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Nuendo and Cubase - more efficient CPU use than PT-LE?

Discussion in 'Nuendo' started by Digger, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Digger

    Digger Guest

    Hi - I have been using PT-LE on a fairly powerful PC (Carillon P4 3.4 GHZ, 1GB Ram etc...). I have 2 UAD cards with my system. I find PT to be limiting in ways to numerous to name but my question is this;

    I know that there have been some major productions run off of Nuendo (Korn is one that comes to mind). How do they run a major session on Nuedo with lots of plugs etc..without major issues.

    My understanding is that Nuendo, like PT-LE, still runs primarily off of your computers CPU. With a PT-HD setup you of course can use the Accel cards to run the show which allows for greater flexibility and power.

    How can you effectively run a major production off of Nuendo - is it more efficient than PT-LE

  2. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    alot of outputs through a mixer and some analog outboard!!!
  3. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    "I say PT is dead soon"

    don't bet your money on it.....
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    How big of a production was KORN's? Maybe they didn't have/need lots of tracks or effects. Maybe they used a lot of outboard gear using Nuendo simply as a tape machine.

    I would imagine that they too had UAD cards or powercore cards, and probably use them for most or all of the effects needed. If more were needed one could buy a PCI expansion rack and have UAD cards up the wazoo.

    There's lots of ways it can be done. I'd say the most important part is the recording process. Get the sound to where you want it before recording it and you won't have much to do afterwards.
  5. EricK

    EricK Guest

    A lot of these larger projects, while recorded and edited in a DAW, are mixed through a console. It's really the plug-ins that bog down a DAW. If you don't use a lot or any plugins, you can get pretty high track counts. They run all of the tracks out of the computer into a console, and use real outboard gear for processing, not plugs.

    You realize that PT-LE is limited to 32 tracks because DIGI wants it to be, not because it can't do more. Nuendo, etc have no software limits on track counts. And to answer the question you pose in your subject line, I find PT-LE to be rather inefficient. It seems when adding plugins, it runs out of horsepower faster than it should. The only software I have to compare it to is Cubase VST, in which I can run at least 3 times the plugins for the same horsepower.

    Digi has announced the PTLE 7 will run more efficiently. I'm hoping.
  6. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I usually run all the way up to 32 tracks now and usually have on average two plug ins per track. Thats pretty close to 60 plugs I run sometimes. Usually eq's on almost everything, compression on drums bass guitars, hell everything sometimes too. I also run delays, reverbs, sometimes sansamp, amplitube. Yeah I'd say 50 to 60 plugs is about what I use on my more difficult recordings. So you're telling me with Cubase VST you can run 150 plug ins? Yeah I'll admit owning both cubase and pro tools that ptle seems to be slightly less effiecient but not three times less efficient.
  7. EricK

    EricK Guest

    I haven't actually added it up to compare for sure. So "3 times as many" is just a guestimate. You're not too specific on what what plugins you are running. You mention sansamp and amplitube, but what plugs are you using for EQ or Comps? I am basing my experience off of running Waves plugs.

    I am assuming you're on ProTools, jonyc. Is that correct?

    Also, bear in mind, I am comparing PT-LE 6.9 to Cubase VST 5.1. VST is pretty old code. Not sure how a current version of Cubase would fair. Maybe this is more a testament to how bloated the applications themselves are becoming.

    SONICA-X Guest


    Nuendo, Cubase SX and SONAR are applications that can use multiple processors. When you run any of them on a "Dual Processor" or "Dual Core" system you have lots of CPU power to play with.

    It is not uncommon to do 75+ track productions on a dual system with lots of plug-ins and also VST instruments.

    In addition, there are DSP cards available for Native Workstations;

    Universal Audio UAD-1 and TC Electronic TC Powercore.

    Waves also has released a DSP based system for Native workstations.

