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O2 Unified Libraries - slow to load when replacing patch in single layer  

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Nico
 Nico
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July 27, 2020 9:15 pm  

I'm posting this here just to find out if this is unique to my system, or if it's a more common issue for Unify on Win 10.

I've been browsing the new unified libraries for some of the PluginGuru Omnisphere libraries.

  1. Changing from a unified O2 patch to another (in a single layer) is painfully slow (about 5 seconds). It seems Unify unloads and re-loads Omnisphere.
  2. Adding another O2 unified patch in a new layer (via alt click from the browser) once Omnisphere is already loaded in a prior layer is less than 1 second.
  3. Changing patches inside the Omnisphere UI is about 1 second.

In addition, I've just tested the same 3 scenarios with the Reason Rack plugin (which also takes several seconds to load) and it shows a splash screen while loading, so one can easily see when it's loaded from scratch (scenario 1 above), vs when it's not (scenarios 2 and 3 above).

My test environment / scenario:

Unify 1.1.7 (standalone), Omnisphere 2.6.3c  on Win10 (1909) 64bit

CPU: Intel Core i7,  6 core, 3.4 GHz
RAM 32GB
SSDs: Omnisphere VST on drive C (Samsung 840 EVO; SATA3 with RAM caching enabled; Unify on Drive G (Samsung 970 EVO NVMe) 

 


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getdunne
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July 27, 2020 10:42 pm  

@nico

Unify does re-load Omnisphere each time. Normally, this will be slow the first time, but much quicker after, because Windows will still have nearly all the necessary pages cached in RAM.

Do I understand you correctly, to say that loading each new "Unified" Omnisphere patch takes about 5 seconds every single time, but loading the same patch into a new Unify layer takes only about 1 second?


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SSquared
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July 27, 2020 11:08 pm  

I am seeing several seconds of load time for each patch change in Unify as well.  I assumed it was reloading Omnisphere each time.  Changing patches in O2 is nearly instant for me.

@getdunne Yes.  Every single patch change in Unify takes that 5 or so seconds to load.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Nico
 Nico
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July 28, 2020 12:37 am  

@getdunne yes indeed, it happens every single time - and I also tested it with the Reason Rack plugin (after making a couple of "unified" patches for it). Same behavior with same 5 second delay every single time.

 

EDIT: and yes, adding another layer if the VST is already present in a prior layer is very fast (sub second) for both Omnisphere and Reason Rack Plugin.


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getdunne
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July 28, 2020 12:38 am  
Posted by: @ssquared

Changing patches in O2 is nearly instant for me.

I will look into alternative techniques, but this will take some time. For the moment, if speed is important, you should change patches in Omnisphere.


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Nico
 Nico
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July 28, 2020 12:47 am  
Posted by: @getdunne

For the moment, if speed is important, you should change patches in Omnisphere.

Yes, not a big problem for me - I'll just remove the unified O2 libraries from my Unify installation for now.


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getdunne
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July 28, 2020 1:25 am  
Posted by: @nico

@getdunne yes indeed, it happens every single time - and I also tested it with the Reason Rack plugin (after making a couple of "unified" patches for it). Same behavior with same 5 second delay every single time.

EDIT: and yes, adding another layer if the VST is already present in a prior layer is very fast (sub second) for both Omnisphere and Reason Rack Plugin.

Thanks for mentioning this. This may be a VERY important clue about how to improve load speed!


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SSquared
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July 28, 2020 1:26 am  

@getdunne This is super minor issue to me.  I can wait.  Thanks for discussing it.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Nico
 Nico
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July 28, 2020 3:00 am  
Posted by: @getdunne

Thanks for mentioning this. This may be a VERY important clue about how to improve load speed

Great - just let me know, if there's anything else I can test/experiment!


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Nico
 Nico
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July 31, 2020 11:28 pm  

I’ve been experimenting with ideas for a work-around and this is the best I could come up with so far: 


EDIT: The work-around below is potentially useful for Unify standalone. It should also work with Unify as a VST within a DAW (though I only tested Cubase).

