[Jack-Devel] Why can I only select 512 samples?

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[Jack-Devel] Why can I only select 512 samples?

lowkeyoutlaw
In Mixbus, I noticed that if I turn the latency up to 1024 samples, my DSP
usage goes from 33% to 23% or so. The problem is, 512 samples is the only
setting that doesn't produce nasty distorted audio, lower or higher are all
bad. In the MPC software I can't even change it, only in Mixbus. I thought
it was maybe due to a rate mismatch. Is there any way to increase the
latency to 1024 and not get that nastiness? Thank you.



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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

Chris Caudle
On Wed, February 21, 2018 7:39 pm, lowkeyoutlaw wrote:
> In the MPC software I can't even change it

That is probably a clue.
Do you know for sure that your hardware supports other settings?
What hardware are you using? There are several pieces of equipment that
have been produced under the MPC name.  The current Akai web page shows a
dozen MPC devices.

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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

lowkeyoutlaw
Thanks for the reply. I have the Behringer USB Guitar Link. Without Jack, in
any audio app, I can choose any setting I want, i.e. 128, 256, 512, 1024
samples, etc..

It's only when using Jack that I can't change it in the MPC software. I can
change it in Mixbus, but it garbles the audio. It only works well on 512.

I have the Mpc Studio Silver. I'm using MPC software version 2.1 & Mixbus
4.3.19. Windows 10 Pro, 8b ram.
My cpu is a 3.0 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, obviously not the fastest, so I could
really use the extra CPU power that 1024 samples frees up.

For what it's worth, I've tried a total of 3 interfaces, and it's the same
on all three.

Is there no way to change this setting in Jack? If I run the Control Panel,
I can change it there, but it doesn't actually change the buffer in either
Mixbus or the MPC software.

Thank you very much for your help.



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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

lowkeyoutlaw
Also, I should say that it behaves the same if I change the buffer on either
the Behringer's control panel or Jack's control panel. I can change it
there, but it stays the same in both programs, MPC unchangeable, Mixbus with
garbled audio on any other setting than 512 samples.



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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

Chris Caudle
In reply to this post by lowkeyoutlaw
On Wed, February 21, 2018 10:53 pm, lowkeyoutlaw wrote:
> Thanks for the reply. I have the Behringer USB Guitar Link.

OK, your first message was really confusing.  You mentioned MPC software,
the only MPC I am familiar with is the Akai MPC samplers.  I don't see how
an Akai sampler could be related to setting up a USB interface, so how an
MPC device relates to settings of your USB driver is not clear.

> Without Jack, in any audio app, I can choose any setting I want, i.e.
> 128, 256, 512, 1024 samples, etc..

OK, so that establishes that the hardware supports those settings.

First, is this on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux?

I see on the Behringer page that they offer an ASIO driver for that
interface.  Are you using native USB or ASIO on Windows?

> It's only when using Jack that I can't change it in the MPC software.

How does the MPC software relate to the USB interface?

Are you talking about this software that I found described on the Akai web
page:
"Featuring 128-track sequencing capability and up to eight pad banks--more
than any other MPC ever—the included MPC Software delivers a massive 7GB+
sound library, including all the sounds of the classic MPC3000 and
including 2 MPC Expansions."

So this is basically another audio production software package, kind of
like Ableton Live or something like that?  It lets you arrange loops,
beats, etc. for song composition?

So basically the MPC USB controller works together with the MPC software
running on your computer to provide a variation of  the things the old all
in one box MPC devices used to do.  Is that close to correct?

> I can change it in Mixbus, but it garbles the audio.

All applications must run with the same buffer settings when using jackd.
There is a way that the jack server can inform software that the settings
have changed, but only software which uses jack natively, without any kind
of translation software, will work properly when that happens.  For
practical purposes unless you are running Linux that means Mixbus, Ardour,
QTractor, and...that's all I can think of actually. Maybe Reaper, but I'm
not sure about that.

Anyway, the point being that for nearly anything else, you can't change
the settings once you start up the software, so first start jackd with the
settings you want to use, then start all the other applications.  Once the
applications are running don't change the settings.


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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

Ralf Mardorf
On Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:14:59 -0600, Chris Caudle wrote:
>First, is this on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux?

On Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:53:50 -0700 (MST), the OP wrote:
>I have the Mpc Studio Silver. I'm using MPC software version 2.1 &
>Mixbus 4.3.19. Windows 10 Pro, 8b ram.
>My cpu is a 3.0 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, obviously not the fastest, so I
>could really use the extra CPU power that 1024 samples frees up.
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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

lowkeyoutlaw
In reply to this post by Chris Caudle
I'm using Windows Pro 10 x64, with 8gb ram.

