asked Oct 15 '15 at 22:54 by fgarbsch (36)

I have now spend several days to get Kontakt 1, Kontakt 2 or Kontakt 5 by Native Instruments running within Bitwig on Linux.

I tried both: vst-bridge and airwave. The plugins itself do somewhat work but I get some crackling when instruments are played in realtime that increases until the audio output gets messed up into garbage. When using the Kontakt GUI directly within wine, all the plugins produce perfectly clean audio output.

I also tested the plugins on the same system within Renoise, where they also work perfectly. So I basically stripped it down to an issue of the combination Bitwig+Airwave/vst-bridge+Windows VST. I am having the same issue with other plugins as well.

Has anybody expected similar problems and/or does anyone have a solution for this problem?

By the way: The VSTs work perfectly fine in offline-mode when exporting audio to wave.

I use this workaround and it works for me:

delete "info.plist" from "users/[yourusername]/Library/Application Support/Bitwig/Bitwig Studio/Applications/Bitwig Plug-in Host" and from "Bitwig Plug-in Host" and " Bitwig Studio"

  — (Jan 10 '16 at 22:24) PCZ

The combination of Bitwig+Airwave is a most tested one. My primary goal is a compatibility with Bitwig Studio because I use it by myself. Could you please show your hardware specs, information about your Linux distribution, wine version and audio buffer size in the Bitwig Studio?


answered Oct 17 '15 at 00:04 by phantom (41)

edited Oct 17 '15 at 00:04

Hmm.. now I experience cracks at 96kHz in Kontakt by myself. I'm sorry that I misled you, it seems that I've missed something.


answered Oct 17 '15 at 17:21 by phantom (41)

edited Oct 17 '15 at 17:23

Of course:

System: Gentoo amd64

Linux athene 4.0.5-gentoo #1 SMP PREEMPT Sun Aug 2 20:58:47 CEST 2015 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4702MQ CPU @ 2.20GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Audio-Device is a Scarlet 8i18 running at 96000 Hz sampling rate. Jack is right now configured to 256 Frames/Period and 3 Periods/Buffer (8ms Latency; I normally run settings using smaller buffers).

I am running Bitwig 1.2.0 (but the same Problem occurs with previous Versions of Bitwig)

I use a collection of u-he VST plugins, that all work quite well without any crackling or other audio artefacts.

To circumvent propblems with CPU based speed-stepping I use the performance governor to get mostly steady CPU cycles.


answered Oct 17 '15 at 03:41 by fgarbsch (36)

edited Oct 17 '15 at 03:48

As ubuntu is the primary target distribution, I will try if the problem occurs on a ubuntu-studio installation as well. The setup is currently running and I will inform you as soon as I have tested, if the problem also exists on that system. After you mentioned that this is heavily tested, I assume that this issue only depends on my system rather than an issue within bitwig itself.

If the problem does not exist on ubuntu-studio do you have any clue what might cause the issue. I would like to stick to my "home distribution" if possible. I do not get any error messages while experiencing that issue. The only idea that has came to my mind was adding some debug functions to airwave to capture the audio that is provided by the VST and see, if the crackling is produces by the plugin or bitwig.


answered Oct 17 '15 at 10:39 by fgarbsch (36)

Just tested and I don't have the cracking issue on plain ALSA backend at 96000Hz with 256 frames buffer size. I'm using the Arch Linux + manually patched WINE (to avoid the blank window issue and ASUS Xonar ST. Have you tried to increase the buffer size, say to 512-1024 frames (just for a test)?

  — (Oct 17 '15 at 10:49) phantom

The cracks can occur if a time needed to generate an audio chunk is higher, that time needed to play that chunk. Look at the Bitwig's DSP meter it shouldn't indicate a high load. Also, there is a chance that you set some very aggressive optimization flags while building Gentoo.

  — (Oct 17 '15 at 11:14) phantom

Nope, regarding the DSP meter there ist actally no mentionable load. The behaviour is also domewhat strange as the amount of audio artifacts grows over the time while playing the same part of midi data in a loop. It happens even on a simple piano tune only containing a melody and some chords.

The compiler switches I use for my gentoo has not been tuned aggressively, but there might be some use-flags missing.

  — (Oct 17 '15 at 11:37) fgarbsch

The same setup works great on ubuntu-studio 14.04 on the same hardware even with a small buffer. So it is definitely related to my gentoo-system.

  — (Oct 17 '15 at 14:53) fgarbsch

First of all: Thank you for testing and taking the time to analyze my issue.

Okay. I experience the same problem at a rate of 48kHz on gentoo but not on 48kHz on ubuntu. I will just do some futher tests tomorrow, when I am back home and have the equipment around. If it helps, I can try to provide a recording of effect and how it envolves to ensure that we are talking over the same problem.

If I would take a guess it feels a bit like drifting audio synchronizations that slightly start and evolve over the time. The problem stops when no midi is sent to Kontakt for some time. I am currently rebuilding my whole @world packages on gentoo to ensure that there are no broken dependencies but as you are experiencing the same isse, I bet that this will not solve the problem.

Is there a way to find out, where the signal gets broken? Like a way to debug collect the output of a VST plugin and the output of the VST container within bitwig, interpolate both signals to the same rate and compare their differences? It might help for debugging to know, if the VST pugin, airwave or the bitwig container is the culprit within the chain.


answered Oct 17 '15 at 17:47 by fgarbsch (36)

Okay. Just as an update:

The issue also exists on Ubuntu-Studio but it takes some more time before the crackling starts. I tried to record the behavior which showed that dropped audio frames are the cause of the broken audio stream. When recording the jack-output directly, there is no crackling but the speed just goes up. The issue exists on every audio-rate and does not depend on the frame-size or the number of frames within the buffer.

The difference on Ubuntu is, that I can see a growth of the DSP load. The problem vanishes if I stop playing MIDI into the VST plugin for some seconds.

As I still cannot reproduce the issue with Renoise I guess it is related to Bitwig somehow. Maybe an issue along the synchronization of threads or queues.


answered Oct 19 '15 at 10:22 by fgarbsch (36)

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Asked: Oct 15 '15 at 22:54

Seen: 3,885 times

Last updated: Jan 10 '16 at 22:24