More than 12 Effect Slots?

Is it possible to increase the number of the effects slots? 12 might seem like “plenty” but I like to build my templates with multiple tools for quick and easy access/comparison so I might have 3 or 4 EQs loaded up, 3 or 4 compressors, a couple de-sessers, the stock gain control in the first slot, LF Max Punch and UAD Thermionic CV, a couple limiters/clippers. That’s 15 already which means that I’m short 3 slots for my particular workflow. I do have Blue Cat Patchworx, but some plugs crash it AND it’s not as intuitive when the actual plugin names are hidden within it.

Any reason we can’t select the maximum number ourselves? Or bump it up to like 24 for guys with workflows like mine?

In the montage, apart from clip and track effects, there’s also the Master Output effects. This effectively is an extension of the Master Section, though only affecting a particular montage, where the Master Section is global to all opened files/ montages.

So there’s a maximum of 10 plugins per clip, 10 plugins per track and 10 plugins per master output. Plus 12 master section plugins comes down to 42 plugins to an indivudual section of audio. And 22 total for the whole montage.

Perfect, if that fits your workflow. I don’t use Wavelab that way so for me just having the option to choose the number of slots would be great or if they could be bumped up to 24, that would be useful too.

It has nothing to do with my workflow. It’s a possibility you might wanna look into. Sometimes an iron-clad projected ‘workflow’ is in the way of getting stuff done.

On the other hand, giving users the choice to pick what works best for them, especially when it’s an EXTREMELY minor change in code, should be a consideration at the very least.

Sure, I’m not against more effect slots in the MS. I’m not sure how easy/hard it would be to add, cause what seems simple isn’t necessarily so. But as long as they’re not there, there are other possibilities.

So I took your advice and tried changing my workflow to accommodate the additional number of plugins I need. Here’s what I don’t like… the latency and lag is awful. Skipping from clip to clip needs to be fast in order for me to make reliable judgement calls on perceived loudness. Also, Smart Bypass is useless in the montage mode (unless I’m not aware of how to apply it for each clip I am auditioning). I’m running a 5960X with 64GB of RAM and SSD drives on a rock-solid custom-built PC. I have a nice mix of both native and UAD plugins.

I would prefer to take written notes on each of the clips, work on them in file mode in isolation (with more than 12 plugins in some cases), render, then open in the montage where I’m essentially not using any plugins whatsoever other than Slate FG-X to catch any rogue peaks. I can bounce from clip to clip with near instantaneous playback, making additional notes and repeating the process until I am happy.

So for my preferred workflow, I need more than 12 slots. Call me crazy, but that’s how I prefer to work. The lag and lack of smart bypass doesn’t do it for me.

And now I am discovering that leaving the effects on for each clip takes up resources, which has managed to bring an 8 core CPU to its knees after 11 (of 17) clips. The only workaround I can find for this is to turn off the effects for each clip if I want to proceed with mastering the other songs. This is a MAJOR bummer. Correct me if I am following the process incorrectly but this is FAR worse than just working on one file at a time outside of the montage, rendering, then listening to the result in the montage. At least in the file mode, I can load up all 12 slots, do what I need to do without any noticeable lag, and listen with Smart Bypass.

I’m open to suggestions or being corrected if I am doing something wrong.

I am discovering that leaving the effects on for each clip takes up resources

If a clip range is not played, no CPU is used for the associated plugins.

First off, I totally get where you’re coming from with the 12 slots and the choices. Music is art and there is no right or wrong way when it comes to art.

However, for various reasons, you are experiencing some practical issues working that way.

If I can share something I learned from my mentor (Hall of Famer): select a very few pieces of gear/plugs that you like, are well engineered/coded and typically do most of the hard lifting project to project … as in really know (which isn’t always as simple as it sounds). Then, become familiar with a select few items/plugs that compliment these … that you can expect to do what you intuitively want to happen for a track as you are listening to it.

Historically, a lot of the biggest records were done in rooms with very little gear choice by todays standards.

In other words, is it possible to cut down the 12 to 3 or 4 and only load what you need when your ears tell you what is required.

I hope this helps in some small way.

It’s not necessarily ‘wrong’, but I understand you used clip effects on top of the Master Section. Since you were asking for more MS slots, the closest thing to that would be to use the Master Output effects that come with the montage. They are literally the last thing before entering the MS (from the audio flow standpoint).

