1. We're currently conducting systematic tests with the release version of macOS 11 (Big Sur) in order to offer full compatibility of our products as soon as possible. You can find our latest compatibility status - here


    Please note that although announced at the same time as macOS Big Sur, Apple Silicon processors are an independent release with separate compatibility concerns for NI products. Compatibility with macOS Big Sur will not yet ensure compatibility with Apple Silicon processors. At the moment, Native Instruments products are not supported on computers with Apple Silicon processors. Read more - here

    Dismiss Notice

Impossible to play live:CPU utilization grows with number of sounds and groups even when not playing

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by Alejandro Tomsic, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    In Maschine V 2.7.10
    When adding groups or sounds to a group the CPU utilization grows, even if Machine is not playing. This makes playing a live set with maschine, where one needs to load many instruments for a many-hour-long set, impossible.
    I am showing a project consisting of 13 groups, where 5 of them are drum kits, thus occupying all 16 sounds. In the rest of the 8 groups, there are 1 or 2 sounds loaded.
    • The first picture shows a CPU utilization after loading it (before pressing play). Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 11.03.32.png



    • The second picture shows the CPU utilization of the project playing
    • Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 11.07.47.png

    • This picture shows utilization after removing 5 groups and restarting the project:
    Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 11.12.55.png


    These are the specs of my computer: 13inch Macbook pro 2018 with quad-core processor and 16GB of memory.
    Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 10.58.16.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  2. Goon

    Goon NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    787
    Even during playing your still showing over 59% idle. So far from impossible.
    Your also running other apps in background too, Google Chrome, Mail, 2 of google chrome helper for starters, so hardly optimised either, and running backup too LOL
     
  3. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    I created this post because at high utilization rate there are glitches in the sound.
    The other processes, summed up, take around 30 percent of one core, and that is not the point.

    The problem is that the CPU use of Maschine (unlike DAWs like Logic or Ableton) depends on the number of instruments that exist in the set, even if they're not playing.
    The program should consume resources, first, only when playing, and second, instruments and effects not being played shouldn't consume resources. I guess this is sort of obvious for people that understand how a computer program should be written. I don't know if you or people at NI do, I can only guess.
     
  4. Goon

    Goon NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    787
    All programs when loaded consume resources, not just when playing, if you dont want instruments/effects consuming resources turn them off. Quite simple.
     
  5. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    yea, or turn off the computer and save even more. That does not solve the issue.
     
  6. Jiloo

    Jiloo NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    1,273
    Are you using all of the synths at the same time? Does some of them are waiting to be played later?
    As Goon already said - bypass all the VSTs you are not using ATM and you’ll be fine.

    Also you can turn some synths into samples. Icicle is dong his whole live shows on Maschine but he downsample a lot of stuff.

    Also turn off everything you are not using during live set. It also concerns web browser. Turn off internet connection if you don’t need it.

    I have 2015 MBP which is 20% less efficient than yours and I’m doing fine with my band. I have 10 songs set with 2-3 synths for each song but I’m not using drums we have live drummer.


    Sent from Tapatalk
     
  7. Goon

    Goon NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    787
    You have no idea, you are running a lot of apps in background, and trying to run a intensive Audio program, the 2 don't mix well. We have tried to help, but you don't/won't listen. No more from me.
     
  8. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Thank you both for your replies.
    What you're proposing are workarounds to the real issue, which is high resource utilization of instruments and effects which are not being used (even when the project is not playing). Doing what you say won't change the fact that this piece of Software behaves in this way.
    That is the issue I am trying to target here, meaning that NI should take care of it. Maybe this is the wrong forum for that?
     
  9. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    9,286
    Maschine is quirky CPU wise... On windows, I don't know but on at least Mac, it's very poorly optimized, to say the least.
    Firstly yes, it consumes CPU even when idle but will consume more if things are playing, the more things play at the same time the more CPU consumption. Also, if you double-click the "CPU load" area in Activity Monitor you will notice that unlike other popular modern production software Maschine only uses your real CPU cores and not the threads so it kind of only uses half of your CPU power (if you have a hyperthreading capable cpu)... which is a bummer.

    Ultimately, I would say it's a bad idea to try to consolidate a full live show in just one project unless your willing to resample yourself to avoid any unnecessary big instruments and fx chains.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  10. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Thanks for the reply. Overall, is there an intention to fix this? This issue is a killer for people that want to play live.
    I only play few instruments at the same time. For instance, from the first and second pictures of my first post you see that cpu utilization moves from 250 to 270 percent (only a 20% change).

