STS bad MIDI timing...

Talk about the STS series of Creamware samplers.

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bimole
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by bimole »

STS samplers are old fashionned and have their own limitations. I agree with that, no problem, but that's not the point.

Regarding the dropped notes issue, I was just noticing that STS3000 and STS4000 behave differently with no clear reason.
And it happens without using a DAW, inside Scope the problem occurs (you just have to use a scope arpeggiator or a step seq), so it should have nothing to do with the host.
I just wanted to find the root cause of this difference between the 3000 and 4000 release because in these conditions, the STS3000 is UNPLAYABLE!

Regarding the async error message, I need some point of reference for my system.
Is this error message normal when we load STS samplers so the the sum of polyphony voices exceed 32 ?
What is your experence ?
For instance Bud, what were the capabilities of your system in terms of max achievable polyphony with several STS instances loaded ?

One more time, I'm not judging the STS performance, I just want to understand the source of these issues (dropped notes and async error) :wink:
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valis
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by valis »

Remember you are swapping some files between versions to make the samplers work, as they are *no longer supported*.
fra77x2
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by fra77x2 »

From my memory because many years has passed since I have last used the sts.

I think the problem with the STS samplers begun after the scope 4 version alongside some sequencer functionality. This also affected the modular wav oscillators and the ability of scope to play samples in general.

Their behaviour is incosistent when used in the sdk, an in scope software with scope 5 they do not always aquire their resources right (in 32 bit systems).

Most probably something is broken in their communication with windows during loading. Perhaps it was transistive code to 64 bit that led to corrupted memory errors.

By my experience prior to 4.0 update their responsiveness to midi events was fine. (i was checking with audio rate midi events - rock solid)
(I was also using the sts everyday for 2-3 years doing my bach exercises)

My PCI system still uses 3.1c. So they actually still work decently on this (because it works). Of course this system is part of my decoration including the spider webs

After they begun to break, their performance was affected that could lead to blue screens, erratic midi triggering, scope errors etc..

Personnally I think no one should spend another minute with these. Juggling on the edge of scope broken functionality does not contribute to anything. Adapt scope with modern tools like a daw... and don't self flagellate
bimole
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by bimole »

Wise words :)
You're probably right, let's consider these audio tools as is. After all it's a part of their charm!

For information, i've added a second Pulsar II to my setup but appart from the extended DSP ressources, I still can't achieve more than 35 voices on STS5K without having the async error message. Better than nothing ! :wink:
fra77x2
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by fra77x2 »

You have tremendous will bravo

35 whole voices ? great

what can be done with technology. I think with a xite you can reach 36 voices give it a try. Sometimes a single voice makes the whole difference
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Bud Weiser
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by Bud Weiser »

bimole wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2024 7:19 am STS samplers ...Bud, what were the capabilities of your system in terms of max achievable polyphony with several STS instances loaded ?
No idea.
I don´t use several instances.
I´m not "that samples guy" anyway and use the SCOPE synths as also all my hardware much more.
For playing back AKAI format programs/samples,- there´s no need for STS 4K and 5K.
The lowest level STS is still enough and a SCOPE 4.0 or 4.5 installation on an old P4 machine w/ WinXP SP2 is too.
SCOPE 5.1 32Bit works in WinXP SP2 and SP3 too,- but SP3 came w/ disturbing security s##t already,- so de-install the service pack for SCOPE "standalone" or tweak when you need it for other software running on the same machine.

You´ll have to live with SCOPE bugs and find/try the workarounds.
I use what works in SCOPE and leave the rest behind (until there will be any updates fixing issues).
It´s not my one-and-only set of audio tools.

I like the XITE-1´s sound very much and appreaciate it´s very low latency when using in "standalone" mode and I never ever tried using XTC.
Currently I don´t use SCOPE ASIO at all because RME (Raydat, Babyface and ancient Hammerfall 9652) work better for that purpose.
In fact, I already used RME before I came to SCOPE.
I came to it relatively late and by the chance to get a 15DSP card as a loan to try w/ SCOPE 4.0.
Later I bought the card and XITE-1 was next.

For me, it´s an additional sound module, multi FX device, audio-router, (format-) converter, mic-pre/DI, digital mixer etc.,- but not urgently EVERYTHING at the same time and on one machine only.
I patch SCOPE systems (XITE and PCI) to RME via ADAT and connect to my MIDI router/processor devices.