So in your case I’d suggest taking one file as the only clip in a montage template, where you have the 12 MS slots and the 10 Master Output slots filled to your liking. Then finish that single file and continue the way you are used to for assembly of a multi-file montage (or use the Super Clip concept). And I must say Rat’s advice is also very good.

That’s reasonable.

Rat’s suggestion is not invalid, but it does make assumptions about the quality of the files I am working on. You can’t possibly know what tools I need until you hear the source. If the previous engineer made it a train wreck and the artist is looking at you to rescue it in mastering, you need a wide variety of solutions at your disposal.

Can you explain the increasing slowness and lag on the project as a whole as I add plugins to each clip? It starts out nice and smooth. I can add effects to the clip, then move to the next clip where it only gets incrementally slower when I add effects there. Adding effects to the next clip slows down the project even further. By the time I’m on clip 11 of 17, my 8 core PC has been brought to it’s knees and takes 8 seconds to go from clip to clip just to listen and adding plugins to clip 12 locks up the application and causes me to have to manually kill the process.

I think the only objective way to find out anything about the slowness is to try exactly the same thing with the same plugins in another program that allows clip plugins, like Reaper, Samplitude, or Studio One.

What do your Memory, CPU, UAD meters look like when it gets to the point of slow?

I can load and run 6-10X as many in Pro Tools, on up to 90+ tracks, before I notice any lagging issues. I have SSD drives, 64GB of RAM on an Asus Rampage 5 with an 8-core extreme processor.

Attached is the resource meter when Wavelab is merely going from one clip to another where there’s a solid 8 seconds of buffering before playback starts. If I stop and go to yet a different clip, same result. I’ve included what “idle” looks like for comparison.

To add to this info, if I go to each clip and turn the chain off with the red “power” button, I still get this 8-10 second buffering period. If I delete those clips, I am able to play the rest of the clips with normal skipping speed from clip to clip (like 200ms pauses). So from my standpoint, Wavelab IS in fact having its performance diminished when I have plugins loaded up on clips, even if they’re “OFF”. It’s progressive as I add more plugins on subsequent clips.

Maybe PG can see something obvious from your screenshots. I hope so.

But I’m just suggesting you try this in another program that supports Clip plugins. Pro Tools doesn’t, and track plugins on Pro Tools may or may not have correlation to what you’re seeing, but also probably not. Regardless they’re probably not the same usage.

That’s why I’m suggesting you try this in Reaper or one of the others with clip plugins, because then you’re talking about the same thing, and that’s how I found differences in UAD usage a few years ago.

Then, I’m not clear on what you mean by “clips”. I import clips into every PT session I do. I can do individual clip gain on each track, split tracks and adjust clip gain for each independently.

And here’s a link talking about clip lists in PT:

Please clarify.

I think what bob99 may be referring to is this: in some DAWs … like Sequoia and Reaper … it’s possible to process a single clip within its track, independently of the rest of the track/clips in that track. That same clip might also be rendered with the overall track plugins in addition to the clip plugins. And even different clips within a track with different plugins. There’s a separate clip based dialogue (in addition to the track dialogue). I don’t think PT will do this yet … it uses clips more like a resource bin? … but I don’t run the current version (and hardly use it anymore) so I’m not totally sure.

FWIW, Pro Tools 12 (the current version) definitely does not allow for clip/object/item FX inserts as you can do in WaveLab and REAPER.

It’s one big reason why I moved from Pro Tools to REAPER for the initial analog play/capture portion of my mastering workflow before moving over to WaveLab to finish up.

Using clip/object/item FX inserts is way less taxing on the CPU than having a separate track for each clip/object/item (or region as Pro Tools calls it) and having those FX running for the entire session instead of just when needed. Pro Tools does offer dynamic processing of plugins though but it’s not quite the same.

Orangeoctane, sorry to butt in again, but I wanted to try this in Wavelab and Reaper again, and just wanted to know if you’re using full plugin chains on clips AND in the Master Section, and are they all completely filled? And you can’t get beyond 11 clips. Also what sampling rate? When I’ve tried this before I haven’t had any plugins in the Master Section, only on clips. But as I recall I would run into performance limits going into Play in both programs at some point. Or how renders are treated.

But it’s worth trying to see if it is the same or different in one of the other “clip/take/object fx” programs. Reaper, Samplitude or Studio One.