Potential UAD native munching discovery

Ben  wrote on 1/13/2005, 11:48 AM
I've just spent the last few hours grappling with a Vegas session annoyingly wrecked by the UAD's native CPU munching. I don't know if this has been pointed out already, if not I <think> I may have stumbled across something useful. I stress think because this is only from trial and error in this particular Vegas and may not also apply elsewhere...

The discovery is that it's the UAD Pultec that's causing the CPU munching for me. Remove any instances of the Pultec from the Vegas session and I experience no munching! I can even push my UAD card usage to 90%+ with, it seems, no effect at all on the native CPU. [Don't know about the Pultec Pro as I don't own it].

If some of you try this with the same result, we can definitely turn around and squarely point our finger at UA with a flaw in the Pultec plugin.

Will be very interested to see if others discover the same thing; of course it's a damn shame as the Pultec sounds great. As I said, it's also very possible that it's something unique to my session or setup, but it's definitely worth a try...



H2000 wrote on 1/13/2005, 12:25 PM
Hmmm, interesting! I'll give it a try later today and let you know. Just out of curiousity, are you able to run any Pultecs? From the sound of your posts you are unable to use it at all. I know for me that CPU munching dosn't occur till around 60% UAD usage.

BTW, you were asking if VST versions would work if Vegas had VST capabilities. I believe it would. I asked in the ACID forum and there was a positive response that the problems were gone.

Ben  wrote on 1/13/2005, 12:38 PM
H2000 - I can run a Pultec if I haven't got much else running on the UAD card; it seems if I run the UAD CPU with very low usage, and a Pultec, the native CPU is fine. But if I'm pushing the UAD CPU over 50% or so and add a Pultec, that's where the native problems start. However I can happily use up nearly all of the UAD's CPU with plugs other than the Pultec with seemingly no ill effects at all on the native CPU. In other words, it appears I can completely prevent native munching if I don't use any Pultecs.

The current session I'm working on, for example, is using 67% of the UAD, with no Pultecs running. Native CPU reads a healthy 30% or so with the session running. Adding the Pultec only takes the UAD CPU to 80%, but the native CPU maxes out and the system coughs and splutters.

Perhaps significantly, it does seem to be the Pultec that also causes my sessions to click and pop on starting playback and create other glitches even when I'm not experiencing the munching.


Spheris wrote on 1/13/2005, 1:02 PM
Yet another UAD disaster, why people bother with those things I'll never know
Ben  wrote on 1/13/2005, 1:06 PM
Thanks for the insightful contribution Spheris. I certainly do know where you're coming from, but it seems we could actually be onto something here.

Also, the more I play, the more I realise how fantastic these plugs sound.

H2000 wrote on 1/13/2005, 2:05 PM
Actually, it's the only UAD "disaster" that I know of. And, unfortunately for us it only affects DirectX users. Sony Vegas is one of the last holdouts to not have VST. Acid got it, so hopefully we should see it next. Then we can use FxFreeze and FxTeleport too.

I bother with the UADs because even running at 50% of their ability is a good deal for the money. They sound great and my mixes have improved significantly since getting mine!

_Ben: I think you nailed it! I just tried no Pultecs on my system and verified that I can run over 90% UAD power with no glitches or CPU munching.
I would have never discovered this due to the fact that I love the Pultec and find myself using it quite a bit. The Pultec is an upsampling plugin, perhaps this is why it has the problem. Now maybe we can get UAD or Sony to fashion a solution for it! Yeah!

Ben  wrote on 1/13/2005, 2:13 PM
Hehe - yep, this definitely seems to be it! Know what you mean about the Pultecs, and it's a real shame as they do sound awesome. But I'm pleased we seem to have got to the bottom of this.

So I definitely think now we should all turn to UAudio and email them like mad. This proves it's not a Sony fault, as it only happens with one of the UAD plugs. Clearly a nasty bug, but hopefully fixable.

bgc wrote on 1/13/2005, 9:13 PM
I'll check my system, though with 2 UAD-1 cards I don't really notice CPU munching. (My first thinking though is that the problem is with their DX adapter that they use that causes the munching with all plugins and you're only really noticing it because the Pultec internally up samples to 192kHz or something like that.)
I have tried the VST plugins with Acid 5 and they are SMMMOOOOTHH. If Vegas 6 gives us VST, the munching problems should be gone forever.

