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 Post subject: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:21 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:13 am
Posts: 18
Hey guys,

I have decided to use Ableton to record my latest mix, so basically the audio went from Ableton on my MacBook Pro to my Ecler Evo 5 via Firewire and back to a channel in Ableton that would record the whole thing.

I was surprised that after about 45 minutes of recording, it suddenly stopped- so I lost the rest of the set as I didn't realize it stopped, since I was in arrangement view. The file was 2.14gb, which makes sense since I was recording it in 32bit, but I don't really understand why it stopped- I have more than 300 GB available.

I checked the Preferences and didn't find anything. I will obviously go to 16 bit for future recordings, but what kind of limitation is this?

I am running Ableton Suite 8, if it helps.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:39 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 3185
Location: Reading, UK
That sounds like Programmer limit - someone using the wrong type to hold the file size - chalk that upto something else to sort out if/when they eventuallyy do 64 bit.

No wonder it ttaking so long :?

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:41 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 15753
Location: The Wild West
just a wild guess but it almost sounds like you bottlenecked somewhere... i.e. ran out of RAM or buffer.

another thing that could have happened is you had something interfere like a network or wifi adapter, another app of some kind... etc.

its going to be really hard for anyone here to tell you for sure. you could try sending support@ableton.com a bug report... they might be able to identify something from that.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:11 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 3185
Location: Reading, UK
2.14GB sounds like 2147483647 bytes which is also the limit of a 32 bit signed int.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:38 am
Posts: 320
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
I think you guys are right about exceeding the amount of memory that Ableton can use.

However 2.14 GB actually converts to 2297807503.36 bytes. Most people think there are exactly 1000 MB in a GB. Really there are 1024 MB in a GB.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 3185
Location: Reading, UK
That depends on how the value is displayed. Systems are not consitent.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 14495
It's not an Ableton recording limit, Wav and Aiff have filesize limits.

Aiff is limited to 2GB (apparently)
Apple wrote:
the AIFF file format cannot handle audio file recordings larger than 2 GB"
(Logic user manual, p. 441).



Wav can handle up to 4gb
wikipedia wrote:
The WAV format is limited to files that are less than 4 GB, because of its use of a 32-bit unsigned integer to record the file size header (some programs limit the file size to 2–4 GB).[14] Although this is equivalent to about 6.8 hours of CD-quality audio (44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo), it is sometimes necessary to exceed this limit, especially when greater sampling rates or bit resolutions are required.



when we record at 32bit and >44.1khz , we run out of filesize pretty quick
Khazul apparently knows a way around this, I certainly don't

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:04 pm
Posts: 91
Location: Berlin
Angstrom wrote:
It's not an Ableton recording limit, Wav and Aiff have filesize limits.

Aiff is limited to 2GB (apparently)
Apple wrote:
the AIFF file format cannot handle audio file recordings larger than 2 GB"
(Logic user manual, p. 441).



Wav can handle up to 4gb
wikipedia wrote:
The WAV format is limited to files that are less than 4 GB, because of its use of a 32-bit unsigned integer to record the file size header (some programs limit the file size to 2–4 GB).[14] Although this is equivalent to about 6.8 hours of CD-quality audio (44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo), it is sometimes necessary to exceed this limit, especially when greater sampling rates or bit resolutions are required.



when we record at 32bit and >44.1khz , we run out of filesize pretty quick
Khazul apparently knows a way around this, I certainly don't



Thats right!
I run a 64 bit Win7 Thinkpad and I have no problems handling projects around 3GB- 3,8GB RAM use with my live 8.
It´s the OS that gives Live the resources.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 3185
Location: Reading, UK
Angstrom wrote:
Khazul apparently knows a way around this, I certainly don't


Do I? Where did I say that?

