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TheBro

Ableton Live 10 buffering / glitching

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Okay so Live started to buffer tonight again. I thought I'd solved it by changing Windows to High Performance under Power Management but its buffering. I'm kinda cheesed off because the laptop I have is barely 1 year old (its an 8th Gen i5) and it can't handle Live with a handful of VSTs again. Rubbish.

Please help guys.

Thanks. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

What audio drivers are you using?

what are your sample rate/buffer settings?

are any others programs running at the same time?

is your computer online when you use live?

usb peripherals?

bluetooth?

what is going on in your session, can you be a bit more descriptive than “a few vsts”?

are you using a legitimate or cracked version of live? 

 

Edited by user

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2 hours ago, user said:

What audio drivers are you using?

what are your sample rate/buffer settings?

are any others programs running at the same time?

is your computer online when you use live?

usb peripherals?

bluetooth?

what is going on in your session, can you be a bit more descriptive than “a few vsts”?

are you using a legitimate or cracked version of live? 

 

Using a Legitimate version. I'll post the rest of the details in a bit. Cheers.

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Hey I'm using a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB 1.0 with their own ASIO drivers, sample rate is 44khz 512 samples. I'll post more in a bit.

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Posted (edited)

Weird, your computer should be able to handle that no problem. My old laptop's wifi card gave me a lot of buffer problems, but I thought that sort of stuff was ancient history. Try to disable wifi just to check anyway.

 

wait usb 1.0 what

Edited by Gocab

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2 hours ago, user said:

What audio drivers are you using?

what are your sample rate/buffer settings?

are any others programs running at the same time?

is your computer online when you use live?

usb peripherals?

bluetooth?

what is going on in your session, can you be a bit more descriptive than “a few vsts”?

are you using a legitimate or cracked version of live? 

 

My computer is Online when using Live. My soundcard is plug direct into the USB port and I have a powered hub for other stuff USB sticks, keyboard, midi to usb interfaces etc. Running maybe 6-8 vst. Ableton reads no more than 20% on the CPU metre but pops and stutters at 6%. No Bluetooth being used while Live is running. Running Windows 10 with 156 GB left on the harddrive which is SSD and 8gb ram.

14 minutes ago, Gocab said:

Weird, your computer should be able to handle that no problem. My old laptop's wifi card gave me a lot of buffer problems, but I thought that sort of stuff was ancient history. Try to disable wifi just to check anyway.

 

wait usb 1.0 what

I know ☹️. Should run smoothly something is slowing it down.

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What VSTs are you running - and are any of them having to stream stuff from external drives (eg Kontakt?)

Does it gradually get more and more 'poppy' as you add more and more VST/i s or can you pinpoint it to a specific VST (e.g. I know if I whack Diva in Divine mode or Fabfilter Q3 in 32x Oversampling it'll be crackle city)

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4 hours ago, TheBro said:

My computer is Online when using Live. My soundcard is plug direct into the USB port and I have a powered hub for other stuff USB sticks, keyboard, midi to usb interfaces etc. Running maybe 6-8 vst. Ableton reads no more than 20% on the CPU metre but pops and stutters at 6%. No Bluetooth being used while Live is running. Running Windows 10 with 156 GB left on the harddrive which is SSD and 8gb ram.

I know ☹️. Should run smoothly something is slowing it down.

Cheers!

Silly question but have you tried using a different usb cable for your audio interface?

Does it make a difference if you go offline?

Do you have another daw installed? Could you try messing around with that for a while to see if it also has issues? This would help finding out if it’s an issue with live or with your computer or soundcard.

Have you contacted ableton’s techsupport? 

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48 minutes ago, user said:

Cheers!

Silly question but have you tried using a different usb cable for your audio interface?

Does it make a difference if you go offline?

Do you have another daw installed? Could you try messing around with that for a while to see if it also has issues? This would help finding out if it’s an issue with live or with your computer or soundcard.

Have you contacted ableton’s techsupport? 

Thanks I'll try some of those suggestions.

Oh and I've only got two usb ports so if one plays up I'm kinda stuffed lol.

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You can go through this check list, except for the bits about the NI sound card, definitely try the latency monitor thing. It sorted me out back when I was having troubles. https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/209571729-Windows-Tuning-Tips-for-Audio-Processing

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usb 1.0 probably isnt helping much..also are you using the focusrite aiso or just core audio through the focusrite?

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I'm using Focusrite ASIO dude.

16 hours ago, Gocab said:

You can go through this check list, except for the bits about the NI sound card, definitely try the latency monitor thing. It sorted me out back when I was having troubles. https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/209571729-Windows-Tuning-Tips-for-Audio-Processing

Thanks man I'll check that link out.

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I don't have a lot helpful to say except I got some Live issues too during recent days.

What you can definitely do is take the project that is giving you issues, and start turning devices off one by one and see at what point it gets better. Maybe there is some particular VST that is giving you trouble.

I'm running my Live on 256 samples buffer by the way.

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Posted (edited)

I'm just disappointed as I'm running fuck all vsts really. 

Edited by TheBro
Missed a word
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i always have trouble with the power management stuff. Live behaves like this setting has been reset every few days even though i can see i'm still on 'high performance' mode. seems to be a windows problem because when i check out task manager there's something called "windows endpoint audio" (or something like that) and it's using 33% of my cpu at all times. also will catch Live wigging out at around 100% cpu but in task manager can see it never goes beyond 33%.

i bought serum last week and kept experiencing crashes when moving the wt pos knob. but i don't know if this was an issue on old live versions because i didn't have serum before.

