Hi there! I am having some serious dropout trouble and I need your opinion.
I have a big live set that I play in gigs. It consists of about 14 tunes that use 8 tracks each = 110 tracks. When I play live I move diagonally (8 channels to the right and then down) from tune to tune using APC40
I use this setup because each track of each tune has different fx and equalisation that i need to tweak while playing live, so 8 tracks for all tunes will not do.
The clips contained in the set are 48khz 24bit samples
, mixed down to 8 tracks from my 60+ track arrangements for the purpose of playing them live. I also use a lot of dummy clips and complex programming to direct the flow. Overall I have 5GB of samples
in this one set. The set lasts approximately 1 hour 20 minutes
I play the gigs on a potent 2.8 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro
with 4GB RAM
(downgraded from Snow Leopard due to software compatiblity issues), using a NI Audio Kontrol
audio interface. I use 48khz
output, with a latency of about 13ms.Ok, so this is the trouble I am having:
The set was playing smoothly until I incorporated the last 3 tunes (adding about 500MB and 20 minutes to the set). I started experiencing dropouts, especially when changing scene (either triggering it through the APC40 or pre-programming it). I got the output down to 44.1khz and I increased the buffer (and thus the latency) but the improvement was marginal, I still get dropouts. Or probably they are not dropouts, but "idle time", that is there is a quarter of a second pause between scenes every now and then.
Live's resource monitor and OSX's Activity monitor do not exhibit "spikes" when this happens. Also I don't get the Disk Overload icon on the top right hand corner blinking. I have deactivated all CPU-consuming settings (HQ pitch shifting, Complex time stretching) and effects (I play mostly with Live's fx, and only a few external plugins) but this has not eliminated the dropouts. I also tried different sets of samples loaded to RAM to ease out the hard disk, and also tried unloading all samples from the RAM. No effect
Last week I played a gig and had a few embarrassing dropouts
. I am now trying to make sure this does not happen again. I researched the forum and I came across the idea that Live has a "limit" as to the amount of information that it can handle in one set, even if not all information is accessed at the same time. Do you know anything about that?Anyway here are some of the things that I am thinking about trying next:1)
Upgrading to Snow Leopard. Rumour has it it handles resources better, what with it being 64 bit and all.2)
Downsampling my set's clips to 44.1khz 16bit. That would be an enormous compromise on quality, and also a lot of work. (I would have to go back to the arrangements and mix them down to 8 tracks again, as 48khz to 44.1khz conversion would have crap results). Obviously this is something that I would like to avoid.3)
Splitting the set in two. That would introduce a 30 second loading pause in my gig and interrupt the flow. So I would like to avoid it also.4)
Getting the set back to the state before I incorporated the 3 new tunes. That would be a shame.
So, if you had the patience to read this far, you might have some informed opinion you'd like to share. Do you think I am stretching the machine too much, and I have reached its natural limit? Or the limit lies with the software? All I am asking is to be able to play an 1.5 hour gig with reasonable quality without compromising the complexity of my set
I haven't had the time to contact Ableton's customer support on the matter because I work during their opening times, but I might do it soon.
Cheers in advance for your help