Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
dum
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by dum » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:52 pm

sounds like a textbook case of disk-overload to me. you sure that's not the case ? have you noticed the disk-overload icon flashing ?

you can remedy the situation by making sure some of your multi-samplers are loading the samples into ram instead of streaming from the disk.


as for live(8) and more than 2gb of ram... well I'd do some research for more user feedback if I were you. I recall either twisted-space or was it tw1nstates ? experiencing alot of issues with live (8 I believe) and more than 2gb of RAM. Might be sorted by now, or maybe it's a non-issue, but I'd still recommend looking into it before spending dough
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:03 pm

Rave wrote:You will need it one day so I would get it now.
Alternatively, the longer I wait, the cheaper it'll be, right? :wink:
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8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:09 pm

dum wrote:sounds like a textbook case of disk-overload to me. you sure that's not the case ? have you noticed the disk-overload icon flashing ?
That icon hasn't flashed once, no. It's a 7200rpm drive with over 300GB free on it.
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dum
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by dum » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:13 pm

8O wrote:It's a 7200rpm drive with over 300GB free on it.
doesn't matter, I've had disk-overloads with fewer instances of multi-samplers on an identical drive. and orchestral samples are notorious for it.

I'd rule out disk over-load before pushing on with solutions to a ram problem


laters!
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

JuanSOLO
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by JuanSOLO » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:03 pm

8O wrote:
JuanSOLO wrote:2 things,

1. I was experiencing Audio Drop outs a lot. I switched from using my Alesis I/O 26 to using my Audio 8 DJ, for a sound card, no more drop outs.
2. I'm not 100% about this but I thought that any programs that were not 64bit (Ableton = 32bit) could not use more than 4 gig's of RAM.
Ta. What latency are you running on the Audio 8 DJ?

Yes, I've heard that 4 GB limit before.If that's true that would save me about €80. Can we get a definitive answer?
I set my Sample rate to 128 most of the time. I usually run 2 instances of Reaktor, a synth and FX, plus an instance of Massive. I also have a ton of Ableton FX, and 8 Ableton samplers for drums, and some Audio clips. I use a MBP 2008 pre-unibody, forgot the Ghz of the processor, but I do use 4 gigs of RAM. My CPU runs between 25 and 45 depending on whats I'm doing. I'm sure it spikes over that quite a bit when I'm not looking.

I always thought my firewire Alesis I/O 26 should be the better solution, but it is always giving me hell. The Audio 8 seems flawless.

8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:34 pm

JuanSOLO wrote:
8O wrote:
JuanSOLO wrote:2 things,

1. I was experiencing Audio Drop outs a lot. I switched from using my Alesis I/O 26 to using my Audio 8 DJ, for a sound card, no more drop outs.
2. I'm not 100% about this but I thought that any programs that were not 64bit (Ableton = 32bit) could not use more than 4 gig's of RAM.
Ta. What latency are you running on the Audio 8 DJ?

Yes, I've heard that 4 GB limit before.If that's true that would save me about €80. Can we get a definitive answer?
I set my Sample rate to 128 most of the time. I usually run 2 instances of Reaktor, a synth and FX, plus an instance of Massive. I also have a ton of Ableton FX, and 8 Ableton samplers for drums, and some Audio clips. I use a MBP 2008 pre-unibody, forgot the Ghz of the processor, but I do use 4 gigs of RAM. My CPU runs between 25 and 45 depending on whats I'm doing. I'm sure it spikes over that quite a bit when I'm not looking.

I always thought my firewire Alesis I/O 26 should be the better solution, but it is always giving me hell. The Audio 8 seems flawless.
Thanks. Sounds like the same MBP generation as mine. Though I'd be surprised if my soundcard is the weak link here and if my MOTU Ultralite doesn't cut it an upgrade is going to be expensive.
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JuanSOLO
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by JuanSOLO » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:47 pm

8O wrote:
Thanks. Sounds like the same MBP generation as mine. Though I'd be surprised if my soundcard is the weak link here and if my MOTU Ultralite doesn't cut it an upgrade is going to be expensive.[/quote]

Yeah, I'm not saying it's the sound card, I was just sharing my own experience. Forever I thought I was getting drop outs due to my Reaktor plugs. I gues my point is to try trouble shooting everything you can, and narrowing it down.

8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:32 pm

dum wrote:
8O wrote:It's a 7200rpm drive with over 300GB free on it.
doesn't matter, I've had disk-overloads with fewer instances of multi-samplers on an identical drive. and orchestral samples are notorious for it.

