Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

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elisatems
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 2:24 am
Sibelius Version: Ultimate
Operating System: Mac

Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

Post by elisatems » Thu May 21, 2020 2:34 am

I am finding that audio output is distorted when using this combination with certain instruments, especially a string orchestra. What I hear is a kind of "swell" on each note towards the end, and at the peak of each swell, the sound is badly distorted. It is most noticeable in fortissimo passages, but I can hear it just a little even in softer passages. It does not happen using Sibelius Sounds, though the sound is a bit scratchy or hissy.

After exporting the output to an audio file, the distortion can be heard even when played on a different system, so I do not think the problem is with my computer's sound chip (a MacBook Pro running Mojave).

Any suggestions are welcome. I have already tried adjusting volume levels in the Mixer (no effect), but I have no idea what else to try.

Re: Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

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MikeLyons
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:20 pm
Sibelius Version: Ult. 2019.9/7.51/6.2
Operating System: Windows

Re: Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

Post by MikeLyons » Thu May 21, 2020 9:12 am

If the Audio file is recording the distortion, playing it on a different system won't make any difference. An audio file is fixed, unchanging.

Can you show us a screenshot of your mixer settings? There are two things I want to look at - the actual levels of the mixer faders and the amount of reverb and chorus set on each channel. Make sure the mixer is maximised so I can see all the information.

Sibelius has always had a very small bit of 'headroom' in the mixer by default both on the audio channels and on the effects and other faders (which may or may not be visible and these all affect the overall volume output.

NP provides a very useful plug-in called Reset Mixer for NotePerformer which reesets all these to 'safe' values.


Other than this, your best option is to send me the actual sib file by email.
Sib 6.2, 7.5 and 2020.3, Windows 10, 32GB RAM, 8TB 7200RPM Storage, 2TB SSD, Note Performer 3.1, EWQLSO, EWQLSC, Harmony Assistant and some others. mike@mike-lyons.co.uk

elisatems
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 2:24 am
Sibelius Version: Ultimate
Operating System: Mac

Re: Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

Post by elisatems » Thu May 21, 2020 1:27 pm

Hi, yes that's what I meant. The fact that I can hear it when played on another system tells me that the distortion is in the audio file itself. I tried to attach a screen shot of the mixer but it tells me that the file is too large. What is the limit? But for the record, these are the NotePerformer "default" settings, i.e. after running their reset script. I do tweak the pan settings to my liking, but the volume settings do not seem to affect the problem. I also tried to attach the .sib file, but files with that extension are grayed out. I guess the site doesn't allow files of that format to be posted. I will try to send the .sib file to you by PM, if I can figure out how. I am new to this site and don't think I have used this BB software before.

MikeLyons
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:20 pm
Sibelius Version: Ult. 2019.9/7.51/6.2
Operating System: Windows

Re: Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

Post by MikeLyons » Thu May 21, 2020 1:57 pm

Don't bother with the PM system on this board, just send me an email. My email address is in my signature.

Images can't be any bigger than 100k or thereabouts. Use your OS snipping tool, rather than a phone camera to take screenshots.

If you have used the NP plugin to reset your mixer, then that can't be it.

Can you tell me some details of your OS, RAM, and soundcard and your version of Sibelius (exact version and tier - I'm on Sibeliius Ultimate version 2020.3 build 2503 and Windows 10 pro version 1903 with 32GB RAM and an external Scarlett 2i2 soundcard. My NP is version 3.3.1). I could also do with screenshots of your Audio Engine Options dialog and your Playback Devices Dialog.

Thanks.

Mike
Sib 6.2, 7.5 and 2020.3, Windows 10, 32GB RAM, 8TB 7200RPM Storage, 2TB SSD, Note Performer 3.1, EWQLSO, EWQLSC, Harmony Assistant and some others. mike@mike-lyons.co.uk

elisatems
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 2:24 am
Sibelius Version: Ultimate
Operating System: Mac

Re: Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

Post by elisatems » Thu May 21, 2020 4:07 pm

Email sent...

elisatems
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 2:24 am
Sibelius Version: Ultimate
Operating System: Mac

Re: Distortion problem with Sibelius Ultimate and NotePerformer

Post by elisatems » Fri May 22, 2020 12:21 pm

Also: yesterday someone on another board who uses Sibelius and NP (Sibelius 2019.7, not sure of his NP version) volunteered to produce an audio file from my score to see if it also contained distortion. Late last night I received his audio file. If anyone wishes to hear it I can send you the audio file (an mp3), but to my ears it sounds exactly the same as when produced on my system. Since I've already burned a CD with my audio file and played it on a dedicated audiophile system (not a computer), it appears that the distortion is indeed in the audio exported by Sibelius, and not in my computer's sound hardware or speakers/headphones.

So: how do I go about determining whether the distortion is due to (a) certain playback or mixer settings saved in my score, (b) a bug in Sibelius, or (c) a bug in NP?

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