CPU usage / buffer size problem

Hi all, getting an odd problem.

With just Analog Lab Pro running in standalone mode (ok have malware bytes and antivirus also running), just my Keylab 61 mk2 turned on

So I don’t have my Daw or my other keyboard/controller powered on.

With 19 out of 20 patches I select, with my audio interface set at 128 buffer size and 48,000 kHz Sample rate, everything works totally fine.

But some patches have taken the CPU usage (according to Analog Lab) to over 70% and I get tons of crackles, then I need to up the buffer size to 256 or even 512.

This got rid of it and the CPU usage drops to around 20%.

Today I tried the patch called “Astral voices” and the crackle went insane, even with the buffer size at 1024 I’m still getting crackles and the CPU meter in Analog Lab went as high as 140.

I tried running it with my AIDA64 and while Analog lab was saying I had 140 CPU usage, AIDA64 said I had around 23%

In the attached pic, Analog Lab is saying I have 104 CPU usage while AIDA64 says I have an over all CPU usage of 19%, with the highest core being at 46%.

OK I know my PC is a few years old now (can’t get a new one for a few months), but surely this can’t be right?

I’m probably doing something stupid as usual?

Audio interface is Focus Saffire Pro 40 connected via FireWire

CPU is Intel Core i7-3930k (3.2GHz) LGA2011
64GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) RAM
Graphics card 8 GB AMD rx480
System drive internal Sata SSD (getting between 450 and 510 MBs read)

Music software and music Samples on
Samsung 980 PRO SSD 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe M.2
Which is connected to
PCIe M.2 Adapter for M.2 SSD, NVMe PCIe 4.0 | 3.0 M.2 Adapter Card
Which gives me disk reads between 2600 and 2900 MBs

Any suggestions greatly appreciated


@HobGoblyn I’m not sure exactly how the CPU usage is calculated in Analog Lab or AIDA64 but I have found through experience that lowering the Buffer Size helps to reduce latency but could indeed produce crackling in the output.

However, please note this is not exclusive for Analog Lab but to the nature of Digital Signal Processing in real time. (just for reference to other users that might present same issues)

Ideally, the setup should have the lowest sample rate possible without crackling but highest sample rate possible before latency starts to be noticeable.

In your specific case, I think you should be able to run it fine with the current specs in your system.
Have you tried to activate/deactivate “Multicore” in Global Settings ?

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Just for comparison:

I use a Mac Mini M2 - 8Gb RAM, 512Gb drive and a Minifuse 1 audio interface.

I tested the patch Astral Voices in AL V Pro standalone with audio settings 128 Samples/48KHz.

It has 8 note polyphony and playing all the keys did spike at 70%. It would idle at around 8%.
Playing something slowly dropped CPU to around 40%

Turning OFF Multicore:
Playing all the keys spiked at 40%. It would idle at around 5%.
Playing something slowly dropped CPU to around 25%

So - it seems turning OFF Multicore helps reduce CPU usage. I would have thought the opposite. Maybe you could try the same test and see if it helps.

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Hi @HobGoblyn ,

I can add this.

The preset seems to be a Multi with two layered sounds and it does use much CPU resources.

Your CPU is 12 years old.
I have a PC with a i7 3770K that have a slightly better single core performance. I think it use about the same resorces as yours on that preset using the same settings and voices.
I no longer exspect to be able to have a buffer at 128 samples with everything with that.

Your CPU is a 6 core CPU but also can run 6 more threads to work like 12 cores.
You can download a tool from Intel to messure your CPUs performance i believe. I’ve done that in the past.
BTW i’m not a technician.

I can also suggest you try to disable CPU multithreading in your BIOS if possible. Keep Turboboost on. I can’t tell, if it will work better for you.

If it does’nt work, then you have to set the buffersize you need to be able to play without issues.
And then consider getting a new computer with a better CPU that meet the/ your requirements.

You can also contact Arturia support if you find there is something wrong or just a to high CPU usage in generel.


Thanks all

Oddly today I’m getting better results although not perfect.

