M4L Stability

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
Stromkraft
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: M4L Stability

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:09 pm

Daniel Morgenroth wrote:
My Tip: If you need something like Max for Live (only working), buy Bitwig.
Yeah, I'll apply that tip on my non crashing 9.1.7 / 9.2b7 installation. Sure. Excuse me, I have to finish this track now that has 7 instances of M4L devices.
Make some music!

Daniel Morgenroth
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:29 pm

Re: M4L Stability

Post by Daniel Morgenroth » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:14 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
Daniel Morgenroth wrote:
My Tip: If you need something like Max for Live (only working), buy Bitwig.
Yeah, I'll apply that tip on my non crashing 9.1.7 / 9.2b7 installation. Sure. Excuse me, I have to finish this track now that has 7 instances of M4L devices.
You're on a mac. If you would have read some of the posts on this thread (or my whole post) you could have understood that this appears to be (mostly) a windows-problem.

I just hope for all mac-people that they don't run into some other problem at some other point with this, too.

So yes, if that track has 7 instances of M4L, I would really finish it as quick as possible.

Stromkraft
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:47 pm

Daniel Morgenroth wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:
Daniel Morgenroth wrote:
My Tip: If you need something like Max for Live (only working), buy Bitwig.
Yeah, I'll apply that tip on my non crashing 9.1.7 / 9.2b7 installation. Sure. Excuse me, I have to finish this track now that has 7 instances of M4L devices.
You're on a mac.
No, I'm on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.10 Yosemite AND Windows 7. There is no difference in stability.

People experience MFL issues also in OS X. I'm not saying these issues aren't real and that we shouldn't try and help out to fix the issues there are as well as share experiences. I just don't have any tolerance for whining.

My approach is; use what you think works for you or get rid of it. There are unfortunately a number of things that can be behind instability. I have memory issues on one machine that I built. What will pay off best, whining that this RAM producer makes shitty products or try and find the cause and fix it? Maybe it isn't the memory after all? Maybe it's my settings on the motherboard? Or the old USB device I connect?

If you crave stability, buy a music computer and verify all hardware and software before you purchase it. All long standing music producers I know have always worked like that. Of course you should get off a platform that doesn't work for you. Unless if you want to make it work. That's my choice.
Make some music!

Daniel Morgenroth
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:29 pm

Re: M4L Stability

Post by Daniel Morgenroth » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:49 pm

That's interesting. I would ask you for further system specs, but we both know that we will never figure this out.

If I change "this" and still have problems, then I might have to change "that". It's a loop, endless.

All I know is: I never had major problems with several other DAWs in the last 10 years.

I did everything you suggested (before buying the computer/software). I even did that with the machine I bought before the machine I use now.

Apart from that, this is clearly a software-problem.
I'm here for two days, but to me it looks like I'm not the first and only one who experienced these crashes and from what I've seen there are people here who are way more into technical stuff/programming than I am.

One thing about these crashes is that they are unpredictable. Had none for weeks, now every day.

What you call "whining" might be important information for people who are thinking about getting the Suite mainly for M4L.

I'm new here, but I don't think forums exist for everybody to say how wonderful everything is.

That's what Ableton is already doing on youtube.

Daniel Morgenroth
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:29 pm

Re: M4L Stability

Post by Daniel Morgenroth » Fri May 01, 2015 9:31 am

Hi!

Just wanted to let everybody who's interested know that some of the workarounds pointed out in this thread have worked for me last night.

Especially this one: Pull an empty "max midi-device" into an empty project and let it "sit" for a good 30 seconds (thanks to Fab an Eanna).

At first it didn't work because I tried to hotswap the empty device or I was too fast.
I really have to let it sit down, take a beer and say hello to Live. No hotswapping.

Of course this is not how things should be, but at least J74 Progressive, Mono Sequencer and even Granulator II seem to be not completly lost. I can open some projects again that were caught in "crash-loops" before.

I am not (that) crazy, so I haven't tried the Convolution Reverb Pro again.
I will look for another convo-reverb-solution instead and generally use as less M4L as possible (and use freezing/resampling so I can delete it from projects as soon as possible).

I will report how far I get using this strategy, just got an album production job coming up.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!

