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non-musical sequence misbehaving, speed issues, stuttering

Discussion in 'LightShow Pro (LSP)' started by nutz4lights, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    Hey all (posting this here and LSP forum in case folks don't hit both),

    I am running into some odd issues with the Sequencer & Scheduler, version: 2.8.5288.34152

    Let me preface this by saying that, I don't know that I've ever really gotten LSP to run smoothly with my entire display hooked up. The display consists of 9,000 WS2811 pixels and another 6,000 dumb RGB elements, as well as 2-3 old fashioned LOR PC series controllers. I have so far in the last 2 years limited myself to strictly animation sequences because I didn't feel like doing the music approach and being let down by the results after investing so much time. I have two computers that I have tried all of this from, Core i5 (3 years old) with 16GB RAM, gigabit NIC, 2GB video, Samsung Pro SSD, and then a 5 year old Core i7 with 6GB RAM, 1GB video, gigabit NIC, SATA HD. The effects of what I see when I run the Sequencer are pretty similar on both machine, although, the older Core i7 does a horrible job when I try to run the lights in Scheduler mode (so I use it for sequencing).

    I have linked a video I recorded tonight that consists of roughly 4 minutes of animation... I made a 2 minute animation sequence and then a separate 1.5 minute animation sequence and have them running in scheduler. Again, no music, just animation. These were sequences that I created after running some shorter tests of the macros and seeing what looked "smooth" since so much of what I have tried to run is jittery.

    https://vimeo.com/113674103

    The first thing you will notice from the video aside from the jitteriness is the apparent change in speeds... I created a macro that runs between 0:34 to 2:09 with 4 separate color segments that were all supposed to be the same speed and duration... they definitely are not the same speed and I have no idea why that is... need help. Also, in the Sequencer, that segment was only supposed to last 60 seconds, but runs for nearly 95 seconds... how could that be? Again, need help.

    The red effect that lasts from 2:09 to 2:28 was supposed to be 20 seconds but seems to be moving slowly and there was supposed to be a similar 20 second (but green) segment after the previous 20 second segment, but that second 20 second segment only lasts for 2 seconds. THEN
    there was supposed to be another 14 seconds of sequence that is completely missing when played back through the Scheduler.... HELP?!

    At 2:36 in the video, the second sequence (90 seconds long) is supposed to start. There is a series of red/green/white macros initiates that is supposed to last for 60 seconds... at 4:00 in the video, that "60 second set of macros" is still going and the Scheduler shuts off (I ended the video as well), but the last 30 seconds of that second sequence NEVER plays... HELP?!

    So, the sequences I created were supposed to run for 4 minutes total. The Scheduler actually plays for 4 minutes total... but the content it plays only represents a portion of what was actually in the sequence in the sequence editor.

    Something is obviously wrong with this picture and I'm hoping someone here can help me understand what that is. Again this is a big part of the reason that, for a second year in a row, I won't have any music in my display after doing well orchestrated music since 2006...

    Thank you,

    -Louie
     
  2. OP
    OP
    nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    I have officially stumped the internet! No ideas?

    Louie
     
  3. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    There are a couple of possibilities as to why it is happening. The 1st is the sequencers scheduler program just isn't keeping up. Transferring across to xlights might solve that problem. The 2nd is that your hard drive might be having a hard time "serving" all the data up. I doubt this would be the issue but a defrag might sort it. The 3rd is that your network isn't capable of handling all the data and packet losses is causing your scheduler to slow down while it keeps trying to pump stuff out. Having a look at the networking tab on task manager might show up a problem but remembering that if you have a gigabyte NIC and downstream of it a 10M switch it could be something that you can't see doing it. The choice of multicast and unicast can make a dramatic effect on the performance of your E1.31 boards so checking your settings there might be a solution.
    Providing it's not a network jam up I'd reckon the best option is to get your playback off your PC and put it on a Pi and use the FPP (Falcon Pi Player). It's capable of sending out 64 universes worth of data or more out of a $35 board the size of a pack of smokes. All the Vixen displays with large channel counts and a number of the LSP displays are going this way as it really is a legendary bit of gear.
     
  4. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Are you using Unicast or multicast ?
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    What is your network utilization at im wondering if you need to split up the network as you are running a heap of channels.

    Is this the only sequence that is effected

    Seems like a lag issue due to too much data, but im not sure what is causing it, so check your network utilization to see you are not overloading your network
     
  6. OP
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    nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    Thanks for the replies everybody, let me try to clarify some of your questions or comments:

    Gerry: I am using Unicast. I have 7 p12s controllers, 1 e6804, 1 pixlite4, and 1 pixlite16, each has a unique IP address, so I am using 10.10.10.1 through 10.10.10.10 and the overall network IP address is set to 10.10.10.20 I also have several of Alan's DC series controllers (15's and 30's running out of the above controllers as well as 3 LOR PC series controllers running in DMX.

    Eddy: I have been keeping an eye on network utilization and I swear at one point I saw upwards of 27mbps. Regarding the sequence, what you see in the video above is actually two sequences, so it is happening to both sequences. I also have seen this on shorter 30 second sequences (again, where I am applying macros to the entire 30,000 channel display at once), so it seems to be constant, some percentage, but I haven't calculated what that is yet. I have seen the network/zone command when setting up a controller... is this something that folks do frequently? Do you need two network cards and two switches?

