Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Reports

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Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Reports

Postby Credo » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:15 am

I'm looking for tips on how to trouble shoot disk loss issues with Aria on my system.
The examples of problems listed below apply to Garritan libraries (since I know they should be quality libraries with well tried and tested sfz files), but I've also had issues with my own simple home rolled patches.

The Kit:
Windows 7 64bit

Motherboard is ASRock A770DE+
AMD Phenom II 1090T X6 with all cores locked and stable at 3.6ghz with multipliers (stock NB, SB, and other bus speeds). HEPT timing is disabled (tried both for HEPT, audio seems smoother with it disabled). Installed is 8 Gig Ram at stock speed and timings. The system has passed numerous stress, disk thrashing, and memory tests. Power supply looks good and stable under full load.

Everything OS, DAW, and Aria related are installed on PNY SSD SATA III media through SATA III PCIe boards. Windows caching gets its very own dedicated Samsung 840 SSD drive that serves no other purpose but caching and other misc. temp directories. The system drive itself is also on a larger Samsung 830 model drive.

My audio card is the PCI based M-Audio Delta 1010 with the stock 19" breakout rack. I'm showing that I have v6.0.8 64bit ASIO drivers installed.

I'm running the 64bit version of CuBase 8 Pro as my primary VST host.

I'm showing that I have v1.620 of Aria Player with v1.757 engine.
I've double checked that it's the 64 bit version of Aria.
I've tried both multi output and regular versions with the same issue popping up.

Problem:
Sadly, with some of the Garritan Libraries I've recently started using more often with Aria Player, I'm starting to notice clicks and notes dropping out and the player keeps counting up on the disk loss counter. In terms of processor, memory, and disk activity my PC isn't even breaking a sweat with the Aria plug-in so I'm not sure where else to look to sort this out.

Some patches do it far worse than others...Particularly those with more options that can be tweaked in real time that I'm starting to find in sets like "Instant Orchestra" and "Jazz and Big Band".

As an example, the C Melody Sax patch in the "Jazz and Big Band" collection drops notes and gives a disk loss counter increase on the settings tab pretty much every time I try to use it with long sustained notes. I've been able to run some pretty beefy plugins with almost no latency and really small buffers up until now...

None of my other VST plugins do this, so I'm thinking I must be missing something (probably obvious) that is specific to Aria. It also seems to be related to 'streaming samples' direct from disk. IF and when I can ever get an entire sample into RAM by banging a note over and over for several minutes....things play smoothly from there. I'm open to somehow forcing Aria to put the whole lot in RAM if that's what it takes...but I don't know how.

Stuff I've tried thus far:
Multitudes of settings avilable in the Aria UI.

Quite a range of reasonable ASIO buffer sizes.

Loading the patch into sforzando rather than Aria.

Checking for latest system and device drivers from top to bottom.

Reinstalling the sample set to a different drive on a different make/brand of SATA III host in a different PCIe slot (in case I had a botched sample or flaked out SATA host) with different cables from tested lots.

Fresh install to a new hard drive on the motherboard's built in SATA II interface.

Running Aria in stand alone mode to rule out Stienberg's ASIO Guard compatibility issues.

Trying working in different sample rates.

Testing with a different sound card/chip (onboard VIA chipset with many flavors of drivers including ASIO4ALL and/or Generic ASIO>WDM drivers).

I still get the clicks and drop outs and a rising disk loss count (worst at 44.1k sample rate) no matter what I try! :(

Sticking with 48k sample rates and Increasing Inst. Disk Precaching buffer size to 128Kb seems to help somewhat on my system. Pushing up the "Max Engine RAM" seems to help at times as well (even though stats on the settings page doesn't come anywhere near my max allowable settings). So with that in mind I'm convinced there's got to be a solution here (maybe a hidden time out value in an xml file somewhere to fix PCIe timing or wait-state issues or something?)....I'm just not able to find it and 'lock it in'. Just when I think it's fixed from a buffer tweak or whatever, it starts doing it again.

I'm sure it has something to do with my PC setup, as I've used these Garritan Libraries/Players in the past on really old AMD dual core and quad systems with no problems. Just looking for ideas on how to 'properly' trouble shoot this thing and get it locked in.

