from REAPER to ABLETON (one big disappointment)

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
KVRist
112 posts since 28 Feb, 2007

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:03 pm

Hi all,

as a long time Reaper user (11+ years) I wanted to discover favourite DAW of many successful producers - ABLETON. So I installed trial version for 90 days. Firstly I fell in love in whole concept of this DAW like FXs, scenes, Max for Live devices, etc so I started to convince myself to migrate. But after one "bigger" project I was disappointed by CPU performance and crackling sound. So I made (almost) identical project in Reaper to see the differencies. My PC is four months old (Ryzen 9300x, 32GB RAM, x570 MB, 2x M2 SSDs and 4GB Radeon GPU + Presonus AudioBox interface)

My project consists of: Spire, ANA2, 2x Hive, Addictive Keys, Dune3, Serum, Diva, Geist2, 10x Toneboosters EQ, 5x ShaperBox, 3x Valhalla VV and five audio tracks.

In Win10 task manager the consumption is:

Live:
14% CPU, 2450 MB RAM and 36.2% GPU

Reaper:
5,9% CPU, 1253 MB RAM ang 0% GPU

So I don't know if this is OK. In Reaper I usually used 100 FX and there was no problem at all but in Ableton there is some crackling here and there and I really don't know what to think about it...

(If anyone will be interested I can share this project)

I know that it will be better to post this topic to Ableton forum. But anyway...

Thanks

MarioS

User avatar
KVRAF
21411 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:14 pm

Live is not known for being very CPU efficient.

KVRAF
3150 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:15 pm

do you know about the one thread per one signal path limitation of it ?
How many threads are used per Live track?

Live uses one thread to process a signal path. A signal path is a single chain of audio flow. In tracks where instrument or effect racks are used, with multiple chains in parallel, Live may use one thread per chain depending on how CPU-intensive each chain may be. If two tracks are "chained" by routings, for instance by a side-chain routing, a track being fed to a return track or any tracks being fed into each-other, they are considered dependent tracks and count as one signal path. Any dependant set of tracks will use one thread each.

Why do I have high CPU load in a set with just one track?

Because Live uses one thread per signal path, a set with just one track could potentially result in high CPU load if the track contains, for instance, a CPU-intensive instrument followed by a large chain of CPU-intensive effects.
- https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... ndling-FAQ

this is what matters in AL https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

KVRAF
2876 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:37 pm

Live has terrible cpu efficiency, that's why I stopped using it.
It's a shame as I used it for years and love it, but found it too limiting.

User avatar
be
KVRist
172 posts since 27 Sep, 2006 from Cologne, Germany

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:08 pm

For many years, I mainly used Reaper due to its immense flexibility and resource friendliness, but since version 2.5 I got into Bitwig and recently bought into Ableton Live Suite (looking forward to 11). I use the latter two mostly as a kind of "alternate (tracking) studios", where I can create ideas & material with all those cool tools Bitwig & Live offer, but for arranging & mixing I then go to Reaper. So the mentioned limitations don´t bother me, actually they might be rather helpful in forcing me to stop stacking stuff up endlessly...

KVRian
515 posts since 19 Oct, 2020

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:45 pm

Well, but right now I'm using Reaper with 4 'Voices of Prag' instances in one UVI Workstation (less than 5GB in total for Reaper out of 32GB) and my computer stands still after each change in the project. Which doesn't happen in Live on the same laptop (or in Bitwig).

And don't get me started with the garbage 'Retrospective Record' (from MPL) spits out in Reaper. And the piano roll, I feel like I'm way too stupid to erase a single note or edit some CCs.

User avatar
KVRAF
21411 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:49 pm

Single thread performance matters in EVERY DAW. Not just Live.

The main thing is, Reaper is doing something Live isn't, which is called processing ahead of time (anticipative processing). This utilized your CPU much better.

User avatar
KVRAF
21411 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:50 pm

ReleaseCandidate wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:45 pm
And the piano roll, I feel like I'm way too stupid to erase a single note or edit some CCs.
Adjust mouse modifiers to your taste.

