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Old 01-09-2014, 03:35 PM
russrags russrags is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 83
Default Playback Engine Settings

I built a new computer that's really smoking. My old computer was just a single core processor, so this new 6-core processor needs to be set up differently in the Playback engine. Just wondering what people have found that works best.

Playback Engine

Host Processor: ??? 1-12 Processors

CPU Usage Limit: ??? 40% - 99%

I think I'm getting some latency with a UAD2 Card and Plugins while mixing.

i7 6-Core / 16 GB RAM / LE002 / WIN7


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Old 01-09-2014, 06:00 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 14,931
Default Re: Playback Engine Settings

There is no hard and fast rule, everything depends on exactly what plugins you are running, the session workload etc. so be willing to experiment.

Start off at a good stable setting of one less than the number of physical cores. i.e. CPU=5. That is 5 cores for plugin processing and a whole core for Pro Tools itself (so it won't be starved of CPU). Depending on your sessions, plugins etc. you may be able to increase the CPU setting above this. That allows some plugins to use hyperthreading virtual cores to squeeze performance out of the CPU. Virtual cores don't really exist, but when a core is idle waiting for say a memory access, it can get to run some of the virtual core. In other words, you only get to use those "virtual cores" when the work on the physical core is actually inefficient.

I normally start out wiht % set to 99%, in many ways this is a hang over from uniprocessor days, but as you push up the number of cores you may need to pull this down.

And of course this all depends on your IO buffer size as well. if you do not have low latency tracking needs, then just set that high, 1024 samples or so. Otherwise its experiment with that as well and see.

Oh since you have a UAD card, well you are just not going to get to run at low buffers with the high latency involved in getting to that card. If you really need low latency tracking, you should not be using UAD plugins, if you want to use the plugins and be ultra reliable you may be running at 512 or even 1024 samples. Read and understand the well written UAD documentation.

While playing around make sure that "ignore errors" is *not* checked so any problem shows up as early as possible.

Take the time to make sure all your third party plugins are up to date, and compatible with your OS and Pro Tools version and your system is fully optimized, both those things make or break many otherwise high-end systems.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:23 AM
russrags russrags is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 83
Default Re: Playback Engine Settings

Thanks Darryl,

Much appreciated. Yea this is just mixing, no plugins during tracking. While Mixing I usually keep my Buffer Size at 1024, the extra cores, makes for new info for me in the Host Processor section. But I'm running Pultecs/1176's/LA-2A/Studer 800/other EQ's and such and tons of audio tracks. Sounds like a lot of stuff for a minimalist like me. I'll fire it up in a bit and try some new settings.

Thanks again,

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