Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

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levelpan24
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Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by levelpan24 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:36 am

Have had some problems with Live crashing while using Amplitube 3 VST on my Macbook Pro.IK Multimedia support said to try it as a AU and see how it works.I wasnt aware that you could even use AU's with Live.So far Ive tried it with a couple of songs and its worked alright,but before I tried that I had updated Live to the latest version hoping that it would fix the problem and it took awhile before it started crashing again with VST.So Im a little skeptical.So what do you guys think? AU's more stable on a Mac? Any help would be great.Thanks

3phase
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by 3phase » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:47 am

thats a valid question but not easy to answer,, a propper programed au is supposed to run better on a mac..
while a badly programed one can cause problems..and it seems that many plug in programmers know still more about vst programming than au programming.. so there are many cases where an au version of a plug makes problem but the vst version is ok..

and the other way around.. really depends.. with ableton life you actually can use booth simultaniously..

au and vst´s in the same projekt..

i just wonder if that has risks or is eating up more cpu than just using one plug in system ..
thats actually a question maybe only ableton people can answer. sofar i cant say that i observed problems here, but i try to use as few plugs as possibke anyway..

anybody any opinion regardng mixed AU/VST setups?
Last edited by 3phase on Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Khazul
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by Khazul » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:21 am

Some aspect of Live seem to suggest its native plugin system was design around an old VST standard features and then enhanced for native stuff and VST and AU support, so I would guess they both have a similar level of abstraction between core Live and current VST/AU APIs (maybe slightly favouring VST still) - this might actually have been the source of the automation/clock latency issues - ie an old design at core that hasnt kept up with all evolution of these APIs and common support functions - just updates for bug fixes etc.

I kind of hope that VST3 might be the kick needed to update a whole load of under the covers stuff as ableton have allready done some VST3 like things for some of their native plugins. That said - has anyone other thasn steinberg supported VST3 yet in a DAW?

As far mixing of VST and AU, cant see any reason why it shoud cause a problem. Maybe a specific plugin might not like having an AU and VST version loaded at the same time in the same process space, but that would just be a buggy plugin.
Last edited by Khazul on Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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luddy
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by luddy » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:29 am

Some plug-ins work better for me as VST; for example, the Flux plug-ins have graphics problems (don't display metering properly) as AUs but are fine as VSTs. For most plug-ins it doesn't seem to matter.

I get crashes if I put PSP Nitro into a project as an AU and then later, in the same project, as a VST.

fwiw,

-Luddy

UncleAge
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by UncleAge » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:57 am

Almost all of my plugs come install vst and au versions. I wouldn't say that either is spec'ed to be more stable than the other. I've had problems with both and I have had success with both. I am more apt to use a vst though as that part of the menu is usually open in my setup due to my heavy use of plugins that send midi data (it's a vst thing).

I only have one plug that is more predictable in one format versus the other and that's Zebrify. I have a small problem on my system when I use it as a vst. That problem doesn't cause any instability in Live though. The plug just reacts differently when used as a vst so I use the au version instead.

I've seen a thread or two discussing the merits of both @ kvr between a bunch of respected devs. There wasn't much consensus amongst the group when it came to the difficulty of programming then supporting the au versions versus others. It was a bit of an eye opener really. And I say that to say that I doubt there is a definitive answer to your question of stability between these two plugin spec's.

Forge.
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by Forge. » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:33 am

it depends on the plugins - Waves only officially support the VST version in Live, whereas one of the NI forum moderators said on this forum once that NI recommend using the AU versions

If IK multimedia recommend using the AU version, then use it.

I guess it would make sense to check out the sites of all your plug-in developers, because they probably all have an FAQ or threads on their forums that discuss this.

Also, check the Ableton "Live Audio Unit and VST Status" thread, http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25171

cids
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by cids » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:16 am

Never experienced a difference... but I use mostly VSTs because of interoperability with my friends in the Windows world...
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ashtonron
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by ashtonron » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:36 am

Interesting comment in the release notes of Audio Damage EOS
AND FINALLY: This is only semi-related. I've lately noticed a lot of people that use Live as their main DAW, and don't have Logic at all, who use the AU instead of the VST. All our recent products are built using Sonic Charge's Symbiosis compatibility layer, and the AU is just a VST with an extra layer of crap on top to make it act like an AU. With commercial plug-ins, it is very rare for the plug to be a true AU. Almost all commercial plugs use some sort of compatibility layer or wrapper to create the AU, and you are nearly always better off using the VST, given the choice between the two.

I imagine that the reasoning behind using an AU in Live is that people think "well, I'm on an Apple. The AU must be better!!!" This is false. The AU is never better. Ever. You might like the preset mechanism more, but as far as Live's presets go, this is a transparent experience to the user, and thus moot. The only reason you'd have for using an AU in Live is if you want to make presets there and then use them in Logic or DP, or vice-versa. If you don't do this, use the VST..
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antarktika
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by antarktika » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:43 am

It might all be in my head, but it seems to me that VST versions eat up way less cpu than AU, I recently started using vst, seems to have less problems.

Khazul
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by Khazul » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:28 pm

Just had a quick look over the AU SDK (*very quick* i should say), but at first glance it looks like the AU sdk is basically a redesign of the original steinberg VST 2.x APIs with a bunch of stuff cleaned up and a more coherent class hierchary and with some VST 3 like features added.

But (!), Ive never actually written a plugin against the AU API so could be wrong :)

If an VST performs better than an AU, the that might be simply that the original plugin was forst written for VST then adapted to AU. Similarly, you might find that some plugins work better with AU become they were written for AU first then later adapted to VST. It kind of looks like it might actually be easier to adapt an AU to VST3 than a VST2.x to VST3.x ironically especially if the AU is allready presenting VST3 like features (arbitary channel count support for eg).
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by glitchrock-buddha » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:15 pm

I use only VSTs in Live, although I'm on a mac and have Logic too. More developers develop VSTs because they are cross-platform and I've noticed less troubles in VSTs than AUs. I also prefer the preset handling with VSTs. Oh ya and Novation automap works waaaaaayyyy better with VSTs and doesn't lock you into using automap forever (you can remove the automap version any time and the VST instances remain the same in a song as normal VST). AU with automap is crap. In Logic, I'll just use Kore to use the VST versions even.
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Khazul
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by Khazul » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:06 pm

Just seen the quote above from AD - interesting, kind of expect Apple to have done a better job, but I guess not :)
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levelpan24
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by levelpan24 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:43 pm

Thanks for all the replies.Lot of info on aspects I didnt even know about.Although admittedly Im sort of a newb and some of this went over my head.Guess its trial and error until something works.

levelpan24
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Re: Are AU's more stable than VST's when running Live on a Mac?

Post by levelpan24 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:12 am

Update:It crashed.It beat the VST's record by a good couple of sessions.God I looove computers!!.IK Multimedia hasnt gotten back to me yet.The only other option I know of right now is to reinstall the software on the basis that it might not have installed right to begin with.Any thoughts?

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