GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

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GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby CUBASE6_USER » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:36 am

Dear Steinberg Development team ,
Have you guys looked into using GPU for Audio/VST processing? or have any plans to come-up with your own HW DSP solution(s)? I think this would be a great idea for a robust audio DAW.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby distante » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:18 am

good question
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby artguy » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:05 am

GPU rendering might help with the GUI but libraries such as OpenGL are really only designed for rendering video (implemented in Cubase as of version 5.5) and rely on other libraries such as Direct X, for audio.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby papi61 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:04 am

Not sure it would be a good idea, considering CUDA is an nVidia exclusive. I'd be happy to be able to take advantage of that, because I love nVidia products and tend to favor them to AMD or other GPU brands. But what about those who use different products?

Incidentally, CUDA does not support the full C standard. That may be a problem too.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Jari Junttila » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:18 am

No CUDA, but openCL(AMD/NVIDIA), like this guy has done.
http://gpuimpulsereverb.de/
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Norbury Brook » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:38 pm

GPU dsp uses parallel processing which is of no use To real time audio processing.

It can be put to use with convolution reverbs but that's about it.

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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Jari Junttila » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:09 pm

Ok, I admit I don´t get it, how can parallel be worst than serial processing? Wouldn´t serial always add something to chain? Parallel it would be same time?
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby artguy » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:59 pm

Jari Junttila wrote:Ok, I admit I don´t get it, how can parallel be worst than serial processing? Wouldn´t serial always add something to chain? Parallel it would be same time?


Digital signals such as AES/EBU, S/PDIF are all serial in nature.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:04 pm

artguy wrote:
Jari Junttila wrote:Ok, I admit I don´t get it, how can parallel be worst than serial processing
Digital signals such as AES/EBU, S/PDIF are all serial in nature.
Completely irrelevant; many DSP algorithms can benefit greatly from parallel computation. Please don't comment on things you clearly have no understanding of.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:06 pm

Jari Junttila wrote:No CUDA, but openCL
+1
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby islandmusicpro » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:38 pm

Or use the Intel QuickSync functionality that's built into modern Intel CPUs.
For example, I'm running my DAW with no discrete graphic from the HD4000 on the Ivy Bridge.
Those circuits are FAST!

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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Fabio Bartolini » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:41 pm

MrSoundman wrote:
artguy wrote:
Jari Junttila wrote:Ok, I admit I don´t get it, how can parallel be worst than serial processing
Digital signals such as AES/EBU, S/PDIF are all serial in nature.
Completely irrelevant; many DSP algorithms can benefit greatly from parallel computation. Please don't comment on things you clearly have no understanding of.


Could you please discuss and disagree without being offensive? Thank you.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:59 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:Could you please discuss and disagree without being offensive? Thank you.
My apologies if my comment has been interpreted as offensive; however I fail to understand how pointing out that there is no relationship between serial data formats and parallel computation algorithms could offend anyone.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby artguy » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:01 pm

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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:22 pm

artguy wrote:http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=47168&p=287148#p287148
Sorry, please explain .... perhaps I'm slow, but I am really not understanding the connection between my comment and the fact that you are linking to another unrelated topic where a forum member was being clearly abusive.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Fabio Bartolini » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:26 pm

MrSoundman wrote:My apologies if my comment has been interpreted as offensive; however I fail to understand how pointing out that there is no relationship between serial data formats and parallel computation algorithms could offend anyone.


Pointing out that one's argument is not correct and possibly explain why is perfectly fine - as not everyone can know everything about tech stuff and the Forum is here to discuss and learn from each other.

There is little to interpret here, though:

MrSoundman wrote: Please don't comment on things you clearly have no understanding of.


Maybe you can both get past this and continue the discussion as it began :)

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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:35 pm

I shall bow out then and let you folks get on with your uninformed discussion. I've already apologised if anything I've said has caused offence.

P.S. OpenGL: no (unsuitable), CUDA,: no (proprietary), OpenCL: yes
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby artguy » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:40 pm

MrSoundman wrote:I've already apologised if anything I've said has caused offence.


It may be as in the referenced thread that "strong language" is the issue.

We must bear in mind that always there are newcomers to the forum, in which case a cursory reading may cause one to take a relatively dim view of the collegiality of the forum.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Fabio Bartolini » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:45 pm

MrSoundman wrote:I shall bow out then and let you folks get on with your uninformed discussion.