    My best,

    Guy Cefalu
    Sonica Audio Labs
  9. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    From my understanding, ProTools, Nuendo, whatever, most big productions are done this way.
  10. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    i got 7 bucks on it
  11. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    i'm in!! :cool:

    how do we do it??

    if protools is dead within a year i send you seven bucks!!

    btw.... one of my friends bet me a dinner about g5 powerbooks coming out last year.!!

    anyone wanna bet they don't come out this year??

    someone told me that protools would be entirely pc soon.... about 8 years ago....
  12. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    The latest releases of Nuendo/SX (and a few other hosts) allow suport for QuadProcessor computers. Dual Dualcores. And what has been done using the latest AMD dual cores in dual processor configurations, is very impressive.

    Another option is using Steinbergs system link technology. This enables, via any single channel of digital audio (TDIF, Toslink, SPDIF etc..) to lock up any number of computers, in sample accurate sync, working on the same project... That can lead to immence ammount of horsepower. (FXteleport more or less does the same thing, via Gigabit Lan)

    A number of Quad processor setups running together via system link or FXteleport, also running UAD and Powercore plugs. Need more ?

    smoke that G5.

    From the nuendo forums :

    Dual dualcore Opterons will give you the most powerful DAW you can get. By a large margin. Lowest latency at heavy loads as well.

    With dual dualcores on a 2895, we run 100+ tracks, 4 UAD-1s, 2x MADI RME with all 112 ins/outs routed, and very high quality video out a Blackmagic Decklink. All of this nets approximately 30-35% CPU load in Task Manager. Locate/Play anywhere along a 1.5 hour timeline is pretty much instantaneous.
    Brian T


    Edit : Even a well done PC, not as extreme as whats stated above, will probably pull a contemprory rock song with ease. Just for information, how many tracks of 44.1/24 are we looking at (playing together) 24 max ?
  13. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    "smoke that G5. "

    blah blah....

    the next G5 will most likely be dual daulcore too.....


    "A number of Quad processor setups running together via system link or FXteleport, also running UAD and Powercore plugs. Need more ?"

    protools HD has process cards with nine dsp's each..... using bomb factory line6 and waves plugin's .....want more???

    and logic has distributed audio.... hook up as many xserve computers as you like.......

    smoke that piece of plastic.....

    and go think about latency..... sending midi to an external computer that then has to send audio back through whatever takes some time.... and i know about latency compensation.... but it doesn't matter to a keyboard player or a singer.... and don't give me crap about monitoring through a mixer.... it doesn't work in a pro environment....

    so stop measuring dicks and let's talk seriously...
  14. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Yes. But they will also be using intel, and cost a lot more, for (maybe) equal performance.

    No. But my point was that we can get an extremely powerful system in an entirely native environment. Also for a lot cheaper.

    In most real world situations, i would think setting up two Quad machines, system linked together, will result in very usable latencies, for virtual instruments. With enough horsepower.

    Why? Of cource, if we are using virtual instruments. It will not work.


    Edit : I see the expected G5's will still use IBM...
  15. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    the cost performance ratio has always been discussed..... all i have to say is that performance is not only about plug-in count

    just tested mac mini's as nodes (xtra cpu power) for logic yesterday.... worked perfectly... not all that expensive....

    go test again..... more than 128 samples is not acceptable for pro use.... and i tried wormhole 2 yesterday and it could not go under 512 samples transmitting the audio back into the host computer....

    because (alot of) singers do not want their sound to change... and then you do some edits and have them punch in some and blalbla.... the only thing that works is monitoring through the "tape recorder" as has been done the last 40+ years....
  16. Digger

    Digger Guest



    Can you elaborate a little more on this monitoring issue, I am not sure I am understanding you. What do you mean by 'monitoring through the "tape recorder" '. I am sure it is probably straight forward but I don't know what it means - if you can, please be specific, thanks.
  17. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    I dont quite get you. Monitoring off the DAW for purpose of the charecter of the voice not changing.. As in monitor wet ? close to what an engineer would like the voice to sound mixed ? with EQ and stuff ?

    when we monitor through analog tape, we do monitor the input, (ateast the feed goiung to the astirst's cue mix), through the rec head and not the playback head ? So again, we monitor dry. Like sending a feed direct of the mixer.

