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UNIFY + Omnisphere : multiple patches - settings?

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(@creativeforge)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 23
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Hi, so I've been playing in church a few times over the past few months, using Omnisphere and Kontakt (Noire). Of course using a laptop (Core i5, Windows 10, 32GB RAM) means more limited resources. My laptop has choked up a few times during practice and during worship (when using the sustain pedal in Omnisphere especially, so now I have to always mind this limitation). 

Someone suggested that using UNIFY could allow me to load a few different Omnisphere patches (I use 3 or 4) and that UNIFY would use the laptop processor in a way to make this whole process lighter on the processor (multithread?). Maybe I'm not explaining/understanding well?

Question: However do you have video tutorials that show precisely how to load multiple instances of Omnisphere in Unify in a way that will use the laptop resources more economically, won't be overloaded? Are there specific settings I need to address?

Second question - could I use UNIFY as standalone, without a DAW? Maybe that would free some resources for the laptop? Would that be too risky at this point, or has UNIFY been tested in this context? 

Thanks! 🙂 


   
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(@getdunne)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 4452
 

Posted by: @creativeforge

Question: However do you have video tutorials that show precisely how to load multiple instances of Omnisphere in Unify in a way that will use the laptop resources more economically, won't be overloaded? Are there specific settings I need to address?

Unify attempts to run each layer on a separate CPU core, so for any patch where you use multiple Omnisphere instances, it should already be spreading the computing load across your i5's cores.

The big problem with Omnisphere is that it is single-threaded, meaning it cannot do this kind of load-spreading internally for its "multi" presets. I have written a small utility program called OmniSplitter (click on the word to download the Windows version) which will convert Unify patches that have an instance of Omnisphere on the INST1 layer, with a multi loaded, into a new Unify patch that has one INST layer, each with its own Omnisphere instance, running one of the original multi layers as an ordinary (non-multi) preset. Unify can then run each of these slimmed-down Omnisphere instances on a separate core. The performance improvement can be quite dramatic. Click here and scroll down for more details.

Second question - could I use UNIFY as standalone, without a DAW? Maybe that would free some resources for the laptop? Would that be too risky at this point, or has UNIFY been tested in this context? 

Absolutely! Several Unify users have reported success using Unify stand-alone for live gigs. (One user even did so on live TV!) When working with plug-ins, and software in general, there is always a risk that something might crash, but the same could be said for a DAW. My best advice would be the same for any piece of technology: Test extensively in rehearsal before going live. I would also suggest not trying to run anything else on the PC at the same time, especially not any combination you haven't already tested in rehearsal. This is just common sense.

 


   
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(@creativeforge)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

@getdunne Thank you Shane! My laptop did choke during the worship set today. Only using Kontakt Noire (2 instances) and one Omnisphere patch in my DAW (Mixcraft8). So I had to delete all the pther tracks/instances of Omni to allow the system to recover. I'll also disable the antivirus next time.

More importantly, a friend offered to help me figure this out as he's an early adopter of Unify. So I'll forward that link to him as well. 

Thank you for taking the time to reply! 🙂


   
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(@ssquared)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 218
 

@creativeforge

Hi.  The issue you are hearing almost sounds like you may not be using a good audio driver.  Check which audio driver you are using.  Not to dissuade you from Unify (it's fantastic and a wonderful tool) but using the wrong audio driver will be an issue no matter what software you use, so I highly recommend being sure you have set up Ableton Live to use a good audio driver.

  • Open Ableton Live
  • Go to the Options menu and select "Preferences" at the bottom.
  • On the left side is a tab labeled "Audio".  Select this tab if it is not already selected.
  • On the right side you will see the labels "Driver Type" and "Audio Device".  What values do you have listed for these options?  If ASIO is not selected for "Driver Type" then this is likely the issue.  You will likely have latency and crackling.  If ASIO is selected, then that's perfect.

I have been using Omnisphere, Ableton Live and Unify in a live setting (worship service like you) for many years.  I suspect I have used laptops less powerful than yours without problems.  I have used many layers of Omnisphere at once without issues.  One thing about Omnisphere, if you are using a sound with granular synthesis turned on, that can definitely cause issues (even on powerful computers).

To check if a sound in Omnisphere is using Granular synthesis:

  • In your patch, select "A", "B", "C" and "D" (whichever ones are currently turned on).
  • In the Oscillator section for each one, there is a spot named "GRN".  If this is lit up blue, then the sound uses Granular. Turn off Granular and see if that helps.

As for just using Unify, you can TOTALLY do that.  You don't need Ableton Live.  If you have the right controller, you can set up different MIDI channels in Unify to handle different sounds.  Then use the MIDI channel on your keyboard controller to play a different sound.  For example, have MIDI Channel 1 in Unify be your piano sound.  MIDI Channel 2 a pad.  MIDI Channel 3 some synth.  And MIDI Channel 4 could be a piano AND pad.  You can use your keyboard to control which sounds are playing. If you have knobs/buttons on your controller, you can even setup Unify so you can control the pad's volume over the piano or add some delay to the piano.

I would only use Unify if not for Ableton Live's nice integration with the Native Instruments Komplete Keyboards.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


   
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(@creativeforge)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 23
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@ssquared Thank you for the detailed response! 🙂 

I don't use Ableton Live, it's a GUI thing. I have issues with "sterile" ones, being visually-oriented. 

As for drivers, I use the Audient drivers that come with the soundcard (iD14 MKII). 

I will however check that granular feature you mentioned. First time someone suggests this. 🙂

Earlier this week, a friend offered to come over to show me how to better use Unify as a standalone. I would rather do that than always have to deal with a DAW 'live.' Sunday, my laptop choked for a good minute in the middle of an instrumental set. It was rather embarassing...

Cheers and thanks again for chiming in! 

Andre


   
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(@ssquared)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 218
 

@creativeforge 

Ohhhh, yeah.  You mentioned Mixcraft.  I have no idea what made me think you were using Ableton Live.

You can still go to Preferences and check out the Sound Device settings.  Be sure ASIO is selected.  But sounds like something else is going on.  Having a problem for a full minute is definitely not the norm.

You may want to run a utility called LatencyMon.  I don't know it too well.  I used it once when I was having audio issues when I first got my laptop.

Let us know if you find a solution.

Omnisphere is such a great synth and PluginGuru has many great libraries for it.  I also use Noire as well.  Good choices.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


   
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(@creativeforge)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 23
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@ssquared Thanks for the tips, I'll take a look. 

Yes, Noire is wonderful for worship sets. I double the instances, and add Deelay on each, with a different setting. It created a kind of "rewind" effect that's quite nice. But I had to shut down one of them due to the issues. 

I have to disable my antivirus too and put the wifi on airplane mode. A few tweaks I should have thought about!


   
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