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Leopard and Hauptwerk: not the best marriage IMO

A discussion forum for anything even marginally Hauptwerk-related.

Leopard and Hauptwerk: not the best marriage IMO

Postby Louis » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:37 pm

Dear all,

At present, I say "at present" because Leopard is a very young creature and some patches and fixes have to come, I think that Leopard has a 2 great limits for use with hauptwerk.

-The first is in free RAM for loading samples. It's totally "unfair" that a Mac with 4 Gb RAM, with only the OS running, has only 2,7 Gb of RAM free for the sample set!!!

-The second is this automatic management of the swap file!! So the free RAM reduces further more, because if the OS starts loading the samples in the swap file, lot of audio glitches occurs...

So I'd like to ask Martin why Leopard has lots of advantages over Tiger for the use with Hauptwerk.

Ok, you can say: "expand you ram" but some Macs don't support more than 4Gb, like the last Santarosa MacBook Pro series. By the way you can imagine that expanding the RAM capability over 4 Gb on a laptop is a non-sense in wich Apple may not be interested. 4 Gb is ok for the majority of applications you can run on a laptop.

Because an organist may desire to take with him his laptop to give organ recitals with Hauptwerk, I repeat that this memory issue of Leopard is a too great limitation.

All best

Daniele
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Postby mdyde » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:27 pm

Hello Daniele,

I do fully understand that the effective memory limitation on Leopard with computers having 4 GB or less of physical memory is a disadvantage, and we do state that clearly in the Hauptwerk prerequisites and elsewhere, e.g.:

http://www.crumhorn-labs.com/Hauptwerk- ... mory.shtml

In practice the difference is significant but not huge since only about 3.2 GB could be used by Hauptwerk under Tiger on a Mac with 4 GB or physical memory.

On Tiger, unless the sample data were locked into physical memory ('wired'), almost all of the data would go straight to the page file causing audio glitches, even with very small sample sets, so there was no alternative but to wire them. However, the disadvantage of wiring was that OS X could become unstable and crash or behave very strangely if large amounts of physical memory were wired, and there was no reliable way to determine how much physical memory it was safe to wire before that would occur.

In most regards, Leopard's memory manager is much better in that it keeps sample data in memory without needing to wire (although up to a slightly smaller maximum amount on Macs with 4 GB or less installed than was possible by wiring under Tiger). Not wiring the memory avoids the problems of system instability, but trades that off for the risks of audio glitches if the user doesn't ensure that sample sets fit within the available memory.

The other key key issues is that attempting to wire any fairly large amount of memory on Leopard simply causes it to crash! Hence wiring is simply not possible at the moment on Leopard. That might simply be a Leopard bug, and a future Leopard patch might make it possible to wire the memory again (as with Tiger), but in the meantime we haven't found a way around that other than avoiding wiring memory completely when Hauptwerk detects that it's running on Leopard.

In summary: Tiger wouldn't work unless the memory was wired, but then risked instability if too many data were loaded. Leopard won't work with wired memory and so instability is no longer a risk, and it's improved memory manager makes it unnecessary to wire the memory, but the trade-off is that a little less memory can be used.

So it's basically a trade-off between stability and audio glitches when too much data is loaded.

If we can get Leopard to work reliably with wired memory in the future then we certainly will do that, and the effective memory limit on Macs with 4 GB or less of physical memory would then be back as it was with Tiger.

Best regards,
Martin.
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Postby Louis » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:57 pm

Thank you very for your detailed answer, Martin.

All best

Daniele
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Postby Geoff Lloyd » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:47 pm

Hi Martin,

How does this affect your Mac vs Windows recommendation, either for now, while Hauptwerk's Mac interface is limited to 32bit, or in the future, when Mac 64bit becomes available for Hauptwerk in competition to those of us now using Windows 64bit?

Regards,

Geoff Lloyd
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Postby Jim Reid » Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:38 pm

An example:

I am operating Leopard (OS X 10.5.1) on a Mac Pro. Have
Hauptwerk V3.0 also installed and operating just fine.

