Managing CPU Load with NI Massive Quality Settings
We’ve all been there. You’re working on a large project and the next thing you know, your CPU is maxed. This quick lesson will share a few tips to help you get around that by using the NI Massive quality settings creatively.
There will always be a struggle to balance quality with performance when working on music in computer-based environment until we all have the systems of the future. But until then, there are actually several things you can do to save on CPU and still achieve the high-end quality sounds you are after in your music. Some of the ideas outlined in this tutorial are available inside the NI Massive quality settings, while others are things you can do in your DAW to help keep things under control. The last thing you want is to have your tools get in the way of producing, which is exactly what happens when you have to constantly stop and fiddle with things just to get your audio to play back. It’s a creative show-stopper nobody wants to deal with.
First, let’s take a look at the three main NI Massive quality settings, what they mean and what they actually do. You will find these settings on the Global tab in Massive.
You three main NI Massive quality settings are Ultra, High and Eco. Now, this is the very first place you can turn to when you are experiencing CPU issues while working with Massive. Ultra mode will provide you with uncompromising sound quality, but it uses the most amount of CPU. High mode will give you a nice middle-ground option balancing both CPU consumption and sound quality. Eco mode sacrifices sound quality to achieve a much more frugal CPU footprint.
One option you have is to design your sounds using the Ultra mode in the NI Massive quality settings, and then switch it to Eco mode while you work on the rest of the project. This gives you the chance to hear your sound at it’s best when you are actually crafting it and then simply use the eco version of the sound as a placeholder until you are ready to bounce your track. Of course, you need to remember to switch the setting back to Ultra mode first!
Pro Tip: NI Massive quality settings have other uses besides CPU consumption. Try using Eco mode when designing Lo-Fi sounds!
Another option you have to save on CPU is to use Ultra mode in the NI Massive quality settings, program your MIDI arrangement and when you have everything the way you like it, either bounce that track to audio or freeze it. Either way, your DAW will be working off of an audio track rather than a MIDI track. This is a much less CPU intensive task for your DAW to manage and will leave you free to focus your time and attention on creating music instead of managing processes.
Pro Tip: If you create more than one frozen version of a track, make sure you delete the ones you are not using to save space!
Pro Tip: If you have bounced a track in place to create an audio file and save on CPU, you need to delete the MIDI track to get the full benefits. But make sure you save that preset first!
Any of these techniques will help you save CPU in your projects when using Massive, or other synths with similar options. Regardless of how you choose to go about doing it all, being aware of the sacrifices made when making trade-offs like this is important so you know which choices are the best for you and your music. This means that you’ll need to spend a little time experimenting with each one to find the one that works for you.
Pro Tip:Make sure you save versions of your projects each time you make a major change, like deleting a MIDI track, so you can go back if you need to!
Have A Question Or Comment About This Tutorial?
Want to ask a question about this tutorial or perhaps you have something to add ?
Click through to our forum post about this tutorial and join the conversation!