Reducing the CPU load

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I had an issue with one pluging being very heavy on the CPU,
It later dawned on me the plugins own effects were the cause,
especially convolution reverb. I turned them off (and plugins with animations ).
(I’m not fond of aturias augmented strings,
too bloated and pretty looking with lots of wasted screen space)

All of the PC’s outs straight to a mixer, turned of the effects on the plugins
and used an external effects proccesor via the mixer instead. The CPU load dropped
dramatically. It might seem like an obvious fix for some, I didn’t realise until
last night. I’m still relatively new to Cantabile and plugins, It was cool having
a fix so easy, the answer was there all the time.


And don’t forget you can also add your own effects in Cantabile, which is probably better as all plugins are going through the same “master effects” (e.g. reverb) instead of their own, so less load and more blended space.

Whilst there are plenty of choices out there, if you haven’t already done so, check out Valhalla DSP Plugins. They are very reasonably priced, light on CPU resource, and no fancy graphics (to add to CPU).

They have some freebies as well, like SuperMassive (one of my favourite reverbs for ambient)

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… and if Convolution Reverb is your thing, my current (and long-standing) favorite is SIR3. Fairly light on CPU (for a Convolution) and drippingly gorgeous.

I generally turn off the internal FX in plugins (e.g. Respiro) and use SIR3 plugged into Cantabile. Exception is external hardware (e.g. a VL70-m or XpressO) which have their own on-board FX.


Thanks for tip, I will check those out later on, I had a brief look. It sounds like supermassive might a good one to look at (your using it, so it is good :wink: ) and
I imagine it might go well with some of the HollowSun plugins.

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All of my plugins effects are off now, I’ll make a sticky of this. External effects is doing
quite well since my mixer upgrade. My effects are a little old (Studio 400) it sounds good, I doubt it can do any thing like convolution though It might get something close. I’ll check out SIR3 out later.

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Voxengo also has some good reverbs. There is one called “Old School Reverb” which is very good.

  • Paul

I have had play with supermassive, nice plugin, I like. Some of the string machine
vst’s are well suited for this :smiley:

I found dropping the limit on polyphony helped a lot as well. Some makers
have lofty ideas of 768 notes/voices in a default state, 32 seemed a bit more realistic and freed up a lot of memory as well.

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For “meat and potato” plugins, the Melda freebie bundle is worth a look. It includes a basic convolver that is cpu friendly and has a surprising number of good sounding IRs included in the bundle that cover a very broad range. LOL, the Melda GUI is a bit of an acquired taste, but I rather like it for the most part after getting used to it. Ditto other’s comments on Valhalla, great stuff both free and paid.

[edit] link for Melda for anyone interested

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Thanks for the tip :slight_smile:
I had a look at the bundle, there EQ was something else I was looking for. simple and quick to use.

absolute +1 on that - all my live songs rely on VintageVerb and Valhalla Delay.


Some good advice here. And it sounds like you’re on the right track, using your outboard mixer or rack effects is especially effective if your computer rig doesn’t have enough RAM. I’ve always found convolution reverbs to be extremely CPU heavy, and don’t use them for live work. Frankly, in a gig, I don’t think anyone can tell the difference between that and a standard reverb. But for my studio work, convolutions and my huge library of IR’s are my go-to reverb. For gigs I use old school reverb a lot, very versatile and low on CPU.


Realising this made a huge difference. 3 stereo line outs on the sound card helps, theres a lot more control than I had before. Cantabile and various plugins has been a decent learning curve, one I am coping with suprisingly.

Thanks to every one for all the pointers. :smiley: It’s been a great help.

I’ve been using “Old School Reverb” for recording - it sounds great