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Thread: Managing CPU

  1. #1

    Managing CPU

    So this is a question that I've asked before on the reason forums; it has also been asked a number of times by others. Nevertheless, I'd be curious to see how you guys deal with the issue. Basically, how do you deal with it when your CPU starts grinding to a halt and can't play the track properly?

    There are things that I do but they all come with drawbacks:
    - Bouncing the track. I hate bouncing the track because I don't like to work with audio until right at the end of the mix. I do bounce tracks - much more than I used to - but I find it creatively stifling.
    - Separating my files. I used to try to write the track, do all the effects and parallel tracks, and the mixing in one file. This murders the CPU. So now I write the track - don't do any further effects or mixing in that. Then I bounce my tracks and make a new file which is basically the tweaking and effects mix. Then I bounce that to one track and do a final mix in a new file. I must admit that I found this a pain to begin with but now it works pretty well for me and it's good for focus and discipline on the task at hand.
    - ...and that's all I could think of to sort out the problem. Because...

    Soloing and muting don't free up CPU space it seems. Moreover, if you bounce in track it still doesn't seem to help. I've found that I actually have to go to each instrument and 'disconnect' it at source. I've got a few tracks where this is happening and even without fancy effects my CPU is grinding up. So I'm still trying to work in my song-writing file, with bounced audio and disconnected devices. And it's still grinding along. And it's killing the creativity of the project.

    What would be good is if Reason had a sort of kill switch that would shut down a track in question so that its not funnelling any CPU resources to it.

    Anyway, what do you guys do about this - if you find it a problem, of course!

    Oh, and I use an iMac 24" 3.06 core DUO.

    Soj

  2. #2
    Reason Master Osmose's Avatar
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    Well, i cant really think of a better way to handle it in your case.. Ive had the issue alot as well.. On some projects i had to work with 4 different files. When my cpu reached its limits, i tended to bounce the entire track, start a new project, import it, continue from there and so on..

    The best choice i made was a better pc though... I know, i'd rather spend it on shiny Re's or a bigger hard drive for that manner, but nothing is a frustrating as reaching the limits of your main instrument and having to deal with frustration everytime it happens.

    On a side note: i find it weird as well that muting channels in the sequencer doesn't reduce cpu, but i found out that the cpu meter not only has to do with Processor handling but with your ram memory and temporary (on your hd) as well..

    Either way, it sucks..

    Btw: im on a intel 3.4ghz i7 with 8 gb of ram
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  3. #3
    Administrator Matt's Avatar
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    There is nothing better then bouncing tracks to audio to save on CPU/Ram with that said the only thing you can do is maybe get more ram or a faster CPU. In todays up to date DAW's, exception SawStudio, you really need a Quad Core CPU and 16gb Ram to run with tons of tracks and not have issues. I run on a 2010 Mac Mini 2.4 Core Duo / 8gb Ram and I am fine. I have not updated to the latest OSX or Reason 8.1 yet as I know together they are going to tax my system more.

    I am really bummed at Apple for what they have done to the new Mac Mini's and I am closely watching older used Mac Pros and will be picking up one of those to take me through the next 5 years later this year.

    I still find it absolutely amazing that SawStudio one of the first DAW's for Windows just put out an update that will run on Win XP through Win 8 and is blazing fast on either. Machine language has a lot to do with it.

  4. #4
    Hey Zetetic,

    Indeed, DJ CLone posted a similiar topic a couple of weeks ago.
    I replied the following below.
    I myself run R8 on a Pentium Dual Core/2.30 ghz/3.00 ram.
    Runs like a charm now....

    If you haven't already, you might wanna try these tips
    http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/...on--audio-1075
    What also helped my PC to stop from glitching was:
    1. stop multiple processes (i.e. running internet and firewalls, etc.)
    2. If using quite a lot of channels on the SSL (incl several busses), mute the ones you don't need to hear while arranging your track.
    3. Muting in the sequencer uses less CPU than muting on the mixer (at least in my case it did)
    4. I use a lot of automation. Mute it when you don't really need to hear the effect when working on your track (don't forget to unmute it when you want to export your track)
    5. If possible use an Audiotrack instead of a mix channel.
    6. If you don't use a device or effect (let's say Thor and Alligator; these use a lot of CPU, I figured), delete it and it's tracks.
    Keep your rack and sequencer as 'clean' as possible.

    Hope it helps u out!

    Rgrds Ronald

  5. #5
    Try to record any audio early in the process (like vocals guitars etc) with low latency. When doing the mix increase latency as much as possible
    This is sort of a basic tip but (depending on music genre) is a good one for the composition as well
    Refills often have combinator patches.. If u use one check if you really need all of the gizmos in it. Delete what u dont use (like reverbs etc)

    If you at a late stage find out that you need to do recording with low latency: Make a copy of your song. Delete most of the tracks on that copy and do your recording on it. Copy the recording to original..
    https://soundcloud.com/perma-f

  6. #6
    Thanks for reading and taking the time to give some considered replies. I certainly didn't realise that muting on the sequencer rather than on the mixer helps - I'll be trying that in future. And yes, I'm kind of frustrated that between Mac and Reason I feel like I've been pushed into upgrading. But that's another issue.

    Thanks again,

    soj

  7. #7
    Reason Master Osmose's Avatar
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    What exactly do you mean by pushed into upgrading then? Reason itself?
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  8. #8
    Administrator Matt's Avatar
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    I am thinking he is talking about having to upgrade his computer/reason?

  9. #9
    I was just meaning that I've had compatibility issues between various programs I use (not just music software), want to use, and operating system requirements. It's not a big deal as it's just a function of software technology advancing. But it does mean that I'll probably have to upgrade my computer soon and I don't want to!

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