Reminder: This is (mainly) a windows 7 (64-bit)-issue.

filter_7
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by filter_7 » Sun May 03, 2015 10:15 am

Daniel Morgenroth wrote: I will look for another convo-reverb-solution instead and generally use as less M4L as possible.
I'm interested in a vst reverb solution too, to import Live's IRs and using them in a stable environement.
If you have any suggestions please post here.

I got some problems in win7 32 bit too.

Stromkraft
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Stromkraft » Sun May 03, 2015 4:24 pm

Daniel Morgenroth wrote: All I know is: I never had major problems with several other DAWs in the last 10 years.

I did everything you suggested (before buying the computer/software). I even did that with the machine I bought before the machine I use now.


What you call "whining" might be important information for people who are thinking about getting the Suite mainly for M4L.
That's very sad then and I certainly know how you feel because I've been there. I did work very hard to get out of the issues I had because I find Live to be worth it. If that same experience can be done by anyone is hard to say because of hardware differences as well as the plug-ins and specific usages that may be needed. I've had to trade up both audio interface and on the macside the machine itself and manage my plug-ins differently too in order to regain long stability.

As I've already mentioned, I don't think your reporting per se is whining, nor discussing issues either. It was the nonconstructive fatalistic tone I found less than appealing. That tone doesn't help other users, even as I understand how you might feel.
Make some music!

Daniel Morgenroth
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Daniel Morgenroth » Mon May 04, 2015 5:59 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
Daniel Morgenroth wrote: All I know is: I never had major problems with several other DAWs in the last 10 years.

I did everything you suggested (before buying the computer/software). I even did that with the machine I bought before the machine I use now.


What you call "whining" might be important information for people who are thinking about getting the Suite mainly for M4L.
That's very sad then and I certainly know how you feel because I've been there. I did work very hard to get out of the issues I had because I find Live to be worth it. If that same experience can be done by anyone is hard to say because of hardware differences as well as the plug-ins and specific usages that may be needed. I've had to trade up both audio interface and on the macside the machine itself and manage my plug-ins differently too in order to regain long stability.

As I've already mentioned, I don't think your reporting per se is whining, nor discussing issues either. It was the nonconstructive fatalistic tone I found less than appealing. That tone doesn't help other users, even as I understand how you might feel.
I know what you mean.

When I check out a new forum/website looking for information and run into some rant, my first thoughts are like: "Man, there's some real frustration going on here. Maybe even beyond technical problems, this seems to be a frustrated human being with bad luck in life. And that's not the kind of information I was looking for."

But then I spent my last money on a major DAW, played around with the demo, started watching tutorials, fell in love with an idea (building my own devices via M4L), even made my first steps and then suddenly everything explodes into "Crash Loops" (never experienced something like that before).
And I'm in rant-mode.

Few days later and with a workaround that seems to be working at least for less-cpu-intensive devices, I pretty much feel the same way as you do:

Live is worth it. Session-View, flexible routing, great midi-effects and, of course, Push.

On top of that there's the time and money I already invested in this.
So as long as I don't run into other general stability issues when I'm really starting to work with the software every day, I can put up with this.

On the other hand, I still haven't given up the dream of building my own devices.
So there's two options for me: Yell at Ableton (and Cycling) until they finally come up with a bugfix or wait until another company gets it "right".

I would prefer the first solution.
Maybe even without the yelling-part if that appeared to be possible (think about how "big" these companies are and for how long this problem seems to exist).

Stromkraft
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Stromkraft » Mon May 04, 2015 8:51 pm

Daniel Morgenroth wrote: On top of that there's the time and money I already invested in this.
So as long as I don't run into other general stability issues when I'm really starting to work with the software every day, I can put up with this.

On the other hand, I still haven't given up the dream of building my own devices.
So there's two options for me: Yell at Ableton (and Cycling) until they finally come up with a bugfix or wait until another company gets it "right".

I would prefer the first solution.
Maybe even without the yelling-part if that appeared to be possible (think about how "big" these companies are and for how long this problem seems to exist).
Well, I've found both Ableton and Cycling74 to, at least seemingly, be receptive of both constructive criticism and willing to learn how they can improve. It's possible it was not always like this and I understand that Ableton sometimes have been or are very quiet about certain details its users very much would like to know ASAP.

