This article gives you some advice in order to get the best possible performance of REAKTOR on your computer system. Before going through them, we recommend to first optimize your computer for real time audio processing. To do so, please read the article corresponding to your operating system:
1. Version Number and System Requirements
1.1. Use REAKTOR's latest update
Make sure REAKTOR's latest update is installed. To do so, open Native Access and go to the Available Updates tab. If you see an update is available here, click the UPDATE button to launch the installation process.
1.2. System Requirements
Make sure the CPU speed and RAM of your system match the requirements of both REAKTOR and your host sequencer. REAKTOR's current system requirements can be found on the product page.
Note that these system requirements apply to REAKTOR running as a stand-alone application while no other programs are running. If you are using REAKTOR within a DAW such as Pro Tools or Logic, the computer will need sufficient resources to run the host application as well.
If possible, add more RAM to your system. Increased memory allows you to run REAKTOR as well as your host sequencer more effectively. This can make a significant difference in performance.
We recommend to read our Native Instruments Guide to Computer Hardware Components in order to obtain more information on hardware components of a computer system which can have an influence on the overall performance.
2. Audio Settings
We generally recommend, depending on your computer's CPU, to use a latency setting of 256 or 512 samples.
- If you are using REAKTOR as a plug-in, increase the latency in the audio preferences of your DAW.
- If you are using the stand-alone REAKTOR application, open the Audio and MIDI Settings... from the File menu. In the Audio tab, increase the latency by moving the Latency slider to the right. If there is no slider available on the right side of the Latency entry the latency is handled by your hardware drivers. In this case click the ASIO Config button to open a separate control panel and adjust the latency setting in there.
2.2. Sample Rate
Use a reasonable Sample Rate in the Audio settings of REAKTOR or of your DAW. We generally recommend a setting of 44100 Hz, or of 48000 Hz if you are using a recent computer model. Sample rate settings have a significant influence on REAKTOR's performance: using a sample rate of 96000 Hz will require twice more processing power than 48000 Hz.
3. Settings in REAKTOR
3.1 Internal Sample Rate
Additionally to the audio interface's sample rate, REAKTOR uses an internal sample rate to process the audio signal internally before it is sent to the master audio output.
Some recent Ensembles like MONARK or ROUNDS will automatically double REAKTOR’s internal sample rate, respectively, from 48000 Hz to 96000 Hz or from 44100 Hz to 88200 Hz, depending on your current soundcard setting, in order to improve the audio quality. If this is too much load for your processor, you can select a lower sample rate.
You can change this internal sample rate by clicking on the sample rate indicator in the upper right corner of REAKTOR and setting it to a lower value. Using the Host/System value will adapt REAKTOR's internal sample rate to the one specified in your audio settings. Fixed will use a fixed value, whereas Factor will use a specific ratio, allowing you to spare CPU or achieve better sound quality. You will find more information on this internal sample rate in chapter 188.8.131.52. Changing the Sample Rate of REAKTOR's Getting Started Guide, which you can find on this website.
3.2 CPU Usage Setting
REAKTOR can automatically reduce the number of voices in polyphonic instruments. To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to Preferences > CPU Usage. The Max CPU usage (%) setting will disable additional voices when the defined CPU limit is reached, allowing you to spare CPU power. In the example below, REAKTOR will kill additional voices as soon as the CPU load reaches 60%.
- Enable Automatic Voice Reduction in the loaded Ensemble. You can activate this option in EDIT mode > Properties > Function > VOICE ALLOCATION > Automatic Voice Reduction.
3.3 Heavy REAKTOR Instruments (POLYPLEX, ROUNDS, etc.)
Some REAKTOR Ensembles require more performance than others. This is especially the case for new Instruments like POLYPLEX, ROUNDS, KONTOUR or MOLEKULAR. To avoid facing performance issues with these Instruments, you can use the bounce technique, presented below in chapter 3.4. Bounce to audio!
ROUNDS, for example, is very heavy in terms of CPU consumption, since it consists of 16 synthesizer voices (8 analog emulation, plus 8 digital). Additionally, a voice programmer provides 32 sound slots with morph functions. This sums up to very much audio processing which can be very heavy for your CPU.
POLYPLEX loads by default with 8 pads, containing 4 samples each, which in their turn are sent through their own effect chain. This sums up to 32 effect chains, which is very heavy in terms of CPU consumption. To avoid overcharging your CPU, you can load from the Browser a stripped down version of POLYPLEX, in order to use only the Kick or the Snare module for example.
A widespread technique to avoid CPU issues consists in bouncing to audio whenever possible.
Bouncing to audio means exporting an instrument track's audio output (usually consisting of a sound generator plug-in and of a chain of effect plug-ins) to another audio track in your DAW. Once the audio is exported ("bounced") to another track, you can delete or deactivate the plug-ins which were generating the original sound. If you are sure you won't need to tweak the sound of the track anymore, you can even delete the entire original instrument track. This technique allows you to keep exactly the same sound that was generated by the plug-ins, but puts less charge on your CPU and frees up some RAM.
Some DAWs offer dedicated functions for bouncing to audio. Ableton Live offers the possibility to "freeze" a track, Logic allows you to "bounce" a track, whereas Cubase offers a "bounce in place" function. Please consult your DAW's documentation for more information on the specific functions allowing you to bounce instrument tracks to audio.