What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
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antic604
KVRAF
5083 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:42 am

As those familiar with my posts know I'm a (vocal :) ) Bitwig user, but - among others - I also have Live 10.1 Suite license mostly because of some old projects, potential collaboration opportunities, Push2 but mostly ...sentiment and appreciation for what a great DAW it is and that it helped me come back to music production after 18 years.

But, again comparing to Bitwig, there's one thing in particular that irks me whenever I have to use it - the fact that it sits there, doing nothing & preventing me from doing stuff:

1) Boot up time is terrible - it can take 2-3 minutes, even longer when it scans / indexes for plugins and even then, when the screen finally shows up, it remains unresponsive for several seconds

2) Projects load for what seems to be an eternity, even if they're simple and using mostly native devices; and again - Live can get unresponsive for couple of seconds after opening a project, i.e. you can't play it even though it seems to be ready

3) Once the project is up, adding or switching to a track with a "new" native device (that you haven't used / touched in given session yet) results in it "freezing" for couple of seconds before you can do anything, sort of as if it was compiling the device in the background or something

I actually went and looked into Task Manager to see what's happening during launching Live, loading projects or adding new devices and for most of the time CPU does nothing or hovers around 5% use.

In contrast:
- Bitwig launches in a couple of seconds. Always. It doesn't scan plugins on startup, because it only looks at the directory if something changed and actually can do it while the DAW is running, so if you install a new plugin mid-session it just gets added to the library and you can use it right away without reloading Bitwig.
- when you load a project Bitwig gives you a progress bar plus an indication - on each track! - whether it's still loading (spinning wheel icon), so a) you can actually start playback if tracks that are still loading are further in the arrangement, b) you can see which track is particularly troublesome (eg. Waves' FlowMotion is one example, D16 Punchbox is the other) and bounce it & disable the VST if that's what you want,
- doesn't freeze when switching tracks or adding a device, even if it's the most complex Grid patch...

I've seen many people complaining about that, but I also saw many that say didn't have any of those problem. It all started with one of the pre-release v10 beta versions and I think it's somehow related with "integration" of M4L in Suite, but obviously I've no way to prove it. One time I made it better by reinstalling Live and cleaning preferences, but it didn't took long before it got to the above described state.

Any ideas how to remedy this?
Last edited by antic604 on Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

Kongru
KVRian
1268 posts since 23 Feb, 2017

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:53 am

That doesn't sound right, it could indicate a hard drive issue. Are you using external hard drives? Do you have an SSD?

My Live loads in around 20 seconds (it shows the grey box and then instant loads up a new project) and doesn't take that long to load projects (depends on the types of projects, orchestral projects with video and lots of tracks can sometimes take a while.) I've noticed that projects with lots of Max4Live devices take longer to load than projects with just lots of VSTs.
Last edited by Kongru on Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Signatures are so early 2000s.

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3786 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:03 am

Live took a long time to load on my old system, but since I moved programs and plugins to SSD, it's just a few seconds. So yes, it seems to be a drive issue.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

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antic604
KVRAF
5083 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:06 am

Kongru wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:53 am
That doesn't sound right, it could indicate a hard drive issue. Are you using external hard drives? Do you have an SSD?
I don't think so. I've 4 other DAWs (Bitwig, Reason, Cubase, S1) and they all work much more reliably and just faster all around :(

I've separate laptop dedicated for music with internal SSD (where all the DAWs + plugins are installed) + internal HDD (samples, sound libraries). Nothing else is connected except for a MIDI controler - either Push2 or M32.
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5083 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:10 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:03 am
Live took a long time to load on my old system, but since I moved programs and plugins to SSD, it's just a few seconds. So yes, it seems to be a drive issue.
No, it isn't.
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

tooneba
KVRian
1358 posts since 6 Nov, 2012

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:14 am

About 3, I think it's trade-off. Ableton always saving undo and project to prepare for auto recovery for crash. I remember just moving track took 10 sec when I reached maximum ram usage on machine with 8GB ram.

xbitz
KVRAF
2759 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:41 am

booting time should be around 10-15sec
https://www.subaqueousmusic.com/fixing- ... n-live-10/
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

Reefius
KVRian
979 posts since 7 Dec, 2013 from Earth

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:54 am

I just checked on my system, Live starts in about 6 to 8 seconds. Even when new plugins are installed, it only takes a few seconds longer (unless it's a new plugin or update from Waves, that seems to trigger a complete re-scan of ALL my Waves plugins).

