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Overdriving CPU

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Overdriving CPU

Postby Ken Hager » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:09 pm

I have a refurbished generic pc. When it was new it apparently ran Windows XP but when refurbished was upgraded to Windows 7 Professional. At home it's simply connected to a Yamaha PSR 340 el cheapo keyboard, but occasionally I take it to church and run it from their Viscount Prestige 60. In both cases, using St. Anne, it works fine as long as I don't approach organ. When I do, it overdrives the CPU something fierce giving me horrible static and dropped notes. It sounds like an amplifier being pushed to the point of clipping badly. At the moment I cannot afford a dedicated tower strictly for Hauptwerk nor a "real" license, so until I can do that I'm stuck with using this mickey mouse setup. How do I overcome the CPU problem? I don't have a great deal of knowledge on modern computers. I got my A.S. in Electronics Technology back in 1983, when the microprocessor that was all the rage was a Zklog Z80A, and I actually learned on an 8088, so knowledge wise I'm rather a dinosaur! !
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby jkinkennon » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:24 pm

Are you feeding the audio back into the organ? I'm not completely clear about your setup but it sounds as if you need to open the audio window in Hauptwerk and lower the volume. If it's set at -10dB then try -20. I'm guessing that the organ input is more sensitive than what you use at home and that you are in fact overdriving the organ's amplifier with the computer's audio. Get to the audio level from View->Large floating control panels->Audio, MIDI, and Performance.

If that isn't the problem then tell us more about your equipment and how you have it connected.
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby Ken Hager » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:39 pm

It feeds into the organ, but by virtue of the fact that I'm having the identical problem at home I don't think that's the issue. At home I just have the tiny computer speakers, and at church I have the tower output going through a Behringer U-Connect stereo audio interface to the auxiliary inputs to the organ. I've tried several registrations including one with nothing but reeds, mixtures, super couplers and 16' flues in the pedal, and that distorts some, but not as bad as full organ. I know the CPU is overdriven because pulling up that mini floating panel I watch the meter peg into the red.
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby jkinkennon » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:07 am

I see now. It's definitely going to involve the PC if you're maxing the CPU meter. I know folks are getting good results on i5 an i7 hardware. I've run the HW free version for testing my projects in the garage and just barely manage with my six year old core-duo (or something like that) laptop. I'd be reluctant to try and get by on less than an i5 CPU for normal use. Check what the CPU hardware is on the System page. If it's 2 cores or less it will be difficult to wring much performance out of the PC. Good luck! I should add that I also remember the Z80s very well.
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby student » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:19 am

Me - a Hauptwerk Free Edition user.
I use a quite old i5 (it's four years old). I do get acceptable polyphony out of it, much more than the Free Edition supports. I have tested with the trial option and I can get ~2400 with every realism feature turned on and memory compression enabled.

But - I use an ESI sound card with ASIO drivers! I get that polyphony figures starting with a buffer of 512 samples. With 256 it's a somewhat less (I don't remember the exact number, it's been a while since I have tested it). I don't think that there is the possibility that you will be able to reach those numbers with an on-board audio chip, but it probably depends on the actual chip / drivers used.

Now - about old systems and slow CPUs. I had a laptop (now my daughter has got it) with an entry level AMD CPU - dual core if you count them - that was so slow it barely could run anything. I had the impression that it emulates some hardware features via microcode, I didn't even bothered to install Hauptwerk on it. It's only used for web browsing and anything a bit more taxing - like a Flash game or youtube video - overdrives it. I also worked on Core 2 duo and that could kind of run St. Anne. So what I want to say is that it's more about the micro-architecture than the number of cores, but... slow is slow!

Can you try the Hauptwerk organ with a more modern computer? Maybe someone at church has one and can help you out. My work computer is an i7 laptop and I can get St. Anne running quite decent with the Direct Sound output if you accept a bit of latency - but I only toyed around to show Hauptwerk to some co-workers, I don't actually use it for playing. Still, you should try out such a setup and maybe draw a conclusion from there.
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby mdyde » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:39 am

Hello Ken,

Thanks very much for the interest in Hauptwerk.

Ken Hager wrote:I have a refurbished generic pc. When it was new it apparently ran Windows XP but when refurbished was upgraded to Windows 7 Professional. At home it's simply connected to a Yamaha PSR 340 el cheapo keyboard, but occasionally I take it to church and run it from their Viscount Prestige 60. In both cases, using St. Anne, it works fine as long as I don't approach organ. When I do, it overdrives the CPU something fierce giving me horrible static and dropped notes. It sounds like an amplifier being pushed to the point of clipping badly. At the moment I cannot afford a dedicated tower strictly for Hauptwerk nor a "real" license, so until I can do that I'm stuck with using this mickey mouse setup. How do I overcome the CPU problem?


What's the make/model and clock speed of your CPU? That should give us an idea of how much 'horsepower' it would be expected to have. Also, how much RAM does your PC have? (You can check all of those things by right-clicking on the 'This PC' node in Windows Explorer (or equivalent) and selecting 'Properties'.

Also, what audio interface are you using? If it's the PC's built-in audio output, if you haven't already done so, try using the freeware ASIO4All driver with it: http://www.asio4all.com/ . (Reboot after installing, configure the driver to use the desired PC audio output, then select the 'ASIO4All' entry as the audio device on Hauptwerk's 'General settings | Audio outputs' screen.)