I know some people have problems with the UAD-1 (you really do need to worry about PCI slots and IRQ conflicts, etc. to get them to work) but when you do they are hands down some of the best plugins that are available, they sound like the real gear and are invaluable to my audio "arsenal".

bgc wrote on 1/13/2005, 9:15 PM
Spheris -
why bother? the sound.
i don't know if you've ever worked with a pultec or an la2a or an 1176 or a fairchild or a real plate reverb, but if you have then you can't live without the uad-1 card. there's nothing else like it.
Spheris wrote on 1/14/2005, 5:09 AM
After working with SSL's and a few fairly nicer protools systems - I know this much after an afternoon with one of the UAD systems.

It has multiple issues as follows

1. It can overshoot the entire capacity of a PCI bus - want an example? go look at the reports concerning the UAD and MOTU 324

The card should have been designed PCI-66 or PCI-X if it was going to require that sort of absolute bus priority (and it sort of nulls/minuses it's much vaunted onboard "horsepower" to take cpu load off. If it's hogging the bus, That is considerably worse of a situation.

Their support though is the kicker - feast or famine - not good policy for a card that has no lateral support options.

2. It's in the wings to go down pro tools path - it's already proprietary by design and only passably compatible with vst (take a look at its problems in both steinberg and cakewalks forums about various wrappers colliding with it's own wrapper for more on that) it's vst compatibility is not native - only wrapper driven and that is just one more burden on the core system to translate to the format of the UAD onboard dsp. So all these "advantages" are a little wasted on their own promo ads

What would you do when say yamaha buys them out to replace their line of aging cards and makes them mlan and steinberg only items? That's a closer thing than you might think on the horizon.

3. The pultecs have been more than adequately reproduced in the waves line of processors, the fairchilds hold no glory for me - so I cannot say I feel one way or the other than it's not a very terrible sound, but for the quality of it, you should be patching a real one in and using that to really reduce your cpu loads. Probably could get a better signal out of it as well. It just did nothing for me.

4. Reverbs have moved on quite a bit, I don't really use anything but convolution reverbs (first with acoustic mirror and later with the IR-1v2) The old synthesis based ones (excluding the still wonderful lexicons) always came off too cold and not enough edge to them to get the best out of them
- so used for sound fx only if for that.

It's down to what people are using it for in the end. i'm sure some are thrilled with them and others just cringe. I've heard what it does- it's not at all bad for what that is but that much potential trouble just to take a step backward in fidelity from all appearances? - I'll pass.
bgc wrote on 1/14/2005, 9:36 PM
"SSL's and a few fairly nicer protools systems"
Hmmmm, OK ;)

"The pultecs have been more than adequately reproduced in the waves line of processors"
This simply isn't true. I own both and, while both are good, they are hardly comparable. I'm sorry but the Waves EQs sound nothing like the Pultec.

" the fairchilds hold no glory for me"
I really don't know how to respond to this. The fairchilds ARE hard to master and some people give up before they can get good sounds out of them. When you know how to use one, there's nothing like it. (The new variable-mu compressors are fairchild emulations and are used all over the place on contemporary records for their special magic btw.)

"I don't really use anything but convolution reverbs"
That's too bad. There are really great "artistic" reverbs (like Lexicons) that are very useful. Plate reverbs are amazing.

" i'm sure some are thrilled with them and others just cringe. I've heard what it does- it's not at all bad for what that is but that much potential trouble just to take a step backward in fidelity from all appearances? - I'll pass."

In the end that's what it's really about - personal taste. For those who can't fully utilize the UAD-1, I'm really happy because it's a tool in my arsenal that gives me an advantage over those who don't have or can't appreciate them.

