VirtualMIDISynth 2.x alpha available for testing

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Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha6 released

Late Response here.

coolsoft wrote:

Quick update about development progress: the new asynchronous queue is almost complete

Thanks for the update, I'm looking forward to testing it once its ready.

KaleidonKep99 wrote:
coolsoft wrote:
 
Could you please post a link to a MIDI test file I should try?
Actually I'm using "Red Zone 1 million reconstruction.mid" but I'd like to test other ones. 

Suuuuuuuuuuuuure, try Bad Apple 3.5 Million Notes, you can find it here.
If you pass it at like 2:20-2:30, well, it's going to work like the good old CoolSoft. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-eL3mYPmeA

Also, here's a link to a couple more versions of Bad Apple for comparision purposes:   https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByIDTUMUvYUWYTlUQTYxNUw4TGM/view?usp=sh...

Last but not least, (one of) the biggest of all them black midis, Last Brutal Sister Flandre Scarlet 110 million!  I still don't expect that midi to be very playable, especially since Vanbasco already takes forever to load that midi, and I'm therefore forced to use TMidi to open it, but here it is anyway:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByIDTUMUvYUWcEhZRzhHM2V0dXc/view?usp=sh...

supergod wrote:
Hey,
Is it possible to fix somehow winamp's midi volume control?
For some reason volume control is completly broken.

This is one of the drawbacks that I found about VirtualMIDISynth.  In media player programs I tested such as Windows Media Player and MPC-HC, when playing a midi, being output to VMS, adjusting the media player's volume control does absolutely nothing.  My idea is that media player volume should be able to adjust the volume of VMS in an analog manner before (without adjusting) the VMS Master Control.  (speaking of the midi mixer, I'd still be interested in seeing a simple realtime simultaneous voices counter somewhere within the counter)

 

Slightly off topic:  I tested PianoFromAbove+VirtualMIDISynth-stable on Windows 10 technical preview, only to find it preforms worse than it does on Windows 7:  https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/12f32115-f94c-41cb-b44...

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

Posts: 26
Joined: March 12, 2013 - 16:35
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha6 released

I know, but unfortunately there is more software that works that way.

I *think* there is a workaorund around this problem and maybe You could try to fix that, someday.

Regarding forums, support, etc.

Heh, I think it's easier to win a milion dollar in lotto before someone even condsider to look on that problem, LOL.

 

coolsoft wrote:
supergod wrote:
Is it possible to fix somehow winamp's midi volume control?

AFAIK WinAmp changes the "analog" part of MIDI out device and not the volume inside the MIDI stream, so you're forced to use the default MIDI Out.
This won't work for devices other than Microsoft GS Synth.

supergod wrote:
Also, you can't choose VirtualMIDISynth as device, there is only MidiOUT/MS Midi Mapper, but it plays correctly.

I don't know how WinAmp scans for devices...
It worths a try to post your question on WinAmp forum here: http://forums.winamp.com/
 

Posts: 1512
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha6 released
Ray890 wrote:
In media player programs I tested such as Windows Media Player and MPC-HC, when playing a midi, being output to VMS, adjusting the media player's volume control does absolutely nothing.

The only one I know working well is VanBasco: it "patches" the output MIDI stream on the fly, changing Master Volume MIDI Controller (or volume of tracks/notes).
That way synths, like VMS, will obey to the controller setting and lower the generated audio volume... and works with any synth, software or hardware.

Think about an hardware synth connected through USB/MIDI cable: how could Windows Audio Mixer influence it?

Posts: 102
Joined: March 8, 2014 - 22:29
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha6 released
Ray890 wrote:

Slightly off topic:  I tested PianoFromAbove+VirtualMIDISynth-stable on Windows 10 technical preview, only to find it preforms worse than it does on Windows 7:  https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/12f32115-f94c-41cb-b44...

This problem is present on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 too, because the MIDI-Mapper is hardly wired to MSGSWS (MIDI inputs passes through it).

Posts: 1512
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha7 released

Alpha7 has been released (see first post).
It features a deep optimization of the IPC queue, which is now fully async and no-wait.

v.2.0.0-alpha7 - 2014-11-03

  • NEW: Rewritten IPC queue between driver and synth processes, now fully async.
  • NEW: Synth systray icon was not removed on application close.
  • NEW: Configurator and MIDI Mixer windows now snap to desktop edges when moving.
  • FIX: Fixed wrong Master channel label.
  • FIX: Device busy test is now working again.
  • FIX: Avoid MIDI client crash when synth closes.

Please test it and report here any issue you find.

Posts: 16
Joined: September 4, 2014 - 17:34
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha7 released

Something is... wrong.  At least under Win 8.1 with a SoundBlaster Z.

It appears to be ignoring existing instances of the driver.  I'm still launching on startup but when I try to start a MIDI it complains that "Another instance of VirtualMIDISynth is already running.".  Closing it lets it attempt to start but no sound is heard afterwards.  However, if I then stop the MIDI and start it again (using PotPlayer) than it complains once again of an existing instance.  You could then repeat this to your heart's content.

When it reaches the end of my quick test file (just a small extract from the 1812 Overture - nothing complicated) it again complains that another instance is already running.

