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MikeyT

[Bug] Memory not freeing up on closing projects

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Scook,

Thanks for responding.  Yes, Always Stream Audio Through FX has always been enabled or checked in Preferences as long as I have been using CbB.  Currently I'm using version 2020.1; I'm not certain whether or not this problem ever occurred in any of the 2019 versions.

 

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Could it be plug-in specific? The problem of some effects plug-ins buffers not flushing is not new. It goes back decades.

Not sure this is the same as the OP. Their problem may be driver related. Another reason SONAR and Cakewalk hang during shutdown is plug-in related though. Some plug-ins get stuck in memory. This is most often caused by 32bit plug-ins loaded in BitBridge but not always.

 

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Scook,

         "Could it be plug-in specific? The problem of some effects plug-ins buffers not flushing is not new. It goes back decades."

Possibly.  I'm pretty certain that the last two times I encountered this problem it occurred in an instrument track where I was using Omnisphere and controlling volume and pan with automation.  I haven't been working with any plug-in effects recently, but in the projects I've been working on over the past couple of months I've been using Omni quite a bit, also tracks with Absynth 5 and, occasionally, Massive, Z3ta+ and FM8.   I'll keep track of this in the future.

In Preferences, Bit Bridge Server Configuration is set to Automatic (the default).  I don't know if this would have any bearing, but as you probably know, in v. 2020.1 CbB changed the Playback and Recording Prepare buffer size.  In my case it reduced it from 600 msec. down to 200 msec.

I appreciate all the assistance and information.

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Unless you use 32bit plug-ins BitBridge does not matter at all.

I doubt the MIDI prepare buffer is the issue.

Usually this is an audio buffer not getting flushed until the transport starts up again. It is normally buffered effects like delays and reverbs. Of course, many synths have those effects built-in.

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On 6/11/2020 at 4:37 PM, scook said:

Is Always Stream Audio Through FX enabled? This should help flush plug-in buffers when the transport is stopped.

Dear Scook - many thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I've got that option ticked, so regrettably that is not the root of the problem.
I'm now fairly sure the problem is the Zoom R24 and its old divers. I've had no response from Zoom regarding updating their drivers, which is annoying, particularly as they continue to sell the device and the drivers are 6 years old. It is a great bit of kit and mine has worked reliably as an audio-interface for the best part of ten years now, not to mention a portable easy recorder for scratch recordings of full band setups. But Windows, Cakewalk, and hardware has all moved on and it is impossible to say where the fault lies.

I have a work-around and am living with it. Eventually, I will need to buy a new audio-interface.

It is the case that Cakewalk by Bandlab is a) completely free to use and b) does seem to be more functionally rich than every other DAW I have been trying recently (and that includes all the big name's demo software). So, I'm not going to complain here: it's fantastic what Bandlab are making available here and big thanks to them for that - I have a work around and I can continue to make my amateur-level hobby music to my heart's content.

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Hello Mike,

I found your post while searching on Internet as I experienced exactly the same problem: Now Time marker does not move while music is playing for complex Audio-MIDI Cakewalk projects.

After reading carefully your comments and doing some tests on my side, I became mad then suddenly I discovered the issue for my problem. Basically, the MIDI output was sending its messages to a set-up in which there was a MIDI loop. As a consequence, the MIDI messages sent to my sound modules via my sound card (Focusrite Scarlett 18130) were coming back to Cakewalk (again via my sound card off course) and were apparently not blocking the music, but blocking the Now Time marker. As soon as I broke the MIDI loop in my set-up, everything was working OK.

Hopefully this is the same issue on your side.

    Cédric

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This got me curious, so I made a little test - not too much time as I'm in the middle of a big mix, but a big mix is just what we need.

I took two projects: one, the real world mix I'm doing, 24 main tracks,  around 25 buses, around 50 plugins (give or take, didn't count), some of them 32 bit (I love my Variety of Sound stuff) so using BitBridge, several instances of EZDrummer, SI-bass, Ample Bass P, EastWest HBS. The other is a quick recording of a guitar+vocal idea I had yesterday in a break: no plugins, only audio, no Prochannel active

First I closed Cakewalk, and looked at the memory consumption. Then loaded the project, played it, faffed a bit around (nothing substantial, changing the track display from automation to none, removing an inactive plugin etc) and looked at the memory consumption again.  Not much faffing for the simple project of course other than playing it.

I did the whole three times. The working set and private bytes vary a little bit (there can be garbage collecting threads) and I didn't keep the  projects open for long but the experiment gives some indications.

  • On the small project there appears to be a small memory leak that can be attributed to cakewalk (since there's really no third party stuff going on).We're talking ome 7-9K on each opening. While this could of course cause problems if you leave CW always open, it's not likely to give much grief for some dozens of open/close operations.

    It's also possible that it's cached data and therefore would stabilize if I had run more open/close cycles.
     
  • On the large project the leak is bigger, with increased memory consumption in both project open and closed state which are an order of magnitude larger.

    Here the culprit has to be either CW or, more likely, one or more of the plugins and synths. Some plugs load samples (EastWest) and since I just bought HBS a month ago, I noticed how it seems a little buggy if you keep opening and closign the project. Bitbridge (and Herbert's 32 bit plugins) seem rock solid.
     
  • Data at https://www.dropbox.com/s/nehs7rkx230bmgq/CW%20memory%20consumption.jpg?raw=1
     

My conclusion at this point would be that while CW does indeed seem to have a small memory leak, the culprit of the behaviour you are experiencing is likely to be some plugin or synth you're using.

Something that may have changed from previous version is that CW does more things, so overall the memory required may have increased from Sonar time, so you hit the consequences of problematic plugins more often.

It could, of course, be something to do with CW's plugin loading/unloading as well - hard to say. When I have the time I will make an experiment with only 32 bit plugins (which have shown to unload correctly)  and audio (no synths) to see if we can draw some more conclusions.

Edited by Cristiano Sadun

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FIXED: The issue was caused by me using the Zoom R24 as an audio interface. I bought a Steinberg UR22C and the problem described in my original post went away. Zoom last released a driver for the R24 in about 2016, so I guess subsequent Windows updates have broken it - it seems for older plugins (the Sonitus ones and Session Drummer 3 seem to be the problem issues for me). Zoom have been completely unresponsive - a real shame because the R24 (and the H4n that I also have) have been rock-solid until this recent issue.

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