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-   -   Lets Talk Buffer size and CPU Size. (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=638260)

Knives&Guitars 01-27-2022 02:30 PM

Lets Talk Buffer size and CPU Size.
 
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So what I would love to get your input on today is Buffer Size and the importance of CPU Size.
*I was having problems with distortion, cracks & pops when I use my virtual instrument & reverb programs. As it turns out, if I had too many programs open at one time this would occur.
Problem was then solved by increasing my buffer rate.
I was explained that Buffer rate only effects Latency? So if Recording something like voice..I should use a lower buffer rate for less latency.
However, if I have a few virtual instruments open and running then I may want to increase the Buffer Rate. When we did this, it got rid of the distortion, pops and clicks.
Another trick he taught me was to right click on the tract, and Freeze the track. This stops that tract from using CPU's when you are not using it.
Questions:
1. What are your feelings about Buffer size. Does it indeed only effect latency when recording? Or is there any issues that might occur such as the recording quality itself?
2.He also said that if I had a higher core processor would greatly help. Currently I have an 2009 Imac. I have upgraded the memory..but by core processor is only 3.06 GHZ intel Core 2 duo.
I am wondering if this is something I should give serious consideration to..getting a new computer with more processor cores? My Goal is to record an entire album with symphony, guitars, vocals drums and bass. Can I work around my low core processing by just switching buffer sizes and Freezing when needed? OR ultimately am I fooling myself...and should I get a newer computer?

jim1960 01-27-2022 02:51 PM

Yes, buffer size will effect latency. Typically, you'd want the lowest buffer size your machine can handle when tracking. You can then raise that buffer size when mixing. With an older machine or an underpowered machine, it can be tricky sometimes avoiding all the pops and clicks. Whether you should get a new machine really depends on how much these issues bother you. Speaking from experience, they used to bother me quite a bit. Enough so that in 2017 I bought a new iMac (4.2GHz quad core, 32gb ram) and that put the problem behind me.

Since then, my penchant for virtual instruments has introduced new strains on my computer. I can still get things done but the crashes can be a bother. I suspect in a year or three, I'll be jumping on a new iMac.

rick-slo 01-27-2022 03:45 PM

I go for a high buffer when recording since I have not been recording live over a previous recording where I would need to synch up.
When listening to a previous recording with lower buffers there can be pops and crackles when listening while altering the recording
with heavier processing such as some reverbs. Having the DAW latency compensation active (usually the default option) is important
when combining different previously recorded tracks but currently have different processing going on so that they time align.

keith.rogers 01-27-2022 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars (Post 6917808)
[INDENT]....
2.He also said that if I had a higher core processor would greatly help. Currently I have an 2009 Imac. I have upgraded the memory..but by core processor is only 3.06 GHZ intel Core 2 duo.
I am wondering if this is something I should give serious consideration to..getting a new computer with more processor cores? My Goal is to record an entire album with symphony, guitars, vocals drums and bass. Can I work around my low core processing by just switching buffer sizes and Freezing when needed? OR ultimately am I fooling myself...and should I get a newer computer?

My $.02/short answer is you will save a lot of time by updating that computer.

A faster CPU will help, and newer CPUs all seem to have at least 4 cores, which should be sufficient. Plus you'll have the option of faster bus speeds if you move to USB-C/3.x level of hardware.

I don't know which DAW you're using but Logic also has a "low-latency" mode in the record menu that will disable some of the resource-intensive stuff going on, and that helps with latency. I honestly have never tinkered with buffer size!

I originally used a 2010 Macbook Pro, probably similar specs to your iMac, and moving even to a 2012 Mini with an i3 and more memory (upgraded to 16GB) with an SSD update made it last until I started doing more video. Still, it would work for audio, but video render times were beyond what I could tolerate. (But, I very rarely use VSTs, and I'm pretty quick to click that freeze icon, partly for performance, but partly to keep myself focused and not tinkering until a frozen track becomes the one that sticks out.) So, about 2 years ago (before everything turned to worms) I got a refurb iMac. Been very happy with that decision.

Just beware if you update your computer to anything relatively new, you will leave the 32-bit world behind and so old s/w you have on that iMac may not all install on a new model. Drivers for an old interface or other plugged in h/w would be my main concern, and any critical productivity apps you don't have a current license to or doesn't have a 64-bit version available to you.

