Optimizing a Reason song for live playing

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pacothetortuga
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Jun 2019

Post 11 Jul 2019

I have a beefy Reason file (a couple of big Combinators) that is dragging down my CPU during live performance (run thru ReWire to Live). Before I go buy a new laptop ...

Are there any general resources for improving CPU / memory performance? For example:
  • Which instruments (or types of instruments) are more CPU intensive?
  • Which effects are more CPU intensive?
  • What other operations are CPU intensive that should be avoided, when possible?
  • There is usually more than one way to route things in Reason for the same sound or effect; perhaps some of those options are more CPU intensive than others.

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Ahornberg
Posts: 1718
Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Location: Vienna, Austria

Post 12 Jul 2019

Do you play everything live or are there tracks that play pre-recorded MIDI?
If so, render them to audio including all FX.
I would also find a way to get rid of one of those two DAWs to save CPU.
Maybe it is possible to sample some instruments including FX, put the samples in a sampler and play the sampler instead of a big Combinator.

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artotaku
Posts: 426
Joined: 09 May 2015
Location: Munich, Germany

Post 12 Jul 2019

  • Ensure that no mixer-muted/unused instrument/synth receives MIDI notes. Which means that you need a switch or a trigger to enable receiving MIDI notes as soon as you want to play/hear the instrument/synths.
    Receiving MIDI notes can be controlled either via CV and the combinator programmer matrix or using this really handy free player RE https://www.propellerheads.com/shop/rac ... ive-notes/
  • increase audio buffer size of your sound card
  • to reduce memory usage keep an eye on complex player devices with a display and patterns, e. g. Kompulsion is quite a memory hog
  • where possible use samples (Dr. Octorex, Redrum, NNXT)
Other than that after the performance improvement with version 10.3 Reason got really capable of hosting a lot of synths in one session if you follow the steps above.

I currently have 8 combinators (1 per song with 4 - 8 synths per song) and a lot of players, CV/audio cabling going on and no audio crackling and DSP meter is at most 3 bars.

pacothetortuga
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Jun 2019

Post 12 Jul 2019

Thanks, artotaku! I think your first bullet will help tremendously. One of my combi’s has four separate sampler/synths thru a line mixer, and I’m using MIDI CC to solo each instrument (turn its audio on or off). In other words, all four instruments are always receiving MIDI notes.

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artotaku
Posts: 426
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Location: Munich, Germany

Post 12 Jul 2019

pacothetortuga wrote:
12 Jul 2019
Thanks, artotaku! I think your first bullet will help tremendously. One of my combi’s has four separate sampler/synths thru a line mixer, and I’m using MIDI CC to solo each instrument (turn its audio on or off). In other words, all four instruments are always receiving MIDI notes.
Let me add - if you have polyphonic synths reduce the amount of voices as well e. g. if you know you only play chords with 4 or less notes reduce it at least to 8 notes polyphony or even better to 4 (which might cut off notes if the synth has long releases though).

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mon
Posts: 135
Joined: 07 May 2018
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Post 12 Jul 2019

Try to replace repeating insert effects with send effects, if possible. Whenever possible use propellerhead devices (preferably of the older generations) as they are well optimized. Render everything you could render and load it into samplers.
Try to optimize and simplify your combis if you need to keep them. If you use devices with big displays, encapsulate them into combis. The GUI is one of the biggest CPU eaters when devices are displayed and hiding them behind combinator interface solves this problem. If you have MIDI notes that are not heard for some reason (muted channel, lowered fader, closed filter etc.) - delete them. The played notes eat resources no matter if they are heard or not.
:reason: 10+
:recycle: :re: :refillpacker:

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jam-s
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Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 12 Jul 2019

Iirc Reason in rewire slave mode only runs on one core by default, but there is a not that well documented key combination to increase the number of cores while in rewire mode.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace.

pacothetortuga
Posts: 6
Joined: 07 Jun 2019

Post 12 Jul 2019

jam-s wrote:
12 Jul 2019
Iirc Reason in rewire slave mode only runs on one core by default, but there is a not that well documented key combination to increase the number of cores while in rewire mode.
I would very much like to know how to use both cores. Can you provide some reference, instructions, or documentation?

In fact, I noticed (in Activity Monitor) that both Live and Reason look like they're trying to split the same core. In other words, both processes show roughly 50% CPU usage -- when I have a whole other CPU available.

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jam-s
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Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 13 Jul 2019

Have a look at my post from here: viewtopic.php?p=433484#p433484
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace.

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