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New computer and MIDI problem
 >:( I'm a long-time user of NoteWorthy Composer, having first come across it when it was available on a 3.5" diskette. I still love it and enjoy using it now as much as ever. The majority of my compositions are electronic/synth or new age in nature with percussion often to the fore, I have also attempted to write a string quartet and a symphony.

Recently I was forced to consider buying a new computer, as my thirteen-year-old XP machine was starting to misbehave badly. That system utilised a Creative Soundblaster Audigy One sound card (the Audigy Two was just appearing on the marketplace at that time) and I eventually became familiar with the sounds it would produce and made extensive use of the electronic instruments in NWC.. Channel 10 often got a workout.

The new computer I've bought, running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, has an onboard Realtek system, described as 'Realtek High Definition Audio', The sound quailty from CDs, FLAC, WAV and DSF files is excellent but the MIDI quality via NWC leaves a great deal to be desired. When I first checked the MIDI playback devices I had available in NWC I thoiught there were two: Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth and Microsoft MIDI Mapper, although I don't see the latter there now. (I have just updated NWC to version 2.75 so maybe that's not supported in this latest version).  After searching through Google, I also found information about VirtualMIDISynth from Coolsoft and how one could use it with sound fonts. So that has become another MIDI playback option in NWC. I have downloaded some sound fonts but none of them impress me so far, particularly when it come to percussion sounds.

What I would obviously like would be sound fonts that replicate those that were produced by the Audigy One sound card but I guess obtaining them is a virtual (no pun intended) impossibility. I could use the Audigy card in my new computer but I personally feel that would be a backward step.

Any suggestions would be most welcome and thank you in advance.

Regards,
John Marchington

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #1
Have you tried FluidR3? IMHO, it's the best GM soundfont set out there.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #2
Hello William,

Thank you for your reply and suggestion.

I hope you don't mind seeing a grown man cry?

I found a source for the FluidR3 soundfont but the file has a sfARK extension and nothing on my system will decompress it. I eventually found what is termed an sfARK Utilities pack and it comprises files that will decompress soundfont files for Windows, Mac and Linux to SF2 files so I downloaded it. I opened the Windows option, which is a plain ZIP file, and was about to decompress it  when a message appeared informing me that Windows couldn't find the file. As I had just been looking at it, I realised that the only possible explanation for that situation was that my antivirus software had in the meantime decided the file was suspicious and had quarantined it - and that's exactly what had happened.

The question now is 'Do I assume that it's actually OK, retrieve it and carry on - or not?'

Why is computing always so complicated?

John Marchington

  • Lloyd
  • NWC2 User
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #3
Hi Johnno,
updating to a new computer is always a headache. A new computer usually means a new opetarive system and new hardware and newer software versions etc... BUT I've always thought that if there's something that works fine for me, it's not really important how many years it has ;)  I mean that if your old Audigy works fine for you just try to install it again, I don't think it's a backward step, but remember that it's possible that Windows 10 gives you compatibility problems if you use your old soundcard (specially with soundfont manager and related software/drivers)...

Of course there's some other interesting options out there  :D  as you said VirtualMIDISynth is one of the best choices when working with SoundFonts, and as William said Fluid R3 is really good. -->HERE<-- is a link for downloading it (as well as other good ones) and don't worry, it's not sfArk compressed ^__^

Now, if you're interested in getting much better sounds I think you must jump into the VST instruments... I agree that it's more difficult to use them but definitely you'll get a better sound... A good start point could be the guide made by Lawrie Pardy -->HERE<--

Feel free to ask me if you're interested in using VST with Noteworthy  :)
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #4
Thanks for your comments, Lloyd.

I had actually downloaded fluid-soundfont.tar.gz earlier but wasn't sure if that was the recommended fluid file. I have now decompressed it (using 7-zip) but I've ended up with a TAR file and VirtualMIDISynth doesn't seem to accept that sort of file (only sf2 and sfz types).

I was going to send the above but I then had another idea and I've just found out that TAR file types are compressed types as well, so I've used 7-zip again and - at long last - I've ended up with a FluidR3-GM2.SF2 file, among others, which will import nicely into VirtualMIDISynth.

I'll try it out with one or two of my compositions and let you know my reaction.

