VST processind sound card

VST processind sound card

Post by Sergio T.P » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 03:01:11

Hi all.

I'm looking for a sound card that I'm not sure if it does exists...

I use Cubase and Live with a lot of VST's. Although I have a quite
powerfull computer I sometimes experience some lack of performance due
to the CPU is saturated and working at it's 100%.

I wonder if I could resolve this problem (without having to freeze the
VST's) with a more powerful soundcard. I think that there might exist
soundcards with some kind of specialized DSP or processor that might
compute the sound synthesys made by the VSTs and free the CPU of some
work (the same that graphic cards, that processes the task of
rendering the graphics in a dedicated processor).

I've been searching in Google and in groups but I could'nt find
anything... The nearest thing I've discovered are "hardware VST
hosts" (Muse Receptor and Audioplug), but I was thinking just about a
more professional sound card...

Appart the CPU (and probably the sound card), what are the other
hardware factors that might me help to improve the performance? Does
the RAM memory have a big impact (when I open the task manager I
realize the CPU is at its 100%; but there seem to be free RAM memory).

My set up is:

Intel Core DUO2
1GB of RAM
Sound Blaster Live, with Project KX drivers.
Cubase SX3

Thank you very much.

VST processind sound card

Post by SODDI the » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 03:11:05

Get more RAM.

If that Sound Blaster is running at 48, there's a big part of your problem


VST processind sound card

Post by Deputy Dum » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 03:18:39

Look at the Universal Audio UAD1 Card.


VST processind sound card

Post by Arny Krueg » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 03:27:54

"Sergio T.P." < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote in

You said that your CPU is an Intel Core Duo2. You know that title covers a
wide variety of processors, so you really didn't say a lot, right?

Rule of thumb is that the cheapest processing power at hand comes in the
form of the CPU on the system board.

Most coprocessors are used for situations where it is impractical to have a
system CPU and everything that it takes to run it, at hand. Or, they are
used for very narrow, well-defined applications where a highly specialized
architecture is appreciably more optimal.

VST processind sound card

Post by Julien B » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 03:58:26

> You said that your CPU is an Intel Core Duo2. You know that title covers a

Still with a C2D (whatever power if it is a desktop), he shouldn't
have trouble running lots of VST's except if those said VST's are
configured badly.
If it's a laptop, then it means nothing since there are lousy C2D
available for them.

I have a C2D 2.66ghz and I still wonder how I could make it sweat
without having 2 Cubase projects opened at the same time...

VST processind sound card

Post by Philipp Wa » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 04:46:00

Sergio T.P.:

If you use the right VST plug-ins, it easy to saturate ANY cpu, no matter
how powerful it is. ;-) They all have different amounts of CPU load... there
are light-weights and heavy-weights. For example, a convolution reverb
plug-in will easily require a big CPU load, whilst you might instead load 20
eq plug-ins to put stress on your CPU...

Of course, you can get a DSP card, like the UAD-1, TC PowerCore, SSL
Duende - BUT neither of these will work with standard VSTs, they only accept
specific proprietary plug-ins! I haven heard of a card, that can be used
for standard VST plug-ins yet.

About anything is "more professional" than the SB live you mentioned below.
Rather get a card with a real and well-written ASIO drivers. Many people get
along well with the "M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496". Good drivers, better
sounding converters and even cheaper than a current Creative Audigy card.
Should be around 100 US$ or less. Big improvement over a SB live!!!

how fast?

RAM has become dirt cheap, get as much as possible in your machine

rather a work-around, than a serious sound card



VST processind sound card

Post by Laurence P » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 04:57:47

On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 11:01:11 -0700 (PDT), "Sergio T.P."

Ditch the Soundblaster. The bottom-line replacement continues to be
the M-Audio 2496 Audiophile PCI card. Or you can pay a lot more, get
a (very) little more quality and no better performance with VSTi

Plugin effects use processing power. UNLESS they are sample-playing
VST Instruments, in which case they also greatly benefit from enough
RAM to cache all the required samples. So double your RAM.

In Control Panel/System/Advanced make sure that Processor Priority is
set to Background Services (your soundcard driver is a background

Make sure your Cubase Projects use 44.1KHz sample rate, unless you
have a particular reason for another rate. And, on a Project using
VSTIs I'll be VERY interested to hear that reason :-)

You'll still manage to max out your computer if you try hard! Use
Send effects instead of Insert Effects when appropriate. Consider
setting a lower latency figure while tracking in realtime from a MIDI
keyboard, a higher one when mixing.

VST processind sound card

Post by Terry Can » Thu, 03 Apr 2008 19:08:17

My Mixtreme card is a DSP card.
Keep in mind that not all VST will work in
the DSP sound card. You can find effects, reverbs, compressors etc.
These tend to be the high end stuff and not cheap.
The VST device has to be written to work with the sound card
not many of these do.

VST processind sound card

Post by Federic » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 00:09:10

Why not a Digidesign TDM card?
Since PT HD the TDM system is now affordable.
You'll have full access to PT (up to 6.4 version) and you'll be able to use
RTAS plugins too.
With FXpansion VST to RTAS you can use almost all of your VST plugins.
And the system becames expandable since you can add as many cards you like.

But it won't add processing power when you use Cubase or Live...

VST processind sound card

Post by Laurence P » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 02:19:53

On Wed, 2 Apr 2008 17:09:10 +0200, "Federico" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >

Well, that's why not then, isn't it? :-)

VST processind sound card

Post by Sergio T.P » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 02:59:20

Thank you to all of you for your replies.

I'll take a look to the Audiophile sound card. But the way, what is
the main drawback of an USB card in comparation with a PCI one? I
suppose it will be latency (MIDI latency), but are USB cards worse
when speaking about processing power? (when comparing, for example,
the PCI / USB versions of the Audiophile).

Anyway, my project was configured to 48 KHz, and changing that has
helped a lot.

I've been messing with the VST's and changing FX from insert to send,
and I've realized that the plugin that most CPU uses is the Steinberg
Multiband Compressor... do you find it reasonable?

Btw, my CPU speed is 1.86Ghz.

Again, thanks you all for replying.

VST processind sound card

Post by Federic » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 03:03:20

Where are you using a C4 in the mix?
Just curious...

VST processind sound card

Post by Mike River » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 04:52:55

Mostly the difference is that with one you have to open up the computer
and the other you don't. If you get into the area where your computer is
just marginal, then perhaps a PCI card will have the edge, as long as
you don't have problems with interrupt conflicts, but with most modern
computers, it doesn't really matter much.

If you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring and reach
me here:
double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo -- I'm really Mike Rivers

VST processind sound card

Post by Laurence P » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 05:12:34

On Wed, 02 Apr 2008 19:52:55 GMT, Mike Rivers < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >

Careful. There may be no technical reason why a USB2 card couldn't
have good performance, but a lot of the ones out there are USB 1.1
compatible, and don't.

VST processind sound card

Post by Fluff » Fri, 04 Apr 2008 07:58:17

In article <fsu3do$c1a$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >, Philipp Wachtel

Be careful that it will fit though.
I just bought one for my Core 8 and had to send it back because the PCI
card slots are different.