BBCSO Project & Playback Pro available and issues

Is available now if anybody is wondering … oddly enough I found that page this morning, saw that Pro wasn’t available yet, oh darn, went off to exercise, when I came back it was posted. Wheee!

Anyhow I’ve fired it up, but Dorico tends to hang, won’t bring up the plugin, and other tomfoolery. I notice that VST Audio Engine is chewing my CPU and has been doing so for the last hour. I’m on a six core 2013 Mac Pro. There’s a MTLCompilerService sub process on this one.

Should I kill the audio engine, or is it doing some kind of conversion? I wouldn’t think it would take this long to come up.

Dan

Ah, ignore that, it finally came up. Nice template anyhow, and now available!

For anybody looking for a good ‘all in one’ the BBCSO would be my recommendation. The other Spitfire stuff is in Air with that intense reverb - sounds great out of the box it’s so wet, but pretty colored if you need a more studio sound. The BBCSO was recorded in a venerable studio in the UK slated to be torn down I believe, I forget the name. Anyhow it’s a great in between, not too wet and not too dry. I also have EWHO which is a bit too dry out of the box for my taste, plus I’ve had many issues with their plugin.


UPDATE: Take that back, I changed another application which has MIDI ports, Dorico crashed, now I’m bringing it back up and it’s hanging on startup. It’s having trouble with this template seemingly, anyhow the VSTEngine is still churning away at something

Unfortunately this is really buggy. Closing the project causes it to hang, trying to change audio interfaces hangs, I’ll get it up and going, but then it won’t play anything. I’m on a 2013 Mac Pro with 128G of RAM so there should be plenty of resources, but I think this stresses the audio system. Not sure how to proceed with this, it’s really bugging out.

Anybody successfully using this template?

interesting to hear that the Pro template is now up but I don’t suppose it is significantly different from the one for Core, other than supporting the extra instruments? I’ve had no significant performance issues using Core and that’s with a modest 4core CPU. Over around 150 minutes of symphonic music converted to this library and just one or two busy full orchestra climaxes pushed the CPU for a few seconds to 85%. However, with the Pro version if you use all or even several of the mic positions, you’re going to be under more pressure and I must say I find in general VSL seems more efficient with resource management. I had no idea a Mac Pro from 2013 could run to 128Gb RAM. I have 16Gb which is adequate though an upgrade to 32 would be more comfortable. I take it you’re using an SSD drive for the samples?

Look forward to hearing more of your experiences and those of any others who have bought the Pro version. For me, Core was a better option as it was quite clear that I wouldn’t have the resources to run Pro nor any real need as I was looking for something complimentary to VSL SE, not a replacement. There’s a thread about Core here https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=194808&p=1042396#p1042396 if anyone is interested or on the fence about which, if any, version to go for.

Apple say the maximum is 64GB, (4 x 16Gb modules) but according to some websites, 128Gb works.

Unless the OP has just discovered why Apple said the max was 64, of course :slight_smile:

Apple, meh, this is my last Mac, once it gets too old I’m moving all the music production to Windows after 30 years of Mac … anyhow no, 2013 Pro’s run 128GB just fine, OWC sells kits and support. The damn chipset and OS supports it, no idea with Apple would say it only 64, morons … </rant off> Well I rebooted and it appears to be working better for now. The VST Audio Engine is now a subprocess of Dorico instead of being off on it’s own. Maybe getting orphaned was the issue. It’s still eating CPU though.

Anyhow the Pro version supports a lot more instruments, you want a chunky machine to handle this, though the Spitfire plugin is parsimonious with memory it seems. Pro has tons more of mics, well all the mics, but I don’t think you get control of that in Dorico.

Couple issues

  • Occasional hangs, no apparent reason (e.g. wake from sleep)
  • Switching to/from a project this size gives you the rainbow wheel for, I don’t know five or ten minutes. Can the task that’s doing the work be backgrounded on a different thread so the UI can be responsive?
  • Generally it pauses more, for 1-3 seconds while doing various operations
  • Having multiple windows up causes it to rainbow wheel for a good while. I have several windows open so I don’t have to switch between Write and Play for example, sometimes I get extras over that accidentily too, and even though it’s the same project it looks like it kicks the VST reloading again

So if the BBCSO Pro version could be made more robust that would be perfect. Is there a better way to submit bug reports?

1.waking from sleep causes intermittent hangs with all libraries in my experience so I always try to remember to close a project before going into sleep mode. Sibelius was much the same.
2. I’ve no idea why the BBC libraries take so long to load compared to anything else I’ve ever used in relation to the loaded sample size. Pro will be even worse.
3. Not sure here. I’ve certainly been finding BBC Core fairly slow at times with operations but I’ve been testing with 45 mins plus symphonies so not the easiest test. When Dorico’s performance is unfavourably compared to the alternatives, the response from the team is, not unreasonably, that Dorico is doing far more in many situations.
4. I’m not sure to what extent these things are Dorico, never mind the playback template issues. I suspect a good deal is the vst itself.

Unfortunate, DAW’s such as Logic have no problem with this

  1. I’ve no idea why the BBC libraries take so long to load compared to anything else I’ve ever used in relation to the loaded sample size. Pro will be even worse.

Yeah, again Logic loads up the full set with all articulations and it’s just fine.

