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Noel Borthwick

Fix for plug-in settings lost when loading projects coming soon

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Over several years we  have had a few sporadic reports from users regarding plug-in settings being lost when loading projects.
We take any kind of data loss very seriously and many people have tried very hard to reproduce this problem over the last five years with no success. I'm happy to report that we believe this issue has finally been solved thanks to the assistance of several testers and end users. 

I'd like to call out @scook@Max Arwood, Justin Mitchell, @msmcleod and the other users who contributed to this search for their invaluable assistance and troubleshooting, and for testing various iterations of the fix over the last few months.  Max and Justin in particular spent many hours with me allowing me access to remote troubleshooting sessions on their DAW to try and isolate the issue. This ultimately led to isolating some of the issues with Waves and FabFilter plugins.

Some background for those interested in this saga:

While the actual problems appeared to be related to plugins from certain manufacturers, this is not caused by bugs in the plugins themselves. Rather, it was an unexpected interaction between specific VST3 features and the order in which plugins are  loaded in the host. (This specific issue has preexisted since SONAR X3 when VST3 was introduced). 

The source of the issue with settings lost when loading a project, was a somewhat confusing part of the VST3 spec that allows plug-ins to send parameter changes to the host for delegation back to the plugin. The issue here was that certain VST's rely on this "parameter feedback loop" from the host to update their internal processor's when loading the project, even though the plugin state has been fully initialized by the host when loading the project.  CbB/SONAR did not do this parameter reflection step when loading from projects. Without this step, occasionally a few of these plugins would reset their state to their default parameters even though they state has been fully loaded by the DAW.  Whats even more confounding is that the reset behavior was not consistent - it would happen randomly, which makes it very hard to pinpoint the root cause. Why this confusing and error prone behavior was built into the VST3 spec is a subject for another debate :) I will be reporting this to Steinberg since the specification doesn't call out hosts to support this explicitly, and their unit tester doesn't even flag this as an error which should be an easy thing to do.

The second problem had to do with loading fxchain presets and prochannel state. There was an isolated bug where Cakewalk's internal state for the plugins parameters could get out of sync with the actual loaded parameter state when copying or moving plugins around. This issue was also addressed.

We have sent out test builds to several customers who reported these intermittent issues and they have all reported it as resolved in use over several weeks. The good news is that as a result of this work we've also optimized our internal parameter management for plugins which speeds up loading projects and various operations like cloning tracks and copying plugins. We're very happy to to put this one to rest finally and make CbB even more stable and failsafe! 

Stay tuned to see these fixes in our next public release.

PS: Please note that settings being lost doesn't necessarily imply that its a problem in the DAW. This symptom can be caused by multiple reasons including authorization problems, demo mode or other plugin installation issues.

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Thanks for all the fixes and consistent commitment to updates Noel and bakers. You guys are the best in the business IMHO.

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This is why people love Sonar and Cakewalk. No one developing DAW software is this dedicated to the people that use their software.  Tracking down a bug as difficult as this for so many years seems monumental to me.  A sort cold case for a DAW. It was not put into the cold case file drawer but kept active so when a new clue came about it could be fixed. Than this outstanding post by Noel to tell us about it.  There has to be a lot of pride in the way Noel and others have done their work. 

Thank you to all who have contributed to this outcome. 

 

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How could it get any better than this?  A free, top-shelf  Digital Audio Workstation that just keeps getting better.  My Cakewalk now is more stable and robust than it has been since I started using it 25 years ago - not to mention features and power that just don't stop improving.  If I am dreaming, don't wake me up.

Thank you, Noel and everyone else who puts so much time and resources into this product and helps us make cutting edge music.  And thanks to all the testers and other forum members who are ever ready to jump in and try to answer question and solve  problems.  You know who you are.

Aloha,  Bill Saunders

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I'm impressed. This one was very difficult to trace. I tried several different scenarios to repro and kept coming up empty handed.

Good work gents. 

 

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Thanks! This community is incredible, from the committed bakers to the experienced and helpful bakees! 

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Gratefully I've never seen this issue, but yeah, that would be a royal pain.

Thanks for fixing/mitigating it!

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Is this also a fix for older vst2 plugins? I like to use the AIR plugins but they never reload in the project correctly. I have tried the Save as.. workaround and at best, it's sporadic. I hope this fix works!!

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1 hour ago, Sidney Earl Goodroe said:

Is this also a fix for older vst2 plugins? I like to use the AIR plugins but they never reload in the project correctly. I have tried the Save as.. workaround and at best, it's sporadic. I hope this fix works!!

We don't have those to verify. Is this something you can reproduce consistently?

If so PM me and I can send you something to test. the main issue addressed had to do with vst3 but there is a secondary fix that may or may not affect it. Are you sure this isn't a problem with the plugins themselves considering they are old?

Often auth issues can also lead to similar symptoms.

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I know how difficult it is to address this kind of random bug. Thank you for Noel & testers & end users to finally get this fixed.  It looks like the top priority of Cakewalk by Bandlab is to make Cakewalk DAW robust and preditable.

-Happy user-

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3 hours ago, Sidney Earl Goodroe said:

Noel, the AIR plugs are authorized but I wonder if it has something to do with them being initiated thru Ilok. I run the computer registration, not the hardware ilok.

@Sidney Earl Goodroe - is there a specific AIR plugin you're having an issue with?

I've got both the instruments & the effects collection, if I know what I'm looking for maybe I can reproduce the issue.

I use the hardware iLok on my studio PC, but the computer registration on my laptop, so hopefully I can replicate any scenario.

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1 hour ago, Sidney Earl Goodroe said:

Msmcleod, I usually pull up Xpand2 and Velvet but only can use them to record to audio in real time since I can't rely on them to reload properly.

Are you using presets only, or are you changing parameters - if you are changing parameters, what parameters are usually lost?

I tend to stick to the presets myself on Xpand2, but I do change parameters like pitch bend range (it's one of the few VSTi's that allows me to specify an octave)

@Sidney Earl Goodroe - can you also confirm:

1. What build of CbB you're using (check the about box) and;
2. What version of the AIR plugins you're using (click on the AIR logo on the bottom right, or the name of the plugin at the bottom😞

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I always use custom settings. The AIR plugs always come back on a default setting and I have to go to my folder where I saved my settings and manually reload it. Quite a pain. I will check the versions of the plugs and post them here. The version of Cakewalk is the current version.

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I am currently using VCV Rack connected to CbB with its Bridge plugin. For some reason, the Port number is not saved, and if I use multiple instances I need to reasign the port every time I load the project in Cakewalk. Since the VCV Rack bridge is actually on its way out until next version, when a VST is announced, I was just waiting for it to fix the problem. Maybe this will fix it. Everything is saved and recalled correctly in Ableton Live, btw.

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Hi @JoseC, we looked at VCV. This is a completely different issue and its caused because the plugin is a minimal wrapper that doesn't handle chunked data saving. It also doesnt support a default vst program so our code is not saving any state for it. We'll try and handle this corner case where the plugin has no programs and no chunks.
This is really an outlier case though. I haven't seen any plugs like this before :)

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