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Old 11-07-2013, 11:43 AM
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kirkbross kirkbross is offline
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Default How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

I know it's a multi-faceted issue, but if I wanted to track a VI with my buffer set really low, like 32 or 64, which piece is most responsible for preventing that: the computer (CPU), the hardware interface, the DAW software or the plugin design / efficiency?

I have a 2008 Mac Pro / Digi002 / Pro Tools 11 regular and can't track VIs with anything lower than 256 samples. It does vary a little depending on the particular plugin, but if I set my buffer to 64, I can't play a single note on any plugin without clipping my CPU.

I'm wondering if I got an Apogee Symphony, would my problem go away or would HD Native (keeping the Digi002) help this issue more?
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:51 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkbross View Post
I know it's a multi-faceted issue, but if I wanted to track a VI with my buffer set really low, like 32 or 64, which piece is most responsible for preventing that: the computer (CPU), the hardware interface, the DAW software or the plugin design / efficiency?

I have a 2008 Mac Pro / Digi002 / Pro Tools 11 regular and can't track VIs with anything lower than 256 samples. It does vary a little depending on the particular plugin, but if I set my buffer to 64, I can't play a single note on any plugin without clipping my CPU.

Stop looking at CPU meters. What exact DAE or other error do you get from Pro Tools when things don't work?

I'm wondering if I got an Apogee Symphony, would my problem go away or would HD Native (keeping the Digi002) help this issue more?
What piece? All of them More info needed on your computer, what exact processor? what exact disk drives (make/model/rpm - and on which disk are samples, audio files etc. stored)? How much RAM, etc. as much clear info you can provide from the System Information utility.

What exact VI and plugins are you using? are they all up to date?

Is the systems fully ptimixed for Pro Tools?

I assume you mean you are tryign to track a live recording at low buffer while simultaneously playing a VI?

The easiest and a very common work around, is to run with a large buffer and print the VI (or multiple VIs) to audio track(s) and then disable the VI and just use the audio track. Offline Bounce in Pro Tools 11 can make this a bit easier.

And for various reasons based on your computer, workload etc. you just may never get to reliable 32 byte buffer sizes, regardless of how you try.

HD native will not work wit a 002, it requires a TDM interface (Omni or HD IO etc.) so I'm not sure what the question is there. Nobody can really give you helpful advice without knowing a lot more about your current computer, workloads (plugins, VIs, how many tracks, how many simultaneous tracking, what sample rate etc. etc.) and what overall you are trying to do.

Darryl
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

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Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
More info needed on your computer, what Processor? What disk drives? How much RAM, etc. as much clear info you can provide from the System Information utility.

What exact VI and plugins are you using? are they all up to date?

Is the systems fully ptimixed for Pro Tools?

I assume you mean you are tryign to track a live recording at low buffer while simultaneously playing a VI?

The easiest and a very common work around, is to run with a large buffer and print the VI (or multiple VIs) to audio track(s) and then disable the VI and just use the audio track. Offline Bounce in Pro Tools 11 can make this a bit easier.

And for various reasons based on your computer, workload etc. you just may never get to reliable 32 byte buffer sizes, regardless of how you try.

Darryl
I'm trying to track a VI. I have an 8 core MP with 8GB of RAM running Mountain Lion.

Some VIs (Omnisphere) I can track at 128, but PLAY (v4) w/ EWQL Pianos I can't track lower than 512. It sucks.

Certainly there exists a system on which you could track a VI at 32 samples? PT 11 HDX w/ an HD i/o with a 12 core Mac Pro with 64 GB of RAM for example?

I'm just wondering what is "most commonly" the culprit for CPU clipping.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:44 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

The audio interface driver is what manages the buffer size. So you're stuck with what you got.

What you can do to get around this problem with PLAY is to load up another, less complex piano VI. Run your MIDI track to both that VI and to PLAY. You can A/B by muting. This will get around the problem of latent playback... Unless you're using keyswitches, in which case you're probably out of luck.

So what's the problem, you're dealing with latency? Or does PLAY gobble up too much CPU to be used at buffer sizes of 128 or 256 samples? If I recall correctly, there's no "conserve CPU" or "lite mode" setting in that plug-in for low-latency tracking. You can probably just increase the sample rate, so your current buffer represents less time. Raising from 44.1 kHz to 96 kHz should decrease your latency by almost 50%, but of course it will hog the CPU a bit more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
HD native will not work wit a 002, it requires a TDM interface (Omni or HD IO etc.)
HD Native is a whole system, including a PCIe/thunderbolt device. Pro Tools HD (the software alone) will work with any device that works with PT non-HD. So upgrading to HD is an option for him, although that will *not* solve his problem. Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD are the same software, it's just that Pro Tools hides certain features if you don't have an HD license.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:48 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkbross View Post
I'm trying to track a VI. I have an 8 core MP with 8GB of RAM running Mountain Lion.

