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  • Latency limits - slaves are not immune

    Hi all,

    I've just discovered that when reducing latency settings on my DAW (Nuendo 5.5 Mac), CPU usage on my slaves ALSO increases. Now, some of you may think I should have realised this by now. Probably true, but I only discovered this after upgrading my DAW soundcards from MOTU 424s to RME Madi. As a result of this upgrade and can force my Mac to 128 sample buffer, whereas similar projects on the MOTU required 512 or even 1024.

    After initially jumping for joy at this, I now see my slaves straining away too (set a 2 buffers by the way). 

    So my question, if I really have one, is this: supposing I switched my DAW from Mac to PC (shudder) and could start to enjoy latencies of 64 or even 32 samples (all this at 48k BTW) would my slaves in fact totally c**p out? Sorry - I mean reach operational limits?

    The slaves are Macs too - and please, PC missionaries, please don't jump in with any obvious comments. (Yes, PC's have superior multi-core power scaling, ok ok, I know, I know...)

    Anyway, has anyone any real-world experience of working at say 64 sample buffer with a whole chunk of VSL slave tracks pumping away?

    Thanks for reading....


    On a technical note, at 256 buffer on DAW, VE Pro slave is showing 60% CPU usage. At 1024 buffer on the DAW, this drops to 30%. Probably a function of the fact that VE Pro plugin ADDS buffers, not MULTIPLIES them. I think. 

  • Anyone?

  • Bumping my thread again - in a nutshell, how far do experienced users push their systems?


  • I use a barebones quad core MacPro for a master, Cubase 5.5.3 (which wouldn't be any good if the instruments were straight plugins, Cubase is far far too slow. It doesn't use CoreAudio directly) with an octocore MacPro Nehalem machine with 24 GB as slave. I keep my buffers at 128, x2 in VE Pro.

    I had to do some intricate percussion recently and I needed better performance so I disconnected from everything I didn't need right at that moment and got it down to 64. I am not doing symphonic work, but I load a lot of fx and sends in what I'll call medium-sized projects, eg: 4 instances and, 30-50 say, stereo outs to cubase. There might be 40-some midi tracks in some of my projects. Now, I think if I doubled these forces using VSL in VI Pro I won't have to raise that buffer. If I put fx on every bus it might be a different situation, depending on the plugins, some are hogs.

    I can't really work with a higher buffer than that... I don't experience audio breakups at all at this latency. I let VE Pro handles as much as possible in the fx department. Most of what I have now is 64-bit so it's feasible to. For 4 instances I set VE Pro for 4 threads per instance btw.