No, please go on and let the others know, if you like.

This was definitely not an invitation to quit:

Fabio Bartolini wrote:Pointing out that one's argument is not correct and possibly explain why is perfectly fine - as not everyone can know everything about tech stuff and the Forum is here to discuss and learn from each other.
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:10 pm

There are three common ways to use the power of a graphics card processor ("GPU", graphics processing unit) for purposes other than graphics:

1. CUDA: you have to have an Nvidia card
2. OpenGL: will work with all graphics cards for which the vendor has provided a driver, but it's primary purpose is to enable programmers to write graphics-oriented code that will work across multiple hardware types and operating systems. It's very difficult for a programmer to use this for audio processing.
3. OpenCL: will work with all processors (including both CPUs and GPUs) for which the vendor provides a driver and will work across hardware platforms and operating systems. This seems like the no-brainer solution for DAWs.

One drawback of OpenCL is that it's early days yet for this coding technology, for example looking at video editing software it's pretty clear that most of the efforts to date are unstable, however the situation is improving with newer video drivers and if a market is established where DAW use is an incentive to buy a specific graphics card, then it is certain that the quality of the drivers will improve drastically.

Many, many areas of audio processing can benefit from the massive power of today's GPUs, and it is immaterial to the quality of the sound whether it's processed by a CPU or a GPU. It is true that even multi-core CPUs might not offer immediate benefits for realtime processing, but if tasks such as FFT (that nice spectrum analyser you always like to have running!) and reverberation can be offloaded to an otherwise almost unused GPU, that leaves more cycles available to the CPU for realtime stuff like producing notes from a VSTi at low latency in response to a MIDI note.

GPU processing in Cubase? Yes, I'm all for it, but please use OpenCL, and please ... let it be an option we can switch off if it causes trouble!
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Norbury Brook » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:38 pm

Convolution and FFT are the only things I can think of that work with parallel GPU processing and neither are really big CPU hogging things anyway.

There's such a difference in realtime audio needs to video or scientific computing and that's why GPU's aren't being used in audio, it just isn't suitable.

for example IIR filers;

IIR filters are the basis of envelope filter which are the basis for virtually all dynamic effects that go beyond basic wave shaping. So what should we do about those effects

IIR filters can not be parallelized.

there's one real world example of just one type of processing.


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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby MrSoundman » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:05 am

Norbury Brook wrote:Convolution and FFT are the only things I can think of that work with parallel GPU processing and neither are really big CPU hogging things anyway
Are you being serious here? The whole point is that the "big wins" are exactly those ... they can be offloaded to a secondary processor.
Norbury Brook wrote:IIR filters are the basis of envelope filter which are the basis for virtually all dynamic effects that go beyond basic wave shaping
OK I really don't think you're being serious here ... are you?
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby artguy » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:12 am

Good point Mr Soundman, I would love that, then my UAD2 can be used strictly for dynamics and EQ.

Just a note, and not wanting to be picky, but would you mind putting a line (carriage return) between the quoted and your text?

It would be much easier to read.

Thanks
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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby Norbury Brook » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:45 pm

MrSoundman wrote:
Norbury Brook wrote:Convolution and FFT are the only things I can think of that work with parallel GPU processing and neither are really big CPU hogging things anyway
Are you being serious here? The whole point is that the "big wins" are exactly those ... they can be offloaded to a secondary processor.
Norbury Brook wrote:IIR filters are the basis of envelope filter which are the basis for virtually all dynamic effects that go beyond basic wave shaping
OK I really don't think you're being serious here ... are you?



Serious? of course I'm being serious, I've been doing this professionally for 30 years.

How many convolution reverbs do you need in your project? convolution reverbs and FFT uses aren't the things that cause major CPU usage in my projects, algorithmic reverbs DO take a huge CPU hit and they can't be parellized successfully.

with regards to IIR filters I was just giving you an example of another important aspect of Audio processing that can't be parellized either, what isn't serious about pointing this out?

Also as soon as you off load convolution to your GPU you loose Zero latency. Nebula for example uses convolution and as such can be run on the GPU but the latency issues make it unworkable in most situations.




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Re: GPU (CUDA CORES) FOR DSP processing?

Postby artguy » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:50 pm

Norbury Brook wrote:Also as soon as you off load convolution to your GPU you loose Zero latency.


But as regards to MIDI programming and mixing, this would be a boon for development of audio applications.
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