Regards,
John Marchington


Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #5
Well, I've listened to three of my compositions and it's a bit of a curate's egg. The percussion on channel 10 is dramatically improved, much more like I used to hear. However, some of the synth instruments now have what I can only term a warbling/burbling sound that is quite unlike the sound I used to hear. I have checked those instruments with the Microsoft GS Waveform Synth and that produces a significantly more acceptable result. If I can somehow get a more even sound from those synth instruments I'd almost be happy with it, even though there would still be small differences from what I used to hear with the Audigy sound card. I wonder if there is a setting in NWC that might improve matters?

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #6
So, why not use both synth at once? One for the percussions and the other for the synths.
NWC can handle it.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #7
Sorry, Flurmy, I don't understand - or is it that I didn't make the situation as clear as I could have? To put it in perspective, one of my compositions uses Pad 4 (Choir) on Channel 5 and Pad 3 (Polysynth) on Channel 11 playing at the same time, in conjunction with a variety of percussion sounds on Channel 10. I sometimes have numerous channels operating at the same time. The two Pads mentioned above both warble/burble badly, sounding as if the instruments are playing under water. I hope that description offers a clearer explanation of the situation.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #8
But, Johnno, you can direct each staff to a different "Play back device" - so some of them could send their MIDI to the Virtual...Synt, whereas others send them to the Microsoft...Synth.
One problem however, that I have with such setups, is that the latency of the two can and will differ significantly. So one has to get one or both to add a suitable delay ...

H.M.

  • Lloyd
  • NWC2 User
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #9
Quote
a warbling/burbling sound

uhmmmm... ::)
Could it be the audio buffer? Sometines when audio buffer is too small the sound is distorsed in a similar way... you can try to increase the audio buffer of the VirtualMIDISynth (go to VirtualMIDISynth configuration --> advanced options --> aditional output buffer)
This option will increase the playback latency, but it could improve the sound. Try to increase to 128 or 256 or even 512... if it doesn't make a change put it back to default value  :P

Remember that increasing latency (as hmmueller said) will cause sync problems with other playback devices, but if you're using only VirtualMIDISynth there's no problem, and it could help... anyway I will insist (for the last time, promise  O:) ) that if you use SoundFonts the ressult will not be as good as if you use VSTs or real (phisical) synths connected with a real (phisical) MIDI interface.

Let us know if you found any solution  ;D
Lloyd.
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #10
Hi Johnno,
I wonder if the problem is actually that the sound from the sound font is not what you want?

As an experiment, try downloading a different soundfont and see if the warbling goes away - if it does, then it's simply the sound font has sounds you don't like, which is fine, so do the "SFC" (Sound font Shuffle *TM) like we've all done at times to find the sound font you like.

As an option, if the old machine is still available, you can find and copy the soundfonts from it to the new machine and load it/them in your softsynth.  This has the virtue of giving you back the sounds you're used to.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #11
Thank you one and all for your various suggestions. I tried increasing the audio buffer in VirtualMIDISynth, firstly to 500 ms - it was set to 250 ms  - and then all the way to 1000 ms and, as anticipated, there was a considerable delay with the largest setting. There was a small improvement in some areas, but the Polysynth pad still burbled badly. I also tried a few other settings but none of them made much of an improvement.

As for your suggestion. Lawrie, I had earlier downloaded another sound font 'set' called Arachno soundfont and the sound it produces via VirtualMIDISynth with the polysiynth pad is quite different from the Fluid and is an improvement but still not as good as I used to hear. As far as your other suggestion is concerned, I could probably get my other computer working again but I was never aware that the Audigy One used soundfonts as I always imagined it was all hardware-related. Perhaps I am wrong about that and you might have the answer. I will write to Creative about that and see what it has to say on the matter.

HMMueller, I set up NWC to accept both the VirtualMIDISynth and the Microsoft GS Waveform Synth, the only alternative I seem to have, but it's MIDI sound for the polysynth is really uninteretsing, even though it is perfectly steady.

Thank you all again for your interest in my problem.

Regards.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #12
The SoundBlaster Live by default had three GM soundfonts bundled in the software: one 2 MB wide, another 4 MB and the last 8 MB.
I don't remember exactly which one was loaded by default, but I think it was the 2 MB. (Memory was very precious back then!)
Nothing really exciting (now), but much better than the Roland soundfont included in Windows.
I think you can easily find them on the 'net. If not, let me know and I can send them to you.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #13
Hi Johnno, the Audigy definitly uses soundfonts.  The 2MB one is installed by default during driver and application software installation of the Creative software.  The synth is hardware, the soundset is not.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #14
Thank you both for your comments. I wrote to Creative last night but haven't  received a reply as yet. I mentioned the Audigy driver that I have been using and which I am impressed with (SBAX_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0017.exe) - which I assume also contains the sound fonts - and I also did a Google search on the file and found that it is used by the entire Audigy range of sound cards from the original Audigy, whch I have, up to the Audigy4. Would I be correct in assuming therefore that their MIDI playback would be similar?

