CPU Load on Ableton 11 Intro using 8gb MacBook Pro Big Sur

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minorvictory
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:47 pm

CPU Load on Ableton 11 Intro using 8gb MacBook Pro Big Sur

Post by minorvictory » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:21 pm

Hello all,

First thing to make clear, I'm very new to Ableton, and I'm slowly finding my way around the DAW by doing simple tutorials. Basically I'm a complete novice.

I bought a brand new 8GB RAM, 250GB SSD (currently has 173GB free space) MacBook Pro in January to pretty much exclusively use with Ableton. I downloaded v10 Intro and was quite happy learning the basics. I think the maximum CPU load I'd experienced was about 34 when using all 16 tracks available to me in the session view. I should also point out that when I hit this I also had Firefox and Spotify running in the background.

Recently I upgraded to 11 and loaded up a project I had been working on in 10. The project, which never went beyond 34%, is now gobbling up to 71% CPU on 11 and I haven't made a single change to it, and I still haven't installed any plugins. I closed Spotify and Firefox to see if this would give a significant reduction back to the comfortable 20-30 load range but this made no difference to the load.

I have followed all the guidance available online in various Mac and Ableton pages and forums to see how I could not only reduce load on Ableton, but optimise my Mac in general (which at this point really shouldn't need based on my usage) e.g. checking Activity Monitor for any random power hungry apps (and closing anything non-essential), making sure all my software and drivers were up-to-date, increasing buffer and sample rates on Ableton etc. but nothing has made the slightest bit of difference.

As mentioned, the computer is almost exclusively used for Ableton but I also use it to do some reading/watching tutorials on Youtube, and streaming from Spotify. I've not downloaded files, photos, videos, nor have installed programmes beyond Ableton, Spotify, and Firefox. I'm now concerned that if I wish to do anything beyond tinkering with fairly basic tracks, the laptop will simply not manage. Early indications showed that the new M1 processor was more than capable for my needs on v10, and this was confirmed by a couple of more advanced Ableton 10 M1 8GB users I had spoken to, who had much more sophisticated compositions using several external plugins running on their machines.

From what I've read, it seems that currently Ableton is not optimised the M1 chip and it is being run through Rosetta, however the huge leap in consumption from 10 to 11 is concerning.

I'd be good to know if there is something obvious I'm missing, or if 11 is known to be far more resource hungry than the previous version and will behave this way until it is optimised for the hardware.

Thanks in advance for any feedback or advice you can offer.

oratowsky
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:09 am
Location: la

Re: CPU Load on Ableton 11 Intro using 8gb MacBook Pro Big Sur

Post by oratowsky » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:22 pm

try increasing the buffer size (Preferences > Audio > Buffer Size).

Besides that, I see a few people have reported increased CPU usage with 11. Whatever issue this is, it should get fixed soon.

Are you running into any actual issues like dropouts or crackling?

Of course, anything with M1 right now should be treated as highly experimental.... it could be a bumpy road for a while.

minorvictory
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:47 pm

Re: CPU Load on Ableton 11 Intro using 8gb MacBook Pro Big Sur

Post by minorvictory » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:00 am

oratowsky wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:22 pm
try increasing the buffer size (Preferences > Audio > Buffer Size).

Besides that, I see a few people have reported increased CPU usage with 11. Whatever issue this is, it should get fixed soon.

Are you running into any actual issues like dropouts or crackling?

Of course, anything with M1 right now should be treated as highly experimental.... it could be a bumpy road for a while.
Thanks for getting back to me with your reply.

I've not had any issues with dropping out or crackling yet! I increase the buffer to the maximum 2048 samples but it did not appear to make a difference in my fairly limited testing. I appreciate the help though!

This is reassuring news RE possible future fix. Thanks again :)

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