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Latency vs Storage Space?


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Poking around in the free NI Kontakt Player last night, I got a prompt somewhere in the Library section that mentioned that the more programs you host with it, the longer the latency will be.

I just have a few, so far no real problems but it did get me thinking as the inherent latency of the program is a bit longer than what I am able to set for recording audio. I suppose having multiple instances of host programs could extend the latency further as well.

 

I do spend some time with NI Studio Drummer finding a beat/groove/tempo for a recording, then I loop the MIDI until I have more length than the final piece.

It's easier to play to an appropriate groove than a click track, at least I find it easier. It may have very little to do with the final drum track but you have to start somewhere, no?

 

It seems to me that for some virtual instruments it might make sense to get your parts created, export them as audio tracks and load those back into the project.

Then you could delete the host plug in (and MIDI track), freeing up RAM and keeping latency lower. I am considering those cases where one might have multiple instances of a host plugin.

Without checking, it seems that this would be true for IK SampleTank (I have a buttload of sounds for that one!) and others - Fishman Triple Play, etc.

 

Or, should you do a Save As first, then export as audio and import back in? Creating that second version will increases the storage needed but provides a way to go back and make changes to the first version. Any new keeper audio tracks could always be exported and imported back into whichever file ends up being the project so not much time wasted there if you've decided to re-commit in a different direction.

 

Which would you do? If neither, what are the other options? I'm hoping to come up with a workflow improvement based on what I learn, hopefully some of that knowledge comes from this thread.

Thanks, Kuru

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Hey, Kuru. Sorry for the delay in answering. A few IMNSHO thoughts that will at least stimulate discussion when people stomp on them:

 

1. Storage is irrelevant and has been for years now. OS on an SSD, vital high-speed storage on another SSD, anything that can get by with being a bit slower on a huge NAS Enterprise-level spinny drive (or two in a mirrored RAID). If you're worried that a project will take up an extra Gigabyte of space, or even ten of them, as I once said to the guy sticking his finger in his girlfriend's navel, you're doing it wrong.

 

2. I can't imagine Waveform doesn't have a Freeze function. It's been around in one form or another on nearly every DAW for years! When you Freeze a track, it renders the audio (MIDI notes through virtual instruments and effects) through your entire song, takes them offline, and replaces the result with an audio track that would be what you had if you did that for the whole song on mixdown. That track serves to hold the space at high quality with little added CPU, and if you hear something you need to tweak in it, you just unselect Freeze and wait a moment while the DAW replaces everything back the way it was.

 

3. If Waveform doesn't offer Freeze, your best bet is to render down and export a track and then replace it with the render. I don't think doing it for an entire mix benefits you at all.

 

Hope this helps!

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

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Hey, Kuru. Sorry for the delay in answering. A few IMNSHO thoughts that will at least stimulate discussion when people stomp on them:

 

1. Storage is irrelevant and has been for years now. OS on an SSD, vital high-speed storage on another SSD, anything that can get by with being a bit slower on a huge NAS Enterprise-level spinny drive (or two in a mirrored RAID). If you're worried that a project will take up an extra Gigabyte of space, or even ten of them, as I once said to the guy sticking his finger in his girlfriend's navel, you're doing it wrong.

 

2. I can't imagine Waveform doesn't have a Freeze function. It's been around in one form or another on nearly every DAW for years! When you Freeze a track, it renders the audio (MIDI notes through virtual instruments and effects) through your entire song, takes them offline, and replaces the result with an audio track that would be what you had if you did that for the whole song on mixdown. That track serves to hold the space at high quality with little added CPU, and if you hear something you need to tweak in it, you just unselect Freeze and wait a moment while the DAW replaces everything back the way it was.

 

3. If Waveform doesn't offer Freeze, your best bet is to render down and export a track and then replace it with the render. I don't think doing it for an entire mix benefits you at all.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Thanks, Dr Mike! Very helpful indeed. I am pretty smart for an imbecile but some of this stuff is new to me.

 

Waveform does have a Freeze option. I've used it but didn't get into the nuts and bolts of the thing to understand exactly what it does.

Good to know and a viable option!!! I try to save the plugins for after tracking but I've gotten used to using Studio Drummer to set my grooves since it is an actual drummer playing actual drums and has that "feel" thang. Much easier to track over than a click track, at least for me. I am familiar with the thousands of different styles of loops too, I can find something that works pretty easily.

 

When I am done tracking I usually just set the latency to something quite long, this ensures no "glitchy twitchy" stuff going on. I figured that one out when I was doing a Metapop remix and had lots of parallel processing and automation.

64 tracks packed with plugins did sputter a little here and there but increasing the latency smoothed it back out. Not something you notice at all when mixing.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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