Is Live very CPU demanding?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
jlgrimes
Posts: 1533
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by jlgrimes » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:42 am

SvenH wrote:I am in the middle of my Live trial period and I just noticed that I can barely run one instance of Diva or Serum without geting audio crackles.

I have a new computer with Intel Core i7 6700K with 32GB RAM and it can handle several instances of these synths in Studio One without problem, so I wonder if Live is very CPU demanding?
Diva is pretty demanding depending on the settings of the plugin

You mention you hear crackles. What is your CPU meter showing?

If it is like 50% or lower, it could be buffer settings I'd guess.

What kind of hard drive you have. I remember on older hard drives, Live being demanding. Are you using the 64 bit version?

On the 32 bit version, Live only uses 4 gigs of Ram which might force it to rely more on your hard drive.

I know Diva is CPU intensive but I don't think it is memory intensive (I could be wrong)

SvenH
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by SvenH » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:05 am

cskracer wrote: I have an i7-4790K (an older CPU) and 32gb of ram running on Windows 10 with a Focusrite 2i4 and I can run multiple instances of Diva, Bazille and Zebra at once in conjunction with numerous other VSTs and don't experience any audio problems. I'm not sure what the issue is, but I doubt it's a CPU one.

I'll have a crack at loading up the pad you've mentioned tonight when I get home from work and see how many I can run before I hit issues.
Thanks! I will be very interested in the result!

SvenH
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by SvenH » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:24 am

jlgrimes wrote: You mention you hear crackles. What is your CPU meter showing?

If it is like 50% or lower, it could be buffer settings I'd guess.

What kind of hard drive you have. I remember on older hard drives, Live being demanding. Are you using the 64 bit version?

On the 32 bit version, Live only uses 4 gigs of Ram which might force it to rely more on your hard drive.

I know Diva is CPU intensive but I don't think it is memory intensive (I could be wrong)
The cpu meter flickers a lot and is hard to read, maybe it varies between 30% and 90%? I use SSD drives.

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

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:35 am

SvenH wrote:
jlgrimes wrote: You mention you hear crackles. What is your CPU meter showing?
The cpu meter flickers a lot and is hard to read, maybe it varies between 30% and 90%? I use SSD drives.
You mean the internal CPU load meter? It shouldn't flicker wildly with a more or less constant load as when you loop a section. What about the meter that come with your OS? The internal meter is only part of the story.
Make some music!

cskracer
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:53 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by cskracer » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:39 pm

I can run 4 instances of Diva in Divine mode playing a looped 4 note chord using the BS Beauty Pad preset without any audio issues. That puts me just on about 50% on the CPU indicator. I can run more but start to get the odd pop or crackle on 5 and by 6 instances which puts me at 70% on the CPU indicator I get a lot of noise.

Doesn't seem to make much difference if I swap between 32 or 64 samples on my buffer.

braduro
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:03 am

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by braduro » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:16 pm

So there you have a full gambit of perspectives. Only place I'd object is that I find the focusrite drivers satisfactory. Those CPU spikes are telling, however. Some memory leak in a plug-in maybe? Are any in trial mode, maybe bursting signal every 20-minutes? Are you bridging 32-bit versions? Are you hot swapping while feeding midi or a side-signal rather than using the VST's own preset manager? How's the temperature manager on the laptop itself? SSD's are quiet, but without good ventilation, even they will arrest your performance. It's really not my area of expertise.

As folks reiterated, playback comes first and foremost in Live, so if that's cracking up, there's an endemic issue.

SvenH
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by SvenH » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:58 pm

OK, so a friend of mine gave the tip to *switch off* multicore support, and for some strange reason that works much better than having it on! I can now at least run one or two Divas/one or two Serums without crackles, so that's a major improvement! I wonder if Ableton implemented multicore support in the right way?

With multicore support disabled, I seem to get similar performance to Studio One with multicore support disabled. When I switch on multicore support, Studio One gets a lot better, but Ableton gets a lot worse...

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

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:46 pm

SvenH wrote: I wonder if Ableton implemented multicore support in the right way?
Well, Live implements multi-core by distributing tracks per core. That's more economical programing I think. When plug-ins like Diva want to use multi-core they must be by-passing this somehow and that overhead or added latency might be enough to disturb audio. I'm not sure exactly how this works though. Maybe ask u-he about Diva in Live?

