Why does one note on one track show as 8 voices in the plugin?

Simple question - I have a cello longs track with 8 single notes 1 bar long quantized so no overlaps. When I play it the plugin shows anywhere from 4 to 8 voices.

Here's how I started experimenting. I set up a cello track with a 4 note chord progression and copied it to all the strings longs, brass longs and woodwinds longs. Total of 13 tracks each with 4 notes (transposed up or down an octave to accommodate each instrument's range) When I play it back some of the chords sound correct others have multiple notes that start and end abruptly. The plugin indicates between 2 and 48 voices.

So the real question is why can't I play my 4 note chord progression across 13 tracks without these odd dropouts?.

My DAW is Reaper, latest update. Performance meter says I have plenty of CPU power (using 25%) and lots of available RAM. The plugin and samples are on an internal SSD drive. Intel core i7 processor 16 gig ram.

Best Answer

  • Angus
    Angus admin
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    Answer ✓

    Hi @Doc Bob

    There has been no changes to BBCSO 1.5.0 in terms of Voice Counts. The figure you are seeing would be expected. Each note will have a minimum of two voices connected to it- one for the note, and one for the release trigger (the sample that plays when you release the note). If you are playing polyphonically, this will then be multiplied by the amount of notes played. If you were using Core, another voice(s) would be added for each microphone used.

    You can limit voices in the Plugin Settings - Audio (cog top right), but limiting this to a very low amount of voices can have an affect on the sound quality of the plugin.


  • The voice count indicates the number of individual sample recordings being played back by the plugin instance. So, for example, a single long cello note could be played back with an attack sample, which then fades into a sustain sample. The fade is gradual, so that could account for two voices simultaneously. If your dynamics control is at a level that's in between two of the recorded dynamics, those two different dynamics samples will be blended as well, doubling your voice count, which then in this example could account for 8 voices to play back just a single note. Once the note ends, a release sample is triggered, which momentarily doubles the voice count again as the sustain fades out. Extra mics or mic mixes will also add another set of voices.

    The high voice count is the plugin operating as expected, and it sounds like your hardware should be able to handle that without a problem. To fix those dropouts you mentioned, you might have to try different audio device settings like buffer size & sample rate. It could be anything; I don't have much info to go by but the first thing I would try is increasing the buffer size and setting the sample rate to 48khz to match the sample rate of the original samples, which removes the resampling burden on your system.

  • Thanks. Good explanation. I’ve played with buffer sizes to no avail, but I need to dig a little deeper. And just for fun tried the same thing in a different DAW with the same results. The resampling idea never occurred to me. I’ll report back.

  • Process of elimination.

    Sampling was set correctly, nice idea, but not the problem

    All my windows drivers are up to date. I checked latency monitoring and there is no issue... my computer supports real time audio with ease. I sent audio through my Octa Capture USB sound card using the Octa Capture ASIO driver and it made no difference. Conclusion - it is not a windows or hardware issue.

    There is NO setting in Reaper or Cakewalk that makes the slightest bit of difference, not block size or any of the various buffer sizes. Conclusion - it is not a DAW issue

    What's left? The only recent change in my system is when I upgraded Core to 1.5. I can only conclude that the 1.5 plugin has a bug.