Doug Young 01-27-2022 04:47 PM

Lowest buffer you can get away with when recording, so that you minimize latency, otherwise as high as needed for your system to be able to keep up. No affect on sound quality, it just gives your computer some breathing room to keep up with the data flow.

You're using Logic, right? When overdubbing, use as low a latency as you can, and turn on Low Latency mode (under the Record menu) which will disable all plugins that introduce latency during recording. If your computer can't keep up, you may need to overdub to a subset of tracks rather than a huge mix.

I'd also suggest using direct input monitoring on your interface or no input monitoring at all, because the latency you'll hear if you monitor yourself in Logic will drive you crazy, even with small buffers sizes.

Knives&Guitars 01-27-2022 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Young (Post 6917910)

I'd also suggest using direct input monitoring on your interface or no input monitoring at all, because the latency you'll hear if you monitor yourself in Logic will drive you crazy, even with small buffers sizes.

How does one check- know if we are direct input monitoring from interface or from Logic?
Where do I go to check this? This only gives option for Interface or Built in speakers of computer.
https://i.imgur.com/57wzTdx.png

Doug Young 01-27-2022 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars (Post 6917936)
How does one check- know if we are direct input monitoring from interface or from Logic?
Where do I go to check this? This only gives option for Interface or Built in speakers of computer.

That would be something in your interface, and Logic wouldn't be involved. Basically, it's can your interface directly send your input to the headphones. The interface does it before the audio gets to Logic.

This seems to explain it for your interface:

https://support.audient.com/hc/en-us...es-and-Routing

phcorrigan 01-27-2022 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Young (Post 6917910)
I'd also suggest using direct input monitoring on your interface or no input monitoring at all, because the latency you'll hear if you monitor yourself in Logic will drive you crazy, even with small buffers sizes.

This is also an issue with Studio One and, I suspect, most DAWs.

Doug Young 01-27-2022 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phcorrigan (Post 6918072)
This is also an issue with Studio One and, I suspect, most DAWs.

yeah, it's not a Logic issue. Comes with the territory. Fortunately many, if not most, interfaces support direct input monitoring, or cue mixes, or whatever each one decides to call it.

johnnydobbers 01-27-2022 08:04 PM

I also recently got into a midi keyboard(Komplete Kontrol MK2), and found my 7 year old PC wasn't going to cut it. It was a pain to keep fiddling with settings to try to achieve what I wanted. Since upgrading my computer a month ago, my workflow has improved vastly. I went from 4 to 10 cores(now using an i5 12600).

just my 2 cents....

ChuckS 01-28-2022 08:14 AM

Iím not disagreeing with earlier posts with various scenarios discussed , but I donít think anyone has brought up direct monitoring (near zero latency) in some audio interfaces. This eliminates the latency in monitoring the channels you are recording (vocals, playing guitar, etc); the channels you are recording do not take the round trip into and out of your computer before you hear them.

MikeBmusic 01-28-2022 09:53 AM

NOTE: you cannot use Direct Monitoring when recording MIDI!

When tracking, I never turn on my reverb busses (one each for drums, instruments, lead vocals, backing vocals) as reverb is CPU intensive.
I never 'freeze' EZDrummer2 ('render to audio' in Reaper), but any VSTi's I have added to the mix, I will render those once i am happy with the, But I've never had any stuttering/static/pops/crackles running a few at a time and my computers have never been anything fancy.

Knives&Guitars 01-28-2022 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeBmusic (Post 6918520)
NOTE: you cannot use Direct Monitoring when recording MIDI!

When tracking, I never turn on my reverb busses (one each for drums, instruments, lead vocals, backing vocals) as reverb is CPU intensive.
I never 'freeze' EZDrummer2 ('render to audio' in Reaper), but any VSTi's I have added to the mix, I will render those once i am happy with the, But I've never had any stuttering/static/pops/crackles running a few at a time and my computers have never been anything fancy.

