This is rather lengthy but I need help.

Okay. For more than a year I have been very satisified with VDL1. I was able to purchase London Orchestral concert percussion sample instrument to supply my front ensemble as well. So when I saw that VDL2 was coming out with everything in one tidy package that uses Kontakt player I thought that the ";wheel"; just may have been reinvented or at least made more efficient and convenient. So I couldn't pass this up. I received it Friday May 6th and imediatly went to work......I'm not sure it was the right move. First of all let's go back to all the details of my set-up:

Computer: Dell Inspiron 5150 Laptop
Pentium 4 HT 3.2 GHz Processor
1 Gig Ram
SigmaTel Audio (I'm not sure that this means anything. I use ASIO Direct X Full Duplex Driver when I'm running the VDL2 Kontakt Player.)
Kontakt 1.2.9
Sibelius 3.1.3 Build 18
Maple Midi
Oxygen 8 by M-Audio
External Hard drive 7200rpm firewire
London Orchestral Percussion
VDL1
VDL2 Template
This ";old"; system worked great. I used at least 15 channels in Kontakt without streaming from the external HD. I created a complete Percussion Score with 8.5 minutes of music. It played back flawlessly.

Now we get to this weekend. I updated Kontakt as far as I could only to find out that I need 1.5x or Kontakt2 to run VDL2. That stinks. As I found out after looking through the forum on VDL2 that the choppyness during playback is a common problem when using the Kontakt Player. I tried all of the remedies and it's still not as good as my old method. I even downloaded and used midiyoke. I used the VDL2 Template. I tried all of the settings and configurations to optimize playback. Still nothing better that the old system.

This is what I don't understand. I'll set up my old system and it will say that the physical memory is low I'll tell it to continue and it runs great anyway. I'll load VDL2 onto the provided Kontakt player with just Full Snare, Tenor, and Bass Drums and the playback is choppy. I do plan on upgrading my ram to 2Gig but at this point I don't think that this is the problem. I think that the provided Kontakt Player has a glitch in it. I would know this if I could compare it to using VDL2 sounds in Kontakt but my version won't work.

I haven't tried to use CubaseVST4 that I do have on my computer because I don't know anything about it. I have the Edirol Virtual SoundCanvas and I really don't know what it does either. I'm only 34 and not opposed to change but VDL2 it seems will require almost too much change especially the change that effects my wallet.

I'm open to any ideas.
I am using Windows XP Pro. I forgot to include that in my set up description.
Hey dirtman,

For starters, the ";full"; version of VDL2 snareline, tenorline, bassline, and cymline are larger than those of VDL1. There are more details in velocity as well as a much larger variety of sounds included in each instrument. So be careful not to compare VDL1 to VDL2 because they're actually quite different from one another. Are you loading the ";full"; or the ";lite"; versions?

By the sounds of your description, running in Kontakt is something that would benefit your situation. VDL2 (as well as the similar interface of GPO and many other Kontakt based libraries) is built on the Kontakt 1.5.3 engine which, as I know it, is an improved architechure from 1.2.x. Since the instruments in VDL2 were programmed in 1.5.3 format, they won't be backward compatible with your older version of Kontakt I'm afraid.

Choppy playback is most likely a system related symptom, and depending on the system, can usually be remedied with some tweaking. I'm not familiar with that soundcard, but what do the settings of your SOUNDCARD setup window (in VDL2) say? Are you able to differentiate between the ASIO and DirectX drivers, and/or play with latency settings? Also, have you spent any time experimenting with DFD settings? Loading ";lite"; instruments will certainly help performance, but even still may require some streaming.
SigmaTel is a common laptop onboard. Dell uses it extensively.
Try using DirectX, not ASIO. Also try adjusting the latency back a ways.

Defrag since install?

I have a pretty good guess here... you said that you got an alert box saying memory was low before. The alert is a very ";dumb"; alert in that it triggers whenever you have used 75% of your ram. You might have had a good amount of headroom with VDL, and now with VDL2 you're exceeding. 1 gig with a full ensemble can get you close. Watch your taskman to see if it loads up past 1gig when you load your instruments.

Also, if you are using different instruments for your pit stuff, they may be a different size as well.

It sounds like you got all of VDL1 in ram, and the new, bigger sounds aren't fitting. I know K 1.5.3 is more efficient, as soon as the settings are tweaked. But even tweaking Kontakt won't help if you're overloading your system.

BTW, do you have reverb on? How's the CPU in all this?
Jim,
Thanks again for the reply.
I have tried both full and lite versions. They are both just a little choppy. My idea of what the playback should sound like is that all rhythms should be placed perfectly in time and space.....evenly, just like we demand of our students. It's not the the playback is just awful but I would hesitate to play that for my students as not to give them the wrong demonstration of what the final product should sound like when we get it cleaned.

The settings on the soundcard are for Directx Full duplex. I have tried different settings on the DFD and I still come back to giving the playback quality a 95%

I will get my ram upgraded to 2 gig and get Kontakt 2. I'll bet this will get me where I want for perfect playback.

I didn't mean to sound like I was ditching VDL2 or offend anyone in anyway. I realize that the Battery files are much thicker thatn the previous. But my point of comparison was the sheer number of voices I was previously able to run at the same time smoothly vs. only running Snare,Tenor, Bass with VDL2 and Kontakt player.
May want to try MidiYoke instead of Maple, too...
Drumcat,
Yes, defraged.
Yes adjusted latency.
Will try other remedies.
Thank you.
Drumcat,
Done that.
Didn't make any difference.
This is coming from a ";mac"; guy, so take it with a grain of salt - I'm wondering if this problem may be attributed to your Direct X driver. Is there an option to switch it to ASIO in the soundcard (VDL2) Setup window? If not, is there an ASIO driver available for you to download?

Glad to hear it's close at least - this sort of problem is certainly not indicative of what we'd expect to hear, and the vast majority of VDL2 users have been having great success so far. I'm sure this is something that can be solved for you.
Ya know, I didn't specify what was choppy during playback..... any 16th note passage with diddles. Yep. It might make a difference to drumcat or Jimon what might be wrong. But, I'll bet it's still due to what both of you and I agree with in the fact that I just need more ram.

By the way drumcat I tried switching over to Direct sound in the interface options on the soundcard. I set the output device option to DS Sigmatel Audio but haven't tried DS Roland VSC (emulated). This seems to work a little better but the rolls are just ever so slightly choppy.

Jim,
I have the following options in the soundcard:

Interface options: ASIO
Direct Sound
MultiMedia

Output Device options: ASIO Digidesign
ASIO Multimedia
ASIO DirectX Full Duplex

This as well as what I described to drumcat above.

Thanks to you both for your help!
This might be really retentive, but you might want to check with MidiOx whether you're getting accurate time from Sibelius, too. MidiOx will tell you whether it's exact or not. Just a thought.

Also, within Sibelius, make sure you try playing back the score without page-scrolling on. I don't know if it was mentioned, but obviously if Sib goes back to the hard drive when it switches pages, it could be an issue.

Here's another test... do a page of 16th notes with slashes, a few measures at least, then 32nd notes. See if it reacts differently. If it does, the problem lies in the output...

Try that at varying tempos, and potentially large instruments -- maybe add some crescendos and de-s, too.
Thanks drumcat I'll give all of those a try.
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