Some VIs (Omnisphere) I can track at 128, but PLAY (v4) w/ EWQL Pianos I can't track lower than 512. It sucks.

Certainly there exists a system on which you could track a VI at 32 samples? PT 11 HDX w/ an HD i/o with a 12 core Mac Pro with 64 GB of RAM for example?

I'm just wondering what is "most commonly" the culprit for CPU clipping.
Disk drives? Disk layout? Where are the VI samples? Audio files? CPU specs? What memory? More detail needed. Is the systems fully optimized?

But to answer your earlier question, the most important thing with a VI is the user/proper computer setup/proper optimization etc. Then the computer specs, then everything else. So exact details on what you have and have optimized or not would likely help.

So you are trying to play a MIDI keyboard live? Not just play back an existing VI track? But do you actually have a problem at lower buffer size (and what specific DAE error) or are you trying to "fix" the CPU meter showing a high load. As I said stop worrying about that.

Are you recording MIDI from the keyboard or tracking the audio out of the VI or both?

Make sure all VIs and other plugins are up to date. And that you've followed any systems optimization/tuning advice from those vendors (I'm not sure with what you are using but sometimes those tips are very useful).

Its more straightforward with PT11 but you could also post a screen shot of your playback engine settings dialog screen.

There is absolutely no guarantee there is any system that can "track a VI" with tiny playback engine buffer sizes. The reason many VIs end up having to be used with larger buffer sizes.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

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Originally Posted by mesaone View Post
Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD are the same software, it's just that Pro Tools hides certain features if you don't have an HD license.
I was always wondering about that. If PT HD in and of itself provided any performance boost (latency, etc.) beyond the extra features you get. Considering you can't buy it brand new without an interface, it's a moot point in my case.

I do want a new interface but don't want a FireWire interface as TB is the only interface on the new Mac Pro (which I'll be getting at some point in the next year or two).

It sounds like moving from a FW interface to a PCIe or TB interface would do a lot to improve performance in a number of areas. I just can't swing $3k right now, but I'm saving up for an Apogee Symphony or AVID HD I/O.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2013, 01:29 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

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Originally Posted by kirkbross View Post
I do want a new interface but don't want a FireWire interface as TB is the only interface on the new Mac Pro (which I'll be getting at some point in the next year or two)
Thunderbolt>Firewire is supported by many manufacturers. Plus, if you end up getting an external chassis, a new firewire PCIe card (with the coveted TI chip) can be found for less than $50.

Honestly, I don't think it's the interface that's causing you a headache right now. I have a lowly MBOX3 on my home rig, and I can track Omnisphere at a 128 sample buffer with no errors or spiking CPU. Check your setup and verify that you've updated PT, EastWest, and follow the optimization stuff Avid recommends. Look into the CPU settings in play, I know there is a setting where it drops voices when usage exceeds a threshold.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

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Originally Posted by mesaone View Post
Thunderbolt>Firewire is supported by many manufacturers. Plus, if you end up getting an external chassis, a new firewire PCIe card (with the coveted TI chip) can be found for less than $50.

Honestly, I don't think it's the interface that's causing you a headache right now. I have a lowly MBOX3 on my home rig, and I can track Omnisphere at a 128 sample buffer with no errors or spiking CPU. Check your setup and verify that you've updated PT, EastWest, and follow the optimization stuff Avid recommends. Look into the CPU settings in play, I know there is a setting where it drops voices when usage exceeds a threshold.
Thanks... I will do some optimization. I know PLAY in particular is noted to be poorly optimized but I'll look for some settings. I can also track with a super lite piano... like XPand and playback with PLAY Pianos.

Related, but a different kind of latency... when I track drums, I have to track directly onto audio tracks with no plugins... if I try to add compressors or EQs, or track through AUX tracks bussed to audio tracks, I end up with massive latency. Is this the same issue?
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:29 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

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Originally Posted by kirkbross View Post
Related, but a different kind of latency... when I track drums, I have to track directly onto audio tracks with no plugins... if I try to add compressors or EQs, or track through AUX tracks bussed to audio tracks, I end up with massive latency. Is this the same issue?
It's hard to say. It could be the same issue (assuming that there is an underlying problem that is causing your PLAY issue other than the PLAY plug-in itself) but for drums it is kind've a non-issue since you want to track dry anyway... At least for monitoring purposes.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: How to track with 32 or 64 sample buffer?

Try to keep the VI's samples on a separate drive and not the main drive where Pro Tools is.
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