Author Topic: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?  (Read 508 times)

Offline dr bu

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Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« on: January 11, 2019, 11:28:14 AM »
i recently bought a Roland fa-101 innocently presuming an external soundcard would free some cpu - only to learn the opposite to be true.
i understand the PT mix setup only need a few percent. does it have its own dedicated processor, or what?

anyway, what options do i have keeping cpu to modesty? main machine: g4 sawtooth gigabyte with a sonnet 7455 upgrade..
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 05:35:58 AM by dr bu »

Offline dr bu

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 01:05:27 PM »
Surely someone in this great community cant help leaving an experienced and clever comment.  :)

Offline GaryN

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 02:48:56 PM »
i recently bought a Roland fa-101 innocently presuming an external soundcard would free some cpu - only to learn the opposite to be true.
"Free some CPU" compared to what? "The opposite"?? Opposite of what? Sound Manager and the built-in audio in/out jacks? You know the Mac built-in ADA conversion is done on a dedicated chip - NOT the main CPU. Switching to a Firewire ADA just re-routes it through the Firewire bus, adds more data if it's running faster than 16/44.1 or has more channels "on" etc.
i understand the PT mix setup only need a few percent. does it have its own dedicated processor, or what?
Ummm… yes. Those various PT PCI cards loaded with all those little black chip thingies on them.
Some of those are there to do stuff so the host CPU doesn't have to…
anyway, what options do i have keeping cpu to modesty? main machine: g4 sawtooth gigabyte with a sonnet 7455 upgrade..
Modesty?
1. Keep the door closed, or…
2. Keep the computer behind a curtain, or…
3. Don't do stuff that requires processing - your CPU is bound to look and say "Gee, there's data to be processed - that's MY job"

The soundcard, INternal or EXternal is there to provide A to D and D to A conversion. That's a pretty big and important job in itself, accurately converting all of those analog voltages to data and back. Any and all reading, writing, converting, displaying and otherwise processing of that data is done by the CPU. The PT Mix system goes back to when CPU speed was measured in Mhz and not very big Mhz at that. It enabled one to do stuff that was impossible to do with the relatively slow processors of the day. I have NO idea what you're trying to do that requires the off-loading of all that away from the host CPU (unless it's to run all of your various scripts and such at the same time ?) but the Sonnet is perfectly capable of handling many simultaneous channels of audio with clock cycles to spare.

So… perhaps you might explain what it is that you're actually trying to do.

Surely someone in this great community cant help leaving an experienced and clever comment.  :)
No sweat…here you go:

Well to be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my point of view, but also by looking into this matter in a different perspective and without being condemning of one's view's and by trying to make it objectified, and by considering each and every one's valid opinion, I honestly believe that I completely forgot what I was going to say.

Offline dr bu

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 07:12:00 PM »
Yes, compared to the built in SoundManager and also compared to the Delta pci-card, the Roland fa 101 will eat more.

What im trying to do...im trying to keep my dear Max-project from dancing between 80 and 100 %. I want to expand it. Knezzen told me that a PT mix will only require like 3-4 % regardless. But maybe this does not apply to Max calculations? "Various scripts and such" as you say?
Hmm...if this is the case, is there no way to offload the host CPU? I just need a faster baby?



Offline FdB

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 07:49:58 PM »
Well… here’s to “faster babies” and always remembering that: “it’s never too late to have a happy childhood”! ;)
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Offline Astroman

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 08:07:57 PM »
What im trying to do...im trying to keep my dear Max-project from dancing between 80 and 100 %. I want to expand it. Knezzen told me that a PT mix will only require like 3-4 % regardless. But maybe this does not apply to Max calculations? ...
That's correct - the Max calculations are taxing the CPU, the sound processing overhead is negligible.
I have an even slower G3/450 with 2 PT TDM cards and a Digi 882/20 io-box.
It works as a 'soundcard' with all audio apps, but does the magic Knezzen mentions only happens with dedicated plugins that are loaded onto the chips of the DSP cards.
These PT mix-systems are very affordable today and I'd choose them over a regular soundcard under OS9 anytime, even without using PT.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 06:43:24 AM by Astroman »

Offline Knezzen

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 12:41:55 AM »
What im trying to do...im trying to keep my dear Max-project from dancing between 80 and 100 %. I want to expand it. Knezzen told me that a PT mix will only require like 3-4 % regardless.

Yes, TDM plugins are accelerated (or run from the Motorola 56k DSP's on the MIX Core/Farm to be exact), so it's not a general accelerator.
If there ever was a TDM version of Max, then it would run on the MIX cards and not on the host CPU. Otherwise it will work as it works right now.

Sorry if I wasn't clear when I described the functionality to you. Either way it's a kick ass system that sounds great, but if you're going to use the system mainly for Max/Msp you won't see any performance benifit :(

Offline dr bu

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 06:08:51 AM »
Right. No problem Knez. Still interested in transaction  we've been talking about. ;)

Offline Knezzen

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Re: Cpu-friendly soundcard solutions...?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 10:52:42 AM »
Right. No problem Knez. Still interested in transaction  we've been talking about. ;)

Me too! Sorry for being so slow.