Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
richiemiff
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:18 am

Re: Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Post by richiemiff » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:32 am

I have found that running multiple instances of Plugs-ins is more intensive on the system than running a single plugin instance and then stacking the instruments. I am using Kontakt which I believe is part of Komplete so I would guess it operates in principally the same manner.

You create a single channel in Ableton to host the plugin, then configure the plugin with multiple output buses. As you add each instrument into the stack configure it to receive MIDI on a unique channel and to send its output to a unique audio bus.

Then in Ableton Add External Instrument channels, one for each instrument in your stack. Configure each External Instrument to send MIDI to the Kontakt channel on a specific MIDI channel, and select its Audio input to be a specific audio output from the plug-in bus.

See these articles - https://support.native-instruments.com/ ... -Sequencer

This video explains it visually - https://youtu.be/hHUwE0PD7lU

I hope that makes sense.

Nokatus
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Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:06 am

Re: Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Post by Nokatus » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:30 am

richiemiff wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:32 am
I am using Kontakt which I believe is part of Komplete so I would guess it operates in principally the same manner.
No, actually when your project contains many Kontakt instruments (that is, many Kontakt hosted .nki instruments, not "many Kontakt instruments" as in many Kontakt VSTi instances), it becomes more beneficial to distribute these into multiple Kontakts. The sweet spot isn't, however, "one .nki per instance", as it's also not the other extreme ("as many .nkis per instance as Kontakt can host") -- this also depends on the actual content of the Kontakt instrument patches you are using, of course. But trying to squeeze in as large stacks of Kontakt instruments as you can, into as few Kontakt instances as possible, is definitely not the way to get the most out of your system.

I would recommend utilizing the multi-outs as you advise, and having a "relaxed" amount of .nkis per Kontakt instance, based on the actual level of activity and intensity you can expect in your projects for that particular bunch of .nkis. Don't pile huge amounts of large CPU intensive Kontakt instrument behemoths inside singular instances; it's better to have a moderate overall utilization per Kontakt instance and load up many of those, each on their own track/channel, instead of having much fewer Kontakt instances with piles of very taxing stuff in each one.

[jur]
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Re: Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Post by [jur] » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:34 am

Nokatus wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:30 am
richiemiff wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:32 am
I am using Kontakt which I believe is part of Komplete so I would guess it operates in principally the same manner.
No, actually when your project contains many Kontakt instruments (that is, many Kontakt hosted .nki instruments, not "many Kontakt instruments" as in many Kontakt VSTi instances), it becomes more beneficial to distribute these into multiple Kontakts. The sweet spot isn't, however, "one .nki per instance", as it's also not the other extreme ("as many .nkis per instance as Kontakt can host") -- this also depends on the actual content of the Kontakt instrument patches you are using, of course. But trying to squeeze in as large stacks of Kontakt instruments as you can, into as few Kontakt instances as possible, is definitely not the way to get the most out of your system.

I would recommend utilizing the multi-outs as you advise, and having a "relaxed" amount of .nkis per Kontakt instance, based on the actual level of activity and intensity you can expect in your projects for that particular bunch of .nkis. Don't pile huge amounts of large CPU intensive Kontakt instrument behemoths inside singular instances; it's better to have a moderate overall utilization per Kontakt instance and load up many of those, each on their own track/channel, instead of having much fewer Kontakt instances with piles of very taxing stuff in each one.
Absolutely right.
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fishmonkey
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Re: Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:56 am

i know you are trying to help, but there are some serious flaws in your advice.

are you serious that you use two laptops just so you can run the batteries down and not have them plugged in???

firstly, the worst thing you can do to your laptop battery is to repeatedly and quickly discharge it to low levels and then recharge it. that is how you wear out a Li-Ion battery. deep fast discharges are the worst. if you are working the laptop hard, keep it plugged in. and if not plugged in, avoid running it way down if possible. also, the cycle count is the number of times the total capacity of the battery has been used, not the number of times it has been fully charged. for example, if you run it down to 50% and recharge it twice, that counts as 1 full cycle count.

