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Sunday, 1 January 2012

My Lag Problem with EastWest Virtual Instruments on FL Studio

I've just managed to fix a horrible lag issue when working with EastWest virtual instruments. 

After I fixed it, I created a video documenting the problem and how I solved it.

In the video I was using instruments from EastWest Quantum Leap Goliath. For all the work I've done on the piece to date, I was tolerating a 4 - 5 seconds freeze-up on the software whenever I do any record, playback or song position jump. It always happens. I've tried to reduce the number of tracks using EW virtual instruments, but the lag remained all the same.

I was thinking of posting the problem on the FLipside Forum, but then I gave it one last try, tweaking with the audio buffer settings. 

It worked, thank God! :)

Here's the video on Vimeo.com

A little background: I am using a Dell I7 XPS L502X, running Windows 7 64-bit and FL Studio. I am also using the Korg Nanokey2 (usb controller), and my audio hardware is the onboard Realtek audio chip on Dell's motherboard.

To fix the problem, I went into the audio options and tweaked the buffer values. I did 20ms on the buffer, and about 40% offset value, and it worked for me. Buffer values differ from machine to machine, so different computers would have their own optimal setting for these values.

Now it's like a dream come true. I am feeling so unreal, getting instantaneous response when clicking on the play and recording buttons. I am still recovering from my previous impression that EastWest instruments are processor intensive, slow and unresponsive. It was so bad, I am now taking a bit of time to recover and rid myself of that impression.

In the video I showed myself playing around with the values, and the audible results of over- and under- cranking the values. Hope it helps people with the same problem.