SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

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SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby zzz00m » Sat May 04, 2019 5:02 pm

MOD NOTE: I've split some of the responses away from the Wishlist as it derailed the purpose of that topic. My fault entirely and it would be interesting to see if other users are having similar issues directly relating to CPU rather than RAM or HD/SSD.


garfy wrote:
zzz00m wrote:So now it would be nice if they focused on CPU optimization.

It seems that when ST4 is used as a plugin, all of the instrument parts in a single instance of ST4 are channeled through a single CPU core/thread. So it gets very CPU hungry very quickly as it is dependent on the clock speed of a single core.


Unfortunately, this single-core loading is going to be down to the DAW AFAIK. It is within Logic Pro X anyway, as all the DAW sees is 'plugin/bunch of data to be processed' irrespective of what the plugin actually is. What DAW do you use?


I understand this, which was actually my whole point.

Allow me re-phrase the statement. The CPU loading within a single ST4 plug-in instance needs to be reduced. It is excessive, and this is not typical with other multi-timbral plug-ins.

I have tested ST4 on Ableton Live 10, Studio One 4 Pro, and others. Even the ST4 standalone app seems CPU bound with more than 2 or 3 instrument parts, so this is not just a DAW or plug-in issue. ST3 does not suffer this.
Last edited by zzz00m on Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Official SampleTank Mac/PC Wish List!

Postby garfy » Sun May 05, 2019 5:46 pm

Hi zzz00m

I see your point and it is certainly valid, I'm just not sure if it is something that IKM can do anything about.

Saying that, are you sure it's your CPU that is the bottleneck? On my Mac mini (specs in sig) I've managed to get ST4 standalone, running a multi of nine ST4 instruments including one of the heavy piano patches, on one MIDI channel before it broke up at 256 buffer size. And even then it was down to the streaming side (my samples disk is only 5400rpm) with the CPU showing a fairly insignificant load on a 7 year old machine. Newer hardware would hopefully have less issues and I'm sure if I was using a SSD for my samples I wouldn't have issue at all.

I agree that, compared to something like Kontakt 5, ST4 is more hungry on resources, but then Kontakt is a number of years old now.

If your CPU meters are maxing out it might be worth quizzing official IK Support to see if they have any benchmark tests against similar machines to yours.
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Re: Official SampleTank Mac/PC Wish List!

Postby zzz00m » Sun May 05, 2019 6:42 pm

garfy wrote:Hi zzz00m

I see your point and it is certainly valid, I'm just not sure if it is something that IKM can do anything about.

Saying that, are you sure it's your CPU that is the bottleneck? On my Mac mini (specs in sig) I've managed to get ST4 standalone, running a multi of nine ST4 instruments including one of the heavy piano patches, on one MIDI channel before it broke up at 256 buffer size. And even then it was down to the streaming side (my samples disk is only 5400rpm) with the CPU showing a fairly insignificant load on a 7 year old machine. Newer hardware would hopefully have less issues and I'm sure if I was using a SSD for my samples I wouldn't have issue at all.

I agree that, compared to something like Kontakt 5, ST4 is more hungry on resources, but then Kontakt is a number of years old now.

If your CPU meters are maxing out it might be worth quizzing official IK Support to see if they have any benchmark tests against similar machines to yours.


OK, I will try to illustrate this as clearly as possible, using ST4 standalone. It's not my CPU meters (plural), it is a single thread meter maxing out.

I have a dual core/4 thread Intel CPU @3.4Ghz, with 8GB DDR3/1600 RAM. My system drive is a fast SATA SSD, and my samples drive is a SATA 7200 rpm drive which benchmarks a sequential read at 148MB/s.

I can load ST4 with one part using a C7 Grand patch, and it sounds fine, but it appears that one CPU thread is doing most of the work.

When I add a 2nd part using another C7 Grand, the workload on the same CPU thread increases, and I can hear crackles and pops it plays.

By the time I add a 3rd part using another C7 patch, ST4 sounds like it's completely underwater, and the same CPU thread is showing at the top of the scale (maxed).

However my overall CPU usage is being reported around 35-40% at this point. Which is really irrelevant to the single thread being worked to death. Concurrent with this data, my memory in use is showing at 52%, and both my system and samples drives are indicating 0-1% activity.

So yes, it's clearly a single thread CPU bottleneck, when using ST4 in multi-timbral mode.

Bottom line, my vote for the wish list is for the devs to make this program a bit more CPU efficient.

Memory use is no longer the limiting factor for me, as they did a nice job with that optimization!
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Re: Official SampleTank Mac/PC Wish List!

Postby tommy@paabel.ee » Mon May 06, 2019 6:56 am

You are correct zzz00m !

