the ME that caught my attention. I formulated the recipe the way I did just to make sure that it could be noticeable in any hardware setup. I know it may seem exaggerated, but I donīt think that 200 - 300 bars would be unthinkable for symphonic music. In fact, I have some old pieces I did in another DAW in a very basic way that I would like to revisit (and re-program) at any time with Reaper and they reach easily that amount of measures.

Could this performance issue be a feature request, maybe? I know many people wouldnīt care about this - I donīt know even if it would get any vote apart from Todīs and mine -, but Reaper is such a wonderful program and so efficient in so many aspects that it would be great and would, in my opinion, broaden its already almighty capabilities if it didnīt have that kind of limitation - even if itīs a very specific one -.

Thanks again for all!
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Old 12-23-2013, 04:14 AM   #37
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Ollie, here comes another real life situation :

With 32 events per note and 960 TPQN, I swept CC11 across 40 bars in 30 tracks at the same time, as a starting point in a 77 bpm project -of course, the CC will need further detailed editing in each track, but this serves as a reference and a kind of dynamics scheme, to give it a name-. The slowdown was really DRAMATIC, even in an optimized audio PC (I7, 32 Gb of ram, etc). I mean, this issue really limits Reaperīs capability to draw across multiple tracks. And, of course, you can always split the items to ease the problem, but itīs really fastidious. I tested it with 12 tracks and it was also problematic. I even erased in each track the unnecesary events.

I am conscious that, at the moment, not many people seems to be bothered by this - as you say, many people doesnīt even use Reaper for music making -, but itīs a pitty that one even has to worry about "not drawing more than X events in a lane". A big slowdown is easier to encounter than I first thought, by the way. This is far from being just a "theoric/hypothetic question".I love Reaper and, until now, itīs the only serious limitation Iīve encountered.

Iīm writing this because, apart from being "my problem", it undermines, in my opinion, Reaperīs flexibility in the midi domain and contradicts all the wonderful midi editor functions and improvements of recent times.

So, Ollie, I would like to ask you some questions :

- Could you tell the devs about this?
- Are you sure this is not worth a bug report? It goes directly against the multiple drawing/editing function in the Midi Editor.
- If, in your opinion, itīs not a bug, should I make a feature request?
- Could I write to the support mail to tell the devs about this and support what you tell them?
-Is there any hope for a fix/improvement of the issue?


Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:13 AM   #38
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Hi Soli,

Yes, I see what you mean. I just experimented with 4 tracks across 40 bars, 64 events per quarter note. That brought my computer to it's knees. In all honesty, this is on my old slow XP I just use for the internet so it might be expected, but it certainly shows the problem.

Heh heh, is it a bug or an FR? It could be either way.

I don't think I would ever start a project in this manner, even an orchestral project, I build mine from the ground up but I can see very easily the reason one might do this.

As more and more orchestra type folks migrate to Reaper with large templates, this could tend to be a stumbling block.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #39
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Hi Tod!

Well, the thread has been just moved to the bugs forum; I think thatīs good news!

The global dynamics I draw for many of the tracks of a project are, in my case, the foundation to further editing of each line, as you have realized. After a lot of drawings, those dynamics may vary radically according to the instrument, but the initial reference tends to be very useful for me. Of course, what Iīm pointing at is not just my particular case, you know that, but a general midi issue that can be very problematic for anyone trying to do big midi projects with Reaper. As you say, there is no need at all to draw across 30 tracks simultaneously to experience severe slowdowns.

Letīs hope for a fix!

Last edited by Soli Deo Gloria; 12-25-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #40
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I changed the recipe in the tracker and put it in the clearest terms I am capable of :

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=5025

I hope the "misdirected" label can be reconsidered...
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