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George D

How to assign Cakewalk to use all the CPU cores

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2 minutes ago, George D said:

Also did these...

Care to share a screenshot of LatencyMon after letting it run for 10+ minutes?

Also, if you hover your mouse over the Performance  Meter in Cakewalk while you are hearing "peaks, clicks, etc." does it show the empty buffer count increasing?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David Baay said:

Care to share a screenshot of LatencyMon after letting it run for 10+ minutes?

Also, if you hover your mouse over the Performance  Meter in Cakewalk while you are hearing "peaks, clicks, etc." does it show the empty buffer count increasing?

 

 

The buffer count increasing when the project running and also when the project is stopped.

Audio  processing: 33-35%

Engine Load: 96-106% . 

Same numbers when the project is running or stopped.

(1024 samples Asio buffer size)

I've also attached three images. The 1st is LatencyMon without Cakewalk running. The 3d when Cakewalk running a light project  (both at 256 samples buffer size)

The 2nd image is when running the heavy project with clicks and peaks (at 1024 samples buffer size).

 

latencymon1.jpg

latencymon2_Cakewalk running heavy.jpg

latencymon2_Cakewalk running.jpg

Edited by George D

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That DPC latency would be on the high side if you were trying to run a 32-64-sample buffer, but should not be a problem at 1024. In a well-optimized system, I would expect to see consistently under 300us. Mine manages that even with WiFi enabled.

Beyond that, I'd be looking at the project content. It would have to be a pretty heavy-duty project to run a 16-core processor that hard at that buffer size.  Seems likely there are just some individual plugins driving the engine load that be can't load-balanced any further. I would suggest you try selectively disabling plugins, and see if anything is driving the engine load particularly hard. Then search for reports of issues with the efficiency of that particular plugin - may just be the nature of the beast in some cases.

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20 hours ago, David Baay said:

That DPC latency would be on the high side if you were trying to run a 32-64-sample buffer, but should not be a problem at 1024. In a well-optimized system, I would expect to see consistently under 300us. Mine manages that even with WiFi enabled.

Beyond that, I'd be looking at the project content. It would have to be a pretty heavy-duty project to run a 16-core processor that hard at that buffer size.  Seems likely there are just some individual plugins driving the engine load that be can't load-balanced any further. I would suggest you try selectively disabling plugins, and see if anything is driving the engine load particularly hard. Then search for reports of issues with the efficiency of that particular plugin - may just be the nature of the beast in some cases.

I've tried disabling each plugin at a time but without result too.

The system seems well optimized at pro tools but not in cakewalk in my case.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe try re-naming AUD.INI, and let CW build a new default one.

Do you have any of the old SONAR demo projects and bundled plugins? I'd be curious to know what kind of performance you see with a known baseline.

EDIT:  A couple other possibilities... any chance you have the Steinberg Generic Low latency ASIO Driver installed or have enabled the non-default  'aggressive' ThreadSchedulingModel=3 in AUD.INI (Preferences > Audio > Config File)? These suggestions come from a similar thread from last year:

And a golden oldie problem generator: Setting Windows processor scheduling for best performance of Background Services in Advanced System Settings

Edited by David Baay

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32 minutes ago, David Baay said:

Maybe try re-naming AUD.INI, and let CW build a new default one.

Do you have any of the old SONAR demo projects and bundled plugins? I'd be curious to know what kind of performance you see with a known baseline.

No luck with the new .ini file. Same results.

No, I don't have any oldbundled demo project.

The only difference I've found is without plugin load balancing  the meters are : Audio processing 13-16%  Engine Load 75-85

                                                                        With plugin load balancing: Audio processing 30-32%  Engine Load 95-102% !!!

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Plugin Load Balancing is not always guaranteed to improve overall performance, especially when the distribution of load across cores is already good without it. I generally leave it off as I don't often use that many FX plugins in a single bin (or in a whole project for that matter), and most of my load comes from VST instruments which can't be load-balanced. The documentation provides guidelines for when it can be helpful and when it might not:

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=AudioPerformance.14.html

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1 hour ago, David Baay said:

Plugin Load Balancing is not always guaranteed to improve overall performance, especially when the distribution of load across cores is already good without it. I generally leave it off as I don't often use that many FX plugins in a single bin (or in a whole project for that matter), and most of my load comes from VST instruments which can't be load-balanced. The documentation provides guidelines for when it can be helpful and when it might not:

  https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=AudioPerformance.14.html

What audio interface are you using, and what Driver Mode are you using in Cakewalk? (ASIO? )  Please also detail the nature of your project - how many tracks, how many soft synths, which ones, how many effects plugins, the nature of them (such as convultion reverb, linear phase, etc.).

