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Old 03-23-2019, 12:01 PM
stevedresser83 stevedresser83 is offline
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Default 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

Trying to understand what determines what cores of a cpu are being used for processing. When I pull up system usage in a 192k session and load a bunch of plugins to the point where it starts to get cpu errors it shows uneven usage of the cores (attached screenshot). Is there a way to get protools to make better use of my cpu and the cores that are being unused? If not, does this mean cpu speed is a more important stat than cores? So a 8core 4ghz cpu would be better than a 5 thousand dollar 24core xeon cpu at 2.2 ghz for running protools?

Is there really any practical way to have a rig that can mix in 192k with lots of plugin instances?
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:17 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

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Originally Posted by stevedresser83 View Post
Trying to understand what determines what cores of a cpu are being used for processing. When I pull up system usage in a 192k session and load a bunch of plugins to the point where it starts to get cpu errors it shows uneven usage of the cores (attached screenshot). Is there a way to get protools to make better use of my cpu and the cores that are being unused? If not, does this mean cpu speed is a more important stat than cores? So a 8core 4ghz cpu would be better than a 5 thousand dollar 24core xeon cpu at 2.2 ghz for running protools?

Is there really any practical way to have a rig that can mix in 192k with lots of plugin instances?
Depends on what's in the session. If you're using vi's spreading out the load amongst multiple instances instead of putting everything into one or two instances will help spread the load. For instance if you're using a sampler like Kontakt or EW Play instead of loading a whole string section into one instance put the violins in one, cellos in another, etc.

Another way to spread the load is to use VEPro to host things. A lot of people here do that on one machine or more. You don't need to run multiple machines to run VEPro effectively but it's neat and takes a load off the main computer.

You don't give specs on your system which would help. Also I have to ask - why 192 KHz?
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Also I have to ask - why 192 KHz?
Yes, and especially which playback buffer are you using? Smaller buffer means more CPU problems.
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:57 PM
stevedresser83 stevedresser83 is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

more interested in mixing audio and less about VI's or production. Playback buffer was 2048 maxed. I'll try and post full computer specs later. Why 192? Well this started with me A/B'ing a mix done at 44k to some other mixes that sounded more "crisp" in the high end. Obviously there's so many potential reasons for that. I was curious though and for fun I did a save session copy of my mix up to 88k. Changed nothing about the mix at all and bounced. The 88k mix sounded better to my ear and a few other people. So then i said well is it really? I imported both bounced files (44k mix and 88k mix) into a session and inverted the phase on one and sure enough there was lots of high end information coming through. 88k really did sound more "crisp". This makes sense because there are more snapshots per second taking place for a plugin to get a smoother more accurate snapshot of what its doing. By analogy its like the difference between a wav file and a mp3. You can hear a subtle difference in the high end usually. So then i was like well how bout 192? I then did a test where i took 1 drum loop with 1 eq (pro q2) 1 band boosting 8db high shelf at 3k. I did this to the same audio in a 44k and 192k session and then brought both bounces into a session and inverted the phase and same thing. I heard information. I also feel like i can audibly hear the 192k drum loop sounding more crisp in the high end compared to the 44k one and thats just 1 track, 1 eq, 1 band. I used to think 44k was all i ever needed but 192k just sounds more crisp and clean. If i want dirty, i'll distort a track or bit reduce it, but it seems ideal to me now to be mixing at 192k if possible. Doesn't seem possible in protools though because of cpu load and track count. This is where im currently at, and how i got here over the past 24 hours.
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:12 PM
LDS LDS is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

You might find this an interesting read. The potential victor at 96kHz is a chap named Mark McKinnon-Bassett, who has a PhD based on listening and ear training. - http://www.trustmeimascientist.com/2...mount-everest/


What plugins are you running? There is a very good chance that they are causing the skew in CPU usage. I know at Avid Eleven MKII for example is particularly bad at spreading the load over multiple CPUs. You may want to try removing all the plugins, then experiment with different ones to see how they effect the CPU load. In some cases processes will be serial rather than parallel, and you will benefit from having higher single core CPU speeds than more CPU cores. Just personally, I don't think there is any real benefit using 192kHz sample rates.
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:18 PM
deafguy deafguy is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

Hi,
My observations point to the plugins themselves. Whether there’s some coding that Avid could do to ‘fix’ the issue, maybe some of you guys know.

