Software instrument playback

John Morton

Logician
I have just upgraded to Logic Pro X 10.4.8 and I am experiencing playback problems with existing scores which were not previously problematic. Some instruments are sounding on after they should cease sounding. Sometimes this happens and sometimes not, with the same file. I have to cross my fingers when creating WAV's hoping to get lucky. ALSO one of the Studio Horns trumpet parts is ducking down in volume suddenly. I have searched everywhere in the file for a solution.
 

Markdvc

Administrator
Staff member
John, have you backed up the previous version of Logic (presumably 10.4.7) so you can revert to it? Always a good idea prior to updating. If not, perhaps you still have it around on a time machine backup? How old is your Mac, and is there anything that might cause a performance problem - lack of space on the system drive, not so much RAM etc? Did you also upgrade your OS (Mojave is the minimum requirement for 10.4.8), there have been reports of users moving on to Mojave and experiencing things slowing down. Also might be worth a reboot, letting the Mac scan any new content that might also have been installed, and also to check if this is causing problems with any project, or perhaps specific ones?

Just a few spontaneous thoughts, hope there is something there that might be of help...

kind regards

Mark
 

John Morton

Logician
Thanks Mark.

I don't have a backup. My mac is late 2013 27" iMac with 828 GB used on HD. 24 GB RAM. I'm not being offered 10.4.8 on the OS upgrades, only Catalina and I've no intention of going that route.

I've discovered something interesting. The offending note is G3 on the Studio Horns Trumpet 2. All eighth notes are short as required but this one sustains when I click on it in the piano roll. I've just changed that track to Studio Horns Trumpet 1. I've just played the offending passage over and over without a problem but the result is inconclusive because the note will suddenly start misbehaving again.

My policy from now on is to decline all Apple upgrades. When I upgraded to Mojave I lost the Garritan instruments and have to pay for a Finale upgrade which I refuse to do, on principle, especially since I rarely use Finale. (I'm also an 80-year-old pensioner.)

Sorry to bitch about it, Mark, but Apple's backwards compatibility attitude is bad and I'm too busy to put up with all this kind of thing.

If all else fails I'll go Time Machine as you suggest, thanks again,

John

P.S. the Studio Horns won't sustain for more than around 5 seconds which is useless.
 

John Morton

Logician
An update on the above: 1st trumpet Studio Horns is sounding Bb3 when the playhead passes over a blank area in the piano roll (and region) and ditto 2nd trumpet but this one sounds G3. I can play the file 6 or 7 times without a problem and then, suddenly, the file misbehaves again. When the file misbehaves I go earlier in the tracks to find the offending notes and click on them briefly but the notes hang on. When the file plays OK and I do this the notes do as expected i.e. release when I release the selection.

The only thing that had changed was the Logic update so it was reasonable to blame that but I've just played some other files using Studio Horns without experiencing a problem.
 

Markdvc

Administrator
Staff member
John, wrt Apple upgrades (or in this case, Logic updates), may I suggest this procedure: Once you receive notice that a new version of logic is available, prior to updating, copy, or compress your current logic version, move the copy or zipped file to another location - maybe an external HD or the like. I actually rename the zipped files, so I have a set of files with names such as "Logic Pro X .app 10.4.2.zip", "Logic Pro X .app 10.4.7.zip" etc. That way, if I need to revert back, I can simply unzip and reopen whichever Logic version I want to. In fairness to Apple, they do mention this in their release notes as the first thing to do when updating logic:
Logic Pro X 10.4 release notes

kind regards

Mark
 

John Morton

Logician
OK. Gotcha.
It won't help either of us to say this but I can't accept the 'in fairness to Apple' idea. The stuff isn't working properly, however we put it. When I get in my car to drive down to the mall I expect it to start without my doing a check on the engine management computer. An unfair comparison, you might say, but the problem is that progress in computing is far too rapid, as companies struggle to leapfrog each others' progress, which is the only explanation I can find for why such incredibly clever people are so often unloading inferior products onto the market. Logic has always been the buggiest program on the planet but this current problem is a step too far and the Studio Horns are someone's idea of a joke.

I'll upload an MP3 of the composition for your info.

Thanks again, John.
 
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John Morton

Logician
Mark,

it obviously isn't possible to upload attached audio files on here. Other files using Studio Horns are playing OK so it looks like a file problem,

John.
 

John Morton

Logician
UPDATE FYI.
I created a new file and copy/pasted all tracks into it, reassigning instruments etc. (When I saved the original as a template it copied in the problem too but at least I didn't have to undo all the info in the text editor inherited from the notation program.) I created a WAV straight away without mixing etc. because if the WAV was OK the file would be, too. So far so good, but after two whole days of wasted time I won't rejoice yet.

Time for a beef:
This just isn't good enough. The programs we use are not of marketable quality and it keeps happening because we, as consumers, keep putting up with it. I understand the complexity of computer code and the high rate of incidence of errors but that's Apple's problem, not mine.

And while I'm on my soapbox, what about changing the Studio Horns so that they sustain for more than around 5/6 seconds? Currently, the Studio Horns are a joke.
 

