Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Pyxis360
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Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by Pyxis360 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:41 pm

Hi all,

I bought a MBP 2.3 ghz 16 gigs of RAM SSD in April to get more power for my projects. I'm running Soundtoys, Waves, Kontakt, and Arturia synths. I began to notice Ableton's CPU usage was running pretty high...so high in fact I started to have to do work arounds which I've never had to do before. My projects start at a 64 buffer setting but sooner or later I'm bumping it up to 256/512 making tracking in real time through the software impossible.

So I thought hmm, maybe a more powerful machine will sort it out. I bought a brand new Mac Pro 6 core 32 gigs of RAM SSD, guess what? No change to the project, runs almost identical to the the i7 despite being a more powerful machine.

I then loaded up a similar project in PT 11 but I doubled the plugins and at 32 buffer setting I couldn't get the CPU above 14%!!!!

Something is seriously up here, any thoughts? Is anyone having serious CPU usage in Ableton but then not in other programs?

I have 14 days to return the Mac Pro and if my I7 is fine and it's just Ableton then it would be good to know.

login
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by login » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:02 pm

The CPU meter AFIK only repeort one core.

That being said overall Live is less efficient than other hosts.

Pyxis360
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by Pyxis360 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:33 pm

Hmm really? Well if that's the case then one core is being reported at 75% which begs the question if Ableton is evenly distributing across the cores/system.

eyeknow
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by eyeknow » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:52 pm

You might be running into an issue I used to have where I'd think "holy crap, look at all the cpu" and not realize that if you add 10 more instances the cpu meter roughly stays the same.

Still though, I hear of people time to time having issues with there being stoppage/issues still if you somehow get the meter to 60-70%

I wonder if it works kinda like sonar. With that you can see the first core being overwhelmed at first, but oddly as you add stuff.......then it starts to distribute. I think logic does this too. Reaper is the most "relaxed" cpu use. I don't care what the voodoo is but when I used reaper it never spiked no matter what I did with it.

dboy
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by dboy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:59 pm

Same issues here. Live is, unfortunately, very inefficient on a Macbook Pro (I7 here, fans spin like crazy). Throwing more "grunt" at it won't help. Doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon either as the devs have pretty much passed on the issue.

fishmonkey
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by fishmonkey » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:44 pm

Pyxis360 wrote:Hmm really? Well if that's the case then one core is being reported at 75% which begs the question if Ableton is evenly distributing across the cores/system.
in Live, all devices on a single track end up on a single core. always. various routings between tracks will also limit multiprocessor use. search the forum, there are a number of threads about it.

every other linear DAW is better at multiprocessing, simply because they do not have to deal with continuously processing and streaming the audio when you add/remove devices, etc. etc. etc. etc.

both Live and Bitwig are more demanding on your CPUs because they keep audio flowing while enabling you to mess with stuff on the fly...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

ansolas
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by ansolas » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:16 pm

I also notice that some things , especially max4live devices can have a high impact on teh CPU usage.
Besides that I notices that I regulary get cracks when reaching 70 - 80 % CPU usage :/


eyeknow
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by eyeknow » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:13 am

Well I'll be a monkeys dongle.

ansolas
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by ansolas » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:17 am

How does that explain crackles at 70% load ?

fishmonkey
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:22 am

ansolas wrote:
How does that explain crackles at 70% load ?
Live's audio processing meter doesn't know about other processes running on your machine that might cause glitches. and of course its display is not instantaneous. if you are getting close to the audio processing limit, then it is relatively easy for something else on your machine to cause a glitch.

https://www.ableton.com/en/articles/why ... y-monitor/
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

ansolas
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by ansolas » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:28 am

fishmonkey wrote:
ansolas wrote:
How does that explain crackles at 70% load ?
Live's audio processing meter doesn't know about other processes running on your machine that might cause glitches. and of course its display is not instantaneous. if you are getting close to the audio processing limit, then it is relatively easy for something else on your machine to cause a glitch.

https://www.ableton.com/en/articles/why ... y-monitor/
I have nothing else running on my DAW, any other idea ?

Hermanus
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by Hermanus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:47 am

ansolas wrote: I have nothing else running on my DAW, any other idea ?
he meant other softwares running on your machine [=computer!].
You have other processes running on your machine, not your DAW.
Your operating system uses many background processes...

Even on windows without some tweaking, audio work can be a mess.
set up your OS [this is what we are talking about] and prepare it for audio purpose!

best

ansolas
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by ansolas » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:49 am

Hermanus wrote:
ansolas wrote: I have nothing else running on my DAW, any other idea ?
he meant other softwares running on your machine [=computer!].
You have other processes running on your machine, not your DAW.
Your operating system uses many background processes...

Even on windows without some tweaking, audio work can be a mess.
set up your OS [this is what we are talking about] and prepare it for audio purpose!

best
I am on OSX and never experienced any crackles with other DAW at 70% CPU Load .

Do you have a suggestion how to determine the source of such issue ? How to find those process' ?
How to specifically tune OSX for audio ?

fishmonkey
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Re: Ableton 9.1.4 - CPU running high compared to other DAW's

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:38 am

many of the tips on this page are also useful for an OS X audio setup:

http://figure53.com/notes/2013-10-29-pr ... ubleshoot/
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

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