Stability Issues

Hello,
I work at a post production studio and my main intent for this plugin was to take the place of a phone patch when directors are monitoring sessions remotely. I’m using the SE version with Nuendo 6.5 and I’m using it in two studios on both Mac and PC.
The initial tests went great using the Mac doing minimal record/playback functions with back and forth communication over VST connect, even did a couple of sessions and they went well. I was at the point of doing some fine tweaking of settings because we were getting some internet dropouts with VST connect. Adjusting the upload stream settings, adjusting the remote delay settings, adjusting the buffer settings. Then I read in one of the posts to turn off ASIO guard because having it on could lead to dropouts, and that’s when I started having all sorts of trouble. Dropouts with VST Connect communication and CPU dropout errors during recording-which killed the take. Then, I tried removing the VST Connect plugin and Nuendo quit unexpectedly. So, it didn’t like having ASIO guard turned off! I think the Mac setup will be more stable now but I may have to constantly be tweaking the streaming settings I’m afraid.

With the PC, we were getting playback and record dropouts on the record track, but it wasn’t due to the CPU dropout errors like on the Mac. We tried increasing the Hardware buffer settings to 2048, but still were getting them. Also were getting dropouts with VST Connect communication. These errors were related to my VST Connect record template in some way, because when I quit out of the template and opened up my usual record template everything worked fine.

Btw, I love the fact that Steinberg is including this with Nuendo 6, because it means I don’t have to spend money on another similar application or service, and it opens the door to a lot more possibilities. The fact that the performer or talent doesn’t have to purchase any additional software to be able to do a session is pretty huge and I may be able to slowly replace my ISDN boxes… Maybe, eventually… Any insight as to how to make these systems more stable would be awesome.

Thanks!


Mac Pro early 2008
OSX 10.8.4
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors
19 GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB Graphics card

Apogee Symphony System 64bit PCIe

Nuendo 6.5.3 at 64bit

PC:
HP Compaq 6000 Pro Small Form Factor
Windows 7 Enterprise
Pentium® Dual-Core CPU E6700@3.2 GHZ
7 GB RAM
64bit OS

Nuendo 6.5.3 at 32bit

Steinberg MR816csx connected via firewire

Thanks for your post. Let us check this one by one.
First off, ASIO Guard is a technology that helps CPU performance when playing back audio that can be pre-calculated. If it helps your case, it appears to indicate that your CPU is somewhat under stress in general. VST Connect usually doesn’t put much stress on the CPU so maybe you are using something else (plugin/driver) that causes CPU stress or doesn’t go well with VST Connect?
Secondly, if conection or CPU drop out, there will be dropouts in the recording process as in any other case. However when using the PRO version, the performance is also recorded on the perfromers’ machine so you can get the full quality uninterrupted takes even if it fails over the internet.
Then, the plugin crashing when beeing removed seems to indicate an older version where we encountered such a problem. Make sure to download the latest greatest.
You report that PC problems went when you used your own record template. I’m very eager to have a look at your template (and possibly, a Nuendo project w/o audio which was used when there were problems), could you send it? Then we can perhaps figure out what the cause is.
Finally it would help to know what your internet connections are like and at what upstream settings (Performer, and VST Connect plugin) problems occured.
Thanks for your patience. There are several professional productions already successfully created with VST Connect, so we’d like to exclude any potential problems as good as we can.

Hey Musi, really appreciate the quick detailed response. Sorry for my delay on getting back. Been quite a busy week…

First off, ASIO Guard is a technology that helps CPU performance when playing back audio that can be pre-calculated. If it helps your case, it appears to indicate that your CPU is somewhat under stress in general. VST Connect usually doesn’t put much stress on the CPU so maybe you are using something else (plugin/driver) that causes CPU stress or doesn’t go well with VST Connect?

I’m really not using any extra plugins in my record template because I don’t want to introduce any extra latency if I can help it. I’m already running at 128 buffer to be able to get 3ms of latency. Any higher would be noticeable to the voice talent. I am doing some additional routing of input channels behind the scenes to be able to mix a digital source (TB off of 02R) with analog source(talent Mic) to the record track, so maybe that’s affecting things, but have never run into any problems. I’ll look further into this part of it though.

Secondly, if conection or CPU drop out, there will be dropouts in the recording process as in any other case.

Understood, but to clarify the CPU dropout error literally caused the recording process to stop. This wasn’t just a dropout over the internet caused by packet loss.

However when using the PRO version, the performance is also recorded on the perfromers’ machine so you can get the full quality uninterrupted takes even if it fails over the internet.

This is a cool feature which I’ve seen in other similar applications, we don’t really have a need for this function at the moment though because we’re only using it so remote folks can monitor sessions. But good to know for hopefully near future!

Then, the plugin crashing when beeing removed seems to indicate an older version where we encountered such a problem. Make sure to download the latest greatest.

I’m currently running v2.0.2.22. How would I download the latest version of VST Connect SE?

You report that PC problems went when you used your own record template. I’m very eager to have a look at your template (and possibly, a Nuendo project w/o audio which was used when there were problems), could you send it? Then we can perhaps figure out what the cause is.

How would I do this? Should I upload a session as an attachment or should I email someplace directly?

Finally it would help to know what your internet connections are like and at what upstream settings (Performer, and VST Connect plugin) problems occured.

I’m working in a building that is concerned about security, which is a good thing nowadays. So maybe there is something going on with a firewall setting or something, I could check with IT. But I would think that I wouldn’t even be able to use it if that were the case.
My download speed: 91.41Mbps
My upload speed: 95.45Mbps

The performers(directors)in this case were at home working over a wi-fi connection. I know this is not optimal, but for our purposes this shouldn’t be a problem should it?

Thanks for your patience. There are several professional productions already successfully created with VST Connect, so we’d like to exclude any potential problems as good as we can.

Absolutely. I love this type of thing and I hope that Steinberg continues to support and improve it.

Almost not at all! Your buffer setting has no impact on what the performer hears during playback or recording. Only for chat (when in stop mode) communication delay would be slightly less, but you would hardly be able to notice that. So you should raise your buffer size, try 256 or 512.
When recording, cuemix and received audio are aligned sample accurately regardless of either of your buffer size settings.

I experienced this very behaviour in another case and it was due to ASIO Guard beeing active. Try higher buffer size and ASIO Guard off, does that help?

I see…only the Performer app has been updated on the website, so you’ll have to wait until a new version becomes available there, sorry.

Just send me a PM with your email address if you don’t mind.

Nothing is wrong with IT in your building as long as a connection can be established in the first place.
Performer over WiFi can indeed be an issue, at least the WiFi connection should be a good one, meaning to say the Performer should be close to the receiver.

Hope this helps. As said, just drop me a PM.

Almost not at all! Your buffer setting has no impact on what the performer hears during playback or recording. Only for chat (when in stop mode) communication delay would be slightly less, but you would hardly be able to notice that. So you should raise your buffer size, try 256 or 512.
When recording, cuemix and received audio are aligned sample accurately regardless of either of your buffer size settings.

Sorry, I should’ve been more clear earlier. We’re basically using the Performer App as Studio Pass, patching in remote directors to monitor sessions in our studio. The latency I’m referring to is placed on the voice talent who is behind the mic in our studio(local). They’re cue is coming out of Nuendo so I have to keep the buffer size down to 128 max or it will affect their performance. I’ll send you a PM, thanks!

musicullum,
I tried sending you a PM with an attachment, but it didn’t like the extension. Do you know of a workaround? Sorry, new to the forum…
Thanks!
E