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Live starts to glitch after roughly an hour of playback

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:29 am
by rEalm
Hey all,

Ran into a problem with Live 3.04 over the weekend, and was wondering if anyone has any ideas. This was my first live gig with the program, and also the first time I've seen this problem, though I can repeat it everytime now. Basically, Live performs perfectly for the first hour or so of my set, but after that point, I begin to get audio glitches and crackles that increase in frequency (not as in pitch) the longer I play. My CPU meter is only at around 15-20%, and I'm not using any of the Live effects. Once this problem starts, it happens no matter how many tracks I'm playing, even one. Leads me to believe it's not a disc access problem, but something eating away CPU resources?

Closing and restarting Live fixes the problem for another hour at which point it happens again, which rules out CPU temps as the culprit I would think.

Anyway, this is a brand new HP ZT3010US laptop, 1.5gHz Celeron, 512MB Ram, XP Home, 60GB 5400RPM HD, with all of the latest drivers installed. It has been optimized with the usual XP DAW tweaks, and the only other audio app installed is Reason 2.5. I tried a complete reinstall of the OS and apps, but the problem still happens. Any ideas would be most welcome, as I have a large show in only a couple of weeks.

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:11 pm
by Guest
Are you recording the master out as a long (hour long?) stereo wave file? My guess is that it is either this huge file, not using an external 7,200 hardrive for audio file (makes a HUGE performance difference), heat, or a combination of the above is your problem. I would suggest getting (buy, borrow) the external 7,200 RPM 8 MB chach less than 9 ms seek time firewire drive. Then test again, see if it happens. If that fails, then I would say its worth opening it up (hopefully it has an easy-access cover) to get to the heatsink, a little copper thing with lots of narrow fins. Dirt and fibers get blown by the fan onto the heatsink, and can form a layer of gunk that can drastically hurt performance. I started having heat problems awhile back, it they were much more prevelant when I was recording long-ass master out files in Live, so you may be experiencing a combination of heat and a slower hard drive trying to keep up.


Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:22 pm
by rEalm
I am not recording the set at all, just trying to perform using Live in Session view. I do not think this is a heat related issue, my CPU temp is only 5 degrees warmer when this starts to happen than when I first boot up the laptop. Also, if I close Live and immediately relaunch it, the problem is fixed for another hour or so.

I also do not think it is a HD performance issue either. The disk drop out light never indicates, and per the manual, errors associated with the HD usually result in tracks getting inadvertantly muted. This is not what I am seeing, the tracks all playback, but with increaseing glitches. Plus, dskbench reported that I should safely be able to stream far more tracks than I currently am (5-12 tracks).

Thanks for the tips though, I will keep those in mind.


Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:57 pm
by gaspode
have you tried bumping up your samples/latency a tad to see if this extends the life of playing without glitches for a bit?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:18 pm
by Guest
if you don't want to try an external drive (trust me, even if you don't think you need it, it increases performance of Live dramtically), at least try setting as many clips as you can to RAM mode, see if that helps. Also, do you have shared graphics eating into your 512? One last thing, do you have any rewire apps, vst plug-ins--any non live things? What about controllers--any usb powered devices? Are all your samples at the same bit/sampling rate?


Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:52 pm
by rEalm
I did plan on adding a firewire drive once I use ive for my DJ sets. The graphics are via ATI Radeon with 32MB dedicated memory. This problem occurs with no other Rewire devices installed (except Reason, though it's not running during my Live sets).

All samples are 16bit/44.1, and adjusting the latency to any value did not help the situation. The only controller connected is a MicroKontrol, though it was using battery power and not powered via USB.

I purposely did not install any VST devices or plugs just to keep things simple and focused on Live, so I don't think that's it.

thanks for the help guys.

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:14 pm
by Guest
did we ever hear what type of soundcard you are using? If its onboard, that could easily be the problem--let us know what you got. Does this problem happen everytime, anywhere? I'm wondering if maybe the AC power is sketchy, and maybe a ground lift or furman power supply thing might help--there was a recent thread reguarding this problem on this forum. Let us know what your soundcard is, also about the power source(s), try the RAM suggestion. I can't think of much else, have you contacted ableton? NOt accusing you at all here, I'm sure you have a registered version, but I have heard of somewhat similar things happening with cracked versions--i.e. works for an hour or so then gets a bit sketchy. Also, do you have 3.0.2--seems to be the pc users Live of choice (well, mine at least)?


Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:48 pm
by rEalm
I'm using 3.04 currently, and it's the only version I have any experience with (Live newbie). The soundcard is indeed the onboard Soundmax one at this point, my Echo Indigo still hasn't come in, so it's what I'm stuck with for a few more days. I figured the crappy onboard one might be causing this problem, but I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket only to find out that the problem is still there once I get the Indigo. Still seems weird though as I don't have ANY problems with other apps using this. Anyway...

Power was via a 120v mains signal, running from a conditioner/UPS (been doing the live thing too long to use anything else).

I haven't contacted Ableton yet, still trying to see if it's something obvious I'm missing (err...minus the soundcard of course) before I went that route. Sometimes we miss the simple things first eh?

Thanks for the help guys, seems that the soundcard is still the main culprit, looks like I have all my bases covered otherwise. I'll wait for that to come in and see what happens.

another suggestion...

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:06 pm
by gaspode
have you tried the asio driver asio4all and see if that helps?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:21 pm
by rEalm
Good idea!

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:28 pm
by Guest
yeah, the new soundcard should fix the problem. on board pc laptop cards blow hard, and HP ones are on the suckier end of the spectrum.

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:20 am
by rEalm
Well, installed the Asio4all driver last night, and after a bit of tinkering with the settings, it appears this fixed the problem for now. Thanks a lot for the help everyone!

BTW, this is a real fun problem to troubleshoot, since after every change you make o fix it, you have to wait an hour to see if it works or not, doh!



Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:34 am
by radder
I have been stressing out hardcore for 2 days now because our live set was refusing to behave... various combinations of HD and CPU overloads plagued my consciousness and would not let me relax.

I figured "why not try this free ASIO driver they mentioned"

It seemed to work. But for whatever reason the random overloads are back and I'm back to stressing out over them. GRRRRR :evil:

disable stuff

Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 8:55 am
by beateater
Try disably wi-fi and any infra-red stuff. My lappy started glitching and it seemed to be that stuff regularly scanning for a network to jack into. You could try setting up a different hardware profile that doesn't contain the parts of your computer you don't need when using it for audio,
good luck,

Re: ASIO4All

Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:03 pm
by Guest
radder wrote: It seemed to work. But for whatever reason the random overloads are back and I'm back to stressing out over them. GRRRRR :evil:
have you ordered a real soundcard yet--get on it if not. You simply can't be relying on piece of crap internal pc soundcards, and HP likes to cut corners, so I'm surprised you've had as much sucess as you have--good effort, but time to get real, especially if you're trying to gig. It next to pointless to keep testing this rig as is--the sc is crap, get a new one and then test it.