I’m running a 2012 5,1 cheese grater, 12 core with a HDX card and a UAD card, I’ve tried toggling between 12 and 24 cores, doesn’t make a noticeable difference.

The two sets of plugs that clearly demonstrate the situation for me are Acustica and Waves.
I can run maybe 6 Acustica plugs before my rig craps out. The usage is concentrated on the ‘middle’ cores, consistent with a lot of the screenshots we’ve all seen.
On the other hand, I can load up 64 channels with the CLA Mix Hub, all sections active, all tracks assigned to 8 buckets, no problem.

The system resources graph shows equal usage across all cores. The machine runs fine with 80-90% usage, no spikes. I can fill up the slots with DSP / Native and UAD plugs, maxing out all the cards, no problem.

A few tracks with Acustica plugs, buffer @ 1024, is all my system can handle.

So it seems pretty clear to me that my rig is pretty capable with the right plugs.
After years of Pro Tooling I'm used to work-arounds and hiccups.
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:15 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

The CPU utilization you are seeing is not unusual.

It very much depends on the signal flow in Pro Tools, with processing for plugins in a signal flow happening on the same core.

You can reduce this effect by avoiding long chains of plugin processing.

You should certainly be trying to use freeze/commit to offload processing.

Especially if a Mac, disabling hyperthreading may help.

Few people work at 192 kHz. I would be surprised if you can hear a difference from say 96 kHz, when done blind, on very high end playback hardware.

Worrying about CPU meters may not help, a Pro Tools Systems is all about balanced performance and worrying about lots of little details, it may help if you provided more details on your system, what exact errors you are getting and what standard troubleshooting you have tried.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 03-23-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:55 AM
the.engineer the.engineer is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevedresser83 View Post
I was curious though and for fun I did a save session copy of my mix up to 88k. Changed nothing about the mix at all and bounced. The 88k mix sounded better to my ear and a few other people. So then i said well is it really? I imported both bounced files (44k mix and 88k mix) into a session and inverted the phase on one and sure enough there was lots of high end information coming through. 88k really did sound more "crisp".


This is curious, if you recorded at 44.1 and then converted to 88k, surely nothing will change as the audio is still 44.1. The missing samples can’t be added in by upsampling.

I suppose what may have happened is you had amp sims or virtual instruments that were converted to 96khz?


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Old 03-24-2019, 02:02 AM
stevedresser83 stevedresser83 is offline
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

Nope the plugins work better at higher sample rates. Sample rate is basically the amount of snapshots per second. So 88k is twice as many snapshots per second. This allows the plugins to be more accurate in how they draw an eq boost or cut, or compress a signal, or whatever it may be. Even when i imported a drum loop (recorded 44k) into a 192k session and did 1 single plugin boosting high end, that alone created a difference compared to the same drum loop, same eq boost at 44k. The proof is I bounced both, flipped the phase on one and i hear high end content when played together. Conclusion is that plugins manipulate the audio better at higher samples rates.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: 12 cores not being used equally (cpu errors)

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Originally Posted by the.engineer View Post
This is curious, if you recorded at 44.1 and then converted to 88k, surely nothing will change as the audio is still 44.1. The missing samples can’t be added in by upsampling.
Missing high-end cannot be added, but the plugins processing may change their behaviour -- read my last two posts about upsampling/downsampling. If that is the case and you are heavily using such plugins, it is generally best to do the upsampling once and just mix in 96k to allow plugins to work better
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