I'd rule out disk over-load before pushing on with solutions to a ram problem


laters!
Hmmm... how to rule out disk-overload? As mentioned before, the disk-overload icon in Live never comes on. I do see spikes in Disk Activity in Activity Monitor/iStat, but there's no scale as to what is the limit for the drive and moreover I get disk access spikes when I don't get audio drop-outs. In the past I've had the disk-overload icon come on, with Live 6 and 7, and the audio effect was much more marked - a really grinding to a stop of the audio. Here it's just a momentary gap. Anyway... how to eliminate this as the cause?
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dum
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by dum » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:04 am

8O wrote: Hmmm... how to rule out disk-overload? As mentioned before, the disk-overload icon in Live never comes on. I do see spikes in Disk Activity in Activity Monitor/iStat, but there's no scale as to what is the limit for the drive and moreover I get disk access spikes when I don't get audio drop-outs. In the past I've had the disk-overload icon come on, with Live 6 and 7, and the audio effect was much more marked - a really grinding to a stop of the audio. Here it's just a momentary gap. Anyway... how to eliminate this as the cause?
Well I suppose you could rule it out, somewhat indirectly, by making absolutely certain it is indeed a RAM issue causing the drop outs.
You said you had 1 gig of RAM to spare when your set was crapping out on you.... to me that doesn't sound like it's a problem caused by having too little RAM installed.

As for the disk-overload icon. Now that I think of it, I've only ever noticed it flashing when ableton was natively causing the disk-overload either via CLIPS or SAMPLER. I don't recall it flashing when a 3rd party app was causing the overload. Maybe a coincidence. Maybe you found a bug "under certain circumstances disk-overload icon does not function" ..heh

do you have SAMPLER ? ... you could try importing the .nki files
loading libraries into RAM is exceedingly straight forward with SAMPLER
maybe you'd be missing out on some of the kontakt specific scripting aspects of the libraries, but it might be a good enough procedure to assess how much of an effect RAM limitations are having...or disk over load...

Kontakt I currently have no great experience with, but from what I've read it uses a 'DFD' buffer. Which is some kind of 'from disk' streaming buffer. I think reducing it would mean the library puts more emphasis on RAM.. which i think would be ideal in this case. Also, any kind of multi-sampler disk streaming can cause issues depending on the swap-file/virtualRAM settings of your OS. all that streaming = fail.


at this stage, if I were you, I'd be googling 'kontakt 4 player' + 'ram' or 'disk overload'
and posting a query over at NI... I'm guessing seasoned kontakt 4 folks might have a quick way of isolating and addressing the prob.

I dunno, I suppose it could somehow be a not-enough-RAM problem despite having 1 gig of it to spare when the problem occurs, it just happens to smell strongly of 'disk overload'

*shrug*
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:44 am

Ta for the constructive suggestions... will investigate deeper...

Just a quick one:
dum wrote:As for the disk-overload icon. Now that I think of it, I've only ever noticed it flashing when ableton was natively causing the disk-overload either via CLIPS or SAMPLER. I don't recall it flashing when a 3rd party app was causing the overload. Maybe a coincidence. Maybe you found a bug "under certain circumstances disk-overload icon does not function" ..heh
yes, the KP2 has its own disk and cpu usage icons in its GUI, but checked them too and neither of these register any great load while playing, though it's hard to monitor more than one instance at a time: could be a cumulative effect...
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dum
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by dum » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:31 pm

8O wrote:the KP2 has its own disk and cpu usage icons in its GUI, but checked them too and neither of these register any great load while playing, though it's hard to monitor more than one instance at a time: could be a cumulative effect...
Which doesn't seem all that improbable to me...

I use a similar spec machine and Komplete is incoming, so I'm staying tuned..
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

steko
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by steko » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:44 pm

Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:26 pm

Ta, but I know the memory side of the the Activity Monitor, it's the Disk Activity part that I'm new to, max throughput per process - hard to gauge on a graph that appears to keep normalising itself.

Anyway, I'm too impatient and just went with my gut feeling and upgraded from 2GB to 4GB RAM and whaddya know, the drop-outs have stopped completely... :D

I'll be sure to be back here crying for help when my set with 20 instances of KP2 starts clicking... :wink:

Just some more info:
dum wrote:You said you had 1 gig of RAM to spare when your set was crapping out on you.... to me that doesn't sound like it's a problem caused by having too little RAM installed.
Just to be precise, what I said was that Live was taking 1GB RAM out of 2GB on the machine. But that doesn't mean I have 1 gig spare. OS X is taking almost half a gig of that spare space as wired allocation. Right now with all applications closed, only Firefox with 1 tab running and some background stuff like iStat, wired + active = 900MB RAM...!

Very happy to get back to making music now, but lesson learnt (RTFM for KP2) for the next time...

Cheers forum - thanks for your help! :D
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steko
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by steko » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:33 pm

:D Congrats! If you got Page outs or Swap before, OS X should be snappier now too.
Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

8O
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Re: Drop-outs - Live's fault or just underpowered laptop?

Post by 8O » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:42 pm

steko wrote::D Congrats! If you got Page outs or Swap before, OS X should be snappier now too.
I was, and it is. :)
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