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Old 08-08-2007, 09:57 AM
mahler007 mahler007 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 306
Default 96 KHz performance on a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Machine?

Hi Duc,
I am a proud owner of a new Mac Pro 2.66 GHz machine. I can't tell you how happy this has made me!

I am currently working on a really tough mixing project, and my Dual 450 G4 (altghough I love it still) just wasn't hacking it. I found myself having to group tracks and apply plugin parameters globally in order to conserve CPU usage, and the project was suffering. It's so nice to have a machine where plugin usage isn't even an issue- I can use as many as I want (it seems) and the System Usage meter barely even blinks.

Not that I'm a huge plugin user to begin with, but it's great to be able to open a bunch of different ones and use them sparingly if I want to, without worrying about the ultimate overall CPU hit. This has helped my project immeasurably, as I'm able to now to focus on individual track processing instead of groups! Also, I can run a few different reverbs!! The result is that the whole mix sounds so much more open and spacious- I never thought life could be like this!

Anyway, I digress, but I just wanted to share in my glee.

I have a friend who has an HD project he recorded at 96KHz, and he would like to do some prelim mixing on my setup. I'm not sure how many tacks it is (I think probably around 20-24), and I'm wondering if anybody has experience running a session like this on one of these machines. I always run 44.1 KHz/24 bit, and have never used 96KHz. Anyway. here are my specific questions:

1. Will my new machine be able to handle 24 tracks at 96 KHz?
2. If so, will I be able to run more than 5 plugins!??
3. Will I have any problems clocking and monitoring at this rate through my Rosetta 200 via SPDIF?
4. Will there be any problems importing an HD session to LE and then exporting back to an HD setup for final mixing?

If anybody can give me a few pointers, I would greatly appreciate it. As always, I bow to your infinite wisdom and experience, oh DUC...

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Old 08-08-2007, 04:32 PM
mahler007 mahler007 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 306
Default Re: 96 KHz performance on a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Machine?

Ha ha! OK, I answered my own question for once
I ran a little test, and this is what I got.

For the test, I imported a 7 minute track at 44.1/24, upsampled it to 96KHz, and duplicated it 15 times. I then split the 16 stereo tracks into mono tracks. If anybody sees why the way I did this test might not be giving an accurate picture of what's going on, I would appreciate some clarification- I'm not sure if duplicating all the same audio (as opposed to using different audio samples for each track) is affecting things. Anyway, here goes:

Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66GHz with 3GB RAM
Playback engine set to 4 processors at %85 each.
32 tracks at 96KHz.
32 instantiations of the Sonalksis 517 EQ
32 instantiations of the Pultec EQP-1A
32 instantiations of Smack!
32 instantiations of D-Verb (mono)
32 instantiations of the Massey CT4

At these settings, the System Usage meter was just in the yellow, at about 3/4ths of the way up the scale. I encountered no problems during playback, and no CPU spikes. I should also say that open background applications, such as Mail, Safari, etc. seemed to function normally without any apparent sluggishness.

I realize that some of these plugs are not so CPU intensive, but I find Smack! to be somewhat greedy, and 32 instantiations of D-Verb isn't anything to scoff at either. Anyway, I'm certainly not disappointed

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Old 08-08-2007, 07:16 PM
marchhare marchhare is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 89
Default Re: 96 KHz performance on a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Machine?

I was curious about this myself. I have pretty much the same setup as you, MacPro 2.66
w/ 5 gigs of ram, plus the Apogee 200, 003R. I came from an 001 and an ancient Mac g4 733.
I'm astonished at the performance I'm getting with the new Mac. I can run more plugs than
I'd ever need to now. The only thing that I couldn't run was BFD, but I solved that by
buying Strike, which is working great. All I have to worry about now is writing good songs,
not my CPU meter. I've been meaning to try doing a song at 96k, to see for myself if it
ends up sounding better, but I didn't want to get stuck halfway through not being able to
run enough plugs. Next song I start, I'll try 96. Thanks for doing the test.
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