CPU load problem

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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5dn
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:04 am

CPU load problem

Post by 5dn » Sat May 16, 2020 1:03 pm

My computer is blazing fast (built for CGI) but often when I run Live with various VSTs the audio starts to crackle way before it should (i have got used to understanding roughly what loads it).

Also one day it will run a project fine then the next it will crackle with no seeming pattern to the issue.

its kinda driving me mad. any help MUCH appreciated.

5D

LQdb.Music
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:34 am

Re: CPU load problem

Post by LQdb.Music » Sat May 16, 2020 4:24 pm

It would help if you post your computer specs here. So we can see what we are dealing with (Win10 / Mac, Processor, RAM, Audio Interface etc.)

You could check if there are processes / apps running in the background eating up your CPU (Task-Manager on Win10 or Activity Monitor on Mac).

On my Win10 Intel Core i7 with my UAD Apollo, which is normally a really snappy combo, I'll get crackles whenever I forget to quit the HWInfo app (some hardware monitoring tool) in the background, seems to be caused by internal IRQ handling (interrupts). Had these same issues with a USB copy protection dongle, back in the days...
--
Live 10 w/ Push 2, Logic Pro X, S1 4, MOTU m4, Mac mini i7, Win10 Core i7 9700K/32GB/Asus TB3, KH120, Focal Alpha, this n that

5dn
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:04 am

Re: CPU load problem

Post by 5dn » Sat May 16, 2020 5:42 pm

18 Xeons 2.2GHz
128GB RAM
PCIe NVMe drive and SSD
Windows 10
Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820

the thing is my CPU on task manager is hardly budging above 5% for ableton and 15% for all processes

swear theres something weird going on

TLW
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: CPU load problem

Post by TLW » Sat May 16, 2020 8:01 pm

There are a lot of things on PCs that can cause problems getting low latency performance and not all of them have anything to do with the cpu. Problems can include sleep states set in the BIOS, third party drivers for stuff that’s nothing to do with audio and drivers which grab control of the PCI bus and don’t release it quickly enough.

If you’ve not done so I suggest downloading the (free) latencymon.exe and seeing what it reports.
https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

LQdb.Music
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:34 am

Re: CPU load problem

Post by LQdb.Music » Sat May 16, 2020 9:33 pm

5dn wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:42 pm
18 Xeons 2.2GHz
128GB RAM
PCIe NVMe drive and SSD
Windows 10
Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820

the thing is my CPU on task manager is hardly budging above 5% for ableton and 15% for all processes

swear theres something weird going on
Please check this article, it is quite normal that Abletons CPU meter does differ from system cpu metering:

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... sk-Manager
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Live 10 w/ Push 2, Logic Pro X, S1 4, MOTU m4, Mac mini i7, Win10 Core i7 9700K/32GB/Asus TB3, KH120, Focal Alpha, this n that

sic
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 3:21 am

Re: CPU load problem

Post by sic » Mon May 18, 2020 11:43 am

First off, definitely run latencymon as already recommended. DPC latency is a common culprit for these kinds of issues. If that does appear to be the cause, there are loads of potential solutions, from simple power settings to swapping around PCI devices to find the optimal slots.

Unfortunately some otherwise powerful systems just aren't built to provide low DPC latency, but hopefully that's not the case with your machine.
5dn wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:42 pm
18 Xeons 2.2GHz
As a side note, this isn't necessarily as beastly as it may seem in an audio production context. The way I understand it, it's pretty easy to end up in a situation where things end up having to run on the same CPU core, at which point clock speed matters a lot more than core count. Xeon processors generally aren't among the top recommendations for audio because of this.

That said, I recently got a Xeon-based laptop (Lenovo P52) for music production, and I'm very happy with the performance so far.

Best of luck with the troubleshooting!

dan.g
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:38 pm

Re: CPU load problem

Post by dan.g » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:51 pm

5dn wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:42 pm
18 Xeons 2.2GHz
128GB RAM
PCIe NVMe drive and SSD
Windows 10
Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820

the thing is my CPU on task manager is hardly budging above 5% for ableton and 15% for all processes

swear theres something weird going on
Have you solved this issue?

I’m experiencing the same symptoms as you’re describing and while my machine ain’t such a beast, it still a fast machine. But we’re running the same OS and the same audio interface.

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