I know many people that are very productive with Live and it was one of these that convinced me to switch (from Logic) some years ago. I'm glad that it now seems Ableton are listening to users to some extent at least and that the development of Live is moving in the right direction as well. I also know from relationships I've had with developers that developing any real-time software is hard work laden with pitfalls often concerning third party software and hardware you cannot fully control. I have some understanding of these difficulties, but Ableton must of course manage these if they expect to stay competitive.

Since my last batch of stability issues it seems to me we as a community must improve ourselves regarding to what we can do to prevent issues. Not everyone are Pro with pro experiences and yet they have expectations that Live "should just work". That's natural and worth striving for, but sharing info on how to overcome the issues there is remains very important.

As I have communicated to Ableton I think Live must communicate much better what happened and what the cause might be when there's a crash, so that users may attempt to fix the issue before it's a support number. With freedom comes some level of responsibility. Otherwise Ableton could just automate everything and look into our machines and may fix the issues more easily. I wouldn't like that as I want to retain control.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Mon May 04, 2015 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

Stromkraft
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Stromkraft » Mon May 04, 2015 9:15 pm

Angstrom wrote:All the stuff you say is right on point. Programmatically it's a clusterfuck.
I tend to work more from a UX side, where it's just as bad. The two apps seem barely on speaking terms.
...

I am in danger of sliding into a broader critique of Abletons ultra-shit pack versioning system which guarantees all your LivePacks are 2 years out of date unless you regularly read the xml. But in this case the two Applications, Live and Max maintain a relationship which is less "integrated" and more "disjointed and mysterious".
As integrated solutions go, it's a joke
I do agree that MFL is not well integrated into Live. I only accept it because there are devices that do stuff I can't do in Live or that are so great I just want to use them. The convolution reverb probably should be recoded as a built-in effect if possible as it now is affected by general MFL issues and limitations. When I have problems with it is when the reverb file isn't loaded and this happens only a few times on my Mac, not on Windows 7. But when working it's just as effective as other convolution plug-ins I've tried. But it's very sad it does feel so unreliable.

As for GUI I try to use as much Push as possible.
Make some music!

[rry]
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Location: Ableton HQ

Re: M4L Stability

Post by [rry] » Tue May 12, 2015 10:48 am

Hi Everyone,

Rory here from Ableton HQ, I've been tracking this problem for some time now and hopefully I can shed some light on the situation. We are very much aware of the Windows crash, when loading a Max device into an already large project.
This is known and filed in our bug backlog with top priority. Previously, any Windows crashes reported with Max 6.x and with Live 9.1.6 or less gave use quite a generic crash fingerprint, making the exact location of crash very hard to diagnose. Add to that the fact that this problem behaves very inconsistently, dependent on audio driver types, computer spec and so on, and we have a slippery bug to track. Moving forward - we have just implemented some changes to our crash analysis system, that allows us much more specific information about where it occurs in the code. This was done in conjunction with the Cycling '74 team, and Max 7 is required in order to provide more meaningful crash info, which as you know, has not officially been rolled out as Live's main Max for Live editor yet.

So what's the next step?

The system is in place to better analyse the information, we just need more current data from you, generated using Max 7.

So this is calling any Windows users out there who have suffered this problem (I know there are a few!!) to download Max 7 from here, and in Live's prefs switch over to use Max 7 as the main Max editor. Live is now set up to use Max 7 without any standalone Max license, so it will work just like Max 6 did before. Once switched over to Max 7, please attempt to open a crashing Set. If you had it set up so that a blank Max device was already loaded then remove it. The intention is to crash Live, as it was before. The more crashes, using different sets - the better. Then please contact: 'support@ableton.com' to my attention, with Crash Reports attached. I'll be keeping a look out for these, and monitoring here, but feel free to address them to me directly in the email.

Lastly, having experienced this myself, I know what a PITA it is and how frustrating it is.
Unfortunately due the obscurity of the problem it's not something our usual Crashologists or beta system was able to prevent, but with your help we'll have much more valid data, and all input is very much appreciated.

PS: If you don't mind, I would prefer to keep the information about Max 7 within this thread, as it is still not the official version just yet.

