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Unify and CPU Load

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Robert.P
(@robert-p)
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Hi, I downloaded the demo version of Unify today to see how it performs on my system. I made some tests with VSTs and it seems that the Unify adds more CPU load to the instruments than my old KORE. I tested it in Studio One 4 by playing 3 instances of the same instrument simultaneously: 1. The reference instrument 2. The same instrument within the KORE and 3. The same instrument within the Unify. The DAW performance monitor shows the single core CPU load for tested instruments as follow:

  • Addictive Keys = 3%, Addictive Keys + Kore = 6%, Addictive Keys + Unify = 8%
  • Dune = 22%, Dune + Kore = 21%, Dune + Unify = 25%
  • Massive = 5%, Massive + Kore = 6%, Massive + Unify = 9%
  • ModoBass = 9%, ModoBass + Kore = 11%, ModoBass + Unify = 13%
  • Omnisphere = 4%, Omnisphere + Kore = 3%, Omnisphere + Unify = 8%
  • Pianoteq = 23%, Pianoteq + Kore = 24%, Pianoteq + Unify = 28%
  • RapturePro = 17%, RapturePro + Kore = 19%, RapturePro + Unify = 21%
  • TruePianos = 12%, TruePianos + Kore = 12%, TruePianos + Unify = 15%

Strangely, NI Kontakt shows 25% LESS CPU load when playing Soaring Strings within the Unify. (and 50% LESS CPU Load comparing to Kontakt + Kore running the same program).

Has anyone else tried to perform similar tests and if so, what are the results?
I use Studio One 4.6 on Windows 10


   
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(@getdunne)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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@robert-p

DAW CPU meters are rarely accurate for multi-threaded plug-ins. Rather than a true measure of CPU load, they usually indicate what fraction of the available buffer-processing time is left over after the plug-in does its work. When this fraction gets close to 100%, there is a risk that the buffer will have to get passed over to the audio-output hardware before all processing is complete, so you'll hear crackling.

On the other hand, if you're running a lot of plug-ins inside a Unify instance, your DAW might only show e.g. 10%, but the actual CPU load might be higher, because Unify is flogging all your CPU's cores hard to respond in 10% of each buffer-time. This is what we see all the time in Logic Pro X on the Mac, for example.

Unify does incur some CPU overhead. All MIDI layers (if any) are processed in parallel, then all INST layers, then all AUX layers (if any), then the MASTER FX layer. This basic sequence, which always has at least 2 steps, imposes a small time penalty. The more plug-ins you have loaded, the less noticeable this will be.

Your Kontakt results are probably due to the fact that Kontakt itself uses multiple threads if it can, but KORE might actually limit it to one. Unify and Studio One certainly do not.

Meaningful measurements of CPU load are very hard to achieve in a multi-core, multi-threaded system.


   
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Robert.P
(@robert-p)
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@getdunne

Thank you for the detailed explanation. In my case the Unify might be a very good replacement for the Kore (which isn't multi-thread optimised). Also, Unify loads faster and has smaller memory footprint (however, this might change in the future when the new features will be added;)

 


   
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DOMINIQUE
(@dominique)
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Hello

Regarding CPU load I find that Unify is quite successful

Here is what I found with my PC configuration I7 WIND 10 REAPER.
for example with the Wave flow motion plugin which is usually very CPU intensive. Before in Reaper I could never run 2 instances of FLOW Motion at the same time without cracking. So much so that I no longer used it all . With Unify I can easily stack 5 layers without the slightest crunch. By cons for the moment the loading time of a patch including Flow Motion is very long. But it works . Maybe it will progress with the upcoming Updates ...
With Omnisphère and Keyscape, however, everything is faster and lighter. I stacked layers that I couldn't do before because it was creaking. and the loading time for Omnisphère user patches is very fast. Much more than a Reaper track before.

Dominique
WIND 10 Reaper 6 Kronos / Osmose / Motif / Vsynth / Karma / Omnisphere 2.8 / Keyscape / Nylon sky / Undercurrent /Stylus / UVI Ravenscroft & Orchestral suite, Spitfire Originals collections & Labs , BBCSO core ,Abey road 2, Frozen strings , Albion Tundra , Solo strings, Chamber strings evolution, British drama tool kit, Fragile strings evolution , Aperture , Appassionata ,Mercury Solar, Orchestral tool Habitat & Salu, Arturia Pigments , Rapid Parawave , Plasmonic, Surge , Descent Sampler, Flow motion, Pianoteq pro, Memorymode, Sine ,Bx_Oberhausen, FM8, Eight voices, Dreamsynth, GX-80, Lion, Byome, Triad, Royal Albert hall Organ, Kniffonium, Vital, Minimonsta 1&2 , Imposcar ,Surge ,Generate , Oddity 3 , PhasePlant


   
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(@getdunne)
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Flow Motion seems notorious for slow load time: https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=521388


   
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