Topic: Preview 3.2.7: Redesigned system for loading plugins

This topic contains 25 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Grzegorz Kawka 12 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
  • #32791

    Zynewave
    Keymaster

    Podium 3.2.7 beta1 is available on your account downloads page.

    This update has been in the works for a long time now. It does not have new features but it has a redesigned system for loading plugins. In addition to more robust plugin loading, it should also fix some long-standing crash issues with e.g. NI Kontakt.

    In previous Podium versions all plugin loading is done in the main Podium UI thread. This has the unfortunate effect that heavy plugins that takes several seconds to load will block the Podium UI and can cause the dreaded Windows white translucent overlay with the ‘app has become unresponsive’ message.

    The new system uses a separate background thread to handle plugin loading. I initially implemented all the plugin initialization in this background thread, to completely avoid any blocking of the UI thread, but unfortunately I subsequently found that when loaded this way many plugins will freeze when you try to open the plugin editor. Therefore part of the loading is still done in the UI thread. In beta1 I’ve added a ‘Enable loading of plugins in background thread’ option to the Preferences/Plugin page, in case you want to test the full background thread loader. Of the plugins I have installed, I found that TAL software and Blue Cat plugins will freeze when opening the editor. I will remove this background thread option in the final release.

    A progress dialog will pop up when plugins are loaded, to make it clear that Podium is not unresponsive but is waiting for the plugins to load. When you exit Podium you will also see a wait dialog if plugins need to be unloaded.

    If you test this beta, let me know if you experience any difference in the behavior of the plugins you have installed.

    #32810

    Levendis
    Participant

    Hello Frits, i’ve tried the beta of v.3.2.7 with the ‘Enable loading of plugins in background thread’ enabled. Thus far, Podium hangs and i have to force quit it using the Task Manager, when using Image-Line VSTs. Plugins from some other developers function properly.

    If i disable said preference, load Image-Line plugins, then enable the preference, the plugins can be opened as normal.

    #32818

    Zynewave
    Keymaster

    Thanks for testing. I’ve also encountered more plugins that won’t work with the background thread option, so I suggest you ignore this option from now on as I definitely will remove it for the final release.

    Beta2 is up, with a couple of bug-fixes. While testing NI Reaktor I found that it could crash if the preset was loaded in the background thread. So now presets are also loaded in the main thread, like older Podium versions. I’ve found another crash issue with offline bouncing of NI reaktor tracks, which also was present in older Podium versions. I’ll continue to work on a fix for this.

    #32852

    Levendis
    Participant

    Thanks Frits, i shall disable that option. Thus far, hanging UI when loading plugins hasn’t been a nuisance for me.

    More worrisome, and has been noted before, on this forum, is that of making use of MIDI output from plugins. i’m aware that a recording can be made of these, then the timeline event can be placed on another track. This, however, means that the influence of MIDI generators can not be heard until recorded and repositioned. Tweaking MIDI generators and honing in toward the desired behaviour, therefore, is not allowed.

    Would it be feasible to include MIDI Out devices in the track input selector menu?

    This issue goes beyond making use of MIDI generators for instrument tracks, as some plugin effects are also able to process with MIDI input.

    #32860

    Levendis
    Participant

    Does the fact that the Image-Line plugins have vectorial interfaces have an influence on the newly implemented threaded processing?

    As you have Reaktor, would you mind confirming that its Song Position module isn’t enacted in Podium?
    Right-click structure > Built-in Modules > MIDI In > Song Position
    The output of it should count up every 96th note, when playback in Podium is engaged. i haven’t been successful in achieving so. Which is weird, because other plugins that have synced LFOs or step sequencers happily lock onto the timeline.

    #32894

    thcilnnahoj
    Participant

    Long time no beta!

    No problems with plugins so far (haven’t tested much), but I’d like to mention two inconveniences I’ve noticed:

    – (3.2.7 beta 2) Loading any color scheme disables my audio interface (deselects it as active ASIO device in the Audio/MIDI preferences). Doesn’t happen in 3.2.6.

    – (3.2.6) Setting volume or pan via numeric entry on a track with post-effects metering disables the meter. The dialog in which you enter the value (Effect Track Properties) has a blank selection for “meter mode” no matter which track the meter is set on.

    #32895

    4mica
    Participant

    All is good here on my Win7 64.

    #32909

    thcilnnahoj
    Participant

    Quick error report, don’t know if it’s related to the changes in this version.

    Error message:
    “A plugin has performed an illegal action.
    […] Twin 2 […]
    This may have caused memory corruption in Podium. […]”

    Plugin: FabFilter Twin 2 version 2.27 (newest at this time), x64.

