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"deactivate" Group To Save Cpu / Bypass All Group Fx

Discussion in 'Feature Suggestions' started by OlivierFromGre, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. OlivierFromGre

    OlivierFromGre NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    43
    • Ability to use a similar function to Ableton's Deactivate on a group level where anything that can be done to save resources used by that group is applied, including bypassing all effects in the group and its sounds.
    Very useful for Live performances that need many things loaded at the same time to avoid loading new projects.
    In order to save RAM and CPU, I would like to be able to unload a sound (a huge sampled piano for instance) when I don't want to use it. And load it quickly when I want.
    Even further: unload every sound of a group when the group is muted. This would be useful in a live set: one group will contain the sounds needed for the current song, the other groups being muted and unloaded.

    This feature is available in Ableton Live, I'm sure it would be not very difficult to be implemented in Maschine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2017
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  2. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    Hi Oliver, thanks for the suggestion.
    Huge multi-sampled instruments take some time to load based on size, a lot of people use mutes constantly, and the constant load/unload of huge instruments seems like something that would cause hiccups during playback. Not sure about loading "quickly" being an option but then again i am no computer Ram expert.
    Do you know the technical term for this in Ableton? I am curious and would like to know more just to clarify your suggestion a little better.
     
  3. OlivierFromGre

    OlivierFromGre NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    43
    I agree: quick loading of large instruments is not possible. By "load it quickly" I meant: clicking on unmute would trigger the loading of the sound.

    Also agree! I can see it as an option in the preference that would not be activated by default. As an alternative, we could add the possibility to unload (or deactivate) by pressing "shift-mute" instead of "mute" on the controller, so that we mute/unmute in unchanged, and a new activate/deactivate is created.

    I'm not an Ableton expert, but I know deactivating a instrument/effect/track is easy and free CPU load.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8,395
    You can bypass instruments/effects plugins if you want to. Hold shift and press the button labelled "BYPASS" (Button 6?) or you can click the little square that has keyboard keys or FX on it beside the plugin name in the GUI to bypass it via mouse.
     
  5. OlivierFromGre

    OlivierFromGre NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    43
    Yes I know this feature, but :
    - when you bypass the instrument / effect stays in memory
    - you can't bypass a group (ie all sounds in the group)
     
  6. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8,395
    OK, so that narrows down what you want a bit more. Not sure mute is the best way to go or that NI would go that route even.

    However, a feature that allows you to bypass all modules in a Group at once could work. As for unloading memory, one option is to save your Sound/Group, remove it, and then add it back when you want it back. Not as quick, admittedly, but what use case is this for? Just to free up RAM?
     
  7. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,965
    Thanks for clarifying Oliver.

    First, let's establish the correct terms, you were talking about deactivating, it doesn't do any memory "unloading" of any sort.

    The nature of VST2 effects is that even if no audio is passing thru the effect it's still processing, therefore, using CPU resources, VST3 is
    different and more efficient (it actually auto turns off if it doesn't detect a signal) but unfortunately, it's not supported by Maschine atm. Bypassing an FX should actively decrease CPU usage. Effects and Instruments don't consume resources the same way.
    So... A Global-Group effect bypass could be useful to bypass all the effects in a group including all effects on every pad of that group, this would save some resources for people who use many groups in live performances and don't want to or can't resample. This would be nice feature.

    However, I went and tested the deactivate thing on Ableton. Ram-wise it does not unload anything from memory, memory usage is the same regardless, so if the user as too little ram for too many big instruments this won't help at all.
    CPU wise deactivate as the same impact as the sequencer not having any notes to play, meaning, if theres a ton of muted stuff on the sequencer playing (altho you dont hear it) it consumes cpu, if you deactivate that same stuff it frees cpu reasources.
    So a deactivate function on Maschine would be usefull if you have multiple groups loaded each having an active pattern with MIDI info (all in the same scene), which is not an efficient way to set up a live performance in the first place, each group should have its own scene where only that particular group pattern is active, this would effectively be the same as deactivating (CPU-wise). At least this is my conclusion from my testing.