One thing puzzles me. The sound fonts you refer to seem tiny, occupying 2MB, 4MB and 8MB. whereas both the Arachno and the Fluid fonts I've downloaded are files over 140MB in size. I wonder why there is such a large difference in size, if the smaller files do equally well?

I'll wait until I have received an email from Creative but if the response isn't helpful I shall take up your offer, Flurmy, so thank you for that. I'll keep you informed.

Regards.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #15
You might try changing to SyFonOne as your soundsynth. It allows you to set different soundfont overrides for each instrument. Haven't tried that, but it looks as though it might solve your problem.

  • Lloyd
  • NWC2 User
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #16
Quote
One thing puzzles me. The sound fonts you refer to seem tiny, occupying 2MB, 4MB and 8MB. whereas both the Arachno and the Fluid fonts I've downloaded are files over 140MB in size. I wonder why there is such a large difference in size, if the smaller files do equally well?
SoundFonts are made using "some" audio samples of "some" notes. If a soundfont contains more samples its weight will increase, and of course it's the same for the sound quallity (some .sf2 even use audio samples at 22050 hz / mono). The length of the audio samples is also important for this: the sample starts and then, in some point, starts a loop making the sound to be continous... Usually, a longer loop means more realistic sound (specially when sounds are emulating real instruments: violin, flutes, strings, etc), but this will increase the sample size. In the 2MB, 4MB and 8MB the sound samples are minimal, while the Fluid soundfont have lots of high quality audio samples. Thats the reason for the different file sizes between soundfonts.

Quote
You might try changing to SyFonOne as your soundsynth.
This is a very good idea. Try some other MIDI synths (SyFonOne, BassMIDI driver)... maybe some of them has better results on your machine.

Good luck  :D
Lloyd.
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #17
It's also worth noting that the size of a soundfont does not necessarily reflect its quality...

My preferred soundfont is quite small (about 5 MB)
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #18
I've received acknowledgement from Creative about my sound fonts query relating to the Audigy sound cards. Unfortunately, they say they are very busy at present but hope to reply within the next few days.

Once again, thank you for all your suggesstions. I'm starting to build up a collection of sound fonts and will add SyFonOne and BassMIDI Driver to it as well and try them out. The former sounds as if it might require a fair amount of experimentation to obtain specific results. .Sounds fonts are a totally now concept for me as I had a sound card and driver that satisfied my requirements so I had little need to look elsewhere. That was then, of course.

I'm going to be busy for a while so I may not have much time to experiment - at least, for the next three or four days. However, I'll do what I can.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #19
My preferred soundfont is quite small (about 5 MB)
May I ask which one is it?

Johnno, the Creative soundfonts can be found here:
2GMGSMT.SF2
4GMGSMT.SF2
8MBGMSFX.SF2

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #20
May I ask which one is it?
Not sure where I got hold of it now, but it's modelled on the YXG-50 softsynth.  My Win7 box is down at he moment so I can't confirm much more about it.

<edit> I just managed to get the box up and the .sf2 files is only 3.67 MB so it's even smaller than I thought :o
It may not be the best sounds available these days, but it suits me and it is predictable - not quite as good as the old Yamaha Y-XG50 softsynth I had in my XP box but very, very close
  • Last Edit: 2016-05-03 05:38 am by Lawrie Pardy
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #21
I was taking a break from the jobs I'm doing to clear my emails and noticed another one from the Forum. Thanks, Flurmy, for the Audigy sound fonts. I will certainly be most interested in listening to them but it mightn't be for a day or two. However, I decided to download them while I had the opportunity.

Regards.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #22
Those Creative sound fonts are amazing, especially the 8MB one, and I'm totally satisfied with the results when using it. I admit I haven't tried the 4MB one yet. I loaded then all into VirtualMIDISynth then selected the 2MB first and was very pleased with it, although I could still detect small differences at times between it and the Audigy sound card results. With the 8MB font, those differences have all but vanished. Indeed, there has even been one distinct positive. One of my compositions, in ABA form, has a slow middle section and during it there is a reflective motif in a diminuendo and when played back through the Audigy card, the dynamic would drop to mezzo forte and then, for some inexplicable reason, the high frequencies would suddenly disappear from the instrumental sound as it dropped down to piano. With a later change to forte, the highs were back again. That HF change in timbre no longer occurs and the diminuendo now sounds wonderful. Pad Polysynths now sound as they did with the old card - indeed, it's really hard to criticize what I am currently hearing with my pieces.

