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djmino02
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562 posts since 23 Nov, 2011

Postby djmino02; Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:22 am CUDA GPU for DAW

Is anyone familiar with CUDA GPU usage for DAWs?
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planetearth
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1300 posts since 10 Jul, 2006, from Tampa

Postby planetearth; Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:50 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

djmino02 wrote:Is anyone familiar with CUDA GPU usage for DAWs?

I haven't seen any DAWs list it as a "recommendation", let alone a requirement. I've seen a few VST effects use it, but not many.

I was hoping it would have taken off by now. My guess is that not enough DAWs use CUDA-based graphics cards (since high-performance graphics aren't necessary in a DAW), so the market share hasn't been large enough for any developers to target. There may also be latency issues if the graphics card is processing some parts of the DAW, while the CPU is processing others.

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PurpleSunray
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780 posts since 13 Mar, 2012

Postby PurpleSunray; Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:57 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

I think it did/does not take off becuase it's a pain in the ass to code and does not bring much benefit.
GPUs are monsters on parallel-processing. Like blending a picture and process all the 4k pixels in parallel.
Audio dsp works differnt. You cannot calculate 4k audio samples in parallel but you need sample0 to calc sample1, you need sample1 to calc sample2 and so on...
GPUs are not DSPs.
Different chip, different use-case. There a plugins that try to off-load CPU by using GPU, but other than that there is no real reason to use GPU on audio. Ugly to code, not made for low-latency / realtime at all, ...
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DJ Warmonger
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2667 posts since 7 Jun, 2012, from Warsaw

Postby DJ Warmonger; Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:47 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

It's not easy at all to run multiple plugin instances on CUDA and to meet requirements of audio buffer timings. So unless there comes some established standard (similiar tu UAD), I wouldn't count on it.
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djmino02
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562 posts since 23 Nov, 2011

Postby djmino02; Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:38 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

Cool. I heard that it was used for nebula.

I guess they can render impulses spectrally with gpu's?
PurpleSunray
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780 posts since 13 Mar, 2012

Postby PurpleSunray; Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:49 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

djmino02 wrote:Cool. I heard that it was used for nebula.
I guess they can render impulses spectrally with gpu's?


They use CUDA for their convolution reverb.
But that's a very special use-case :D convolution is used on graphics too... cuda is actually really good on running convolution kernels. They have used that build a convolution reverb on top ;)
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nonnaci
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248 posts since 7 Feb, 2017

Postby nonnaci; Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:48 pm Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

PurpleSunray wrote:
djmino02 wrote:Cool. I heard that it was used for nebula.
I guess they can render impulses spectrally with gpu's?


They use CUDA for their convolution reverb.
But that's a very special use-case :D convolution is used on graphics too... cuda is actually really good on running convolution kernels. They have used that build a convolution reverb on top ;)


Have they addressed the latency issues with memory transfers between device and host?
camsr
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6805 posts since 16 Feb, 2005

Postby camsr; Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:32 pm Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

CUDA is mainly a one-way street. Software sends a whole lot of data to the GPU to be processed exclusively there, then the result is usually no where near the size of the input. It does have use in convolution, as well as sound synthesis. But to depend on it for real-time audio like we do on CPUs isn't possible yet.
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Jax Pok
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652 posts since 1 Mar, 2015, from UK

Postby Jax Pok; Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:49 pm Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

A few plugin makers have said that using Cuda for alogos causes a lot of latency they wont use it. At least one plugin I know uses Cuda for the plugin's GUI.
Nammick
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2 posts since 8 Jun, 2018, from UK

Postby Nammick; Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:51 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

I have been playing around with this for a couple of months. It definitely is possible to create a DAW that leverages GPU. I am using it as an accelerator for the next iteration of my Blackbox software. The problem with plugins is it just isn't possible to memcpy an audio block into GPU memory process it and bring it back into the current audio thread without hitting under-run. I have been able to some quite complex stuff with huge buffers 200ms + but realtime (sub 10ms) just aint do-able.

It is possible to conceive a DAW with a few caveats.
- Realtime playback but no realtime triggers for audio
- Process audio in large chunks at a time (so kernels can be optimised)
- A whole new framework for 3rd party plugins would need to be created
- OpenCL 2.0 + or CUDA Only. OpenCL 1.x has to much API traversing.

I actually think something for mixing stems with linear phase filters for EQ's and Compression, Harmonics kind of DAW would work as there wouldn't be lots of conditional branching. Chunks could be processed ahead of time giving enough time to copy audio to the CUDA / OpenCL host application to interface with whatever hardware.
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metamorphosis
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3715 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Hamilton, New Zealand

Postby metamorphosis; Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:38 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

There is little use for CUDA in audio work.
Even with Nebula, the CPU drop is not great.
The only area of effects that I am aware of that benefits greatly is sample-based reverbs, but nowadays CPUs are strong enough that it's not usually worth it.
You're better off buying a marginally-better CPU. And you won't benefit strongly from buying the latest and greatest video card.
Leaving aside the fact that nvidia drivers often cause latency issues...
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Tj Shredder
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718 posts since 6 Jan, 2017, from Outer Space

Postby Tj Shredder; Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:51 am Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

One use case I can imagine is analysis. Tagging samples for example and of course anything which needs to be displayed... It would take off some load at least...
metamorphosis
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3715 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Hamilton, New Zealand

Postby metamorphosis; Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:14 pm Re: CUDA GPU for DAW

Not really - the amount of time it takes to transfer the data to the GPU far outweighs the low CPU usage of any kind of analysis. Only heavy-CPU activities are worth considering, and then only if they can be easily parallelized.

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