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  #11  
Old 02-22-2017, 12:37 AM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

Just updating the thread with my steps so people with similar issues know what works or doesn't.

I had reinstalled windows 7 recently and forgot to go in and unpark processor cores. After changing this Pro Tools still responds about the same, although I can see the load shift around a bit more when changing processor affinity. Still showing system CPU usage of less than 40% when Pro Tools is spiking to 100%+. Been reading up and seems like there's similar issues across all versions of 11 and 12. My iteration of the problem is probably just exacerbated by using VI's exclusively with no live audio.

Should have my other DAW by tomorrow. Not a move I wanted to make but in addition to confirming the issue is unique to Pro Tools I've been wanting to learn the other DAW so collaborating will be easier.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2017, 02:11 AM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

Ran into this: http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=379714

So it appears the system usage meter also takes audio driver load into account which is a whole different can of worms and now it seems like we're staring at a bigger issue with how DAWs handle plugins in realtime.

If I run into similar results with the new DAW I'll report back and then delve into how something like Vienna Ensemble Pro either helps or hurts. I may be looking at another solution there as VEP would be focusing on instrument processing externally and Pro Tools/Another DAW could be left alone to focus on just the mixing/mastering side of things...

I just can't accept that audio processing wouldn't have the resources it needs to catch up, not when mine and others CPUs are hardly starting to scratch 30-50%.
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2017, 08:26 PM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

Just wanted to update with where I'm at. Since I'm going for Cross-DAW testing I decided to go with a clean install. I'm still waiting on the licencing key for the new DAW to arrive, so I jumped back into Pro Tools for a bit.

Now running Windows 10 64-bit
All plugins are updated to their latest versions
Still on 11.3.1 as apparently you need to pay for 11.3.2. Nope.

Still seeing the same CPU usage anomalies in the project, unfortunately. I was really hoping the OS environment was playing a part. While still under Windows 7 I systematically disabled all unnecessary drivers one by one after finding no issues in latencymon, just to be sure. No effect.

On to DAW number 2, which is supposed to actively manage plugins to reduce this type of overhead. After that VEP. I'd actually be overjoyed if someone pointed out something incredibly simple that I missed that just made all of the problems go away. I'd gladly pay 2 seconds of looking like a moron on the internet so I could go back to making music.
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2017, 09:24 PM
Barry Johns Barry Johns is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonesteak4dinner View Post
Just wanted to update with where I'm at. Since I'm going for Cross-DAW testing I decided to go with a clean install. I'm still waiting on the licencing key for the new DAW to arrive, so I jumped back into Pro Tools for a bit.

Now running Windows 10 64-bit
All plugins are updated to their latest versions
Still on 11.3.1 as apparently you need to pay for 11.3.2. Nope.

Still seeing the same CPU usage anomalies in the project, unfortunately. I was really hoping the OS environment was playing a part. While still under Windows 7 I systematically disabled all unnecessary drivers one by one after finding no issues in latencymon, just to be sure. No effect.

On to DAW number 2, which is supposed to actively manage plugins to reduce this type of overhead. After that VEP. I'd actually be overjoyed if someone pointed out something incredibly simple that I missed that just made all of the problems go away. I'd gladly pay 2 seconds of looking like a moron on the internet so I could go back to making music.

Send me a PM, I will let you log into my Avid account so you can download 11.3.2. Avid is so criminal in thier practices these days. No way you should have to pay for that bug fix update!!!!!
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2017, 10:08 PM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Johns View Post
Send me a PM, I will let you log into my Avid account so you can download 11.3.2. Avid is so criminal in thier practices these days. No way you should have to pay for that bug fix update!!!!!
I appreciate the offer Barry but looks like my problem lies elsewhere.

Installed Cubase today and copied over the project exactly. Guess what? Same results! About the same idle at 30%, and besides being able to select a new higher buffer at 4096 the active performance was identical. Again, it also reports it's using about 25-30% CPU in Windows despite the 100% load in it's own meter. This is with all levels of their active VST management, high to low. Regardless of whether I'm close to 100%, the Maximum Realtime Audio Processing Load indicator was continuously lit.

The project itself contains about 20 virtual instruments with Serum, Massive, Battery, and Kontakt. There are two aux channels with reverb for different instruments, and finally Ozone 6 on the master fader. All of this is heavy to do in realtime simultaneously, I know, but my CPU isn't even working very hard while the audio glitches out. Session is at 88.2kHz and 32bit.

