Disk overload/audio dropouts w Ableton

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of volounteer volounteer 5 hours, 51 minutes ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #96437
    Profile photo of peach
    peach
    Participant

    Hey! This might not be a QU-16 problem but I thought I’d try anyway…

    I’m using the QU-16 in my home studio, streaming audio via the mixer and Ableton (main output in Live to channel 15/16 and then channel 15/16 to mix 9-10 that are my monitors). I’m experiencing audio dropouts/disk overload in Ableton, even though my buffer size is 2048. I would think my computer should be fast enough to run 48 kHz recordings, my drive is an external SSD.

    I’ve attached a screenshot of my computer’s specs. I’m getting these dropouts even when no other programs are running, and I wasn’t experiencing them with my previous soundcard.

    Am I missing something obvious or is it not even QU-16 related?

    Thx
    peach

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    #96440
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @peach

    Sure sounds like a pc problem to me.

    If it were win10 I would definitely blame that.
    Not a mac user but still strongly suspect it is the opsys, ableton, hard disk issues, or other settings.

    Not an ableton user but I believe it has a dongle. Does that dongle phone home like ET?
    Dongles are a definite not ever buying that software situation for myself.

    Do you have the problem using Qu drive?
    Do you have a problem with a different pc or a different DAW?
    Those would point to the Qu.

    #96448
    Profile photo of peach
    peach
    Participant

    Sure sounds like a pc problem to me.

    Yes but my Mac is pretty fast, and my harddrive is an external SSD so it doesn’t really make any sense.

    Not an Ableton user but I believe it has a dongle. Does that dongle phone home like ET?
    Dongles are a definite not ever buying that software situation for myself.

    No dongle for Ableton. Not sure what you mean with the ET referral 🙂

    The reason I’m thinking it might be the Qu is that I didn’t have the same trouble with my old Motu interface.

    Gonna do some more testing and try to solve the problem

    #96452
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @peach

    ET was a movie. ET phones home was a meme from that movie.
    Many programs that use dongles call home to verify the user for ‘security’ while causing problems for the user.

    I noted some things to try to see if it is the Qu causing the problem.

    #96453
    Profile photo of xyz
    xyz
    Participant

    @Peach

    my harddrive is an external SSD

    What port is that connected to on your MacBookPro?
    Have you tried using your MBP internal drive?

    #96454
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @xyz

    I would ask @peach if he defragged the drive first.
    And if it was only used for recording or if it was cluttered with other stuff.

    #96474
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    your Mac is running MacOS, that’s the main problem 😉

    this could be an incompatibility between Catalina and Ableton
    you better ask the Ableton support

    I would ask @peach if he defragged the drive first.

    you have no idea what you are talking about, again and again
    he uses a Mac and an external SSD there is no defragging needed
    and normally defragging is a bad idea on an SSD

    #96476
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @SteffenR

    As usual you are wrong, but do not realize it.
    If it makes you feel good go ahead and keep doing what you do.
    I really dont care what you say about me.
    And I will ignore your nonsense as I always do.

    All HDs need defragging for reliable recording whether it is internal external rotating or SSD.
    Defragging an SSD may be bad so he should be using a rotating HD externally to avoid his issues.

    #96477
    Profile photo of xyz
    xyz
    Participant

    @volounteer

    he should be using a rotating HD externally to avoid his issues.

    NO NO NO

    You do not defrag SSDs. [unless certain circumstances]
    Defragging SSDs causes wear leveling
    Read here
    https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/defrag-3600241/

    #96478
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @xyz

    I know the problem with ssds and defragging.

    But I also know the problem that fragmentation causes with tracking audio.

    #96479
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    Fragmentation is only a problem with real harddrives, with rotating magnetic discs and read/write heads. If the file system is fragmented the heads are bouncing forth and back heavily. And this can cause a wrie performance degradation. But since a SSD do not have any moving parts, at least in my corner of the world, fragmentation will not cause any performance issue.
    Furthermore my experience over the years is that if you have a well tuned system with a lot of write buffers, and/or bigger interface latency (which imho can be used for multitrack live recordings) even modern hard disc drives using SATA is fast enough to record 64 tracks without any issue. Even my MBP from late 2013 do not have any problems with that.

    #96481
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    Should You Defrag an SSD?

    just one article… of many

    #96486
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @SteffenR

    Defragging is just one of many things that ensures that audio recording will work well without problems.

    Just cause you might succeed sometimes without doing it does not mean it is safe to record audio without defragging.

    Defragging SSDs is not good practice because those things are too fragile with limited lifetime read write cycles.
    But if you use it for audio recording then you have to decide whether to shorten the lifetime some or whether to ensure a recording without problems. If you can retake the tracks and edit out the problems then you may not want to defrag.
    But if you are recording live with chance of do overs then you should not only be defragging but also having a back up recording method running in parallel.

    #96495
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    If you want to avoid performance issues, simply format the disk before usage, make the recording, copy the files to another disk and format the recording disk again. The big advantage is that you do not need to move the clusters, which are used by the files, for defragmentation. Only the dictionary of the file system will be initalized, all clusters are free again and will be newly written withthe new recording.
    This strategy works for HDD and SSD, on all operating systems and all file systems.
    I use a own, smaller partition on my build in SSD judt for the next recording.

    And of course there are several possible putfalls which might cause problems with the recording. Doing backup recording is a good idea but you need a system which gives youthe opportunity to do that. A simple QU is not such a system.
    I did live sound of a jazz event somme weks ago with my dLive system while alocal broadcast company did a recording. They did that recording with two independent DAW systems via anaolg splits, and I got for the live sound the signals via analog split as well. All in all a procedure we are used to do for severalyes on uncount events. On the last event the broadcast company had eventually problems with both recording computers, something which happens real, real seldom. They had sone issue with the power line, I heard. I never had such a situation in the past decades. Luckily I used my laptop to record from the live console as well. So, that was the backup of the backup you can say. So they had at last a successful recording.
    But we all together used equipment for roundabout 100,000 € minimum.
    So, my advice is, if you do really important recordings, buy a backup recording system with some analog splits where the two systems are as independent as possible from the other.

    #96497
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mfk0815

    Good advice.

    Formattting is good. Running error check & fix is good.
    You do not always need defragging, but there comes a time when it will be necessary to avoid performance issues.

    Depending on your live event and the importance, two outs from the Qu for recording is better than one.
    And I always like a separate independent way to record with battery power.

    For the kind of money you noted one could afford a couple of zoom h4n pro or even better and it would be lost in all the other expenses.

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