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Ben Chase

(RESOLVED) Plug-in Manager painfully slow since 2018.11 update

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I use multiple plugin locations and don't see any way of adding/removing them except thru Plugin Manager. Also, the 1st option in the Plugin Browser's dropdown is "Manage Layouts" which opens.... Plugin Manager. Does the Browser use PM when it scans or is there another scanner?

BTW, PM is a separate program open-able with Cakewalk.

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On 1/5/2019 at 10:33 PM, msmcleod said:

For me it takes around 4 seconds to display 324 VST 2 effects, but clicking on VST3 instruments takes 8 seconds for only 7 VSTi's.

Clicking on the DirectX effects comes back almost instantly.

To my mind it must be doing more than that behind the scenes. 

Then again, it might just be inefficient code. For example, you can see the scroll bar handle shrink as the VST2 effects populate, almost as if it's responding to WM_PAINT messages as each list item is added (rather than refreshing the GUI after the list has been populated).

This wouldn't explain the 8 seconds for 7 VST3 instruments tho.

For me it's not the end of the world, but it is a bit annoying when it repopulates everything every time you alter the plugin options.

The time taken has nothing to do with the listbox population. Its reading the registry that is slow. Though you see it slow for 7 VSTi's behind the scenes it has to go through the entire inventory to find them. If you have a few hundred VST's a lot of registry reads. The DX effects enumeration is much more efficient than the registry enumeration hence its fast. 

The logic can of course be improved by using caching (like CbB does) and this was a todo item back in the day. This wouldn't improve the first load time of the plugin box but subsequent loads would be quick.

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I am not a coder but Why not to get rid of most part of legacy code that it is not maintained? 

Because some of us old-timers are creatures of habit. Plus there's not much need to "maintain" the utility, since its functionality hasn't changed and may not ever need to change.

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Heck, I didn't know  that one could do all that the plugin manager could do in the browser. Cool.

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The plugin layouts are my friend. Assuming the plugin manager gets the axe, is there a way to filter the new way in the browser like the plug in layouts of "today"?

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5 hours ago, Noel Borthwick said:

Plugin Manager is not really being maintained these days and it hasn't been updated in a very long time.  We plan to ultimately depreciate it from Cakewalk. Its only provided for legacy reasons. 

Please don't.

As soon as Automatic Background Scan was introduced I turned it off, replacing it with Manual Scan. Even if the background scan indeed is efficient, why waste a single CPU clock cycle scanning for new plug-ins every time CbB is started? And more importantly, I know very well when I’ve bought a new plug-in  and as soon as I do, I not only run the manual scan but also update those of my plug-in menu layouts that are affected. I never use anything but my own plug-in menu layouts because no program logic knows better than me how I want to structure them. I want to continue having a work flow that fit my needs and the current Plug-in Manager makes that possible. From my point of view removal of that possibility would be deeply disappointing.

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2 minutes ago, Canopus said:

Please don't.

As soon as Automatic Background Scan was introduced I turned it off, replacing it with Manual Scan. Even if the background scan indeed is efficient, why waste a single CPU clock cycle scanning for new plug-ins every time CbB is started? And more importantly, I know very well when I’ve bought a new plug-in  and as soon as I do, I not only run the manual scan but also update those of my plug-in menu layouts that are affected. I never use anything but my own plug-in menu layouts because no program logic knows better than me how I want to structure them. I want to continue having a work flow that fit my needs and the current Plug-in Manager makes that possible. From my point of view removal of that possibility would be deeply disappointing.

For the most part, you don't actually need the Plugin Manager:

  • Manual scans can be done from Preferences->VST Settings
  • Plugin properties can accessed be via the plugin's VST2/VST3 dropdown menu
  • The plugin layout can be changed via the plugin browser by right clicking on the plugin

The only thing you really need the Plugin Manager for is excluding problem plugins, but I'm sure the CbB devs will provide an alternative way of doing this before removing the Plugin Manager.

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5 hours ago, chris.r said:

Some software install, idk how to call it, filters maybe, probably in dx plugin form. They can show up in Cakewalk and can easily crash it. I use plugin manager to exclude them. I prefer to use plugin manager for that over poking in the registry manually.

Forgot to add I use PM for troubleshooting sometimes. Didn't even get to make own layouts yet, that was planned after I upgrade my hardware to 64bit and move on to Bandlab's Cake.

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1 hour ago, sjoens said:

I use multiple plugin locations and don't see any way of adding/removing them except thru Plugin Manager. Also, the 1st option in the Plugin Browser's dropdown is "Manage Layouts" which opens.... Plugin Manager. Does the Browser use PM when it scans or is there another scanner?

BTW, PM is a separate program open-able with Cakewalk.

The plug-in manager does not perform the vst scan. The VST scanner is a separate program. It is the same program called by the plug-in manager and the DAW. All the scan setting including the scan path may be set in preferences. The browser just like the plug-in manager reads the registry for plug-in information. The browser also reads a database for category information.

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9 minutes ago, msmcleod said:
  • The plugin layout can be changed via the plugin browser by right clicking on the plugin

The only thing you really need the Plugin Manager for is excluding problem plugins, but I'm sure the CbB devs will provide an alternative way of doing this before removing the Plugin Manager.