Peace, have fun with your music,
H2000 wrote on 1/31/2005, 12:24 PM
I've been in contact with Tom Freeman from UAD on this problem. I explained to him the problems and all of the findings. So far, he claims to know at least one Vegas user who doesn't experience the problems at all. Likewise, he said he tried it on a P3 1GHz computer and could not get any native CPU munching, even when running Pultecs. He is able to run 100% of his UAD power.

Is anybody here on this forum with a Vegas/UAD combo not having this problem? Or know of anyone who doesn't. Could it be because I have an AMD processor?? Anyone else have any ideas?
Ben  wrote on 1/31/2005, 12:33 PM
H2000 - well done on contacting UA; I've been meaning to get around to doing it but, er, haven't yet!

Well it's odd that Tom couldn't repro the problem. From reading through posts here it seems 99% of Vegas UAD users experience the CPU munching.

Don't think it's anything to do with you having an AMD. My quick specs - P4 1.8Ghz (overclocked to 2Ghz), Asus P4T-E motherboard, 1GB RDRAM, Echo Mia Midi soundcard.

H2000 wrote on 1/31/2005, 1:06 PM
Well, if you have a P4, then I don't think it's the AMD.

But, I did do a little testing of my own and I think I see why he didn't have the problem in his test. I set up a new project with only 2 tracks and no native plugins. This playback required 7% of my native CPU. Then I set up a bunch of UAD plaugins (including pultecs) and ran up about 70% of the UAD CPU. The project plays back just fine. Or, at least it seems to. That is until you look at what the native CPU is doing. When starting playback, the native CPU jumps to 75% and stays there. But, if I start the track with the UAD disabled, then enable it after playback has begun, the native CPU only goes from 7% to 8%. This is what you would expect.

So you see, the UAD doesn't eat up all the native CPU, just enough so that if you have a decent size project (60-70% native CPU used), then the UAD munching with throw the native CPU use over the top and lock up the machine!

Anyway, I'm hoping either UAD find the problem and fixes it (they seem to be trying), or we get VST ability soon in Vegas!!
billybk wrote on 1/31/2005, 3:36 PM
" Likewise, he said he tried it on a P3 1GHz computer and could not get any native CPU munching, even when running Pultecs. He is able to run 100% of his UAD power."

I have a P3 1GHz DAW and get the native CPU munching 100% of the time, whenever the DSP load gets over the 40%-50% range. I keep a realtime CPU / RAM meter, on my XP task bar and watch it like a hawk for any weirdness, as I use my DAW. As soon as you press play you can see the native CPU meter skyrocket. Do the the ol' disable/re-enable trick from the UAD-1 PM, during playback, and immediately watch the CPU drop like a rock, to where it should be (consuming 3%-6% additional CPU). The problem is when I am using a lot of PPI's, more than ten (60% + DSP), and the project is CPU heavy already, the CPU goes into the red when you start playback and you don't have the chance to do the disable/re-enable trick. It's been the same issue for the last two years (Vegas 4 & 5). It the main issue keeping me from using Vegas for audio recording/mixing. I'll have a 12 track audio project with only 6-8 PPI's (>50% DSP load) and the native CPU zooms from 25%(when PPI's disabled) to more than 80% (when enabled on playback). Conversely, I can have 16-25 PPI's (99% DSP maxed out on (2) UAD-1 cards), in SONAR 4 and the total added native CPU is a negligible 2%-5%. The UAD-1 does work a lot better in ACID Pro 5, using the VST plugins. The native CPU munching is a lot less frequent and when it does appear is a lot less severe and is at least tolerable. I use my UAD-1's in ACID 5, SF7 and SONAR 4, but I gave up trying to use them, in Vegas 5, a long time ago.

Billy Buck
H2000 wrote on 1/31/2005, 3:54 PM
It would be great if Sony could get the Sonar(Cakewalk) people to cough up the solution! It's not like they should be worried about Vegas taking any of their marketshare since it's really been marketed as a Video app. to a large degree. I don't think Vegas is looking to be the all inclusive thing that Sonar is anyway.

Is this possible, SONY, to find out what Cakewalk is doing differently??