When you want SCOPE to be your one-and-only audio/MIDI card system w/ XTC, lots of polyphony, lots of ASIO connections and bells & whisles,- all at the same time,- you´ll get the most issues.
When all became 64Bit, that was the source of issues for SCOPE.

Meanwhile I added more PCI cards and spread across several machines, just only because you won´t get much polyphony from a single SCOPE system when using the BIG synths,- especially ZARG and such,- and I use a NOAH EX as a extension too, saving DSP and ASYNC on host computer based SCOPE systems.

You can´t always get what you want,- there are so many ancient devices still running in SCOPE which by the time became more and more buggy since they didn´t receive more developement/updates by reason of former Creamware coders were gone and/or 3rd party companies stopped development for SCOPE,- and during that time, MS Windows and computer hardware moved on.
There are also locked devices not easy to update, if at all.
That´s life !

:)

Bud
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Bud Weiser
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by Bud Weiser »

bimole wrote: Fri Mar 08, 2024 1:26 pm I still can't achieve more than 35 voices on STS5K without having the async error message. Better than nothing ! :wink:
In opposite to STS-3K, STS-5K uses the host´s CPU ressources much more,- at least because of realtime time streching abilities !

Anyway ...
real AKAI S-1000 and S-1100 offer 16 voices and AKAI S-3000 offers 32 voices of polyphony.
The entire AKAI library is basic S-1K /S-3K format.
I never owned an AKAI S-3K, or 5K / 6K and still own S-1000 and S-1100.
The S-1100 is the best sounding one anyway, just because there´s no multiplexing and there are dedicated Burr-Brown converters for EACH output.

When using STS, I use it as a replacement for an S-1000 on the computer,- w/ 16 voices max.,- and enjoy close sound and faster loading times compared to ancient SCSI (or floppy disk).

I´m using SCOPE devices like the original hardware,- Minimax monophonic, Protone monophonic, Prodyssey mono- or duo-phonic, Profti-5 w/ 5-voice polyphony etc..
CW stock "Blue Synth" sounds great for "analog" poly and w/ 6-8 voices.
I rarely got problems when working that way and using many synths in a project.

I still own 1 of my (formerly 3) Minimoog D and playing monophonic is what everyone did w/ the real deal,- so that´s good for me too and I enjoy having presets and FX in Minimax in addition.
Same rules for the other.

Well, I´m a humble old fart and remember how difficult it was keeping devices in tune, changing patches manually, deal w/ hardwaredesign flaws, cables, hiss and hum.

YMMV,-

:)

Bud
fra77x2
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by fra77x2 »

Nice way of working Bud similat to my way. I don't use a sampler but I use the daw as a sampler. Ok I use sample players for percussion but I program it -no loops. Monophonic sounds are very important of course and with layering its not so difficult to record chords
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Bud Weiser
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by Bud Weiser »

fra77x2 wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2024 4:02 pm Nice way of working Bud
thank you !
fra77x2 wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2024 4:02 pm I don't use a sampler but I use the daw as a sampler.
Well,- that´s what a DAW is when recording or rendering VST/AU devices to audio.
And yes, I also use NI Kontakt and Reason,- both can sample,- but I rarely do.
Today´s count of sample library offerings is overkill,- so deciding for "ready to use" libraries is not a mistake.
And most are obsolete, so the investment is managable when selecting carefully.
fra77x2 wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2024 4:02 pm Ok I use sample players for percussion but I program it -no loops.
I´m not good w/ loops, I more or less hate ´em.
It´s what everyone uses for the "quick & dirty" job.
.rex files help a bit, but I have always different ideas for drums and editing loops is as much time consuming as the drum programming from scratch is.
I prefer to find and select the desired samples and map p.ex in NI Battery, or use the NI kits,- and then use my ancient Roland R-8 just only as a pad-controller to program the tracks inside DAW.
This old machine has 16 velocity sensitive pads, each assignable to a dedicated MIDI channel w/ a freely selectable MIDI note.
In addition, there are 8 banks of pads = 80 MIDI notes across 16 MIDI channels,- all velocity sensitive for MIDI-Out.

