Both Maximum Render Quality and 2 Pass encoding will slow you down significantly without adding any appreciable quality.
I know, but it's best to deliver that to my clients and let wherever and whatever they upload to do the compression so they're never disappointed with the quality from my end. And that's the thing, I've always rendered with these settings and it's never taken long. I know most websites will compress it and turning down that rate would save me time, but even with it down to 8-10, that render time remains the same since this issue began for me
Well, didn't have the benefit of being able to wait. Just wiped my pc, reinstalled the OS and my adobe stuff, and voila. Have no clue what it was, but it's rendering just fine now. Just finished rendering a 2h h.264 1980x1080, max depth/quality, 60fps, 20 bitrate, vbr 2 pass, with color correction, cleaned audio, and neat video denoiser with a time of 2h12m. Without the net video denoiser, the render had shown it would only take about 30 minutes. If anyone who comes across this and knows what the issue was, I would appreciate it if you took the time to provide the guidance on properly fixing my initial issue in case I come across it again or should it happen to another.
There are a couple settings in that list I would suggest leaving off, as they only help in specific situations that do not seem to apply to your work.
These days, as Jim Simon says, the main thing you get from a 2-pass export is more time waiting. The computers process complex chains so much faster doing it in one-pass is almost always the same quality just ... faster. You can test, but I would be very surprised if it made any noticeable difference.
I haven't used that in years.
Next ... max render quality. Are you resizing 6k media to 1080? If not, this isn't helping any. Main thing it does AFAIR is help with aliasing on resized exports.
Max Render Depth ... only helps if you don't have a GPU, and are say working with 10 but media with a lot of color correction. You seem blessed in that category. Not useful.
MRQ and MRD can at times induce artifacts, they frequently slow things down, and your work and rig don't need them.
You almost assuredly would be better off without them.
Native files are 1080. I understand there are things I can change to reduce render time, but my issue was with all of those, a 2 hr video with color corrextion and audio correction on August 9th would render in 35m. Come August 11th, same file, same project, same export settings, the render time was over 7h. So my question was, does anyone know what could have caused and is there anything I can do to remedy it. Rendering along your guidelenes or the others before did not remedy my issue. Shaved off an hour maybe, but still shouldn't take +6h to render such a simple project.
Understood, note my post was after you noted improvement from an OS reinstall. I wasn't answering your sudden slowdown, just your settings for exports in general.
Several of those things do not do what it sounds like and as I note not only aren't helpful but in some cases cause issues.
Leave them off except for the few cases where they are useful.
Oh ... doing single pass does speed things up. Has no effect on compression that I've ever heard of. So, test it. Do you really need it?