Audio Dropouts while live on festival!

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Audio Dropouts while live on festival!

Post by Affreqtic » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:59 am

Hey Guys, im new here cause i have a big problem! :!:

I am playing my own electronic music (psytrance) on festivals since lots of years.
But last weekend i had short audio dropouts while playing! :evil:

It was two times and maybe for 1 second - absolutely unacceptable!! :evil:

I play with my laptop with ableton 9 and my soundcard is the steinberg urmk22.
Drivers are all up to date, my hardware buffer size is 1024 samples and my laptop is a cheap i3 with 4gb RAM (but task manager is never at 100%).
The onboard soundcard of my laptop is broken (it has no audio under 250Hz ca) but i use the steinberg so it doesnt matter.
Also i checked my ssd and RAM for problems, but theyre okay.

I use two desks in the clip view for switching between tracks with my novation launchkey mini and use three massive midi tracks for playing leads/synths.

What s the problem? I never had this before and I have to fix it before i play the next set.... :roll:

THX for Help,

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Re: Audio Dropouts while live on festival!

Post by Tarekith » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:35 pm

I'd upgrade ram if you can, that's absolutely tiny for any modern OS. Also, were you maybe getting vibrations from the sound system coming trough the laptop? Too much heat?

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Re: Audio Dropouts while live on festival!

Post by Affreqtic » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:46 pm

No i cannot update i guess - but task manager says its just 20% of RAM and CPU most of the time... at work all the people who works with nuendo and big files have just 2 to 4 GB and it works.. so i dont think its RAM.

Yes there are a lot of vibrations on the desk while playing - do you mean it did get broken cause of it? Or do you mean i just should do something soft under my laptop to secure it?

I dont think its too much heat, maybe i should watch the temperature with a software?

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Re: Audio Dropouts while live on festival!

Post by jestermgee » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:56 am

cheap i3 with 4gb RAM
That's probably the issue...

CPU meter does not have to show 100% load to have issues. A cheap laptop will probably have a cheap 5400RPM mechanical drive, slow speed RAM and what is the speed of your i3?

The OS will never use 100% of RAM as it needs headroom to do things on the fly so to avoid maxing out the RAM the system will use the pagefile on your drive to process some things if the overall system RAM is too low. This can easily result in issues.

I would pull up the windows Resource monitor and leave that running and do a test. If you get dropouts check the disk I/O.

The solution would probably be a better suited more powerful PC.

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Re: Audio Dropouts while live on festival!

Post by TLW » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:43 pm

Ableton recommend at least an i5 cpu for Live 10.

Downloading and running latencymon.exe might be useful, it can monitor the system and identify any drivers or utilities which are likely to cause issues for audio production because they hold Windows attention long enough to result in the audio buffer emptying. The reason this can happen is complicated, put simply it’s when e.g. a driver grabs Windows attention and everything else gets put on hold until the driver has done it’s task. This usually isn’t a problem for people using a PC for gaming or office stuff because a even a 50 millisecond wait isn’t going to be noticed. For a DAW though it’s a major problem.

It’s quite possible for the cpu to be running at 5% and DPCs still causing dropouts because cpu load doesn’t affect how long they are programmed to take.

One of the worst offenders is often the wi-fi driver. Disabling the wi-fi adaptor in device manager when running DAW software might fix the problem. Wired networking seems much less problematic.

Other possibilities include the cpu going into core parking, cpu sleep states set in the BIOS interfering with things, power management settings or the cpu not being able to deliver what’s being asked of it.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

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