secondly, there are many USB interfaces with low enough latency for most people's uses. what do you think we did for all those years before Thunderbolt existed? you don't have to have a Thunderbolt interface, although for super-low latency it's worth considering.

and finally, EQ and compression are not usually the biggest CPU killers, unless you are using crazy oversampling or heavy analog modelling stuff. also, as far as mixing goes, the main EQ and compression work is often done fairly early on, not near the end...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

richiemiff
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:18 am

Re: Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Post by richiemiff » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:47 am

Nokatus wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:30 am
richiemiff wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:32 am
I am using Kontakt which I believe is part of Komplete so I would guess it operates in principally the same manner.
No, actually when your project contains many Kontakt instruments (that is, many Kontakt hosted .nki instruments, not "many Kontakt instruments" as in many Kontakt VSTi instances), it becomes more beneficial to distribute these into multiple Kontakts. The sweet spot isn't, however, "one .nki per instance", as it's also not the other extreme ("as many .nkis per instance as Kontakt can host") -- this also depends on the actual content of the Kontakt instrument patches you are using, of course. But trying to squeeze in as large stacks of Kontakt instruments as you can, into as few Kontakt instances as possible, is definitely not the way to get the most out of your system.

I would recommend utilizing the multi-outs as you advise, and having a "relaxed" amount of .nkis per Kontakt instance, based on the actual level of activity and intensity you can expect in your projects for that particular bunch of .nkis. Don't pile huge amounts of large CPU intensive Kontakt instrument behemoths inside singular instances; it's better to have a moderate overall utilization per Kontakt instance and load up many of those, each on their own track/channel, instead of having much fewer Kontakt instances with piles of very taxing stuff in each one.
I think you mis=understood what I was saying with regard to Komplete.. I’m just saying my experierince is with Kontakt with additional libraries I’ve purchased separately, I don’t own Komplete.

I use AU rather that VST, and I’ve found multiple .nki instruments running in a single Kontakt AU worked more effectively with a lower audio buffer size than trying to host each instrument in a separate AU instance. I think you’re saying that there is a sweet spot to hosting several AU/VST instruments with distribution of .nki instrument stacks between each to get the best performance. Up until now no one has said anything about multiple .nki instances on this thread - I’m just trying to add my experience that has worked for me. I use Ableton to play keys live with multiple .nki instruments using Ableton midi filters to create layering and zones, works far more effectively and trouble free than mainstage.

Honestly if you’ve got too many instrument plugins and are running out of cpu in a recording environment, then freeze the tracks, Ableton produces an audio version of your channel setup that is far less processor intensive. You can always unflatten if you need to edit the track further. See thi article https://ask.audio/articles/staying-ahea ... leton-live

Nokatus
Posts: 1064
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:06 am

Re: Poor Audio Performance in Live with no CPU overload

Post by Nokatus » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:26 pm

richiemiff wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:47 am
I think you mis=understood what I was saying with regard to Komplete.. I’m just saying my experierince is with Kontakt with additional libraries I’ve purchased separately, I don’t own Komplete.
Okay, no worries :). I just thought it was in order to clarify, when you said this:
richiemiff wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:32 am
I have found that running multiple instances of Plugs-ins is more intensive on the system than running a single plugin instance and then stacking the instruments. I am using Kontakt which I believe is part of Komplete so I would guess it operates in principally the same manner.
One can quite easily get the impression you are advising people to target fewer Kontakt instances with more instruments loaded in each (vs. more Kontakt instances with less instruments loaded in each). If not, good, and nice to have it written out loud so to speak, heh :).
richiemiff wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:47 am
Up until now no one has said anything about multiple .nki instances on this thread - I’m just trying to add my experience that has worked for me. I use Ableton to play keys live with multiple .nki instruments using Ableton midi filters to create layering and zones, works far more effectively and trouble free than mainstage.
I mentioned multiple .nki instruments specifically because that's what it means in practice when one aims at creating as few as possible plugin instances and then proceeds to host Kontakt instruments, with that goal in mind. Just pointing out that it isn't the most efficient way to go about this, and it can actually become rather inefficient if one works with a hefty Kontakt template. Distributing evenly into separate instances is key.

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