I said erlier it was memory that causes the problem, but that's CPU.
I have iMac 2,66GHz and 8GB of ram and no problems with other virtual intrumets.
The problew with sound crackling and "slowing down" in ST4 is the high CPU usage. Even with buffersize set to 1024 I'm not able to use more than couple of sounds in Logic Pro X. With Cubase it's a little bit better, but not much. Also with Ableton Live and Reaper



zzz00m wrote:
garfy wrote:Hi zzz00m

I see your point and it is certainly valid, I'm just not sure if it is something that IKM can do anything about.

Saying that, are you sure it's your CPU that is the bottleneck? On my Mac mini (specs in sig) I've managed to get ST4 standalone, running a multi of nine ST4 instruments including one of the heavy piano patches, on one MIDI channel before it broke up at 256 buffer size. And even then it was down to the streaming side (my samples disk is only 5400rpm) with the CPU showing a fairly insignificant load on a 7 year old machine. Newer hardware would hopefully have less issues and I'm sure if I was using a SSD for my samples I wouldn't have issue at all.

I agree that, compared to something like Kontakt 5, ST4 is more hungry on resources, but then Kontakt is a number of years old now.

If your CPU meters are maxing out it might be worth quizzing official IK Support to see if they have any benchmark tests against similar machines to yours.


OK, I will try to illustrate this as clearly as possible, using ST4 standalone. It's not my CPU meters (plural), it is a single thread meter maxing out.

I have a dual core/4 thread Intel CPU @3.4Ghz, with 8GB DDR3/1600 RAM. My system drive is a fast SATA SSD, and my samples drive is a SATA 7200 rpm drive which benchmarks a sequential read at 148MB/s.

I can load ST4 with one part using a C7 Grand patch, and it sounds fine, but it appears that one CPU thread is doing most of the work.

When I add a 2nd part using another C7 Grand, the workload on the same CPU thread increases, and I can hear crackles and pops it plays.

By the time I add a 3rd part using another C7 patch, ST4 sounds like it's completely underwater, and the same CPU thread is showing at the top of the scale (maxed).

However my overall CPU usage is being reported around 35-40% at this point. Which is really irrelevant to the single thread being worked to death. Concurrent with this data, my memory in use is showing at 52%, and both my system and samples drives are indicating 0-1% activity.

So yes, it's clearly a single thread CPU bottleneck, when using ST4 in multi-timbral mode.

Bottom line, my vote for the wish list is for the devs to make this program a bit more CPU efficient.

Memory use is no longer the limiting factor for me, as they did a nice job with that optimization!
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Re: CPU Optimization?

Postby jimmi.gruen » Fri May 10, 2019 3:25 pm

I'm also seeing a rather high CPU usage with Sampletank 4 SE in Studio One v4 Pro:
Image

Even with a single instrument loaded ("Sampletank 4 2" is the "Black LP Space Mod" preset), it uses a third more CPU than Repro 5, which is notorious for its high CPU usage.

As others have noted, the entire processing chain within the plugin seems to be single-threaded, so using it as a Multi-instrument isn't practical. In the DAW, you can work around this by loading up separate instances for each sound. The DAW itself will then spread the load over multiple CPU cores. Still, a plugin in 2019 should be multi-threaded, and the overall CPU usage also seems a bit unreasonable.

System specs: 8-core Ryzen 1800X, 16 GB RAM (DDR4 @ 3200 MHz), Windows 10 Home, Studio One Pro 4.1.4, PreSonus Audiobox 96, Crucial MX300 1 TB SSD
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Re: CPU Optimization?

Postby richmn » Fri May 10, 2019 3:32 pm

My workaround to my system choking on ST4 has been to disable the effects rack. While it’s one of a variety of choices, it would be great if the FX handling could go to another CPU.
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Re: CPU Optimization?

Postby triggerthehorizon » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:14 am

I am having the same problem here. I sent a ticket to support several weeks ago and have not heard back :/
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Re: CPU Optimization?

Postby garfy » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:29 am

triggerthehorizon wrote:I am having the same problem here. I sent a ticket to support several weeks ago and have not heard back :/


Send your ticket number to either Ryan_IK or Peter_IK who will bump support for you.
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Re: Official SampleTank Mac/PC Wish List!

Postby zzz00m » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:22 pm

zzz00m wrote:So yes, it's clearly a single thread CPU bottleneck, when using ST4 in multi-timbral mode.

Bottom line, my vote for the wish list is for the devs to make this program a bit more CPU efficient.

I took a fresh look at this problem today, and noticed something that wasn't obvious to me earlier.

As I load multiple instrument parts into a single instance of ST4, the current CPU usage goes up regardless of whether they are actually playing, even if no MIDI data is being routed to the channels that the instrument parts are assigned to.

So say for example that I have one part that is playing fine, then add a 2nd, 3rd or 4th part, and then the audio starts breaking up on the 1st part even before I have assigned a MIDI channel or input to the additional new parts.