Thanks,
Credo

davidv
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Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby davidv » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:59 pm

Hi

Could you try installing the new sforzando player (puts ARIA at v1.801)
http://www.plogue.com/downloads

Cheers
David Viens,
Plogue Art et Technologie Inc. Montreal.
http://www.plogue.com

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:29 pm

davidv wrote:Hi

Could you try installing the new sforzando player (puts ARIA at v1.801)
http://www.plogue.com/downloads

Cheers


Yes David, I'll try that as soon as I can.
Thanks much!

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:19 am

davidv wrote:Hi

Could you try installing the new sforzando player (puts ARIA at v1.801)
http://www.plogue.com/downloads

Cheers


I gave it a try with both Aria and sforzando. Performance seems much improved but I'm still not cured.

DxDiag and Aria/Plogue Logs are attached.

Credo
Attachments
Aria logs Brian.tar.gz
(39.68 KiB) Downloaded 88 times

eric_telemaque
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby eric_telemaque » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:56 am

Hi Credo,

The strangest in all of this is that you have a really over-spec'd machine and that the problematic patches are very light and require little to no resource.
So far, I can't reproduce the issue here ( don't have Cubase 8, sadly).

You've already tried all of what i would suggest you to try in the first place...

Would it be possible for you to try one more thing? Please check if there's a difference between when the UI is showing or not?
Also, does the clicks occur when you render the audio?
(EDIT: On second thought, I'd be really surprised if you get disk loss with offline rendering)

Cheers
Last edited by eric_telemaque on Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Éric Patenaude,
Plogue Art et Technologie Inc. Montreal.
http://www.plogue.com

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:55 pm

eric_telemaque wrote:Hi Credo,

The strangest in all of this is that you have a really over-spec'd machine ant that the problematic patches are very light and require little to no resource.
So far' I can't reproduce the issue here ( don't have Cubase 8, sadly).

You've already tried all of what i would suggest you to try in the first place...

Would it be possible for you to try one more thing? Please check if there's a difference between when the UI is showing or not?
Also, does the clicks occur when you render the audio?
(EDIT: On second thought, I'd be really surprised if you get disk loss with offline rendering)

Cheers


Thanks much for the attention on this case....

I agree, it's really strange and frustrating. Probably some motherboard/driver/memory glitch where something is timing out or just dropping instructions altogether? I've used Aria with stuff as old as a Pentium 5 with IDE and low end Athelon X2 rigs and even on systems that old, 8 to 16 Aria Instruments with FX and even a few DAW audio tracks didn't have this issue.

In addition to your suggestions above, I think my next major try will be with different memory sticks (even though these pass thrashing and tests...different memory could make a difference right?).

I've been messing about with this for months now (progressing through every version of Aria Player and Engine I could get my hands on), and just recently decided to ask for help in trouble shooting...just in case there might be hidden, some last resort method of forcing everything into RAM from the start (if streaming is even the issue). Normally we wouldn't want this....but in my case, if it exists, such a hack could keep me going until I'm forced to upgrade to a more modern PC platform.

It's probably time to move to a Sandy or Ivy rig (maybe something still exists that can run my PCI Delta 1010?)....but it'll be some months before I can afford to go that route.

Note, the disk loss still occurs when running stand alone versions Aria or Sforzando. Upon upgrading to 1.801 I did a fresh install on everything but the Garritan libraries themselves, then ran the tests and diagnosis apps. I had the issue with CuBase 7.5 and the light version of Ableton as well (all 64 bit versions).

I can still use Aria if I spend a few minutes banging on the problem sound key until it eventually gets everything it needs loaded up in RAM. Occasionally I'll hit a note that just refused to sustain without the dropout....but usually I can get it working after several tries.

I'll render some tracks from the Stand alone host, and through CuBase as well and see what happens.

I'll also try it with the UI closed, though I'm pretty sure it still does it either way.

I try not to run a bunch of stuff in the background when working with the DAW, but there's a bunch of stuff I don't disable since I've no clue what all of it does. If there's anything I should look for to disable that's known to cause issues please let me know and I'll have a look at that as well.

Other VST Synth and Sampler plugins are fine (Halion SE and others that come with CuBase, Sonivox 88 and Twist, Akai Essential Elements, etc.).

I guess I can also try 32bit versions of stuff if that would be helpful?

Eventually I guess I can try it with a different video card too....that's about the only thing I haven't tried when it comes to starting with a bare motherboard and gradually sticking the PCI and PCIe cards back in. Right now I'm running 3 monitors, but my issues with Aria existed before I added more screens. So...I've run tests with as little hardware as the Video Card, Motherboard, and Memory....and running Aria through the built in VIA sound chip and still frustration :(

Credo

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:06 pm

Interesting....

