M4L Stability

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
Angstrom
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Angstrom » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:50 pm

in reply to the above, yes my guess is the Windows handling of circular references. Because OSX is more lenient.
Although there have been vague suggestions of some mysterious memory issue, I don't have much faith in that. The desktop machine I use is probably representative of many win machines - an i7 at 3.4ghz with 16GB of memory. The motherboard was chosen for power, it wasn't cheap. http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8Z68V_PRO/

I have not noticed any Ableton responses to these issues on the Beta forums, I have just submitted bug reports on there and got a bit of communication back. Nothing exciting, basically "we know about these issues but don't know why it does this"

Eanna
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Eanna » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:08 pm

Thanks for replying Angstrom.
Angstrom wrote:basically "we know about these issues but don't know why it does this"
OK Ableton, time to roll up your sleeves and figure out why!
While things like Tuner devices and a fix for Push's Aftertouch are important, I'd swap a bunch of features for a stable platform any day..

tecolo
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by tecolo » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:13 pm

Eanna wrote: Call me a foolhardy optimist... I probably am.
That's it!! That's the name of my disease when it comes to m4l and Live... :x

tecolo
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by tecolo » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:13 pm

Eanna wrote:Thanks for replying Angstrom.
Angstrom wrote:basically "we know about these issues but don't know why it does this"
OK Ableton, time to roll up your sleeves and figure out why!
While things like Tuner devices and a fix for Push's Aftertouch are important, I'd swap a bunch of features for a stable platform any day..
AFAIK they are aware of it and they work on it. I got this info from people which actually work on that.

stringtapper
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by stringtapper » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:53 pm

Inversoundzzz wrote:i just noticed an update though foir max and using it now, maybe this will help..
Huh? There hasn't been an update to Max since December and that was Max 7.0.1.

The last update to Max 6 was 6.1.9 and that was in October.
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Angstrom
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Angstrom » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:14 pm

stringtapper wrote:
Inversoundzzz wrote:i just noticed an update though foir max and using it now, maybe this will help..
Huh? There hasn't been an update to Max since December and that was Max 7.0.1.

The last update to Max 6 was 6.1.9 and that was in October.
Live doesn't tell users they have out of date components, live packs, max, etc. you have to log in and navigate to your account and manually go and check version numbers. It's pretty easy to get out of date with a "system" so fractured.

stringtapper
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by stringtapper » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:32 pm

Angstrom wrote:
stringtapper wrote:
Inversoundzzz wrote:i just noticed an update though foir max and using it now, maybe this will help..
Huh? There hasn't been an update to Max since December and that was Max 7.0.1.

The last update to Max 6 was 6.1.9 and that was in October.
Live doesn't tell users they have out of date components, live packs, max, etc. you have to log in and navigate to your account and manually go and check version numbers. It's pretty easy to get out of date with a "system" so fractured.
Ah, yeah that's poor. It needs to be in the app itself. I guess I don't encounter this with M4L because I run Max as well.
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Angstrom
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Angstrom » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:17 pm

stringtapper wrote:
Angstrom wrote: Live doesn't tell users they have out of date components, live packs, max, etc. you have to log in and navigate to your account and manually go and check version numbers. It's pretty easy to get out of date with a "system" so fractured.
Ah, yeah that's poor. It needs to be in the app itself. I guess I don't encounter this with M4L because I run Max as well.
It will warn you if you open the edit window of M4L (as you are now in Max) and it checks versions I think, the problem is it says something that looks a lot like an advert for Max version 7 which is a paid upgrade I would assume. Who knows !
Image

Is max 7 even compatible with L9, do I pay? what is this? Other than a message from the people who crash my computer?

but anyway - a lot of AbletonLive users just use the LFO and Convolution Reverb as devices so will never see even that very confusing message.

As I said, a fractured system. Is your M4L essentials up to date, is your M4L up to date, will it work on your Windows machine, will it work in a year? who would ever know.

