Regarding slow processing /calc of normalization

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erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 20 Dec 2020

*first-time as a posting user, so please direct me to a thread if this has been answered, thanks!*

Hello!
I am looking to understand why audio processing is hanging (or very very slow) when normalizing audio clips with my setup. Many times, within the same session, audio processing a clip like this will be instantaneous or very quick. Other times, even after freshly booting up a session (granted my sessions can be very large in size upwards of ~10GB), when I try to normalize an audio clip, Reason will hang for long period of time, most often never actually normalizing the clip. Sometimes I get the "waiting for (1) recording to be pre-calculated to target settings" and sometimes it will just hang saying "normalizing audio clip" , never progressing.

I thought perhaps it has something to do with my cache/scratch disc, however I have a separate SSD I set as the scratch disc with upwards of 100GB available at all times. Also I thought perhaps it was due to different sample rates when recording -but I have always had reason and my interface set at 48,000 with buffer sizes at 592, so all my recordings should be set with that sample rate setting and not need any translation.

The Calc meter is often at 7/8 pies, but the DSP meter is usually low. Occasionally I get the disc overload light when scrubbing, and I know I have lots of effects on many tracks (50+), but I mostly use reason-standard stuff (i.e. rarely any other 3rd party plugins). I've upgraded my audio interface since having this problem and it did not change anything.

Could I be just perhaps running up against the limits of my machine? My quandary is that this is hit and miss; much of the time normalization happens EASY and quickly, however the times it doesn't and my machine just hangs is simply annoying.

Any help or insight is appreciated!

-E

Here is my setup for reference:

Reason 10.4d4 (build 9,878)
Windows 10 Home
Intel i7-770 @3.60Ghz
32 GB ram
3x SSDs separate scratch disc, OS, and storage
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd gen

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jam-s
Posts: 1247
Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 20 Dec 2020

"Disc overload" sounds like your problem is too little IO from the SSD/OS/driver. I'd try if switching to a "high performance" power setting or disabling your anti virus helps. Those are two likely culprits.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace. ... Pool's closed due to corona.

erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 20 Dec 2020

Many thanks Jam-S.
I will give updating my SSD firmware a try, as well as to optimize "high performance" mode as you say, and see if that fixes the issue.
Any other suggestions are welcome as well :)

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EnochLight
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 20 Dec 2020

erobins88 wrote:
20 Dec 2020
Hello!
I am looking to understand why audio processing is hanging (or very very slow) when normalizing audio clips with my setup.

Here is my setup for reference:

Reason 10.4d4 (build 9,878)
Windows 10 Home
Intel i7-770 @3.60Ghz
32 GB ram
3x SSDs separate scratch disc, OS, and storage
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd gen
There is no such CPU as an i7-770... Do you mean the Intel Core i7-7700? If so, that scores roughly 8631 via CPU PassMark, with a 2482 single thread rating. Compared to my admittedly ancient i7-3770K which scores 6437 PassMark and 2074 single thread, I'd say your performance should be a bit noticeably better than what I get - though still quite slow compared to today's AMD Threadrippers and Intel's higher end stuff.

I also keep all of my Reason samples as well as the scratch disc on an SSD.

Do you have "Use multi-core audio rendering" checked ON under Reason's Preferences? Also, try checking "Use hyper-threading audio rendering" when you need to normalize and see if that helps. Reason does take advantage of hyperthreading when performing audio i/o and other disc intensive actions, however; whether or not it affects your overall performance might be hit or miss.

Good luck!
Win 10 | Reason 11 Suite |  Studio 1 4.6 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live 2 & Force | Roland System 8, TR-8 7x7 Expansion, MX1, JX8P, TB3 | Ensoniq SQ1 Plus | Korg Minilogue XD

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demt
Posts: 1124
Joined: 16 Sep 2016

Post 21 Dec 2020

Erm have you checked in the task manager that the true speed of 3.6 hasn't been throttled back if so you'll have to Google set processor speed to 100%
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erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 21 Dec 2020

Thanks for the replies!

@EnochLight
Yes that was of course a typo, the processor is the i7-7700 @ 3.6 GHz.
I do have both hyper threading and multi-core rending enabled. I also have my samples on a separate SSD from the one Reason uses as a scratch disc, and Window's OS SSD.

@Jam-S
I did download the Western Digital Dashboard, and it appears the scratch SSD driver is already up-to-date. Drive was also set to better performance already as well. Settings I am not sure of but can investigate:
"enable windows write caching" + "disable windows write-caching buffer flushing".

My other 3 drives are all Samsung and I will update those as well to see if that matters - Windows OS and Reason are on the same one, maybe that matters? maybe not.


@Demt
Yes the processors are operating at 3.6 (give or take with fluctuations). When checking the CPU performance during a Normalization attempt, the histograph shows the CPU wasn't even bothered to move even with Reason churning; this leads me to believe its not really any processing power deficiency, but something else.

