Tempo track triggering asio overloads

I run a fairly large orchestral template. I’m finding that I’m getting a lot of asio overloads due to tempo track changes. I can even mute all tracks, midi and audio, and when the song position pointer gets to a change of tempo, there are asio spikes. It is worse on a ramped tempo change, but still pretty bad with ‘jump’ tempo changes.

Anyone familiar with this?


I frequently use very dense tempo changes (like every eighth note) and never have this kind of problem. However, some effects, especially like tempo-synced delay, have to work extremely hard if the tempo is changing all the time. I could be wrong, but just muting a track may not turn off the processing. Try disabling effects to see if that makes the issue go away. See if there’s a particular problem effect (or even synth) that’s the one that’s choking.

Well that worked, thanks! And for some odd reason, it worked better than would seem possible. I turned off two processors I suspected, the problem disappeared. Turned the processors back on, no recurrence of the problem! Well, so far anyway.

This is a known problem with some VSTis and plug-ins. It’s especially problematic with ramp tempo changes - you can usually get rid of the problem by approximating them with a bunch of step changes.

As mentioned above, the plug-in / VSTi needs to adjust to the new tempo every time it gets a new tempo - that takes time and can cause audio dropouts if the tempo changes occur too quickly. A ramp change is passing tempo changes as quickly as it can because it’s trying to create a continuous change, so the audio processing has much less time to catch up between new tempos. Step changes are discrete, so many fewer tempo changes passed to the plug-in / VSTi and it has a much easier time keeping up.

You can still get problems with step changes but they’re much less likely than with ramp changes.

In my orchestral template, I have to set Kontakt to “internal” tempo reference for this reason. If set to “external” (i.e. sync to host) then I get crackles during ramp tempo changes.


Yea, I’ve been changing to stepped tempo changes already… its not as bad but can still be a problem. I’ll be combing through all the computers Kontakt instances and making sure they are set to internal. What a pain. Kontakt is the biggest offender. I’ll leave tempo to external on the ones that I need and just deal best I can.

I was talking about this last night with Greg Ondo at the Nashville event. He said a lot of composers in LA are avoiding Kontakt now. He thinks NI / Kontakt may have painted themselves into a corner with the code.