Most annoying uneccessary technology: Pre scanning of plugins, please DON'T!!!

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
KVRAF
2174 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:51 am

rasmusklump wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:09 am
Scotty wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:02 am
Cubase does a full scan from scratch when the clocks move forward or backwards. It is very inconvenient at times. It quickly scans and updates at any other time except for twice a year I always sigh as I watch the process slowly unfurl in front of my eyes and apologize if I have someone in the studio and I have forgotten to run it earlier that day. First world problem and all that jazz.
This is gone for nearly 2 years now....
I am running 9. 5 so that would explain it. I have a licence to 11 but I am waiting for a 5950x so I can build a modern PC ... my current system is on Windows 7. I'll move to windows 10 with the new build. Can't get parts now.

KVRian
1210 posts since 13 May, 2004 from Germany

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:08 am

I think the change came with 10.0

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KVRAF
10874 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:16 am

Last time I had Maschine scan for plugins it took a full day. It would get stuck on demo plugins that had iLok protection and just sit there waiting for me to click “skip.” Fantastically annoying.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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KVRAF
10874 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:46 am

Why not scan for files and build a database of what’s in your plugin folders, but then do a full scan upon trying to open the plugin for the first time?
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRist
247 posts since 8 Jul, 2004 from UK

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:46 pm

Thing that bugs me in S1 startup is "Starting Melodyne Integration". That step takes longer on my system than all the other steps added together. What's it doing? Super annoying, especially as I only use Melodyne in about 1% of my songs. I've even thought about uninstalling it, in spite of having the paid version. But I don't know if its Melodyne itself or the S1 infrastructure to support it.

KVRAF
4337 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:16 pm

mystran wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:43 am
DJ Warmonger wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:35 am
Why is it not necessary at all? Simply because you could scan a plugin just when its needed for the first time,
In order to "need it", DAW first needs to know if a plugin even exists so it can show it in a plugin browser. That's why scanning is necessary ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Nonsense. There are hosts like FL where you need to scan explicitly (ie. there's a button in the plugin list) and even then get a "fast scan" option where it just finds all files that look like they could be plugins (ie. basically all DLLs for VST2, etc).

I'm pretty sure there are also some (smaller) hosts where you can pretty much just drop any file into the host and if it looks like a plugin the host will try to load it and give you an error if it isn't.

The only reason to "need to" scan is if you insist on trying to automatically categories plugins, but we all know that doesn't work anyway, so it's just entirely pointless.

Excuse me for butting in here. Not a dev. Not even a power user. Well, maybe a bit of a power user...

I've commented a few times on this, most recently on the 'fastest daw' thread. The point being that EnergyXT2 does not scan for VST on startup. It just takes a directory and reads it. This way you can actually install new plugins while the program is still open and just do a 'refresh' (right click on the vst plugs in the left most pane).

It works 95 percent of the time, which is a pretty good indicator for testing hundreds and hundreds of plugins over 32 bit and 64 bit OS's. WinXP, Win7, WinX. Works the same.

Sometimes something baulks and goes wrong. Most the time there is no problem. This is the reason why EnergyXT2 is the no.1 VST plugin tester on the planet when you want a reliable DAW that will load up what you just installed. It's 32 bit only, of course. But it works on 64-bit systems, doh!

I suggest using versions before version 3! The more recent the better. 2.7 is good.

As I said in my previous posts: XT2 just does not scan VST folders or plugins at all! It just lists them in its directory structure, then calls them, then loads them if they are available. No other program (DAW) in existence is as fast. It is absolutely instantaneous. 95 percent of the time. If there is a problem, well, there was another problem before, and it has little to do with or being able to be solved by 'reading' and 'scanning' VSTs.

I have no vested interest in EnergyXT2. I'm merely using it as an example.