NoSonic822
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by NoSonic822 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:27 am

Angstrom wrote:
stringtapper wrote:
Angstrom wrote: Live doesn't tell users they have out of date components, live packs, max, etc. you have to log in and navigate to your account and manually go and check version numbers. It's pretty easy to get out of date with a "system" so fractured.
Ah, yeah that's poor. It needs to be in the app itself. I guess I don't encounter this with M4L because I run Max as well.
It will warn you if you open the edit window of M4L (as you are now in Max) and it checks versions I think, the problem is it says something that looks a lot like an advert for Max version 7 which is a paid upgrade I would assume. Who knows !
Image

Is max 7 even compatible with L9, do I pay? what is this? Other than a message from the people who crash my computer?

but anyway - a lot of AbletonLive users just use the LFO and Convolution Reverb as devices so will never see even that very confusing message.

As I said, a fractured system. Is your M4L essentials up to date, is your M4L up to date, will it work on your Windows machine, will it work in a year? who would ever know.
haha! no. i get no suchj warnings......there was a period last summer i checked and nothing....they never update it so i never check.....then i just ddecided to yesterday, so i have that update. which i guess has been out for months now...they probably updated it the day after i checked...i only started using the tx81z remake a lot recently which is max4L and so it started creating the same old problems.....but over the last couple weeks it was getting really bad....like my files owouldnt open up any more, i have a beast computer....it ended up being a windows problem..windows was trying to update....but then i instaleled the new max (errr old i guess for everyone else who gets told about updates)....and then i couldnt even gfet into live....so i reinstalled live, then resinstalled max...then my audio device wouldnt work anymore....then after a few more restarts, and more windows updates, everything is working now.....btw i use win 8.1 and I also use 1024 buffer size...i work almost entirely with midi.....i used to email live poelple alot about how bad max was but i just gave up aftger a while......but that tx81z is amazing sounding...it s making iot into my new songs...so hopeopflly max is better noiw with that update id been missing for so long.

NoSonic822
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by NoSonic822 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:45 am

i figured out what has been causing all my immediate crashes, it seems that when I have two instances of the tx81 m4L synth in my default set template, it will only open successfully maybe 25% of the time...otherwise....it will just not open live atall and make me have to restart my pc.........but as soon as i changedmy default set to only having one track with the tx81z, now everything runs fine.....i dont get this understand it......it has to be someting to do with max...and having more than one tx81z in the default set......

Eanna
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Eanna » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:25 pm

Yeah, these kinds of issue, such things as this do appear to cause instability for me too.
I've removed all M4L devices from my default set as a result...

I've aggressively disabled a lot of Windows features - from a Windows perspective, I run a tight ship. And before I start Ableton, I kill yet more apps in a batch script (dropbox, nvidia control panel app, others), and even disable my Network Card (a wired ethernet card). The more you can stop before launching Ableton with M4L, the better it seems. I'm not exactly sure which one / combination gives me apparently a more robust system, and it'd be a long-winded trial-and-error process to find that, so I just stop as much as I can get away with.

My current startup process for Ableton (which seems to be giving me most stability) is to first add the Max Midi Effect to my default set (having native ableton devices and vsts in the default set seems OK), leave it load in full (give it two mins or so, until the disk sounds less busy), and clicking on the Edit button to present the Max Editor for that patcher. Feel like that little tap-dance forces Ableton/Windows load Cycling74 runtime dependencies in order, and allows memory to be allocated without interruption from separate events, reducing the effort of library load synchronization, or whatever...

On Win7 32-bit, with the 3GB support flag set, I can now run an Ableton processs at 2.5 Gig set without choking, even at 128 samples into a Scarlett 6i6. That's loading two instances of Sonic Faction Sickness and Sonic Faction Hatchet (both sample-heavy M4L devices), a couple of other smaller Max devices, and some vsts and native devices.
(FYI, here's the page I used to switch on 3GB support for user processes: http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/a ... -XP-s.html).

Oscillot still is a problem, and it seems that presenting the module patch editor dialog is what hurts me most reliably. The effect for me is that it causes the 'freeze' / 99% CPU issue I mentioned above - Ableton spikes to 99% CPU, audio stops, mouse moves slow, computer is too busy with Ableton to do anything much else: that lasts for a 10-20 seconds, then CPU usage drops down to normal levels again, and Ableton is fine; and maybe a minute or so later, it spikes up to 99% again - once that happens once in a Set, it'll keep happening - I've no choice by to close Ableton. But at least Ableton is still usable (I can save) in between CPU spikes.