It appears that ST4 is using the CPU for processing on all loaded instrument parts, even if they are idling, with no MIDI data input to process. Weird?

I tested this with two different DAWs, the latest versions of Studio One and Ableton Live.

And I made sure that MIDI input from the DAW was disabled on all parts in ST4 except for the one part used for live playback in all tests.

The idle instrument parts were crushing my CPU and overloading it.
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Re: SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby richmn » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:40 am

I gave up on getting SampleTank 4 to work without latency crackle on my older AMD based computer. Upgraded to i5-9600k - problem eliminated (time to make some music!). I do still wish the CPU use could get distributed and parts could release resources when muted.
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Re: SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby Peter_IK » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:38 am

richmn wrote:I gave up on getting SampleTank 4 to work without latency crackle on my older AMD based computer. Upgraded to i5-9600k - problem eliminated (time to make some music!). I do still wish the CPU use could get distributed and parts could release resources when muted.

If you reported this issue to IK Support they would be able to provide more information and send any pertinent data to the developers. If you have not done so please open a ticket at http://www.ikmultimedia.com/contact-support for direct support and deeper technical assistance with your issue.
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Re: SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby zzz00m » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:56 pm

richmn wrote:I gave up on getting SampleTank 4 to work without latency crackle on my older AMD based computer. Upgraded to i5-9600k - problem eliminated (time to make some music!). I do still wish the CPU use could get distributed and parts could release resources when muted.


That's what I was afraid of. If that is what it takes to remedy the issue, then this apparent CPU usage is not a user issue, and there's probably nothing support can do about it.

The i5-9600k is a 9th gen Intel Core CPU, running at 4.6GHz turbo, with 6 cores. A mid-range gamer's CPU. That would be about a $500+ dollar upgrade for my desktop PC to replace the CPU, motherboard, and RAM.

IMHO, the IK devs have apparently made a decision to code the ST4 engine to take advantage of the latest computer hardware, but without the optimizations needed to run multiple parts on a single instance with older hardware.

As I mentioned earlier, I can load up the ST4 interface with ST3 instruments and it performs well. Which is a good thing! So this issue is clearly related to the ST4 instruments only.
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Re: SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby Peter_IK » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:43 pm

Support can gather multiple reports and provide more specific information to the devs in order to resolve any potentially global issue. It is great for them to have system information, crash dumps where available, and other information they might request in order to open bugs etc for the developers to work on.
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Re: SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby Topy2000 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:56 pm

Hello,
sorry that my English is not so good, but I will try to make myself clear with the issues that I have
I order Sample Tank 4 Max, I installed correctly but I met 2 problems
1. when I am loading C 7 pianos like C7 Grand Close MIC- Natural or C7 Grand Coincident Mic., the CPU in my DAW - Fl. Studio 20 is going up to 80-90! After is loaded CPU goes down to 50-60 if I am not playing but when I started to play again is around 80! In my DAW I use ASIO4ALL v.2 with buffer length 512smp (12ms) and Resampling Quality 512 - point sinc.
The computer that I use is Lenovo y50-70 - Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 -4710HQ CPU 2.50Ghz, Memory RAM 8 GB, Windows 10 home 64 - bit, 2 TB SSD Sasmsung

2. when I loaded acoustic guitar form American Acoustic for exemple, and I played some strumming, after a while the program is crashing and the DAW also and I have to reopen and all my work lost! I said that the DAW is maybe problem but I did as a standalone and the same happend with the acoustic guitar strumming! With others instruments didn`t happened yet but could be, just a few of theme I played!
Is that any solution for this 2 issues?
I see that many people have the same problem
I tried to get support ticket but when I wrote what I did here when I go to submit is coming a message like: Error - Please check your fields and re-submit: Invalid characters used in Message field. and is not showing what characters are wrong
Thank you!
P.S. For me it was a very great effort to buy this program and i was expecting much more from it
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Re: SampleTank 4 CPU Optimization?

Postby zzz00m » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:07 am

Hi Topy, I think you should definitely open a support ticket, as your #2 issue does not sound related to the topic in this thread. I am not experiencing any crashes! So you should probably sort that issue out with tech support.

But as far as your #1 issue and high CPU usage, yes several folks seem to be experiencing this with ST4 instruments. It seems that the powerful capabilities in the ST4 synth engine come with a higher CPU usage.

As was noted in an earlier post, the ST4 application & plugin appears to run in a single CPU thread, so to get the most out of it, you would benefit from the fastest CPU clock you can get. More cores won't make it run any better if you can't access those extra cores. So for example a CPU with a 3.5GHz clock would run a single thread much better than a CPU with a 2.5GHz clock.

The only way that I can see getting access to those extra cores with ST4 would be to run multiple instances of the ST4 plug-in in separate instrument tracks within your host DAW, with a single instrument in each instance. If the DAW is setup correctly, it should allocate each track with an instance of ST4 to a different core.
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