I also quoted Steve Duda, who said that he uses FLStudio to test VSTs, and for pretty much the same reason: it starts up fast and loads 'em up quick. Well, I use FLStudio too for the same reason, for x64 plugs of course. If it is 32-bit then there is no contest. But yeah, FLStudio is very fast, even though the latest plugin management options can be confusing. Fruity Loops is the Kludge of all Kludges. And that is what makes it such an excellent Kludge - it just works! Clumsy as it is sometimes. They really did nail that jelly to the tree and kick that dead whale down the beach! When it came to that particular Gothic Monstrosity and Frankenstein's Monster of all Monsters.

I'm being flippant. But this is no game to me. The majority of my income, and more importantly, the majority of my time, is spent doing this shit. Not developing. Not even sound designing. But loading up plugins across various system architectures to see what works, what doesn't work, and what works well. Often for compatibility reasons and not an exercise in intellectual pursuit (though sometimes it is).

But lets' get down to it uh?

HAVE YOU TRIED "REAPER".

Yes, I have, and that can be quite infuriating when it comes to loading new plugins on startup. There are several threads on it on the net. It's not so simple. Did you know you can't just stop REAPER from scanning for plugins sometimes? I didn't know that. Not a power user. But f**k me, what a pain in the f**king arse!.

I'm not a total newb when it comes to this. I've helped out other well respected devs with the intricacies and frailties of the whole REAPER scanning process. But even this caught me out.

So REAPER is fast when on certain systems and under certain conditions, but boy, can you stop the f**ker scanning when it just decides it is going to anyway? I'm probably doing something wrong. My bad. I'm a dumb arse.

My internet connection just cut out again. For the 6th time this week, even though I upgraded to fiber.

A lot can be learned by how EnergyXT2 scans or rather doesn't scan, but just reads, without validating its plugins, and 95 percent of the time just loading them perfectly. That's a better success rate than some programs that do scan!

I'm not a dev. I don't know what it is doing or is not doing. All I know is that if I find a 32-bit plugin on the internet, I can download it and install it and I don't even need to stop EXT2, I can just refresh, and it will load up perfectly (95 percent of the time), said plugin in to a working project. And if the plug don't work, well, it probably won't work in any other program either. 95 percent of the time.

FLStudio is fast. I use it for loading up my Tranzistow GUI changes in the x64 version. Not a DAW out there faster than that. But if just doing 32-bit versions, then yeah, XT2 is your boy!

Having said all that, the most recent version of Ableton that runs on my win7 system (v10) is also pretty fast for loading up x64 GUI's too. Can even be faster sometimes than FL, all things being equal.

I think that Ableton Live does some kind of check to read VST folder changes but doesn't scan. It's not doing that deep scanning shit that Cubase and Samplitude Studio One do, anyway. I don't think. All totally unnecessary. And useless.

I'm not really well versed in this and all my words should be taken with a big dose of caution. But I do use several DAWs.

FLStudio has become unwieldy. Ableton seems to be getting more efficient on the processor. Cubase, Samplitude et al are just as fat and bloated as they always were but hide it well. Till SHTF. Which is quite often in their eyes. :o

EnergyXT2 is just the same joke of a DAW that it always was (except to the initiated), and has nothing to prove.

If you are looking at VST loading time, check it out. See what it does or does not do.

I'll say this one last time: it works, 95 percent of the time, which is as much, if not more than most any other DAW.

It's doing something right. 32-bit or not.

And like it or not. Cubase and Samplitude et al might be kings of the DAW world, but sometimes you just want to fire up a DAW and make a bit of music. I realise that is two very different demographics between the 'never finish any stuff' crowd and the 'I really need to commit this professional project to tape' crowd.

But both could benefit from reduced plugin load time, and the useless waste of time and resources that is 'plugin scanning'.

Then again, I'm out of my depth and there is probably other ways of looking at it and doing it. No one is going to start using XT2 now, and Cubase et al are so bloated that they will always remain so...

Just another viewpoint...

KVRAF
7075 posts since 17 Feb, 2005

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:41 pm

Plugin scanning in REAPER was the only reason I didn't like using it.

