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Topic: Performance catastrophe...
I was loving VDJ8… its head & shoulders above anything else I’ve tried enabling real creativity and improv in the mix. I was beginning to think of going pro and getting controller when…

Horror! My beloved VDJ8.4 b5478 has suddenly become unusable. It can’t even play a single track on one deck without it warping all over the place: its slows and speeds up, then cuts out then distorts and, pops & crackles. When you chuck a tune on another deck its so painfully slow to perform the analysis: a 8 minute track takes 40 minutes. BTW Why does it always rerun the analysis when you load a song into a deck even if you’ve pre-analysed? Try mixing two tracks together …. Forget it! Its a sonic car crash!

This all seemed to happen around the time I upgraded to Catalina?
My Catalina Version is 10.15.3. This has also screwed up the iTunes playlist from being detected - I’d assumed it would read the xml version of the library file but that hasn’t changed?

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
Processor: 2.9 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
Memory: 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB
Disk: 500GB SSD upgrade from the orig. Very Fast.

Memory should be the issue on this device as I'm stuck with 8GB, but memory pressure isn't showing as a constraint.
VDJ will take 80% of the CPU but I don’t see that as exceptional.

It feels like a performance thing: as if it can’t get enough resources of some kind. So here’s what I did to try an isolate the issue:
1. Loaded only the simplest default skins.
2. Turned off all auto effects off like auto-pitch
3. Run on a brand new virgin Mac Account on its own (it was bad!)
4. Validate against alternative Music, DJ Apps. Mixvibes (yuk) is 100% fine.
5. Double checked all devices are synced on the same bit-depth rate and sampling frequency.
6. Tried different audio output including the internal speaker - all bad!

So any ideas? Are there any audio performance configs I can try tweak - latency, buffering etc

The only other thing - my main boot disk on which all my audio and the and all configs and setting are stored got less than 20GB/500GB free.

Posted Sun 02 Feb 20 @ 12:39 am
DHoudePRO InfinityMember since 2009
80% CPU is not exceptional? For realtime audio, that is just no good. As a work around, it 100% sounds like you need to increase your audio Latency buffer in VDJ Settings. Because you are using so much cpu, you need to buffer the audio in case anything else spikes the CPU. The larger buffer gets you through the random CPU spikes and delays.

If you go pro, then you really need a better machine first. 80% is way too far to be reliable. Even my old machine was always less than 10% and it ran flawlessly for 5 years of professional performances. If you can't afford a new laptop yet, start looking up ways to clean up and speed up your current one. Also, figure out what recently changed. Was there a Mac update? Did you install something new that is running in the background? Have you closed all of your other running programs?

Not sure about Mac, but in Windows, nothing likes being at the end of your drive space. If you can't swing a new laptop, then maybe you can get an external USB hard drive and then move your stored files to that. Freeing up space could possibly fix this too.

A bit of advice, performance machines are not good for use every day. Read that last statement again, seriously. All it takes is installing one thing that is not proven, or one bad web session and now your "reliable machine" is doing what you see now. Just remember, getting paid for gigs means that you take full responsibility for a reliable performance. Nobody cares what PC/Mac you have or what controller you have with skipping/distorted sound. Or worse, a crashed machine and no sound.

Posted Mon 03 Feb 20 @ 1:01 am
Thanks for your comments. Yeah i get your point -in an ideal world I’d have a separate device but bearing in mind that A) I can create a dedicated user account in which only the core OS and the app is loaded thus having the full resources of the device B) the device significantly above the minimum u spec specified by VDJ8… there’s something else afoot. Did I mention I had the same performance issue in Safe Mode. So I decided to reinstall the OS, even though in theory the core OS is meant to be on a read-only volume. Immediate signs were not promising but after a couple of reboots and I can report all is well with general performance and specifically VDJ8. EXCEPT: when I try to use through my old multi-channel sound I/o device..well it is nearly 20 years old! I later discovered that the reinstall selectively updated parts the writable data partition - its a kind of grey area between the core OS and user data, the kinda infrastructural stuff that gets installed by linux style package mamangers. Some conflict or other. Alls well...

Otherwise, you mentioned buffer or latency setting in VDJ8 - can’t find anything obvious in option settings. Can you point me to them?

PS: CPU is now averaging to 40% you’ll be relieved the hear.

Posted Fri 07 Feb 20 @ 10:27 am
PhilWPRO InfinityMember since 2011
I'm running Windows so these may not be identical on Mac (as Mac doesn't use ASIO). Manual page is here.

Posted Mon 10 Feb 20 @ 3:11 pm
That spec of Mac should be *no* problem at all for VDJ; my lower-spec Air runs at about 20-30% CPU, and other than the irritating glitch that seems to be plaguing everyone since VDJ2020 appeared (still trying to trace that one) it runs flawlessly.

Disk space though... that's an issue. At 20GB of free space your Mac will be struggling, so you need to do something about that asap. Run some backups (that can free up snapshot space)... run ThinLocalSnapshots (Google it... outside the scope of me replying here)... turn on iCloud and offload some photos (or back them up to a couple of external drives and delete them from your machine)... but whatever you do, DO NOT run any of those "Clean My Mac" tools, as you would not believe the amount of Macs that I get asked to repair after those have been run!!!

Posted Fri 14 Feb 20 @ 10:23 am
Oh, and forgot to add... the Catalina upgrade removed a legacy way of accessing the iTunes library that was supposed to have been discontinued years ago, which was the XML thing. Apple did give developers something like three years to migrate to the new API calls, but no-one (and as far as I can see, I really do mean *no-one*) took any notice, so when it finally vanished in Catalina there was a mad panic to switch over. The latest build of VDJ fixed that though, so you will be fine if you get that.

Posted Fri 14 Feb 20 @ 10:28 am
AdionPRO InfinityCTOMember since 2006
The main reason virtualdj didn't use the api before is that it is much slower than reading the xml directly.
For very big iTunes libraries the difference on startup of virtualdj can be as much as a minute using api vs seconds loading the xml

Posted Fri 14 Feb 20 @ 10:33 am