Digital Performer w K2 and VDL2

Hello smart people,

I have a question, in Digital Performer, I used the Kontakt 2 brass sounds (Kontakt 2-1) and VDL2 sounds through K2 (Kontakt 2-2) as a multi to mix down and record the playback. I had to put all the marimba channels (4 marimbas) on one channel we well as the vibes (4 vibes) due to a DP message window popping up as I'm playing back, letting me know my CPU processor was overloaded. The multi I used for the percussion setup has all the reverb taken off. I've got a Powerbook G4, 2g of ram and obviously running K2, VDL2 and Digital Performer.

My question is this, how can I reduce sample size/troubleshoot etc. to allow all voices to be heard for a great .mp3?


If you're hosting K2 in DP for all your sounds, you may want to check the output latency in DP. I'm not sure what they call this (maybe latency or audio buffer). If it's too low, you will definitely tax your CPU more. Maybe check that you haven't set your sample rate above 44.1K in any audio settings (check in DP as well as your Mac's Audio Midi Setup).

Also, since you're running on a Powerbook, there's a high likelihood that DFD may be choking your CPU. Laptops typically ship with slower spinning hard drives, meaning DFD isn't able to stream your samples as quickly as if you were working on a tower, or from a drive that spins at at least 7200RPM. You may see significant improvements from fiddling with the DFD slider in the K2 ";options"; window. That may take several trial and error tests to discover what seems to settle best on your machine.

If several tracks are sharing one instrument (marimbas and vibes as you mentioned), you may also be maxing out those instruments' max polyphony levels. You can watch these numbers as playback occurs to know for sure. If you're reaching max (and I'm sure you are with what you describe), click your mouse over the ";max"; number, and drag up. Maybe set it around 80 for starters and see how that does for you.

The other thing you can try doing since you have a decent amount of RAM is loading some of your instruments purely to RAM (essentially bypassing DFD). To do this, follow carefully:

[li]Open the instrument with the ";wrench"; tool.[/li]
[li]Click the ";Group Editor"; button.[/li]
[li]Click the ";edit all groups"; button so that it's bright red.[/li]
[li]Down just a bit, you'll see an area called ";source";. There's probably a popup menu called ";DFD";, there. Change this menu to ";Sampler."; You'll see samples reload. Once that's done all sample data is in RAM.[/li]
[li]Click the ";wrench"; tool to close the instrument and re-save your multi. Once you've made this edit and resaved the multi, you won't have to go back in and do it again (in this multi only).[/li]

If you're going to attempt this, I'd suggest you start with any vibes or marimbas for starters. Maybe snareline next. Other instruments with considerable ";ring"; time (decay) like cymbals, glock, chimes, tam tam, can also benefit from this treatment.

Hope some of these suggestions help!
As suggested, use the ";Lite"; versions for playback before recording. When you'rre ready to record load in the full instruments. You can also try freezing your virtual instruments. This will help reduce some of the CPU strain while you are editing and mixing.

When you are finally ready to record there are some options. The first is to record each instrument alone. This would mean an audio track for each instrument, marimba 1 then marimba 2 etc. It is a bit time consuming if you have a lot of tracks. To reduce the number of tracks total try recording all of one instrument, say all of your marimbas then bounce to disk all of those tracks down to 1 single audio track.
Once you've recorded all of your parts then mix and bounce to disk once last final mix track. This is the one to use for your mp3s.

Digital Performer is a great program. I've been using it for over 10 years and like Finale or Logic is very deep as far as learning curve and ability to accomplish recording tasks. Hope this helps a little bit.

Ted Boliske
To begin with, a simple way to cut down on cpu usage would be to try the ";lite"; instruments.  Is Kontakt peaking in CPU as well, or is it just DP?  Can you turn off any non-essential programs running at the same time?
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