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Old 06-04-2020, 06:13 PM
Michael Carnes's Avatar
Michael Carnes Michael Carnes is online now
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Default Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

I'm developing a greater and greater appreciation for those of you doing scoring with big sample libraries. I've been putting together a decent-sized orchestral template. It's very hard for me to activate all of the instrument tracks without PT hanging. I have some strong suspicions and I'll get to them in a bit.

I'm on 2020.5 right now, but I've been bumping into this for a while. My computer is over-spec'ed (16-core New Mac Pro, tons of memory, all very fast solid-state memory). I'm on Catalina 10.15.5, but this issue seems to predate the last couple of updates.

I'm fortunate enough to have accumulated some nice sample libraries over the years--lots of Spitfire, lots of Orchestral Tools, and a good amount of Native Instruments. I've only used them for smaller projects and I suspect that I'd have run into this much sooner if I'd been putting together a large template.

At the present time, I've got about 150 instrument tracks (mostly Kontakt) and about as many MIDI tracks. I've probably got another 100-200 tracks to go before I'm complete. Each Kontakt instantiation has only a single instrument; most of the instruments are "multis", with articulations selected by keyswitch.

If I try to make all tracks active, samples will load and the session appears ready to use. But in a few seconds I get the spinning beachball of death and am forced to force-quit. I can activate smaller groups of tracks and they're OK--I just can't get them all at once. I'm using less that a quarter of my RAM.

In an earlier version of my template, I was loading individual articulations into each Kontakt instantiation and driving things with lots of MIDI tracks. I had the same problem, but it happened a lot sooner. Digging around here and elsewhere leads me to believe that the issue is centered around the enormous scripts being run by my Orchestral Tools libraries. By going the the "multi" form of the instruments I could reduce that script load...

But not enough. I strongly suspect that the combination of the Kontakt script engine and the large Orchestral Tools scripts is taking so long that Pro Tools trips over itself in some way. I don't seem to run into this with the other libraries. But as soon as I start adding the OT instruments I get nailed.

This is one of those problems where three vendors could point fingers at each other. Kontakt should speed up their script engine. Orchestral Tools should tighten up their scripts. Pro Tools shouldn't hang. But I'm sort of stuck in the meantime

Has anyone else run into this situation and is there any wisdom to share?
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:20 PM
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falcowe falcowe is offline
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

I also work in PT for my VI/Orchestral mockup work. However I discovered very quickly that I couldn't get past about 50 articulations or so without PT hanging like you describe. Now admittedly I don't use so I can't speak to that but I do use Spitfire and NI libraries and while I haven't tried recently (in the past year or so) I haven't really needed to because I am using VEPro. If you haven't heard of VEPro I would highly suggest this program to you as it allows you to build enormous templates while skipping the rather terrible VI handling in ProTools. If you have heard of VEPro and are trying to figure out why PT is not working well with your VIs then I sincerely wish you luck and if you figure it out I would personally love to hear how you solved it. Because I was stuck testing my modest sized template (about 500 midi tracks and 200+ VIs in VEPro and 200+ audio track in ProTools) for about 2 years before I got it stable in ProTools (which admittedly just happened at the beginning of this year) so I am quite happy now work with my template in Protools (kinda). And I feel a large part of my progress to stability was when I dropped my EastWest instruments in favor of BBCSO and spitfire's libraries. Things almost instantly became more stable when I did that even though I had been troubleshooting with EastWest's support team for over 6 months, we just hadn't found a solution that seemed to get rid of a new crippling problem popping up every couple of weeks. Hope this helps.

P.S. I wrote this whole response and then I read who was posting this. Hi Michael! Your reverbs are amazing! I seem to remember you saying you have heard of VEPro in a different post, but I don't recall the reason you wanted to stay PT bound. Was it because of the way you want your workflow to be? I'm running my template on a MacPro 7,1 16-core with 128GB of RAM without too much issue. But then like I said none of my VIs are hosted in ProTools.
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

Quote:
Originally Posted by falcowe View Post
...I haven't really needed to because I am using VEPro...Hope this helps.
Thanks falcowe. I actually have a license (I'm a version back now) and used to use it for testing. It's been my assumption that it was most useful for multiple-computer setups, so it's interesting to see you using it in a one-computer rig. I will look into it again. One reason I got the new Mac Pro was the idea of condensing down to a single powerful computer. There's no reason that PT shouldn't be able to handle this, but often Avid's attention is elsewhere. But I will give VEPro another look.
Quote:
P.S. I wrote this whole response and then I read who was posting this.
Thanks for your very kind remarks. But I'm just one of the gang now. Like many others I'm still climbing the hill getting my orchestra-in-a-box working right. Stay well during these crazy times (and in normal times too)!
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

Kontakt has never behaved very nicely on PT, I bet you have lot less trouble with your Spitfires...
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

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Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
Kontakt has never behaved very nicely on PT, I bet you have lot less trouble with your Spitfires...
That's sure the way it looks from here. Spitfire orchestras are really good, but there's really something about the Berlin Brass isn't there?
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Old 06-05-2020, 12:55 PM
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falcowe falcowe is offline
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

I guess I should clarify, I am using a multi-computer setup. However if I had the extra cash laying around to get the 300+ gigs of ram into one computer I would certainly experiment with VEPro on one system. So I'm not personally running everything on one system. However Niel Parfitt (https://youtu.be/Kii-oh-qRKE) is running his entire template on his one MacPro 7,1 including both VEPro and Logic and ProTools, so I would certainly say there is merit in testing and seeing if VEPro on the same system works better for you.
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:15 PM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
Kontakt has never behaved very nicely on PT, I bet you have lot less trouble with your Spitfires...
Nearly all of the Spitfires are Kontakt based.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:28 PM
massivekerry massivekerry is offline
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

I just don’t ever enable all of the tracks. My template loads with everything deactivated, and I only Activate each track when I think I’m going to use it. It requires an economical thinking, like when you’d plan out parts on tape. Using PT, I also tend to just run a lot of the Bigger or script-heavy orch libraries in VEP on the same machine. It’s far less cranky that way, but I am also testing out the newest version of Cubase Pro right now, and it has been far more pleasant for this kind of work. Still trying to wrap my muscle memory around the editing tools, tho.
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Old 06-06-2020, 03:58 AM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

Massive, what computer are you running? And how much RAM is installed? Are you on a PC or Mac?
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Old 06-06-2020, 08:18 AM
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Michael Carnes Michael Carnes is online now
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Default Re: Building Orchestral Template, but PT Hangs

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Originally Posted by johnnyv View Post
Massive, what computer are you running? And how much RAM is installed? Are you on a PC or Mac?
It's in the original post. 16-core New Mac Pro. 384GB RAM. All instrument libraries on PCIe Solid-State. It's quite a capable machine.

I'm experimenting with running VEPro as a server on the same machine. I don't have all of my libraries on it yet, but so far the results are encouraging.
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