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Old 04-21-2021, 11:10 PM   #1
tjw1979
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Default PC compatibility / High CPU even with 32g ram

Good morning reaperites of the kingdom!

I have a question regarding my set up. I seem to be running out of juice with my set up when I get to about 12 tracks and 22 plugins across my mixes.

I set my interface at the highest latency when mixing and find sometimes that I have to switch some plug ins off when recording extra tracks. I have increased my buffer size in preferences to compensate. These things have helped out somewhat but i still get the odd popping and clicking and jerky response from reaper every now and again.

Looking at the performance meter within reaper it seems to jump about from 22% to 60% as my track plays through.


Here is my set up

W10
Intel NUC 10th Gen i3-10110U Mini PC
2 X Lexar DDR4 16Gb 2666Mhz SO-DIMM
1tb SSD internal
Tascam us1800
1tb external drive for my audio files

All of my audio files are saved to an external drive (would it be better to use my internal SSD?)

I am typically using 1 vsti for guitar and the rest of the tracks are just bass and vocals with a stereo drum file pre mixed.

I buss any verbs or delays and process everything else on the parent folders only.

Any computer boffins out there able to give me some advice?

Is it just that my mini pc simply isn't up to the task?

With 32gb of ram I thought I wouldn't run out of steam?

Is there a particular preference set up that I should adhere to in my situation?

Or do I need to move all of my audio files to my internal SSD and simply use my external drives for backup?

Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated

Cheers

Tim
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:27 AM   #2
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Freeze tracks to free up RT CPU. I try to keep RT cpu under 50. You can find RT CPU under View (I think) / performance meter, right click, enable RT cpu
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:31 AM   #3
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Freeze tracks to free up RT CPU. I try to keep RT cpu under 50. You can find RT CPU under View (I think) / performance meter, right click, enable RT cpu


Cheers man. What exactly is RT? How do you go about freezing tracks? Am I right in saying that is like a temporary render?

Is this normal behaviour with 32g for the project sizes I'm working on?

Any other insights all?
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tjw1979 View Post
Is this normal behaviour with 32g for the project sizes I'm working on?

Any other insights all?
memory shouldn't really be an issue unless you are maybe using lots of sample libraries etc?

Glitches & high CPU are probably due to an under-powered processor or too small buffer or too many demanding plugins.

Might be worth running latencymon to see if that indicates any hardware issues / incompatibilities.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:25 AM   #5
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Audio tends to beat up on a single core of CPU. The fastest single core performance first and then multiple cores after that. Ram isn't used much in audio unless you are playing a sampler that loads samples into ram.

If someone told you ram count was the top priority for audio, they told you wrong.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by domzy View Post
memory shouldn't really be an issue unless you are maybe using lots of sample libraries etc?

Glitches & high CPU are probably due to an under-powered processor or too small buffer or too many demanding plugins.

Might be worth running latencymon to see if that indicates any hardware issues / incompatibilities.
Will look into doing just that, thankyou. On that note, what processor is recommended for audio? I am not well versed in the PC side of things as you can tell

What exactly is latencymon? I'll have a look on YouTube now.

It highlights bottlenecks does it?

I am running an old external HD where all my audio is saved, wonder if that could cause issues.

I'll try disabling Microsoft anti virus as well
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:34 AM   #7
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Audio tends to beat up on a single core of CPU. The fastest single core performance first and then multiple cores after that. Ram isn't used much in audio unless you are playing a sampler that loads samples into ram.

If someone told you ram count was the top priority for audio, they told you wrong.
Thanks for the reply. I made the incorrect assumption that decent ram was needed when I put the pc together. That's good to know moving forward thanks!

My pc is dual core. Is it worth upgrading to a quad or hex in your opinion?

Thanks again
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tjw1979 View Post
Cheers man. What exactly is RT? How do you go about freezing tracks? Am I right in saying that is like a temporary render?

Is this normal behaviour with 32g for the project sizes I'm working on?

Any other insights all?
RT CPU = "run time CPU" :-)
To freeze a track, rt-click* and choose one of the freeze options
to unfreeze a track, rt-click and choose Unfreeze track

As another poster mentioned you only need a lot of RAM if you're loading many sample libraries (i.e. many instances of Kontakt). More RAM doesn't mean faster processing in other circumstances...

LatencyMon (also mentioned elsewhere) lives here:

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

and can be run to check if a PC is suitable for running audio applications, but it's mainly concerned with latency rather than processing performance. Still worth a check though.

