Can no longer load Halion 5 Instruments in Synfire

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petearch's picture
petearch
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Can no longer load Halion 5 Instruments in Synfire

Using Windows 7, 32-bit Audio Engine.

After a while, loading instruments into an instance of Halion 5 simply stops working.  The patch starts to load but then simply stops (see attached).  As a test I loaded 2 instances of Halion with 16 instruments each into Cubase in only about a minute, no problems at all.

So to re-create the problem I did the following (my Global Rack only contains 2 instances of Halion with a total of 13 instruments loaded):

New Arrangement - Create Engine Port - Load Halion 5

Filled it with random instruments, but it stopped on instrument 10 (as in the attached, it just stops and says 'Loading')

It's no good reporting this to Steinberg as it's fine in Cubase but for some reason Synfire is having a problem.  This never used to happen and has only just started.

Some technical support is required I think!

 

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supertonic's picture
supertonic
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How much RAM do you have left? The 32 bit Engine can not access more than 2GB.

petearch's picture
petearch
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Well I'm not sure how to ascertain that, but as far as I know, Halion only loads into RAM as needed.  Which is why I did the same test on the 32-bit version of Cubase, loading 32 instruments with no problem.  I could try loading more but I suspect it will be fine.

Like I said I have not had this before it has only happened recently.

Pete

petearch's picture
petearch
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In fact to confirm what I said above, I looked at the Halion manual and there is a 'Performance Display' that shows how much memory is in use by the plug-in.  Quote from the manual: 

MEM (Memory)

This display indicates the overall amount of RAM currently used by the plug-in, to help you trace performance problems. The number refers to the streaming buffer and the preloaded samples.

Before loading another test, the MEM display showed 360MB in use.

Then I repeated the test.  This time it stops at the 8th instrument and it shows 587MB in use on the MEM display (screenshot attached). So I don't think it's quite reached the 2GB limit yet!

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Pete

juergen's picture
juergen
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What says the Resource Monitor of Windows?

 

petearch's picture
petearch
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I have also had a lot of crashes this evening (crash reports submitted), however some of these do not let me 'Continue' (it just shows the crash window again) so I have to quit the program.  Hopefully you will be able to see something from the submitted reports to help me.

I have now tried to load the 64 bit engine but when I then try to quit the 32-bit engine it just crashes in an eternal loop.

What a bad day, frustrating enough to say I've had enough of this today!

Pete

petearch's picture
petearch
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What says the Resource Monitor of Windows?

Well with nothing else running at all at the moment (apart from IE and the Halion Manual) it shows 2.49GB in use.  Yes I know that's more than 2GB so shouldn't that mean I can't load anything at all into Halion in Synfire?

I just loaded 32-bit Cubase again and loaded 3 instances of Halion filled with instruments, so 48 instruments no problem (the MEM showed just over 1GB in use).

To be honest, I've had enough for one day, I had a piece I was working on but no progress in the last few hours.  If I had any hair left, it would be all torn out by now! (A fact that's disguised by the hat in my newly-uploaded profile picture :))

Pete

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juergen
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Well with nothing else running at all at the moment (apart from IE and the Halion Manual) it shows 2.49GB in use.  Yes I know that's more than 2GB so shouldn't that mean I can't load anything at all into Halion in Synfire?

No, the limit is 2GB per application. But I'm not sure, if it's normal that you have 2.49GB of memory in use with nothing running. You should check if there's any weird stuff running in the background.

 

petearch's picture
petearch
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No, the limit is 2GB per application. But I'm not sure, if it's normal that you have 2.49GB of memory in use with nothing running. You should check if there's any weird stuff running in the background.

I've just switched to the 'family laptop' (no music software or anything else much on it) with nothing more than IE running and it shows 2.61GB in use so I guess it must be normal.

Pete

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Hit ALT+Control+Del keys altogether to open Task Manager. Select the Processes tab and look to see how much memory IE is using.

 

2.6Gb of memory use is not normal when no programs are running. Certain programs, especially web browsers store lots or data in RAM when opened. There is also a Programs tab in Task Manager. Kill every program including open folders and then you will have a true idea of memory use ... except for background programs like virus checkers and other protection software. You can usually kill those from the sys tray ... the little icons running in the bottom right of the task bar.

