Big stutter when selecting CH window since update?

New Here ,
Oct 20, 2018 Oct 20, 2018

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I've had a strange issue I can't seem to fix since the new update. Whenever I select and deselect the CH window I get a 1 - 2 second freeze on the program. Because I use it with OBS live this is not ideal. I use other programs/games and have to click on the window whenever I want triggers to work, causing a big freeze on the character which is very apparent. I assume there is something going on with CPU priorities, or things changing when the windows is in and out of focus. But really have no clue. Any help would be really appreciated!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Oct 20, 2018 Oct 20, 2018
I don’t know about the stutter, but one approach is to use a midi keyboard for triggers. Then you can leave CH minimized. I was eyeing off some foot pedals, but have not justified the expense yet.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 20, 2018 Oct 20, 2018

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I don’t know about the stutter, but one approach is to use a midi keyboard for triggers. Then you can leave CH minimized. I was eyeing off some foot pedals, but have not justified the expense yet.

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New Here ,
Oct 20, 2018 Oct 20, 2018

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Oh really? I didn't know midi functioned that way. So if I were to click off CH and open a game, I could use a midi controller and it would allow me to use triggers where a keyboard wouldn't? I'm just trying to be thorough about clarification here haha. That is amazing. I was actually thinking I would buy a laptop if I couldn't find a solution and use a keypad/midi device with that, and then use NDI to transmit to PC. But I suppose if midi works it would be easy enough to share the load on a 2nd streaming computer alongside OBS.

Is it possible to get midi controllers/devices that don't look like keyboards and don't take up huge amounts of space? More like a keypad that just uses midi? I think I will have to get something I can use for now but have no idea where to begin. All I know is I want as many buttons as reasonably compact as possible.

It would be nice to fix the stutter but this would pretty much solve the issue given that I'd never have to interact with the program when live, outside of calibrating the view and tracking. Really appreciate the help.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 20, 2018 Oct 20, 2018

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There are all sorts of MIDI controllers around. There is "Hot Hands" I came across in someone else's video - its a ring for a DJ so they can wave their hand around and control effect levels. OkSamauri in a tips and tricks video showed some sliders and buttons that clicked together in different ways (but I cannot find it now). They were small. There are lots of different devices available (not just piano keyboards). I saw these foot pedals that looked interesting. So there are lots of physical devices from the music industry.

The foot pedals interested me with the new "replay" feature in CH. You just use your feet to play different sequences, keeping hands free for the game. I think it is supposed to work even when CH is minimized. (I still have to try it out myself.)


Regarding CPU power, not much experience there. Last night I tried OBS with Audition for sound filtering with Photoshop to do a stream. My my normal laptop I managed to get one frame per second out of CH - REAL sluggish. Then I borrowed my son's newer beefly laptop, and it was streaming at 7fps without problem. More CPUs (6?), GTX 1060 graphics card built in, etc. Fan going full bore, but it kept up for what I was doing. So it does seem to depend on the hardware you have whether you need a second laptop.

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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Ah that is so cool. The foot pedals could be really useful in future. I noticed there are a lot of different midi controller pads that could be used. Do you know how many midi "hotkeys" CH is capable of having? Like how many midi button triggers is the limit? Are they bindable or programmed into the devices?

Also do you know if its possible to use 2 midi controllers at the same time and have them operate as like "Device 1: Buttons 1 - 12" and "Device 2: Buttons 13 - 24" so that it might be easier to organise and save space on a desk? I could totally imagine some elaborate pedal/pad/pad setup for a really involved process if that is possible.

Do you mean the replays are supposed to work with midi when the window is out of focus, or triggers generally? I'd really like to be able to get some confirmation on this before I make any purchases is all.

And yeah my system can just about keep up on one PC but not with newer games so I might have to think about that. Again thanks for all the help <3.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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I dont know of any limits in CH, but there are some limits in MIDI (but not very serious ones). I think the CH limits are more if your puppet gets too complex it may get slow.

MIDI supports 16 midi channels. In each channel you have 127 notes (real keyboards have 88), plus you can have controllers for things like foot pedals and sliders (e.g. volume, pitch bend). Might have 127 of them as well (not sure exactly, but certainly multiple).

Most MIDI instruments allow you to change the MIDI channel number, and come with a default. I bought a cheap keyboard once (under $50) and I don’t think you can change the MIDI channel number.

You also need to think about cables. MIDI was originally a 5 pin DIN connector, but these days you really want to plug into a computer so want a USB connector. That foot pedal I mentioned I think does not have USB, so you would have to buy a connector cable as well of some kind.

