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I recently purchased several of the great Voxendo VST plugins (Crunchessor, Elephant, HarmoniEQ, Lampthruster, Soniformer, and Voxformer). I tested them for about a week before deciding which ones I wanted. Unfortunately, at the time I didn't pay any attention to the significant PCU usage each of the plugins consumes. I run an Athlon 64 +4000, which has had plenty of horsepower for previous projects, and 2G of RAM. The dedicated computer was built and tweaked for audio. The only other significant plugins I run are off a UAD-1 card which, because of it has its own processor, spares the computer CPU of some of the processing. Normal CPU usage on my projects runs around 20-25% that will spike to around 45%. I usually range anywhere from 15 to 45 audio tracks.
Last night while putting these plugins to use I experienced my first Dropout of Sonar 4.0.3. When I looked down at the Sonar CPU usage it was averaging about 80%. I had never seen this kind of resource usage even with projects using 30-40 audio tracks! I had plugin chains, including UAD, configured as followed:
Vocal Bus (two tracks): Voxformer --> HarmoniEQ -->UAD Plate140
Two Guitar tracks with Lampthruster on each.
Guitar Bus (3 tracks): UAD LA2A -->UAD RealVerbPro
Effects Bus for Strings/piano (4 tracks): UAD RealVerbPro
Master Track: Soniformer2 --> HarmoniEQ -->Elephant
I wasn't paying much attention to the CPU usage (never had to with the Athlon 64 4000+) when I tried an experiment with a direct signal Guitar track using a Crunchessor, HarmoniEQ, and a UAD Roland CE-1. When attempting to track I immediately experience a dropout, like is said, my first ever with Sonar. That's when I noticed my CPU was AVERAGING about 80%! So, one by one, I removed plugins, and sure enough, the Voxengo plugins were the reason. I did some testing and found each one of these babies used around 10% of my CPU each time one was activated.
There are only 14 audio tracks in this first "Voxengo" project. I use as much effects bussing in all my projects to logically group tracks to minimize plugin resource consumption.
Anyone have a similar experience using Voxengo plugins? Anyone see something, or have a suggestion of what I might be missing? Or is this just typical with these plugins?
firstly, do your mastering in a different project, mastering plugins are typically extremely cpu hungry. its generally a bad idea to have mastering processors in your mixdown project anyway, because you may end up working/mixing into them, unless thats what you want.
secondly, if you work in the box and export/bounce your mixdowns, then set each plugin to 'auto' quality, this means that they will opperate at a low 'standard' samplerate while you are working and then use max samplerate precision when you export/bounce. check this works in sonar though.
A quick solution would be changing Quality setting in HarmoniEQ to 'Normal' and changing Oversampling mode in Elephant to 'Off'. This may immediately free considerable CPU resources.
HarmoniEQ is actually meant to be a mastering EQ and its default setting consumes A LOT of CPU. It's no strange when having three HarmoniEQ instances open your CPU resources are running low.
Thanks for the input. Generally I do my mixdowns prior to mastering, but I do master in the same project after I have my mix set. And to be honest, the final mastering is seldom a discrete process from the mixdown. It will be the last process I do but will revert back to some mixdown adjustment to further tweak my sound if necessary.
I did notice if I remove the 3 Voxengo plugins from the master bus that CPU consumption drops around 30-40%, so your point on that matter is well taken.
I'll be testing a few different scenarios today. Sonar also has a Freeze function that allows you to bounce down an audio track with effects then remove the plugins from the track. This may negate some of the logic behind effects bussing.
This CPU issue just caught me off guard. Been using UAD which minimizes those issues. Just love the sound of these plugins though, so I want to make them work. Maybe I'm a bit like a kid with a new toy and got a little over zealous, so I may need to analyze the application of these plugins considerably more.
If anyone else has some input about the some constructive ways to utilize these plugins to minimize CPU resources, I would really appreciate the input.
Actually the HarmoniEQ is only applied twice: once in the Vocal bus (which is fed by two vocal tracks) and once on the Master bus. I really love the sound I was able to get with the Voxformer --> HarmoniEQ setup directly on the Vocal bus. Maybe I'll have to be a bit more creative in how I look at the mastering.
I will try your suggestions and see what I can acheive.
Thanks so much for your response,
I was able to resolve this issue by utilizing a great piece of functionality in Sonar called Freezing that allows you to freeze (re-bounce to audio) any audio track with its plugin effects. Once frozen you can disable those plugins from the track and thereby free any resources consumed. Pretty cool!
Guess I was like a kid in a candy store at first with these new plugins. I appreciate the responses.
Just want to add that the Voxformer is the best little vocal plugin I've ever used. Gave such a warmth and gliss to my vocals it gave me one of those tingly "Oh yeah!" feelings when you know something is right on.
Thanks Aleksey, and keep up the great work!
I'm glad you have found a solution. In either case I suggest you to recheck the 'Quality' and 'Oversampling' options in HarmoniEQ and Elephant.
Thank you for your support!