Are Engine Cycles the same as Time Load?


#1

I was curious to understand what an Engine Cycle is. Is Engine Cycle the same as Time Load?

I finished creating a rack that has the following:

UVI Piano
Kontakt 1 (with 3 patches)
Kontakt 2 (with 5 patches)
Omnisphere 1 (with 3 patches)
Omnisphere 2 (with 4 patches)

No MIDI is sent to any of them until I turn on their route through bindings on my keyboard. Yet, I’m getting high Engine Cycles at times and many page faults. On rare occasions, I see spikes of engine time up to 2300%. But for the most part it seems to operate smoothly. I’m curious, though. Is this setup too complicated? I figured my laptop was powerful enough to handle this. I’m thinking the issue must be something else.

Here is the profile data:



The specs of my gear:

Laptop: Gigabyte Aero X9
Intel Core i9-8950HK with 6 Cores
32GB Ram
1TB SSD

Controller: Arturia Keylab 88

Audio Interface: DANTE Virtual Soundcard

Any thoughts? I’ve gone through much of Glitch Free already. But I feel like I’m just chasing my tail, lol.


#2

Hi!

Have you tried to run Latencymon?
https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

There may be some hardware related issues you should check…

kind regards


#3

Hey Cordaro,

some observations looking at the profiler snapshot you shared:

  • your Piano V2 (Arturia?) plugin seems to be prone to some bursts of CPU load 53% peak vs. 2,7% average - have you tried alternatives like Addictive Keys (I use it as my main live piano, it’s pretty predictable regarding CPU load).
  • What worries me most are the big numbers for input processing - especially since you don’t process any audio. Looks like your audio interface is putting some intermittent load on your CPU, which it shouldn’t

Generally, I wouldn’t recommend the direct digital connection via Dante virtual soundcard setup - it creates interdependencies between your setup and the mixing setup, which may limit flexibility and troubleshooting.

The more robust solution is to go the traditional way and use a decent low-latency audio interface (Focusrite, Zoom, RME) and deliver analog signals to the mixer. Given the quality of current audio interfaces, signal degradation is minimal - and you’re completely independent of the mixer hardware. Also, the interface takes on some of the buffer processing work away from your laptop (for the virtual soundcard, there’s more real-time processing happening within your laptop). Maybe this could fix some of the input processing issues.

Generally, sour laptop should have more than enough horsepower for glitch-free audio processing, although Omnisphere and Kontakt can be resource hogs…

But running LatencyMon, as suggested by @Alexander, could be a good idea - it can identify driver issues outside of Cantabile that limit your laptop’s ability to fill an audio buffer in time.

Cheers,

Torsten

Cheers,

Torsten


#4

I think that is my laptop. Sorry…couldn’t resist. :laughing:


#5

Hi Cordaro,

I just chime in to add some snippets to the information Torsten gave:

You use DANTE Virtual Soundcard which is a nice idea at first glance. I gave it a try some months ago and have to say that the performance I got was far from what I was used to with any of my RME interfaces. Obviously the transformation process to dante puts quite some load to the cpu. In my case I had to increase buffer size from 128 to 512 samples to prohit crackle (that was the point when I dropped this experiment😉).

The fact that Audinate offers dedicated (and pricy!) hardware solutions (only for desktop pcs) also points into this direction.

https://www.audinate.com/products/manufacturer-products/dante-pcie-card

Same is true for RME digiface dante which most probably would do the job.

http://www.rme-audio.de/products/digiface_dante.php

Regards, humphrey