Incidentally, I have received a reply from Creative. I'm not sure if they are avoiding the issue, but the email mentioned a font manager that would not work with Windows 10 and therefore they felt they were unable to assist me. That wasn't the question I ask them, but never mind ...

So thanks again to everybody, especially Flurmy, for all their help.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #23
<snip>
Incidentally, I have received a reply from Creative. I'm not sure if they are avoiding the issue, but the email mentioned a font manager that would not work with Windows 10 and therefore they felt they were unable to assist me. That wasn't the question I ask them, but never mind ...
Yeah, Creative have seriously dropped the ball with support for newer versions of Windows (starting with Vista) - I think they mustn't have any programmers left who can write drivers...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #24
The Creative SB X-Fi has drivers that work in Windows 10.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #25
I think one of the problems is that the people who are responsible for answering questions for web customers either don't have the training or the experience to do the job justice. My question to Creative was, quite simply, the availability of sound fonts for the Audigy sound cards. I wasn't after any MIDI software/manager for utilising those fonts.

Sadly, I often find  asking technical questions on websites an exasperating experience. Beth, here, was very helpful.

  • Lloyd
  • NWC2 User
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #26
The best point of the Creative soundcards "SB Live!" and "Audigy" family is that the software bundled with the drivers (named AudioHQ, I think...) allows the user to assign part of the computer RAM to load soundfonts. I mean: you can load the default 8MB soundfont, but you can also increase the dedicated RAM (from 8 MB to 150MB) and then load the FluidR3 (which is 143MB). With older soundcards the user can't assign dedicated RAM, so soundcard only can play MIDI files with the 8MB bank. Changing the soundfont allows the user to achieve a better sound, but this software seems to be not compatible with windows 10, (neigther with Win7 nor 8.1) and I supose this is what Creative said...

By the way, I agree that Creative service might be better... and the old hardware might be still compatible! In my opinion, SB Live! was one of the best MIDI soundcards.
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #27
Quote
the software bundled with the drivers named AudioHQ...

Really terrible.
It is so purposedly interlaced that you must install the whole garbage even if you're only interested in the driver or the SF manager or...
The environment simulator (EAX) stores all the E-MU parameters database in the system registry. (!)
The audio editor, developed with win95 in mind, since a long time says "can't save the data because there is not enough space on disk" while, instead, the problem was that there was too much space on disk.

I have two computers with a SB Live,
This means having a couple of E-MU processors available for audio processing but being unable to use them because the drivers included in windows don't use them.
The last time I tried KX driver it was a mess. Furthermore, the effect processor is controlled by a device on his own so the MIDI commands for it are ignored.

What a waste for such a good HW!

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #28
Hello again to everyone.

I've been playing around with various combinations of sound fonts but the best-sounding one remains the Creative 8MBGMSFX.SF2 on it's own.

However, recently, I've noticed something that disturbs me and I can't understand why it should be happening. I'm referring to the occasional "stuck note" that will appear "out of the blue" and it' is inconsistent in that I can return to the section of the composition where it occurred earlier and it won't be present when that same section is played again. I've been using NWC for long enough to know what causes stuck notes and how to avoid them, so these recent occurrences are really puzzling me. In the old days, I did encounter them occasionally but it was always a fault on my part with tied notes across bar lines and an accidental associated with the first of the notes but not the second, or vice versa, or a chord set up in the same way.. I'm currently using NWC 2.75 and assume that it wouldn't be the cause. Maybe there is a setting in VirtualMIDISynth that I've missed but as the problem only happens very occasionally I can't see that being an issue either.
 
It's obviously annoying so if anyone can think of a possible solution I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #29
I only had this problem a few times when stopping the playing. Some notes were not stopped and I had to click "stop" twice to send a MIDI reset.
I think this is synth dependent.
As I wrote, I'm using the SB live synth. So, nothing to do with VirtualMIDISynth.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #30
Thanks for your comments, Flurmy. I'm beginning to wonder if it might be NWC. What version are you using?

As it stands, its presence and particularly its inconsistency is really spoiling my enjoyment at the moment.