After trying again, I should mention this session is actually 18GBs... so that might be a factor, but it seems to happen to smaller sessions as well.

**update:
I had some success getting things to Normalize quickly after checking Reason's settings like Enoch mentioned --What I did, however, was actually UNCHECK the "use same buffer size as audio card" and that seemed to help pretty quickly. Not 100% sure it is fixed but I will report back with anything of interest.

One other thing to note is after running another test of CPU performance after things were Normalizing quickly again, the CPU utilization was barely increased, even when I normalized 20 clips at once...maybe like a 5% boost in usage.

Thanks again for the comments.
Last edited by erobins88 on 22 Dec 2020, edited 1 time in total.

erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 22 Dec 2020

Hmm, seems I am back to the drawing board...
The next day my sessions are continuing to hang in the Normalization prompt. Again, no fluctuations in CPU processing when hanging. Puzzling that it will fix itself sometimes and then go back to being stuck. Closing Reason and re-opening the session seems to reset things for a bit at least, but as a long-term solution isn't really viable I would say.

Unchecking "use same buffer size as audio card" must have been coincidental.

Any more ideas welcome. :)

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EnochLight
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Post 23 Dec 2020

erobins88 wrote:
21 Dec 2020
Settings I am not sure of but can investigate:
"enable windows write caching" + "disable windows write-caching buffer flushing".
You most certainly should have "Enable write caching on the device" checked - it does increase the read/write performance of your SSD noticeably - though how much that affects Reason us unknown. Yes, a power outage during a read/write function could cause data loss, however; unless you have a poor electrical grid in your area or suffer constant power outages, then there is little to worry about (that said, your studio machine should be on an UPS anyway). So check that box!

As far as "Turn of Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device", the risk of data loss during a power failure is similar, but the potential damage for data loss is a bit riskier, as the "power loss" to the drive can happen if Windows experiences a BSOD, or has trouble restarting during a Windows update, program faults, or other random daily acts. Most enthusiast groups recommend leaving this unchecked (in other words, leave write-cache buffer flushing "on").
Win 10 | Reason 11 Suite |  Studio 1 4.6 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live 2 & Force | Roland System 8, TR-8 7x7 Expansion, MX1, JX8P, TB3 | Ensoniq SQ1 Plus | Korg Minilogue XD

erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 23 Dec 2020

EnochLight wrote:
23 Dec 2020
erobins88 wrote:
21 Dec 2020
Settings I am not sure of but can investigate:
"enable windows write caching" + "disable windows write-caching buffer flushing".
You most certainly should have "Enable write caching on the device" checked - it does increase the read/write performance of your SSD noticeably
Yes the "enable windows write caching" was already indeed toggled on.

erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 23 Dec 2020

It seems that when I first open a session I have a few seconds of being able to Normalize normally (NPI), then, almost as if the memory fills up as the rest of the song loads, no longer. I swapped the scratch disc to another SSD and it made no difference...

This leads me think perhaps this is a RAM issue?
Does Reason have a "maximum" amount of RAM it uses, and is there a way to boost it? (I'm thinking like Photoshop's setting: "use xx% of available RAM"). I cannot find any RAM settings in Reason.

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EnochLight
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Posts: 6821
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 23 Dec 2020

erobins88 wrote:
23 Dec 2020
It seems that when I first open a session I have a few seconds of being able to Normalize normally (NPI), then, almost as if the memory fills up as the rest of the song loads, no longer. I swapped the scratch disc to another SSD and it made no difference...

This leads me think perhaps this is a RAM issue?
Does Reason have a "maximum" amount of RAM it uses, and is there a way to boost it? (I'm thinking like Photoshop's setting: "use xx% of available RAM"). I cannot find any RAM settings in Reason.
Your 32 GB of RAM should be more than enough IMHO. Can you give me an idea of your project setup so I can test a similar project on my computer? Like how many tracks of audio, how long in minutes, and what exactly are you doing (like normalizing 1 track at a time or dozens)?
Win 10 | Reason 11 Suite |  Studio 1 4.6 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live 2 & Force | Roland System 8, TR-8 7x7 Expansion, MX1, JX8P, TB3 | Ensoniq SQ1 Plus | Korg Minilogue XD

erobins88
Posts: 7
Joined: 13 Mar 2019

Post 05 Jan 2021

Sorry for the late reply -wrapped up in holidays, but here are some answers:

Project is 120 tracks actually, now that I am counting, and ~5 minutes in length.
About 35 are midi tracks triggering samples or instruments, and about 80 of the tracks are muted (separate takes, I pull audio from and splice together). Most of the tracks have their own effects (I don't like to use sends for effects if I can help it).

I am usually normalizing one track at a time, but again, in the first few minutes of opening the project I can normalize 5+ at a time just as easily as 1 track, after a few edits however things revert to getting stuck upon normalization.
Last edited by erobins88 on 05 Jan 2021, edited 3 times in total.

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