Make sure you have the latest Tascam US-1800 ASIO driver (?I presume it's ASIO - can't find confirmation of that at first glance)

Here's a link to the current Windows release (v2.05)
https://www.tascam.eu/sw/us-1800/US-1800_v205_win.zip

Or there's a later beta/rc version of the driver (v2.07b)
https://www.tascam.eu/sw/us-1800/US-...dr_v207rc1.zip

If after all that you haven't managed to improve your DAW performance, then I suspect that your CPU is simply not powerful enough :-(

*rt-click everything in Reaper!! There's a lot of functionality tucked away right there

Last edited by uncleswede; 04-22-2021 at 05:48 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw1979 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I made the incorrect assumption that decent ram was needed when I put the pc together. That's good to know moving forward thanks!

My pc is dual core. Is it worth upgrading to a quad or hex in your opinion?

Thanks again
You could get a fast quad core i7 machine from 10 years ago that would be big upgrade. CPU speed has plateaued about 10 years ago. Slower machines are still sold because they're cheaper and people just browsing the internet don't need the processing. The point there is you could shop used for cheap if needed.

Start by taking a look at your CPU use vs your project ambitions. Try freezing tracks to free up resources right now and see where you're at. The general rule for audio is shop for CPU speed first, more cores 2nd. Put a SSD in whatever machine you go with for OS and apps. The free space will be your high performance drive space for current projects.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleswede View Post
RT CPU = "run time CPU" :-)
To freeze a track, rt-click* and choose one of the freeze options
to unfreeze a track, rt-click and choose Unfreeze track

As another poster mentioned you only need a lot of RAM if you're loading many sample libraries (i.e. many instances of Kontakt). More RAM doesn't mean faster processing in other circumstances...

LatencyMon (also mentioned elsewhere) lives here:

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

and can be run to check if a PC is suitable for running audio applications, but it's mainly concerned with latency rather than processing performance. Still worth a check though.

Make sure you have the latest Tascam US-1800 ASIO driver (?I presume it's ASIO - can't find confirmation of that at first glance)

Here's a link to the current Windows release (v2.05)
https://www.tascam.eu/sw/us-1800/US-1800_v205_win.zip

Or there's a later beta/rc version of the driver (v2.07b)
https://www.tascam.eu/sw/us-1800/US-...dr_v207rc1.zip

If after all that you haven't managed to improve your DAW performance, then I suspect that your CPU is simply not powerful enough :-(

*rt-click everything in Reaper!! There's a lot of functionality tucked away right there
Many thanks for that! Great rundown and lots to think about

Yes the tascam is asio. It's an old interface but it's servedel me really well over the time I've had it.

I've got a babyface on back order as I'm not recording so many simultaneous tracks these days.

I'm up to date driver wise. I'll have a look at that latencymon after work today, thanks.

I think I'd better get used to freezing tracks haha. I've never used that function before so now's a good time to start!
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by serr View Post
You could get a fast quad core i7 machine from 10 years ago that would be big upgrade. CPU speed has plateaued about 10 years ago. Slower machines are still sold because they're cheaper and people just browsing the internet don't need the processing. The point there is you could shop used for cheap if needed.

Start by taking a look at your CPU use vs your project ambitions. Try freezing tracks to free up resources right now and see where you're at. The general rule for audio is shop for CPU speed first, more cores 2nd. Put a SSD in whatever machine you go with for OS and apps. The free space will be your high performance drive space for current projects.

Cheers for the advice!!
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:30 AM   #12
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Got tracks armed?

Try this:
Open performance meter window, right click, enable RTCPU
prefs/audio/buffering/ allow live fx-multiprocessing (turn on)
Increase this value by one, start playback and watch RTCPU meter.
Raise it by one and start playback until you don't get much difference in RTCPU between armed and not armed and don't go higher than necessary.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
Got tracks armed?

Try this:
Open performance meter window, right click, enable RTCPU
prefs/audio/buffering/ allow live fx-multiprocessing (turn on)
Increase this value by one, start playback and watch RTCPU meter.
Raise it until you don't get much difference in RTCPU between armed and not armed and don't go higher than necessary.
No tracks armed to record.

Will give this a go tonight thankyou so much!!!

I've transferred all my projects to my internal ssd, working on the premise that my old external drive may of been bottlenecking somewhat during playback. I'll start using my external as a simple backup only from now on.

Cheers

Tim
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:50 PM   #14
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Also make sure anticipative fx processing is on in prefs. The above is only for optimizing live processing (monitoring through Reaper while track is armed).
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:16 PM   #15
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Also make sure anticipative fx processing is on in prefs. The above is only for optimizing live processing (monitoring through Reaper while track is armed).

Will do! I'll report back to this thread tomorrow!

Many thanks
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:56 PM   #16
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that exterior HD
Have a look and see if it travels at 7200rpm
If it is one that travels at 5200rpm get a new 7200 one.

Grinder

https://soundcloud.com/you/tracks
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tjw1979 View Post
I've transferred all my projects to my internal ssd, working on the premise that my old external drive may of been bottlenecking somewhat during playback.
I was going to suggest this as a test. Depending on how/where the IO bottleneck is, it could artificially inflate CPU.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:44 PM   #18
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that exterior HD
Have a look and see if it travels at 7200rpm
If it is one that travels at 5200rpm get a new 7200 one.