And, just for a test - what happens to render time when you temporarily first Bypass All Audio Effects processing?  (just click on the FX button to the right of the metronome icon, and it will toggle Off/On the bypassing of all audio effects - once your test is complete, clicking again on the FX button will engage all audio effects again).  Some effects require huge ASIO Buffer Size settings, and some are just CPU hogs - some soft synths are also CPU hogs.

Also, some plugins, like Native Instruments Kontakt, Battery 4, and I believe some other plugins of theirs, have settings where I could enter how many cores I have in my CPU, and those plugins distribute processing among the available cores, per the values I entered for the cores my CPU has.  Here is a screenshot of the settings for this, in Kontakt.  (The parameter is the 'Multiprocessor Support', etc., under Engine:

image.thumb.png.660ec0d6c53d81deef1eac69868d31b7.png

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10 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

What audio interface are you using, and what Driver Mode are you using in Cakewalk? (ASIO? )  Please also detail the nature of your project - how many tracks, how many soft synths, which ones, how many effects plugins, the nature of them (such as convultion reverb, linear phase, etc.).

And, just for a test - what happens to render time when you temporarily first Bypass All Audio Effects processing?  (just click on the FX button to the right of the metronome icon, and it will toggle Off/On the bypassing of all audio effects - once your test is complete, clicking again on the FX button will engage all audio effects again).  Some effects require huge ASIO Buffer Size settings, and some are just CPU hogs - some soft synths are also CPU hogs.

Also, some plugins, like Native Instruments Kontakt, Battery 4, and I believe some other plugins of theirs, have settings where I could enter how many cores I have in my CPU, and those plugins distribute processing among the available cores, per the values I entered for the cores my CPU has.  Here is a screenshot of the settings for this, in Kontakt.  (The parameter is the 'Multiprocessor Support', etc., under Engine:

 

@Robert Bone Asio drivers. The problem exists in various kind of projects. With or without VI's. With exactly the same plugin or with different plugins.

If I bypass all the fx the render is as expected much much faster.

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Back there you said "peaks, clicks, etc.". Clicks could be a performance issue, but what did you mean by 'peaks'; also 'etc.'? Is there some audio distortion happening that could be independent of performance issues?

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2 hours ago, bvideo said:

Back there you said "peaks, clicks, etc.". Clicks could be a performance issue, but what did you mean by 'peaks'; also 'etc.'? Is there some audio distortion happening that could be independent of performance issues?

No,no distortion from other issues.

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In very broad terms, I would say that it's unusual to see the Audio Engine running over 100% and showing a lot of late buffers with the Audio Process load below 50-65%, and the Audio Engine reading typically averages closer to 1.5x to 2x the Audio Processing load than the 3x factor you're seeing.  But it depends on the plugins being used, and it's a rare project of mine that needs more than a 256-sample buffer to run smoothly on a lowly 4-core i7-6700K processor. I just don't use that many heavy-weight plugins in any one project.

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@George D fwiw, I've been working through what sounds like a similar problem. I've always built my own PCs and am very comfortable with all aspects of fine tuning for audio performance. My current cfg had been running flawlessly for years but starting "acting up" around Mar 2021.  This particular project was an older one that a client wanted to revisit and used to run just fine with absolutely no problems. 

The symptom was a serious degradation/smearing of sound quality on playback, like running the audio through a meat grinder (or putting your thumb on the reel for a tape machine). It would only happen for 10-30 secs and then somehow "recover'. Not sure how this compares to your "clicks and pops" but the performance monitor would go crazy when this happened, super erratic, cores jumping/spiking all over the place.  This would also happen when opening a VST or the browser (i.e. to open a user manual, not to check on sports scores...)  something that -never- used to happen.  The project isn't super large, only a drum VST and a few amp sims in addition to std audio tracks with FX. I don't generally freeze these as I've never had to before SO... not thinking the project/VSTs itself is the problem. Additionally, the ability to run at low latency has been significantly compromised. Used to track just fine on the very same project down to 64 samples. Then only way I could get reasonable playback now was to raise it to 512, which is pretty useless for tracking. 

The major areas of focus were;

1. WIN 10 updates

- Running WIN 10 Pro with updates disabled except for security updates. Always an issue, but I've got a good checklist and always managed to restore the changed settings quickly and easily when they happened, which was not often. Decided to update to the latest version (last update was over a year ago) to solve the problem.

= Didn't help. 

2. VST updates

? Possibly some update to an existing VST?

- Couldn't pin it down on any in the project. They're all by reputable proven devs and run fine in other projects (and DAWs) with no issues reported for any of them.

