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Is 7200 rpm enough for Ableton Live?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

KVRer
 
27 posts since 7 Jul, 2008

Postby Ustun; Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:18 pm Is 7200 rpm enough for Ableton Live?

Hello,

I'm having some audio dropouts with the 'D' signal going red on Ableton Live so - I guess - I have a slow hard disk. I'm using a 5400 stock hard disk with my Macbook Pro. So the thing I want to know is will a 7200 rpm hard disk will be enough for my set that has 10 clips and a Kontakt instrument going? Or should I go for a SSD? (I just don't want to buy a small hard disk actually, I can only afford for a 128 GB SSD)

Thanks!!
KVRian
 
566 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:21 pm

It depends, for multi sampled instruments all data is readed from RAM, higher speed HD only makes loading data con the ram faster.

What are you using multisampled intruments? virtual instruments? samples?
dedication to flying
KVRer
 
27 posts since 7 Jul, 2008

Postby Ustun; Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:23 pm

I'm using a multi sampled piano, Imperfect Samples Fazioli Ebony Concert Grand, that is a big package, it takes around 400 MB of RAM.
KVRian
 
566 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Just a second, those multisample instruments are hosted in kontakt?
If not Look in to the documentations of the soft and check if it loads sounds in to ram or not. If it does then your HD isn't the problem but more probably something in your setting.

If yes, what daw are you using? 32 or 64 bit?

What buffer size and sample rate do you for your sound card?
dedication to flying
KVRist
 
353 posts since 5 Nov, 2012

Postby OzWozEre; Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:39 pm

I would look into getting more RAM before anything else -- how much do you have 2gb?

It sounds like you are pushing your RAM to the max with your DAW + OS plus this heavy-lifting sample instrument, which is forcing your system to use of "Virtual RAM", which isn't real RAM but rather temporary HD read/writes which is adding the additional stress on your HD.

I would expand your RAM as MUCH as your can, 8gb+, and then I would look into SSD and/or other options...
KVRer
 
27 posts since 7 Jul, 2008

Postby Ustun; Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:41 pm

I'm using 32-bit Ableton Live with OS X 10.8.2. The instrument is hosted in Kontakt. Actually dropouts are not instrument dependent. I mean, I have some dropouts even while I'm not playing with my keyboard. I just realized a RAM issue. I took a screenshot. It shows 21 MB of free RAM and it's verry annoying. But 4 GB of RAM should be enough isn't it?

http://s12.postimage.org/5v4zsyykt/Scre ... _25_AM.png
KVRist
 
353 posts since 5 Nov, 2012

Postby OzWozEre; Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:01 pm

Ustun wrote:I'm using 32-bit Ableton Live with OS X 10.8.2. The instrument is hosted in Kontakt. Actually dropouts are not instrument dependent. I mean, I have some dropouts even while I'm not playing with my keyboard. I just realized a RAM issue. I took a screenshot. It shows 21 MB of free RAM and it's verry annoying. But 4 GB of RAM should be enough isn't it?

http://s12.postimage.org/5v4zsyykt/Scre ... _25_AM.png

Hmmm... interesting -- did you take that screenshot at the exact time you used/played all your instruments/software?

For ref: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342?view ... cale=en_US

'Free RAM' is always usually low since systems are always happy to suck up as much RAM as it can get it's hands on.

I always go by the "Inactive RAM" to see where the stress is -- looks like you were recently "maxed out" -- not sure if that was because you were just recently using the sampled instrument or not, but it kinda looks that way since you were very near your 4gb max level at some point.

I'm not sure when the "Swap used" tally is reset, but that seems a bit low perhaps -- that is the "Virtual RAM" thing I was speaking of.

I'm not really sure, I would play around with your system and keep that Activity Monitor open and keep an eye on it as it changes based on your actions -- I *always* keep mine open.

I still think you could use a few more RAM before anything else :cry:
KVRer
 
27 posts since 7 Jul, 2008

Postby Ustun; Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Yes, everything was playing during that screenshot. Swap used was around 2 GB when I restarted my system, I did not think that it'll reset it.
KVRist
 
353 posts since 5 Nov, 2012

Postby OzWozEre; Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Again, I'm no Mac expert, but I would always go for more RAM before everything else, and always buy 3rd party.

http://macsales.com/

These guys are great -- best value etc. -- don't know if you're able to buy from them, but thought I'd throw it out there.

