Network completely blocks usage of Vital for several minutes

December 15, I used Vital (standalone) on my Ubuntu Studio 18.04 machine in a class – perfect. Everything worked fantastic. The kids were really impressed.

Today, when I run the standalone, it displays the GUI but is completely unresponsive after that. Even the close-window button doesn’t do anything.

Today, I also tried it using the vstplugin~ external for Pure Data. This can open a generic editor with sliders for parameters (limited usability), but the native Vital GUI likewise fails to load.

According to /var/log/apt/history.log, the last time any software was updated on my system was December 14, one day before the successful demo in class. If the log is to be believed, nothing has changed since then… but, now Vital isn’t working.

OK… after a reboot, I think I see what it is. While launching Vital, I also opened the network monitor. Vital hangs at the moment of accessing the network. (In the classroom, there was no network connection – so the network attempt failed immediately and I could use Vital. At home, the network attempt didn’t fail immediately, but didn’t succeed either.)

I’m in mainland China, by the way.

After several minutes, it finally gave up and now the interface is working. But nobody would/should accept multiple minutes of delay when opening a plug-in, no matter where they live.

If the program is checking for updated content, this could be done upon user request. It’s OK to check automatically, but please time out within 5 seconds (and perhaps put up a message somewhere advising the user that there might be available updates but that automatic checking failed).

Vital is generally fantastic, but its current networking usage is a near-total impediment to adoption in some parts of the world. The network requirement really needs to be made optional. I’d love to promote it to my students but they will simply not bother after it hangs once like this.


There is a naive assumption by some younger people in Western countries, that everyone is happily connected to the (benign) Internet 24x7. This developer hopefully will understand that such a view is incorrect, and that many of us who could be, don’t want such exposure to intrusion, tracking and instability. Or the degraded performance. Personal Computers were originally developed to be places of refuge and privacy. This is critically important; PLEASE disable any default network seeking.


Then you also disable the Text to Wavetable function.

Yeah not sure why this is happening. Usually things succeed or fail and nothing freezes but under certain internet conditions thing hang. Still looking into why and should have a fix at some point.

If you uncheck “Check for updates” when you click on the logo does it make this better?

No. The behavior is the same.

The distinction here is: If you don’t want the app to touch the network, you can choose not to use “Text to Wavetable” – but if it accesses the network at launch time, then the only way to prevent that is not to launch the app, which disables a whole lot more than just one function.


Well it is what it is so either allow it to connect or uninstall it and move on. Perhaps Matt will change things in the future. You can come back then.

Alright it might be my authentication library trying to get a new token for text-to-wavetable requests. I thought it did that on another thread but that’s the only network thing going on if “Check for updates” is unchecked so that’s probably the cause. I’ll put in a fix for the next version.

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Thanks for the diagnosis – looking forward to the next release!

I’m not quite clear whom you’re addressing here.

You might be conflating a couple of comments. Fernand’s objection to network access has to do with concerns about privacy and freedom. It’s not entirely unreasonable to say basically “like it or lump it” in that case (though it is abrasive in a way that doesn’t really belong here).

Mine is about musicians in a region of the world where it’s exceedingly difficult to “allow it to connect” – not a matter of personal choice.

In any case, it takes an immense amount of work to create a polished and feature-rich software tool, and that work is worth something when people use it. I’m glad that Matt understands that it’s in everyone’s interest to make Vital more widely usable around the world.


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I was addressing your comment and was not being abrasive at all. Just pointing out the reality of the situation as it stands now. The part of my post you failed to quote is: “Perhaps Matt will change things in the future. You can come back then”. It’s obvious Matt wanted the plugin to have access to download patches, updates and content. Case in point:


Which when you click on that area takes you to the “Vital Store” on the internet which is not yet open.

If people can come here to complain about network connection it’s obvious they have some network connection.

Thanks for the clarification. What I was trying to say is that there’s a difference between saying “Unfortunately, there seems not to be a solution in the current version so you will likely have to wait for the next version” vs “either allow it to connect or uninstall it and come back later.”

It’s entirely reasonable for users to come here and register issues with network connectivity. If nobody talks about it, then it never gets fixed.

Many VPNs work on browser connections only, not other apps.

As for downloading more wavetables or presets, of course it has to go online for that – but, given a fundamental set of wave tables, one can happily use Vital and choose not to click on that button. Launch-time network issues are an entirely different category of problem.

Over and out. Looking forward to the next update.


My point is the developer can not be expected to make Vital work for every user. I’ve seen people complaining about Vital not working in cracked DAWs or on old systems that simply aren’t up to specs.