Have, at this time several sample sets loaded, including
the BIG Skinner. Of course, this machine
is limited to the amount of RAM OS X 10.5.1 will allow to be used
with 4GB loaded (I have more RAM installed, but not available for
HW until Martin releases an HW 64-bit version for OS X on the Mac.

Organs loaded and all playing beautifully, all for now at 16 bit resolutions
and whatever their native sample rates are, 44 or 48 KHz, using MOTU
Exp. 128 MIDI interface and their PCI-424e with 24 I/O 24 channel output
audio interface to my 16 channel audio set-up here.

Organs I am playing with the above system now are:

Milan 3/31 Masterworks Wurlitzer
Milan Silberman, St. Georgenkirche
Milan Skinner, Mt. Carmel
All three of the released Jensen VTPOs, 3/11, 3/19 and 3/27
OrganART Media's Silberman, Reinhardtsgrimma
OrganART Media's Bosch-Schnitger, Vollenhove
Exemplum Casavant, St. Georges, Ontario
Zurek Litomysl dry set
Zurek Hruby-Robozec.
Have on order from Milan the Metz and his upgrade to the Silberman
in St. Marienkerche for HW 2.

I have found no limitation to the sound, ability to voice, etc. these
organs using Leopard, HWV 3.0, and my MOTU audio gear. Obviously
when the 64-bit compatible Mac version for Hauptwerk is ready, I
will move on to that one to open up the full Metz, Skinner, or even
the "wet" Litomysl, but right now the present RAM limits with Leopard
and these organs create no hardship, at least for me.

BTW, should you have a Mac and considering upgrading to Leopard and
HW V 3.0, I strongly recommend the "erase and install" loading of
Leopard to the hard drive and of course a fresh loading of HW 3.0
to Leopard after the OS X 10.5 install plus the software upgrade
from Apple for the 10.5.1 current version released just a few days
ago. Just a good idea to erase all traces of Tiger and earlier versions
of HW for the Mac from the hard drive, my opinion of course.

Have fun.....
Jim Reid
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Postby Grant_Youngman » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:00 pm

Geoff Lloyd wrote:How does this affect your Mac vs Windows recommendation, either for now, while Hauptwerk's Mac interface is limited to 32bit, or in the future, when Mac 64bit becomes available for Hauptwerk in competition to those of us now using Windows 64bit?


Not sure where Martin is on this, but from a user point of view, even with some firewire issues I'm having with my audio interface (OS X, not HW related) I don't see it as 'competition'. It's just options.

Coming from a background as a longtime Windows user (who wishes the Lisa had lived up to its potential), I am more that willing to live with Mac-foibles vs. Windoze-foibles -- :-)

If you're not sure what a 'Lisa' is, just Google "Apple Lisa". It was a marvelous machine in many way, but really slooooooooooooooooooow ....
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Postby mdyde » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:43 am

Hello Geoff,

How does this affect your Mac vs Windows recommendation, either for now, while Hauptwerk's Mac interface is limited to 32bit, or in the future, when Mac 64bit becomes available for Hauptwerk in competition to those of us now using Windows 64bit?


In my opinion it doesn't fundamentally change anything. It's just that slightly less memory is available to Hauptwerk when running under Leopard than it was under Tiger if you have have 4 GB or less of physical memory installed. (If you have more physical memory than that then there is no difference.)

Best regards,
Martin.
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Postby Geoff Lloyd » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:00 pm

I'm still sensing I'm in Emperor's clothes territory here.

I've genuinely got no reason to be biased between one platform or another, but I'm not sure that the relative merits are being put forward fairly and dispassionately.

The Mac user camp seems to be saying it's not all that bad, despite all the doom and gloom at the start of this post, and that provided the organs are confined to 16bit then most of them can be made to work OK in Mac, even with the additional limitations of Leopard.

On the other hand, those of us using Windows 64 bit are happily loading all the biggest organs - the ones Jim has mentioned and more - in 24bit, also with multiple audio, but with none of the same memory (or any other) problems.

So I'm still asking myself what are the particular benefits of Mac that make it the recommended platform.