I've temporarily alleviated the issue by running the session at 44.1kHz instead. I have no reservations about doing so and originally chose 88.2kHz mostly because I could and because I liked the idea of the session values being doubled from the final render at CD quality. However, even with the reduced sample rate, the Pro Tools/Cubase system usage sits around 40-50% when the actual CPU is now sitting closer to 15%. Again, not a good margin.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2017, 10:16 PM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

Thank you for anyone still following along. So I guess we arrive here:

What determines the capacity for realtime processing? It's clearly not CPU bound as I've never hit more than 55% ever and generally sit lower than 30%. Is it that the mix engine itself is having difficulty rendering all of those voices down to stereo? If so, is my interface responsible for this? Since I'm not using an HD edition, I was under the impression that all processing, including the mix engine, was handled by my CPU.

Questions, questions. Well, now that I have a Steinberg Key I can grab a trial of VEP. I'll try this in Pro Tools and Cubase and see if it offloads some of that processing from the ASIO driver...
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2017, 02:00 AM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

One man show here. But FINALLY some results.

VEP works like a dream, but for different reasons than expected. I tried one instance of VEP per instrument, and one instance with all instruments loaded inside and routed audio to AUX tracks. Results were the same.

VEP in plugin mode STILL uses the host's audio processing capabilities on the VEP server, but has it's own share of the processor from a Windows perspective (Windows still ran at 30% between the two programs the whole time by the way, it literally does not care what I do inside of Pro Tools ). Thus, loading everything into VEP and changing nothing results in NO performance gains. HOWEVER, they have a handy feature to introduce a processing buffer, and that was more or less the magic fix for me. By setting the size to 4 buffers (roughly a 10th of second), the 88.2kHz session idled at 40% (as before), but never jumped to more than 55% in Pro Tools, even with everything record enabled. No pops, glitches, etc. Roughly that means I'm looking at a .1 second delay before any Pro Tools plugins receive audio, and then the buffer imposed by my interface kicks in.

Bear in mind my workflow involves virtual instruments exclusively and since I sequence and edit by hand, requires no live input. So the total delay literally makes zero impact on me whatsoever.

So, now I've found myself two good workarounds that have zero negative impact on audio quality, but the original problem is still unsolved. How can I increase my capacity for real-time processing? I'm happy to solve it with a software shim in the meantime, but why do I have to do that at all with a 30% CPU load?
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2017, 05:12 AM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

A one man show still needs an exit right?

The project went smoothly all the way through the end. Grew to 35 instrument tracks (mostly heavy synths) all running through VEP instances. At its heaviest it got to 75% CPU in Pro Tools, with my system reading about 5% behind it. Now THAT'S getting what I paid for out of my CPU.

I have plenty here to make a case with Avid and at least grab some more info if nothing else. I'll report back with any insight from them, but either way I hope there's some good info here for people with similar workflows. VEP will absolutely save your life.
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:27 AM
pianomanharry pianomanharry is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

I know this thread is almost two years old, but a good read... thank you! I’m having a similar issue.
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  #20  
Old 02-21-2019, 08:04 PM
tbonesteak4dinner tbonesteak4dinner is offline
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Default Re: Real CPU Usage vs. Pro Tools System Usage Window

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Originally Posted by pianomanharry View Post
I know this thread is almost two years old, but a good read... thank you! I’m having a similar issue.
Wow, didn't expect to see this thread again! Well, all I can do is provide the information I've learned in the meantime. Yours to read if you want to, I tend to be quite wordy.

To give you the short answer to what I eventually found. You want a fast processor, specifically with good single threaded performance. If you run wide sessions with many tracks, you want more cores. To get both of these things you're looking at high end i7 and i9 processors. i5s don't have the core count still, and Xeons don't have the single threaded performance. But even with the best choice of processor, it's still unlikely you can do everything live with low latency without freezing to audio, unless you run slave machines.

If I were able to talk to myself from a couple years ago, I'd say to stop worrying about it. Keep the i7 machine and invest in some hardware synths and effects to handle the heaviest and more specialized tasks. This is more or less what I've done. My new machine has an i9-7900X, 32GB of RAM, only SSDs, and an RME HDSPe AIO PCIe audio interface. It can lift the world on its own, but I've also paired it with some hardware synths that I really enjoy. It takes the work off the machine, and it gives me unique sounds to work with.

The information is there if you're willing to dig forever (like I was ). It comes down to a couple things. Audio in general is hard to turn into a parallel task for multi-core processors. Most DAWs still do it by track, and only some VSTs offer beneficial multi-processing. So no matter what, a heavy synth VST will be a heavy synth VST until plugin designers change the way they're written. In addition, we don't really have great options for a dedicated add on card for sound processing, not like our friends in the video production industry. We have things like Waves soundgrid, but they're often proprietary and only run that company's plugins. Maybe one day we'll have a dedicated card for audio effects processing that's worth its cost and open to any developer.

Please feel free to ask any questions and I'll provide an answer if I can. Good luck with your journey.
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