Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Jperkinski » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:07 pm

Well, I don't see this getting resolved anytime soon. Yesterday I typed a thorough and polite email to Slate seeing if they had any progress on this and the reply I got from somebody at Slate Digital said that PG "isn't very well informed", that VBC conformed "100% to the VST SDK specs" and that the Wavelab team wasn't "playing ball" with Slate to resolve the issue.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Daved » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:11 pm

Sigh.

This stuff makes me nuts. We replaced a third-party VOIP landline with one supplied by our ISP simply to get periodic support after a few rounds of this between the provider and ISP. I don't think it's a conspiracy by the ISP to churn it's existing customers, as obvious as that seems... rather I see it as olde tyme "not my job, man" approach. It's easy to move things off your plate by blaming someone else.

I think Steinberg (not necessarily PG) has a greater obligation to reach out and resolve this problem, because it's a very common refrain among plug vendors. It seems that many are misunderstanding the spec, and worse, the spec is interpreted differently across Steinberg's product line. If a particular plug works in Cuendo, but not WL, it's incumbent on Steinberg to explain why this is so.

Further, failure to address this inconsistency is in Steinberg's long term interest because there are other plugin standards out there competing for developer attention. Many plugs are only available as AAX or AU, not VST. At one point in time VST was a desirable cross platform format making it worth studios considering leaving PT or other DAWs and consolidate to Steinberg or VST-supporting tools, to simplify operations and maintenance.

Slate's attitude is not unique, and will spread sooner than later if VST isn't consistently supported across it's own line. There are bigger fish to fry - AAX is in studios that command the decent rates, and pay living wages. Cuendo and WL are harder sells to management each year. This kind of thing makes that much worse.

Don't dump this on PG. Someone at Steinberg should reach out to Slate et al (if Izotope has problems, entirely reliant on hosted platforms for revenue, something is broken in the spec), figure out where the problems lie and fix them at the source. Ideally BEFORE WL8.5!
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Fly Studio » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:58 am

Actually, they have been cranking out updates lately, but they are mostly ports to AAX, though they have addressed a few other bugs and enhancements. But nothing targeted to the Wavelab problems people are having. Based on the response to a support email I received from them a while back, they say it a is Steinberg threading model problem - something for Steinberg to fix.

Daved raises some great points, particularly the behavior difference between Wavelab and Cubendo.
One of the reasons I moved from W6 to 7 - 8 was the VST3 support; to now have these issues seems a step backward.

Plugin developers: There is a lot of competition, but come on! I paid a fortune for Algortihmix Red LP EQ and K-Stereo; they were staples in my Mastering arsenal. When I moved to Windows 7, I had all kinds of problems using them. They only work with 32 bit Cubase & Wavelab, and there are graphic and other problems. They never moved to eLicenser (though they must be in the database, since they do sort of work). For them to still sell these plugins without porting them to Windows 7 and 64 bit makes no sense. I could go on..

Slate is great, but inconsistent buss compressors in a mastering program?! Not acceptable. I find that when VBC Grey stops working, move the ratio knob and the compression becomes active again. If you move the 'out section' knobs, that section starts working, but the main compression section still doesn't work. The threading must be split up into the comression section and the mix - makeup gain section, so I move the ratio, then the makeup gain to make sure. Lousy work-around though.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Fly Studio » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:00 am

I'd like to know why Wavelab 8 doesn't see my Waves Maxx Volume plugin!
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby PG » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:54 am

I'd like to know why Wavelab 8 doesn't see my Waves Maxx Volume plugin!


Did you try locating it with this tool?
2014-04-25_11-53-51.png
(9.02 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Do you see other Waves plugins?
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby StudioCompyfox » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:30 pm

Sorry, I just saw this...

Fly Studio wrote:Hmm, are you sure the VST3 VTM is still not rendering? I just used it on several clips in a montage and it seemed to work.


It might be a bit different in the montage, but the main usage for me (Master Slots), it isn't rendering. Recently tested the most current version (public beta for AAX, with the shrinkable GUI, v1.1.3.x). I'm about to get in touch with the Steinberg support about this bug.