Of the 12 reasons given in the "New Mac or PC" section of the site:

1. describes Mac performance, but with no comparison with the competition
2. says that audio glitches in Mac are virtually impossible (despite all the discussion of audio glitches with Mac in this string)
3. 4. and 5. say that Macs work fine first time with no hassle, which actually was also my experience as a complete amateur in building a high powered PC from scratch
6. says there is up to 4Gb of memory available, which is of course less than currently accessible on Windows 64bit
7. is about audio and MIDI platforms, which I suppose must depend on what you are trying to use, but there seems to be plenty of choice for Windows compatible audio and MIDI still around
8. is about hardware, which again makes no comparison with what you might buy for an alternative system
9. asserts a reasonable price, which is probably true in comparison with a made-up PC, but not for a (very easily) self-assembled one
10. easier to set up and use - may well be worth having, though short of the thing starting when I just click my fingers it's difficult to see how much easier the PC could be to start up
11. native locking into memory - is as I understand it now built into Windows when operating HW3 as well
12. 3 year warranty - must admittedly be something you would be prepared to pay extra for in getting the ready made Mac compared with a self-built PC, but no doubt you can get warranties for ready made PCs too

All in all, this seems to me to be mainly a matter of taste, fancy and possible fashion, a bit like whether you are a BMW or a Mercedes person, rather than any clear cut benefits of one platform over the other.

Perhaps that's what Grant is saying with "it's just options", though whereas sometimes one option is demonstrably better than another, or even offer a greater range of options, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

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Postby Jim Reid » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:12 pm

Perhaps you are correct, Geoff. Fair reasoning I believe.

We did have a couple of Mercedes autos, many years ago. Were nice,
but VERY costly to maintain. And when in Virginia, or the mountains
of California in snowy, icy weather, the 450SL could not be kept
on the road!? Always would slide to one side or the other; don't
know how the folks in Germany handled them on the autobahn's in
such weather. Our much earlier 250SE four door was a fine family
auto, lasting to about 230,000 miles before the engine components
had worn so much, the valves could no longer be properly adjusted!
But nice cars in the right places of use. Will never own another. Very
happy driving about the island out here in our Honda Civic, and excellent
gas mileage. Oops, have wandered away from Hauptwerk issues!

Best,
Jim Reid
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Postby Grant_Youngman » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:45 pm

Geoff Lloyd wrote:The Mac user camp seems to be saying it's not all that bad, despite all the doom and gloom at the start of this post, and that provided the organs are confined to 16bit then most of them can be made to work OK in Mac, even with the additional limitations of Leopard.


I'm frankly indifferent to machine, architecture and OS. As I described in another thread somewhere, Mac users face a perfect storm of sorts -- a newly crafted application written to a new OS, running on the first release of that same OS, itself still littered with bugs apparently (only necessary to read the Apple support boards to get a taste).

And still -- like Vista users or XP x64 users had to (and still have to in some cases) -- waiting for updated drivers, possibly updated compatible firmware in external interfaces, and bug fixes in the OS. And many vendors won't be producing drivers for new interfaces for XP, so when upgrade time comes a knocking, say hello to Vista x64 :-)

If anyone had been eager to try HW on Vista early on, they would have quickly found out that wasn't a workable option. Works now, as long as your midi or audio interface vendors have Vista drivers (apparently some are still lagging). Didn't then.

Of course, there are quite a few Mac users having no problems of any kind(probably most), and for reasons unknown, not all of us with them have the same ones. Who knows?

Certainly nothing new.

On the other hand, those of us using Windows 64 bit are happily loading all the biggest organs - the ones Jim has mentioned and more - in 24bit, also with multiple audio, but with none of the same memory (or any other) problems.


That's because the 64-bit version of HW for Mac hasn't been released yet. And if we'd leave Martin alone, he might have time get it done :-)

I've been running XP x64 in a Bootcamp partition, and although Bootcamp isn't designed to handle x64 (no 64-bit driver set for Windows, unfortunately), it's perfectly doable with a few 3rd party drivers. Not something I'd like to live with for general purposes, but works fine for HW. I took it down for a while, but recently put it back up so I won't have to compromise when the Metz arrives.

