How To Reduce CPU Load For NI Massive
Massive has a reputation for a high CPU load per instance. But there are a couple of tricks you can use to ease the load!
I’ve read many forum posts with regards to the CPU load when using Native Instruments Massive.
First we should quickly look at why this is the case. One of the Product designers for the synth, Frank explains it way better than i can! He said:
First of all, I’d like to emphasise that the concept behind Massive demands the best possible sound quality. The outstanding grade of all audio components and the fast modulation possibilities understandably cause a certain amount of CPU consumption. Even though Massive’s engine is highly optimized for the latest processor generations and their SIMD extensions you might reach the processor limits of your computer.
So what are the fixes for this?
Firstly Massive has three sound quality modes
- ULTRA for uncompromising sound quality (default setting)
- HIGH provides a very good trade off between CPU consumption and sound quality
- ECO for slower computer setups and multiple instances in host environments
The engine quality switches can be found on the center window’s global page and also just next to the patch name! I would recommend setting the synth to ECO at all times unless you are rendering out a final track, working on sound design or EQ/mixing. You will notice a giant drop in CPU load with just this tip alone.
Note that you can set the quality either globally or per preset.
Another trick I’ve learned is limiting the voices you use to what you actually need.
For some reason Massive works on groups of 4 voices. So in the example above you would have to assign 4 voices or 8 voices to play. Again – you will notice a drop in CPU load with this tip.
How to change the voices
Click the voicing tab on the central panel and on the left hand side you will see a number 16.
Click on this and adjust to suit.
Simply switching off unused modules (OSC, filters, FX) will also lower the processor load.
So with all these in mind you should now be able to reduce the CPU load Massive puts on your PC!
Of course another option is the Freeze function of your DAW. And finally – if you have been working in ECO mode make sure and set it back to ULTRA before you render!
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