Last night I decided to throw together a quick and dirty pep band arrangement of a pop tune just for fun (and to push Aria a bit).
I did it in 'easy combo' style with only 3 or 4 simple parts doubled across all the instrument families in unison.
Image

Out of the box I started a 48khz project with 512kb ASIO buffers...with two instances of Aria and did my quick and dirty arranging (mostly with an editor, but I did play in a few phrases live) and began piling up instruments (Mostly from the Concert and Marching Band Library, but I did add stuff from the other libraries to give it a bit more texture and test this thing) and slightly detuning them. I added a couple of drum line tracks. It was playing fine in real time with no disk loss at default settings during the composition stage. I used the multi output version and grouped the audio streams by instrument families to rough in some DAW centric effect chain and mix ideas. All of Aria's built in eq, convulsion, and reverb effects were disabled.

At this point I decided to render a few of the low brass tracks to dry audio as a test using CuBase 8 Pro's new 'render in place' feature to a target 24bit 48k wav, at which point the second instance of Aria threw up a bunch of dialogs saying it did not have enough memory. Also at this point, all of the sounds coming out of the first instance of Aria were distorted and the disk loss counter went wild.
error1.png
error1.png (30.23 KiB) Viewed 4157 times


I had started that session with a project template that may have even been hanging around from CuBase 7.5, so I'm thinking in this case, Aria's corruption may have been due to earlier trouble shooting installations of Aria, and maybe VST2 presets on the CuBase side where left over from when the sample libraries where tried from different hard drives?

I was unable to recover this session of Aria and continue using it, so I closed out CuBase without 'saving' anything (since the Aria error messages), rebooted, and tried again. At this point as soon as I attempted to load the project in CuBase the second instance of Aria gave me the same out of memory message. As before, upon hitting play nothing sounded right and disk loss counters went wild. So, I removed all the Aria Instances from the project, saved the song, rebooted, and rebuilt my Aria instrument sets from scratch.
session1.png
session1.png (630.42 KiB) Viewed 4157 times


At this point, everything worked flawlessly for a few hours of tinkering around! Not a single disk loss or glitch. This experiment involved at least 20 Instruments all playing at once.

Depending on the plugins involved on the fx chain in the rendering, CuBase sometimes requires a 'real-time' rendering where I could hear the mix-down process. Some of the rendering experiments also rendered almost instantly without doing a real time play-back. It all just worked beautifully...so I kept piling in instruments to push it even further.

So here are the rendering test results (not well mixed or arranged...just a test run):
https://onedrive.live.com/embed?cid=69C6B755C55742E4&resid=69C6B755C55742E4%21379&authkey=AFo_rZwE3bUf9gI

I'm convinced that whatever problems I've been having are hardware related at this point and will probably return. Meanwhile here are the logs in case they might be helpful. I'll cross my fingers that it continues to work as well as it did in my last session.

Credo
Attachments
Aria logs Brian.tar.gz
(119.69 KiB) Downloaded 87 times
Last edited by Credo on Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mrbumpy409
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:24 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby mrbumpy409 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:50 pm

It sounds like your issue is probably something else, but I thought I would mention what I discovered using sforzando. If you load an instrument into sforzando and then increase the "Inst. Disk Pre-Caching", it won't actually load any more of the samples into RAM. You have to increase the "Inst. Disk Pre-Caching" before you load the instrument, and then you'll see a lot more RAM being used for the samples.

I hope this helps.

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:38 pm

mrbumpy409 wrote:It sounds like your issue is probably something else, but I thought I would mention what I discovered using sforzando. If you load an instrument into sforzando and then increase the "Inst. Disk Pre-Caching", it won't actually load any more of the samples into RAM. You have to increase the "Inst. Disk Pre-Caching" before you load the instrument, and then you'll see a lot more RAM being used for the samples.

I hope this helps.


Good to know....I know it's not officially supported but I noticed sforzando now has a 256k pre cache option. I added that into Aria's ui settings xml to try later, but after last night's experience I'm inclined to believe I just have a weird hardware or driver issue that I might never find short of packing the thing up and sending it to Plogue to work with first hand :(, and at that point it's probably a one off issue that'd be more easily (and cost effectively) fixed with a fresh new DDR3 motherboard and memory (or new platform altogether).

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:04 am

With a few more test sessions under my belt it definitely seems as if the 1.8 engine is acting better on my system.

