Preserve Processing Part 3 – Offline Processing

Increase Buffer SizeSo far we’ve talked about using busses to minimize the number of plug-ins you use and also committing to your plug-in settings by recording them to another track.

Well I have one more tip for you in this “Preserve Processing” series – offline processing.

If you’re using any computer-based recording system other than Pro Tools HD, you are using a native system, meaning your plug-ins are processed by the computer’s processor.

The number of plug-ins you can run simultaneously depends on how much your CPU can handle. Once you hit the limit, you get something like the error message above.

Pro Tools LE uses RTAS plug-ins (Real-Time AudioSuite). All other DAWs use something similar (VST, AU, etc.). These process the audio in real time, hence the drain on your CPU when you throw a ton of them on a song.

Preserve Processing Part 1 – Bus Several Tracks Through the Same Effect

school busDo you run into walls in your computer-based home studio? Do you get that dreaded “increase buffer size” message long before your mix is over? Do you wish you had thousands of dollars to spend on a top-of-the-line computer, or maybe a Pro Tools HD system?

Don’t we all.

The truth is that recording is a hobby for most of you. You can’t justify dropping thousands of dollars on this hobby, so you’ve got to make the best of the system you have.

I don’t know the actual statistics, but if you buy a computer today, it’s probably “old hat” within two or three years. Does that mean it’s useless? Not at all, but it does mean you’ll have to work a little harder to get the most out of your machine.