Sadly some people are just not going to be able to run Vital. That’s just a fact. The developer has designed Vital to work with an internet connection so is it fair for people who for whatever reason either can’t or won’t connect to the internet to expect precious development time be spent on getting it to work for them when there are other issues that could be addressed with that development time ?

I fully understand that it gets annoying when different people complain about the same thing again and again. I’m active on the SuperCollider forum, helping with questions, and I feel the same thing myself sometimes. Here, it’s compounded by the fact that VST users are likely less technical and less patient (e.g. I just saw “Nice while it lasted” which is, of course, a terrible way to ask a technical question).

With that said… we did uncover one useful diagnostic data point in this conversation (that it isn’t due to checking for updates). I’m happy about that.

Of design decisions: Sure. Every design decision has consequences. Most are desired. Some will be undesirable. Of those, they may be easy or hard to fix (and some might be undesirable to fix – say, if the fix would break something else that is important). Matt’s already put networking issues into the “desirable to fix” bucket so I think the rest is moot at this point. Understood that it’s frustrating to deal with people who come here with an attitude of entitlement.

As an unrelated sidenote, props to Matt for releasing a Linux version. It interfaces well with vstplugin~ in Pure Data and VSTPlugin in SuperCollider. (One thing SC doesn’t have is oversampling wavetable oscillators – Vital is a nice option to have.)


Alright, good to know there is a knowledgeable elderly willing to share his wisdom with naive youngsters… :wink: just kidding!

But now that I’m reading about clogging issues after installing vital, I might have experienced something very similar, and yes, I’m expecting my 10 Gbit/s network (LAN/WLAN) to be quite a bit faster than recently - so yeah, I’m interested by this!

There seem to be different levels of block/delay/lag. The outright hang when looking for updates is easy to manage by disabling Check for updates. Then there are the cases when clicking outside the “box” returns control. And finally annoying minor cases of lag, like when e.g. switching presets.

We have a local LAN that doesn’t reach beyond the local segment, and with LittleSnitch running. If the LAN were to run wide open to the Internet we’d have to be watching for potential breeches on several machines that have nothing to gain by standing out in the middle of the freeway.

We’ve seen Logic itself become beachBalled with specific network configs. Here’s a case where people were blaming audio and video cards, and it finally turned out to be due to background DNS queries.

An app’s merely checking for network availability can cause lag. If it fails at any level in the protocol stack, there are different timeouts before it gives up. If the Vital code could deliberately completely avoid/bypass any network tests/tries/requests when the Check for Updates is turned off, that might solve all the issues when a system is operating off the public 'net, or with a slow Internet connection.

A friend that I’d recommended Vital to said he couldn’t get it working,
in his case VST on Windows.

He said:
But when I bring it up in my DAW,
it immediately asks me to log in.
When I input my email and new password,
it says “logging in” and then just hangs there. Nothing happens.

If I click on “Use off-line”,
then I get the software but with no Presets.

So, sadly, it’s just not working for me.

you can log into your account here and download factory content (presets and stuff) manualy.

and you can use vital offline when you just click somwhere outside the log in popup.

In 1.0.5 I have two fixes for this. I put some of the network requests in a background thread so shouldn’t halt startup if it hangs.

I also put in a ‘Work Offline’ option when logging in. If you click on that it won’t make any network requests.

Hope that fixes your issue!

Are you 1.0.5? It’s possible I missed a hanging network connection that was made on the main thread but I thought I separated them all so shouldn’t hang anymore.

I’ll install 1.05 and try. Thank you so much.

Hi Matt,
I’m running Version 1.05 in Logic 10.5.1 under Mojave on a 3.47 Ghz 12 core 5,1 Mac Pro. LAN is active but only routes point to point to other studio machine. No DNS server running and no hardware router. Wifi disabled. LittleSnitch firewall running. Video card is a HD 7950 w/ 2 4K/60 screens.
BTW, I don’t see a “Work off-line” checkbox. I had logged in when installing the first time and it’s not demanding a login after the new 105 version installed. Clicking outside “the box” dismisses the dialog OK.

Vital beach balls for up to 10 seconds when changing presets in the preset browser. Not on every one, seems like every 2nd or third preset. Can it ever take that long to load wave files?

I got a reproducible crash (panic) of the whole machine, (only) when running Vital in standalone mode, and loading preset Ngbolu from the TngKaos bank.

Haven’t seen a panic crash on this machine in years. Do you want the panic log, or the whole system report? This preset loads fine when Vital’s instantiated in Logic.