Despite FL being one of the world’s most beloved DAWs
Here Is 8 CPU Tweaks To Enhance FL Studio 20
1. Increase your ASIO buffer size
2. Live resampling quality
3. Sample rate and oversampling
Try to keep the project sample rate at 44.1 or 48 kHz unless you absolutely need to make your dog go wild or record a flock of bats. Higher sample rates will mean larger CPU hit. Some audio interfaces will give you larger maximum buffer sizes at higher sample rates to compensate, but the resulting headroom is in no way proportional to the extra CPU use.
Usually, a lot of plugins will also have quality options that determine how much CPU they will consume. Listening back at the lowest setting is usually not the worst experience. Many stock FL Studio plugins have oversampling options built in, Sytrus f.e. has two: one for render and one for the live preview.
Try to keep oversampling to a minimum as it often more than doubles the CPU a plugin will use. If the plugin has a draft or economy quality mode, use it.
4. Smart disable
This is a feature that is so far unrivalled by any other DAW. Smart disable turns off the processing for the plugins that are not receiving or making audio for a certain amount of time, freeing up CPU based on whats in use at the playhead position.
So if you have run into the 100% CPU brick wall you can go to Tools->Macros->Smart disable for all plugins and watch the CPU meter drop, often to more than half of where it was before. Some plugins don’t play nicely with this feature, but it is a good go-to strategy nonetheless.
Playing a wave file uses almost no CPU, and with the advent of FL Studio 20 we got a new rendering function: Consolidate. This is a function that enables you to select any number of clips that produce audio in the project or a whole playlist lane and render them to a wave file.
It will essentially solo all the clips you selected or all the clips on the playlist lane and render that. Automation is kept on during the render, but dependencies in the mixer (like sidechains) are not rendered into the result. You can choose to consolidate pre-FX, pre-Master or through the Master chain.
To consolidate something, select a bunch of clips and press ctrl+alt+c for consolidate. When the render is done, the source clips will be muted.
6. Turning CPU Hogs into sampled instruments with DirectWave
7. PPQ value
8. Minimal use of mix buses and sends
Do you really need 15 different mix buses, all with 10 FX intertwined and sending to each other? If that’s you, that’s probably why your project is locked up. Don’t believe me? Save a new version of your project (ctrl+n) and in that copy, select all mixer tracks (ctrl+shift+click and drag) and then route to the Master only.
This forces all the inter-dependent tracks to be properly multi-threaded and therefore will most likely free up a bunch of CPU. This is why in my recent sessions I only ever have a drum bus and maybe a percussion bus, because my excessive bussing used to take up a lot of CPU headroom.
If you apply a combination of these techniques to your overloading project, you will considerably ease the strain your project puts on your CPU and hopefully be able to produce in peace. The good bit is: two of these processes, freezing and smart disable, are repeatable – so if you hit the brick wall again you can still render to wave and smart disable all the new plugins that you’ve added since last time.
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