Also, it appears that when I drag and drop devices into slots, I'm more likely to cause the CPU Spikes scenario.

So, in summary, it seems that killing as much as possible, and giving Ableton breathing space to load stuff 'in its own time', helps m4l stability. And there seems to be some kind of CPU Spike issue, maybe associated with screen redaws, for me at least.

filter_7
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by filter_7 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:07 pm

I have many Live crashes when I load another project or quit the program. My usual suspect is the M4L convolution reverb, that is in the project before I load a new one.

I'm on Win Xp with 4Gb of ram with Live 32bit, and using my sets there's usually almost 2 Gb of free ram; the cpu stress is below 30% so I might think that the problem is not cpu or ram related, but I really don't know.

Anyone with the same crashes on open/quit with convolution in?

Angstrom
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Angstrom » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:57 pm

filter_7 wrote: Anyone with the same crashes on open/quit with convolution in?
yeah, lots of people. Although I run it as 64bit. It's not so much a memory thing as a M4L devices can crash Live thing.

It's pretty weird that after all that effort debugging Live8 they then let this wild unstable beast into the application, which made it as unstable as a house of cards. If they are claiming that M4L is really integrated into the Live application, and is part of it - then they have to admit that Live itself is now more unstable than it ever was.

Oh, and please - if you are one of those "it doesn't crash for me" people, don't try and tell me there's no problem.
Image

stringtapper
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by stringtapper » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:17 pm

I'm not at a computer but I'm fairly certain that the convolution reverb uses some of Alex Harker's externals, most of which weren't even ported to Windows as late as 2011. I'd bet top dollar that the problem Windows users are having with that device lies somewhere in those externals.

Externals are the real sticky point with the whole idea of M4L. Having the ability to insert code from outside of the system presents several problems in terms of quality control and really makes it incumbent upon the user to know what they've got on their system.

But this being an official M4L device one would hope that Ableton has some strategy in place to deal with bug fixes within externals either through the author or directly.

You being you, Angstrom, I'm sure you've been reporting this stuff. It seems like it's pretty clearly a Windows oriented issue just from the numbers I see here.

You guys have a list of particular M4L devices that are causing the issues?
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Angstrom
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Re: M4L Stability

Post by Angstrom » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:42 pm

stringtapper wrote:I

You being you, Angstrom, I'm sure you've been reporting this stuff. It seems like it's pretty clearly a Windows oriented issue just from the numbers I see here.

You guys have a list of particular M4L devices that are causing the issues?
My normal 'crash on open' crashlog I sent them a huuuuge bombardment of for a while, and when it was acknowledged on the beta / centercode I slowed those dumps to a minimum. Otherwise it would be my dayjob.

The others, the bluscreens, the weird crashes, I usually report those unless its bluscreened me so hard i have to walk away from the computer and next time I start it up I've forgotten what this particular crashlog is. Because I always get a "live crashed last time" alert, its not exactly a reminder.

My assumption is that max devices with heavy memory or file read requirements can cause issues, and can cause issues on loading in a default set because the delay incurred triggers the win OS circular reference issue. Live starts to load-> starts to load Max-> max device in default set calls LiveAPI -> LIve Api calls an as yet undefined max object, shit goes horrible.
Windows is stricter than Unix in requiring every symbol to have a resolution at link time.
If the initial device is small the load latency is mere milliseconds and the circular reference issue is often avoided by luck. But if the m4l device is larger, it loads slower and the two apps start juggling nulls.

Obviously this is complete guesswork, but the leniency of Unix based systems and the stringency of Win systems, combined with the issues regarding larger max devices makes me think issues related to that are problematic.

I have no clues on the other more bluescreeny crashes. They are quite random and often happen when I just link an LFO to a parameter, or touch the LFO dial. Those ones just make me want to take up woodturning, or basket weaving.

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