    This happened while switching preset from “Keys – Other – FM Piano 1 DJM” to “Pad – Soft A-M – Afterglow O” during playback of just one track. Didn’t crash Podium, but killed all audio until I powered the arrangement off. Doesn’t seem easily reproducible.

    #32945

    Andrzej
    Participant

    Thank God Podium is alive! I’ve got more and more projects in Podium and I’m scared to loose it all if the developement stop :/ Can’t pay my time for beta tests for now but I can’t wait next stabile version.

    #32974

    z_sfyr
    Participant

    This may be of help regarding the plugin loading feature update. I have a small number of plugins that do not play nice with Podium. Sometimes the plugin “rack” will turn yellow and inform that a preset must be stored before saving – most plugins do this automatically. Very occasionally I get this message:
    “Cannot store preset data from “****”. The reported size of 42mb is beyond the limit allowed in Podium.”
    I suspect that the plugin is not reporting properly. In the example above, the plugin was called “Range Bastard” – a simple guitar pedal emulation. Inconceivable that its preset size was many times bigger than others.
    Anyway, hope this helps. All DAWS seem to struggle with certain plugins, but it would play to Podiums’ strengths if hosted them all without glitches.
    Cheers

    #32976

    H-man
    Participant

    Well hello everyone!

    Frits, Just tried Kontakt 4 (multi-out) here and it seems to work well as described in the original post.

    I’ll keep testing plug-ins and see what I can find.

    I have to say here that Podium’s ability to let one skip the plug-in database and just load plugins on a per-project basis seems simple enough but is a feature that I crave in other DAWs but never find.

    Loading plugins from any location on the file system is a huge plus as well.

    #33138

    z_sfyr
    Participant

    A little off topic with this, but could this update allow for multiple tracks to be selected & moved at the same time? If I import a bunch of, say, drum samples onto individual tracks, I then have to select them one by one to move to a drum group track. Not a big deal, until you have to repeat the same action 15 or 20 times. Just a workflow issue.
    And maybe I’ve missed this, but a shortcut to select all events on one track would help the workflow too.
    Thanks.

    #33149

    Zynewave
    Keymaster

    Beta3 is up.

    – (3.2.7 beta 2) Loading any color scheme disables my audio interface (deselects it as active ASIO device in the Audio/MIDI preferences). Doesn’t happen in 3.2.6.
    – (3.2.6) Setting volume or pan via numeric entry on a track with post-effects metering disables the meter. The dialog in which you enter the value (Effect Track Properties) has a blank selection for “meter mode” no matter which track the meter is set on.

    Fixed. Thanks for reporting these bugs.

    In addition to bug-fixes, beta3 has a new “Offline bounce buffer size” option in the Preferences dialog. I was working on a bug-fix for NI Reaktor which would crash when doing an offline bounce. It turns out that Reaktor crashes with any buffer sizes below 160 samples, and previous Podium versions used a fixed buffer size of 128 for offline bouncing. I was not able to make NI Reaktor behave with lower than 160 sample buffer sizes, so therefore this new option. The new default is “Audio driver setting”, but you can select a buffer size as low as 16 samples. The only benefit from selecting a smaller buffer size is that VST parameter automation will be smoother, since VST parameters are updated only once at the start of each buffer.

    #33156

    4mica
    Participant

    Hi. How far should I adjust buffer size, now that I can? Or would it be best to leave at 128 default? The benefit of smoother automation makes me want to lower it a lot, but are there drawbacks to low buffer size? Sorry if I ask too much—

    #33177

    Zynewave
    Keymaster

    Would it be feasible to include MIDI Out devices in the track input selector menu?

    Support for routing the MIDI output of a plugin into the input of the plugin above it in the chain is on the roadmap. It’s not a simple thing to implement, so it won’t make it into this release.

    Does the fact that the Image-Line plugins have vectorial interfaces have an influence on the newly implemented threaded processing?
    As you have Reaktor, would you mind confirming that its Song Position module isn’t enacted in Podium?
    Right-click structure > Built-in Modules > MIDI In > Song Position
    The output of it should count up every 96th note, when playback in Podium is engaged. i haven’t been successful in achieving so. Which is weird, because other plugins that have synced LFOs or step sequencers happily lock onto the timeline.

    The Image-Line UI should not affect the threaded processing or the changes to the plugin loading system in this release. I have not worked with Reaktor before, so I’m not sure how the Song Position module is supposed to behave, but if I follow your instructions then I don’t see any animation on the module during playback.

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