Ableton stonewall on CPU issue

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Ableton have sold out the users - expect a buy out soon!

Poll ended at Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:18 pm

Yeah, we want justice!
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Total votes: 10

forge
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Post by forge » Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:02 pm

Macrostructure wrote:Are you using Windows? Perhaps you could open task manager and have a look at what % cpu Live is consuming in total and compare it to the "on board" cpu usage which measures audio processing only. It doesn't matter what scale of song you open, but something using 20%+ on the "on board" meter. What do you see? I would see an overall value 75-90% higher than the audio-only value, many others agree.

ms
it definitely is higher than the live cpu meter by alot

have you turned off power saving - so you're definitely using the PC at full whack?

Zky
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Post by Zky » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:22 am

yes,,my windows system runs more that thay..and it's a p4 1.7Ghz with 1Gb

have u optimize the xp?

Macrostructure
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Post by Macrostructure » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:50 am

Yeah, I've got xp highly optimised. Glad you can add your findings to the list of people with this problem. Hope Ableton are still following this thread.

ms

headquest
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Post by headquest » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:51 am

Hi guys!

FWIW I am new to Live4, having "moved over" from Tracktion partly because I fancied something with better time-stretching, and love the clip/scene based arraging paradigm of Live, as well as the "fold" track feature which really simplifies MIDI editing.

But...

I'm with those who are really struggling with this CPU issue. In tests I have done, Live uses as much as 50% more CPU per VST plugin than Tracktion does, even WITHOUT using Tracktion's freeze functionality. Obviously using Tracktion's freeze reduces this to next to nothing. Over on the KVR forum, as well as here, a few other users repeated my tests and had identical results.

FOr the recored my system is P4 2.8 ghz laptop, 512Mb RAM, 60Gb hard drive, WinXP SP2.

There is no doubt that the CPU usage in Live 4 when handling VSTs is a significant problem, and while I respect the points made in Robert's response above, I think there is a danger that folks like me who are recent converts to Live will be - shocked - by Live's poor performance in this area.

I too understand about "bouncing", which is a good job, because I simply can't run MIDI/VST tracks in Live without the CPU falling over. Also I undersand about optimising latency, etc. and have done *most* of what I can to optimise Windows, etc.

Then again, why should I need to go to those lengths when another (far cheaper) alternative gets the job done without all this fuss?

Live 4 has been sold by Ableton and in the Media as the new standard in sequencing software. I now feel very disppointed because this appears not to be the case.

New users coming to Live, as I have, without knowing about the no-doubt excellent previous versions 2/3 will judge Live by v.4 and I think many will share these thoughts. Might I suggest that this is therefore one of the "priority" issues that will count for more than adding another batch of features?

I don't want bloated software - I want software that works properly and gets the job done efficiently. Which means that for now I have returned to Tracktion as my main sequencer/host, and eagerly await version 2!

However, having shelled out for Live - and in view of the strengths I have noted above and the love I have for many of its features - I will keep updating Live in the hopes that at some point it is capable of playing a more capable role in my music production.

Zky
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Post by Zky » Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:33 pm

macro..

ur comp is way more faster than my p4..I even have a p3 800mhz ,384Mb ram that can run at least 15 audio channels with some fx with a digigram audio card

maybe something in the configuration??

Macrostructure
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Post by Macrostructure » Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:12 pm

I didn't understand your original post and I was replying to Forge in any case. If I have a config problem then it is a common one and not an obvious one. Many people report the same live cpu meter/windows cpu usage by live differences.

m

forge
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Post by forge » Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:46 pm

Macrostructure wrote:I didn't understand your original post and I was replying to Forge in any case. If I have a config problem then it is a common one and not an obvious one. Many people report the same live cpu meter/windows cpu usage by live differences.

m
it's not the discrepancy between the CPU meters that's the issue - I get that too but it doesn't stop me getting alot more than you described with what should be pretty much the same processor speed. I wouldnt have thought ram would affect it that much. You have a firewire card so you should be able to handle really low latency as well.

BTW - when I suggested upgrading your machine earlier I didnt see your kit list in your signature - 2.2GHz really should be performing alot better than you are reporting)

Macrostructure
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Post by Macrostructure » Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:17 pm

Thanks for the suggestion.

Bottom line is - Live 4 uses a very large number of CPU cycles on something non-audio that Live 3 does not. The overall performance of Live 4 is compromised by this problem.

This IS the issue in this thread.

ms

geoffroy
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Post by geoffroy » Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:20 am

There was a post on the General forum saying that the last beta version of Live 4.05 solves most of this problems. I haven't tried though, did you ?

geoffroy

Macrostructure
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Post by Macrostructure » Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:34 am

No, I checked the list of improvements but I didn't notice any mention of this problem, I will look again - thanks!

geoffroy
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Post by geoffroy » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:29 am

in fact it was written :
Hey!