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janamdo
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Can you try out the General Midi Device description from HALion5? ( i use a 32 bit version )
First you must make one General Midi device description for HALion5 (perhaps handy to add this DD to the online repository)
I will try to make this, but cannot promise this. 

 To prepare the HAlion5 soundmodule for playing the General midi files you must ..

For this you must select the multi program filter ( for selecting multi programs ) and select the General MIDI MUlti 
This loads the 16 instruments multitimbral configuration in HALion5.
Also select by options : program chanced tickbox on and RPNs 0/1/2 on

 

If these two steps are correct done, you can import (load) General Midifiles in Synfire and listening to them but first you have to check..
Check in Synfire if the General Midi device description is assigened to the 16 instruments and save the global General midi rack

Can you make this ?  and use the arrrangement demo in Synfire for a check again

----------------------------------------------------------------

I do need a right workflow for making this General Midi  device description ?  

 

petearch's picture
petearch
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Hit ALT+Control+Del keys altogether to open Task Manager. Select the Processes tab and look to see how much memory IE is using.

I already did that which is how I got to see how much RAM was in use.  I'm using Google Chrome at the moment and there are a few instances of it running.  In total it's using about 0.2GB.  But if it's 2GB limit per application, it should not matter how much is in use by other things.  If Synfire 32 bit can only load about 20-odd patches in Halion 5, it is pretty useless to me.  However I will try switching to the 64 bit engine as soon as I get the chance.  I tried last night but it kept crashing, but I remember seeing a recent thread about switching between the engines so I'll read up on that.

Can you try out the General Midi Device description from HALion5

 

I already have a GM instance of (I think) Halion Sonic SE loaded into the Global Rack for my GM sounds.  That is not the point, the problem is that it won't load more than a handful of non-GM patches into Halion 5.

I submitted all the crash reports last night but have not heard anything back regarding if they were useful or not, and if I am doing something wrong.

It seems to me Synfire itself must be using about 1.5GB of memory before any VSTis, etc. are loaded which (like I said above) makes it pretty useless as far as the 32 bit version is concerned.

Don't get me wrong, I love what Synfire can do, but it's things like this which simply stop you in your tracks that are very frustrating.  If there was something wrong with my setup then fine, but I can use all other software (including Cubase 7 32 bit) without any memory-related (or other) issues.

Unfortunately I very much doubt that I'll get a chance to have a look tonight but I'll see how I get on as soon as I can.

Pete

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Prado
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Hit ALT+Control+Del keys altogether to open Task Manager. Select the Processes tab and look to see how much memory IE is using.

I already did that which is how I got to see how much RAM was in use.  I'm using Google Chrome at the moment and there are a few instances of it running.  In total it's using about 0.2GB.  But if it's 2GB limit per application, it should not matter how much is in use by other things.  If Synfire 32 bit can only load about 20-odd patches in Halion 5, it is pretty useless to me.  However I will try switching to the 64 bit engine as soon as I get the chance.  I tried last night but it kept crashing, but I remember seeing a recent thread about switching between the engines so I'll read up on that.

 

But remember on 32bit Windows there is a maximum of 4GB available for all programs including Windows. So, yes, what other programs run will affect things. That's why it would be best to have nothing other than the OS and Synfire and Halion running.

 

There is also the Windows "3 gigabyte switch" which permits a program to excede the 2GB limit. Windows will not relinquish any more, as it needs the 1GB for its own operations. Google it. It is not hard to implement. I routinely usd if before going x64.

 

Finally, there is the issue of how you've setup your RAM and Disc Streaming options in Halion. Check to make sure you've optimized these. If you increase your buffer size on you interface and use disk streaming, you should be able to run 20 patches. I don't know if that is one instance of Halion or not? Also, I'm presuming you have at least two drives, one for your OS and another for your samples ... makes a big difference.

 

And, yes ... it will be good to get x64 working as then you'll run faster and not have any RAM worries ... provided you have enough installed.

petearch's picture
petearch
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Thanks for all your help guys, and yes I will try to use 64 bit from now on (i have 12GB memory installed).  The only reason I was using 32 bit was because I was using some 32 bit VSTis in Cubase and I don't have a decent VST Bridge, but I see now that is irrelevant for Synfire.

