What is up with Ableton??? And will this be fixed in L8??

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
tw1nstates
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What is up with Ableton??? And will this be fixed in L8??

Post by tw1nstates » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:47 pm

So, I have got an octocore mac,

it stars crapping out at abuot 60% usage with live's performance monitor.

On my system Monitor i am only using 30-39% system resources (CPU), so I have got 60+% of my processor cycles unused.

That is a bit of a joke. I have a stupidly fast machine and it's acting only a little better than my Core 2 duo macbook.

Its not a disk streaming issue, its adding more VSts and VSTis. I use a lot of processor heavy stuff and a lot of sends, typically I might have several instances of Arturia, Omnisphere, G Force and Ni VSTis with IK Multimedia, Soundtoys, Altiverb and stuf like URS, Sonaklsis and various other plugs.

I have got 14gigabytes of RAM in my machine and running hardly any audio - so ram or drive access doesn't seem to be the problem, this is backed up by the fact that it's adding VSTs and Vstis that cause playback to suffer and the machine to really slow down . . .

It's kinda driving me mad that I have this super specced machine and ableton isn't letting me use it to it's capacity.

I can understand tat on a lower specced machine ableton isn't going to be able to use *all* of the resources but this is a bit ridiculous as over 2/3rds of my processing capacity isn't being utilised.

Thoughts?

Anyone else using the same rig (leopard, latest version) and getting better results?

Any tips that the abletons can share?

Thanks
I slipped into a daze, whilst I was there I heard the most startling music, it was at once familiar and alien, reassuring and unsettling.
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kb420
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Post by kb420 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:12 pm

How are you running vst's on a Mac in Logic?

I thought Logic only read audio units.
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andydes
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Post by andydes » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:30 pm

I heard somewhere that although different tracks should be handled by different cores, if two tracks are linked by any kind of routing they must use the same core.

I don't know if this is the case when using sends. ie. if every track uses the same sends, you may only be fully utilising one core. See what happens when you turn the sends off on some tracks.

I also heard 8 will handle multiple processors better.

Can anyone confirm any of my outrageous statements?

tw1nstates
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Post by tw1nstates » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:35 pm

Hi KB 420,

I am using Leopard, latest version. . .

VST's run perfectly well on a mac (obviously they are mac versions now the PC version). Just not in Logic, perhaps thats' where the confusion arises, I am guessing that you are on a PC.

However, Audio units are a little better because of the slighly more funcitonal patch saving system. . .
I slipped into a daze, whilst I was there I heard the most startling music, it was at once familiar and alien, reassuring and unsettling.
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tw1nstates
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Post by tw1nstates » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:36 pm

They should get me on that Beta test then :)

POwer user caning the hell out of a fast system, using all kinds of funny routing stuff.

I actally suspected it was the sends / routing thing cos this has always caused live to crap out a little.
I slipped into a daze, whilst I was there I heard the most startling music, it was at once familiar and alien, reassuring and unsettling.
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SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:48 pm

Live is known for being not very resource friendly.

apparently this has do with the fact that you can manipulate anything, while the sequencer is running, which you can't do in any other prog. without crashing it.

guess that it has it's price.
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Hidden Driveways
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Post by Hidden Driveways » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:28 pm

It seems like when these threads pop up lately, Omnisphere is always involved. My friend has Omnisphere and he says it takes up a lot of resources.

Every computer has its limit.

dom
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Post by dom » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:31 pm

Compared to other DAWs and at first glance Live often eats up more processor power to do the same - just because of the real time approach of the whole engine, and that's why it's not really comparable - but this does not relate to the initial question why the cores are not utilized to their full extend.

As already mentioned in this thread: Time plays a big role in being able to distribute tasks between different cores.
There a simple logical rule you can apply if you think about stuff like that:

If you want to share the load between different cores, it has to be stuff that can be calculated in parallel.

If you put 4 effects in one channel, each effect depends on the output of the previous effect - you have to calculate them one after each other and you can't calculate them at the same time on different cores.

If you put 4 effects in 4 different channels you can easily handle them all on their own core - at the same time.

The same applies to various routing and send scenarios. If you think about it this way, it is quite easy to understand and you may be able plan or optimize your project accordingly.

Best,
Dom
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taoyoyo
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Post by taoyoyo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:14 pm

This all sounds very similar to the results I've been getting with my Octo Mac Pro.

Part of my problem is I've picked a soft-synth that seems to rival Omnisphere (from what I can gether) in CPU resources... the beautiful sounding (and definitely worth getting) Aspect by Loomer, though I have used the 'largest patch' I could have picked! I just did a test with Minimonsta (another hogger) and that seems to fare much better.

It seems to me that Live is more adept for audio manipulations than large plug-in chains, which is a shame as the Instrument/Drum/Effect Racks is a genius idea.
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966sf
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Post by 966sf » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:14 pm

It may have to do with your plugins not being able to access the ridiculous amount of RAM you have. I had this problem with NIs stuff. Being that they are 32 bit applications (as well as DAWs like Live and Pro Tools), some VSTs can't access more than 3GB of RAM at a time. So once you keep piling on instances of say Kontakt or Massive, then maybe it's a RAM issue.

But I don't really know for sure. I have the 8 core Mac Pro as well with 3.2 Ghz and 4GB and mine is running fine at 60%. and I have to really TRY to get it to 60%. For my own practical purposes, my Mac Pro runs perfectly.
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doc holiday
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Post by doc holiday » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:34 pm

whats your buffer when it craps out at 60%?

tw1nstates
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Post by tw1nstates » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:55 pm

@ Dom,

Yeah i figured that was the case.

But I have got 60% of my processing cycles unused. Which is annoying as you can imagine.

Is this being addressed in Live 8? I have so much power that I am not using so what if it takes a few more cycles to route the audio around.

I could run another 2 versions of the same project on my machine. This is an issue that will come up more and more.
Live is a resource hog as we know cos of the low latency triggering thing but it should be able to use more of my processor, no?

At he other guy with the mac, glad you are getting what you need form your machine, unfortunately i am not. :(

The reality of the situation is that live is really, really inefficient.

I am sure it's brilliant for live use, I don't use it like that, i use it as a n innivative way of mainking music that is an all in one solution. I could probably rewire 2 lives together (would that work), but honestly it would be nice to not have to do that. . .

I kninda feel like this is bit of a massive elephant in the roomthe Abletons are choosing to ignore. . .

Hopefully not cos I think Ableton are one of the best companies in the Music software development world that i have come across thus far. . .
I slipped into a daze, whilst I was there I heard the most startling music, it was at once familiar and alien, reassuring and unsettling.
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michaellpenman
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Post by michaellpenman » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:25 am

check you buffer size have it at ethier 512 or 1024(if you have less plug ins), check you cache size etc

tw1nstates
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Post by tw1nstates » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:28 pm

Yeah buffer was set at 512, have tried at larger sizes also. . .

Cache, what's that?? Is that the plug in buffers? They are set to default. .

Thanks
I slipped into a daze, whilst I was there I heard the most startling music, it was at once familiar and alien, reassuring and unsettling.
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SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:36 pm

tw1nstates wrote:
The reality of the situation is that live is really, really inefficient.
i always claimed that myself and was very pissed of about it, untill i noticed that sheer power and incredibility to be able to do EVERYTHING in realtime in live without a hick-up nor crashing...

i have more the feeling that this 'feature' just simply does not reflect in the CPU meter... so running on 60% does not mean you got 40% headroom left.

that is a price you have to pay, or use an apps like logic, which is utterly efficient, but will crash on you while trying a hell lot of functions in real time.

it's your choice. some possibilities will simply drain your CPU.
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