What are some ways to stop hard-disk overload?

Maybe people could provide some insight into how they get the maximum track count out of Live before the hard disk overloads, and you start getting audio drop outs?

10 answers

  • Tronikform
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    10 votes received
    10 votes

    My methods for hard-disk overload:

    • use RAM mode in audio clips to load them into RAM.
    • if you can, use 16 bit mono audio files. They use less resources than 32 or 24 bit stereo files.
    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • j250x
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    A solid state drive will give a massive performance boost here due to the hugely increased read speed, although the cost of large capacity drives is still fairly high. Small drives however are reasonably affordable, and as long as your sample library is organised efficiently the lack of storage space won't be an issue. If you're using a laptop, the best way to connect an external SSD would be via a very high-speed protocol such as USB 3, eSATA or firewire 800.

    2 years ago | 2 comments
  • nebulae
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    26 votes received
    2 votes

    ^^ both good answers. One other thing to consider: lots of little files could cause the hard disk to jump around looking for files. I'd put tons of little files into RAM mode, and save the larger files for disk streaming mode if ram becomes and issue. Then the smaller files will be loaded in ram and not have to be searched or found by the disk, and the larger files will simply stream. Of course, if ram is not an issue, load them all up into ram and you're good to go.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • dtm
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    2 votes

    Wow. This may be a bigger issue than I thought.. I played a gig last weekend where this issue pretty much ruined my set. It only happened once prior to the party and I didn't have time to work out what went wrong.. so I figured I better prepare for it reoccuring later that night, so I froze and flattened a vst track to 32 bit loops to avoid any last minute audio changes due to dithering etc. All that remained was a sampler track, "classic 909" drum rack on track 2, some 1 bar bass loops on 3, and two tracks of wav format audio to essentially Dj my finished tracks with the ability to ad lib new sounds. After twenty minutes my set was losing audio chunks from the full length tracks, and deleting many clips did nothing. The red disk light stayed on constantly. Now this may seem reasonable.My system is as follows-Quad core i7 920 xm16 gig 1333 Mhz ramdual Intel x25 ssd's- Win 7 x64 system and programs only on one, samples, recording etc on the other. High end Nvidia graphics etcRME fireface 800 running one stereo out at fw 800 transfer rate.No anti virus softwarenever touches the netcore parking, fault tolerant heap inhibited.Fixed page file to one gig, was going to be set to nothing due to so much ram and to save ssd wear, but many people advise against it.Every sample, loop, song was loaded to ram, using only 6 to 7 gig.A ducking compressor on the bass, and a limiter on the main out.Understand windows 7 has been forced to do what mac takes for granted with core audio and core midi. I've had ridiculous sets loaded before with 3rd party plugins everywhere and deferred procedure calls flatline without so much as a blip on the radar. I've had 50 full length tracks loaded in jam sessions in the studio with beat repeats etc and never had a single glitch. I run at 48kHz 24bit for any recording, resampling etc and my buffer has recently been set to 96 samples without my processor ever getting above 40 %. But for some reason right before this gig it flashes the disk overload light at me for the first time since the days of Ableton 6. I'm guessing decoding cache for the five - 1 bar loops I froze and flattened. But it did it before that and was effectively the reason I felt I needed to bounce down samples to the one bit rate. I'm leaning toward page file limit, but again I never had this issue before 8.2.2, and I haven't imposed limits on Ableton's decoding cache folder. Stumped and about to do a post mortem this week.. Just wanted to do a quick search of the forums in case it wasn't something I'd done. Disturbing to see this problem echoed on so many music forums. Tried so hard to date to make Ableton stable over the years.. And I always though I could even compromise on sound quality for it's awesome work flow. But it just feels like beating a dead horse when you have had at least one issue, flaw, crash or catastrophe at EVERY gig you've played for the best part of 5 years. I swear this is the truth for my experience with Ableton and it pains me to say it. 6 years of straight hardware before that without a single timing or audio failure. Sorry to unload here but it is the most recent comment on this issue. Wah :/

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • sach160
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    3 answers
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    O a desktop I wouldn't advise ram mode if you use lots of vsts or sampled instruments, as live's ram is pretty limited. At the moment ssds are too expensive for most (although the best solution) - I use a three of the latest velociraptors and I don't run into any disk issues in pretty complex projects. At the moment I think these 10’000 rpm drives are the best solution and if you get two for your samples, record your audio on another one, and have a separate drive for your operating system (ideally a 60gb sad) then you should be flying!

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • xfnx
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    I fixed the problem by using an external drive for the cache folder

    2 years ago | 2 comments
  • xfnx
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    Still no glitches or dropouts with the cache folder set to my external drive

    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • dahopemusicman
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    I've got an I-7 with 8 gigs ram. When I turned on the Hi-Q for the tracks the problem went away.  Maybe not the best solution, but it worked for me.

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • deckspin
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    I did a "collect all and save" and this solved it for me. Having all the audio files in one folder seemed to do the trick.

    9 months ago | 0 comments
  • ctgarvey
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    Im hitting this issue suddenly too, on win7 x64 bit /24GbRAM/SSD system disk, Raid0 sample disks for RAID . Im about to investigate win7s autodefragment and file indexing options. It happened so suddenly (and I have no files in RAM mode) that I suspect either defrag kicked in or I hit another memory limit. 32bit Ableton can access at most 3Gb application space even if its reporting as nothing being loaded .

    2 years ago | 0 comments

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