I just got a bit of time to try to switch to 64 bit but it keeps crashing.  I think (for Windows users anyway) there really needs to be two versions of Synfire (i.e. 32 and 64) because you can only use one at a time anyway.

This is now time for tech support so Supertonic/Andre, please help!

Steps I just made to try to switch to 64 bit engine were as follows:

1. Click Global Rack

2. Select Node 1 Engine - crashed, clicked Continue and submitted crash report

3. Clicked the cog wheel, selected Shutdown - crashed, clicked Continue but the 'Continue/Quit' window continually re-apperas so unable to submit crash report

4. Clicked Quit - Synfire closed down

Repeated the test as 1 and 2 above (same results)

3. Clicked the cog wheel, selected Launch 64 bit Engine - engine loaded

4. Tried to shutdown the 32 engine - crashed, clicked Continue but Synfire closed down immediately with the 64 bit engine still running (in the Sys tray).

So, I can't use 32 bit (as it won't load the patches) and I can't use 64 bit without Synfire crashing.

HELP!

P.S. Maybe I should just buy a MAC :)

 

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 1 month 22 hours ago

Those crashes are strange. Thanks for submitting your reports. I'm having a look at it right now.

andre's picture
andre
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Just published a patch that fixes those stupid crashes. Please check Help >> Online Updates. Download that patch and restart Synfire.

To get rid of the 32 bit Engine on startup, you need to remove all modules from the rack that use it and shut it down.

 

Regarding the Halion issue, there are only few possible causes for it stopping to load sounds:

  1. RAM is getting low
  2. File access is blocked or very slow (network drive?)
  3. The plug-in does weird things while still loading files.

In any case, Halion should show a warning for 1 + 2. Basically the plug-in is responsible for checking RAM. No host could stop a plug-in without crashing. 

That said, Synfire would also never stop a plug-in, regardless what it is currently doing. I've got huge EWQL orchestral libs that take 10 minutes to load, without issues.

I have no idea what Halion might possibly do while loading files, though. 

petearch's picture
petearch
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Thanks Andre, I've loaded the patch and I am no longer getting the crashes.

I had a few moments earlier to do this, and my thoughts were that from mow on I will just use the 64 bit engine and for now (at least) my global rack will only contain a GM instance of Halion Sonic.

Firstly I had problems unloading the 32 bit engine as it kept saying Synfire could not detect an engine, but it only gave me the option to re-try.  Eventually (somehow) I got there, but when I went to load a VSTi all my old stuff was there (e.g. Halion 4, not 5).  So I knew I had to find the 'scan VST instruments'.  Again it took a while but I eventually found it on one of the cog wheels after (I think) clicking on the Node button.

So I loaded Halion Sonic and set it to GM.  Another few minutes of hunting around trying to set it to a GM device but found it eventually.  So as a test I loaded a MIDI file (that I had previously loaded to the 32 bit engine successfully) but none of the sounds are recognised as belonging to my Halion Sonic GM device (they all say null).  So I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I'll have another go later hopefully.

Regarding the Halion issue, there are only few possible causes for it stopping to load sounds:

I still don't understand this because as I said earlier, I can load 48 patches (at least) into Cubase without any problems, so I don't think there's any problem with the way Halion loads files.  It's only a problem when in Synfire.

Pete

andre's picture
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So as a test I loaded a MIDI file (that I had previously loaded to the 32 bit engine successfully) but none of the sounds are recognised as belonging to my Halion Sonic GM device (they all say null). 

Make sure the sound bank in the device you use for the Halion rack module knows it's GM.

Do you have a device for the Halion? Would you mind posting it here? I'll have a look, fix it and upload it to the repository.

petearch's picture
petearch
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I had a bit of a play around before reading your post, but I now have another problem.  Steps as follows:

1. Load Halion Sonic plug-in and set it (in Options) to GM

2. Create a new device description - I read in the manual that I was supposed to set this to 16-channel Multi-Timbral (is that correct?)