Wanna add the 4.0.5b3 is the best Live-release ever!! Haven't any probs with anything, and i run some advanced configs/tasks (mLAN/dsp-cards, loads of vsti's etc..) on my daw. Seems like the midi&audio-mix-bug is pretty much solved by now, but i'm not 100% shure about that - guess it depends on how many instances of Reaktor 4 you run at once.. Kontakt,Intakt,Sampletank2,Absynth3,Reflex,Crystal and LOADS of other intruments haven't complained once in 4.0.5b3

So, Ableton; keep up the very good work!!

Regs,
Jo

Macrostructure
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Post by Macrostructure » Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:34 pm

The post you quote does not say anything about the large difference between the Live CPU meter and the overall CPU usage of the program as shown by Windows Task Manager, which is the central issue of this thread as stated in my initial post.

However, this guy gets great performance which suggests some CPU optimisation has occurred and I will hope to get the same myself when I try the new version.

ms

mcconaghy
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Post by mcconaghy » Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:53 pm

Macrostructure wrote:The post you quote does not say anything about the large difference between the Live CPU meter and the overall CPU usage of the program as shown by Windows Task Manager, which is the central issue of this thread as stated in my initial post.

However, this guy gets great performance which suggests some CPU optimisation has occurred and I will hope to get the same myself when I try the new version.

ms
The way I see it is, and I don't know if anyone else has had this thought, is that the task manager shows you the amount of CPU resources Live can claim for itself, what Live shows is how much of that amount it is currently using at this moment. That explains the discrepancies.

headquest
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Post by headquest » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:04 pm

I'm not sure which is true. :?

What I do know is that VSTs opened in Live 4 seem to use up around 50% more CPU than the same VSTs opened in Tracktion, whether you use the Windows or in-software meters to measure it (and this has been confirmed on this and the KVR forum by others doing the same test as I did).

Combined with this - audio seems to drop out at lower CPU overhead in Live than it does in either Tracktion or Adobe Audition.

And what's more, Live doesn't have a freeze/lock function to help with this in any way :(

During the time I played with the demo I didn't try anything "big" enough to put this to the test or realise that there would be a problem/issue, but subsequently I tried to use Live 4 as a replacement for Tracktion, and my computer simply fell over.

I'm on P4 2.8 Ghz, 512 Mb RAM, and I take the point of some above who say I should upgrade, but 18 months ago when I bought this laptop it was state of the art, and it will be a few months before I next upgrade. Then again, why should I need to when all my other software (also including Reason, Sibelius, and DTP stuff including QuarkXpress, Illustrator, Photoshop) --work just fine? It's only Live giving me problems.

I would like to think that v4.0.5 will help and that I basically didn't just waste my money on Live 4.

Having said that, Robert H's response above seems to me to be saying that Live is great, and that adding new features to lure in new buyers is more important to Ableton than meeting the rather significant needs of those who have already invested in Live.

I may be misreading what he said, in which case I apologise. But if I understood correctly then I have to say I think that is a very bad attitude towards customer support.

olafmol
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Post by olafmol » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:32 pm

mcconaghy wrote:
Macrostructure wrote:The post you quote does not say anything about the large difference between the Live CPU meter and the overall CPU usage of the program as shown by Windows Task Manager, which is the central issue of this thread as stated in my initial post.

However, this guy gets great performance which suggests some CPU optimisation has occurred and I will hope to get the same myself when I try the new version.

ms
The way I see it is, and I don't know if anyone else has had this thought, is that the task manager shows you the amount of CPU resources Live can claim for itself, what Live shows is how much of that amount it is currently using at this moment. That explains the discrepancies.
both could be possible, but still the ASIO driver needs enough CPU to handle the updating of the audiobuffer..when CPU peaks to about 98% the danger of dropouts in the audio is very well possible, especially at low latencies...

personally i think the audio driver can also have a big part to do with how much CPU is used... some firewire ASIO drivers can take up to 10% of the CPU to do their thing f.e. . Another example: when using an onboard audio chipset running on 48KHz with Live on 44.1KHz setting Live can jump to around 50% CPU while doing nothing, obviously because of some internal resampling..when switching the live sample rate to 48KHz, the same as the onboard soundcard uses, these CPU jumps are decreased to around max 10% CPU. All this using ASIO4All 2 drivers.

Maybe Live 4 does some internal resampling when running VSTi's which takes up more CPU than other VST-hosts?

Olaf

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