VST or AU instrument - what does 2 buffers versus 1 buffer mean?

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Cork City Gamelan
Cork City Gamelan's picture
Joined: July 27, 2012

For a few moments I thought there was a problem, but I solved it quickly - still, I'd like to know what it all means.

Running the VSL Vienna Ensemble multitrack/multitimbral sample player in AM, both as a VST or AU plug, I was getting horribly corrupted sound output.

I understand that digital audio applications load segments of sound into a buffer as fast as popssible, so they can process or play it at a constant rate. I also understand that the lower the buffer size setting I can get  away with, the lower my perceived latency will be. I understand that the buffer size in samples divided by sample frequency in Hz gives me the latency I should expect (in seconds, usually 0.0116 or smaller).

Vienna Ensemble works via a streaming server which allows me to choose either two buffers or one buffer. What exactly does that mean or do? Two buffers, the default, results in corrupted sound an octave below the expected pitch. The Vienna Symphonic Library flute literally sounds like a cross between bass clarinet and didgeridoo. Setting it to one buffer fixes the problem.

Ross B.
Ross B.'s picture
Joined: April 11, 2009

> Vienna Ensemble works via a streaming server which allows me to choose either two buffers or one buffer. What exactly does thatmean or do?

I recommend that you ask the VSL people. Streaming via a separate server is unusual. My impression is that whatever they are doing is specific to their products. Further, adding more buffering usually makes things more stable, so the behavior you're seeing is counter intuitive (to me at least).