I love my Minifreak and was really excited that it came with the Minifreak V plugin. When using the Minifreak V plugin, however, I immediately noticed that it seems to be very demanding on my CPU. I have a 2018 Mac Mini with 6 Core Intel i7.
Even if I simply open Minifreak V in standalone mode, it shows heavy CPU usage. With only Minifreak V open, Minifreak not turned on, CPU usage sits between 20-30%. My computer’s fan does not turn on. I have the buffer set at 512samples.
If I then turn on my Minifreak, CPU usage spikes to over 30%, but then immediately backs off to between 16-20%. The fan also fires up within a minute of turning on the Minifreak. The fan immediately shuts down if I turn off the Minifreak.
I do not notice the same effect on my computer’s fan if I use any other midi controller with Minifreak V.
I’m no computer genius, but this seems strange to me.
I have also noticed that the Arturia Pigments plugin also really fires up my fan and works my CPU when I open it in Studio One. I am easily able to get popping and crackling with a lot of the presets in pigments unless I fiddle with the buffer. The strange thing is that with Pigments, if I choose my preset and then close the “window” for Pigments, the crackling goes away. Could the GPU have anything to do with this???
Hi @Johnny and welcome to our Sound Explorers Forum.
I know quite a few people are hoping the CPU bit will be reduced, myself included, so you’re not on your own here.
In the grand scheme of things it’s still a fairly new system, I’m referring to the VSTi/hardware combination, so I’m sure this will be seriously looked at, hopefully in the not too distant future.
I run a PC with an i9 9900k running at 5GHz and it gets my CPU cooler spinning rather quickly too, so I’d like the CPU load to be lessened as well.
Powerful VSTs require lots of processing power. The two are inextricably linked, even when the engineering team have made all the coding-efficiencies they feasibly can.
Five year old Mac Minis are now unfortunately at the lower end of what you can use. Their processing power is absolutely trounced by modern M-series Minis. The Geekbench score for your computer is 1430 Single-Core and 5575 Multi-Core. The bottom-of the-range M2 Mac Mini is 2631 / 12141.
This is where I feel Arturia’s ‘minimum specifications’ often err on the side of optimism. They don’t take into consideration the resources already being used by your DAW, concurrent VSTs, the OS, a thousand-and-one background tasks, and any other apps you might have open. They only really tell you what Arturia believe is the minimum resource required to run the VST on its own as a standalone app.
It would be nice if Arturia can find further efficiencies, but realistically the obsolescence clock is still ticking and it’s time for a computer upgrade. A five year old Mac Mini has has had a good innings really with respect to this kind of processor-intensive work, which is on par with video editing.
I had trouble using the stand-alone program controlled by the hardware, but running as a plugin in Gig Performer it ran very well. In stand-alone mode just pressing a single key on the hardware would cause big CPU spikes (100%) and crackles. But the same preset running in Gig Performer was no problem, with max CPU usage showing around 20%. Computer is an HP Zbook G2 - 4th gen i7, guessing 10 years old (purchased used six years ago for $300).
From day one I complained about the CPU load of the V, showing already 30-40% on my 6 core i7 after opening one instance… but it’s deceiving; I have made a project with 14 instances open at the same time and the CPU managed to stay around 60%, so something else is going on. Also, the CPU would spike even more when the hardware was connected, but that has been resolved in V2 as far as I can tell.