Just using the Astral Voices with my buffer size at 1024, with Multicore turned off (as it was yesterday) I’m gettong between 50 and 70% most of the time, occasionally it’s creaping up to 80% and the crackling starts.

My AIDI64 tells me that the CPU usage when Anolog lab reports 81%, is just 8%

If I turn multicore on, Analog lab goes up to 96% with only a very slight crackling compared to when it was turned off and was at 80, my AIDI64 says CPU usage is 14%

So something weird is happening, I also have my NI Maschine and NI S88 turned on today

I appreciate with the age of my PC I’m pushing it trying to use 128 buffersize, but this is at 1024

I’ve just set the buffer size to 2048, with multicore turned on, very noticable latancy and it still only takes about 20 secs of playing before Analog labs is reportiong 90 and crackling is starting.

With multicore turned off its not going above 84 and there’s no crackling, but its unusable with that sort of latancy.

I will be buying a new PC later in the year, cant afford it right now :frowning:

Analog lab is reporting 11 CPU usage without me touching the keyboard, is that normal?


Just disabled hypethreading

It has helped, now when the CPU on Analog labs reports 80 - 90 there’s no stuttering, but it’s still hitting 95 and crackling at times. This is with buffer size at 1024 (bearable latancy) and multicore turned off

With multicore turned on it’s fine for a while then goes above 100 and crackling starts.

The idle cpu usage on Analog labs with hyperthreading turned off is 14 as opposed to the 11 when hyperthreading was enabled

just tried it with my antivirus and malware bytes turned off, exactly the same results


Are your computers powerplan set to High Performance mode? It should be. It might help.

You will not get zero CPU usage in idle. The excact percentage depend on many factors. What’s normal is hard to say, but with that preset you can have the usage you mention on your system. If it change it can be because of different things including for example CPU heat.
Be sure you don’t compare single core usage to full CPU usage.

It sound like you have many voices playing. You can try to reduce the avaiable voices. In EMULATOR you need to do it in the full application.

I would think you should be able to play much with that preset using a 256 samples buffer size and a 48000 Hz samplerate. At least if nothing else use the same CPU cores. But perhaps your CPUs single core performance simply can’t run something like this preset on your system the way you want to.

I know the latest Analog Lab have some reported issues. I have not heard of CPU issues though. The next update perhaps will tell. But you can try to use a previous version, if you wan’t to check.


Thanks, I’m happy to wait for the next Analog update to see if that helps.

It’s fine on most sounds, I only picked Astral voices as an example as when I was randomly browsing sounds, on 128 buffer that one was horrendously bad, I don’t actually have a need for it at the moment.

There are other sounds it does it on, but none that I’ve tried so far that are as bad as that one.

Playing Astral Voices one handed is fine on 1024 whether single notes or chorded, it’s only when playing with both hands (and the notes still decaying when I play other notes) the crackles start. I’ll try it one handed at 256 and 512 tomorrow and see what happens.

I’ll stick with 256 for general use for now and if I find a sound I really want that crackles, I’ll try raising it to 512. Otherwise I’ll find another sound.

I’ll check tomorrow about my PC settings, make sure it’s tweaked so that power settings etc are set for maximum performance (I’ll find a gaming guide for optimising my PC, they used to be pretty good a few years ago when I also gamed on my PC)

AIDI64 shows the total cpu usage and the individual cores, if you look at the display on the top right of my first pic in the original post, the top cpu usage is the total usage, then it shows the usage for each core, so I think I’m comparing full CPU usage with full CPU usage, that’s presuming the Analog Labs CPU usage is full and not single core.

Analog Labs CPU usage can’t be that accurate (although it does its job in letting us see what patches are hammering the CPU) as yesterday it was showing me 140

Many thanks everyone, your help is much appreciated

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Just to reinforce the excellent advice @LBH has given…
I’m running an i9 9900k @ 5GHz, PCIe interface and some patches from ALV will push my system pretty hard too.
I generally run at 44.1/24 with 128 samples of latency.
ALV is constantly being developed and as such will take advantage of the technology of the time, which is being constantly developed… bit of a ‘double edged sword’ really.