Don't know if there's some other settings/tricks out there that someone else might know.

:)
KVRian
 
566 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:16 pm

Try the 64 beta version of ableton with the 64 bit version of kontakt, if doesnt fix it, yes you will need more ram and to use a 64 bit version of both so you can use more ram.

You can find the 64 bit version of live 8 in the official forum in the 8.4 beta subsofrum.
dedication to flying
KVRAF
 
3484 posts since 20 Oct, 2001, from my bolthole in the south pacific

Postby egbert; Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:56 pm

rod_zero wrote:It depends, for multi sampled instruments all data is readed from RAM, higher speed HD only makes loading data con the ram faster.

Most large sample sets in Kontakt are set up to stream from the hard disk with only a small buffer (the start of the audio file) stored in RAM. Your instrument voices should be streaming from a different drive than your audio tracks. On a desktop I give sampled instruments and audio tracks their own drives. If you have a laptop with one drive it should be 7200 or and SSD for optimum performance but the option of putting your streaming sample libraries (eg large piano or drum sets) on an external drive is always there. Make sure your drive is defragged as fragmentation of streaming files will greatly diminish your disk I/O performance.
KVRer
 
27 posts since 7 Jul, 2008

Postby Ustun; Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:15 am

Thank you for all your replies!

Try the 64 beta version of ableton with the 64 bit version of kontakt, if doesnt fix it, yes you will need more ram and to use a 64 bit version of both so you can use more ram.

You can find the 64 bit version of live 8 in the official forum in the 8.4 beta subsofrum.


Actually I'm not brave enough to perform live with a beta software :wink:

And these dropouts occur on clips not on my sampled piano. Just wanted to mention this. Even when I delete Kontakt, I still have some micro-mutes during my performance.

Most large sample sets in Kontakt are set up to stream from the hard disk with only a small buffer (the start of the audio file) stored in RAM. Your instrument voices should be streaming from a different drive than your audio tracks. On a desktop I give sampled instruments and audio tracks their own drives. If you have a laptop with one drive it should be 7200 or and SSD for optimum performance but the option of putting your streaming sample libraries (eg large piano or drum sets) on an external drive is always there. Make sure your drive is defragged as fragmentation of streaming files will greatly diminish your disk I/O performance.


This address to another issue that I experience actually. I want to give some details about my set here. On my set there are 8 clips going on and I play piano live, just wanted to underline that these issues that I have are live issues, not production related. When I don't play with my piano for some minutes, on the first notes the audio gets muted, and this post just enlightened me about this, thanks for that. Would buying a 7200 rpm enough for this?
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KVRAF
 
1764 posts since 30 Oct, 2006, from Australia, NSW
 

Postby risome; Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:35 am

More ram yep but a 7200 rpm disk is also better for audio
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KVRer
 
27 posts since 7 Jul, 2008

Postby Ustun; Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:42 am

So, do SSD drives worth the money when it comes to audio-related stuff then? I know that SSDs are superfast hard disks but I'll be only using it with my music computer. Just don't want to throw the money on them if they are not verry necessary and 7200rpm is enough, they are quite expensive.. :(
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KVRian
 
1364 posts since 24 Dec, 2004, from Melbourne, Australia
 

Postby sqigls; Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:19 am

i bought a 240GB SSD a few months ago for my Macbook Pro for $170 which I thought was a good deal... it makes everything much more responsive.
But I would also add that 8GB of RAM would be much more reliable than 4. I'm not sure about defragging on a Mac, but now I have the SSD that is not an issue.

If you buy a 7,200 speed mechanical drive, have a look at the seagate momentus, it's the beez nads.

Also, the Beta of Live 64 isn't as scary as it may sound. I personally notice a lower reading on my CPU monitor while using it, and it's generally very stable. I've done a few big gigs with it now, with no crashes (fingers crossed now i've said that out loud :P)I'd recommend you at least install it and give it a go ;)

Good luck!
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