    Maybe i just dint get you...

  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    We're getting WAY off topic here. I guess that's okay though.

    Okay, here's my stab at much of this.

    1. I would tend to think that 60 plug-ins on any session is WWWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY too much. EQ on every track--WHY? Compression on every track??? Why??? Just because the big boy consoles have these things in their channel strips (eg. SSL, etc.) that doesn't mean that, even in the glory days of analog was all this stuff being used ALL THE TIME....

    Instead of reaching for the EQ, reach for the mic or the pre - one of these things (either the device itself or the placement) should get you the sound you want.

    Instead of compressing each channel, you'll find a lot more satisfaction and cohesiveness if you put a compressor on an aux bus and then send your channels there. You can have multiple channels of Aux bus compression, but each channel getting its own?? Not everything needs to be compressed!

    I can't think of a time in recent history where I have had more than 20 plugs being hit at the same time even on projects with track counts in the 40s and higher!

    Of course, I do use some analog gear both pre and post, but in general, I try to refrain. If I can't get it right with the basics, I don't have the basics right.

    The explosion of processing power and cheap plug-ins has made the thought process over-simplified (or in my mind, over complicated!)
    "I can just record everything to a seperate track and tweak each voice later "in the box"."

    We have to get away from this line of thought.

    Try this as an experiment/exercise.

    Try recording your next band with just 2 microphones. That's right - the whole thing.

    Once you've started to discover what weaknesses you have and can't overcome with those two mics, then add 1. If there are still limitations, add 1 more. Don't go and add 7 through this process - keep adding just one and tweak it and your preamp until you get the results you want.

    You'll be surprised, you can get a GREAT sound out of 6 mics or so (maybe even less) and then you can go back and fix scratch tracks or add backing voices and still have plenty of CPU power left.

    Back in the glory days of analog, not everyone had larger than 32 channel frame size mixers. Most were 24 or 32 channel. Don't think for one second that all 32 of those channels were eaten up with mics! Many were for effects returns, monitor fold-backs and so on.

    I would venture a guess that most of the greatest recordings in history weren't too far away from the 12 track count!

    Just some provocative thoughts...


    PS - PT gone soon? I'll take that bet with you! I hate ProTools, but I'm afraid they've built themselves a VERY comfortable niche - as in the lion's share of the market!
  19. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    I am in total agreement with Cuco too... I myself use a minimalist appraoch. A big thanks to the ppl on this group. I now routinely record drums, heavy metlal included, using no more than 3 mics. And no one complains, a bit psyched at fist when they realize whats happening.. hehe... but i do probably use EQ and compressor on probably moist tracks (though never 60).

    Again, let us go back to the Tape era, when great records were made. How many outboard compressors, across how many channels were used ?

    But the point is, that if u do want to use a hundred plugs, go ahed and use them. Native can, in most cases, deliver. In cases where it cant, i would suppose we are talking projects that are in no way considered conventional.

    Then again, i dont think the OP was talking 100 track projects. He refers to Korn, and i assume those are the projects that he scales. Go Native, with SX (nuendo for film). You will not regret it.

    Also, examples have been made on Waves plugins. I am no athority on this. But from what I have read, and within my limits, experienced, check out the following plugin makers :


    They make plugs, as good, that will not cost you half as much.

  20. iznogood

    iznogood Guest


    Can you elaborate a little more on this monitoring issue, I am not sure I am understanding you. What do you mean by 'monitoring through the "tape recorder" '. I am sure it is probably straight forward but I don't know what it means - if you can, please be specific, thanks.[/quote]

    i like to monitor through protools.... it's easier that way... protools HD is about 2ms from in to out.....

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