Heavy clicks, pops and dropouts since latest Keyscape Update

Hi Guys,

I use Keyscape and 3 other VST plugins in GigPerformer for more than 2 years now without any noticeable issues. Only one thing was a bit uncomfortable which was the a mapping of MIDI CC messages to volume bars in Keyscape. Once mapped it worked fine but as soon as I reopened Keyscape in GigPreformer the mapping was “lost” and reset to some default. So I was checking for Keyscape updates some days ago and updated Keyscape software components to the latest versions. Btw. I did no other changes in my system, no other SW installations or updates and no Windows update. Also HW/Audio/Midi interfaces have not been modified.

I happily found this update solved the MIDI message mapping issue. But unfortunately after the update I heard heavy audio clicks, pops and dropouts I never heard before. In order to isolate this I closed GigPerformer DAW, opened Keyscape standalone application and heard the same clicks and long dropouts like complete sequences of missing notes/tones especially when sustain pedal is used, which is making Keyscape unusable for me.

Two days of analysis and discussion with Spectrasinics have shown, that the missing notes are very strongly related to the maximum “VOICES” setting in keyscape. The missing notes issue is gone when VOICES is not set exactly to maximum value of 64. Just a simple 1 step decrement to 63 is enough to solve this. Very likely a software bug from my POV. So as a workaround I will apply this new limmit of “63” to all my Rackspaces using keyscape and hope this will be fixed by Spectrasonic soon.

But there is still another remaining and very hard issue which are the audio klicks and pops. Some testing in keyscape standalone application has shown the following:

On initial startup or when switching to another instrument, keyscape starts loading the samples. This is done in 3 steps indicated by a progress bar right under the “Utility” and “System” buttons. This bar shows:

  • “Please wait” for ~1 sec on my system. This is very short and I even would not expect usable audio.
  • “Preview Ready” this takes about 20…26 seconds on my system when I switch e.g. to LA Costom C7.
    The exact duration dependson the setting on “Pre-oad Memory Size” in “System” dialogue.
  • “Complete” means samples are loaded.

Before the Keyscape update, I was able to play the selected instrument already in “Preview Ready” step. But now with the latest Keyscape version, I hear heavy clicks and pops during this “Preview Ready” and 20…26 Seconds are much to long to wait for applications live on stage. If I use multiple Instances of Keyscape plugin within GigPerformer, then this load time even rasies up 2 or 3 minutes when I switch of prediction. If I use prediciton I get 20…30…40? seconds load time when I switch to another rackspace which needs some reloading for prediction. It looks like the Keyscape update is a bad game changer which does not allow me to use prediction any longer on stage.

But this is not the whole story! The very bad thing is, that GigPerformer does no longer show me how long Keyscape is in it’s “loading phase” where playing notes creates clicks and pops. My typical “GIG” configuration with prediction switched off need 2-3 moinutes for loading samples on startup. This startup loading time has now been shrinking down to 15 seconds (I wonder why???)! But after this 15 Seconds are done I can not start playing Keyscape sounds immediately, I hear nothing or unpredicable sound with klicks and pops. I checked the task manager and saw GigPerformer was still in a high cpu usage (20…30% on a 6 core i9) for another 2-3 minutes. Only after cpu usage has gone down to typical idle values (2…3%) I was able to hear the Keyscape sounds when playing notes. So this means, keyscape is no longer indicating it’s “Loading” status to a VST-host??? Very ciritcal !!!

So I’m asking if anyone here has done the same Keyscape updates already (most recent versions in all 3 components) and if you have encountered simmilar or same or no issues? This would help me a lot since Spectrasonic says I’m the only customer who is reporting these kind of audio issues only related to the latest software update.

Btw. I use an UR44 with buffer size 32 samples. No clicks an pops in the past but even if I increase to 128 or even 512 samples now it does not solve the problem!

For the shake of clarity I want to add my computer spec:

  • Model: Acer Predator, PH517-51,
  • OS: Windows 10 (latest updates)
  • CPU: Intel(R) Core™ i9-8950HK CPU @ 2.90GHz,
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 1070
  • RAM: 32 GB Ram
  • System drive: 500GB SSD, Toshiba (M.2)
  • STEAM drive: Samsung SSD 970 PRO 1TB (M.2)
  • Data Drive: USB 3.0 Toshiba 1TB

Thank you!

As I have Keyscape too, can you upload a small gig file showing the issue?

Did you also install the latest updates?

Keyscape Software 1.3.0f
Keyscape Soundsources v1.0.3c
Keyscape Patches v1.3.3.c

I’m going to prepare the small gig…

I an running Keyscape 1.2.1c on Mac

Keyscape 1.2.1 is the old version also on Mac.It has been running fine for me on Windows since 2 years. I guess it is not reproducible in old version and may be even not in new version on Mac.

Keyscape.gig (62.2 KB)

If you have the opportunity to try a diffrent audio interface, do it.
I once used a UR22 (mk2) on Windows 10 and all of a sudden it started to produce heavily crackling sound, which slowly started but got worse while playing along.
I then bought another interface. Some day (or maybe on another PC) when i tried the UR22 again everything was fine again, so maybe there could be an issue with a specific Windows ‘situation’ (updates and such).

Indeed I’m planing to replace the UR44 by an RME interface but I have no other ASIO interface available right now.