This document (linked on the 'Requirements' section of our website) has lots of general background information on audio interfaces and their drivers: https://www.hauptwerk.com/clientuploads/documentation/PDF/HauptwerkBackgroundTechnicalInfoOnComputerHardware.pdf

Ken Hager wrote:but occasionally I take it to church and run it from their Viscount Prestige 60


In case it's relevant, just a gentle reminder that you do actually need a licensed edition of Hauptwerk to use it for a public performance -- the Free Edition is only allowed to be used for home personal use:

13.1. The Hauptwerk Free Edition may be used for non-commercial, home personal use only. (In particular, you may not use the Free Edition for public performances or for any type of public installation, whether permanent or temporary.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby Ken Hager » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:49 pm

Martin, thank you for your response. My tower is an off-brand "MPC" running an Intel Pentium 4 single core processor at 3.0 Ghz with 3 Gb RAM. My OS is Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. I have no idea what the sound card is but it's pretty basic. When at church (thank you also for making me aware of the restriction on public performance with the Free Edition) I use a Behringer U-Connect USB Audio interface with simple stereo in/out. I don't use it at home because I don't have anything decent to connect it to. I know the speakers are my weakest link, but I don't dare buy anything more powerful living in a 1-bedroom senior citizen/handicapped apartment building with paper thin walls and floors!! I will investigate the free asio driver you mentioned. I WILL be getting an advanced license as soon as I can afford to do so, but am just returning to work next week after 2 months medical leave for shoulder replacement surgery, during which time we had zero income. Needless to say I have bigger problems to solve first!! I also know that either before or immediately after the license I need to purchase a dedicated tower strictly for Hauptwerk, and will build my system from there out as funds become available. For the moment I simply need to wring as much out of my dinosaur as possible.
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby Ken Hager » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:56 pm

Student and jkinkennon, thank you also for your help. If you read my reply to Martin above, you will get a little better info on my computer and situation. Basically I'm limited right now due to finances or should I say the lack thereof. Gotta make the best of my dinosaur!
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby mdyde » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:03 am

Thanks, Ken.

A 3 GHz Pentium 4 (32-bit) should be able to run Hauptwerk fine, but you might need to do a little tweaking/disabling, since the default Hauptwerk settings are set for more-modern CPUs. I'd recommend:

- Make sure you're using the current version of Hauptwerk (currently v4.2.1), which can be checked via 'Help | About ...'. (The latest versions have significant performance enhancements over older versions.)

- Make sure you're using an ASIO driver (e.g. ASIO4All if you audio interface doesn't have a manufacturer-supplied one).

- Set Hauptwerk's polyphony limit setting to 256. (For more details see the 'Performance tuning: Determining and limiting polyphony' section in the main user guide -- pages 208-212 in the current v4.2.1 version.)

- Try disabling some of Hauptwerk's realism models (e.g. interpolation and pipe EQ). The 'Performance tuning: Disabling Hauptwerk's models' section in the Hauptwerk user guide (pages 206-207) covers that.

- If that doesn't solve it (i.e. if Hauptwerk's 'CPU' meter still goes into the red) then also disable the swell box filters and/or harmonic-shaping filters.

- If that doesn't solve it then try reducing the polyphony limit still further, e.g. to 128. However, I very much doubt that would be necessary, since I'd expect a Pentium 4 easily to be handle a polyphony well in excess of 256 (the maximum that the Free Edition allows) with Hauptwerk's various filters and interpolation disabled.

Best wishes for a swift recovery from the shoulder operation.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby Owen Jones » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:34 pm

A CPU with 8 threads will coast thru, I have tried many PCs over the years this has been the best result to date. Out of date equipment usually seems to cause a headache or two.
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby Ken Hager » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:24 pm

Martin,

Just a quick note to let you and the others know that I FINALLY had the time (have returned to work, shoulder replacement HIGHLY successful) to download the ASIO4All driver and adjust my polyphony to 256 and.... problem solved!!! Thank you so very much for your help. I couldn't get the polyphony testing organ to work, but the distortion in St. Anne is GONE, at least with my home keyboard and midget computer speakers. I can't wait to try it out at church (not for worship, just practice! ) through the Viscount speakers. They're not as good as the Behringer 2031a's that I will EVENTUALLY have when I build my real setup, but they beat the heck out of computer speakers!!! Thanks again for the help! May God richly bless you and yours.

Ken Hager
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby mdyde » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:14 am

Thanks very much, Ken.

Glad to hear it helped, and that the shoulder operation was a success.
Best regards,
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Re: Overdriving CPU

Postby engrssc » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:11 pm

Always find the stories and situations behind questions and inquiries posted here to be interesting. There's a lot of "people stuff" intermingled between the "tech stuff".

Best to you Ken. You probably have found Hauptwerk "success" to be a self fulfilling goal. And there are many dedicated, ingenious folks around here to help make that success happen..

For myself, I hesitated a couple years to join the Hauptwerk "family" 10+ years ago as I had been very involved with MidiTzer at the time. All said and done, I'm glad to be "here".

Rgds,
Ed
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