John Morton

Logician
False alarm. Problems have re-occurred. So, if a customer says to me 'will my composition be ready by Wednesday?' my HONEST reply has to be 'yes, providing I don't have baffling software problems with my Apple programs'. I can't live like this. It's pathetic. When Apple introduced System 7 many years ago, a friend of mine was sent out of business because non of his fonts worked anymore. His main customer got fed up of listening to lame excuses.
 

Markdvc

Administrator
Staff member
I think many of us will sympathise with how frustrating such issues can be, and that this may well result in venting of such frustrations.
Bearing that in mind, a couple of things: Most any of us who have come up against such a "beating my head against a wall" problem will, with the benefit of hindsight learn that after venting ones' frustrations, unfortunately nothing has changed, the issue is still there. Furthermore, in blowing off steam in a forum such as ours, there is always the risk of losing the opportunity to discuss an issue with others who may be able to offer advice and help, but in order to do so will expect the person with the problem to try to approach it methodically, calmly, provide as many details, heed advice and so on. Ranting and blowing off steam will in all likelihood result in a collective shrugging of shoulders on the part of people who might be able to help, and their moving on.

Sorry for the sermon....

Now, you say the issue started when you moved to Logic Pro 10.4.8, right?
Were you able to revert back to a previous version of logic in which you didn't experience these issues? If so, did it help? If not, consider what options might still be open, how to rule out potential sources of this issue and hopefully narrow it down. It is often the case that some little detail - something in your setup - might provide a clue as to what is causing you this grief. A starting point is to provide lots of info about your system. You have a late 2013 27" iMac with 828 GB used on HD. OK - is that a 1 TB drive? Which sort, fusion, HD, SSD? I don't understand what you mean be "I'm not being offered 10.4.8 on the OS upgrades" - presumably you mean Logic 10.4.8? If so, aren't you already on that? If not, what do you mean? Which Mac OS Version are you running? Which Audio/Midi interfaces are connected to your system, other software, plugins etc etc?

I doubt that I make the same use of the studio horns, strings and other instruments then for example, Jay does, but I have actually used them in arrangements running in live playback situations (live band on stage, me, the drummer, with a click track on headphones and a logic arrangement with instruments and audio recordings of backing vocals and the like running on a Mac Book Pro). FWIW, I never had an issue with any logic instrument.

kind regards

Mark
 

John Morton

Logician
No one is 'ranting' and, if you knew the full extent of my problems recently you would accept my desire to 'blow off steam'. The mere fact you are defending this situation is another indication, as I see it, of how things won't improve as long as we all suffer in silence. So, no apologies from this end, sorry. We'll have to agree to disagree.

I haven't yet reverted back because I might need help doing this. A message told me that I would be erasing my disk, or something. It seems very risky and it shouldn't be necessary. If the clash was between old and new Apple products or between Apple and third party products then you might (might) get me on your side but, if it IS a software clash, then it is occurring between two very recently installed Apple products and that, quite simply, isn't good enough, in fact it stinks.

The reason I'm expressing these opinions on here is because I expect Apple to observe these forums for feedback purposes. There is no point in complaining to Apple.

Thanks anyway, John.
 

Jay Asher

Logician
John, our point is that we are NOT all "suffering in silence." We simply are not having your issues. That doesn't make your issues less valid or painful, but it DOES mean they are not ubiquitous.
 

Markdvc

Administrator
Staff member
The reason I'm expressing these opinions on here is because I expect Apple to observe these forums for feedback purposes. There is no point in complaining to Apple.

Thanks anyway, John.
OK, one last one from me, then I'll leave you in peace: There is no guarantee whatsoever that anyone from Apple is monitoring these forums. If you are in any way interested in making Apple aware of your problems, go here and write to them:


Sorry if I gave the impression of defending anything - I am merely trying to be a little pragmatic and try to offer some help.

regards

Mark
 

John Morton

Logician
Mark. it's nothing. I had a lot of experience with discussions including trade unions and I always found that nothing really happened until men started to get angry, then they start to speak their minds. I don't intend to sit here sipping tea and munching biscuits, making polite conversation. I say it the way it is. Incidentally, I had been involved in a clear-minded attempt to solve this for days, on two forums (+ Google), without the remotest sign of a solution.

I substituted the Studio Horns for Orchestral trumpets and the problem disappeared. This is a complex score with many time signature and tempo changes. There are also numerous changes in velocity and the automation scheme is complex, too. The Studio Horns can't cope. The weird thing is that problems appear in the bounced WAV that are not apparent in the logic playback and, each time I create a WAV, from the same file, different problems occur. I tried producing several WAV's hoping to get lucky. And I experience the frustration of watching the playhead pass over blank areas in the piano roll and Studio Horns are sounding.

