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Wish Signal Processing Pause - Importing Axe III Presets

JoKeR III

Power User
Just spitballin' and thinkin' out loud here. Regarding exceeding the CPU limit of the FM3, either through attempting a 'kitchen sink' preset, trying to add 'just one more' block or importing Axe III presets, it is possible to reach a point where the preset 'freezes' FM3 Edit. Would it be possible to add a pause feature that would stop the signal processing of the FM3 from FM3 Edit while keeping FM3 Edit active in order to remove blocks until the preset falls into the 'safe zone'?

Not sure how many would find this useful, I've only encountered this a handful of times on the FM3 and Axe III and I have absolutely no idea if this is even feasible. Just one of those things that crossed my mind (really short trip!) and made me go 'Hmmmm'.

This would be different than the <Pause Communications> feature that stops communication with the FM3. This mode would keep communication open and stop the the blocks from processing.





Anyone that gets the Arsenio Hall reference automatically gets to pass GO and collect nothing.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I don't think that's possible.

If the addition of a CPU-heavy block freezes the FM3, Edit won't be able to force control as it's shut out too waiting for the CPU to process. It's the downside of using a serialized connection like USB, there are no hardware lines from Edit and the computer to poke the FM3 CPU in the eye and tell it to stop what it's doing and pay attention. Edit isn't really in control, it just gives us the perception that it is. Instead, it tosses requests like "add that block to the grid at that spot" or "cut that block and paste it there" or "throw the harpoon" to the FM3 which then processes things when it has time. A "stop processing" command would be blocked by the overloaded CPU queue and wouldn't get processed until the previous tasks occur.

Back when I programmed Macs there were several occasions I got the system in a tight loop that couldn't be exited even by pressing the hardware reset button and my only recourse was to pull the power-plug - yeah, I was that good. :) Fractal might have a supervisor job running that could be told to watch for CPU overload that occurs after n seconds, and if it occurs, to flush the command queue, or to watch the incoming USB bus for a "Hey! Stop everything and listen to the editor!" command. That's the only way I can think of that they'd accomplish it, but even those are prone to fail under really heavy load because something has to process that supervisor code, which means it'd be another processor with some way of watching the main CPU or it's running in supervisor mode inside the CPU... It's been a long time since I cared about that level of computer architecture so maybe it's in place, but if it was I'd imagine Fractal would already be taking advantage of it.

As a work-around I'd quit Edit, then power-off the FM3 for five seconds, then hold down the Home button and power it up, forcing the FM3 to start from an empty preset, then restart Edit and use the Preset Manager to clear the preset, or reload a saved version of the preset that doesn't have that block in it. Trying to navigate to that preset and reopen it could cause the problem to reoccur so I'd be hesitant to tell the FM3 to load it. (p.102 in the FM3 manual talks about it.)

And, there are smarter people than me here, so maybe one will chime in and have a better procedure.

And, there's a movie reference in there too.
 
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