New iMAC Ableton Live 8 problem
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  1. #1
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    Default New iMAC Ableton Live 8 problem

    Specs:

    IMac 27 i5 4gb Ram
    Ableton live 8
    Saphire Pro 14 soundcard
    Vestax vcm 600

    Ok so i seem to get a pop when my effects racks are activated when I toggle my vcm knob. Previously the effects rack were on all the time but this meant the cpu was working too hard so I mapped the racks only to come on when the value was 1 or above and deactivate when the value was below (0). However when my rack is activated (e.g. beat repeat) there is pop as the effect comes on. This only happens at the point the rack is activated and does not happen again when the rack is being used in different values (beat repeat 1/6 1/32 etc). This happens for all of my effect racks when they are activated.

    Why is this? How do i stop it? I am new to owning a mac and ableton, so I'm not sure about things like latency, audio buffers etc some advice would be much appreciated....after shelling out £1600 for a new mac I would like the sound to be 100% glitch pop free.

    I hope you can help.

  2. #2
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    im guessing you need to adjust either latency or 'look ahead' if you have a compressor in ur rack
    Traktor Scratch Pro 2.7, MBP 13", iPad 2 & TouchOSC, Reloop NEON, Pioneer DJM750mk2, Mackie d.2, Pioneer CDJ800 x2, Technics SL1210MK2 x2, NI Audio 6 DJ, Dicers,

  3. #3
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    Look Ahead??

    How much should I alter the latency by? Is there an actual specific value I should be using?

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    Tech Guru DigitalDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka View Post
    How much should I alter the latency by? Is there an actual specific value I should be using?
    keep going up until the distortion stops.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Coldfuzion's Avatar
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    hey, sorry for going a bit off topic but i was wondering how you like the imac? and if you jus do music production on it or do anything else with it as well? im looking to pick one up but I really need one for both the music production / djing and I want to use it to game on as well to play games like starcraft2 with high fps.Would you reccomend it for those uses?

    thanks!

  6. #6

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    I thought macs were known for zero latency..

  7. #7
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Nosferatu, where'd you make that up?

    OP, Ableton does something called "automatic plugin delay compensation" or something close to that…what you're hearing has nothing to do with audio buffers or any of the normal sources of latency. What you're hearing is that when the effect rack turns on, it suddenly takes more time to process the audio going through the device rack than it did to process the audio not going through the effect rack.

    In order to keep everything exactly in time, Ableton figures out how long it takes to process that audio and delays everything else by that amount.

    My suggestion is to stop being mad/frustrated at/with it for doing exactly what its supposed to do and use it right.

    Either leave your racks on all the time or put the effects in a send. You can use google to figure out how to map a midi macro to turn a button or knob into a wet/dry control (i use the Send A and Send B knobs on my vcm, as well as the track mute buttons for a third) using dummy channels and utility plugins.

    The track delays will always work out, and you won't get that pop unless it's caused by an abrupt change to your audio signal based on what something in your rack does, which I can't help you with unless I have a copy of your .als file.

    Also, what are you doing to make the CPU work too hard? My old macbook performs just fine with what I do until I start using too many midi instrument racks in a DJ template…and then only when I try to make it send analog through multiple effects while other tracks are playing and a lot of other stuff is going on. I still wouldn't qualify it as really working too hard…it just gets a bit hotter than I feel safe running.
    Last edited by mostapha; 01-08-2011 at 11:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    Nosferatu, where'd you make that up?

    OP, Ableton does something called "automatic plugin delay compensation" or something close to that…what you're hearing has nothing to do with audio buffers or any of the normal sources of latency. What you're hearing is that when the effect rack turns on, it suddenly takes more time to process the audio going through the device rack than it did to process the audio not going through the effect rack.

    In order to keep everything exactly in time, Ableton figures out how long it takes to process that audio and delays everything else by that amount.

    My suggestion is to stop being mad/frustrated at/with it for doing exactly what its supposed to do and use it right.

    Either leave your racks on all the time or put the effects in a send. You can use google to figure out how to map a midi macro to turn a button or knob into a wet/dry control (i use the Send A and Send B knobs on my vcm, as well as the track mute buttons for a third) using dummy channels and utility plugins.

    The track delays will always work out, and you won't get that pop unless it's caused by an abrupt change to your audio signal based on what something in your rack does, which I can't help you with unless I have a copy of your .als file.

    Also, what are you doing to make the CPU work too hard? My old macbook performs just fine with what I do until I start using too many midi instrument racks in a DJ template…and then only when I try to make it send analog through multiple effects while other tracks are playing and a lot of other stuff is going on. I still wouldn't qualify it as really working too hard…it just gets a bit hotter than I feel safe running.
    thanks for the help there. In terms of the CPU usage I get around 45-48% when all the racks are activated and all 7 channels have audio playing so not at its maximum.

    I did a little testing myself today and this is what I found.

    1) I disconnected all controllers and sound cards and ran the set through the mac input/output listening through the head phones had no pops or any noises when the beat repeat rack was activated.

    2) Reconnected all the controllers (not the sound card or monitors) and did the same test again through the head phones. I could hear a slight pop once again when the knob on the Vestax was turned activating the rack.

    3) I connected the sound card and monitors this time and not the midi controller, this time activated the rack manually using the mouse and the pop seemed to have disappeared.

    4) Attached the Vestax and the sound card plus the monitors and once again the sound seemed to be there when the vestax knob activated the effect.

    I noticed that the pop sound occurs at the exact point the Vestax sends the midi information to ableton (this is indicated by the red light appearing underneath 'data send' every time the knob is turned).

    It seems as though the initial Vestax midi signal is creating an audible glitch/pop/sound.

    At low volume the sound is not so apparent, however when you increase the master volume the small pop becomes very apparent.


    In terms of my map I have the first 3 channels (Deck 1,2,3) with there own eq and audio effects (beat repeat, grey, reverb etc) controlled by the send a, b, resonance and frequency. The eq is controlled by the corresponding knobs and the gain controlled by the pan. I don't have anything sent to the sends as I wanted to be able to have total control of each effect on each channel individually. The mute button is a four bar loop activator, the solo is a headphone cue button and as of yet the hi, mid, low buttons have no operation.

    I would like to send you my map if you would be kind enough to have a look and let me know of improvements and how to modify it still giving me the control i want. I'm new to ableton, mapping and macs in general so its a trial error, ask questions and get advice process at the moment.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my initial post.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldfuzion View Post
    hey, sorry for going a bit off topic but i was wondering how you like the imac? and if you jus do music production on it or do anything else with it as well? im looking to pick one up but I really need one for both the music production / djing and I want to use it to game on as well to play games like starcraft2 with high fps.Would you reccomend it for those uses?

    thanks!
    First mac, very impressed. Quick, stable, user friendly, amazing screen, does everything as it should, loads up in 15 secs flat, ableton loads in less than 6secs, can't see me needing anything else for a long time.

    I also own 3 PC Workstations for my free lance photography and videography work. I can see them becoming obsolete the more I start to utilise the MAC even though I purchased it solely for music DJ'ing and learning to produce my own tracks.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Coldfuzion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka View Post
    First mac, very impressed. Quick, stable, user friendly, amazing screen, does everything as it should, loads up in 15 secs flat, ableton loads in less than 6secs, can't see me needing anything else for a long time.

    I also own 3 PC Workstations for my free lance photography and videography work. I can see them becoming obsolete the more I start to utilise the MAC even though I purchased it solely for music DJ'ing and learning to produce my own tracks.
    Ever tried any games? jus curious since I know we have a few Starcraft II players here.

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