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Bug report: dropped midi messages

I have encountered a bug where some midi messages are getting dropped, here is a video where I show how to repro it: https://youtu.be/9ACTbfXxZ9U

This is in beta 40

hi lukas, this is not really a bug, it is due to the fact that vvvv works in frames, like a video.
so what you are missing, is the messages that got sent between two frames. so per frame, you just get that last (latest) midi message.

the Buffer Length pin on the node can help you to store more messages that happen between two frames, try to change its value. but it will introduce a little bit of lag.

if you want event based midi processing, have a look into the VL midi nodes:

If you check the video you can see that values still get dropped when I max out the buffer length, that can’t be intended, can it?

I will check out VL midi.

indeed, i have to say i cannot explain the problem you clearly document in the video. but before we dive into trying to figure out the problem, VL.Midi should be the better choice in any case. because even if the values would be received correctly, you’d probably have a hard time handling them further. VL though is exactly made to deal with such async input.

and then maybe it actually makes more sense for you to use vvvv gamma right away. or do you have any reason not to?

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I was at first worried about using gamma since it’s in development and I usually like to use stable software more, but after your recommendation I tried it out.

After some initial friction due to gamma working differently from beta I got the hang of it once I realized it’s much closer to regular programming (which is what I’m used to).

I just got some initial midi working and it’s a much smoother and more stable experience.

I would like to have 3D stuff, but I see that’s next up in the pipeline and it’s looking really promising. Excited to try it out!

Thanks for the help!

would be interesting to hear where did you get this impression from? gamma is stable since a few months:

2020.1 is also the version you are getting in vvvv beta 40. so you can use event based midi with all the 3d features of beta, if you prefer that.

the fact that it’s progressing fast and we constantly develop it further, doesn’t mean it’s unstable. it just means we work a lot on it.

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Here’s how I got the impression that vvvv gamma is unstable:

  1. vvvv is in beta, or maybe it’s just named beta? Either way, this new software is in/called gamma, so I assumed that it was in some kind of early development/unstable stage as well. Never heard of gamma stage, but since it’s the next greek letter after beta that was my assumption.

  2. Then I read the most recent release blog post. It says “here is the fifth bug-fix release for vvvv gamma!”. So that made me think that there are probably many bugs in it considering it seems the five most recent releases contain only bug fixes.

  3. I decided to try it anyway because maybe all these bug fixes means there are no (few) bugs left! However after playing around for just a few minutes I ended up in a state where no matter what I did (create node, edit node etc.) created a new error message. This verified to me that this is indeed unstable software.

After using it more though it seems stable enough. I’ve had a weird issue where it sometimes stops capturing any MIDI events [EDIT: See next post for solution]. When this happens I can even start MIDI-OX and connect to the device while vvvv is running and should be capturing those events. If vvvv was actually connected like it indicates it is (no red nodes or anything), then MIDI-OX would give me an error, but MIDI-OX is capturing the events as usual, so no problem with the hardware. Restarting vvvv or re-plugging the MIDI controller doesn’t fix the issue, have to restart the computer. I’ll provide repro steps if I figure it out.

I’m currently using vvvv beta since it has access to more things, and I’m using VL for as much as possible. Working with MIDI in VL is working great compared to vvvv beta, and I’m able to do all I want there without issues (other than the weird connection bug I wrote about above).

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If I right click on an empty space I can press recompile. This has gotten the Midi input to work again for me when it stops working without any explanation.

EDIT:
Recompiling didn’t work one time, there were rogue vvvv processes in the background, force closing them solved the issue.

thanks for your (outside) perspective on this, very helpful!

what would have given you a better, more stable impression (except using it for a while).

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I’m glad to provide this perspective and happy that you are interested to hear it!

  • A name that isn’t beta or gamma or any other greek letter would help, to me it indicates unstable software.
  • The download page for gamma says In preview since April 2019, vvvv gamma is the next generation of vvvv, entirely rewritten from scratch.. If it used words like production ready or stable or used by professionals instead of preview, it would feel more stable.
  • At the top of the gamma download page it has a section saying It claims to be popular for: #creativecoding #generativedesign [etc, etc]. This gave me the impression that it doesn’t have an established or solid use case yet, (probably because it’s not so developed, meaning it’s probably unstable) (“claims to be popular for”? Wouldn’t you know?). More confident wording would make it seem more finished and stable.
  • In blog posts for new releases—like the one I linked above—it would help if you point out the state of the application and the fact that it’s stable (if it is). Like recently we’ve focused on bug fixes to ensure a stable user experience, with this being the fifth bug fix release in a row we have once again fixed all known crash bugs making vvvv gamma rock solid for production [blablabla]. Make sure to upgrade and report any new bugs at [link]
    Providing a link to report bugs right there shows to me that you really care about the stability, and will probably increase the number of bug reports you receive—leading to more stable software. Remember that a release post like that could be one of the first pieces of official information about the software that a potential new user comes across—it was for me—so it can really help to tell the reader what the information means and what conclusion they should draw from it.
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Thanks so much for that feedback. I basically agree on all of them, you make a point.
I’d like to emphasise on one in particular, the hashtags and „claims to be popular for“. I also felt it was phrased weirdly humble and didn’t spark trust, but as I’m around here for 10 years I got used to the humour that surrounds vvvv and easily dismiss my concerns … I guess this also goes for the beta/gamma wording, and so on - some things started as a joke or have some different tradition in this community, but it needs some explanation for the outside world and might harm the overall onboarding experience.

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