Fly Studio wrote:On the other hand, the VST3 VBC has several problems: metering will fail but processing will continue, or both will fail on render.


Yes, I can confirm this. The processing works in realtime, the meters fail here and there (even in Cubase), but rendering does not work.


Fly Studio wrote:Slate told me something similar regarding the 'threading model' of Steinberg products. I don't know all the coding details you guys talked about; it's enough to keep up with the work. ;)


They are aware of this issue for quite a while, but so far, didn't find a suitable solution.
For the time being, the VST2 version is working flawlessly.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Fly Studio » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:20 pm

Thanks PG; I did use the search function - not there. 'Force plugin detection at next launch' did the trick. Because Waves uses the Waveshell, the program doesn't automatically see recent additions.



Fly Studio wrote:
Hmm, are you sure the VST3 VTM is still not rendering? I just used it on several clips in a montage and it seemed to work.

It might be a bit different in the montage, but the main usage for me (Master Slots), it isn't rendering. Recently tested the most current version (public beta for AAX, with the shrinkable GUI, v1.1.3.x). I'm about to get in touch with the Steinberg support about this bug.


I will try it in the clip and master sections at extreme settings to confirm whether and where it is working, and report back here. I am also using the newest beta, using VST3.

What's happening (currently), is that the plugins do work in realtime. But after rendering in WL (no matter which SRC!), the settings are being ignored (i.e. Compressor settings). The only thing that is happening, is some sort of slight volume and phase shift. So the signal can't be nulled anymore. Which confirms, that "something" is happening - it's just that the major settings are being ignored, and the signal is not being processed.


This might be the makeup gain & mix function processing, but not the compression, which seems in line with my guess that the comp section is separate from the output section. I also experienced renders that were boosted but not compressed. I think the VBC has auto makeup gain from the compression that won't render if the compression section stops working; thus the level boost is not ridiculous.. just the makeup gain, mix, and tube - transformer modeling at work. This would make sense, since any Mix function that doesn't include the 'artifacts' would cause severe phase cancellation. Inclusion of a 'mix' feature and careful reading of the VBC manual suggests that the non-linear modeling is (for the most part) separate from the compression processing - perhaps the compressor activity generates values that are fed into separate tube - transformer - phase shift sections, allowing both mixable 1:1 processing and dynamic non-linear behavior. Just a guess though. (To paraphrase: The 'RED' has the output transformer effect on a 'drive' knob... the tube circuit path in the MU colors the signal even at 1:1.. analog compressors have modulation, dynamic distortion, etc... they were able to bypass just the artifacts..). Other clues to this theory are scattered throughout the manual. If true, this design paradigm may be one reason Slate can't easily fix the problems we are having.

Not good maybe but 100% compliant with the vst3 spec. Moreover this behavior is very necessary for plugins with strong link between GUI and process like an fft realtime analyzer. Many vst3 plugins from many companies behave like this.


This might explain why the Izotope Ozone EQ FFT only averages properly using the VST2 version. When using the VST3 plugin, any FFT setting other than 'realtime' acts like Infinite Max Peak averaging, which makes the plugin useless as an analysis tool. Shame, as I have carefully captured snapshots from a range of styles for basic mastering reference. Mentioned in another recent thread re: Izotope problems with Wavelab 8.

I recently began installing only the VST3 plugin versions; I may have to go back and include the VST2.4 versions for the problematic plugins. Not a plus for people like me with SSD drives for OS.
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Cubase 24 - VST5 - SX(1 & 3) - 5 - 7.5; Wavelab 2 - 8; Halion 3 - 5.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Fly Studio » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:49 am

Sure enough, the VTM doesn't process when in the Master section.
The VTM, VBC Grey & Red all process when assigned to a clip, but only when the Audio Montage Option 'Reset Plugins before Rendering' is OFF.
Oddly, if the above option is on, the render doesn't null. Again, there seems to be some slight gain and phase manipulation when these plugins are 'reset' before rendering.
Also, each of the two VBC plugins had different graphic quirks - the Grey first opened up with the compression LEDs pinned; the Red didn't show any activity when first instantiated on a clip. The VTM behaved normally.

