Sometimes doing things carefully isn’t so good

There’s been a problem in HourGlass regarding starting and stopping the playback of the fragment engine and the sound source previews when either one is already turned on. Basically the problems were because for whatever purposes, now lost to me, I wanted to turn off the audio hardware engine object whenever nothing was playing in HourGlass and turn it back on when some sound is to be played. It probably was some concern that keeping the audio engine on constantly wouldn’t be good for performance and so on. All this required keeping track of all kinds of state variables, which so far hasn’t ever worked correctly.

I however have now changed the behavior so that the audio hardware is kept constantly streaming and the needed audio playback objects are attached to it and removed from it as needed. That reduced a lot the need to keep track of all kinds of states about what is playing or not etc…This might potentially cause some problems with audio hardwares that don’t like to be shared between multiple applications,  so I might need to think this a bit further. (I’ve suffered audio hardware before *cough*DigiDesign*cough* that doesn’t want to be shared between applications, so I know it’s an annoying problem.) However, my current Focusrite USB interface doesn’t seem to mind this arrangement at all, even when using ASIO. I can have both HourGlass and Reaper, using ASIO, as well as WASAPI using applications open and playing audio, all simultaneously.

I don’t yet have any release date for an alpha or beta of HourGlass 2 at the moment. Lots of things to still do…

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6 Responses to Sometimes doing things carefully isn’t so good

  1. blackheartindustries says:

    Been controlling Hourglass with the Livid instruments DS1. Had some problems with the ‘remote controls manager’ but I’ve been getting things to work. For the life of me I can’t find the ‘sound weights morph’ toggle. Where is it? I want to assign it to a pad. I’ve managed to assign all 8 sliders & 7 of the pads to change between manual or envelope control. The slider on the right is main vol. mixer control above that. The 40 knobs are going to be for VST control. I opened my VST folder in Hourglass & they where in a different order, meta data maybe?

    Thankx again for Hourglass. This is the perfect way for me to work. You can find me at
    I’ve already put up a couple of pieces using Hourglass up on soundcloud. Link on my blog.

  2. xenakios says:

    I am afraid I’ve forgot to add a suitable remote control/action to enable/disable the sound weights morph envelope…

    The VST plugins are sorted according to the manufacturer name of the plugin. There’s no way to change that currently.

    Fixing these issues could be possible in theory, but I am not sure how involved that might get…Which operating system are you on, by the way?

  3. blackheartindustries says:

    I’m using windows 8.1 on a Dell i7 laptop. The VST order is no big deal. No problems except when loading some VSTs. ‘Hourglass’ doesn’t like a bunch of them. The VST problems happen when I try to open them. ‘Hourglass’ will crash or the VST will not load/work. If they open then there’s no more problems. I’ve been using a bunch of VSTs at once including DtBlkFx by Darrell Tam with no problems. That’s a pretty heavy duty plugin. Could you explain how the ‘sound sources’ window works? What is the slider on the left side for? Is there a limit on length or how many sound files one can use? I’ve had 7 at once so far. Thankx.

    • xenakios says:

      Some plugins just won’t work with HourGlass. I don’t have the means to ensure they would. What I’ve myself done is to have a separate VST plugins directory for HourGlass with plugins I’ve confirmed to work.

      The sound sources section in HourGlass is unfortunately quite complicated and this comment section isn’t enough to explain it properly. If I ever get back to working on HourGlass 2, I will redesign that whole thing to be more user friendly…

      The number of sound files and the lengths are limited by the 2/4 gigabyte address space for 32 bit processes on Windows. (I haven’t yet released a 64 bit build of HourGlass for Windows…) There are no hardcoded limits, though HourGlass will warn by default if you try to open “big” files, because it all works in RAM. When the address space runs out in the 32 bit Windows build, HourGlass will probably just crash and burn. So don’t go overboard with loading sounds into it! The sound sources window isn’t supposed to be used as a “pool/bin” for sounds you are not using.

  4. blackheartindustries says:

    I’ll spend more time with the sound sources section & try to figure it out. I thought that maybe it was broken, something left over from a previous build. Have you played with ‘Donut’ for the iPad, made by The Strange Agency? Not perfect, but has an interesting interface and way of manipulating sound. Thankx again.

  5. blackheartindustries says:

    Ah ha, I think I get it now.

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