Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

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Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

I'd be interested in having the ability to manually be able to set the polyphony to a custom number of my choice (starting with a '1' minimum).  If the user chooses a number beyond or below the recommended range, the program will let them choose it but warn the user that this isn't recommended due to potentially higher cpu usage and/or undesired playback characteristics.  Personally as I tend to listen to black midis, I find a 500 voice limit a little too low for me.  Additionally, I think it'd also be nice to see a real-time voice count and/or cpu meter (like synthfont does) displayed in the mixer window.

-Ray890

- Main laptop: Sager NP4658, Intel i7-4810MQ, 2*8GB DDR3 (PC3-10700), 512GB+512GB SSDs, Intel HD4600/NVidia GT840M

Posts: 1687
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit
Ray890 wrote:
I find a 500 voice limit a little too low for me.

That limit is inherited from the underlying BASS libraries used by VirtualMIDISynth for the synth task (see here: http://www.un4seen.com/doc/#bassmidi/BASS_ATTRIB_MIDI_VOICES.html).
You could try to ask them to raise it; Ian Luck (BASS developer) is really active on BASS forum.

VirtualMIDISynth lower limit (16) is higher than the library supported one (1); I choosed to set it to 16 because I thought it was a reasonable value. Still wonder how could a limit of 1 note at a time be useful...

Ray890 wrote:
Additionally, I think it'd also be nice to see a real-time voice count and/or cpu meter (like synthfont does) displayed in the mixer window.

This is a good suggestion, also useful for debugging.
I'll add it to my TODO list.

Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

alright sweet.  But..  Where is the BASS Forum where the dev will see it?  I see several forum options such as Hydrogen Audio, but no "BASS Forum"

 

Another thing..  I'd also like to see the option to set the sampling rate to 22050hz, as it doesn't reduce sound quality much, yet reduces cpu usage further.  Synthfont has this option, and it makes a huge difference in CPU usage with 22Khz vs 44Khz.  Is this also a bassmidi-library restriction?

- Main laptop: Sager NP4658, Intel i7-4810MQ, 2*8GB DDR3 (PC3-10700), 512GB+512GB SSDs, Intel HD4600/NVidia GT840M

Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit
Ray890 wrote:
Where is the BASS Forum where the dev will see it?

Correction:  Upon further digging, I found it in 4forseen's website

- Main laptop: Sager NP4658, Intel i7-4810MQ, 2*8GB DDR3 (PC3-10700), 512GB+512GB SSDs, Intel HD4600/NVidia GT840M

Posts: 1687
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit
Ray890 wrote:
I'd also like to see the option to set the sampling rate to 22050hz ... Is this also a bassmidi-library restriction?

I don't know it, honestly.
I haven't considered 22050Hz because all of the soundfonts I tried were 48000 or 44100Hz.

Will have a look.

Posts: 1687
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

After having a look to BASS documentation, these are my thoughts:

  1. modern soundcards do not have 22050Hz rample rate anymore, so it must be emulated by device driver (with some CPU cost)
  2. if SF2 file contains samples in a higher sample rate (more frequent), the downconversion process 48000-->22050 will cost more CPU then what we could save by playing at such lower rate
  3. BASS won't change its output rate to something not natively supported by OS and device driver (see here for details, "Platform specific" paragraph)
  4. output sample rate option of VMS is virtually useless (because BASS defaults to the sound card native sample rate), so maybe I'll remove it in 2.x version

That said, I tried to force 22050Hz instead of 48000Hz in my development machine without having noticeable result; I must also say that on my machine VMS has less than 3% CPU with 48000Hz sample rate, so any improvement will be unnoticeable.

Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

Well, here's a comparision between 44khz and 22khz being real-time rendered in SynthFont 2.  What might be causing the noticable difference there?

(Setting the sample rate even lower seems to reduce cpu usage even further, but then the audio quality gets noticibly poor below 22k)

 

(Tested on an Intel i5-430m, ode to insane joy.mid, SGM-V2.01 soundfont)

Attachments (Only registered users)
44k vs 22k.zip

- Main laptop: Sager NP4658, Intel i7-4810MQ, 2*8GB DDR3 (PC3-10700), 512GB+512GB SSDs, Intel HD4600/NVidia GT840M

Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

Considering this topic became the most viewed in this forum catagory, here's a link to the topic I created in the BASS forums for just for viewer's reference:  http://www.un4seen.com/forum/?topic=15798

- Main laptop: Sager NP4658, Intel i7-4810MQ, 2*8GB DDR3 (PC3-10700), 512GB+512GB SSDs, Intel HD4600/NVidia GT840M

Posts: 1687
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

After reading Ian's reply on Un4seen forum, I'll add a the new 22.050Hz output frequency to options, together with a warning to set the same frequency in control panel.

Will also wait for next BASSMIDI version to raise polyphony up to 1000 (or more).

Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: Ability to set a polyphony beyond the current 16-500 voice limit

On a related note, I've noticed something interesting on this page of the Impossible Music Wikia (a wiki for the black midi community): http://impossible-music.wikia.com/wiki/CoolSoft_VirtualMIDISynth

32 bit path: C:\Windows\system32\VirtualMIDISynth
64 bit path: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\VirtualMIDISynth
If the operating system is 64-bit, 64-bit settings are linked to the 32-bit settings.
Approximate Maximum Notes: Technically unlimited, but limited by VirtualMIDISynth.conf
A quote from the CoolSoft website:
"In reality there is no limit on the BASS libraries. The author presents a generic "limited by system resources."
You can try this:
Open the configurator and put a value other than 500 (type 499) so that it is saved in the configuration file
Close the configurator
Open the file C:\Windows\System32\VirtualMIDISynth\VirtualMIDISynth.conf (or C:\Windows\SysWOW64\VirtualMIDISynth\VirtualMIDISynth.conf) with Notepad and change the entry MaxVoices to a new number (For example, 8192 or whatever you want)
Try to play something and see if the new limit is accepted and works"

 

After figuring out how to apply what the instructions are saying, I haven't noticed any difference in the amount of voices that it could handle.  I've asked a black midi member about this personally, they claim that it works.  What's up with this; does that do anything, or is this purely placebo effect?

- Main laptop: Sager NP4658, Intel i7-4810MQ, 2*8GB DDR3 (PC3-10700), 512GB+512GB SSDs, Intel HD4600/NVidia GT840M

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