External Midi Sync -- Record Dropouts in OS X not Windows 7

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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:44 pm

External Midi Sync -- Record Dropouts in OS X not Windows 7

Post by noision » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:41 am

I just want to report my experience after a grueling couple of days.

For various reasons I need Live to sync to my external hardware. It has always been a bit wonky, but it worked. Since somewhere around 8.2 and onwards -- with the reported "better" external midi sync, on my Macbook Pro (2.6Mhz, 6 gigs of memory, HDD) running Lion, as soon as I hit record (recording 20 tracks at 44/16), using a Motu 828 and Pre8 via firewire, I get massive crunchy dropouts about every 15 seconds even though the computer use shown in live is around 18 percent or so throughout. These drop-outs can be increased like crazy if I move away from Live while Recording and do anything, like open finder and search files (on different hd than recording to even) or open a webpage on the browser (not that I usually do this, but here for testing purposes).

Using the same setup, but using Internal Sync, like before the 8.2.6/Lion combination, I can record the same amount of tracks and do almost anything in the background -- load webpages, search the hd, etc and ZERO dropouts unless I really push it.

I tried everything to lose the dropouts with external sync: Changed midi interfaces, changed clock source, etc. Nothing worked. Very upsetting as I have a performance coming up.

Solution: Since I dual boot to Windows 7 using a Bootcamp partition, I installed 8.2.6 on the same Macbook Pro in Windows 7, loaded the same Live set and configured the motu interface until everything was the same as in the OS X boot. Viola, rock solid, full recording of all tracks, no hiccups or dropouts whatsoever, can multitask like crazy (although I wouldn't in a live show) and still no dropouts. I could be just happy to hear clean audio, but I even think the sound quality is better than the OS X version.

I am truly relieved but somewhat irritated I had to go through all of that.

It it goes to show that there is something seriously wrong with the 8.2.6/Lion combo compared with the 8.2.6/Win 7 Combo when it comes to stability using external midi sync.

I'll be running Windows 7 on my Macbook for music for the foreseeable future for a very good reason at this point.

Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:43 am

Re: External Midi Sync -- Record Dropouts in OS X not Windows 7

Post by mattadms » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:29 pm

Can you elaborate a bit by opening the "Activity Monitor" (vis Spotlight for e.g.) and sort the processes by CPU usage?
We are slaving Ableton to Maschine in our setup and experienced the same issues last night.
But it wasnt Ableton which ate up the CPU but "kernel_task".

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