    Alan: I will read up on trying to use the xlights scheduler... from what I've seen, I guess I just export out of LSP to a composer file and then let xlights/nc convert it to xseq to run in the xlights scheduler. I don't know how the hard drive could be struggling on the core i5 computer, it is the latest Samsung Pro SSD and was just installed in the spring (the OS is a fresh install from the spring as well and that computer is only used for Christmas light stuff). Now, on the Core i7 computer (older), which is my daily user and has an older SATA drive, I could definitely see that being the issue and as I mentioned, I can't even run the Scheduler from that computer. So I added a new 16 port gigabit switch last night and it didn't change anything. So the setup is now computer > Intel Gigabit NIC (correct drivers) > Netgear Pro gigabit switch > controllers. As I mentioned above, I'm running Unicast, isn't that ok? If not, what is? I don't mind spending the money on a Pi setup, but I'm not sure I can get it going quick enough. I'm slammed at work and would really need some direct information on what to buy and how to set it up without requiring too much time unfortunately.

    I wanted to add that I am running this as 109 universes.

    I also wanted to add that, in the Scheduler setup, under the Additional Configuration options, I am using Asynchronous and Periodic with the Periodic with 30msec and Asynchronous set to 0msec. I honestly don't remember why I set them to that, but do those seem reasonable for high universe and high channel count?

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply.

    -Louie
     
  7. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    I am also using Unicast (for no reason other than this is how someone helped me set it up) and I had very similar issues if any one of the controllers (I have 4) was not connected and being communicated to when I was playing the sequences. (There is an old post from Shell a few years ago about this) .
    [Only the ones with an IP address needed to be on , not the other ones that then hang off them]

    Another recent thread indicated that if you have wifi on (or had it on before a reboot of your PC that day) , you may encounter similar issues.
     
  8. OP
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    nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    Ok, you gave me two more things to try... because it just so happens that, due to the fact that my 2014 Technicolor pixels failed this year (just like the 2013 Technicolor pixels)... and I had to unplug my 6804 controller on the one part of the roof and a few outputs on the p12s controller on the other part of the roof... I should probably go into the output setup and deactivate those...

    I am also running WiFi because I shuffle sequences around the two computers and need network support... I guess I will try to shut it off, shutdown, restart with no wifi and see if that affects anything.

    Regarding Unicast versus Multicast, I was under the impression that Unicast was the only way to go in these "high throughput" applications.... am I incorrect in my thinking?

    -Louie
     
  9. dale82

    dale82 Senior Elf

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    I am wondering if your controller numbers are too close together, also try turning wifi off as I have noticed if I have wifi going it can interfere with the show.
     
  10. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    I am running unicast and under additional settings using asynchronous and periodic, periodic interval at 30ms and asynchronous interval at 0ms and it's working fine so thought your settings should be ok there.
     
  11. OP
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    nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    Real quick update... disabled wifi and also deactivated the universes for the one controller that I forgot I wasn't using... and the sequence actually runs at the right speed now! BUT (and it is a big but), it still isn't running smoothly. I will try to get a new video... basically, before tonight, the 2 minute sequence was being somehow stretched out in time by roughly 30% and then still cut off at the 2 minute mark (i.e., the last 35 seconds was simply not being played in the scheduler output)... tonight, I was able to get the full 2 minutes to run in the 2 minutes allotted, which is an improvement...

    We also made some progress by getting another local light guru's Falcon Pi brought online... but the output process from LSP > xlights/nutcracker > FSEQ (and just to XSEQ for that matter) has something wrong... the colors are all out of whack... they are mixed up... almost like RGB is really BRG or something... created another post to delve into that one..

    I also tried the 30msec/0msec and 30msec/30msec and 30msec/50msec timing settings in the LSP Scheduler output and it didn't make a darn bit of difference... it was obviously in the disabling of wifi and deactivating the unused controller universes.

    Any other ideas are still welcome, because it is still choppy... maybe this core i5 with 16GB RAM just isn't enough to run 30,000 channels in LSP Scheduler...

    Thank you for the dialogue!

    -Louie
     
  12. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Hi,

    Am glad that there is progress. I expect that you have made the same config changes in the sequencer and scheduler output config.

    Where in the scheduler is the "30msec/0msec ..." defined ? Cant help you with the channel size question- mine is a fraction of that, but I think that people such as Beacy and others have fairly large configs under LSP. Do you have the seam problem via the sequencer ?
     
  13. OP
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    nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    Same problem in sequencer and scheduler. The timing setting in the scheduler is located in the configure outputs box. All the way at the bottom there is a drop down box for extra settings and it is in there
     
  14. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    If this issue is mainly happening when you use macros over the whole display then I would redo the macros with a reduced timing, what is the timing of these large whole display macros?

    First i would remove the macro and then remove the old timing marks and then reapply the macro with a reduced timing, i only ever use 8 to 10 FPS on large macros to reduce the data that is required to be processed. Always be concious of the fact that every timing mark gets processed so if you have created heaps of timing marks due to playing around and moving macros then this may be causing your issue as there is too much data to process for these macros on your PC.

    The issue may also still be related to your network utilization especially if you have seen improvements by switching off the WiFi, I would also disable any anti virus protection if you have that active as that may be also slowing things down.
     
  15. OP
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    nutz4lights

    nutz4lights Full Time Elf

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    Eddy: I've always used 15fps by default being a novice and not thinking about it too much. I will definitely go and create some new animation sequences with maybe 8, 10, and 12 to see where it breaks down. Do you see any issue with the fact that these are animation sequences instead of musical? I don't understand why the lsp scheduler shows the 2:00 minute animation sequence I created in sequence as 4 minutes in the scheduler playback window...when the 2:05 long musical sequence I created shows up as 2:05. Any ideas?

    In these music-free animation sequences, I haven't moved macros around at all, just created them as applied to the whole 30,000 channels @ 15fps, saved the sequence and tried to play it.

    Louie
     

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