What's also concerning is that even when you do close the driver (at least, I assume the taskbar bit is the driver) than it still doesn't make sound.  In fact, it doesn't even appear to be trying - the MIDI Mixer shows all channels as being instrument free with no signal response.

 

Curiously, however, when loading DOSBox a different error was presented which may explain the above: "Version mismatch between client (e) and server (1.999.999.7).  I'm going to attempt a fresh install to see if it will remedy it and will edit this post if it changes anything.  If I don't edit in the next 30 minutes, assume it's still broken.

 

*EDIT* A full reinstall fixes it.  That's running the uninstaller, letting it restart the system, then re-running the installer.  It will continue to work after restarting.  I can only speculate as to what went wrong with the installation but at least one file wasn't properly overwritten by the new version, resulting in the aforementioned issues.

Posts: 16
Joined: September 4, 2014 - 17:34
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha7 released

Would have rather added this as an edit rather than a new post, but it's not letting me edit for some reason...

There seems to be a delay between loading a new MIDI file and when sound will actually be heard while playing back.  This is less of an issue when being used as a sequencer playback medium or not auto-playing your files but it seems fairly consistent across files and players.  The pause is of varaible length but no longer than a second; I assume it is occurring as a result of the software sending messages to the driver which simply isn't ready at the time.  You can watch the mixer to see no sounds attempting to play during this pause.

NB I do have it preloading the entire SoundFont and the priorty set to realtime.  Changing these makes no difference.  Using a smaller SoundFont also made no difference.

Curiously, if you unload the driver and force the software to wait for it to load again (including SoundFont) than it begins playback as soon as the driver is loaded with no pause.  The delay might be simple initialisation time that gets obscured by the time taken to load a 300MB SoundFont in full.

Posts: 1512
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha7 released

@Thalyn: thanks for your report.

Thalyn wrote:
There seems to be a delay between loading a new MIDI file and when sound will actually be heard while playing back.

This is the correct behaviour: the delay is due to the synth part being loaded (you can notice the systray icon appearing in the notification area of your desktop).
Once loaded this delay won't happen again because the synth is already up and running (unless you closed it for some reason).
Actually the driver, when loaded, tries to connect to synth.
If it fails, a new synth instance is started and this requires a few seconds to complete, depending on how much soundfonts are being loaded (that's the longest task).

In the upcoming versions user will have a configuration option to configure synth startup strategy:

  • start when needed, stop when unused
  • start when needed, run forever (default)
  • start at system start, run forever

In version 1.x this delay happen each time the driver is loaded.
On "conservative players, that unload the driver between songs, that's a huge issue (see first post for details).

Posts: 16
Joined: September 4, 2014 - 17:34
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha7 released

I actually do have it loading on startup, just using a shortcut in the shell:startup folder (which, curiously, occasionally resulted in an AppCrash with older versions - I haven't restarted enough with A7 to see if it persists).  Even verifying the icon is present on the taskbar it still occasionally has the slight delay when loading a new file for the first time.  If you immediately stop playback and then start it again it plays immediately, and the same will occur if you close the playback program entirely and load exactly the same file again.  It's only on the first load of a new MIDI file, whether the playback software was already loaded or not.

Note that "new" simply means "not the same as is currently playing" - alternating back and forth between two files can exhibit the issue.

If I unload the synth, the delay from reloading the synth and the SoundFont seems to be long enough to mask the other delay entirely.  The previously mentioned delays will then continue exactly as before.

Posts: 59
Joined: April 19, 2014 - 06:23
Re: CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth 2.0.0-alpha7 released

I gave Alpha7 a test run on the my two laptops again (4810mq & 430m), here's a couple of obversations:

Upon first vms launch after installation, I'd sometimes get either a crash or non-working audio.  I've un-installed and re-installed Alpha7 a couple of times and noticed this behaviour on most of the re-installations.

Performance issues from other alpha releases are definitely fixed, now being the same level as the latest stable build, as follows;
---- at 500 voice limit, synth lightly bottlenecks the MIDI player; as VMS's thread appears to use ~2-3 times as many cpu cycles as midi program's thread
---- at 100 voice limit, synth notibly lags/stutters a little before the point where the midi player lags; as VMS thread appears to use ~3-7 times as many cpu cycles as midi program thread

The audible lag/stutter in this build seems to be a a bit of a more toleratable mild half-hybrid between the unpleasent static of the stable build and the slowdown alpha6 had.  I don't expect this to be smoothed out if this introduces cpu usage increases of any kind.

I find the end section of Bad Apple 3.5 mil to be one of the easiest tracks to benchmark CPU usage/efficentcy with.  (3:00 onward)

Additionally, just as a little suggestion, instead of relying on a optional checkbox option within the vms installer to send the user to your user-friendly "get new soundfonts" page, you should consider replacing that with a link or button inside the soundfonts tab of the configuration window.  And, a popup systray balloon that tells the user to restart VMS to apply changes when the user presses 'ok' or 'apply' to change something would also be nice.

ps: I'd still be interested to see a realtime voice counter incorporated within the midi mixer if possible and easy to impliment

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

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