Anacreon Synthesizer | Anacreon 2.5 Released

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:29 pm

@pough I sure as heck hope it's processor related - that would be an easy fix. Is this crashing happening when you load / save presets? Just randomly? When you try to delete Anacreon? Some weird combination?

I'm going to try to crash this thing - if anyone has any tips on how to make it crash, that seems to be something that everyone but me is good at. (a scary place to be if you're a developer!)

Thank you for your steadfast support - I sincerely hope we can get this plugin to a point where you can truly enjoy it without crashes as soon as possible.

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bmanic
KVRAF
8739 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:01 pm

There's something really cool about Anacreon and it's filters + envelope combo. I managed to get a pretty solid mainstream EDM trance thing going with minimal effort. I was actually messing around with AriesVerb, creating my own reverb algorithms and used Anacreon as the source feeding it.

This is the end result of about an hour of tweaking. Simply opening the filters with the envelope and manually adjusting the reverb send to AriesVerb. 2 oscillators used, both in stereo and with 3 detuned parts per osc.

Anacreon doing that mainstream EDM thing.. (Google Drive link. Mp3)

EDIT: Here is a version without any reverb

I'm especially pleased by how Anacreon sounds when the filters are closed. The solidness of the pluck sound when it's really muffled is impressive!
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:24 pm

@bmanic listening to it now - that's such a cool pattern! So nice to hear it without clicks. I like the reverb sound - I tend to do a similar thing where I take a Ableton's built in reverb and compressor and do this: Anacreon->Reverb(10% wet)->Compressor(-12 db threshold, high ratio, short attack, medium release). I like the exploding reverb you have in this sound - I'm going to check out that plugin.

I hear what you're talking about on the low end - I definitely spent some time obsessing over that specific use case when I was designing the filter, I tend to do that mainstream EDM thing too! I initially wanted to make a specialty supersaw synth and it kind of evolved from there.

I think Anacreon has two things going for it that help produce that "thump":

Thing 1 - filter algorithm tweaks:

digital ladder filters have an issue where they lose low end when the resonance is cranked up. I believe I wrote a couple of different compensation algorithms to fix that and chose the one that sounded most "rubbery".

Some code from my implementation:
buf_i.y0 = buf_i.lp = limit6(in_i*drive]) + (buf_i.r*(in_i+buf_i.feedback));
[more filter stuff here]
buf_i.feedback = limit6(-buf_i.lp);

See the "in_i" term in the bold section? That's a duplicate of the input signal being boosted by the resonance parameter. That limit6 function is the sixth version of a distortion curve I had been tuning for a while. Note how the feedback is distorted separately from the main input - I think that's what makes the bassy plucks so solid.

Thing 2 - maximally fast oscillator flyback

I use an algorithm that lets me push the limit on how fast the oscillators wrap, which produces more high end content. Even though that high end content is well above the cutoff, I think that the resulting transient ends up being pretty phase coherent and imparts more energy to the filter.

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bmanic
KVRAF
8739 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:31 pm

I also like your envelope shapes a lot. They are very intuitive to tweak and sound pretty much perfect at any lengths.. so well done there too! :)
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:49 pm

@bmanic - the envelopes are exponential. I'm not sure how most synths do it, but I assumed exponential envelopes were pretty standard? On second thought, true exponential decay can be computationally expensive if not optimized properly. Here's a graph of the envelope curves I'm using: https://www.desmos.com/calculator/ibbawq2qe1.

The first slider (t_d) is the decay time parameter (in samples, so this is a very fast decay curve). The second slider (Clamp) is the point at which we decide it's fully decayed - exponential envelopes never really reach zero.

From those parameters and the various equations in that graph, we get "a".

"a" is the number that gets multiplied by itself repeatedly until the value reaches "Clamp".

If "a" were 0.85, and the clamp value were 0.01 then these would be the samples decaying from 1.0 to 0.0
1.0
0.85
0.7225
0.614125
0.52200625
0.4437053125
0.377149515625
0.32057708828125
0.272490525039062
0.231616946283203
0.196874404340723
0.167343243689614
0.142241757136172
0.120905493565746
0.102769669530884
0.087354219101252
0.074251086236064
0.063113423300654
0.053646409805556
0.045599448334723
0.038759531084514
0.032945601421837
0.028003761208562
0.023803197027277
0.020232717473186
0.017197809852208
0.014618138374377
0.01242541761822
0.010561604975487
0.008977364229164 -> this number is less than "Clamp", which is set to 0.01, so when this sample is calculated, the value gets forced to zero and the envelope moves onto the next stage.

At any rate, this is just an emulation of how capacitors charge and discharge. The slew limiters operate the same way.

Edit I'm glad you like them, thank you for saying so!

teacue
KVRian
585 posts since 22 Jun, 2003 from Germany

Post Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:59 pm

Erich.Pfister wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:52 pm
@teacue - it sounds like you are suffering from buffer underrun. Are you using an ASIO driver? If not, you can get a significant performance advantage by using one. Check out: http://www.asio4all.org/

I'm going to go look into what SSE operations your processor supports just to make sure I'm not missing out on some optimization for your CPU.
I do use an ASIO driver.

Sure one should never exclude the possibility that audio interface and drivers may play a role but considering the fact that the interface I use (HDSPe RayDat) is from RME (https://www.rme-audio.de/hdspe-raydat.html) which is a well known and considered german manufacturer also known to provide some of the best ASIO drivers I tend to think that this crackles issue has another reason.