Toggling multicore on or off in the plug-in itself is a standard test when you have problems with crackles in Live. I'm not certain it can be said keeping it off always improves things. I think it's different with different plug-ins and probably is different depending on your CPU as well. Never heard Ableton's opinion on this though.
Make some music!

SvenH
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by SvenH » Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:22 am

cskracer wrote:I can run 4 instances of Diva in Divine mode playing a looped 4 note chord using the BS Beauty Pad preset without any audio issues. That puts me just on about 50% on the CPU indicator. I can run more but start to get the odd pop or crackle on 5 and by 6 instances which puts me at 70% on the CPU indicator I get a lot of noise.

Doesn't seem to make much difference if I swap between 32 or 64 samples on my buffer.
OK, so multicore support works well with Diva - repeating your experiment with the same pad, Diva in Divine mode, I can run 8 instances before running into problems. For Serum and Spire, however, I get worse result when turning multicore support on...

cskracer
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:53 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by cskracer » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:11 am

That sounds pretty good to me for Diva.

I don't own the other two plugins so can't test them on my machine.

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

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:30 pm

SvenH wrote:
OK, so multicore support works well with Diva - repeating your experiment with the same pad, Diva in Divine mode, I can run 8 instances before running into problems. For Serum and Spire, however, I get worse result when turning multicore support on...
Have you done anything about core parking as mentioned in this discussion "Disabling core parking - more CPU power without overclocking ?
Make some music!

SvenH
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by SvenH » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:28 pm

I don't want to be forced to ad hoc solutions for getting an acceptable performance from live. I have now used more than half of my trial period. My plan was to make a complete song during the trial period to examine all aspects of Live that are relevant for me, but instead of making a song I have spent almost half of my time so far debugging problems in Live.

Being a hobby musician that just have a couple of spare hours a week, it is important that I spend that time on making music rather than debugging. I am sure that Live is a great program for those that can get it to work out of the box, but I will have to pass this time. I will uninstall the program tonight. :(

Thanks again to all of you for trying to help! :)

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

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:09 pm

SvenH wrote:I don't want to be forced to ad hoc solutions for getting an acceptable performance from live. I have now used more than half of my trial period. My plan was to make a complete song during the trial period to examine all aspects of Live that are relevant for me, but instead of making a song I have spent almost half of my time so far debugging problems in Live.)
I don't see you debugging anything here. Investigating, yes. It's good you identified points that makes Live not relevant for you, but I'm not sure you've built the monster machine you think. Music computers, or any real time system, is not like computers in general.
Make some music!

SvenH
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 am
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by SvenH » Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:00 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
SvenH wrote:I don't want to be forced to ad hoc solutions for getting an acceptable performance from live. I have now used more than half of my trial period. My plan was to make a complete song during the trial period to examine all aspects of Live that are relevant for me, but instead of making a song I have spent almost half of my time so far debugging problems in Live.)
I don't see you debugging anything here. Investigating, yes. It's good you identified points that makes Live not relevant for you, but I'm not sure you've built the monster machine you think. Music computers, or any real time system, is not like computers in general.
I guess the essence of what I try to say is this:


My current computer (both in terms of hardware configuration as well as software configuration) seems to work very well without any tweaking with Studio One and Reaper. In Live, I only seem to get a fraction of that performance and that 1) hinders my workflow and 2) makes me loose confidence in Live.

(BTW I am very happy with Studio One except for one thing - it lacks those excellent, easy to use, well integrated samplers that Live has. That was the reason I wanted to try Live, but I have now found that it is not worth the hassle.)

ian_halsall
Posts: 1711
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 8:52 am
Location: South London
Contact:

Re: Is Live very CPU demanding?

Post by ian_halsall » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:05 pm

You will have to trouble shoot it - try loading a lightweight instrument like operator - nothing else - new song.

Create a patch with just a saw wave - what happens?

Add different instruments and see if you can find a pattern in the poor performance.

A few years ago I had an issue with Ableton Sampler with certain samples which just killed my disk - no idea why - just like 2 short samples - killed it.

I stopped using those samples and moved on....

Post Reply