Problems with Logic:
When I press 'play' some instruments don't sound. I have to go back two or three times and this has happened on all versions of Logic and OS combinations over the past four years.
When I remove unwanted data imported from the notation program (it's quicker to do it in Logic) the information about pan and velocity etc. appears at the top of the lists area, and sometimes it doesn't. I have to click in and out, sometimes two or three times.
The 'select all' and 'select all following' sometimes works and sometimes not.
Although there are dozens of guitar, bass and drums sounds, the orchestral instruments are an afterthought, it appears. There is no bass clarinet, flugelhorn, euphonium, D or Eb trumpet. The oboe sounds like someone learning to play the bagpipes and the trombones turn into a buzz-saw if you're not careful with the velocity.
Even allowing for the fact that high-end software instruments cost more than Logic itself, this situation is not good.

The world's most valuable company simply has no right to unload this program onto its customers. They have the resources to put it right. I bought my first Mac in 1988 and Apple are still ripping people off. It's really bad.

Regards, and thanks anyway for your considerable time,

John Morton.
 

Jay Asher

Logician
Several things:
1. if the source of the MIDI isn't in Logic then there are lots of ways for it to go wrong when you "remove unwanted data."
2. In all the years I have been using the Event List in Logic Pro, and that is since 1.0. I don't ever remember an instance of Select ALL not selecting all. Nor do I have the "play and it doesn't sound" issue. While intermittent problems can indeed be bugs, in my experience they are more often system specific issues.
3. Yes, Logic does not come with a full compliment of really good orchestral instruments but asafar as I know, neither does Cubase, Digital Performer, or Pro Tools. You have to buy them.

If you want to give me a step by step description of a way to reproduce your issues, I will be happy to and I promise you I will report back what I see candidly. Or if you want to zip a Logic project with Logic instruments only that illustrates it, I will take a look.

I suspect however that you are more concerned with being "right" then seeing if that is the case. Hopefully, you will prove me wrong.
 

John Morton

Logician
Jay, you misunderstood me. I have no problems removing data, by the way. The 'select all' etc. problems are in the regions not the event list. The other problems I described have happened with all versions of Logic with various OS systems. All other programs work fine and my computer has 24GB RAM. It has no pirate software or other forms of messing. It is not encumbent upon me as a consumer to acquire extra esoteric knowledge just to use something I have paid for.

Re the orchestral instruments, my comment was about the difference in attitude that Apple has regarding Rock versus orchestral. Whereas the rock instruments are bewildering in their variety and there are four, at least, of the best synthesizers around, the orchestral instruments have the gaps I mentioned. It's difficult in one sense to criticize Logic when the Alchemy synth alone is worth the purchase price of Logic and I know how expensive it is to buy the best software instruments.

Re my attitude, I am only keen to be seen to be 'right' regarding Apple's bad attitude to backwards compatibility. If you think I'm alone in this, believe me I have had many conversations with people who have migrated to Microsoft for these very reasons.

I will try to post a link to a WAV for your interest shortly.
 

Jay Asher

Logician
John, I don't doubt that you are accurately reporting your experience. So the.wav file is not necessary.

But as you may or may not know, I have used Logic Pro since 1990, have written 3 books on it, and if I listed the names of some of the people I have helped over the years who use Logic, you would be impressed. Some are film composers, some are rock stars, some are video games guys,. etc.

John, they are not stupid nor are they masochists. If your experience was also theirs, they would be using another DAW.

And yes, the developers, who are German, are not orchestra guys, they are mostly techno and rock guys. But again, point me to the DAW that comes with a full compliment of good orchestral samples. You can't. The fact is for every orchestral reproduction guy, there is 9,998 rock and techno guys, As Deep Throat said, "follow the money."

My offer stands to check out zipped Logic project that illustrates your issues.
 

John Morton

Logician
I offered a sound file for the interest of members, to listen to. It might also be of interest for the following reasons:

The Studio Horns trumpets were abandoned because they will not sustain for more than a few seconds, although I retained them for the trumpet solo, which works well with humanization and vibrato. The problems with the file have disappeared. The trumpets now used are from MuseScore 'Timbres of Heaven'. In the ensemble passages they work better, for me.

I lost access to my Garritan instruments when I upgraded to Mojave so I could not use its Baritone Horn or Euphonium sounds. Instead, I used the rather basic Soft Synth horns which can just about be made to work tolerably well with mixing and EQ. The difference in tone colour between these two instruments is insufficient in Garritan, so I wasn’t happy to use them anyway.

This piece cries out for high-end software instruments but my task was to assess if something tolerable could be achieved with Logic alone. I failed.

People all over the world continue to use software they are not fully satisfied with, not because they are stupid but because of the learning curve involved in changing. With deadlines to meet people stick with the Devil they know (e.g. Finale), so your remarks are not fully inadmissible.

I haven't asked for a full compliment (Eb clarinet, for example) I pointed out that a much-vaunted program should be expected to contain certain instruments. Look at the incredible array in MuseScore, some of which are actually OK. There's even a bandoneon.

Obviously, I am on here because I need advice. It’s a good job this wasn’t an actual project with a deadline to meet.

I am not able to put the score out there at present.

Thank you for all your time,

John Morton.
 

Jay Asher

Logician
Ok, I tried to help you, for free, and usually I get paid to do that. But while you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it boogaloo.
 
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