Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

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harrishwk
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:44 pm

Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by harrishwk » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:32 pm

I want to love this software but so far using it has been nothing but frustrating.
Unlike others I am not looking for it to do anything complex.
I get random CPU spikes/ audio skips when all I am doing is looping an Impulse Drum pattern, let alone anything more complicated than that.
Here is my laptop:
http://personafile.com/HP-Pavilion-dv4- ... ebook.html

I am using the Focusrite Sapphire 6 USB interface with the latest drivers.

I have tried all the optimizing tricks: disabling explorer, changing power settings, changing buffer rate, turning off internet, decreasing sample rate.. nothing seems to make a difference. I am running the most recent version of live. 8.1.5. I think.

I want to buy full product and controllers but refuse to spend another dime until it can prove to me that it can be at least a reliable drum machine! I HAVE recorded into it and that actually worked just fine. But anything looped, even one track, drops out sometimes.. even when freezing all tracks. Should I expect my laptop to be at least capable to do some glitch free music creation?

Please help, i am about to give up and by a hardware sampler.

wayfinder
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:01 pm

Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by wayfinder » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:24 am

I would be very interested to see if this gets resolved. My similar issue never was (and I had already bought the program).

harrishwk
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by harrishwk » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:32 pm

Thanks for all the help.

I loaded up Reaper last night and within 20 minuets I was jamming away on a soft synth with a bunch of tracks looping away glitch free for an hour. I am glad I found that software. Awesome.
It must be the way the Ableton works with certain computers, or maybe with Vista that is causing the issue. But I have learned that my laptop and interface is more than capable of generating sound. I have spent the last few weeks trying to change every setting known to man to try to get Ableton to be reliable.. and not making music.

If someone here has cured their Ableton CPU spike problem, short of spending $1000 on a Macbook, please let us know.

dinaiz
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:50 pm
Location: France
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Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by dinaiz » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:11 pm

This kind of issue is typical of PCs under Windows. Windows has something called DPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferred_Procedure_Call) which allows device drivers to interupt "lower priority tasks" . If there's a bug in the driver's procedure, then the DPC ends up taking too much time which, in practice, makes your audio stuter or causes CPU spikes.

There's a tool here : http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

Check if the problem comes from that. If it's the case, there's not much ableton can do about it. It means you have a faulty driver somewhere in your system, and you have to update the driver or remove the device.

harrishwk
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by harrishwk » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:07 pm

Dinaiz,

Thanks for your post. This is a very useful tool, although using it kind of makes you hate Windows.
I couldn't find the source of all the spikes, but I think shutting down a few drivers helped the overall latency.
I haven't been able to go back into Ableton to see if there are less dropouts.

Would it be possible that Ableton would be more prone to latency spikes than Reaper, simply because it takes up more system resources?

dinaiz
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:50 pm
Location: France
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Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by dinaiz » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:09 pm

Well honestly it's not really windows' fault but the device drivers manufacturers (if you're looking for someone to blame ;-) )
A faulty driver will have bad consequences on any OS, as far as I know.

Back to the topic, I think every DAW uses a different amount of ressources, depending on how it's coded and so on, but I never used reaper so I can't say :)

harrishwk
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by harrishwk » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:41 pm

Ok.

I thanks to the latency checker I think I have the issue fixed, although getting into the green was a royal pain.
There were a few drivers that were causing some issues, oddly enough one of them was a Microsoft Battery driver.
Laptop is always plugged in when making music anyway.

I also found that updating the BIOS can help, as it seems a few laptop manufacturers have addressed some latency spike issues by issuing updates. I updated mine for good measure.

wayfinder
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:01 pm

Re: Ableton CPU spike guru needed.

Post by wayfinder » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:00 am

The DPC checker does not report anything unusual in my case :(

It seems as if sometimes doing things in the browser, like just now when I clicked reply or sometimes when the facebook timeline updates, those will trigger Live hanging for a short while. Other times, the trigger isn't readily apparent. I cannot for the life of me imagine why this behaving the way it is. It's JUST Live, too – everything else, including other audio applications continues working just fine – even when they're running AT THE SAME TIME! I'll hear Live go RRRRRRRRRRR, while in the background, Buzz or Winamp or Flash or Reaper are chugging along just fine. Seriously bummed about this.

Ableton told me "bad luck, buy a new computer" basically (thanks) and that as long as they can't reproduce it, it's not their bug :/

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