3. Re-named it to Halion Sonic GM64 (attached, I don't know why it's got such an odd name, presumably because I defined it as 16-channel?)

4. Click Device Editor

5. Click Bank 1

6. Click cog wheel - Initialize GM

7. Set prefix to HSGM.

All looks good at this point, I can see all the GM sounds set up correctly

However when I started to import a MIDI file with drums (I tried a few to be sure) the drums were set to Shanai (not Drumkit as I expected).

So I opened an already-analysed MIDI file with drums.  All the instruments were showing as my old 32-bit GM plug-in but I could set them to the new 64 bit one by double clicking.

Except for the drums!  Initially the drums show up as Taiko but when I override this with Drumkit, it then goes to Shanai (as in the MIDI import above).  This also seems to be in slot 2 (not 10, which contains some strings for some reason).

I'm totally confused by all this as you can imagine.  It should be simple to set up a GM device shouldn't it?

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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Thanks for posting the device. Looks quite ok, except

  1. Set channel 10 to type "Reserved" (cogwheel menu). That's why drum kits could not be allocated. Actually all new multi-timbral devices should have this set automatically -- my fault.
  2. Remove that single sound from the "User Additions" bank.
  3. Give it a nice ID, e.g. "Steinberg", "Halion" and "GM64". This will make its file be named more sensible.

 

petearch's picture
petearch
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Ah yes, finally that's done it, thank you Andre!  I can finally get back to some music again with my brand-spanking new 64 bit Engine!

I didn't notice I could name the Manufacturer, etc. so I've done that now also.

So if anyone else wants it, here (attached) is a nice DD for Halion Sonic General MIDI.

Until the next problem :)

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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Upload it to the Repository ;-)

Use the cogwheel menu of the device.

petearch's picture
petearch
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Ok, done.  At least I think I did, I clicked the cogwheel anyway but it didn't say that it was done or anything.  Is this repository the one on the Cognitone site?  I had a look there to see if I could upload it but didn't realise it could be done from within Synfire.

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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Thanks. Your device is online.

For an experiment, can you please open the user interface of the Engine (from Windows Taskbar, or from the cogwheel menu of the global rack) and load your Halion sounds manually from there?

I'd like to know if it doesn't crash when loading from there.

petearch's picture
petearch
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I did that and manually loaded all 16 slots with random instruments and it didn't crash.  I'm not sure why I would ever normally need to do that though as it is a GM device?

By the way, why am I always asked if I want to save the Global Rack, even if I've made no changes?  I would have thought this is especially irrelevant as it only contains a GM device.

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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By the way, why am I always asked if I want to save the Global Rack, even if I've made no changes?

The rack includes the entire Audio & MIDI Setup. So, if you happen to change some items of that, you will be asked.

Basically it should be always ok to save it and go on, except you know you messed up something and want to quit Synfire without saving the changes (for example).

petearch's picture
petearch
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The rack includes the entire Audio & MIDI Setup. So, if you happen to change some items of that, you will be asked.

Yes I understand that, but:

1. Fire-up Synfire

2. Click Global Rack

3. Close Global Rack window

I am asked if I want to save the Global Rack, when all I have done is opened and closed it again.  I don't understand this and I find it confusing.  I think it would be better if you were only asked to save if you had actually made any changes.

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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The rack was probably an old file that needed conversion.

After saved in the new format, this should not happen again.

petearch's picture
petearch
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No it still happens.

I did as above and said Yes to save the file, closed Synfire.

Then re-opened and did as above again, it still asks if I want to save.

Pete

andre's picture
andre
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Ouch.

It does seem to do minor changes under the hood that are tracked in error. I wish I knew which changes that were. Can not reproduce it yet.

 

janamdo's picture
janamdo
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How about HALion 5 64 bit ..can you load all your sounds into the slots now? :clueless:

I as trying to build a serie of racks for HALion5 for 32 bit, but could not loaded the sounds too anymore

Don't get me wrong, I love what Synfire can do, but it's things like this which simply stop you in your tracks that are very frustrating.  If there was something wrong with my setup then fine, but I can use all other software (including Cubase 7 32 bit) without any memory-related (or other) issues.

 

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