For a smoother workaround when using Unify as a VST in Cubase (not sure if it also works with other DAWs), have a look at my later post below


The idea is to use the Unify within Unify approach to create a 2 layer default patch for myself, each layer being a Unify.

Layer 1 is strictly used for pre-loading all of the desired slow loading plugins and is permanently muted. 
Layer 2 is now my actual working Unify layer and I do all my work within that layer (browsing and creating patches, adding layers, etc). 

(To avoid confusing myself, I minimize the root Unify window after loading the preloading patch)

To illustrate, this I created a couple of Unify patches:

  • zUTILITY - EMPTY with O2 Preloaded.unify
    (should work for Unify users who also have Omnisphere activated in Unify.
  • zUTILITY - EMPTY with O2 and Reason Rack Preloaded.unify
    (just to illustrate pre-loading several slow loading plugins -- only makes sense for those of us who have Omnisphere and the Reason Rack plugin activated in Unify)

Both patches are in the attached ZIP file (Unify_Patches-PluginPreload.zip)

Using (after installing patch EMPTY with O2 Preloaded.unify) into Unify :

  1. Load this Unify patch first
  2. Open the Unify in layer 2 to browse and load patches you want to hear/play.
  3. Minimize the root Unify window, to avoid confusing yourself when working entirely in layer 2 of this patch.
  4. Work in this layer as normal (even adding Unify layers if desired).

To customize preloading your own plugins:

  1. Open the Unify in layer 1
  2. Add a layer for each plugin you would like to pre-load (preferably without a sound).
  3. Mute each layer
  4. Set midi channel for each layer to "--- [NONE]"
  5. Remove layers for plugins you no longer wish to pre-load.

Also: You could make different such patches for different pre-loading configurations.

p.s. If anyone is using this patch and wants to let me know their thoughts (good, bad, indifferent) and additional ideas, I’ll be monitoring this thread.

 
 
This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Nico

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Nico
 Nico
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August 2, 2020 9:41 pm  

TL/DR: Making previewing and loading of unified Omnisphere patches fast inside Cubase (and maybe other DAWs?) on Windows 10. 

I've just done some additional experimentation - this time using Unify within Cubase 10.5 Pro on Windows 10 (1909).

I'm sharing my observations here, just in case they're useful to @getdunne or anyone else here:

  • If I have the Omnisphere plugin loaded in another Cubase track, browsing/loading a unified Omnisphere patch is slow (pretty much the same as in the standalone scenario) - i.e. no news here

However:

  • If I have the Reason Rack plugin loaded in another Cubase track, browsing/loading a Reason Rack patch in Unify is very fast 

So there’s a divergence of plugin caching behaviour in the 2 scenarios. The immediate difference I could identify is that

  • The Omnisphere plugin is VST 2.4
  • The Reason Rack plugin is VST 3.6

So I tried another thing.

  1. Load a Unify instance with a single layer of Omnisphere
  2. Load another Unify instance to be used as our working environment 
  3. In this second Unify instance, the browsing/loading of unified Omnisphere patches is now very fast
    1. It would seem, the second instance of Unify benefits from the already loaded Omnisphere in the first instance of Unify.

 

This workaround seems better than my previously posted one -- at least when working with Cubase 10.5 on Windows 10.

Bonus:

For even faster Cubase Workflow, I've made myself a Cubase "Track preset" containing Unify with Omnisphere  loaded in layer 1

  1. Loading that track preset for the first time (to maintain a cached copy of Omnisphere) is quite slow
  2. Loading it a second or subsequent time for our working Unify layer is very fast

The exact speeds will depend a lot on one's hardware - especially a fast SSD really helps.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Nico

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getdunne
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August 2, 2020 9:58 pm  

@nico

Excellent observations. This suggests that I might get better speed if I delete the existing VST instance after creating the new one, rather than the other way around. I'll try this as soon as I get a chance.


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