KVRian
515 posts since 19 Oct, 2020

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:56 pm

EvilDragon wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:50 pm
ReleaseCandidate wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:45 pm
And the piano roll, I feel like I'm way too stupid to erase a single note or edit some CCs.
Adjust mouse modifiers to your taste.
I know, I'm just too lazy to do that, because I almost never (first time this year :D) use Reaper with MIDI, only audio normally (and I quite like it for that actually, because it feels almost as good as Samplitude/Sequoia - and it's almost as ugly too ;).
I just needed to vent a little right now.

User avatar
KVRAF
7958 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:31 pm

boriskarloff wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:03 pm
...Firstly I fell in love in whole concept of this DAW like FXs, scenes, Max for Live devices, etc so I started to convince myself to migrate...
The reason you got interested in using Live is the same reason why it's heavier on the CPU. It was designed as a realtime DAW, where you can freely modulate stuff across the project, change the playback order, swap instruments & FX on-the-fly without any hitch; use random and generative modulations, MIDI and FX.

All of this means Live doesn't do any pre-calculation or pre-rendering of instruments & FX, everything is live all the time, not just when track is armed. Bitwig or Reason are the same as Live. On the other hand Reaper, Cubase, Studio One, Logic (+ probably others) use double buffering and pre-rendering techniques to process as much tracks & plugins as possible, but for a mostly linear playback.

I'm really surprised people are still surprised by this... :roll:
Music tech enthusiast.
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder.
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
KVRAF
21411 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:49 pm

You can do free modulation across project in Reaper too (that said, built-in modulators are quite rudimentary, but you can do a BUNCH of stuff with JSFX). Plugins load without glitching the audio at all. And there's an extension for Live-like clip lanuching facilities, too... All with way lower CPU usage...

KVRist
289 posts since 11 Dec, 2017

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:07 pm

Since you’ve used Reaper for 11 years... what is your audio device block size set at in Live?

I barely ever paid attention to my block size when I used REAPER because it used anticipative FX processing. It is pretty critical to choose the correct buffer size in Live.

KVRist
181 posts since 18 Apr, 2008

Post Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:13 pm

So live is better at some things and reaper is better at others? Sounds about right…

User avatar
KVRAF
6366 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Darkest Kent, UK

Post Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:07 am

I mainly use Reaper with Live Intro as my secondary DAW for when I need something different, maybe even inspiration with loops and stuff. But I always end up finishing the track in Reaper, just a smoother experience for me, less cpu, audio editing seems much more intuitive etc. Never had a problem swapping effects in or out in Reaper either, audio engine is rock solid in my experience and I can get noticeably shorter latency too.
()_()
(O.o)
(")(")

User avatar
KVRAF
7958 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:44 am

EvilDragon wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:49 pm
You can do free modulation across project in Reaper too (that said, built-in modulators are quite rudimentary, but you can do a BUNCH of stuff with JSFX). Plugins load without glitching the audio at all. And there's an extension for Live-like clip lanuching facilities, too... All with way lower CPU usage...
GaryG wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:07 am
I mainly use Reaper with Live Intro as my secondary DAW for when I need something different, maybe even inspiration with loops and stuff. But I always end up finishing the track in Reaper, just a smoother experience for me, less cpu, audio editing seems much more intuitive etc. Never had a problem swapping effects in or out in Reaper either, audio engine is rock solid in my experience and I can get noticeably shorter latency too.

Ok, maybe. I'm not Reaper's fan despite trying it 10+ times; and can thus be wildly ignorant about it. The fact still stands, I don't see people doing music in Reaper like I see/hear all the time from the more realtime DAWs, like Live, Bitwig or Reason. I'm sure with enough determination one can do anything in Reaper and maybe indeed with lower latency / DSP. After all Reaper is a much more modern, cleaner code base with less dependancies and legacy stuff.
Music tech enthusiast.
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder.
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

Return to “Hosts & Applications (Sequencers, DAWs, Audio Editors, etc.)”