That way, I can work like I did in the 90s when using this machine w/ internal and PCM card samples and/or the AKAI S-1000.
By nature, I have all the Roland R-8 samples in AKAI format and by that reason usable in STS too.
Once, I had the occasion to transfer the samples from a Clavia DDrum-III,- internal and vintage card.
These were/are S-1000 format by Clavia default,- cool stuff and used by cohortes of drummers on stage worldwide as also on many rock (all genres) productions.
The Bob Clearmountain drum samples were studio standard in the 80s/90s,- in AKAI format 1st.

O.k., many of the old samples are MONO, but who cares really?
There are no "stereo" single drum sounds, they all become "stereo" by room and mic techniques.
I get the same from mono samples when using quality stereo FX.
fra77x2 wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2024 4:02 pm Monophonic sounds are very important of course and with layering its not so difficult to record chords
Many synth patches in use are monophonic,- think bass, leads, sidelines, solos.
When it comes to pads and block chords, polyphony is welcome and in (music) theory, you´ll need 4-8 voices, depending on the way of playing the "instrument",- one hand only (4-6 voices,- 6 when using the thumb for 2 keys) or both hands (up to 10 voices).
In fact, you can express every chord in the diatonic system w/ 4 voices since you won´t have to use the root, which you can leave for the bassline.
That was already possible w/ the Roland Jupiter-4 and Oberheim FVS 4-voice in the 70s.
And in most cases, when using both hands for chords, voices are duplicated,- which can be intentional, like doubling the chord in different keyboard ranges (octaves, inversions etc.).

You might want doubling the track for layers w/ other sound sources (synths).

Well, all can be edited in so called "post pro" since a long time,- but simply playing that stuff on only one DAW stereo track in one go is way faster !
In fact, I´m not really good w/ these DAW´s big editors and already on an ATARI w/ Notator, I used as less as possible computer (and program) ressources as possible.
That´s what I try to do still today,- and it saves time since the learnig curves of these DAW apps are insane.
I don´t need all the "featuritis" and hate reading the complete and several hundered pages long manual for several times.

I really prefer playing and practising on my real instruments instead learning the entire "sound engineer´s post editing and comping" stuff and prefer leaving it for another person.

But that´s only me ...

:wink:

Bud
Last edited by Bud Weiser on Wed Mar 13, 2024 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
fra77x2
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by fra77x2 »

Interesting info in general the modern development of media devices advanced with fast pace. Personally I am kind of against of using sample libraries mainly because I like sound synthesis. That said when there is work on a product then most probably there is value so they are sample libraries and samplers that are interesting sound creation machines.
To me it was kind of strange why the sts played the akai samples so well and the sound was different on other vst samplers. Well to solve the mystery i had to thoroughly test the samples and the output of the sts and it seems that the sts included an "akai tuned" way of playing them. Most probably it was the interpolation algorithm or perhaps some specific pre filtering. It sounded "real". Anyway. Luckily daws play samples accurately without processing and that turns them to fantastic samplers.

I have made a simple sampler and now I make some further work on granular synthesis.

Its crazy that you use the atari.

This made me remember the struggle i did in the past for accurate midi. It took me years to master it. In scope i still use the non-straightforward way to trigger my envelopes with asio audio signals. I can't stand sloppy timing for a millisecond. If the envelopes are sample accurate the pitch doesn't matter if it jitters a bit.

The atari has very good midi timing that improves midi performance much

The arduinos have good timing. I have some chinese arduinos with crystal oscillators that provide very accurate triggers.
I have also experimented with ic counters but in analog everything sounds ok with its innacuracies that are just translated to more interesting sound
In digital innacuracies may create artifacts that make the sounds useless or requiring heavy editing
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Bud Weiser
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by Bud Weiser »

fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm ...
Personally I am kind of against of using sample libraries mainly because I like sound synthesis. That said when there is work on a product then most probably there is value so they are sample libraries and samplers that are interesting sound creation machines.
True.
But for me, sample editing was never my prefered work for, let´s say,- sound design.
Up today, I prefer programming synths over sample editing.
But sometimes, it´s a good solution sampling the result of synthesis into a single sample and play back w/ just only using 1 key.

