Solving disk access issues when trying to mix a song

We use Ableton both for live performance and for mixing, and in both cases we run into the same problem (which we didn't have with 8 by the way...) : The first time we play a set with some lengthy (as in 3-5 min) samples, the D keeps on flashing and if we're lucky 2 or 3 of the tracks play with a hiccup. The rest stays silent. When mixing a song, that means I have to push start, get a cup of coffee and wait until Ableton stumbled through the whole song. With a bit of luck, I can then do some work. 

Setting all the samples to RAM and waiting until all samples are loaded, doesn't solve a thing. Setting all samples on silent and just play one doesn't do a thing, it keeps glitching continuously. Freezing as many tracks as possible does solve a tiny bit: it allows me to add another 2-3 tracks to the set.

I run a intel i7 quadcore with 8Gb RAM and Ableton on High Priority and with multicore enabled.

I have a 7200 rpm disk

I have a CI 1 Steinberg external soundcard, and a buffer size of 1024 (yes, that's one thousand twenty four) samples, which I consider ridiculuously high. (output latency is 33 ms, which is basically unworkable live). Very funny, the problem is not dependent on the buffer size: It sounds the same whether I take 64 samples or 2048 samples as buffer. The CPU never comes above 30%, and the disk keeps being the bottle neck. 

I disabled plenty of the automatic tasks in Windows to avoid them from interfering with the sets

I've optimized the rest of my computer according to every document I could find on the help pages here.

I've solved this live temporarily by using a new SSD on a USB3 port and by bouncing multiple tracks together.

If I check the disk access, Ableton is not only reading but also writing to disk somehow. I believed this had something to do with the swap memory on disk, but I have max 5 Gb occupied in total, so there's plenty of memory still available. If I load all samples in memory I have about 6.5 Gb occupied, which still shouldn't trigger the swapping. And even when everything is loaded in memory, Ableton still has about 30 access requests to the harddisk. Which doesn't make sense at all...

Am I missing something obvious or less obvious? I work with Live 9 for almost a year now, and I get pretty much tired of the continuous stream of glitches, hiccups and fails on projects that run perfectly fine in other DAWs and even on Ableton 8.


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Gymnor 3 years ago | 0 comments

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