Logic Pro 8 Logic 8.02 Warped Keyboards


I remember thinking 6 months ago when I got my new Mac, "Well, I'll never use these anyway..." Wrong. I wish I could right now. But my MBP 2.4 ghz core 2 duo w/4 4gb ram isn't up to it. Mostly, it's been working great with Ivory, and most everything else but these fabulous "warped" monsters. I lost count of the number of effects on Warped Electric Piano. CPU needle bent on the pin, if there was one. Jonesing for more cores and RAM about now, I guess.

If you are using these instruments fully loaded, what kind of rigs are you using? I tried parsing down the effects, but the thrill was gone. I've been doing acoustic piano music, but I suddenly need to indulge in a major electrofest.

Thanks for your thoughts. Kind of on overwhelm here in the lugnut zone. Couldn't remember my old login...disconcerted...Some really great posts though already by some of the serious Logicmeisters and others.

Lost in the funhouse....

Donovan Rundle


Warped Electric Piano?

Hey, responding to my own thread! Using latest OS and Logic on my MBP 2.4 gh w/4mb RAM I continued attempting to track the Sculpture "Warped Electric Piano." Found if I played it a certain way I could dodge the CPU killer spikes. They are highly transient in nature, and do not appear on Activity Monitor for me. In fact, it looks as if things are quite happy.

Okay, riddle me this someone. After laying down 10 bars of Warped Piano, getting away with it (mostly) and cycling it, I laid down some ESX 24 parts on another track. Holy Core! The CPU monitor now showed both cores in the harness, and we were plowing ahead! I had thought, okay, soon as I add another track with any load at all, this patch is going to blow up my processor again. Au contraire! It works >better<!

I guess I'm going to have to learn about "freezing and whatnot" next. Is adding tracks to a project with a CPU overdriving Sculpture patch a "technique?" Also, things seemed to work better this morning after booting up fresh, although it's not wonderful with Sculpture and Warped Electric Piano yet. But really, how did this second core get persuaded to jump in and take up some slack? Is this repeatable? How about a button in Logic for this. "Activate all cores!"


Staff member

Do you have the I/O safety buffer in audio preferences switched on? If so, try switching it off and see if that helps. Your Mac Book Pro shouldn't have difficulties with an instance of sculpture, but maybe you should tell us a little more about the size of yur project - specifically, which VIs, and how many instances you are trying to run at once..

kind regards



Thanks Mark,

Safety I/O is/was off. Just started arranging the project, hence one instance of the setting "Warped Electric Piano" only. I looked at some other boards to verify that this should be no problem, since people with G5's were running a few, no sweat. I suppose that is good news. The killer for me is that I was really smacked by that airport bug last year so badly that I just opted for a new MBP that could also take the 4GB RAM. The box is dedicated to music, fresh installs of everything, and I've deliberately kept third party stuff to a minumum.

The darned thing is that now it seems that turning on Activity Monitor for CPU usage activates the other core, and I can work. Makes no sense to me, like Heisenberg....

Any thoughts of what else to check are much appreciated. I've had this problem just about from the git-go with this new rig, as I recall, but haven't needed to use Sculpture. These patches are great. The CPU craps out on transients that don't show up on activity monitor. Sorry to go on, but this is now apparently an intermittent problem. I quit Logic and started the project again, and now both cores are operating at like 30% levels.

I can't figure out what is causing it to overdrive one core sometimes.


Buffer Setting Experiments

1. Activity monitor always shows at least about 60% CPU availability, usually much more, whereas Logic CPU meter may be topped out/crashing. What is up with that? Do I need to allot....more CPU??? Nah, don't get that one...

2. Playback seems to manage core usage better, while tracking seems to use mostly one core. This sounds familiar...read about on old LUG, the challenges to understanding core management....

3. Def. seems like closing project and reopening improves playback so that it is fine. Something is heaping up somewhere in a bad way. Tracking still a problem.

4. Increased buffer size in Audio prefs. to max, then back down incrementally to 256, which is double what I was using. This seems to work so far...giving just a little bit of headroom/not crashing. Latency gets to be a problem on larger buffer sizes....

Sascha Franck

This won't exactly be of much help for you, but as I'm on a similar machine as you (Macbook 2.4 with 4 GB RAM, just without the "pro"), I sort of know what to expect from it CPU-wise. I can just tell you that Sculpture isn't exactly for those of us without Mac Pros. In other words, it's a true CPU hog. Might be for good reasons (I mean, there's some absolutely incredible sounds), but very often I find some other sound to be just as suitable.
Also, quite some of the channel strip presets supplied with Logic involve a Space Designer instance. Getting rid of that often makes the preset a *lot* more useable in terms of CPU consumption. While SD is incredibly efficient when using short impulse responses (such as a guitar speaker cab impulse, I'm using them a lot), CPU useage goes way up once the reverb times get longer.

Not sure whether I'm telling the obvious, but here's a few things I'm doing to keep CPU useage down as much as possible:

- Use Logic's internal plugins and instruments as much as possible but stay away from Sculpture and the EVB3. Those are really CPU heavy. While both sound great, I have no idea why the EVB3 would be that heavy, when NIs B4II is soo much more CPU friendly.