I actually noticed it for the first time when I was playing one of my pieces and I was suddenly aware of a sound that I knew shouldn't have been there. When I pressed F6, there it was and I find I had to close NWC to stop it. It's happened three or four times now.

I might reinstall a slightly earlier version of NWC2 and check if that makes a difference.

I'll let you know if it disappears. That might require a fair bit of listening, though.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #31
I'm using NWC 2.75, but I think I had the problem also with the 2.51a.

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #32
Thanks.

I haven't gone back to an earlier version yet, but I did play another of my pieces a short time ago that is over 13 minutes long and it didn't misbehave once (still using the Creative sound font). If there is a problem with NWC, and I'm certainly inclining that way for want of any other possible reason, I'm beginning to think it might be very difficult to solve.

I think I'll write to Beth and see what she has to say about it. I wonder if there are others who have noticed it?

  • Bart
  • NWC2 User
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #33
Johnno,

I am not sure, but I think this "glitch" happens when the virtual synth misses one "note off" midi-command.
The most plausible reason is that the pc lacks resources on that particular moment.

Normally, when you play your score again the "glitch" does seldom reappear (and even then, almost never in the same measure).
I have had these glitches too, especially with large NWC files (many staves) and huge soundfonts. That's why I suspected my pc resources.

So, I see some options:

You could try to stop processes that you don't need at that moment
- stop all the programs that you aren't actively using at that moment
- in task manager you can also see background processes that take resources
- check if you really need all the services that were started

You could try to wait until you have more resources
- wait until your hard disk stops spinning which is a good indication of some nasty (background) activity (for instance caused by a Windows upgrade or Defender scan)
- wait until windows defragmentation has finished
- wait until windows defender has finished
- wait until an antivirus scan has finished
- wait until "automatic" updates (for Windows) are finished

You could try to disable some processes temporarily like
- automatic activities and upgrades for Antivirus / Adobe Reader / Mail client / dropbox / java / ...

You can also try to reduce the resources for Noteworthycomposer
- disable NWC's - most interesting but quite expensive - option : "Chase playing notes" (in TOOLS/OPTIONS/EDITOR).
- choose a smaller soundfont but that's probably the last thing you want to do.

Or you can buy a superfast, new computer and "hope" that it doesn't happen again.

I think a resource problem is slowing down your whole pc but this is hardly noticeable. Only in NWC it is audible and very annoying.
As far as I know all NWC-versions are vulnerable.
Disabling the note chasing option is probably the only useful option you have within NWC.

Bart

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #34
Thanks for your input, Bart.

 My system, which I have only had for a little over a month, comprises an ASUS motherboard with a quad-core Intel i5-6400 CPU @ 2.7GHz with 8GB of DD3 RAM and an ADATA 256GB SSD. I'm running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro.

 However, I like your reasoning and feel it has considerable merit. The ideal solution would be to deactivate all processes that NWC and VirtualMIDISynth don't need and then reactivate them when NWC is not in use. However, I guess even Windows 10 isn't smart enough to enable me to set that up. Otherwise, there is probably going to be a lot of fiddling around, even experimenting, to get the best results. I guess that might sound rather 'negative' but the fact remains that I'm still finding my way around the finer points of Windows 10, having lived with Win XP for the last thirteen years. I never had the problem then (and I had discovered what actually caused stuck notes in NWC well before that) - but, of course, I wasn't dealing with sound fonts during that time either.

Regards,
John Marchington

  • Bart
  • NWC2 User
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #35
Johnno,

With a recent and fast computer, performance should not be the problem (or am I wrong?).
You could focus on VirtualMidisynth.

As Lloyd explained the audio buffer in VirtualMidisynth may be too small. It seems adjustable in the advanced options of VirtualMidisynth .

In a website (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=540240064) I also found following text which could "prove" that VirtualMidiSynth can cause sometimes this kind of errors.

Quote
When using MIDISynth, sometimes I can hear notes getting stuck and will not stop playing. How do I stop this from happening?
When a note in MIDI gets stuck, it can be annoying, either just press CTRL+ALT+SPACE or Right-click on the MIDISynth icon in the Taskbar and click MIDI Panic.
This will reset any and all notes that are currently playing and will fix the problem.

If nothing else works, you can also try alternatives for VirtualMidiSynth like bassmidi (on which driver Virtualsynth is built) and it has also an application on its own. (https://kode54.net/bassmididrv/) I have used it before I knew VirtualMidiSynth, but it seems to me that bassmidi also had stuck notes sometimes - but my memory can foolish me.

