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Old 08-26-2017, 01:36 PM
JC_Composer JC_Composer is offline
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Default Can an external audio interface help with Real-Time Exports?

After always having a nagging feeling that mixdowns haven't ever quite lived up to the quality of the playback, I noticed the option for a real-time export. I'm gathering that it's pretty much taking the real-time playback itself for the mixdown.

It worked REALLY well when I did it for a 20-second section of my project. It sounded fantastic and confirmed my suspicions that my other sorts of mixdowns weren't as good quality. Right now I'm really sorry that I hadn't done this for my previous projects.

My current project is absolutely huge and playback can run my CPU up to 70% and I have an intel core i7 at 4GHz. With the sheer size of it, it can have its playback hiccups. When I try the real-time exports, at some point it will have an error of "CPU overload" which I'm pretty sure happens exactly as the playback hiccups (kind of pops for a moment in which there's no sound at all as it continues, which tends to happen as projects get really huge).

So my question of course is how I can reduce my chances of this error from a hardware standpoint and/or anything besides changing the sound of the project outcome. I understand that things like reverb and an excess of virtual instruments drive up the CPU usage, and in my mind I've done better at minimizing it (i.e. sending lots of dry signals to the same instance of SPACES for example).

Would an external audio interface help with this? I.e. the sound card? I would think that it would if (for the same reasons) it improves playback, for taking the load off the CPU, but maybe not if the sound card isn't actually doing anything during a real-time export. :\

Any help is greatly needed and appreciated! Thanks!
Old 08-28-2017, 03:17 AM
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trumpoz trumpoz is offline
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If you are getting CPU overloads when mixing down in real time, a dedicated Audio Interface with purpose written drivers should do a better job of real-time mix down.

There is a simple way to see if offline mixdowns are bringing artifacts. Get a simple piece.
- Do 2 mixdowns one in real time and one offline.
- Create a new project and import both mixdowns in to it on separate tracks
- Invert the phase on one track

If there are no artifacts, then the two tracks will produce a null effect and you will get no sound. I would be surprised if it was the case but am not prepared to say it is 100% in your head because of subtle variations caused by round robins etc.
Old 08-28-2017, 01:31 PM
PaulieDC PaulieDC is offline
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An external audio interface will absolutely give you a better experience. For the time being, does it help if you convert your tracks to wav audio then do the real time mixdown? Unless I'm off, tat moves much of the CPU load off the whole mix and distributes it to your single track conversions, hopefully makes the real mix run smoother. Just a thought.
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