Export time affected by buffer size?

Hi,
I have exported a whole movie (1:20) with high (2048) and low (128) buffer size setting.
To my big surprise, the difference in export time is substantial.
The export with high buffer size takes approx. 46min and low buffer size use 74min.
Have anyone else experienced this difference?

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That is normal behavior. The CPU is the bottleneck for all calculations that need to be done.

Fredo

Thanks for the reply.
Is it possible for the developers to make Nuendo automatically select the highest buffer size on export?

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Great idea! And then return it to whatever the setting was after

No.
Because each machine/soundcard behaves different. Running the highest latency on one of my machines would make them stall. There simply is no “one setting works for everyone”.

Fredo

I see… In general it would be great to have quicker access to the buffer size settings. Often times i need to switch between high and low setting depending on what I am working on.
How about adding the buffer size control panel somewhere in the audio mixdown panel or even in the sequencer upper zone?

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I agree with Fredo. Having the DAW changing hardware settings willy nilly will absolutely cause more issues than it solves.

This could easily be addressed with a preference. Simply set your preferred export buffer, save the user from having to do it manually each time. I would find it helpful.

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I think was Fredo was trying to say was that it might not be possible to easily code that into Nuendo, because whenever we want to access settings on our audio interfaces the software interface to do so is different for different brands. If I try to do this with my new MOTU 16A for example it’ll open up a browser window because that’s the interface. With my older Lynx something else was the way to access the buffer.

So it might simply not be possible to do this easily.

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I’m struggling to understand why there should be this discrepancy in the first place?

If the cpu consumption of the realtime audio engine affects offline bouncing then it would seem like the ‘online’ component of the engine is still running in the background, unnecessarily in this case, whilst draining cpu cycles from the bouncing task.

Is this behaviour common with all DAWs or unique to Cubendo?

EDIT: I just tested this out on a whim and an export that took 45s on a 64 buffer took 12s with a 2048 buffer. So changing the buffer made an export nearly 4 times faster.

So if you’re someone who has to rapidly go back and forth between editing and exporting without being able to take advantage of the (admittedly very useful in most situations) render queue, then having to constantly flip the buffer size would be a definite impediment to workflow.

Yes, certainly part of the price of wide compatibility is the various hardware with poor implementation, but since there is in fact a window for controlling the buffer in Nuendo (for the drivers that support it) all we’re really talking about is a pref to automatically change that setting. I’m not a programmer but I don’t see how that would be so hard. For those whom that setting doesn’t address their hardware… then that preference wouldn’t change anything anyway. All Steinberg can do is offer a protocol. If 3rd parties don’t follow it… that would be a good reason not to buy that brand.

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I think it’s a pretty safe guess that this is something that isn’t really fixable, because if it was it would have been done by now. The exception is probably when a company has control over both hardware and software, meaning both the interface and its driver and the DAW is all from the same maker. Perhaps then it’s easier to get around this.

But like I said, it’s not just about that setting in that window. In different combinations you get taken to a different application to make the change.

If it is a general ‘problem’ to solve then yeah, forcing it into a protocol would ‘solve’ that problem, but only for those manufacturers who choose to follow the protocol. And the issue then is that Steinberg would be forcing this change on all manufacturers where this happens, which could be most. I don’t think that’s necessarily a good way to go about it.

LOL, we’re arguing a hypothetical that won’t happen…but…my point is, it already IS a protocol that some follow and some don’t. There’s no harm done adding some extra functionality to it.

Ah, I see what you mean.

I know of both Avid and Apple, who both make their own hardware and DAW, and they do not offer this sort of feature. In the former case, they make the DAW and audio processing hardware (their TDM/Accel/ HD stuff) and they require very strict computer hardware requirements to run those together. On the latter, using their computer’s built in audio and their DAW, again, they do not offer this type of feature.

It might be more than just making a software feature for this.

I know. What I meant was that if you have integration that’s that tight it’d be hypothetically possible to set a flag in the software to optimize it all for offline renders as long as the hardware is Avid. I honestly don’t know what the discrepancy is for their systems since it’s been so long since I tried to mess with it.

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I think it is a hardware issue, as when you change the settings, you sometimes have to close then reopen the session.

Maybe the current state of audio hardware does not allow for on the fly changes like that? I know if you change the buffer in some DAWs and try to immediately playback, it gets wonky.

Well, we can dream of better hardware. :wink:

This is why it’d be interesting to hear from people who also use other DAWs to see if it works the same way in Logic PT et al, or is unique to Cubendo.