Unfortunately the browser does not provide a way to nest folders. If is did, I could abandon the plug-in manager for layout maintenance.

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4 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

For the most part, you don't actually need the Plugin Manager:

  • Manual scans can be done from Preferences->VST Settings
  • Plugin properties can accessed be via the plugin's VST2/VST3 dropdown menu
  • The plugin layout can be changed via the plugin browser by right clicking on the plugin

The only thing you really need the Plugin Manager for is excluding problem plugins, but I'm sure the CbB devs will provide an alternative way of doing this before removing the Plugin Manager.

I have CbB installed on both a desktop and a laptop and I want to keep the plug-in menu layouts in sync. That's very easy with the Plug-in Manager: I simply copy the *.pgl files between my computers.  Are you saying that something similar is possible without using the Plug-In Manager?

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15 minutes ago, Canopus said:

I have CbB installed on both a desktop and a laptop and I want to keep the plug-in menu layouts in sync. That's very easy with the Plug-in Manager: I simply copy the *.pgl files between my computers.  Are you saying that something similar is possible without using the Plug-In Manager?

The plugin browser layout equivalent of the *.pgl files is %AppData%\Cakewalk\Library\Library.db which you can copy between your desktop & laptop.

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22 minutes ago, scook said:

Unfortunately the browser does not provide a way to nest folders. If is did, I could abandon the plug-in manager for layout maintenance.

Good point.

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38 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

For the most part, you don't actually need the Plugin Manager:

  • Manual scans can be done from Preferences->VST Settings
  • Plugin properties can accessed be via the plugin's VST2/VST3 dropdown menu
  • The plugin layout can be changed via the plugin browser by right clicking on the plugin

The only thing you really need the Plugin Manager for is excluding problem plugins, but I'm sure the CbB devs will provide an alternative way of doing this before removing the Plugin Manager.

Exactly. The only extra functionality in the external utility is layout management and excluding plugins.

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27 minutes ago, scook said:

Unfortunately the browser does not provide a way to nest folders. If is did, I could abandon the plug-in manager for layout maintenance.

Ultimately it will. When layout management is rolled into the buolt in browser we'll deprecate the external plugin manager app. 

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So even better - I fixed the slow loading of the categories 😉
I now cache the data that was causing the really slow registry lookups when the plugin manager starts up. 

The startup of the app will be slower but now switching categories is just a fraction of a second to refresh.

 

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4 minutes ago, Noel Borthwick said:

So even better - I fixed the slow loading of the categories 😉
I now cache the data that was causing the really slow registry lookups when the plugin manager starts up. 

The startup of the app will be slower but now switching categories is just a fraction of a second to refresh.

 

Awesome - thanks Noel.  I don't use the app that often (partly due to the slowness), but this will certainly make it much more usable.

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I also didn't realize that you could re-categorize a plugin/instrument directly from the browser with the right-click and select a category.

What is missing here is:

  • The ability to drag and drop (only a little easier for moving things around, especially when you are doing a bunch)
  • The ability to create a new category that I can see.

What is a plus here is:

  • The Plus - The ability to add a plugin to more than one category AND see that it is in multiples.  There are some things that just need to be in more than one place

I like the idea of eliminating these old dialogs from any software.  I see it everywhere, from Microsoft Word, to the IT system monitoring software that we use, to the dreaded Windows 10 "control pane(s)" where there are mixes of old and new dialogs with some overlap between them but some things that can only be done in one OR the other, so both must persist.  The Drum Map Manager is another that needs some love.  Just update the controls at least and get rid of the tiny boxes with scroll bars that don't resize or popups that look completely different than the window they popped out of (again the Drum Map - this time the Map Properties dialog that comes up form the double click of a drum in the map on the left sidebar of the midi window - and this window almost every time dropping behind the midi window with no easy way to get back to it - all the way back to my video on drum maps from Sonar 5!

 

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11 minutes ago, Blades said:

I also didn't realize that you could re-categorize a plugin/instrument directly from the browser with the right-click and select a category.

What is missing here is:

  • The ability to drag and drop (only a little easier for moving things around, especially when you are doing a bunch)
  • The ability to create a new category that I can see.

What is a plus here is:

  • The Plus - The ability to add a plugin to more than one category AND see that it is in multiples.  There are some things that just need to be in more than one place

I like the idea of eliminating these old dialogs from any software.  I see it everywhere, from Microsoft Word, to the IT system monitoring software that we use, to the dreaded Windows 10 "control pane(s)" where there are mixes of old and new dialogs with some overlap between them but some things that can only be done in one OR the other, so both must persist.  The Drum Map Manager is another that needs some love.  Just update the controls at least and get rid of the tiny boxes with scroll bars that don't resize or popups that look completely different than the window they popped out of (again the Drum Map - this time the Map Properties dialog that comes up form the double click of a drum in the map on the left sidebar of the midi window - and this window almost every time dropping behind the midi window with no easy way to get back to it - all the way back to my video on drum maps from Sonar 5!

 

You can use CTRL + click to select multiple plugins in the browser, then right click to assign them all to the same category.

Also, the category is not just a drop down - you can type into it to create new ones.

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