    Then there's the fact that Maschine in a general way is not very CPU efficient, (so people say, i have no issues) using a non-efficient software to have multiple performance-ready-groups/songs on a single project seems like a recipe for disaster. (Many people have requested "make maschine handle CPU better" maybe i should i that to the sticky?)

    From your personal experience, how bad are the CPU problems when you are attempting this multi group thing? Just some hickups here and there or total unplayability? Can you test to see if its really a CPU problem or a Ram problem?
     
  8. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,965
    IMO a more realistic feature would be something like this:
    • Ability to use a similar function to Ableton's Deactive on a group level where anything that can be done to save resources used by that group is applied, including bypassing all effects in the group and its sounds.
    And like Mr36 said, this can't be tied to Mutes. It could be a right click on group thing and in the hardware it could be next to the effects on the group level? Where it is is not very important as long as its not tied to mutes at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  9. OlivierFromGre

    OlivierFromGre NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    43
    Thanks for all you comments D-One. My problem is when I use a project with a lot of large instruments (Piano, Abbey Road drums...) I see my ram increase and sometimes I hear cracks. So I think I can't add other large instruments to my project otherwise it would exceed my computer memory.
    I thought Ableton frees RAM when deactivating, but indeed it only frees CPU. I never had problem with CPU.

    This is a very good explanation of what I can dream!
     
  10. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,965
    No problem. Are all your big instruments using Kontakt?
    I have seen some people on the Komplete forums that do film scoring and have crazy huge projects with many big instruments, they usually have insane amounts of RAM and don't tend to use Maschine but maybe they can have some tips for optimizing Kontakt itself.
    Try to follow these steps and see if it helps:


    I also saw some Live musicians separate their show by smaller blocks, let's say 4 songs blocks, so each project has enough for that amount of songs, and then when loading of new projects is required (you or your vocalist in case you have one) talk a bit with the crowd while it's loading. Quite common.

    Other than that the only thing I can think of is using synths instead of multi-sampled instruments, won't sound as realistic though.
    I edited your OP for a more realistic suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  11. OlivierFromGre

    OlivierFromGre NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    43
    Yes my big instruments are from Kontakt. I'll watch the video to get the tip, thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for the tip. I think I could live with that, I've never thought about this. I use Maschine on stage since one year approximately, as a keyboard player, and I'm still learning. For now I use Maschine standalone only but I see limitations (main ones are no keyboard split and same tempo for every scene). I hope staying in Maschine for a long time, but Ableton Live has so many possibilities that I could be tempted...
    By the way do you have links to give me, in order to get some advice for using Maschine in live as a keyboard player?

    Yes indeed, such as Pianoteq for piano sounds or Lounge Lizard EP-4 by Applied Acoustics Systems for Rhodes. But sampled instruments are far better for in my ears :(
     
  12. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,965
    Ableton is more designed towards for Live Performance while Maschine looks more of a studio tool for production, but it depends very much on the user's needs and workflow. Unfortunately, i don't know of any sources of info since Keyboard Players don't tend to use Maschine as a main sound source, the few i have seen using it also have something like a Nord Lead for the main sounds and use Maschine for samples, loops, drums, etc.. That would be my recommendation.
     
  13. OlivierFromGre

    OlivierFromGre NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    43
    Ok I admit Maschine may not be the best software for a keyboard user, but I still really like the fact that my Komplete Keyboard is already configured for sounds tuning and sound selection. No programming needed. Maybe if I switch to Ableton (Maschine as plugin mode) I will keep these auto configuration, I have to test.
     
  14. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,965
    Yes. Maschine VST mode is also auto mapped. (Komplete Kontrol Keyboards have their own software that can be used in stand alone / maschine / or Ableton in VST and all parameters are auto mapped to the knobs)
     
  15. 4x4

    4x4 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    (@D-One... I went ahead anyway as time is tight today)

    I find Maschine is actually much more intuitive and fun for live performance than 'Live'... again, depending on workflow. And in how many of the NI (and other) demos of MK2 / MK3 do they mention 'Live performance' and 'this feature is great when performing live' etc.

