Sonar 4 problem (processor usage)

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Master of the Obvious?
Member Since: Jun 29, 2004

I have an eight track composition with two or three effects on each channel (just messing around with stuff, not a serious recording or anything), including an amp sim on the three guitar tracks. It is overloading my computer. Even without anything playing (the composition is paused/stopped), the processor usage jumps between 10% and 50% usage! That said, here are my computer specs:

Windows XP Pro (clean install)
P4 3.0Ghz (Hyperthreading On)
1 GB PC3200 Ram
M-Audio MobilePre
Fast video card/hard drives

I recorded everything at 44.1/16, which should be well within the capabilities of this computer to run. I'm pretty sure it must be one of the plugins I'm running or something, but does anybody have any idea what's really going on? I wouldn't think I'd be the first person to use a fair amount of effects on a composition with only 8 tracks, and I certainly think I have the horsepower to play it back. No?

(P.S. I'm using ASIO and I've got multithreading on in the options menu in Sonar)

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Nov 02, 2006 08:41 am

Yeah, you should have enough horsepower for sure. I would suggest enabling and disabling each and seeing if disabling any specific one drops the CPU meter a lot, or disabling them all and turning them on one at a time.

In addition, make sure you have any background apps (IM's and junk) shut off and out of the task bar.

If you have any reverbs or chorus' running, disable those first, they are generally CPU resource hogs due to all the processing they require by nature of the effect they create. If it does end up being one of those, try to run a single reverb on the master bus instead where possible, or subgroup tracks and run track with similar reverbs (or whatever) thru that bus with a single instance of the effect on it.

Master of the Obvious?
Since: Jun 29, 2004

Nov 02, 2006 08:46 am

That's a good call. The only reverb I have running is on Effects Busses (3 of 'em). It's a clean installation so there's nearly nothing running in the background, but perhaps I can turn off some non-essential services (I'm a computer tech, so I won't do something stupid :p)

On a side-note, is it possible to have a different computer on my network run the effects and just have the main one for sequencing? Or would the latency of the network be a problem? Or is it just impossible :p

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Nov 02, 2006 08:48 am

There are some technologies that allow second PC processing, but I am really out of the loop on it, so I can't speak with any authority on it or even give any names/companies as I don't know off the top of my head.

There are also hardware DSP's you can install like any PCI card that will take over effect processing, taking the load off your CPU.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Nov 02, 2006 09:41 pm

I know this may not be a problem. But do you have Sonar 4 fully updated. I believe there was a known issue with pluggin handling in an early release.

And I must agree your system should easily be able to handle that load. I would go with dB on a pluggin possibly being the cause.

but I do strongly suggest making wure you have it up to date with the updates.

As for networking the FX and such. There are a couple of programs out there that will allow Sonar to share. I am at a loss to remember were I have seen them. But yes, it can be done. And with fairly low latency as well. I believe they have a compensation built it that is adjustable.

If I remember what they are I will post back.

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