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  #1  
Old 09-13-2005, 06:17 AM
garybiscuit garybiscuit is offline
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Default Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

Hi,

I've been hitting a wall, so to speak, with how many plug-ins I can use in Pro Tools (v6.4) before I get the dreaded "You are running out of CPU power" message. Needless to say this is not only a little annoying, but -- more importantly -- it's hindering my ability to create music. My system stats are:

Windows XP SP 1
2G of RAM
Pentium 2.8 GHz processor (80532, 512k cache, 800 MHz FSB, Socket N)
Pro Tools 6.4 (w/ Digi 002)


I vaguely recall hearing that Pro Tools has the ability to make use of a dual-processor system. I was wondering if anyone out there has sucessfully made such a system, and -- if so -- could tell me how to go about making my own. I'm pretty saavy with these here computer things (I'm an Oracle DBA) but working with hardware is not my forté, so I'd really need detailed instructions on how to go about the whole matter. Thanks.


- Gary
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2005, 08:20 AM
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spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

A dual processor system is (currently) not going to help you unfortunately.

Maybe you could describe one of the sessions you are having trouble with? Track count, plugins used and where/how, samplerate and bit depth of the session, etc.
With that information someone here might be able to give you some recommendations as to how to alleviate your problem.

Also, are you using DVerb at all? Are you aware of "denormalization" and the fix for it?
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2005, 09:22 AM
garybiscuit garybiscuit is offline
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

Thanks for getting back to me... the session where I experience the most "slowness" and often encounter the "You are running out of CPU Power message" looks like this:


Track 1: DRUMS [ C4, C1 Comp, TransX (Multi), RVerb ]
Track 2: CYMBAL [ C4, C1 Comp ]
Track 3: FLUTE1 [ C4, C1 Comp, Super Tap (2-Tap) ]
Track 4: FLUTE2 [ C4, C1 Comp ]
Track 5: BASS [ C4, C1 Comp ]
Track 6: AMBIENT [ C4, C1 Comp ]
Track 7: MOOG [ C4, C1 Comp ]
Track 8: *MASTER* ( none )
Track 9: SPARE [ C4, C1 Comp ]


----[ legend ]-----

C4 = Equalizer (Waves)
C1 Comp = Classic Compressor (Waves)
TransX (Multi) = Transients Compressor (Waves)
RVerb = Renasaince Reverb (Waves)
Super Tap = 2-Tap Echo (Waves)

----[ legend ]-----


The sample-rate and bit-depth are both the Pro Tools default (I forget the actual numeric values for both of these). I'm not using DVerb.

I've painted myself into a corner where whenever I add another track and attempt to start recording, or even move a wave-block around after the track has been added, I recieve the "You are running out of CPU power" error. If dual-processors won't help, maybe I need a lesson in multi-track recording best-practices. Thanks


- Gary
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Old 09-13-2005, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

Some of those plug-ins will definitely "drain" your CPU power. Using an Aux track or tracks with the plug-ins applied once to lessen the load is an option. However, if you need to increase your CPU "horsepower" a trip to the computer store for an AMD 64 3700 or higher (with 1024 L2 cache), the motherboard for the CPU and a gig of matching dual channel RAM may be in order.

Cheers,
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2005, 11:49 AM
garybiscuit garybiscuit is offline
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

Bruce,

How much would a board like that set me back and where could I get one (maybe you know of some dot.coms that sell them)? Also, as I mentioned earlier, I'm a little squeamish when working with hardware. If I were to replace my motherboard, would I be able to do just that (i.e. *replace* my old motherboard with this new one?).

I have a Dell Dimension 8300 (with the specs defined up top in my first message). Thanks.


- Gary
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Old 09-13-2005, 11:52 AM
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spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

So you're using the C4 on every track? I think you might be confused about what the C4 is and what it is used for. (or maybe I'm the one who is confused?) As far as I was aware, the C4 is a dynamics processor; a multiband parametric compressor. Using it in the way that you are could definitely be causing unnecessary CPU drain. (maybe I'm wrong about that? someone please confirm)

If you aren't changing the settings of the compressor plugins(excluding the c4 for now) you can "print" the effect to track to free up CPU.

As Bruce was saying, it's possible that consolidating some of the plugs on an AUX track, especially if you are using the same settings on many of tham will also free up CPU that is being used unnecessarily.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2005, 12:06 PM
garybiscuit garybiscuit is offline
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

I've been using C4 as my equalizer, so maybe I'm mistaken... if it does compression too I haven't been using it for that. Maybe I could "cut my CPU cost" as it were, by making use of it's compression features as well.

I understand what you mean about "piping" the needed effect through an AUX channel, but unfortunately all the tracks have unique C4 settings.


- Gary
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

If you're in the US check the "Best Desktops" thread at the top of the forum for links to on-line retailers that you could order parts from. And no, replacing the motherboard isn't going to help you, you would need to upgrade the motherboard, CPU and RAM and would also be wise to get a Zalman heatsink & fan. You would then need to format your OS drive and reinstall Windows and your programs. As long as your Audio sessions are on a physically separate drive - not a partition of the OS drive - they'll be fine. Sounds like a hassle, but the power increase would be worth it, at least it was for me.

One suggestion, find a good computer parts store in your area, take them a list of what you want and want to do and get a price from them. The store I use will build and burn in a new system for the cost of the parts and re-and-re a system for $50.

As mentioned, however, you can lighten the CPU load you have now on your current system by AudioSuiting tracks and/or bussing to an Aux track with the required plug-ins applied to it once instead of many times, if the settings are the same. If the settings are not the same, make presets so you can duplicate the effect and AudioSuite each track with the required plug-ins. Only problem with this is if you want to make changes to the plug-in settings, you have to go back to the original and redo everything. You may want to keep the plug-ins real-time, but print the track to another track, disable the plug-ins so they don't use any resources and use the new track in the mix. If you want to make changes, delete the new printed audio, reactivate the plug-ins, make the changes and print a new track. If you're running out of tracks, you can turn the track with the plug-ins off too.

And yes, the C4 is a CPU hog, much as the Audiotrack is (pretty much both do the same thing). Like reverbs, you can't expect to run a number of C4's and not run out of CPU.

Cheers,
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2005, 12:26 PM
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spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Default Re: Dual-Processors in Pro-Tools 6.4

Quote:
Maybe I could "cut my CPU cost" as it were, by making use of it's compression features as well.
No, actually using a different, dedicated EQ, one that is designed to only do EQ, such as the free digi EQ3 (which works really well IMHO), would cut down CPU usage. The C4 is doing other things (as it is designed to) as well as EQ, even if you're not using them, which is why it uses so much CPU.

Ulimately, if it sounds good to you, then use it, but you have to be aware that using in the way that you are is one of the reasons for your CPU drain.
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