I again noticed that, when 'reset plugin before playback' was on, the VBC Grey did not compress but still changed the level, until the makeup gain knob was turned - I could hear the abrupt level change, like it was changed from some unknown value to the graphic knob value it was near when I jogged it. All very strange.
The need to turn off 'reset plugins before rendering' is not good - I use several plugins that have auto high quality modes for rendering, and they may not be switching into HQ mode without the reset; I never had this issue in 6, but in 6, it was necessary to 'reset' before rendering. I don't remember how I came to that conclusion and I don't have 6 on the new system to check..

More tests are needed to make definitive statements.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby gkephart » Tue May 06, 2014 6:09 pm

Yes, this is a real time killer, especially when trying to get real work done. Nugen audio VST3's also do not render, even when in a track slot, as well as Slate and Klanghelm. Now I've got to waste time testing my other VST3's for proper operation: all Brainworx, Voxengo, and Waves.

And still without FX automation available, the time-saving features that I DO like about Wavelab have quickly been rendered useless by all of this other fussing around. If I can't trust my software to do the most basic things properly, then I suppose it's time for a change.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Fly Studio » Thu May 08, 2014 10:52 pm

And still without FX automation available, the time-saving features that I DO like about Wavelab have quickly been rendered useless by all of this other fussing around. If I can't trust my software to do the most basic things properly, then I suppose it's time for a change.


I am right there with you.

I've used every version of Wavelab since V2; I really dug into Wavelab 6 and learned all the intricacies. Then they changed the whole interface. Granted, W6 was a little bloated, but 7 - 8 has commands scattered all over the place and the icon driven interface is anything but intuitive. The manual is as non-linear as the program. And still no automation? And it's buggy? I moved to 7 - 8 for the VST3 support, and it doesn't work properly for many new and popular plug-ins. And don't dare assign a high latency plug-in (like linear phase EQ) to a montage clip - it will create pops and dropouts in the next clip, at the point where the buffer ends (a 3/4 second latency will cause a disruption 3/4 seconds after the clip ends). No more assembly, processing and run-out.. What's the point!?

I have taken to processing individual songs in Studio One V2.6.2 (I like the sound of the 64 bit processing, and having automation) using Izotope EQ (another plug-in Wavelab doesn't play nice with - graphic issues) with some favorite spectrum captures, & Sample Magic's Magic AB for quick comparison to other tracks, then just using Wavelab montage for assembly, meta-data and CD - DDP burning (tasks that can also be done in Studio One, but not as detailed). Not an elegant or cost effective solution.

I do like the new EBU metering. I guess that's something to be happy about.

I almost bought one of the Sonnox Codec tools, then saw something similar will be part of Wavelab 8.5, but if the problems aren't fixed, I may not be there. Come on Steinberg! I've been with you since 1992! Don't lose me now.. please...
G
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Every version of Cubase except SX2 & 4... yeah, back in da midi days wit da midex synchronizer & Atari 1040ST
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby bob99 » Fri May 09, 2014 4:42 am

Fly Studio wrote:
And don't dare assign a high latency plug-in (like linear phase EQ) to a montage clip - it will create pops and dropouts in the next clip, at the point where the buffer ends (a 3/4 second latency will cause a disruption 3/4 seconds after the clip ends)

Is this a known issue, and VST3 only? Does it happen with the included Voxengo CurveEQ? What plugin are you using?
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Fly Studio » Sun May 11, 2014 1:30 am

The latency issue happened with the VST2 PSP Neon HR and the DMC Equilibrium. I am not sure about VST3 though. I will test the Equilibrium VST3 version and see (excellent EQ, BTW - the only one you ever need, unless you like the new transformer / tube modeling included with some EQs, notably UAD API & Manley, but achievable through other plug-ins).
I don't know about the Curve EQ (I never use it), but it is not real high latency, right?

A couple of the Slate plug-ins are both VST2 and 3, and the problems appear in both.

