July 28, 2011

Workin' For A Livin'...

by Chris Randall

It's been an exciting (interesting?) couple of weeks here at Audio Damage Command And Control. Adam and I decided, for reasons that aren't entirely clear to either of us any more at this juncture, that we would finally tackle the Big Bear, and release our next product as a VST3.

The VST3 SDK was updated to a new stable release a month or so ago, and in this release is the ability to also build VST2.4 and AudioUnit, off the VST3 base plug-in. These aren't "wrapped" as such, but are the real deal, just using a different base than the VST3. They necessarily lack the extra features that VST3 has (moreso in the case of VST2.4, as AudioUnits and VST3 plugs are remarkably similar in feature-sets.) We also, since we were making such a big jump anyhow, decided to switch from VSTGUI 3.6, which we've been using since Tattoo, to VSTGUI 4.

On the Windows side of things, it was relatively (!!!) painless, but when we moved to OS X, things got pretty hairy for a while there. Yesterday morning, I was actually about to lobby for bagging the whole idea and going back to the Old Way of doing things, but as luck would have it, Adam found the Issue, which turned out to be our fault, not Steinberg's. Now the VST3 on OS X is merrily working away.

Anyhow, long story short, if you're wondering where I've been for the last few days, it was a combination of that, some legal troubles (I was arrested for doing graffiti, or "street art" as I like to call it but the police in Tempe don't, of all things), and various other demands on my time, including an iOS contract I took without, perhaps, thoroughly thinking through the ramifications of same. In that respect, the iOS contract and the arrest are remarkably similar.

Adam is on his way to Wyoming, of all places, for the next few days, which will allow me to finish the iOS thingy, and we can return to our regularly scheduled vitriol. In the mean time, this is an open thread. Questions? Comments? Criticisms?


Page 1 of 3

Jul.28.2011 @ 11:12 AM
I have an AD plugin question, stemming from trying to use too many AD plugins in a live set: Do you put much time into comparing CPU usage between your plugins and 'comparable' plugins by others?

FYI a Core i5 laptop maxes out in Ableton Live with 3 each of BigSeq2, Dubstation, Automaton, & Fluid. I've had to stoop to using native Live effects as replacements.

Weirdly on my Core2 Quad I was doing 5 channels of my monster AD FX rack, and it worked fine up until I added one too many audio clips, and then the CPU went to 90% and it started stuttering like a bad Oval track.

Jul.28.2011 @ 12:15 PM
What are the VST3 benefits to customers? I think there's a new thing kind of like poly AT in Cubase 6 that I think you need a VST3 instrument to do?

Jul.28.2011 @ 12:33 PM
Judging from your past comments about VST3, I'm assuming the Tempe po-po arrested you for that decision, not graffiti.*

*In no way should this comment be construed as a rejection of the thesis that Phoenix-area cops are racist, facist hicks.

Jul.28.2011 @ 12:54 PM
Chris Randall
@chaircrusher: Your Core i5 laptop has four virtual CPU cores (only two, really, but the OS sees four) while your Core 2 Quad has eight (again, only four, really, but the OS sees 8.) Hence, even though the i5 is technically the faster by clock speed, the Core 2 Quad can do more things simultaneously.

That is, I'll note, a _vast_ oversimplification. But in both instances, you're simply gonna run out of cores eventually. This, as you note, happens sooner in the i5 than the Core 2 Quad, for reasons that should be obvious now.

To put this in a somewhat different light, BS2 has around 75 sequencers, each with smoothers. So three of them is 225 sequencers running simultaneously. Add to that three instances of Automaton, which is also a rather heavy-handed plug-in, and you've got a _lot_ of math going on. I wouldn't recommend what you're trying for even a pretty robust computer, let alone what you're running. I have a Core 2 Quad Extreme in my PC, the fastest Core 2 made, and my PC is _heavily_ optimized and tuned and has the best RAM it can handle, and I'd be shocked if I could run 5 racks with what you're describing.

@synthetic: Mainly it gives them something else to complain about. The benefit is largely for us, as VST3 is a much sexier and more feature-packed SDK, internally.

@krylenko: The cop that nabbed me was actually pretty cool, as fucking pigs go.


Jul.28.2011 @ 12:55 PM
You spray paintin' robots around town again?

Jul.28.2011 @ 1:03 PM
Well, that's good to hear. In a world... one man... etc.

Jul.28.2011 @ 1:44 PM
Who knew spraying "Fucking Logic" on the side of the Best Buy would not be well received? Go figure.

Jul.28.2011 @ 1:57 PM
Fuckin' Logic, how does it work??

Jul.28.2011 @ 1:59 PM
@chris -- the i5 has 2 cores and hyperthreading, the core2 quad has 4 cores without hyperthreading.

Which means that even if the i5 core is faster than the core2, there are circumstances -- such as running a bunch of VSTs in a multithreaded VST host -- where the slower core2 can handle more than the i5. Which is what I observed when trying to go crazy with AD plugs.

Real cores trump hyperthreads, in other words. On Intel chips, adding a core yields a healthy fraction of linear speedup; the hyper-threading speedup is usually in the 15-30%.

Plus, my Core2 Quad is a q9550 with 12MB of cache, and the i5 has 3MB. Which is why, even though the i5 is a generation or 2 newer than the q9550, in raw performance, the q9550 is even or a bit faster, depending on the workload.

Jul.28.2011 @ 3:58 PM
Chris Randall
What you said. So if you already knew the answer... ?


Page 1 of 3



Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.