- If you can, use the EXS for whatever patches. While being limited in several ways, it's absolutely unrivalled in terms of CPU friendliness.

- The same as above goes for the EVP88. Probably not the most shiniest electric piano on the market anymore, but still very very useful, and it's using close to no CPU power.

- Have a look for a third party synth that suits your needs while being less CPU hungry than Sculpture. Personally, I found Zebra 2 to be the ticket. I know, it's something entirely different from Sculpture, but there's some sounds that are absolutely on par, though.

- In whatever channel strip presets, remove all Space Designer instances in case they're "just a reverb". Use a "bus driven" reverb instead, which you could as well use for other sounds (tip: if you like a particular SD preset of a channel strip, open the audio mixer and simply drag the SD instance to a bus, using the hand tool).

- Almost the same as above: Use busses whenever suitable. Basically, all modulation and time effects can as well be used via busses. That way, they are available for any of your tracks, not just for one (as in the channel presets).

- In case you need more than one reverb for your songs, fool around with delays which you may then route to the reverb bus as well. I find this to be one of *the* most CPU saving features I've ever came across.
As an example, I usually use a medium sized reverb as my main reverb (usually an instance of Space Designer).
Now, in case I need something more lush and wide, I set up a delay bus/aux, tweak the delay so it doesn't "get in the way" anymore, by applying some EQing and probably even a compressor on the delay aux (which will then suppress possibly annoying delay peaks), then send whatever amounts of that very delay aux to my reverb bus to make the delay even more "embedded".

- If you have some really "famous" sounds of whatever virtual instruments, but they consume tons of CPU cycles, consider sampling them and making an EXS patch. It's really not that hard and in case you plan to use the patch fairly often, it should defenitely be worth the effort. Won't work as well on highly "modulative" patches, but it's working extremely well on some others. I've done this plenty of times, if you like to know the "how to"s, I'll happily post them. With a sampler as effective as the EXS right under our fingertips, this is something absolutely worth considering for anybody working on laptops, iMacs, Mac Minis and the likes.

- A tip on general optimization (there's not all too much for OSX it seems): Try to keep plenty of disc space free on your system drive. Being a UNIX based system, OSX is using a lot of caching. Anything using larger amounts of RAM will more or less cause the system to create cache files (or "potential cache locations" as I may call them, in lack of better words). Samplers and anything dealing with time based effects (reverbs, delays, choruses, etc.) are utilizing RAM a lot, so in the end they will benefit of a system drive with plenty of space on it.
Fwiw, thanks to Peter Ostry for pointing me to that issue.

- Another tip on system maintainance: Download ONYX (which is free) and run it regularly (let's say once a week). ONYX has fixed *several* serious issues on a friend's machine that I've just been looking at to do some maintainance and it's also kept my machine bascially trouble-free and fast for over a year by now. An absolute must-have for any OSX user not familiar with the Terminal (and which musician would be familiar with Terminal?), would get the No.1 vote for being the best tool ever. Make sure to read what each of the options are doing, though.

So much for now,


Short Treatise on CPU/System Management

I've printed out your response to study in detail and for one thing will download Onyx for serious trial and will also look into Zebra 2. You've provided a concise treatise on getting the most out of our laptops. For one thing, it's good to be reminded that back in the day, we were lucky to have ONE decent reverb to bus everything to. For long tails, doesn't HAVE to be S.D. I will consider the sampling option too, since I've searched unsuccessfully for a sound as "famous" for this arrangement. Thanks A MILLION. Lucky for me you are willing to post over here.

I guess I'm not going to solve this erratic core behavior perfectly well, but the point is being able to continue the arrangement.

Sascha Franck

I will consider the sampling option too, since I've searched unsuccessfully for a sound as "famous" for this arrangement.
Fwiw, which sound of the warped keyboard section is it exactly that you're referring to? Maybe I could just try to sample it (I've got some excellent tools for such purposals) and post it somewhere here.

- Sascha


"Abstract Electric Piano" under Sculpture settings.

Sorry I wasn't clear on that. For the moment, it is working (without much headroom to be sure), but I've just started adding tracks. Can freeze as audio I guess...not used to that type of commitment. I would gladly use an ESX 24 sample if this quits working and blows up with more tracks, and it's available. Please post notice on this thread if you happen to create this and upload to this site somewhere. It could be brilliant for people with certain computers like ours to be able to use some of these great Sculpture sounds more easily.

Sascha Franck

"Abstract Electric Piano" under Sculpture settings.
Ok. That one will indeed be a little tricky to sample, because the LFO is modulating the pickup positions. To recreate this faithfully in the EXS, two layers/groups (one for each pickup) would be required, and so far I can't see how one would modulate their pannings individually (panning modulation inside the EXS is only possible for the entire patch).
Ok, there's the sample select parameter, but I'm still not sure how to do it, as this is usually fading between sample layers.
Maybe it's possible to simply skip the pickup thing, set up some panning LFO action and add a little filter modulation, too. Will defenitely sound a little different, though. But it may not be that much noticeable as the channel strip preset is quite effected.

With Kontakt, this would be a lot easier, as I'd simply sample each pickup signal separately and then either modulate the individual layers or just load two instruments into one multi, so tweaking each layer would be a piece of cake.

Guess I'll give this a quick try and post my findings.