    NI support though, give varying levels of their own confidence regarding a demanding performance scenario. Ranging from "Sure, loading new groups on the fly is fine, it's what Machine was designed for" to "What? loading groups on the fly in a club? hmmmm... that's asking for trouble!" Slightly unsettling, :) even though I've had no issues when testing.

    That's exactly what it needs. Right now, going in and bypassing all sounds and effects takes many button presses for a full 16 pads.
    Group and sound level 'one click' on/off would be great. I am calling it bypassing simply because this is the label on the current function.

    What am I missing here? Why not Shift + Mute + Group and Shift + Mute + Sound
    What's the reason you both say to not use mute?

    Here is one simple example of the usage and difference 'bypassing' makes for a live set.
    (Computer/optimisation/specs etc are not relevant for this comparison).

    1) A 'typical' library group loaded until maxed out. 5 instances.

    full.png

    2) The same example with regular mutes and one group playing:

    group_mute.png

    Note that this obviously has an effect on the CPU usage but is still using resources of course.

    3) Groups with full 'bypass' on all sounds/effects etc:

    full_bypassing.png

    56 groups loaded and waiting to be 'activated' and used, with the CPU at a reasonable level and one group active.

    56 'dormant' groups should give most users enough audio for a live set! Without needing to load/unload groups on the fly.

    I guess the overarching idea is that the less button pushing and loading etc in a live situation, the better. There are workarounds that are being used, but this one click group bypass or deactivation would be very useful for performance. Isn't it the reason the Tarekith (and the guy on the beach's) live videos maxed out at 8 groups / 40ish minutes, no?

    The big assumption here, because it's not possible to test yet, is that activating a group and it's effects all at the same time, would put less demands on the system than loading it on the fly... if it is going to tax the system and produce audio artefacts then the idea may well be redundant anyway. NI?
     
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  16. 4x4

    4x4 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Are you meaning this in the way that a performance would be linear based and moving through pre-planned scenes, left to right on the timeline? If my understanding is correct (that's the only way to have one group, one pattern, one scene no?) then it's incredibly limiting.

    I prefer to have two or three active groups, one 'song' per group and mix between them based on the situation. More responsive than a preplanned live set, and is where the one click 'bypass' becomes very useful.

    Did I understand your post correctly?
     
  17. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,965
    That has to do with the first initial suggestion of the OP (mute=deactivate) since his personal project setup seamed to be one group per song but all in the same scene with active muted patterns, just like in your screenshots.
    If a pattern is playing (in the background) while muted it's still consuming resources even tho its muted, that's why I suggested only having the current "song" patterns active in the scene or scenes. This way uncessarry things aren't consuming CPU.
    Something
    theorectically more resource efficient would look like this:
    [​IMG]
    (several scenes per song could be used, this is just an example)


    What i meant is that normal mute behavior shouldn't change.
    Mute+Shift would be fine and considered a new feature without changing the old normal behavior, it not really "mute" literally, its more a "Bypass everything inside that group".
    Bare in mind this is just an opinion, others might think differently.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  18. 4x4

    4x4 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Normal mute shouldn't change at all. Agreed.

    Regarding using scenes how you describe, that's fine in a regular 'song by song' performance, but for seamless transitions you still need more than one group/song per scene... and in your example, you would still be using less resources if each scenes group content was 'deactivated', apart from the ones in current play. That way things like going crazy with the Lock functions and long transitions etc would be less taxing on your system regardless of the way you lay out your performance.

    Whichever way it's sliced, having the one click bypass/deactivation would get much more out of Maschine as it stands. And likely easier to implement than overhauling Maschine to be more 'CPU friendly'. Hope the devs can take note and get this one in the bag.
     
  19. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    8,965
    Yes. It was an optimization example using currently available features. Theres a lot more ways to optimize while we don't have other options. Maybe we should have a thread in the normal section so people can share their tricks.

    Yeah, I agree with you 100%, this bypass/deactivate thing would be very nice to have.