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6 hours ago, Mesh Gear Fox said:

i always have trouble with the power management stuff. Live behaves like this setting has been reset every few days even though i can see i'm still on 'high performance' mode. seems to be a windows problem because when i check out task manager there's something called "windows endpoint audio" (or something like that) and it's using 33% of my cpu at all times. also will catch Live wigging out at around 100% cpu but in task manager can see it never goes beyond 33%.

It could be related to multiple cores. Basically if Live and all it's processes run on a single core out of your quad/dual core CPU, then from Live's perspective they are using 100% out of the CPU core.

However, checking from the operating system side (task manager), it is aware that you have many cores and therefore the total load of Live becomes 25% (on a quad core) or 50% (on dual core).

For added confusion, if you have hyper-threading on, then all your physical cores are doubled on the software side due to some insane magical trickery. Basically your task manager will show that you have 8 cores even though your laptop has a big pizza stained INTEL INSIDE QUAD CORE sticker on it.

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10 hours ago, TheBro said:

I'm just disappointed as I'm running fuck all vsts really. 

It just takes one shittily made VST to thrash around your carefully set up bespoke sounds.

Also I may be wrong here, but the buffer size can go both ways. Large buffer size can cause buffer underruns. Here's my explanation that I have crafted for simple minds like myself:

  1. Digital audio is not a continuous signal, it's a bunch of samples (44,1k per second at 44,1kHz sample rate). Buffer size is basically telling the DAW and all VSTs that "ok guys everyone's processing exactly 64 samples at a time". It's like a factory line where one VST is a line worker petting your transients to be more perky, another just cuts the lows. Mathemagically it's possible to do all this stuff only looking at what's basically a fraction of a microsecond of sound.
  2. Setting a small buffer size is basically making your factory line work quickly on small pieces of audio. It's basically putting stress on the CPU and VST efficiency for doing the processing as fast as possible. It's good because you can hear your stuff with less delay, which is essential if you are actually playing a MIDI keyboard or something.
  3. Setting a large buffer size is making it work less quickly but on larger pieces of audio. There are no free lunches so now you will have more latency and probably some VSTs shit themselves a little more if they now need to process 256 instead of 64 samples. I don't really know what else can go wrong here but it seems like setting a huge buffer size will cause problems if the rest of your system is somehow tuned to work better with smaller sizes.

Basically what I am saying is: take your project, disable every VST and device, drop the buffer size to the smallest, then enable one VST and see if you hear cracks and pops. If you do, increase buffer size until you don't. Enable one more thing and try again.

Also shut down your browser and any other app that's not essential for the audio work (just for the sake of testing things).

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On 5/23/2020 at 7:30 PM, mcbpete said:

What VSTs are you running - and are any of them having to stream stuff from external drives (eg Kontakt?)

Does it gradually get more and more 'poppy' as you add more and more VST/i s or can you pinpoint it to a specific VST (e.g. I know if I whack Diva in Divine mode or Fabfilter Q3 in 32x Oversampling it'll be crackle city)

I'll just repeat mcbpete's questions. What VSTs are you running? Also, are you mining for bitcoin?

  • Haha 1

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2 hours ago, thawkins said:

It could be related to multiple cores. Basically if Live and all it's processes run on a single core out of your quad/dual core CPU, then from Live's perspective they are using 100% out of the CPU core.

However, checking from the operating system side (task manager), it is aware that you have many cores and therefore the total load of Live becomes 25% (on a quad core) or 50% (on dual core).

For added confusion, if you have hyper-threading on, then all your physical cores are doubled on the software side due to some insane magical trickery. Basically your task manager will show that you have 8 cores even though your laptop has a big pizza stained INTEL INSIDE QUAD CORE sticker on it.

yeah i'm pretty certain it's a core thing for the reasons you described. Live processes the first track on the first core, the second track on the second, and it keeps going until it runs out of cores then it starts again. my computer is 2 cores but shows 4 virtual ones due to hyper threading.

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1 hour ago, Mesh Gear Fox said:

yeah i'm pretty certain it's a core thing for the reasons you described. Live processes the first track on the first core, the second track on the second, and it keeps going until it runs out of cores then it starts again. my computer is 2 cores but shows 4 virtual ones due to hyper threading.

The real answer is of course more complicated as usual https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/articles/209069609-Why-does-Live-s-CPU-meter-show-a-different-load-than-the-Activity-Monitor-Task-Manager-

I would say more about this stuff but I am getting the feeling I got it all wrong and it is now time for me to shut the fuck up. 🙂

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It seems that because I have the Trial Licence that I'm not eligible for Tech Support from Ableton. I did notice in my processes that Malware Bytes is taking up about a lot of Memory as is Microsoft Edge. Its strange because I closed Edge down and didn't make much difference. I have no idea how the browser can use so much memory as its only got like 6 tabs running. I'm going to try the power management thing again selecting normal and high performance again to see if that assists.

Open to other suggestions as it appears I'm going to have to figure this out by myself.

Thanks all for the advise so far.

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If you have 6 instances of Youtube open your computer is gonna melt.

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Just now, Squee said:

If you have 6 instances of Youtube open your computer is gonna melt.

Hi Squee no I had none as it happens lol. Just instances of Ableton website, here and my e-mail. That's about it.

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You have yet to tell us which plugins you were running ;)

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3 minutes ago, Squee said:

You have yet to tell us which plugins you were running 😉

Hold let me load it up and I'll post the list. 🙂

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