But I dont think it’s the interface since all other plugins (Omnisphere, VB3II, Blue3,…) do not show any audio issues. And even if I increase the UR44 buffer size to whatever value the audio clicks an pops are the same. The Keyscape software version is the only thing I have changed right before the issues occured. And I beleve the wrong/missing load progress indication of Keyscape to the VST host could not be caused by the audio interface/driver.

I reported all my findings to Spectrasonic and wait for reply.

Ah, ok… then it really is very unlikely that there is something wrong with the interface.
The thought was some kind of reflex, since i had such a bad experience… :crazy_face: traumatized

@Markus ,

I’m going to ask the stupid question: Have you applied any windows or driver updates around the same time? Check your latest windows updates dates.


I think this was the preamble of the topic :wink:

I have been struggling with Keyscape too, where i got seemingly random “pops/clicks”. Very frustrating, but after extensive testing yesterday, I was able to reproduce the issue in a “controlled way”.

Initially I tried with “thinning” and changing preload / steam brake settings, which had no impact. I noticed that the clicks where there when i released the sustain pedal (but not always). So then I focused on that.
As a result of that, I found that while holding sustain, play a lot of notes, and then release to sustain pedal. That’s the point where i got the “pops/clicks”, but only after a certain amount of sustained notes.

How did I get rid of the pops: I started playing with the voices setting. Brought it down to 16, and the pops were gone, could not get any pops anymore no matter what I did. Then started increasing the number of voices again till the point I got pops again (in my case that was 44). I settled for 24 voices ( as in a band setting, no one will notice any lost voices anyway ). Tested afterwards for hours, and was not able to create pops/clicks anymore.

I don’t think this is really a computer resource issue ( running on i9 11900k 5.0 GHz, 32 Gb DDR4-4000, pciex4 NVMe 2.0 disks ) but more of an Keyscape issue.
Also wondering if the same issue also occurs while playing the pianos in Omnisphere, as in other threads it was discussed that playing the Piano’s in Omnisphere runs “smoother” then in Keyscape (unfortunately I don’t have Omnisphere yet, so can’t test that).

I hope this can help you fixing the issue (start playing with the number of voices).

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You didn’t mention if these pops started to appear after you updated to the last Keyscape version or if there where there before?

I’m running software version 1.3.0f on windows. I bought it like 6 weeks ago, and remember that initially with the delivered version I had even more issues. But after update to 1.3.0f it got much better. As I did not have the insight of the “voices” at that time, it might have been that in the previous version the voices setting was much higher (default) as in the current version. But I cannot tell you for sure.

So for me that problem got less frequent after update, but like I said it could different default settings in the different version. Playing with the number voices solved the issue for me.

So far I got no response from Spectrasonics to my yesterdays email. Hope they are now trying to reproduce it.

rreuscher your issue sounds simmilar. The occurence of clicks ans pops as well as the drop outs have also been increased when I used the Sustain pedal. But after testing and repeating the test multiple times I found the following rules apply in my system since I updated to 1.3.0f :

  1. The clicks and drop outs coccured after hitting many notes/chords while holding sutain but only when VOICES=64.
  2. Setting VOICES=63 solved only the drop outs (complete sequence of missing notes/tones) but I still hear clicks and pops.
  3. After startup or instrument change I hear the clips & pops but only while keyscape is loading the samples (e.g. Preview Ready Progress bar in Keyscape). No more clicks/pops after this was done.
  4. After the update the loading of samples is probably no longer correctly indicated to GigPerformer. I’m not famillar with the spec of the VST API but I guess there is some kind of event/callback in this interface used for progress reporting from VST Plugin to the VST Host. It seems this interface does no longer work correctly since 1.3.0f

May be rreusher you can repeat your test while beeing aware of not only what you do but also when you do it. In the sample loading phase (check task manager if not indicated by any progress bar) or even after loading is done? I have had no more audio issues when VOICES<=63 and loading is done (which may takes minutes after startup in non predictive mode)

I don’t know what happened, but I cant seem to reproduce the problem anymore. I have not restarted my PC, I even did not restart GP, but today I’m not able to reproduce clicks and props.

Loading of the heavier presets takes about 10 secs on my computer, and when I play during that “preview time” there are also no crackles. It also does not matter now the amount of voices I set. It just works…
Loaded up 4 Keyscape plugins and loaded 4 hybrid presets, but also then no problems at all.

Strange as yesterday it took me a couple of hours, to investigate, and solve the clicks and pops, and now they magically disappeared

Hey you’re a lucky man! My system still does the same.

This is indicative of other processes running in the background of your PC and taking resources. It also means that the issue will most likely happen again when that same process starts again.

Look for something that takes a lot of disk bandwidth like a continuous backup for example.

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I think so too, but I have yet to find the culprit. This machine is completely debloated (all unnecessary Microsoft stuff is removed), and only GP is installed, plus needed plugins.
Also all non-essential windows services have been disabled.

I will keep an eye on running processes if it happens again.

@rreuscher - have you gone through this EXCELLENT book by our own @npudar ?

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I’m familiar with the E-book. I even have a bunch of scripts that makes this changes for me automatically.
Which I run after an Windows Update. (my DPC latency varies between 2-6 usec)

But I might have missed something, and I will go thru the book again.