To me it is either that my PC is too weak or Cubase is doing something wrong or I have some bad settings somewhere or Anacreon is doing something wrong.

Therefore I would like to refine my question.
You mentioned that the specs of your PC are weaker than mine.
1. Can you use the two presets I mentioned on your system polyphonically (at least three tones) without crackles?
2. Would you consider that my specs are to weak for your plugin?

I would like to mention something about how these crackles occur, maybe it is helpfull.
In Cubase there is an "Audio Performance Window".
It is a kind of graphically meter which shows "average load", "real-time peaks" and "disk-performance".
It means for example that when the performance is at its maximum you can clearly see the meter peaking in the yellow/red area.
Otherwise the meter stays in a blue area.
Curiously when I play the same three tones chords several times in succession, let say 16 bars long one time each bar, the crackles appear not always but completely randomly.

I attach two pics to illustrate this.
BTW these peaks do not alway produce a crackle, but when there is some crackle there is then such a peak.
And again this peaks do not appear regularly but completely randomly.
Not only this but it can also happen that I can play these 16 bars without any crackle, then I play the same bars again and crackles appear.

Without peak
anacreon-without-peak.jpg

With peak
anacreon-with-peak.jpg
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teacuemusic (Musicals)
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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:05 am

@teacue - there is a bug where crackling can occur when the main gain is set below 100%. In "plucky delay arp" the gain is set to 81%. Could you try this attached preset and see if you still get crackling? If the crackling goes away, then it was the envelope bug and will be fixed very soon.

Also, that seems like a lot of extra CPU load to me - I definitely don't think that's normal behavior in Cubase. Your computer specs appear to meet the requirements for Anacreon. I am trying to make Cubase work on my computer so I can test it here as well.
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teacue
KVRian
585 posts since 22 Jun, 2003 from Germany

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:42 am

Erich.Pfister wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:05 am
@teacue - there is a bug where crackling can occur when the main gain is set below 100%. In "plucky delay arp" the gain is set to 81%. Could you try this attached preset and see if you still get crackling? If the crackling goes away, then it was the envelope bug and will be fixed very soon.

Also, that seems like a lot of extra CPU load to me - I definitely don't think that's normal behavior in Cubase. Your computer specs appear to meet the requirements for Anacreon. I am trying to make Cubase work on my computer so I can test it here as well.
Thanks for your answer.
Unfortunately the preset with 100% makes no difference.
Crackling is still here.
teacuemusic (Musicals)
youtube

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:55 am

@teacue - now we know for sure that it's buffer underrun. Are you running the 64 bit version or the 32 bit version? If you feel comfortable doing so, could you send me your Cubase project file? I'll try to open it and see if I get crackling on my version of Cubase.

Edit looks like people have been having this issue with Cubase - it will be interesting to attach a debugger to the software while it's running in Cubase and see where it spends all of its CPU time. Maybe Cubase is doing something a little bit different from other DAWs and I can discover what it is!

teacue
KVRian
585 posts since 22 Jun, 2003 from Germany

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:14 am

Erich.Pfister wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:55 am
@teacue - now we know for sure that it's buffer underrun. Are you running the 64 bit version or the 32 bit version?
I use the 64 bit version.
Erich.Pfister wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:55 am
If you feel comfortable doing so, could you send me your Cubase project file? I'll try to open it and see if I get crackling on my version of Cubase.
I would suggest there is no need for a project as it is easy to reproduce.
I simply play the same chord 16 bar long at tempo 120 (see the attached image)
anacreon-chords.jpg
Erich.Pfister wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:55 am
Edit looks like people have been having this issue with Cubase - it will be interesting to attach a debugger to the software while it's running in Cubase and see where it spends all of its CPU time. Maybe Cubase is doing something a little bit different from other DAWs and I can discover what it is!
OK.
I am glad I am not alone then it is probably not a problem of my system.
Edit: Ah now I see that you pointed to an older thread!
I thought it was about Anacreon and Cubase.
Well I have a lot of VSTis and at the moment only Anacreon and Oberhausen (from Plugin Alliance) show this behaviour.
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Last edited by teacue on Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
teacuemusic (Musicals)
youtube

teacue
KVRian
585 posts since 22 Jun, 2003 from Germany

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:35 am

I forgot that you are not a Cubase user and it may take more time for you to programm these chords!
Sorry, here is the Cubase project:
anacreon-crackles.zip
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teacuemusic (Musicals)
youtube

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:13 am

@teacue - I appreciate the project file! I just wanted it to be guaranteed identical. Also, I just got Cubase installed and running. Will post soon with test results

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:23 am

@teacue - I don't get any crackling or any real-time peak on the "Audio Performance" meter at 512 sample buffer size, 44100Hz. Here's a screenshot:
CPU Usage Screenshot.png
Edit - this is cubase version 10.5.20
cubase version.png
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Last edited by Erich.Pfister on Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:29 am

@teacue - here's an updated link to the problem on steinberg's site. https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewto ... 6&t=178016 Could you check your version number and see if it's one of the ones that has problems?

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Erich.Pfister
KVRist
120 posts since 24 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:00 am

Anacreon 2.5.2.2 released - bugged envelope clicks should all be gone now. Thanks to @bmanic for creating the patch that found the problem!

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