I spent a little time win Sibelius 7.5 to see how that goes.

I still get disk loss sometimes, but it's usually not as clicky-poppy as it was before.

Occasionally I get an instrument that just doesn't want to sustain some notes without them dropping out. Doing a quick render of the track in question sorts it out then I can continue.

More logs attached.

Credo
Attachments
Aria logs Brian.tar.gz
(63.48 KiB) Downloaded 92 times

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:42 pm

More sessions, and while it's not perfect yet the 1.801 engine has improved things so much I'm able to use my Garritan libraries with satisfactory results.

It might just be in my head....but it seems like increasing the polyphony to 128 in the Aria Instrument Slot for some of the instruments leads to much smoother sessions. Particularly with pianos and keyboards....

One thing I've noticed that I can't remember happening with previous engines is broken instruments in the Instant Orchestra collection. It may have been broken before and I'd simply never tried the patches in question...at any rate it might not hurt to see if others trying the 1.801 engine come up with the same issue and confirm if it's a problem with the engine or something broken in the library. The paths don't seem right to me at a quick glance, not sure about all the #include stuff...but I don't recall IO being a problem here before the 1.801 update, and I've not changed anything in those library files or directories.........

portato-err.png
portato-err.png (154.93 KiB) Viewed 4022 times


It seems to occur with all of the portato string patches.

I've confirmed that the samples shown missing in the error message above DO exist on the installation.
explorer.png
explorer.png (137.03 KiB) Viewed 4021 times


Logs and an example broken sfz are attached.

Thanks,
Credo
Attachments
Aria logs Brian.tar.gz
(183.61 KiB) Downloaded 75 times

eric_telemaque
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby eric_telemaque » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:55 pm

Credo wrote:More sessions, and while it's not perfect yet the 1.801 engine has improved things so much I'm able to use my Garritan libraries with satisfactory results.

It might just be in my head....but it seems like increasing the polyphony to 128 in the Aria Instrument Slot for some of the instruments leads to much smoother sessions. Particularly with pianos and keyboards....

One thing I've noticed that I can't remember happening with previous engines is broken instruments in the Instant Orchestra collection. It may have been broken before and I'd simply never tried the patches in question...at any rate it might not hurt to see if others trying the 1.801 engine come up with the same issue and confirm if it's a problem with the engine or something broken in the library. The paths don't seem right to me at a quick glance, not sure about all the #include stuff...but I don't recall IO being a problem here before the 1.801 update, and I've not changed anything in those library files or directories.........

(snip)portato-err.png (snip)

It seems to occur with all of the portato string patches.

I've confirmed that the samples shown missing in the error message above DO exist on the installation.
(snip)explorer.png (snip)



Hi,

Regarding that issue in particular, It seems that Samples have been misplaced as it's looking for the samples in:

Code: Select all

 ../Instant Orchestra/Instruments/String patches/
while they seem to be located at:

Code: Select all

../Instant Orchestra/Samples/Stringy Samples
so a clean reinstall is in order for that library.

It would be a good idea to have a look at your MakeMusic's downloads page if there's a newer version of Instant Orchestra available by any chance.
Éric Patenaude,
Plogue Art et Technologie Inc. Montreal.
http://www.plogue.com

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:45 pm

eric_telemaque wrote:Hi,

Regarding that issue in particular, It seems that Samples have been misplaced as it's looking for the samples in:

Code: Select all

 ../Instant Orchestra/Instruments/String patches/
while they seem to be located at:

Code: Select all

../Instant Orchestra/Samples/Stringy Samples
so a clean reinstall is in order for that library.

It would be a good idea to have a look at your MakeMusic's downloads page if there's a newer version of Instant Orchestra available by any chance.


Thanks,
I'll give it a try...

I noticed the same thing on the path differences and it looks easy enough to fix by hand, but thought it might be wise to make sure it's purely a problem with the library and not due to installing the beta engine. It's always good to catch things like that before a release (if it's a problem at all) :)

Credo

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:49 am

Reinstalled IO using the download at makemusic. It seems to have fixed it...

Thanks

Credo
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:56 am

Re: Troubleshooting Clicks, Dropped Notes, and Disk Loss Rep

Postby Credo » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:27 pm

Grabbed the 1.807 engine update from the Make-Music site (Thanks SysexJohn for the heads up on the new version)....

Happy to report I've enjoyed several trouble free sessions since that hour working with Aria without a single glitch!

Thanks again for the attention on this case......

Credo


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