Tips for Spitfire plug-in optimization in Vienna Ensemble Pro?

I have a top of the line i9 iMac (2020) and I've been working on building my first template in Vienna Ensemble Pro. My goal is to get every instrument in BBCSO Core and Abbey Road 1 loaded in Vienna, so I can have those two orchestras at my fingertips when sequencing. I'm running Vienna on the iMac (not on a second computer).

I went ahead and built that exact template, and was dismayed to find my iMac's CPU idling at 90-95%. And that's before playing a single note. When I tried playing a note, I got past 100% CPU and got pops and crackles. In other words, it wasn't usable.

Did I do something wrong? Are there any tips for settings that could optimize this? I did play with a few of the settings inside the BBCSO/ARO plug-ins, but they didn't make any major difference in CPU usage.


  • Hi

    I am sure by running VEP on your iMac your instruments & samples will all be loaded in the RAM on that computer therefore RAM overloaded.

    I run BBC Pro and other samples on my slave PC running VEP and the DAW Pro Tools on my M1 Mac (16gb Ram) and it runs quite happily. The Holy Grail for SP and all sample based instruments is RAM. I have 64 Gb on the PC Slave computer and my BBC Pro SSD drive is attached to that, it loads fast and responds well.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim D

  • Thanks for the tip. My i9 iMac has 128GB of RAM, and Activity Monitor shows that I'm using less than 20% of it, so I'm very doubtful RAM is the bottleneck in this case.

    I'm aware I can do this using additional computers, but was really trying to simplify my orchestral palette and be able to run a full orchestra on just one machine.

    I'm really frustrated that I can't do this on a top-of-the-line computer with top-of-the-line RAM. It doesn't seem like too much to ask, so I'm wondering if there are other settings I may be overlooking.

  • @Compozzzr Is this happening when you load the VEP template, or is CPU maxing out when playing back a project?

  • CPU is maxing out as soon as I have my DAW and VEP (with the template) loaded. In other words, before I even try to play a note. If I play a note, I exceed 100% and get pops and crackles. It's unusable.

    @Angus, does Spitfire publish any articles/videos with more in-depth details on either VEP setup, or on the various settings inside the Spitfire prefs? They seem rather underdocumented AFAICT.

  • @Compozzzr we don't have any specific optimisation videos, but I've raised a ticket for you so you can discuss this with a member of the team directly. There may be a deeper issue at play here that requires further investigation.

  • @Angus Thank you so much. I'd love to get this sorted/optimized/working and then can help others get their Spitfire setups working well.

  • My way to deal with this is to try to use as many samples as I can find in the Kontakt format, and then I fill up each Kontakt instance with the optimal 16 patches and save my VEP7 template with all samples purged.

    (not much help for BBCSO and Abbey Road, I know, but a solid way to keep RAM usage low)

  • Has there been any successful development on this issue? If it was solved, would anybody please share some insights? Would be extremely helpful for others... Thank you!