= no obvious suspects

3. Other SW updates (like other applications phoning home)

- rechecked / reinstalled the native A/I drivers (they were always the latest update, but...)

- I've added some new VSTs/suppliers with various means of authorization. Tried freezing those and disabling any service that looked like it might be trying to do something. 

- tried running the project completely off-line (Internet disconnected, actually boot cfg is off-line, have to manually go online)

= no improvement

4. Checked my system services again. Ran Latency Mon and for the first time on this system, it would show some issue when running the project but w/o much of a clue as to a specific cause. The highest DPC counts were for the Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime. The second highest  were for LatMon iteself... Multiple sessions were rather uneven and hard to pin down. FYI, no BT, WiFi, etc, active, only Window Defender running for when online, never been a problem in the past. 

? Not sure where to go with this, still looking into it with no idea what changed, so the challenge is to hunt down what might have made it worse.

5. CxB changes/updates. 

- CxB has never been the problem (despite the number of outraged posters in this forum 🙂), but there have been a -lot- of changes and had me considering the possibility of some newer potential stability issues. Not that I have any insight into the development, but it is a very feature rich (=complex) program. 

NB  This project has since crashed several times and flagged an issue with Cakewalk core. Doesn't mean it wasn't caused by some VST issue, but despite the best efforts of the Support team (they've been super responsive), no clear cause has been noted.

> Worked through a matrix of Record/Playback IO buffer sizes, A/I buffer sizes and was able to confirm a few settings which helped, but mostly raising the A/I buffer. Changing the Record/Playback IO buffer sizes generally made it worse.

= All changes were correlated with Performance Monitor specs during playback but they generally behaved as expected...

> Tried various settings in the Initialization file.

= Back to the original settings as none of the changes made much sense and generally only made things worse.

...

In the course of working through this, it's started to behave a bit better, which makes it sound like a moving target, or maybe it just takes a few reboots for everything to settle down? I still have a problem project with repeatable symptoms at a specific spot in the playback, trying different states/cfgs to see what might expose the culprit. And also noting the issues are only with older projects so far (like 3-5 years old) being opened in this years version of CxB. FWIW, all of my newer projects are running fine atm, so I'm considering the possibility of some project specific corruption or as yet undiscovered backwards compatibility issue? 

Don't know that this does you any good but just hearing about something similar might help. I don't expect to find any answers here as I'm assuming it's something specific to my system, but stuff like this comes with the territory (infinite cfg possibilities + ongoing dev) I'll come back if something useful gets figured out. 

 

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On 10/15/2021 at 4:43 AM, jackson white said:

@George D fwiw, I've been working through what sounds like a similar problem. I've always built my own PCs and am very comfortable with all aspects of fine tuning for audio performance. My current cfg had been running flawlessly for years but starting "acting up" around Mar 2021.  This particular project was an older one that a client wanted to revisit and used to run just fine with absolutely no problems. 

The symptom was a serious degradation/smearing of sound quality on playback, like running the audio through a meat grinder (or putting your thumb on the reel for a tape machine). It would only happen for 10-30 secs and then somehow "recover'. Not sure how this compares to your "clicks and pops" but the performance monitor would go crazy when this happened, super erratic, cores jumping/spiking all over the place.  This would also happen when opening a VST or the browser (i.e. to open a user manual, not to check on sports scores...)  something that -never- used to happen.  The project isn't super large, only a drum VST and a few amp sims in addition to std audio tracks with FX. I don't generally freeze these as I've never had to before SO... not thinking the project/VSTs itself is the problem. Additionally, the ability to run at low latency has been significantly compromised. Used to track just fine on the very same project down to 64 samples. Then only way I could get reasonable playback now was to raise it to 512, which is pretty useless for tracking. 

The major areas of focus were;

1. WIN 10 updates

- Running WIN 10 Pro with updates disabled except for security updates. Always an issue, but I've got a good checklist and always managed to restore the changed settings quickly and easily when they happened, which was not often. Decided to update to the latest version (last update was over a year ago) to solve the problem.

= Didn't help. 

2. VST updates

? Possibly some update to an existing VST?

- Couldn't pin it down on any in the project. They're all by reputable proven devs and run fine in other projects (and DAWs) with no issues reported for any of them.

= no obvious suspects

3. Other SW updates (like other applications phoning home)

- rechecked / reinstalled the native A/I drivers (they were always the latest update, but...)

- I've added some new VSTs/suppliers with various means of authorization. Tried freezing those and disabling any service that looked like it might be trying to do something. 

