what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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JWForeman
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what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Post by JWForeman » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:29 pm

I was wondering what worked the CPU harder, midi or audio?
-John

JuanSOLO
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Re: what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Post by JuanSOLO » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:52 pm

thats an ultra broad question.

Midi, specifically what do you mean?
Audio, what do you mean?

regretfullySaid
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Re: what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Post by regretfullySaid » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:01 pm

Midi isn't strenuous. It's what translating the midi into sound, like a vst synth, and those all vary.
Most efficient ones shouldn't process unless notes are playing but some like to be free-running like analog synths so they'll always be processing cpu. Synths generally cost CPU to do realtime calculations, as opposed to samplers that will put audio files into ram.

Audio files don't have to take up much cpu (I think they're usually more dealt with in RAM) but if they are in a different sample rate and bit depth than the project settings then the cpu will need to do some work to up/downsample. VST Effects however are similar to synths, they're calculating in realtime and doing more work when audio is going through it.

It depends on the vst/i.
Midi isn't sound, it's just information to feed into something that will translate it's messages, like someone possessed by a demon!

Or something close to that. A programmer should be here to put it better in a second.
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Tone Deft
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Re: what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Post by Tone Deft » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:08 pm

depends.

midi can drive big ass huge CPU sucking synths.

both can drive big ass CPU sucking audio effects.

freeze/flatten, moot point. ;)
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At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye?
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filterstein
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Re: what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Post by filterstein » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:52 pm

If you mean "pure" midi, which you use to drive hardware synths using a midi interface then it is much, much, less cpu intensive than audio.
Computers in the 80's were fast enough for 100 midi tracks, but could not play audio.
The nineties brought native audio, the 00's vst instruments.
That says enough.

oddstep
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Re: what is more CPU intensive? midi or audio?

Post by oddstep » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:37 am

Although midi doesnt use as much cpu on a object for object basis, I have made massive midi patches with lots of sub routing and random number generation that had the capacity to really slow down an average laptop.

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