KVRian
564 posts since 1 Sep, 2007

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:48 pm

codec_spurt wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:16 pm
Did you know you can't just stop REAPER from scanning for plugins sometimes? I didn't know that. Not a power user. But f**k me, what a pain in the f**king arse!.
...//...
So REAPER is fast when on certain systems and under certain conditions, but boy, can you stop the f**ker scanning when it just decides it is going to anyway? I'm probably doing something wrong. My bad. I'm a dumb arse.
Didn't read all of your post so may have missed the context and or point (specially since I'm really tired atm) but, FWIW just wanted to say that it's not the case anymore.

Reaper has got an option to abort the scanning process on start up and there's a option now to disabled it all together...as well as a few manual Re-Scan options...like for new or modified plugins and so on.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5465 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:08 am

melomood wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:55 am
I'm not going to waste paragraphs arguing your ridiculously finite statement about plug in scanning
If you're having a problem,figure it out and stop blaming the tools
Ok you don’t have an argument. I am mainly using Bitwig, they figured out how to do it.
I just loaded DaVinci they failed, but at least they did not prevent me from working except for an annoying window which even tells me on which plugin it fails. But why should I go to my plugin folder throw that plugin out, which works fine in Bitwig, and later move it back? And that with a couple of plugins? Roli wants a permission each time, others need to talk to their authorization servers before advancing, little unique gems of hobby programmers have other problems... All that interferes the process, and for the task you want to do you even don’t need it, but they all are capable to load plugins...
Programmers who insist on that are bureaucrats in their minds. I prefer the browser of my OS over any more sophisticated browser in a host if it helps to get rid of that “scanning all in advance” paradigm... Bitwig has a gorgeous browser as well btw...
Its actually great to install plugins while Bitwig is open. If a plugin needs some attention for authorization for example Bitwig will notify me and I can proceed immediately. If it just passes I can use it immediately as well...
Last edited by Tj Shredder on Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

KVRAF
6256 posts since 12 Feb, 2006 from Helsinki, Finland

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:09 am

Kr3eM wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:48 pm
Reaper has got an option to abort the scanning process on start up and there's a option now to disabled it all together...as well as a few manual Re-Scan options...like for new or modified plugins and so on.
Reaper's biggest problem is that the whole UI seems to be designed with the primary intention of violating every UX principle anyone has ever come up with. It is literally pretty much a text-book example of what not to do. It's not about being "different" either as others like FL, Renoise, even Live are quite "different" from your traditional "linear DAW" yet with all of these, once you get the basic hang of it you can guess where the stuff is probably found. Meanwhile in REAPER, you spend 15 minutes staring at the export dialog trying to figure out why there's a gazillion buttons and none of them are labelled "Save" or "Export" even if that's literally the only thing you're interested in.

I've never noticed there being any abort-button in the splash-screen where it's scanning. If there's an option for it somewhere else, then it's yet another UX failure.
Preferred pronouns would be "it/it" because according to this country, I'm a piece of human trash.

KVRian
564 posts since 1 Sep, 2007

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:52 am

It was added very recently but the scan window with a cancel option has been around a little bit longer...I think.

Regarding UX that's a whole other topic by itself and not something I'm going to discuss. However being one who switched to Reaper about two years ago (from 12 years of using Live and 15 years of Cubase before that) I can relate to the frustration.

