A Question about Cpu Usage

Afternoon everyone, so i have a question about CPU usage but it is also in regards to side chaining and having a lot of reverb plugins going on also, sort of. So lets say i have just finished a really big mix, everything is channel stripped how i like it and the final thing i need to do is side chaining. i like to have a lot of side chaining going on but that being said its very taxing on my CPU meter (along with the other stuff like reverb and different plugins like that, that are going on. Would it be practical to render all of my tracks into a fresh new session and then side chain each track? So it would be like Kick + Kick Verb on one track, Snare + Snare Verb on another and so on and so forth. Would i be able to side chain in this new session so that i save CPU. and then i would be able to proceed and then automate and master following that. I know that’s a lot of info and specifics right there, however i’m just trying to find a way to combat the heavy CPU usage on my DAW. Would appreciate any feedback!

I have a couple of questions. What DAW are you using? Also are you using SENDS/RETURNS for your reverbs or are you putting them directly on the track?

I tend to do sidechaining as a part of my production process to get the sound right then do channel stripping afterwards. That way I can freeze tracks to free up CPU before mixing.


hey so i use fl studio 20 for my DAW, i use the send/return for my reverbs also.

We have some FL people here at the school. I am not a user of it. In many DAWS when the CPU starts hitting higher loads I freeze or freeze and flatten (sometimes called Bounce in place) to eliminate the overhead of the processing. On some big sessions I can have almost every track frozen. This can be done on side chained tracks. If a DAW doesn’t allow you to freeze that track then a work around is to send that track to a separate audio track with the side chain on it . That way you can freeze the original track and the side chain still works.

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You could freeze the tracks, that is an option. However I’d say it’s definitely more practical to render everything and move into a new session, it should be a lot faster and more precise than feezing.

Note that since you are using the send/return tracks, pay attention to that FL might print out more tracks than you need. So you don’t end up with more tracks, in your new session, than you’d want.

e.g. The kick with the reverb and the - in this example - not needed reverb-track by itself.

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Hey Jason sorry for the really late reply but yea i noticed that Fl Studio does that, referring to when i render my tracks (Split Mixer Tracks is what its called in Fl Studio), it will have the dry track and the (send) reverb for it on two separate tracks (I use Send/Returns for all my reverb). Part of my question was wondering if there was a way to render with the dry sound and the reverb together on a single track instead of seperated.

e.g. Kick + Kick Verb rendered into a single track (mixer channel)

My next question would be, would i be able to side chain after i have completed all my sounds like this? Or do you only want to send the dry signal to side chain and not a signal with any reverb?

e.g. Kick & Kick Verb ~Sidechained to~ Bass & Bass Verb

or would i want…

e.g. Dry Kick ~Sidechained to~ Dry Bass (In other words just sidechaining the dry signal)

shouldn’t the side chaining be done as the last part after bouncing the tracks? Makes more sense to me, as it’s cpu heavy and you cannot freeze tracks which are side chained (ableton at least)… and I guess it makes everything less messy when you only have to focus on the side chaining and nothing else.