CPU Problems With Omnisphere

Written by seamus islwyn
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CPU Problems With Omnisphere
Omnisphere requires at least a 2.4 Ghz CPU. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Spectrasonics' Omnisphere software synthesizer is one of the most powerful synths on the market; however, the program's complex synthesis and huge bank of patches require a powerful computer to run properly. Even if your CPU meets Omnisphere's system requirements, running the program can use a large amount of your system's processing power. Close any unneeded programs before you start Omnisphere; if it still uses too much CPU, you can employ a few tricks to reduce its required processing power.

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Problems

Omnisphere CPU problems can adversely affect the audio that the synthesizer produces. If Omnisphere starts using too much CPU, the synthesised sounds may start to lag, stutter and crackle. In extreme cases, excessive Omnisphere CPU usage can cause your digital audio workstation to stop responding and even to crash, causing you to lose your work. Monitor Omnisphere's CPU usage by watching the blue meter in the upper right corner of the Omnisphere window; if your digital audio workstation has a CPU meter, keep an eye on this as well. You can monitor your system's overall CPU usage by pressing "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Esc" simultaneously to open the Windows Task Manager.

Quality Settings

Lowering Omnisphere's quality settings can help reduce the synthesizer's CPU usage. Before loading a patch into Omnisphere, click the "Lite Version" button to load a simpler, less resource-intensive version of the patch. Open Omnisphere's "FX" section and set the quality controls on any effects that have them to the lowest setting. If you're using the "Pro-Verb" effect, for example, turn the "CPU Load" knob all the way to the left. Unless you absolutely need to use Omnisphere's built-in effects, consider disabling them and using third-party plug-ins, which often have lower CPU requirements, instead.

Multiple Instances

The more instrument patches you load into Omnisphere, the more CPU it requires. Somewhat counter-intuitively, loading multiple instances of Omnisphere into your DAW, rather than loading multiple patches into the same instance, can help remedy CPU problems with Omnisphere. In most digital audio workstations, each instance of Omnisphere can only operate using one core of a multi-core CPU, so loading multiple patches into the same instance can strain that core. Using multiple instances of Omnisphere spreads out the CPU load more evenly, thereby reducing CPU problems.

Freezing Tracks

Once's you've programmed the MIDI track for Omnisphere to your satisfaction, use your digital audio workstation's "Freeze" command to convert the Omnisphere track into an audio waveform. Audio tracks require much less CPU than MIDI synthesizer tracks; this process also unloads the Omnisphere plug-in from memory. Once you freeze a track, you cannot edit its MIDI notes or control signals; you can still, however, add audio effects like reverb., delay and equalisation.

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