So yes, you can certainly have multiple MIDI devices - just give them different channel numbers. MIDI was designed so you can have lots of things plugged together (e.g. keyboard + foot pedals + synthesizer + modulators/effects + ...). Things like the foot pedals so you can do it all in a live performance. CH just used it as well (and other Adobe products).

The easiest way to program it up is you can into the control panel in layout mode, click on the control, then hit the note on the keyboard. That binds it to the trigger. So its pretty easy to do all the bindings. (I was playing with software doing it - I converted HTC Vive VR headset movements and controller button clicks into MIDI events.)

Regarding working with the Window minimized, I still have not tried it myself yet. KJerryK​ do you know? Any words of wisdom to add? I will try to give it a go soon. I would definitely check before buying anything, or borrow some equipment to try it out! I did mean for all triggers, not just replays. (I have not tried replays yet.)

PS: I am not a MIDI expert - I tinker. E.g. I think MIDI can now have more than 16 channels, but not sure how. But 16 should be heaps, with 127 notes per channel, plus control events per channel. I don’t think you will ever run out.

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Guru ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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alank99101739  wrote

Regarding working with the Window minimized, I still have not tried it myself yet. KJerryK  do you know?

I'm a little behind on the forum, been on the road about a week. What I saw in earlier versions of CH is that when the focus is not on CH, then it did not respond to triggers. This included virtual midi apps as well as keyboard. In the latest release, I see that if the focus is not on CH it still does not respond to keyboard triggers, but it does respond to midi signals from a virtual midi app. I have not yet tested it with an external midi controller, as I haven't had occasion in that case to unfocus CH.

When minimized, CH stops recording, so I suppose it also will not respond to midi.

Edit: After a little further reflection, I retract what I said about the previous release and midi. What I was thinking about is recording, in which case I found that if CH is unfocused while recording it stops recording. It still sees the midi trigger however. To record midi, the unfocus of CH has to happen before the recording countdown is done.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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Thanks Jerry! I did not know if you minimized before the countdown it would still record! Interesting. I just tested it, and yes. If you are recording and do a minimize or un-minimize window, it stops recording. But if still in the recording countdown when you minimize it, it will start recording minimized correctly!

Streaming appears unaffected by being minimized as well - you can minimize/expand any time.

Webcam and MIDI are not affected by which window has focussed or is minimized. So MIDI and webcam work with CH minimized. Not sure what happens if you are running more than one software trying to use the camera, but I could minimize CH and use another app while streaming, and the NDI stuff would pick up the moving character controlled by MIDI and webcam movements fine.

If the CH window does not have focus or is minimized, it does NOT get keyboard events or mouse events, so keyboard triggers do not work when it is minimized.

(Note: You can program OBS to receive keyboard events even when it does not have focus, which is useful for switching scene views etc.)

I hesitate to say “100% to go spend your money”, but certainly on my machine CH was receiving MIDI events with the latest CH release even when minimized while streaming.

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Guru ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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Are you also seeing that if CH is recording while unfocused, it immediately stops recording when you focus on it again?

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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Just tried that combination too - it seems that gaining or losing focus stop recording. If it loses focus before recording starts, then getting focus back stops recording. I just submitted a feature request for minimize/maximize to not stop recording. Don’t stop recording when minimize/maximize windows – Adobe video & audio apps - not a huge deal, but convenient.

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Guru ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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It's interesting that Premiere Pro does not have this behavior. Focus/Unfocus has no effect on PrPro recording from live video that I've found.

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2018 Oct 23, 2018

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KJerryK  wrote

alank99101739   wrote

Regarding working with the Window minimized, I still have not tried it myself yet. KJerryK   do you know?

In the latest release, I see that if the focus is not on CH it still does not respond to keyboard triggers, but it does respond to midi signals from a virtual midi app. I have not yet tested it with an external midi controller, as I haven't had occasion in that case to unfocus CH.

I wonder if this change has anything to do with the stutters I'm experiencing. There must be different things going on at least if the program is listening when out of focus, whereas before it wasn't. I've no idea though.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 23, 2018 Oct 23, 2018

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I am using OBS with Character Animator (and Adobe Audition of sound processing). I am not noticing any freezes on my son’s hex core (!!) laptop like you describe. My dual core laptop simply could not cope - I got 1fps out of it. Unusable.

So have you checked memory levels etc? I am wondering if it’s just paging the application back into memory.

And my son made it absolutely clear he does not want to swap laptops with me... darn it!

