Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

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mhertzbe
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:45 pm

Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby mhertzbe » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:33 pm

I can reliably get Kontakt 4 very upset by sending multiple program change commands too quickly.

Example behavior is a pop-up window : "Kontakt 4 : ERROR parsing input file at line 92498 <parse error>. The loaded patch might be corrupt." There are multiple kontakt samples loading popup windows. Some appear to be frozen while loading samples, others are in a "searching..." state. This seems to crash kontakt inside of forte, which is game over until a task manager end task and restart Forte.

Kontakt version is 4.11.3832. Forte version is 2.2.14.2101.

I realize this feels like a Kontakt bug, but I wonder if there might be a way for Forte to avoid the problem. Is there a way for the host (Forte) to tell when the VSTI is finished configuring itself and use this info to keep from triggering the bug?

FYI, this is a realistic scenario... I'm not just trying to torture test the setup. My midi controller has a wheel that you can spin to go from one setup to another. Every setup in between sends its associated program change command.

Marc
Forte 4 hosting NI Guitar Rig, Kontakt, and Aux Bus Set on a Dell Precision M4700 with SSD and 24GB memory. Oxygen 88 keyboard/controller and Steinberg UR44 Midi/Audio I/O

sosKeys
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Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby sosKeys » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:01 am

Hi Marc,

I think what you need to do is to load all of your instruments into a Kontakt multi rack--perhaps using instrument banks to select different sounds by scene. Set Kontakt to "Do not use per-Scene configuration data" in the Scene Commands tab, then change instruments by routing MIDI data to the correct channel by scene. I do this with a couple of guitars, vibes, marimba, and flute all in their own intrument slots in the Multi, then put my 6-8 favorite electric pianos into an instrument bank so that I can select the appropriate one per scene (only one can sound at a time). The general principal here is that all samplers (and presumably other slow-loading instruments) should not reload on a scene change. I tried to attach a screenshot with markup for an example but kept getting an error.

-andy

Dirk Offringa
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Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby Dirk Offringa » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:30 am

iHi

In addition to what Andy just suggested, I'd like to add that as a rule of a thumb, that sort of controllers should be avoided at all especially associated with software that needs a certain loading time.

I had the same problem with ext loading .wav files when scrolling through scenelists. I solved this using a programmable midi controller that uses alias tables for it's display and I programmed it in a way that it scrolls though the scenelist without sending pc's, a second pushbutton being programmed to actually send (confirm) the chosen pc.

We can hardly define the behaviour you notice as a bug: you're asking the software to queue up huge amounts of data and instructions, which it does, taking up 100% Cpu and overloading the hdd controller and memory manager.

We can imagine a midi plugin that blocks incoming pc's and queues them, until it receives authorisation to transmit the last received. In which case you will not have visual feedback of the scrolling, unless the plugin features an alias table like my controller does.

Dirk
Life would be much easier if I had the source code.

mhertzbe
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby mhertzbe » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:59 am

Thanks for the replies so far.

I understand the concept of getting the samples into memory one time and then using various methods to change sounds without reloading samples. But this approach probably isn't going to work for me. There are just too many samples I want to use combined into too many different configurations with too little memory. I'm sure I could reduce sample loading program changes, but not eliminate them.

I definitely think this is a bug in Kontakt. Shouldn't be able to command a crash by sending midi messages! I was just wondering if there was a way for a VST host to know whether a program change had fully taken effect yet in a loaded VSTi. If yes, then it could have some options in avoiding this issue. If not, nothing can be done.

M
Forte 4 hosting NI Guitar Rig, Kontakt, and Aux Bus Set on a Dell Precision M4700 with SSD and 24GB memory. Oxygen 88 keyboard/controller and Steinberg UR44 Midi/Audio I/O

Angel
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Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby Angel » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:48 pm

Isn't there an option to disconnect plug-ins during scene change? So they don't recieve data? Did you try this?

Angel

Dirk Offringa
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Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby Dirk Offringa » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:10 pm

I don't think it's a bug. A bug is a programming error, (in the code, or in the logic) and I understand you're asking for a feature. I don't see how one could implement this. You're sending a burst of Program Changes, most of which you don't need to be executed, one of those should be executed, but at what point the software should be able to know which PC is to be executed?

And because you are using PC's to command the loading of patches into the plugin, the host has no control over this process.

If you have a 1 second loading time (that's pretty fast) and you sweep from 10 to 127 that's 2 minutes to wait for all the subsequent patches to load/unload, multiple gigabytes of datatransfer, a huge amount of computing. You're just overloading the system. You can use a utility like Filemon from SysInternals to check what's happenning exactly.

It's just that that sort of controller shouldn't be used to change patches in a sampler. You must send directly the desired PC, and if you want to use a wheel for that, than you must use one that can preselect the PC without sending it, then validate with a pushbutton. The wheel you have on your device is inappropriate for this typical use.

my 0.02.....

Dirk
Life would be much easier if I had the source code.

mhertzbe
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Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby mhertzbe » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:05 pm

re: Angel
Good idea, but unfortunately it didn't make any difference at all. Not sure what "disconnect" actually means... description of that check box seems to be missing from the Operation Manual. Thanks for the thought anyway.

re: Dirk
I think one ought to be able to send any midi sequences at all to a midi instrument without it crashing. In that sense, I'd call this a Kontakt bug.

What I've asked a few times now is whether a VST host can tell when a VSTi instrument has finished configuring itself. I don't know a thing about the interface between the two... maybe it's not even a valid question. But if Forte *could* tell when Kontakt was busy loading samples, it could have a feature/behavior where it discarded program changes that came in while Kontakt was, uh, vulnerable. And BTW, I absolutely wouldn't expect the Forte developers to put in such a kludge. It was an academic question.

And of course I won't be "spinning the wheel" in my live setup. That's just how I happened upon this in the first few hours of working with Forte. Some way or other, I'll send only the single PC I need. Still, it's a little scary because sooner or later, I'll send a PC, then realize oops, I sent the wrong one, and I'll have to be sure to wait until Kontakt stops dancin' before correcting the mistake lest my live setup comes crashing down.
Forte 4 hosting NI Guitar Rig, Kontakt, and Aux Bus Set on a Dell Precision M4700 with SSD and 24GB memory. Oxygen 88 keyboard/controller and Steinberg UR44 Midi/Audio I/O

mhertzbe
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: Kontakt 4 hang on fast program changes

Postby mhertzbe » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:11 pm

On re-reading my post, I realize this isn't a midi sequence that's causing Kontakt to crash... it's some sequence of interactions between Forte as VST host and Kontakt as VSTi that's causing Kontakt to crash. After all, Kontakt can't comlpetely reconfigure itself in response to a midi PC. If it could, I might not have bought Forte. :D

But unless Forte is violating the rules of that interface, I'll still call this a Kontakt bug.
Forte 4 hosting NI Guitar Rig, Kontakt, and Aux Bus Set on a Dell Precision M4700 with SSD and 24GB memory. Oxygen 88 keyboard/controller and Steinberg UR44 Midi/Audio I/O


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