Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Juls281
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by Juls281 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:02 am

Recently I decided to upgrade my laptop (Toshiba Satellite Pro L70-A-13x) with a 500GB SSD (Crucial MX500) and 16GB RAM (Crucial SODIMM DDR3L 1600MHz) because I found I was having disk overload issues. Already checked these two upgrades are compatible with the chipset of my laptop (Core i7 4700MQ).

After upgrading and installing all the windows 10/64bit, Ableton 64 bit and plugins I typically use I found that Ableton still finds it difficult to play a 32 track session and suddenly random tracks (sometimes the bass track, other the snare, or the guitar...) stop sounding because of this.

I have the session saved in the SSD (compiled in a unique project folder), Ableton and all the VST plugins are also in the SSD and all tracks are set to "RAM" in order to decrease disk access.

So, what is the problem? does it really not matter this upgrade and I should be thinking in buying a new laptop?
Is there any additional preference in Ableton _I should modify to obtain better performance?

jestermgee
Posts: 4138
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Contact:

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by jestermgee » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:07 am

Are you sure it’s disk overload?

Have you opened task manager and watched all your loads while you have issues? What kinds of throughput are being reported?

Could be audio buffer related or a limitation of your bus or something.

What kinds of instruments do you have on these tracks?

Juls281
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by Juls281 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:12 am

jestermgee wrote:Are you sure it’s disk overload?

Have you opened task manager and watched all your loads while you have issues? What kinds of throughput are being reported?

Could be audio buffer related or a limitation of your bus or something.

What kinds of instruments do you have on these tracks?
- Next time I´ll check the task manager if there´s any additional process running (already disabled typical win10 unecessary processes, such as indexing...)
- Audio buffer is set up to 4096 but still the D lights on.
- The session is only audio tracks.

jestermgee
Posts: 4138
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Contact:

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by jestermgee » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:21 am

I’d suggest watching the resource manager with an overview on disk I/O which should tell you what your data read and write performances are. Then with numbers you can research if that they put is normal for your system.

Nothing to do with extra processes unless they are accessing disk.

That’s a very high buffer. I’m guessing you don’t have an audio interface? That could be some of the issue if you are throwing many audio tracks at the poor windows drivers.

Juls281
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by Juls281 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:25 am

jestermgee wrote:I’d suggest watching the resource manager with an overview on disk I/O which should tell you what your data read and write performances are. Then with numbers you can research if that they put is normal for your system.

Nothing to do with extra processes unless they are accessing disk.

That’s a very high buffer. I’m guessing you don’t have an audio interface? That could be some of the issue if you are throwing many audio tracks at the poor windows drivers.
Well, I´ve tried with embedded soundcard, with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and with a Cymatic Audio uTrack24. This issue happens with all three options...

I will check the R/W performance...


Juls281
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by Juls281 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:29 am

On the other hand, when I import mono tracks to Ableton, it automatically convert them to stereo.
If I wanted to set them as mono I know I can use the utility plugin, but what I really want is to use a real Ableton mono track...is there a fast way round to get all the originally mono tracks as mono tracks in Ableton?

Maybe, part of the issue is I´m playing 32 mono tracks that are imported as stereo so Ableton is finally playing 64 tracks...

Juls281
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by Juls281 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:42 am

jestermgee wrote:Prob details all worth mentioning at the start next time
You are right, sorry for that

Juls281
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by Juls281 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:02 pm

So, I am testing the ableton session with the laptop soundcard right now.
Just press play and first 20"/30" everything sounds.
At that moment the "D" lights on and several audio tracks basically are not able to be played...

Project sample rate 48 kHz (all audio tracks at this sample rate and 24 bit depth).
All tracks checked with "RAM".

CPU load in Ableton is 50-70%.

Opened the task manager and checked:

RAM(16GB): 40%
SSD Disk (it marks 0% in the performance column): Write speed up to 800KB/s----Read speed 0KB/s. When having the D light on the disk speed transfer is very low or even 0KB/s

I don´t understand what is the problem with this...

Can anyone bring some light in here?

jestermgee
Posts: 4138
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Contact:

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by jestermgee » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:03 pm

Need to follow the logical bouncing ball.

If you are playing your project full of audio samples and the disk activity is low to none then the samples are not being read from the HDD, they must be in RAM (which you could confirm by first starting Live, noting the RAM usage then loading your set and noting the usage again).

If the overload is occurring and your samples are in RAM then you possibly have a RAM bandwidth issue (the speed of your ram bus is too slow). If unsure, google a tool Astra32 which is a system info tool that should allow you to see your system components in detail. Look for details on your RAM Mhz. You may need to check that your RAM is running at 1600Mhz but could be that it's just too slow to handle 32 tracks at once (if you are playing that many all at once).

fishmonkey
Posts: 4235
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by fishmonkey » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:51 am

in the big scheme of things, 32 tracks of audio is not much data to shift around.

i suggest methodically following all the steps on this guide:

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... Windows-10
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

andrewbrewer
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:01 pm

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by andrewbrewer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:30 pm

Should be no need to put the samples in RAM. You probably have plenty of disk bandwidth using SSD.

andrewbrewer
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:01 pm

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by andrewbrewer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:33 pm

Regarding RAM.... I see that as mainly meant to store relatively short samples you will use over and over. 1 bar phrases, sound fx, one shot samples, etc. probably not a good place for long audio stems, IMHO

fishmonkey
Posts: 4235
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by fishmonkey » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:46 pm

andrewbrewer wrote:Should be no need to put the samples in RAM. You probably have plenty of disk bandwidth using SSD.
the audio data is only 32 * 3 * 48000 bytes per second, which is only about 4.4 MB/s, so for sure it's not raw disk bandwidth that is the problem.

it might be a firmware or hardware issue with the SSD. however the disk overload may also be a red herring, as it could also be an unrelated issue that is stalling disk access.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

spendthrift2
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:32 am

Re: Ableton 9 suite Disk overload with core i7, SSD and 16GB RAM

Post by spendthrift2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:37 am

:roll: I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet; don't think so, but it might be your processor power management setting. I say this because my laptop is within the realm of running Live 10, but was crackling and dropping out anyway. I got on the horn with Ableton and we were able to sort out that it was probably a processor power management issue.

Go to Settings > Power & Sleep > Additional Power Settings > Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings

From there click the Processor Power Management + sign. If you want advice form Ableton on what this setting should or should not be no one will fault you for it. That's what they are there for. They told me to crank both Minimum processor state & Maximum processor state up to 100% to maximize performance.

So turn those up to 100% for plugged in/ on battery, whatever you want. See if it still has this issue.

Post Reply