- tried running the project completely off-line (Internet disconnected, actually boot cfg is off-line, have to manually go online)

= no improvement

4. Checked my system services again. Ran Latency Mon and for the first time on this system, it would show some issue when running the project but w/o much of a clue as to a specific cause. The highest DPC counts were for the Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime. The second highest  were for LatMon iteself... Multiple sessions were rather uneven and hard to pin down. FYI, no BT, WiFi, etc, active, only Window Defender running for when online, never been a problem in the past. 

? Not sure where to go with this, still looking into it with no idea what changed, so the challenge is to hunt down what might have made it worse.

5. CxB changes/updates. 

- CxB has never been the problem (despite the number of outraged posters in this forum 🙂), but there have been a -lot- of changes and had me considering the possibility of some newer potential stability issues. Not that I have any insight into the development, but it is a very feature rich (=complex) program. 

NB  This project has since crashed several times and flagged an issue with Cakewalk core. Doesn't mean it wasn't caused by some VST issue, but despite the best efforts of the Support team (they've been super responsive), no clear cause has been noted.

> Worked through a matrix of Record/Playback IO buffer sizes, A/I buffer sizes and was able to confirm a few settings which helped, but mostly raising the A/I buffer. Changing the Record/Playback IO buffer sizes generally made it worse.

= All changes were correlated with Performance Monitor specs during playback but they generally behaved as expected...

> Tried various settings in the Initialization file.

= Back to the original settings as none of the changes made much sense and generally only made things worse.

...

In the course of working through this, it's started to behave a bit better, which makes it sound like a moving target, or maybe it just takes a few reboots for everything to settle down? I still have a problem project with repeatable symptoms at a specific spot in the playback, trying different states/cfgs to see what might expose the culprit. And also noting the issues are only with older projects so far (like 3-5 years old) being opened in this years version of CxB. FWIW, all of my newer projects are running fine atm, so I'm considering the possibility of some project specific corruption or as yet undiscovered backwards compatibility issue? 

Don't know that this does you any good but just hearing about something similar might help. I don't expect to find any answers here as I'm assuming it's something specific to my system, but stuff like this comes with the territory (infinite cfg possibilities + ongoing dev) I'll come back if something useful gets figured out. 

 

I've checked like you all the above list! :)

The difference in my case is that I had the same problem from the beginning and with all the projects. The problem/or the answer is that in ProTools the same tracks with the same VSTs work much much better. Maybe the problem is the sound engine of the Cakewalk.

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@George D  Looks like I ran into something that sounds more like your problem than mine. Loaded an older project today and experienced a few pretty scary low freq pops every 10-15 bars or less, and then it crashed to the desktop!! Never had this before, ever. System has been running well for the past few weeks, so it's got to be something very recent.  Barring some HW failure, will be looking at the following for trouble shooting;

- Ran a Win10 update last night, first time opening the project. Preliminary check shows the usual Win suspects still as is.  

Planning to reload my A/I drivers, as I've seen that make a difference. 

Crashing to the desktop is almost always a plugin "feature"

- Project is a wip, many FX bins include more than one as they get A/B'd to dial in a sound. 

- Some VSTs might have been newer, less proven?  Need to take a close look for latest versions, sketchy devs? (see Pt #2)

- Using the Korg M1 for a horn section, which locked up  when the internet was disabled. (Pt #2)

Will post anything that might have helped. 

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25 minutes ago, jackson white said:

Crashing to the desktop is almost always a plugin "feature"

If there is no dump in %appdata%\Cakewalk\Cakewalk Core\MiniDumps try setting ExceptionHandlingSeverity to 7 in Preferences > File > Initialization File

For more info about the setting see the Improved plug-in exception handling / crash reporting section of http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=NewFeatures.024.html

 

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@scook  thx, have had that setting in place since the initial release and make a point to send mini dumps if I have enough useful specifics leading up to it.

@George D  have you tried monitoring playback in console view to see if your  problem shows up as spikes on specific channels? I managed to track mine down to very repeatable events on specific channels with the existing project, but yet to "fix" it. Digging into MIDI events, patch/preset issues in the VST and VST channel routing in CxB.  Managed to eliminate most of the other potential suspects (Win update setting 'adjustments', clip boundaries, Izotope plugins, Korg M1, etc. and updated to the latest release 2021.11)

I have wondered about the engine as well, as I seem to recall being able to play "fast & loose" with editing during playback w/o much in the way of hiccups but finding this is no longer the case with MIDI sync dropping immediately and audio dropouts a close second. Tried changing the playback buffer settings, but nothing meaningful noted. fwiw, my problems seem to be limited to older projects getting revisited, newer ones seem to be running just fine.

Edited by jackson white
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