For Tracking vocals, symphony & piano I find that at least hearing the reverb while tracking serves several purposes.
Mainly it adds inspiration and allows me to thoroughly get deeper into the song.
However, It also might change how I apply attack, density, sustain to any note, via voice, piano or symphony. For some of us, reverb is a defining part of the style of music we play.
For Acoustic Guitar....I do not need to add reverb while tracking...and doubt that in most of my songs I will need much added to the mix. But most everything else...yeah, I need to hear Reverb while tracking.
In the past I have heard debates on The Edge's guitar playing abilities. Some have criticized him saying that he is not that good and relies on the delays he uses to make his signature tone. But I say, what is wrong with that? It works for him. The Delay is part of what makes him work with those style of songs. The delay itself, has become part of his instrument.
Question:
If you buss reverb while tracking, and there are problems such as clicks pops distortion from to much Cpu being used...I assume that this will not effect the Vocal track in any way? As the reverb is bussed and thus not printed?
Or is there a side effect that can loop back and create problems on the dry Vocal track?

runamuck 01-29-2022 01:59 AM

There are good suggestions here. Here are a couple of other things to consider:

-have you installed the latest drivers for the Audient?

- do you have a choice of what effects you're using to record, choosing the most efficient ones? Not all plugins require the same processing power.

_ have you tried freezing virtual instrument tracks at least when you record?

KevWind 01-29-2022 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars (Post 6918630)
For Tracking vocals, symphony & piano I find that at least hearing the reverb while tracking serves several purposes.
Mainly it adds inspiration and allows me to thoroughly get deeper into the song.
However, It also might change how I apply attack, density, sustain to any note, via voice, piano or symphony. For some of us, reverb is a defining part of the style of music we play.
For Acoustic Guitar....I do not need to add reverb while tracking...and doubt that in most of my songs I will need much added to the mix. But most everything else...yeah, I need to hear Reverb while tracking.
Question:
If you buss reverb while tracking, and there are problems such as clicks pops distortion from to much Cpu being used...I assume that this will not effect the Vocal track in any way? As the reverb is bussed and thus not printed?
Or is there a side effect that can loop back and create problems on the dry Vocal track?

Ok so as people have said in general when recording you want the lowest buffer your computer is capable of ,,,, and yes higher CPU "speed" helps in that.
But when mixing, particularly if using VI's a higher buffer will help keep it from choking.

And no,,,,, Bussing (to parallel reverb) does not create any more CPU issues than having the verb on the audio track itself ... and if routed correctly will not create any loopback effect.

Also note if the reverb is a plugin insert (or Hardware set up as an insert),, regardless of whether bussed to parallel track or directly on the audio track, neither is "printed" ---both are "real time , non destructive FX's ,,, and not printed (unless you take the added step to actually print it )...

But lets back up a bit and look at this whole reverb while tracking perspective

Perhaps Consider an alternate perspective .............Perhaps you have only convinced your self you "need " reverb while tracking ?????????????????????
Because ----------------------------
Almost everybody is not particularly infatuated with their own raw voice mic'ed.
In fact I would suggest most people do not really like their voice when the first hear it mic'd RAW (especially recorded raw) .... And so the use of reverb is often used as a substitute for developing exactly what you are talking about,,,,, gettin "deeper" into the emotion of the song, and working on attack, sustain etc. You can in fact absolutely do all that sans reverb while tracking and I would suggest perhaps even more so, and better ? If you can do that with the raw vocal then adding reverb when mixing becomes very easy and quick ,,,,, such that when you do go to mix and add reverb you may well get a better result (maybe) ??????????

Consider Historically
Back in the day from the 50's crooners, to the 60' Folk legends and Rock stars
thru the 70's and 80's they all came from the same paradigm . They almost started as live acts and went through the crucible of a lot of live performance in small venues often with poor PA systems and no reverb effects (other than the room they were in). ..................................
What this did for them was allow them to really hear their unprocessed raw vocal and develop exactly the things you say reverb helps you with .

The reason I am suggesting all this is ,,,,,for example consider when I started in 2003 with ProTools LE I simply could not use a reverb plugin or any plugin FX on my vocals and thus was forced to try to get as much emotion , dynamics and effect out of the RAW vocal as possible,, and then add the reverb in the mixing stage And honestly I think that was more help than hinderance ......jussss sayin as an alternative perspective to an absolute of I "need" reverb while tracking because it can also be applied at mixing to achieve that "signature sound"


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