Another quirk: VST3 Izotope EQ FFT in the Master Section immediately reads like it is in infinte peak mode; VST2 version will average properly, until you switch from Montage to Audio File (or Audio to Montage; then it will also stop averaging properly.
G
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby flaviusr » Wed May 28, 2014 4:22 am

I did upgrade to Mavericks and VCC, VTM and FG-X was freezing cubase and wavelab. I discover that the problem was Ilok. So i did a fresh install and everything start to work perfectly. :)
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby StudioCompyfox » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:57 pm

gkephart wrote:Yes, this is a real time killer, especially when trying to get real work done. Nugen audio VST3's also do not render, even when in a track slot, as well as Slate and Klanghelm. Now I've got to waste time testing my other VST3's for proper operation: all Brainworx, Voxengo, and Waves.


WOW! Nugen Audio as well?

And then Steinberg writes me in a mail "the issue doesn't seem to be within Wavelab, maybe it's the third party plugins" and in the same mail they also wrote me "our research showed us that there are no VST3 versions available from what you reported" (and I did report Klanghelm, Slate Digital, Tokyo Dawn Labs, Eiosis, Hornet Audio, U-HE for starters). I waited two months for an answer and got this 08/15 excuse!


This is a serious issue which didn't seem to be fixed with WL8.5 either.
At least if I trust what was said to me through mail - which wasn't much.


So much for the company that created the VST SDK in the first place!
Lost for words really.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Jperkinski » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:05 am

Does this Slate bug still exist in WL 8.5? I don't care for Slate much as far as their business practice goes. I own the VBC and use it now and then in other apps, it sounds great for certain things, but I haven't used it much because of this possibly big Wavelab bug.

Slate seems extremely slow to update anything and it seems like they have too much other stuff going on to address this issue.

What exactly was the main problem again? Do files render without Slate all together? or just some plugins and just some settings? Is it just related to rendering before saving the montage? Is VST-2 ok to use for now?
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby StudioCompyfox » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:47 pm

Jperkinski wrote:Does this Slate bug still exist in WL 8.5?


I don't have WL8.5 yet, and so far Steinberg didn't respond to my support inquiry on that issue with WL8.5. According to their change log however (that was posted on KVR Audio today), there seems to be an "improvement" with VST3.

The correct quote is this:
PLUG-INS: Rendering certain VST 3 effects used within the Master Section now works as expected.


No demo, no tests.
And also no further mention of WL8.04 maintenance (final maintenance btw!).


Jperkinski wrote:Slate seems extremely slow to update anything and it seems like they have too much other stuff going on to address this issue.


Having contact to Slate Digital, I know that they're working on it. Apparently there was an improvement with internal tests on VTM. Currently there seem to be closed betas running for VBC. So yeah, Slate is coding on a Workaround. But this would nill if Steinberg actually fixed their own issue.

Only took them 4 years for this, and a 50EUR update.

Jperkinski wrote:What exactly was the main problem again? Do files render without Slate all together? or just some plugins and just some settings?


Several companies run into the so called "Audio Forward Bug". With this bug, if you use VST3 plugins (especially in the master section), your audio signal is being processed in real time. But once you render, only the phase slightly alters, maybe the volume. Everything else is being discarded.

Personally I encountered this with:
- Slate Digital
- Klanghelm
- Hornet Audio
- VoS/TDL SlickEQ (I was among the tester team) while they were still working on the VST3 version before they pulled it about 1 hour prior to release

There are known reports about iZotope Ozone. In here also Nugen Audio.

To a certain extend (sporadically) I also ran into issues with Melda Production.

Friends of mine who beta test for Eiosis (same coding team as Slate Digital pretty much), also confirmed the VST3 bug. Which seems to be "fixed" with a workaround now.


Jperkinski wrote:Is it just related to rendering before saving the montage?


People in here reported that the montage is fine. I don't use the montage as often anymore. At least not for "adding FX". So I can't further comment on this.


Jperkinski wrote:Is VST-2 ok to use for now?


Yes.
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Re: Slate Digital VBC VST3 bug

Postby Jperkinski » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:15 am

There is a new update for Slate VBC just released (1.4.2.1).

I'm not real up on what the actual problem is so I can't really test it. I've just been avoiding using it until it's fixed, although looking back through the thread it seems that the bug is only related to the VST-3 version and not VST-2.
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