All in all, this seems to me to be mainly a matter of taste


Pretty much, I'd have to agree.
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Postby mdyde » Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:39 am

Hello Geoff,

I've genuinely got no reason to be biased between one platform or another, but I'm not sure that the relative merits are being put forward fairly and dispassionately.

The Mac user camp seems to be saying it's not all that bad, despite all the doom and gloom at the start of this post, and that provided the organs are confined to 16bit then most of them can be made to work OK in Mac, even with the additional limitations of Leopard.

On the other hand, those of us using Windows 64 bit are happily loading all the biggest organs - the ones Jim has mentioned and more - in 24bit, also with multiple audio, but with none of the same memory (or any other) problems.

So I'm still asking myself what are the particular benefits of Mac that make it the recommended platform.


It does also say on the 'new Mac or PC' page:

Of course, if you're a skilled PC user or have lots of Windows software that you want to continue to use, then you may prefer a PC, and it's perfectly possible to get equally amazing performance from a PC, especially if you build it yourself. However, our experience is that it is generally a much more involved process, with many more variables, uncertainties and risks, which is the main reason we would recommend a Mac for most users.

In general, if you are considering buying a computer to run Hauptwerk and you do not have much experience with building computers, diagnosing driver and hardware compatibilities, and so forth, we would recommend either buying an Apple Mac or buying a PC from a company that offers ready-made high-performance PCs designed and tested for use with Hauptwerk. The MIDI hardware section on our website lists several such companies.


Hence I think that's perfectly fair: you can get equally good results with a new PC if you either buy one that's been specifically designed and optimised for Hauptwerk, or if you have the skill/experience and time to build and troubleshoot it yourself.

My experience is that a large proportion of Hauptwerk's users don't have that experience and have difficulties with building PCs themselves, and as a result need a large amount of help from us in sorting out and advising on hardware and driver issues and incompatibilities, etc., which takes a lot of time for them and also for us. In general, those problems are extremely rare on the Mac platform.

However, if you have that time and experience then that's fine, and Windows is a perfectly good platform for Hauptwerk.

The main limitation of the Mac as a platform for Hauptwerk at the moment is just that there isn't yet a 64-bit port of Hauptwerk available for it, and hence the amount of memory that can be used is limited (as it is with 32-bit versions of Windows). However, that 64-bit port will be done as soon as we possibly can, and is the single highest development priority that we will be looking at properly once remaining v3.00 support has been dealt with (and a v3.01 patch produced to mop up any issues found).

Of course there are a few teething problems on Leopard, which is to be expected since it was only been released about 4 weeks ago, but I think it's fair to say that the number of people with Hauptwerk problems on Leopard is very, very small (probably about 7-8 if you count those with driver problems as well). Any major new operating system or version of a major software product will have a few things that only surface when it's unleashed on the world as a whole, and Vista was no exception too.

Best regards,
Martin.
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Postby solotibia » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:23 pm

Having worked for many years in the IT industry, we always advised our clients not to update to the latest OS for at least 12 months, preferably 18 months. That they should not risk their SOE (Standard Operating Environment) stability just to prematurely enrich some uninterested IT company's shareholders.

Thankfully, my local Apple dealer still has not received any Leopard stock, for which I am eternally grateful. Otherwise I could have been tempted not to take my own advice by installing the latest, and supposedly greatest.

I see no reason whatsoever why I need to update to Leopard at this point. It is a step backwards for HW. When the 64 bit port of HW3 is available, probably at about that time all parties will have their acts together (Apple, 3rd party drivers, etc), then, and only then, does it make sense to me to update to Leopard.

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Postby jds » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:04 am

I've having an excellent experience with HW 3 and XP64. I'm guessing that at this point the only operating system that can fully utilize all of Hauptwerks' potential is Windows XP64.

Dual 5150 Xeons and 8gb RAM the largest sample sets available work flawlessly on Windows XP64.
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