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Unify CPU hit when used in MainStage  

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soulstar
(@soulstar)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 10
October 27, 2020 1:40 pm  

HI, I just tried for the first time to use Unify within MainStage

(the patch I was using was “Celestial New Age Piano” which has 6 layers of Guru Sampler)

but I’m finding it’s pretty CPU hungry even sitting idle, , I was wondering what’s the best way of reducing Unity’s CPU hit when used as a plugin, I found muting the effects didn’t help much and that each layer I deleted did which makes sense, but why do layers of Guru sampler use CPU even when they are idle ?

Thanks


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getdunne
(@getdunne)
Member Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1606
October 27, 2020 2:05 pm  

@soulstar Excellent question; thanks for asking.

It's the effects that are eating CPU time in KEY - Celestial New Age Piano. Unlike instruments, whose CPU load usually increases with the number of notes sounding, effects run all the time.

The multi-colored proportional CPU meter on the right is useful to diagnose this; see this first screenshot:

Note the purple segment (which represents the Master Effects layer) is the longest. If I remove all seven effects, note how the situation changes. It's now clear that the lion's share of CPU time is being taken by the blue AUX1 layer, which contains one instance of the Dragonfly Hall reverb.

If I delete the AUX1 layer entirely, you can see that all six instances of Guru Sampler are hardly using any CPU at all:

Unify's CPU metering is a bit subtle. I recommend reading this manual page to understand it better. I'll be updating that page soon, to explain an important detail which isn't covered: Because the "CPU" meters are actually "time-taken" meters, they're affected by everything else your computer is doing. That's the reason you see them dancing around so much, as other active tasks (NOT Unify) demand more or less of the CPU from moment to moment.


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soulstar
(@soulstar)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 10
October 27, 2020 2:59 pm  

Thanks, I confess I'd only scanned the manual section on the CPU meters, reading it fully has helped my understanding.

That said, why does the Unify plugin seem to be more CPU intensive, than the standalone ?


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getdunne
(@getdunne)
Member Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1606
October 27, 2020 5:42 pm  
Posted by: @soulstar

why does the Unify plugin seem to be more CPU intensive, than the standalone ?

Short answer: Because, as I said, Unify's CPU meters are affected by other demands on the CPU, including demands of a DAW.

Longer and more important answer: Unify's efficiency is affected by buffer size. At buffer sizes much below 128, a lot of time is eaten up by per-block overhead. If you have configured your DAW to use very short buffers (to reduce latency), this could manifest in reduced efficiency for Unify.

FL Studio is a very important special case. You must tell it to "use fixed-size buffers" for Unify. If not, its "variable-size buffer" algorithm will use ridiculously tiny blocks (as short as 1 sample). Most synth and effect plug-ins can handle this just fine; Unify does not.


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soulstar
(@soulstar)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 10
October 27, 2020 5:47 pm  

Thanks for your patience, I get it now 🙂


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