Everything is on SSD here , Live on internal SSD while plugins on an external via USB3.

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Forgotten
KVRAF
11474 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:00 am

Maybe 5-10 seconds at most for me. Sounds like there’s some kind of issue on your system as that sounds way too long unless you’re working on a 15 year old computer.

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5083 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:09 am

xbitz wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:41 am
booting time should be around 10-15sec
Reefius wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:54 am
I just checked on my system, Live starts in about 6 to 8 seconds. Even when new plugins are installed, it only takes a few seconds longer (unless it's a new plugin or update from Waves, that seems to trigger a complete re-scan of ALL my Waves plugins).
Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:00 am
Maybe 5-10 seconds at most for me. Sounds like there’s some kind of issue on your system as that sounds way too long unless you’re working on a 15 year old computer.
Ok, thanks for that guys!

I'll do a full uninstall, cleaning of all the related folders / registry and re-install it, then. As I said, it's a new and pretty powerful laptop (6-core i7-8750h, 16GB RAM, internal SSD+HDD), dedicated primarily for music and since everything else but Live worked fine I didn't think it was a soft- or hardware issue, just something with a setup.

:tu:

I'll report back :)

I'm considering getting Akai Force or MPC Live and I'd love (Ableton) Live to work smoothly for me since they have a pretty deep and comprehensive integration with it.
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

Kongru
KVRian
1268 posts since 23 Feb, 2017

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:45 am

antic604 wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:09 am
I'm considering getting Akai Force or MPC Live and I'd love (Ableton) Live to work smoothly for me since they have a pretty deep and comprehensive integration with it.
Have you seen the MPC One? It was announced at NAMM, looks pretty cool.
Signatures are so early 2000s.

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
27425 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:49 am

Try going to ...

Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\

and delete all but the current versions of Live (Live 10.1 and/or Live 10.1.9b4).
I just did it (removing 67 folders) and my load time went down from minutes to seconds. :)

xbitz
KVRAF
2759 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:00 am

and the initial plugin scanning also can be disabled with "-NoVstStartupScan" in the options.txt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDKlGlPt_pw
https://sonicbloom.net/en/10-hidden-fea ... tions-txt/
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

User avatar
mgw38
KVRAF
2323 posts since 26 Jul, 2015 from Philadelphia

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:02 am

antic604 wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:42 am
It all started with one of the pre-release v10 beta versions and I think it's somehow related with "integration" of M4L in Suite, but obviously I've no way to prove it.
Suite starts up Max during boot up and that takes some time. It tells you that it is doing that in the status bar. 2-3 minutes is a bit much though. I haven't measured it but I think it is more in the 20-30 second range.

This intermittent freezing thing is indeed annoying. I am not quite sure where that comes from. Some of it seems to be related to Live reindexing stuff, some seems to have to do with automatic backups. The latest beta versions are much better though. It was a nightmare shortly after Live 10 came out.

On my system Bitwig starts up faster but not by that much.

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5083 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: What does Ableton Live do when it does nothing?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:19 am

Kongru wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:45 am
antic604 wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:09 am
I'm considering getting Akai Force or MPC Live and I'd love (Ableton) Live to work smoothly for me since they have a pretty deep and comprehensive integration with it.
Have you seen the MPC One? It was announced at NAMM, looks pretty cool.
Yes, but if I went MPC route I'd prefer Live that can be battery powered and doesn't have those plasticky buttons :D

But I'm actually tempted with Force, because it goes much further than "just" the MPC & sampling - it has Hype synth that's more powerful than Bassline & Tubesynth, clip-launching is really like in Ableton and there's a full arranger coming in Q1:

Image
Last edited by antic604 on Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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