Right on the money! That is indeed the software I use. MPCs were originally
sampling drum machines (in the 80s) but now they've changed it to a hardware
unit (The MPC Studio Silver in my case) that is essentially just a software
controller. It looks like the old ones, it even still has that little LCD
screen and it's essentially identical to operate it from there. Now it
functions as a fairly robust compositional tool. The sequencer is beautiful.
It can control hardware synths, too. A lot of people with MPCs use Reason
acting as a virtual synth rack. It hosts vsts now, it's a big step up from
the old Akai units. Just looking at it makes me want to bang on it. It's a
lot of fun.

The latest MPC update broke its compatiblity (i.e. controlling transport) as
a plugin in Harrison Mixbus, though, so I use it standalone and use Jack to
route the audio to Harrison Mixbus tracks. The only weakness for me in the
MPC Software is it's mixer sucks, you can't even do sidechaining. The MPC
Studio & Studio Black have midi ports but no audio interface. The big ones,
that cost as much as buying a car,
have built in sound. There are even two models with very nice Mic preamps. I
digress.

I should mention that my current setup works ok, but i sure could use the
lower cpu usage that comes with increasing the buffer. Sometimes I have to
make hard choices whe I run out of processor power.

The native Behringer driver causes  Jack PortAudio to crash. I did follow
the Windows instructions on the "Using Jack With Windows" page. It worked
right away. Mixbus is cpu hungry so I /really /want to increase the latency.
The actual driver was hard to come by, and is no longer supported. The
driver on the site is actually ASIO4ALL, which works well, but ties up all
audio system wide. I use an alternative ASIO from Image line/FL Studio
called FL Studio ASIO, of course. It works a bit better than ASIO4ALL. Even
if i use ASIO4ALL i get the same results.
, though.

I'm using the Behringer as my main audio interface. It actually sounds
pretty dang decent. Better than all my other interfaces. If you were close
we could do a blind test.

I'm going to try this again right now while I'm typing.
-First, I opened the Jack Control Panel & set the buffer/latency to 1024 and
then shut it down.
-Second, I opened Jack PortAudio. I don't see any place on it to change any
settings. It's just a command window. I just realised a couple days ago that
this works without The Control Panel running. The patchbay was fiddly
anyway. One can just simply set up the routing grid in Mixbus & it's good to
go. Routing is set per-project, so no need to mess with patchbay profiles.

*Jack PortAudio is currently running, no error messages.
-Third, I'm opening the MPC software. No change. Still stuck on 512 samples.
The "Device Control Panel" /in the MPC Software,/ that is, not the Jack
Audio control panel mentioned earlier, does nothing at all.

-I just shut everythig down. Opening Jack Port Audio again. This time, I'm
opening Harrison Mixbus next.
*NOPE* Now Mixbus won't open.

-Turned off Jack PortAudio, and Mixbus fired right up. Here in mixbus I /do/
have the option to change to 1024 samples, so I did.Opening Mixbus first,
when I tell it to start via the audio & midi settings dialog, it throws the
error: Could not reconnect with audio/midi driver.

-Next, with the audio/midi settings menu still open, I just ran Jack
PortAudio. No errors. Attempting to start Mixbus. Seems to be loading.
*Aaaand, Mixbus crashed. LMAO! Jack Command prompt threw a huge wall of
text. I mean huge.

-Trying again. This time it finished opening up. Set Jack to 1024 samples.
Restarting Mixbus. If Jack isn't running, Mixbus Defaults to Either default
settings Or the settings you used last time you ran MB without Jack Audio,
not really sure. Anyway, I went in Mixbus' audio settings & tell it to Start
Jack. It failed & threw an error. My Dumb**s forgot to read it, it's gone
now.

-With Mixbus' settings still open, and 1024 samples buffer size, I started
Jack PortAudio, then started "audio system" in the MB settings menu. Mixbus
crashed again. Starting Jack PortAudio first again.

-Under Audio Settings in both MPC & Mixbus, the buffer has turned itself
back to 512. Still unmovable in MPC. Still garbled audio with 1024 samples
set in Mixbus. I don't see anywhere else to enter any settings or adjust
latency in Jack PortAudio. Is there a file tucked away somewhere I could
possibly edit? I'm grasping at straws right now.0

-Sorry for the wall of text. Thank you for your help.




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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

Chris Caudle
On Thu, February 22, 2018 1:02 pm, lowkeyoutlaw wrote:
> The actual driver was hard to come by, and is no longer supported. The
> driver on the site is actually ASIO4ALL, which works well, but ties up all
> audio system wide. I use an alternative ASIO from Image line/FL Studio
> called FL Studio ASIO, of course. It works a bit better than ASIO4ALL.
> Even if i use ASIO4ALL i get the same results.

