DSP Rate

Curious what others see in their DSP rates?

If I open Ardour to an empty 44.1kHz project, my DSP sits around 5-7%. If I add the MeldaProduction MCompressor plugin, for example, it shoots to around 35%.

Same test with a 96kHz project, 17% and 45% respectively.

Windows 10, Quad i7, 24GB RAM.

Problem is I seem to be hitting the wall pretty much right away when mixing. My DSP shoots to 100% even in really small projects and causes all sorts of issues. I recently switched from an old MacBook pro to this new Windows machine. I may just switch back, having all sorts of issues with Windows 10 such as high DSP rates and latency that I never saw on my tracks on the Mac.

I don’t think these are Ardour issues, I am more inclined to think there is something in the hardware/drivers. All firmware and drivers are up to date.

@guitman423: I recently did a small test between mac and linux with ardour and dsp usage and there was no comparison. Linux was the clear winner in my experience when it comes to that. With 32 tracks and no plugins mac was seeing 35-40% when scrolling around the mixer. On gnome linux it didn’t go higher than 18% I believe. Using the Enlightenment window manager it went down a bit more to around 7-10%. Using a realtime kernel definitely helps in this regard but it is a bit quirky. You can get it down to around 2-5% with a realtime kernel.

Yeah that is a huge difference in your numbers. Do your Mac and Linux boxes have similar hardware specifications? I wonder what those numbers would look like on a Windows machine?

Do you use Linux primarily for Ardour then?

Just double checked my Mac, 12 track mix with many plugins. Only sitting around 35% DSP. This pegs my PC at 100%.

I think I figured something out. The buffer in my Tascam 16x8 device was set to 128 samples. I set it to 1024, and now the DSP is only running around 20%. Setting was not needed when plugged into the Mac, but at least its usable now on the PC.

@guitman423: I use 2 separate drives on the same PC for Mac (hackintosh) and Linux. I really only use LInux. The sample settings affect your latency, 128 samples is more cpu intensive so dsp will go up than compared to 1024 where it’s not as much so dsp will be down. When I’m playing live (synthesizer or guitarix) I usually go for lowest setting possible without getting pops and clicks (xruns) which is usually around 128 with a usb interface. When I’m mixing a session I’ll bring it up to 512 or 1024 so I don’t have any problems with it freezing up with all the plugins I use. I can mix at 128 samples as the PC can probably handle it but I just don’t need it when I’m just recording and mixing later.

Great advice, thanks. I may do some tracking today, in which case I will return it to 128 and see if that fixes my other issue, which was big latency when tracking. Never had to worry about any of this on my Mac, but now I am starting to understand what is going on under the hood. PC Worked great all last night while mixing with the 1024 samples, never got too much above 30%.

Thanks for helping the noob, really appreciate all the advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUsLLEkswzE explains DSP-load (realtime performances) vs CPU load/performance in layman terms very well.

That video should be a sticky for any DAW manufacturer’s forum. That was incredibly informative.