Thank you

Rory

Ableton Support

musikmachine
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by musikmachine » Wed May 13, 2015 9:13 am

Great to hear Rory. It won't have any impact on existing Max4Live devices that are working will it? Convo reverb is fine but other devices are crashing. Thanks.

Daniel Morgenroth
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:29 pm

Re: M4L Stability

Post by Daniel Morgenroth » Fri May 15, 2015 1:56 pm

[rry] wrote:Hi Everyone,

Rory here from Ableton HQ, I've been tracking this problem for some time now and hopefully I can shed some light on the situation. We are very much aware of the Windows crash, when loading a Max device into an already large project.
This is known and filed in our bug backlog with top priority. Previously, any Windows crashes reported with Max 6.x and with Live 9.1.6 or less gave use quite a generic crash fingerprint, making the exact location of crash very hard to diagnose. Add to that the fact that this problem behaves very inconsistently, dependent on audio driver types, computer spec and so on, and we have a slippery bug to track. Moving forward - we have just implemented some changes to our crash analysis system, that allows us much more specific information about where it occurs in the code. This was done in conjunction with the Cycling '74 team, and Max 7 is required in order to provide more meaningful crash info, which as you know, has not officially been rolled out as Live's main Max for Live editor yet.


Ableton Support
Hi!

That's great news!

Now I use Live 9.1.7 and Max 7.0.3 on Windows7, 64-bit.
And it really seems to work better.

I can drag M4L-Devices into a set without the workaround (drag in an empty M4L-Midi-Device and let it "sit" for a minute or so).
I just drag them in, black M4L-Screen pops up and it's working. No crashes.
Even works with more CPU-intensive Devices like the Convolution Reverb Pro.

About old projects: It's difficult for me to let them crash again, because after these constant crashes started happening, I modified my older projects (freezed and then deleted M4L-Devices, or turned them "off" before saving) so that I could access them again.

So I made a new project: 8 Tracks, every instrument and effect is M4L. Multiple LFOs, Convo Reverb Pro, Buffer Shuffler 2.0 and all that. I never used that many M4L-Devices on a single project before.
When I try to open that, I get the crash. Not every time, but every second time.

But it's great to hear that Ableton and Cycling have the technology in place to finally work this out, so I will start sending crash reports again.

From my experience, this is a step in the right direction for Windows7-Users (and maybe everyone elso, too?)

So thank you very much for this!

Reimund
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Reimund » Mon May 18, 2015 7:24 am

not sure if this helps but after the last round of windows updates m4l is now completely unusable on my windows 7 64bit system. before, the workaround (load m4l midi device and wait for 15 to 30 seconds) worked quite nicely and i was able to load almost all of my m4l devices. now after the updates i get immediate crashes whenever i load a m4l device (even when using the workaround mentioned above). maybe it is helpful to take a closer look at the changes that were introduced by the last round of windows updates to find out where the problems with live and m4l lie. although i realized that the windows updates introduced some changes to the registry i'm unfortunately not able to tell what the exact changes were that were introduced by the latest updates.
cheers

Eanna
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Location: Ireland

Re: M4L Stability

Post by Eanna » Mon May 18, 2015 9:28 am

Hi Reimund, you have a couple of options here...

You can look at what patches were applied during the last round of Windows Updates. If you're on Win7, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > View update history.
If you want to back out any update, go here: Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates. Right-click on any update you want to uninstall.
Worst comes to worst, roll back to a System Restore Point. Your application files won't be affected - only system updates applied since the restore point was creater are rolled back, so the system is restored to the Resore Point date.
You need to have the creation of Restore Points switched on, but I'm pretty sure that option is enabled by default, and there's no doubt that the installation of Windows Updates kicks off the creation of a Restore Point prior to the installation...
To see the set of Restore Points, in the Start menu, type System Restore, or in a Run box, type rstrui.exe. Follow the steps in the wizard to choose the restore point. Check this for more info: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ie/wind ... d-settings

Might be worthwhile checking the Windows Event Log too here. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer. Check to see if there's anything obvious sticking out at you in terms of errors, especially since the last set of Windows Updates were installed.

Have you issues with other DAWs? Does it affect Ableton Live, or is it only when Ableton launches M4L?

Cheers, Eanna

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