The startup command for jackd.exe needs to know the correct driver name to
use when starting.  If you use the FL Studio ASIO driver, does it have FL
Studio ASIO as the driver name?
On the jack on windows page it shows the full command to use, typically
set as a shortcut.
You will be able to see the output better if you open a command prompt and
paste in the command there:
"C:\Program Files\Jack\jackd.exe" -R -S -d portaudio -d "ASIO::ASIO4ALL v2"

If you don't want to use ASIO4ALL then you need to change the string
"ASIO::ASIO4ALL v2" to whatever matches your actual driver name.
As shown on that same web page you can get the list of available drivers
with the l (lower case L) option:
"C:\Program Files\Jack\jackd.exe" -d portaudio -l

I suspect may show a different name for the FL Studio driver.

This is the full set of options for the portaudio backend.  You can give
them as extra arguments after the "-d portaudio" argument.  Don't put them
before, jackd will try to interpret them directly and probably print an
error about options not applying, make sure you put -d portaudio on the
command line, then any settings that need to be set for that backend
driver.

   PORTAUDIO BACKEND PARAMETERS
       -c --channel
              Maximum number of channels (default: all available hardware
channels)

       -i --channelin
              Maximum number of input channels (default: all available
hardware channels)

       -I --input-latency
              Extra input latency (frames) (default: 0)

       -o --channelout
              Maximum number of output channels (default: all available
hardware channels)

       -O --output-latency
              Extra output latency (frames) (default: 0)

       -C --capture
              Whether or not to capture (default: true)

       -P --playback
              Whether or not to playback (default: true)

       -D --duplex
              Capture and playback (default: true)

       -r --rate
              Sample rate (default: 48000)

       -p --period
              Frames per period (default: 1024). Must be a power of 2.

       -n --name
              Driver name (default: none)

       -z --dither
              Dithering mode (default: none)

> I'm going to try this again right now while I'm typing.
> -First, I opened the Jack Control Panel & set the buffer/latency to 1024

Not sure what you are calling the Jack Control Panel, but if it is what I
suspect it is the application you use to  make connections while jackd is
running, I have never heard that the Jack Control application can change
jackd startup parameters.

> -Second, I opened Jack PortAudio. I don't see any place on it to change
> any settings. It's just a command window.

If you followed the jack on windows page to setup the Jack PortAudio
shortcut then you set the command line in the shortcut, that is where you
change settings, by changing the command line executed by the shortcut.

> I just realised a couple days ago that this works without
> The Control Panel running.

Yes, the shortcut you setup for jackd will start jackd, the control panel
application is just so you can make connections between applications if
you have applications which are not jack native and so do not provide any
way inside the application to make connections.

I'm not sure about jackrouter, the application which provides ASIO
interfaces into the jack audio ports.  You may need to check
JackRouter.ini and make sure there is not a setting for buffer size there.
 I think JackRouter should get its buffer size from the jack server
though, so start by running jackd from a command shell so you can make
sure that buffer size is actually getting passed to jack.  I think it
should be something like this, possibly with the driver name changed to
match your FL Studio driver:

"C:\Program Files\Jack\jackd.exe" -R -S -d portaudio -d "ASIO::ASIO4ALL
v2" -p 1024

There is usually a -r argument for the sample rate (e.g. 44100, 48000,
96000).  According to the manual page it defaults to 48000, so if you
would prefer 44100 you should also add in -r 44100 after the other
arguments.
In fact, if you have source material at 44100 and you are forcing MPC
software to run at 48000 it may be doing sample rate conversion in the
background, which will probably be a bigger CPU drain than running at 512
instead of 1024 sample buffer size.

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Re: Why can I only select 512 samples?

Chris Caudle
In reply to this post by lowkeyoutlaw
> -First, I opened the Jack Control Panel & set the buffer/latency to 1024
> and then shut it down.

Are you talking about this application when you say Jack Control Panel?
http://jorgan-home.de/mediawiki_en/images/a/ac/01-JackControl.png

If so, that is actually called QJackControl, and if you shut that
application down and start jack from its own shortcut then you have not
actually made any changes to the setting.
The way that application works is that you make the setting changes you
want in the Setup dialog, then you click the Start button and it calls
jackd.exe with the proper arguments to make the settings you want.

If you make changes in QJackControl, and then instead of clicking the
Start button you click the jackd shortcut, what you actually do is write
some configuration changes to the settings save file for QJackControl, and
then ignore all that and start up jackd with default settings.

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