Anyway - if AIFF has a 2GB limit, then that would be the problem. I guess someone in the dim and distant past used a long (32 bit compiler) instead of unsigned long in the container chunk size field. Im no a mac developer, so AIFF aint my thing :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 14495
Khazul wrote:
Angstrom wrote:
Khazul apparently knows a way around this, I certainly don't


Do I? Where did I say that?
)


here

Khazul wrote:
That sounds like Programmer limit - someone using the wrong type to hold the file size - chalk that upto something else to sort out if/when they eventuallyy do 64 bit.

No wonder it ttaking so long :?


I wasn't aware that they could do anything in a new version of Live to address this issue. I thought Wav had a 32 bit header by definition, hence the limit. the relevant part of the header is too small.

I don't know for sure, because I'm not a developer; I only know that I haven't encountered a longer wav / aiff and this is why. It seems you know of a way to make them longer, hence "something else to sort out" . They can sort it out you say.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 3185
Location: Reading, UK
Angstrom wrote:
I don't know for sure, because I'm not a developer; I only know that I haven't encountered a longer wav / aiff and this is why. It seems you know of a way to make them longer, hence "something else to sort out" . They can sort it out you say.


WAV does have a 32 bit chunk header as well, but typedef'd as DWORD - ie unsigned 32 bit int, so its a 4GB limit, not 2GB. Both AIFF and WAV (RIFF) are based upon the same historical file format, so they are very similar, I had assumed both used unsigned chunk sizes (as I a window developer, not a mac developer) - I guess not - Apple must have stuck with the old signed chunk sizes while MS didnt.

So the something else to sort referred to allowing them to be a full 4GB and not just 2GB, or even support the RF64 header (dunno if AIFF has an equivalent, no reason for it not to) or do what some other applications do to extend the file beyond 4GB.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 14495
ah I see, sorry - I saw mention of his Macbook Pro and straight away assumed his files were Aif, with the Aif limit of 2gb. Not much they could do about that other than let the user switch to Wav in prefs. I'm only assuming that Ableton allows 4gb wavs, as I can't remember the last >45mins long recording I made to verify my assumption though.


I also thought you had a methodology for writing non-standard audio files with 64 bit headers or something. I assume that's possible as long as you never want to open them anywhere else. I have no idea what length that would give you but exponentially longer I assume.

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Posts: 3185
Location: Reading, UK
Angstrom wrote:
I also thought you had a methodology for writing non-standard audio files with 64 bit headers or something. I assume that's possible as long as you never want to open them anywhere else. I have no idea what length that would give you but exponentially longer I assume.


I beleive Adobe audition uses some hack that involved writing the file chunk header size as 0xffffffff, then just appending more chunks each up upto 4GB to the file as needed, so in theory it can read/write WAV files of whatever length the underlying file system can support. The way to detech such a file is a file length that is much bigger than the size indicated by the RIFF header (or simply more than 4GB in length and to not close a stream until a real EOF is encountered). I wouldnt be suprised if they employed a similar hack to AIFF files for the Mac version.

RF64 is a stardard used by the broadcast industry that allows for an extended 64 bit header as well and is the preferred way to do this. I dont know if AIF has been extended in the same way, however there is no reason why it shouldnt be. In fact WAV/RIFF, AIFF and RF64 extension should just throw in togther for a single 64 bit length compatible standard, but I guess its the usual not-invented-here syndrome that fucks it all up for the rest of us who just want stuff that works. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:51 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:13 am
Posts: 18
Thanks for the awesome feedback guys! Must be that AIFF size limit then, pretty sure it is.

I will record in 16bit from now on, not the end of the world really but glad to have an explanation now! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ableton recording limit?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:28 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:26 am
Posts: 17
THis is silly. I have many reasons to want to record more than a couple hours audio. (Live gigs, performances). Ableton is great as an affordable live recording mixer with it's non destructivfe automation, sidechaining and general stability.

Can't it just make a new file everytime it gets to 2gb (4gb) that shows as one continuous track in the GUI and plays back seemlessly based on some back end data base entry or playlist?


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