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Can't even get close to realtime on single clip with low quality preview/audio.

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Greg Sage
Can't even get close to realtime on single clip with low quality preview/audio.
on Apr 25, 2019 at 3:49:01 am

It's been a few years since I've worked with After Effects, and I have a fresh install on my old:

MacPro 2008
OSX10.11.6
CC2018 (2019 needs higher OS than my hardware supports.)
980Ti video card (I forget which mfr.)
Apogee Duet external audio interface

I just finished taking a 44.1k wav file through Premiere and setting a sequence marker for each word. I then imported the timeline (with markers) into AE, and with nothing else, and no actual video, the system is choking and sounds like a warbling record being slowed down.

Clearly something is wrong, and I'm trying to narrow it down. I've got preview on 1/4 quality, the Premiere project was set to 1080p, 44.1khz. I set the AE project to 44.1 to match. I understand AE isn't real time, but I know I got much better performance out of it previously (with old original video card, and old install of cc), and I haven't even loaded any actual video yet.

Adaptive resolution is on, and the slow, warbly playback does not improve even on short loops of the song that are already cached.

What are some likely culprits I should be checking out?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Can't even get close to realtime on single clip with low quality preview/audio.
on Apr 25, 2019 at 3:23:30 pm

Sounds like it might have been a few years since you worked in video, too! The audio sample rate has been 48 kHz for quite a while, but that's not related to your problem, I don't think.

Do you remember the tricks you had to use in previewing? It's time to haul them out again.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Greg Sage
Re: Can't even get close to realtime on single clip with low quality preview/audio.
on Apr 25, 2019 at 4:13:28 pm

Well, the only audio footage is 44.1, so I figured I'd just change the project to match, and then do the conversion on output via ME.

If there's a specific reason not to do it that way, it's no big deal to switch.

I've exhausted the tricks I remember. 1/8 adaptive, tried changing buffers, tried matching or not matching audio sample rate, tried just wireframe, cache settings, and probably a few other things. Currently got 32GB of ram with 6GB allocated to other programs, and nothing else running.

The GeForce 980ti is new in the equation too, and obviously not mac native. Looks fine as far as I can tell from checking hardware settings, but possible it's not being properly utilized. Again, though, there's literally no video yet... and it's still choking.

The only timeline item is an "audio track" which actually a Premiere project I imported that was just an audio track with markers.

Is this inefficent somehow, like maybe I'm better off importing it in some other way (not as Premiere project) where the markers are still readable via metadata.


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