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@HobGoblyn This might sound a bit silly but is the storage in your main drive used more than 70% capacity by any chance ?

I had some similar issues last year and formatting my PC seemed to do the trick for me.

My drive was almost full like the picture below so that’s why I formatted mine but I don’t think it’s necessary to format yours, just make sure it has about 30% free space in the drive.

Many thanks.

When I upgrade, I tend not to get quite the latest and go for something that’s going to last a good 5 years plus (don’t mind upgrading say drives or ram etc). I think I’m on my eleventh year with this one so I haven’t done bad.

When win 10 came out, I did a fresh install, set it up exactly how I wanted it, installed certain software that I always want (my bought copy of photoshop 4 for example) then did an image backup.

Then about once or sometimes twice a year or sometimes two years, I would reinstall from my image backup, run windows update, then reinstall my games and my music software (which was a LOT smaller than it all is now)

I was heavily into gaming on it then, got a PS5 if I have that need now.

About 3 or 4 years ago after reinstalling and running huge windows update I decided to take another image backup.

And since then, I have used that backup to reinstall windows including a few weeks ago.

I also had 6 internal drives, 5 SSD drives and 1 SATA.

I had a 240 gb SSD for my system drive the rest were 500GB SSD apart from a 4TB SATA., all plugged into a PCI Express SATA expansion card.

I also had a 2 TB external SSD plugged into USB 3 for my ArturiaV collection, Native Instruments Komplete etc and had 450 GB free.

In December I ran speed tests and I was getting around 450 to 510 MB/s on my SSD drives but only 118 MB/s on my external USB SSD (Crucial X8 2TB Portable SSD).

This shocked me so looked into it and it’s due to my motherboard USB speed .

So, I bought a PCIe x4 M2 adapter and Samsung 980 PRO SSD with Heatsink 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe M.2.

And I reinstalled windows, again from that old image disk, then ran windows update, then another 2 days reinstalling everything.

My new M2 drive which has my Arturia etc on it, gives me a much better 2600 to 2900 MB/s read speed.

Last week my new NI S88 mk3 arrived and I had big problems getting my PC to accept the device driver (was a big problem on release, NI now say if your PC is fully updated with latest windows update, it should install automatically,

According to windows update my PC was fully up to date. I did get it working but only by following someone’s instructions on their forum to edit the device.ini file.

During that saga I found a lot of things in devices that I hadn’t had for years.

So Saturday I decided to blitz my PC and format/reinstall from scratch.

I can’t remember how full my system drive was before this, wasn’t showing as red though.

I removed a lot of the drives and the PCI Express SATA expansion (Motherboard has two SATA 6 ports)

And I was left with two 500 GB drives and my 2 TB M2.
One 500 GB for System and Documents
One 500 GB split into three, small partition for emails, 100GB which I’ve called “More Programs” but nothings on there, the rest for the windows video, music, pictures and downloads directories.

I downloaded latest win 10 from Microsoft and did a clean instal which is a lot quicker to install and setup than it used to be. Did it offline so it didn’t insist on me setting up or logging in to MS

Moved the video, music, pictures and downloads directories.

Plugged in the internet and ran windows update.

Formatted my M2 drive
Downloaded Native Access and their Hardware Connection Service, and installed a few things.

Turned on S88, went into drivers and this time Windows had installed it fine automatically, without me having to do anything.

Went through a few optimisations from a couple of sites. Windows certainly feels more responsive.

Then spent the next two days downloading and reinstalling all my music software.

As you can see from the enclosed pic, I have tons of space on my system (C:) drive.

Since then I’ve been setting everything up how I like.

I did give Astral Voices a quick go and had it set to 256, highest CPU went was 70 and no drop outs, so that looks very promising, but it was literally a 20 sec play before I shut PC down as dinner was ready. Hopefully I’ll have time for another play tomorrow.

Sorry for the length


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Since reformatting it’s a lot better.

On 512 bits it’s playable most of the time with right hand playing 3 notes at the same time as left playing 2.

This is a lot better than before my windows reinstall.

Many thanks