My intention was only to inform that things has change
rprsc1.png


Like most of these kind of settings, they are located in Options/Preferences...
rprsc2.png

As a side note, I had to do a portable install and launch it in order to screen cap the startup splash to get a "scan window" since I almost never see it even though my VST folder contains 986 dll items (and 6,665 files in total)... I've read things been bad, specially with certain plugins and the amount of presets, however I would assume its a thing of the past now.




mystran wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:09 am
Kr3eM wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:48 pm
Reaper has got an option to abort the scanning process on start up and there's a option now to disabled it all together...as well as a few manual Re-Scan options...like for new or modified plugins and so on.
Reaper's biggest problem is that the whole UI seems to be designed with the primary intention of violating every UX principle anyone has ever come up with. It is literally pretty much a text-book example of what not to do. It's not about being "different" either as others like FL, Renoise, even Live are quite "different" from your traditional "linear DAW" yet with all of these, once you get the basic hang of it you can guess where the stuff is probably found. Meanwhile in REAPER, you spend 15 minutes staring at the export dialog trying to figure out why there's a gazillion buttons and none of them are labelled "Save" or "Export" even if that's literally the only thing you're interested in.

I've never noticed there being any abort-button in the splash-screen where it's scanning. If there's an option for it somewhere else, then it's yet another UX failure.
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KVRist
119 posts since 8 Mar, 2003

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:24 pm

Urs wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:04 am
Why would a newbie have 100+ plug-ins?

Why can't all DAW cache the information they gather once from a plug-in alongside a file modification date or something of the dll and be done with it until that file modification or something date changes?
In Jeskola Buzz we even don't look at the modification date(vst2), if it's in the data base the vst does not get scanned anymore. Theoretically shell plugins like waveshell(vst2) needs to be scanned everytime as they can contain effects and instruments at the same time, this can take minutes for scanning, the host has to instantiate all plugins of the shell plugin. Therefore in Jeskola Buzz we don't scan the shell plugins at startup, only on demand. Same goes for vst3 plugins as they can also contain multiple plugins.

Also a host should be able to handle crashes/hangs. In Jeskola Buzz all vsts(32/64bit) get scanned in a separate process in a sandbox, if something crashes it does not crash the host. As far as concerned hangs we give the vst 30 seconds for instantiation, after tihs time the user can select if it's an instrument or an effect or even unknown. Unknown dll can be still be loaded, if it is successful the database gets updated.

Background scanning should be also no problem for most hosts, not possible in Buzz as the plugins get queried on startup.

KVRist
37 posts since 25 Apr, 2011 from IL

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:16 pm

I've written a few hosting apps for my personal needs that just load a VST from the file system/by file name/etc. It's definitely much faster to use for many situations, as well as debugging and all that.

But - the plugin format presents some problems because a single VST file can report multiple "Components". The classic case would be all the variants like Mono/Stereo/MonoToStereo, but some companies take it to the extreme. For example Waves just have one "Shell" plugin file which dynamically loads all the different plugins you have installed by them.

So unless you actually load the thing at least once, you can never know which plugins are really there to even be able to choose them from a menu.

I do agree that on many cases it would be great if the DAW could optionally start without scanning new plugins/just scan specific ones that you need. It would be a good UX addition but the downside would be that the experience could be confusing/frustrating for less technical-oriented users.
Musician and audio plugins developer.

KVRist
119 posts since 8 Mar, 2003

Post Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:11 am

Theoretically shell plugins like waveshell(vst2) needs to be scanned everytime as they can contain effects and instruments at the same time, this can take minutes for scanning, the host has to instantiate all plugins of the shell plugin.
I also forgot to mention that a shell plugin may contain a changing number of plugins. Therefore Renoise for example scans the shell plugins each time on startup.

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KVRian
523 posts since 15 Jun, 2011 from Betwixt or between

Post Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:40 am

This thread is giving me bad flashbacks of Sony's godawful Plugin Manager nonsense in ACID 6/7... the sad thing is, from what I understand, Magix didn't re-write or replace any of what ended up making ACID unsuitable for a full-fledged DAW after acquiring the property from Sony.

I have literally thousands of plugins, and while REAPER does scan the new ones, it's been relatively painless; new REAPER version installs don't even re-scan all the folders the way they used to, but yes, having to set aside a good chunk of time, where I basically just check back to see if something ancient has given me some odd little Windows dialog box to close before the rest of scanning may proceed every ten minutes, for an hour... verily, it doth stink.
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Discontinue use if rash or irritation develops.

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