Since v9.2 Ableton is borderline useless for me

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
xmonsta
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:44 pm

Re: Since v9.2 Ableton is borderline useless for me

Post by xmonsta » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:26 pm

There are a few ways we've seen that can alleviate these problems - and help you get right to the cause of them quickly. Quite often it's something super simple.... And once you get it resolved - it's happy music making again :) All DAW's suffer from these problems (due to 3rd party software developers mostly). Ableton is generally a very well tested and robust piece of software on it's own. In a way, Max For Live is a way of trying to get some kind of standard and integration with the DAW, so these crashes happen less often and you can get all the fun stuff - without all the pain. The key is isolating the problem and once you have found it you can make your system super stable.

1) Check the ableton log file straight after the crash.

This location mentions Ableton crash packs - but really what you want is the Ableton preferences folder (it will be inside the numbered version you are using)
https://www.ableton.com/en/help/article ... ash-packs/

An example on windows is:
C:\Users\[MY-COMPUTER-NAME]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live 9.6\Preferences\Log.txt

Go to the bottom of this file straight away after a crash, and it might give you a clue as to what crashed it (python, max device, VST?) and might give you the name of the device/vst.

2) Start with only using Ableton Native Devices. Then add devices (VST's and Max Devices) until you get the error.

3) If you already have a set that keeps crashing, try and isolate the problem, by deleting tracks one by one.

4) Try to figure out the thing you did when the crash happened, what VST were you using, what Max device were you using??? This is really important - do you have a particular device that is going "hell for leather" on automation, or really using some intensive process?? Remember, that you can automate anything in live, so it could be something you made a while back, that is causing the problem.

5) Try to freeze your tracks one by one, once you have finished doing your thing.... If you do this, you are pretty much guaranteed to get no errors, because everything is bounced down. At the same time (before freezing) save each track you're using as a preset. Then if anything goes wrong, you can just rebuild the whole set if you need to. Track by track.

6) When you get a new max device or VST, road test it. Try creating a set and max that plugin out (no pun intended...).

7 ) If it's a max device or vst crashing the set - go into your Ableton Library and delete that device momentarily - when the set loads, it will load an empty device in it's place - and crucially, it will not crash the set on load. This way you can re-instantiate the device, or find a way to work around or resolve the problem that it's caused once the set it open.

8 ) If your set is crashing on load - delete all the devices/vst that the set uses and add them one by one, until you find which one the set crashes with.

9) Make sure you have compatible versions of Ableton and Max. This is very important. Each version of Max for Live is only compatible with the same version of Ableton at the point of release date. For instance Live 9.6 is really only compatible with Max 7.2.1. Ableton will likely work with older versions of Max for live, but there could be awful bugs. Generally, Ableton and Max versions should be exactly in sync with each other.

10) Save your undo.cfg (inside the preferences folder again), by zipping it up, or copying it somewhere else. When your live set opens up, it will ask you "Live unexpectedly quite while you were working, would you like to recover your work"? Quite often when you select "yes", your undo.cfg file will be killed for good. Your undo.cfg will be overwritten with the previous known working set. All that work you have done in your set will be lost. If you have saved your undo.cfg file you can just keep copying it back to the original location (while deleting the offending VST's or Max devices to try and isolate the issue). In other words, you can still save all the work you have done (you just have to make sure that you've kept the undo.cfg file)

11) Don't edit max for live, while you are making music. If you want to edit Max for live devices, once you have finished, make sure you close your live set completely - even go into your task manager and make sure Max is completely killed. There is a huge difference between max running in the background and max running inside live. Try not to mix them up.

Hope it helps

Si
Last edited by xmonsta on Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:13 am, edited 6 times in total.
http://www.xmonsta.com Music devices and controllers for Ableton Live

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Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Since v9.2 Ableton is borderline useless for me

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:51 pm

xmonsta wrote: The key is isolating the problem and once you have found it you can make your system super stable.
All excellent advice in most situations and a phase you really can't ignore if you actually want to be problem free.

The most irritating issues are those that are elusive and intermittent. I have one such since a long time that I've posted a thread about: Unresponsive GUI once in a while? Sounds familiar?.
Make some music!

xmonsta
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:44 pm

Re: Since v9.2 Ableton is borderline useless for me

Post by xmonsta » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:25 am

Stromkraft wrote:
xmonsta wrote: The key is isolating the problem and once you have found it you can make your system super stable.
All excellent advice in most situations and a phase you really can't ignore if you actually want to be problem free.

The most irritating issues are those that are elusive and intermittent. I have one such since a long time that I've posted a thread about: Unresponsive GUI once in a while? Sounds familiar?.
Dammit Stromkraft you're pushing the Abletons too hard again and she cannae take it any more captain!

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No, but seriously, it sounds like a python issue, where there are two processes happening (one to communicate with push and the other with live) and the live communication is breaking down. Maybe if you're using multiple scripts they are conflicting with each other, and then the process of eliminating them is just to max them out, one by one. Although Im guessing you've already tried that...
http://www.xmonsta.com Music devices and controllers for Ableton Live

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Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Since v9.2 Ableton is borderline useless for me

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:51 am

xmonsta wrote: it sounds like a python issue, where there are two processes happening (one to communicate with push and the other with live) and the live communication is breaking down. Maybe if you're using multiple scripts they are conflicting with each other, and then the process of eliminating them is just to max them out, one by one. Although Im guessing you've already tried that...
Well, I didn't mean to expand my thread into here. At the moment I don't think alternative scripts are involved in any small issue I've had. Even if the suggestion comes up at first contact with Support, I think it's just one thing you need to rule out in the event of any strange issue.
Isolation is the only re-usable method that seem to work with anything, hardware or software. It can never be out of place to mention this approach as software isolation especially is a little hard to be sure you've managed to attain and some of it is out of the user's control.
Make some music!

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