Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
wjbuchanan
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Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:04 am

Hi All,
I've recently moved to OSX and was slightly disappointed to see that I can't turn off SpeedStep for my C2D...it really seemed to make OSX perform worse in comparison to Windows.

This software was designed to fix the "whine" issue seen on MBP's
http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/107/mac ... ise-update
http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/21714/quietmbp

However, it also has the effect of blocking SpeedStep - which is a good thing for audio use.

I'm running Live 8.2.5 on a Macbook Pro 2.4GHz 10.6 with samples set to the lowest setting for the internal audio card - 14.
4 x instances of imPOScar2 and 1 x of Simpler = 43% CPU usage in Live + lots of clicks/pops.

With QuietMBP running (MS setting @ 0) the CPU usage is reduced to 23% instantly!

Try it..! Can any confirm if this works with the new i5/i7 processors and/or Lion?

Cheers

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:15 pm

Bump...noone interested in this?

oxygen23
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by oxygen23 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:37 pm

Wow..Definitely interested in this..Thank you so much, sir :D

wjbuchanan
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:40 pm

Any feedback?


moreofmorris
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by moreofmorris » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:40 pm

I'll give this a bash.

So what you saying? Install QuietMBP, set it to 0, and just run Live normally as I would? I have pretty much the exact same setup as you (apart from now I'm on Lion).

Captain Johnson
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by Captain Johnson » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:50 pm

Using 2.2GHz C2D 2G Ram 10.6.4 OSX, Using 8 channels, 4 audio, 2 drum machines, 2 sample tracks. Usually hitting 35%-40% max when everything is going off. Using Quiet MBP keeps me at 28%-32% no change. AWESOME!!!! Will be better when I finally install 4G RAM!!

.............................Cheers for this boss find 8)

pepezabala
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by pepezabala » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:55 pm

would this work and have a similar effect on an old macbook? (2Ghz C2D)

sexface
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by sexface » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Very intrigued by this; will definitely give a shot later today.

Thanks for this, wjbuchanan (WJ?)

moreofmorris
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by moreofmorris » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:21 pm

Captain Johnson wrote:Using 2.2GHz C2D 2G Ram 10.6.4 OSX, Using 8 channels, 4 audio, 2 drum machines, 2 sample tracks. Usually hitting 35%-40% max when everything is going off. Using Quiet MBP keeps me at 28%-32% no change. AWESOME!!!! Will be better when I finally install 4G RAM!!

.............................Cheers for this boss find 8)
What are you doing? Just installing QuietMBP, setting it to 0 and running along with your normal Ableton Live rig?

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:04 pm

Hi folks...yes this should work fine with C2D as I'm running it on a 2007 MBP.

If someone could check to see if this works with the new i5/i7 processors, I'd appreciate it as I'd like to upgrade at some point.

I'm just running the program in the background whilst Ableton is playing, you can instantly see the CPU usage change if you close it.

I have another tip for you all...

I've seen many posts stating that an advantage of using Windows over OSX is that you can set the Ableton process to "realtime" in Task Manager.

Well, it's actually possible to do the same thing in OSX as well!

Firstly, load Ableton and goto Activity Monitor. Look for the Ableton process and note the number in the "PID" column.

Then, load Terminal and type the following command - substituting "PID" for the number you noted before.

If you are having issues running these commands, you may need to enable the root account

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1528

Code: Select all

sudo renice -20 PID

moonpie
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by moonpie » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:19 pm

littlejim84 wrote:I'll give this a bash.

So what you saying? Install QuietMBP, set it to 0, and just run Live normally as I would? I have pretty much the exact same setup as you (apart from now I'm on Lion).

Yeah, what are people using as the default setting (for those of us who <hopefully> dont have the whine problem, so dont know what level to take it up to)
wjbuchanan wrote:Hi folks...yes this should work fine with C2D as I'm running it on a 2007 MBP.

If someone could check to see if this works with the new i5/i7 processors, I'd appreciate it as I'd like to upgrade at some point.

I'm just running the program in the background whilst Ableton is playing, you can instantly see the CPU usage change if you close it.

I have another tip for you all...

I've seen many posts stating that an advantage of using Windows over OSX is that you can set the Ableton process to "realtime" in Task Manager.

Well, it's actually possible to do the same thing in OSX as well!

Firstly, load Ableton and goto Activity Monitor. Look for the Ableton process and note the number in the "PID" column.

Then, load Terminal and type the following command - substituting "PID" for the number you noted before.

If you are having issues running these commands, you may need to enable the root account

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1528

Code: Select all

sudo renice -20 PID

The command trick in osx looks interesting - Id need to know how to reverse it 1st before I attempted it. I wonder would it slow down use of plugins or the operating system in general. Worth giving a shot though if it was easy enough to reverse.

wjbuchanan
Posts: 143
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by wjbuchanan » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:34 pm

Hi moonpie,
Just restart Live - the changes only affect the process that is currently running.

If you wanted to switch instantly, you could substitute "20" for "0".

If you want to learn more, type

Code: Select all

man renice
into terminal

http://superuser.com/questions/42817/is ... n-mac-os-x

Piplodocus
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by Piplodocus » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:08 pm

Interesting post!

I've got an i7 MBP but it's finally running everything nice since I got an SSD and I don't run out of HDD access, so I'm overly cautious to try ANYTHING with it atm.
I guess you can set up something to start Live using "nice" rather than "renice"ing it after too. Did you try -20? That article seems to suggest -10 is the max, and recommends not going too crazy to begin with! I wouldn't want the entire system to grind to a halt at the expense of Live. There's plenty of things I use at the same time for doing music!
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Mac OSX: 10.8.2, Live Suite: 9.0.2 (64-bit) Live user since:v5 (Above now has an APC40, 8GB RAM and a Diezel 212F Cab but currently too lazy to re-draw it all)

infiniteB
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Re: Howto : Make Ableton use Less CPU in OSX

Post by infiniteB » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:26 pm

littlejim84 wrote:
Captain Johnson wrote:Using 2.2GHz C2D 2G Ram 10.6.4 OSX, Using 8 channels, 4 audio, 2 drum machines, 2 sample tracks. Usually hitting 35%-40% max when everything is going off. Using Quiet MBP keeps me at 28%-32% no change. AWESOME!!!! Will be better when I finally install 4G RAM!!

.............................Cheers for this boss find 8)
What are you doing? Just installing QuietMBP, setting it to 0 and running along with your normal Ableton Live rig?
Agreed. Just make sure QuietMBP is installed right, as well as Ableton Live. If not, unfortunately, re-installs are necessary to make sure there are no glitches or stutters that aren't wanted or needed. If all is running smoothly, there's your answer. This is the only way to make sure Ableton and your computer communicate correctly with each other.
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