Wiki page : Plugins CPU Usage

Wow thanks; that’s more encouraging. :smiley:

Seems like the plugin CPU figures could be a bit misleading? Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see some figures for the various convolution reverbs. For those, wouldn’t it be advisable to state the length of reverb IR used? Surely a loaded 15 secs IR is going to use more resources than a 3.5 secs one? Please ignore me if I’m wrong about that. :wink:

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Maybe-- to my understanding the CPU usage wiki can’t be fully accurate because it really depends on how you use them/where you put them, which takes a bit of trial and error, but the wiki can be a good general tool when aiming for lots of effects or thinking about switching something out for something less CPU-heavy.

I know the convolution IRs sound amazing, and stuff like the RMPro, but I find that my usage leans toward quantity… but still sounds pretty great. It’s a really versatile tool, but you do have to make choices. If you want to hear the best examples IMO of what the MOD ecosystem can do, check out Steve Lawson on Bandcamp.


I very rarely use convolution for reverb; I’m more interested in the special efx possibilities they offer, as a kind of cross synthesis method. Hence my need for using long impulse responses. Do the CPU spikes absolutely always result in audible clicks, pops or glitches?

I don’t think so… but I mostly notice them when they do. In the small amount of sound I’ve actually recorded it’s varied. There were fewer with the last update, I didn’t hear any clicks last night while playing but I did have the dwarf freeze up on me. It may be because of certain beta plugins or plugin combos I have on my boards. I am definitely not a large enough sample size, and most of the people who’ve shared content (that I’ve heard) have had clean sounding stuff.

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Sure. Furthermore, there is some idle CPU usage when no plugin is on the pedalboard. So these numbers are more an approximate way to compare the plugins than a real measure.

These noises should only appear when there are xruns, which happen when the CPU is at 100%.


I had assumed that the idle CPU usage of the unit, operating system etc, was subtracted from the quoted plugin figures? If not then the actual plugin figures will be significantly lower?

Lol… I see that I didn’t read the Wiki page thoroughly… oops!
I understand the ‘for comparison’ only aspect now.

I very much appreciate your efforts in this regard… but what do you guys think about a systematic, programmatic approach, i.e. with a script? Said script would iterate over all plugins and for each plugin

  • create a Cartesian Product of all plugin parameters
  • measure CPU consumption of each parameter combination
  • add them to a list of dictionaries ({plugin_name_parameter_combination: CPU_consumption})

Then, it would be easy to calculate the max/min/mean/median CPU load for a plugin or even create a nice chart to show outliers and stable combinations of parameter combinations. This chart (or the numbers) could even be part of the plugins page or used in a ranking like the one you created in the wiki. I think it would also be useful for regression testing purposes. Sure, for Duo, DuoX, and Dwarf the measurements would have to be repeated but since it is an automated process it would not take away precious developer time.


I think that when I filled these data, the idle CPU usage was around 6-7%. The subtraction could have been an option but are we sure that the plugin CPU usage is exactly the total minus the idle CPU usage ? I don’t know how overlapped are the OS and the plugin.

So I considered we could keep things simple but this thread is there to welcome ideas, especially if you guys master these kind of technical aspects better than me. If we agree to make a subtraction, it wouldn’t take too long modifying the tables.

That would be awesome. I took this initiative because there seemed to be demands from users and we had no better alternative. But I would love to see a more accurate and automatic process to collect these data though I don’t have the skills to create this tool.


You are right about this.
Maybe it would be worth having a column with “extras” or “comments” where info like this would be dropped if needed(?)


that’s strange that most plugins cost the same CPU when turned on and off :confused:

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It seams like the plugins don’t use the LV2 bypass described by @falkTX, am I right ?

If @falkTX lends me a hand wrt to the plugin-specific interactions, I would give it a go. For each plugin a JSON file with the pedalboard description would have to be generated and then loaded. After this happened, the plugin parameters would have to be changed and CPU consumption measured. If said parameters are exposed to Python I foresee no problems (although there certainly are some).


In section simulator i’ve added the estimation for Amps.
I’ve reported the values of the same plugin in 2 row if it changes cpu usage in diffrent modality (clean/lead).
Titan had too much combination so i gived up :sweat_smile:
For Cab plugins I was unsure since some has different level of fidelty… maybe different raw for different level?

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Thank you very much for your contribution, @CarloDossi. You filled one of the most important categories. I suspected some plugins would use different amounts of CPU depending on their settings. That’s a good idea to create several lines with the general configurations that have an effect on CPU usage (clean, lead, drive on).

And thanks to you, I am also pleased that I chose the Onyx as my main amp as it seems to be the less consuming among the versatile amps and I am satisfied with the quality of the varied tones (clean, crunch, heavy rock) I get from it.

Hi @Rom,
I’m taking advantage of this post to thank you as well for the important number of lines you filled in these two categories.

You guys are awesome.


How do you do this?! My first PB with less than half of that spikes all the time! I was surprised (and a bit disappointed I admit!)
It’s just a basic guitar PB : whammy, overdrive, fuzz, looper, delay, reverb, preamp, power amp, cab. I was surprised to see it idle at 85% even with everything turned off.


Running effects in parallel when possible saves CPU, and you can see on that board above that only one of the chains out of the toggle-switch actually goes through the amp/cab, the other ones are so heavily doped up in reverb/delay etc. that they sound fine without running through an amp/cabsim. I’m also using the Alembic amp, which is lower CPU (on a new board I tried the Roamer, sounds great but I think just uses too much so going back to Alembic). There are also some plugins that really give you a lot of bang for your buck… for example the Floaty is on most of my boards (hidden by the sequencer) and really can do a lot with some tweaking… Some of the pedals are worth the high CPU (brummer’s distortion, for one…) but it definitely takes trial and error to find your own system of pedalboard construction-- don’t give up on getting everything you want in there though, there’s likely a way to do it…


Making an example using “drop” and “vintage cabinets”:

Fiedelty normal (both):

  • Drop: 25%
  • Vintage cabinet: 19%
  • Parallel: 24% cpu
  • Series: 32% cpu
  • Absolute difference: 8%
  • Relative difference (to series value): 25%

Fiedelty High (both):

  • Drop: 35%
  • Vintage cabinet: 32%
  • Parallel: 37% cpu
  • Series: 58% cpu
  • Absolute difference: 21%
  • Relative difference (to series value): 36%

As you can see the diffference is noticeable and increase with level of fiedelty (or cpu comsumption), and as said before the wiki page cpu level are indicative and are really valid only in that specific experimental context.

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Had a chance to update the chart with some MOD DUO values. Don’t own some of the paid plugins - would the trial versions be comparable?

Interesting to see how the older CPU compares with the Dwarf, especially noticeable with the amp sims!


Nice ! Thanks !!!

I think they are exactly the same, and I don’t think the mute generator done by the OS is much CPU consuming !