Grinder

https://soundcloud.com/you/tracks
Will check this, thankyou.

Any recommendations for a suitable drive?

I suspect mine is of the older slower type - a Seagate srd00f1 1TB

Tim

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Old 04-22-2021, 09:45 PM   #19
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I was going to suggest this as a test. Depending on how/where the IO bottleneck is, it could artificially inflate CPU.

Thank you, makes sense, even to me

Tim
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:38 AM   #20
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Will check this, thankyou.

Any recommendations for a suitable drive?

I suspect mine is of the older slower type - a Seagate srd00f1 1TB

Tim
There are many makes of drives they all at some time get knocked in that some have failures.
Seagate if you read the stats are pretty good, a barracuda and they are much lower in price than in my time, a 2TB price is a gift. Get one at 7200rpm Audio is fine with this.
I have run samples from such as these and never had trouble.
I run four ssd's now and still have a exterior drive with a Seagate installed.
Listen to these Reaper boffins they will treat you well with knowledge and good luck too.

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Old 04-23-2021, 04:05 AM   #21
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There are many makes of drives they all at some time get knocked in that some have failures.
Seagate if you read the stats are pretty good, a barracuda and they are much lower in price than in my time, a 2TB price is a gift. Get one at 7200rpm Audio is fine with this.
I have run samples from such as these and never had trouble.
I run four ssd's now and still have a exterior drive with a Seagate installed.
Listen to these Reaper boffins they will treat you well with knowledge and good luck too.

Grinder
Cheers Grinder and yes there are some top people on this board. Lots of great knowledge and I'm all ears. Every day is a learning opportunity here
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:11 AM   #22
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On this subject (but for me) is it viable to get a more powerful chip installed in the computer you have rather than changing computer? Thanks
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:16 AM   #23
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On this subject (but for me) is it viable to get a more powerful chip installed in the computer you have rather than changing computer? Thanks
it is often possible to upgrade the processor in a desktop computer. It generally depends on your motherboard.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:17 AM   #24
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On this subject (but for me) is it viable to get a more powerful chip installed in the computer you have rather than changing computer? Thanks
Your motherboard will support a maximum CPU. What that CPU is depends on the motherboard. Whether it makes sense to upgrade your CPU or get a whole new CPU and motherboard will depend on your current CPU and the maximum, and how much of a boost you will actually be getting.

I'm generally in the camp of just building a new PC from scratch, but that's because I can do it myself so it saves a lot of money.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:19 AM   #25
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On this subject (but for me) is it viable to get a more powerful chip installed in the computer you have rather than changing computer? Thanks
Yes but check compatibility with your motherboard. Bottlenecks can appear elsewhere, so not always worthwhile. Stable drivers and low DPC latency are more important and problems there can still cripple the most powerful system.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:09 AM   #26
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ok thanks, I'm asking as I'm thinking of doing it, although I definitely won't be doing it myself
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:51 PM   #27
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*cough* What did Resplendence latency monitor say?
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:27 PM   #28
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*cough* What did Resplendence latency monitor say?
Apologies it took so long for me to sort this. Just downloaded it and run it as I was playing through my project.

I ran it three times

- once with my soundcard at normal latency settings using projects saved on my exHD
- once wih my soundcard at high latency settings using projects saved on my exhd
- once with projects saved to my internal ssd soundcard at normal latency

here's what latency mon has to say

Normal Latency Project exhdd -
System appears to be suitable for handling realtime audio without dropouts
Highest interrupt to process latency - 382.40
Average - 4.887740
Highest interrupt to DPC latency - 335.70
Highest ISR - 48.175926
ISR Count - 1362795

High Latency Project exhdd -
System appears to be suitable for handling realtime audio without dropouts
Highest interrupt to process latency - 396.40
Average - 4.966268
Highest interrupt to DPC latency - 335.70
Highest ISR - 174.986883
ISR Count - 1866731

Normal Latency project internal SSD
System appears to be suitable for handling realtime audio without dropouts
Highest interrupt to process latency - 410
Average - 5.056218
Highest interrupt to DPC latency - 403.30
Highest ISR - 174.986883
ISR Count - 2561957

Is there any specific information you recquire? I snipped all of the pages (processeses/drivers/CPUs etc) but they are to big for reaper to host

Running my project from the internal SSD and soundcard set to normal latency, reapers performance meter is hovering around the 12 - 22% area

Cheers

Tim

Last edited by tjw1979; 04-24-2021 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:12 PM   #29
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Nope. That gives you a reassuring benchmark that says your system is basically capable of doing what you need as it is set up now. Good starting point.
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