I had a quick look at the website for that launchpad mini device you mentioned. My $20 midi keyboard (I got it on sale!) I just plugged in and it worked. But it Is very barebones. I listened to some videos on the launch pad mini device you mentioned. It sounded like each column was a separate midi channel? If its midi I think there is a good chance it will “just work”. But I could not work out what it actually does. As long as it generates note events you should be fine, but it was not a slam dunk from the description. I would guess it will work - but make sure you can return it just in case! ;-). I would also be checking to see what the connector is - is it a MIDI cable or a USB connector?

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New Here ,
Oct 24, 2018 Oct 24, 2018

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That is curious. Also worth keeping in mind is that I've been using CH well over a year and never run into this problem until the latest update. I assume I have enough memory (16gb, I'm on a desktop) as it worked before but is there any kind of specific memory setting that could have been changed for CH itself? Probably something in the latest update triggered something, somewhere lol. At least going through MIDI should hopefully be a workaround.

I went with a Korg nanoKEY2 in the end as they are relatively cheap and from looking at the online manual it is possible to change channels. Though right now I can't make use of more than 25 buttons anyway. Looking into the launchpad further showed that it is also possible to change channel but I don't want to spend the money just yet (the way it is setup is quite complicated as well). Both are USB devices fortunately. Hopefully I won't run into any issues with the nanoKEY2. I think eventually I'd much prefer a Laptop with an always focused CH so I could use custom pads and MIDI if I wanted to additionally.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 24, 2018 Oct 24, 2018

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Very curious! How big is the project? I wonder if it is recompiling some caches or something when it gets focus? Sorry, no more ideas from me! I hope the nanokeys works well!

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Guru ,
Oct 24, 2018 Oct 24, 2018

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Lewishead  wrote

Is stuff like Ableton needed if you are just using a physical MIDI controller by the way?

When just sending signals live from a physical controller you don't need any virtual devices. If you want to record the signals for later editing and use, some physical controllers let you do that, but I prefer the virtual apps which are much more versatile. In my usual work flow I first use a virtual device to record all the midi signals for all the puppets in the CH scene. Then I edit to make any adjustments in timing of actions for the various puppets, so when I get to recording the scene in CH I can record the actions for all the puppets at once by playing the midi recording. Timing of puppet actions can be adjusted in CH after recording by moving the triggers in the timeline, but I prefer the virtual device, which is quicker and more precise, and provides a recording in case it has to be done over.

By the way, if you're shopping for a physical midi device, some may come with one or more free virtual devices.

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New Here ,
Oct 24, 2018 Oct 24, 2018

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Oh that is really cool, I didn't know you could use MIDI in that way to record. I'll keep that in mind if I ever do anything other than live. Thanks again .

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2018 Oct 23, 2018

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Thanks so much for all of this info it is incredibly helpful. I highly doubt I would run out of midi triggers any time soon if ever in that case haha. Are there any software requirements for midi controllers by the way? Or if I plug it in will windows detect it and would I just go into CH and start binding keys. I was looking at this particular device: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LaunchP2mini--novation-launchpad-mini which seemed like it could be really good, maybe even paired with some pedals and one of these: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/nanoKEY2BY--korg-nanokey2-keyboard-controller-blue-yellow-li...

Those alone would be 89 keys without foot pedals, which could be excessive. But if all of that would work together then it is something good to know for the future. I need to do more research as ideally I'm looking for basic button inputs that I could configure with labels of some kind.

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Guru ,
Oct 21, 2018 Oct 21, 2018

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Lewishead  wrote

Do you know how many midi "hotkeys" CH is capable of having? Like how many midi button triggers is the limit? Are they bindable or programmed into the devices?

I don't think there are any CH limits to the number of midi triggers a puppet can have. I made a grand piano puppet that has a midi trigger corresponding to each note of the 88 piano keys. So I can use any virtual music app  that sends out midi signals -- e.g.; Finale, Ableton Live, Anvil Studio -- to control the piano.

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2018 Oct 23, 2018

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KJerryK  wrote

Lewishead   wrote

Do you know how many midi "hotkeys" CH is capable of having? Like how many midi button triggers is the limit? Are they bindable or programmed into the devices?

I don't think there are any CH limits to the number of midi triggers a puppet can have. I made a grand piano puppet that has a midi trigger corresponding to each note of the 88 piano keys. So I can use any virtual music app  that sends out midi signals -- e.g.; Finale, Ableton Live, Anvil Studio -- to control the piano.


Oh that sounds neat, and that is good to know. Is stuff like Ableton needed if you are just using a physical MIDI controller by the way?

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 24, 2018 Oct 24, 2018

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alank99101739  wrote

OkSamauri in a tips and tricks video showed some sliders and buttons that clicked together in different ways (but I cannot find it now). They were small.

Probably these: https://palettegear.com/

Fairly pricey, but a neat setup if being able to re-arrange them is useful enough.


DT

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