  1. Not sure here. I’ve certainly been finding BBC Core fairly slow at times with operations but I’ve been testing with 45 mins plus symphonies so not the easiest test. When Dorico’s performance is unfavourably compared to the alternatives, the response from the team is, not unreasonably, that Dorico is doing far more in many situations.

If I got the performance of HALLion I’d be happy, but the BBCSO is basically unusable in the present state, while it appears to be fairly steady now it’s constantly giving a rainbow wheel.

  1. I’m not sure to what extent these things are Dorico, never mind the playback template issues. I suspect a good deal is the vst itself.

Yeah DAW’s are just fine with it so I suspect Dorico’s implementation.

thanks for the feedback. Interesting that you see such a big difference between Dorico and a Logic. Is Cubase also much faster than Dorico, do you know? I don’t have the Pro version and thus can’t load the template.

I’ll be moving to Cubase at some point in the future probably, if Dorico includes Live Link integration I’d do it in a heartbeat. So I don’t know but I assume so, because a media composer working in a DAW couldn’t put it up with the rainbow wheels. In the last year Logic did a release focused on performance and big instrument sets, so coincide with the new Mac Pro, so it’s performance is pretty flawless with about as many instruments as you want.

Dorico is using the same audio engine as Cubase, which makes sense, so there must be code in the upper Dorico layers that is causing the trouble. They list four engineers in the Audio Engine Team, by their names it sounds like they’re in the German Steinberg office so are probably part of the core team and not tasked with Dorico 100%. Since Dorico has only about seven dedicated developers (according to the “About Dorico” we’d need one of them to focus on the performance with engines other than HALion.

Since the next release is going to focus more on architecture and I assume quality, I hope this is part of the release.

Hi RedtideMusic,

I have had issues with BBCSO as well for some time. I both posted it to the Dorico team as well as the Spitfire team and they worked together really well.
The crashes were caused by the Spitfire app and Stewart at Spitfire went all the way helping me on this as it happens to much more people.
They also made a new VST3 file to use and now it works well! Long loading and unloading times still but it works stable.
So get in touch with the support centre and file a request, I would say.

Best,
Frank

Hi,

I just updated from Elements to Pro with the specific purpose of using my SA BBCSO core.
The playback template is straight from https://www.spitfireaudiothepage.com/ .

My Mac has 16GB RAM with a 4 core i7 running at 2.3 GHz; the samples reside on a disk with a transfer rate of 240 MB/s (AJA Systems and BlackMagic Disk Speed Test).

Several posters have mentioned problems, but I feel that the system I have is unusable across the board; loading and playing.
The load time and playing responsivness difference between LPX and Dorico Pro 3.5 is remarkable. As expected, the CPU load (Activity Monitor) the Dorico’s VST Engine is off the charts.

Any suggestions? Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you,

Alex

I’ve been able to work with it on a 2016 macbook pro with 16 gigs ram, but it is slow and I have to shut down all other programs.
Loading takes a while and sometimes it won’t play parts, but generally its been ok for me.

I chose BBCSO Core and VEPro 7 during the crazy weekend. Does anyone else uses those to upgrade the playback quality? I haven’t had the time to create templates, but it seemed to me like a wise move — VEPro seems quite remarkable to avoid cpu overloads and avoid loading time when switching between projects. Any insight from experienced users?

Yes I use VEP7 with BBCSO Pro. Not much to say really, works flawlessly, and is necessary (or do the virtual MIDI trick I’ve talked about) with a large ensemble. Only annoying this you can’t connect multiple clients simultaneously.

Anyhow I set it up with different instances for the choirs, Woodwinds, Brass, etc. One trick is that you can have as many MIDI ports as you wish, so you don’t have to break up a large percussion section. That is that the Virtual MIDI ports are replicated (different) for each instance. So just start with MIDI port 1, channel 1, and when you exhaust those go to MIDI port 2 channel 1

Name your instances, keep them in score order and set up an endpoint and save it. And make sure your instruments are setup with the same key triggers as Dorico expects! There’s no standard with this and BBCSO. What I did is from the Steinberg BBCSO template project, to save all the instrument setups as presets, then loaded them up in VEP to ensure the keyswitch mapping is the same (so all your expression maps work). You can see that here.


Start VEP before Dorico (e.g. always leave it running) to make sure you auto reconnect to the server, else you have to do it manually.

I’ve never seen any point in VEPro if you have a single PC which contains all libraries on internal drives. I though the point of it was to use with a network? or am I really missing out here (only a few sale hours to go…)

Create a really large project with BBCSO Pro and look at the performance. It falls apart, just jumping from stave to stave slows down, constant wait hangs and other baddies. With VEP or virtual MIDI Dorico is as fast as it can be. If you only do small ensemble then it may not be worth it. Still, even with VEP Dorico is a little clunky with the larger ensembles, Daniel mentioned possible work to speed things up.

Basically it puts your VI’s in a sandbox where they behave themselves, it’s the only way I work.

I input John Barron’s Iconica templates in. Any suggestions how I can get VEP Server to provide sound (or Dorico Mixer activity) into Dorico? I am a complete novice with VEP and must be missing something.

I very much doubt BBC Pro would run a full orchestra on my PC, VEP or no VEP, Core takes an age loading but I hear no significant difference between audio export and live playback in Dorico with a normal classic-romantic symphony orchestra (minus all the instruments that it doesn’t have like cor anglais, bass clarinet and contrabassoon where I have to use VSL).