Recently I’ve started seeing a very disturbing issue with UVI Workstation, most notably when using the UVI Ravenscroft Piano library. Firstly the plugin takes ages to load - I’m sure it’s a lot longer than it used to be (although I never really took much notice, so it’s hard to know). But most annoyingly, after loading the Ravenscroft Piano library many of the notes get abruptly cut, and I see the Cantabile load going way over 100% (often into the thousands). I see my SSD usage maxing out in Task Manager. If I play the same note a few times, it’ll eventually play properly, but then once I try another note, it’ll do the same thing.
It feels like the plugin is trying to load the samples off disk, but just failing to do so anywhere near quickly enough. But once they’re loaded and cached in RAM, those notes are ok. But this is from an SSD, on a Core i9 machine - it’s not some ancient low-spec machine.
But the thing is, I never used to have this problem. I’ve played many live shows using this plugin, and never ever seen this before.
Would love to hear any ideas about what could be causing this, and how it could be remedied.
Thank you in advance!
Have you tried a current version of the UVI Workstation? They seem to have updates regularly.
Yes, I was only a couple of minor versions behind the latest, and upgrading to the latest doesn’t appear to fix anything.
Are there other sample libraries on the same SSD you can test to see if they are having streaming problems? Just wondering if a hardware thing is going on. The only streaming adjustments are in the workstation and I assumed you check them out. Not sure if there is a utility to test the SSD hardware, some manufacturers have utilities, it might be an idea to look at as well. Also a latency monitor check might be helpful to rule out anything else that may be blocking the disk activity by hogging interrupts.
Thanks @dave_dore, yes, sample streaming does actually appear to affected in other plugins. For example, the Kontakt factory samples have a very noticeable latency of probably 100-200ms on notes played for the first time. After that, further plays feel pretty instant, as if they’re then coming from RAM.
The other thing is that I’m sure my large pre-loaded setlists are taking longer to load too, suggesting this could be a general disk speed issue.
Latency monitor is showing the machine to be running super-smooth, with no spikes or such.
I tried running AS SSD Benchmark, which gave a sequential read speed of 476MB/s, and 4k random read speed of 34MB/s. Those appear to be in the expected ranges for my drive (Western Digital WDS100T2B0A).
However, it does reporter a read access time of 0.699ms, which sounds pretty high maybe? Write access time is 0.096ms, which seems great, but I’m obviously doing mostly reads when streaming samples off disk.
Puzzling and annoying…
You would have to see what 0.7ms is referring to. I don’t think it’s per byte, that would be way toooo high. Maybe it’s bytes-cluster read-time, so (assuming a 32KB cluster), to 0.000022ms.
About the write time, there is a easy explanation: when you write to the SSD, you are actually writing to a RAM buffer, the real writing occurs in background. It’s weird a disk benchmark prog doesn’t provide easily understandable report.
Addition to Torsten’s helpful suggestion: after disabling Windows Defender, also disable all related notifications, which are very annoying. If you want to do it in a more “simple” way, there is a nice free utility, which allows you to do many useful tweaks to Windows. Drop me a line if interested. I’ll post the link and few screenshots about the procedure.
Just to come back to this issue, I finally got to the bottom of what was happening. It turned out that I was using a pre-loaded setlist that required more RAM than my machine had - something like 18Gb on a machine with 16Gb RAM. Consequently it was swapping and burning up time managing its memory, and not cacheing all of the piano samples.
I upgraded to 32Gb of RAM, and that fixed it, although I still have to wait several minutes after loading the full setlist before disk activity stops (presumably plugins still loading their samples). If I play before that activity stops, I occasionally hit a piano note that cuts short because it hasn’t loaded the sample in.
It seems that when it’s in this phase of still loading sample libraries in, with disk activity at 100% in Task Manager, plugins like tthe Ravenscrioft piano fail to stream their samples in. So that’s all it was.
It’s still surprising that it takes so long to load in all this sample data, maxing-out an SSD for 5 minutes or so (that’s how long it takes to load the setlist). But at least now I know I just need to wait for it to settle before playing.
Glad it’s sorted Neil, 18 GB is quite a memory load to be sure, might be a record for Cantabile
One positive from this - Cantabile remained solid throughout, even though the machine hit the RAM limit.
I found this thread as I was having the same problem even if I was only using UVI Workstation. The fix for me was unchecking the Streaming box in the Multi Settings page.
I hope that helps!
Thanks Bobby. However that didn’t work for me, as the problem was that my RAM was full, so it was struggling to find RAM space to load the samples in, regardless of the SSD speed. I guess it was swapping some memory out to swap file or something, thus causing problems.