A long time ago I also tried midiYoke/midiOx, but the major purpose of this software is to connect a computer to a midi device, so you will need a virtual/physical synthesizer where you can configure the soundfonts. This is an oldie but it should run also on Windows 10. (http://www.midiox.com)

Bart

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #36
Thought I might add my $0.02 here.

I agree with Bart that it is probably a Windows resource issue, BUT I have seen it in very fast machines just as often as I have with slower machines, with both hardware and software synths.  That said, I haven't seen it very often and it always surprises me when it occurs.  By "not very often" I mean maybe once every few months when I am working on scores, which I don't always do.

It seems to occur fairly randomly - the only times I've seen it happen in a repeatable fashion is when there has been an error in the score (E.G. unresolved tied note).

I've seen it happen in what I call reasonably small scores (say 10 to 20 staves) and large scores (more than that), but I don't recall it in small scores (say less than 10 staves).  However I don't think this reflects a failing on NWC's part, but rather a MIDI related issue arising from Windows resource management (as Bart said).  I have no specific evidence for this opinion, just a gut feel that has arisen from several decades of PC support.

Keeping resource usage to a minimum seems to be the key.  One thing that can help here is to *manage your temp files.  Windows is a notoriously bad housekeeper and you should regularly clean up your temp files - kill everything you can - delete 'em, don't just send 'em to the recycle bin.   Of course, with a machine that is only a couple of months old it is unlikely to have an extreme temp file problem.

Also, make sure your AV software isn't being too intrusive.  Some of them have a "gaming mode", you might try activating this (if you have it) when you use NWC if the problem is happening to you a lot.

* this may seem unrelated, but EVERYTHING windoze does ends up using temp files in some way.  The more temp files, the more resources needed to manage 'em.  If the temp folder has thousands of files it takes more resources to manage than if it has 20 or 30.  I recall a support call where the PC was so slow it might as well have been left turned off.  After cleaning up the temp folder (removing over 80,000 temp files) the user wanted to know if they'd been given a new machine...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #37
Thanks again, guys.

Windows always seems to have a lot of apps or utilities open at the same time - I guess it makes for speedier access if one is multitasking - but obviously resources usage increases accordingly. I used to know how to untick some of the apps selected at start-up when I was using Win XP but as yet I'm not sure where to look for that in Windows 10. I'll need to spend some time searching around to find it.

The piece that I've noticed giving me the most trouble is my longest work so far, over 23 minutes (aba structure, fast-slow-fast)  and I think the stuck notes have always been in one of the outer sections.

I've just increased the output buffer size in VirtualMIDISnth  to 500ms although I have noticed when I did that before it increased the latency quite markedly, which I'd rather do without. However, it may be a case of "beggars not being choosers".

It's interesting that someone else using VirtualMIDISynth has had the same problem. That doesn't necessarity mean that the app is causing the problem, of course. He may have a resources issue too, if that be a possible cause.

It looks like it's a problem that a few of us need to be looking into.

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  • Virtuoso
Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #38
You've probably found the way the stop apps loading at startup ere now, but if not, right click the taskbar, select Task Manager, select Startup tab,  Right click on "Enabled' to toggle to "Disabled."  Or better still download the free Microsoft Sysinternals Autoruns app. That finds more autostarting apps than Task Manager

Re: New computer and MIDI problem
Reply #39
I'm now not sure that it is a resource issue. When I discovered that VirtualMIDISynth uses the same BASS  and BASSMIDI audio libraries from Un4seen Developments as BASSMIDI and that a comment I read elsewhere stated that VirtualMIDISynth could suffer from situations where notes sounded a lot longer than expected, whereas BASSMIDI was apparently free of the problem, I decided to place a comment on the CoolSoft forum about it and Mr CoolSoft himself replied that there was a key combination feature in VirtualMIDISynth 1 which would immediately stop the offending note.  However, he felt a better solution was to download version 2 (still in beta but now up to beta6) and try that out, which I have done. I had to register to be able to download it. My understanding is that, among other modifications, VMS2 has improved integration with 64-bit versions of Windows

I have played two of my compositions using VMS2 and they were both fine. One was the 23 minute work I'm mentioned above and the other was a work of about half that length. It is obviously too early to say if VMS2 has solved the problem but results are clearly encouraging so far. I also understand that the official release of VMS2 may appear soon and that there have been numerous enhancements making it quite different from the first version.