I won´t call myself a sound designer in 1st place,- it´s a different job from being a musician.
OTOH, since decades we´re forced to be almost everything in one person,- composer, arranger, player/performer, sound designer, recording engineer, mixing- and mastering engineer.
In fact, I really loved the times when there were well designed pro studios,- something most of us never owned because of lack of rooms and funds,- and everyone was more or less a specialist concentrating on what he could do best.
It was definitely a different culture of music propduction and recording techniques.
The DAW "in the box" production changed that a lot in both directions, positive and negative.
But that leads into philosophy now, more or less.
The younger guys, who already grew up w/ the digital perfection of music production and editing techniques will see that different by nature.

Well, I´m not nostalgic too much,- so I accept that it is like it is.
I´ll "retire" soon,- so so what ?
fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm To me it was kind of strange why the sts played the akai samples so well and the sound was different on other vst samplers. Well to solve the mystery i had to thoroughly test the samples and the output of the sts and it seems that the sts included an "akai tuned" way of playing them. Most probably it was the interpolation algorithm or perhaps some specific pre filtering. It sounded "real". Anyway. Luckily daws play samples accurately without processing and that turns them to fantastic samplers.
Yes,- the modern applications play back the samples accurately.
But that´s not all.
The "old" hardware samplers had to deal w/ a minimum of memory and a sample was more or less a waveform acting like a oscillator in a synth.
The playback parameters were very important,- pitch-shifting and transposition of multi samples being played back polyphonic w/o introducing too many artefacts etc., etc,- and some machines used special filters,- p.ex. ZPlane filters in EMU EOS samplers,- and at some time EMU introduced "linking" programs in performances an so on.
And the pre EIII samplers are again a different story ´cause there were used ancient SSM analog filter chips for each voice.
It seems to be hard and/or too costly replicating several hardware components being significantly responsable for the resulting sound in software.
I also tried the Arturia Emulator II V,- and honestly,- it´s more or less a joke,- last but not least because you now have to buy the commercial Arturia libraries and there´s no way to import your EII librariy from the past.

The AKAI S-1K /3K playback instructions were much easier to implement in a "clone" than EMU and a difficult one is also the Emagic (Apple) EXS software sampler format.
I have several software samplers promising to import EXS correctly, but they don´t.
You can import the basics, but then the in depth editing begins.
Too much time consuming.
And the best software sampler emulating EMU hardware sampler(s) is the Creative EMU X-3,- which already is discontinued since more than a decade.
There are conversions of the entire EMU library for Kontakt,- and it sounds like s##t against the hardware and the X-3 as well.
I really wished we had a sample playback device in SCOPE importing EMU sample, program and performance formats as well as STS does w/ AKAI.
fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm I have made a simple sampler and now I make some further work on granular synthesis.
Hats off !
Creating your own tools is a very good way, when you have the knowledge, abilities as a coder and the time for.
fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm Its crazy that you use the atari.
I used !
Currently I don´t because these aren´t set up since I moved years ago and although I still own.
fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm This made me remember the struggle i did in the past for accurate midi. It took me years to master it. In scope i still use the non-straightforward way to trigger my envelopes with asio audio signals. I can't stand sloppy timing for a millisecond. If the envelopes are sample accurate the pitch doesn't matter if it jitters a bit.
Seems you dived much deeper into it than I ever did.
Is it the "Expert Sleeper´s" solution using DC coupled converters to do so ?

fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm The atari has very good midi timing that improves midi performance much
That´s why I used it for so long and kept machines in stock as well as some C-Lab/Emagic hardware.
At least, when I come back to an old composition or arrangement,- sometimes also cannebalizing bits/parts from,- it still helps as long as data on old harddrives and disks is readable.
fra77x2 wrote: Mon Mar 11, 2024 3:18 pm ...
In digital innacuracies may create artifacts that make the sounds useless or requiring heavy editing
Yes !

:)

Bud
fra77x2
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by fra77x2 »

About Expert sleepers I haven't tried it but yes it should work.

I used Emagic Logic for its midi score (I still have it inside a winXP virtual box. The audio to score tool i am programming (for android phones and tablets ) is tailored for usage as composing helper and is influenced in some aspects by Emagic Logic.
Of course its 2024 now so I can't wait to introduce it because you can really hum a melody, or sing it or whistle it and you get real time score display.. In a couple of months...
fra77x2
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Re: STS bad MIDI timing...

Post by fra77x2 »

I made a new video for wt-3d.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL0-4CqiaMQ

There is still some quantizing noise and shaky hand held camera but I will improve it.
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