    My idea (and I believe taht of many others too) when buying maschine was to compose and play live with it.
    Why Maschine and not ableton ? because I liked the hardware-software integration, and libraries that come with Maschine and the fact that parameters of effects and instruments are mapped already to the knobs and buttons in the hardware.
    To play live it would be nice having all the instruments available, and not consolidating patters because that hinders flexibility. I like changing the way instruments sound on the flight while playing and using locked snapshots, and o apply effects on a per-sound basis, etc.
    Now i have to use logic or ableton to make a finished track, and then use ableton to play, where I have to again map knobs and parameters to other hardware, which kills the point of having a Maschine.
    If I load a machine project within ableton or logic, the resource-consumption problem is back, and so we should load instrument by instrument and lose hardware integration?

    I really do not see how to use maschine other than for sketching ideas at the very beginning (and paying later the heavy overhead of porting what you''ve done to another DAW).
     
  11. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    9,286
    I have no idea, but yes, probably... I doubt it's a priority though.
    I would love if a developer would chime in with some insight to why Maschine is so CPU heavy considering it's not a very advanced software compared to DAW's, it's probably related to how it's coded or processes data. NI's representatives don't comment on this sort of thing officially, unfortunately.

    Same here. I bought Maschine primarily as a production tool but had the intention of using it in my live shows but I honestly kind of gave up on that because I don't find it reliable enough, I have made my peace with it and adapted by using it for simpler things with small amounts of Groups/Instruments, I can afford to load projects in between songs to keep each at a minimum but for someone who needs the whole set in one project it can be a nightmare... or just borderline impossible.
     
  12. bobbyduracel

    bobbyduracel NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    442
    This issue is the main reason I have Push 2 and live Suite. I love Maschine, but the strength (instantly load patches with loads of fx all mapped and ready to rock) is also the Achilles heel - LOADS of CPU is required to put the universe of sound at your fingertips. I currently own the S61.2 keys and Komplete 12 - but no Maschine. I just use the keyboard to access their world within Ableton and control everything on Push. It's not the answer you wanted to hear, but it's extremely stable and works really well. The only time my CPU spikes now: when I really dig into automation recording while running arp, for example, on the KK keys...

    And once I've programmed my KK layer, I can FREEZE it - and free up my CPU, or bounce it to the next track as audio and layer Ableton fx (to drop CPU needs).

    NI is amazing, but they chew through CPU. Often one instance of a synth patch will have multiple fx chains layered with it. That makes it sound RAD, but it comes at a cost.If you want to keep pushing the boundaries of their products, you need to optimize that computer as much as possible. I can run Maschine on my 2015 MacBook Pro just fine (to a point) - but she's totally dialed for it. Once I start piling things on - it still has audio dropouts. I ended up using Maschine as a sketch pad, then just loading lots of drum kits to layer over my dj sets, but when I try and load a full "live show set" it doesn't work well unless you resample like crazy. Also, any real production work I've done has benefitted from ending (at least) in Ableton for the way my brain works. Maschine is great, but I still can't use it as the all-in-one mega tool. It sounds like you cannot either.

    I may try to run it again (Mk3) alongside Traktor this winter, when my new Mini arrives, but I am still not overly optimistic it will be completely smooth sailing. With Ableton you can browse for a kit, load it, then browse for three or five more synth layers, and just keep moving... with Maschine, when I try to do this, I hit the CPU / RAM wall pretty quickly. You just have to accept the tool for what it is, what it does, and where it's weak. In the current form it's one helluva sketch pad for most of us, with the universe of sound integrated into it. That's where it ends.

    I have been told that some of the issues lie within the screens (GPU needs) as well, so things like the Mikro and the new A-61 would go a ways towards further stability. Shut down all processes, read the articles to get the most out of your computer, use SSDs, install samples as directed, run a higher buffer than you think you should, and see what happens.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Thanks for the reply. It's (sadly) reassuring to see that one is not alone in this :p. Do you know where would be the right place to complain about this more formally?
     
  14. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17

    thanks for the reply, hope to figure something out.
     
  15. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    9,286
    Are you getting the 6-Core one? It has the same CPU that I use on my Hackintosh, heres a screenshot to get an ideia of what it's capable of:
    [​IMG]

    That's 32 random expansions Groups at a 64 buffer size which is quite good. I am assuming the 6 Core Mac mini should have around 60% of my performance, mainly because my CPU is overclocked to 5GHz delided and water cooled, I got faster Ram (3200 MHz) a proper GPU, etc... If the Mini can indeed have a performance close to my computer then it's a great investment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  16. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Last night I came up with a workaround that seems not-extremely unreasonable to be able to play long sets without requiring to freeze or render patterns or loopsm and without having to manually bypass instruments and effects one by one to release resources. It relies on chopping Maschine big projects (sets) into shorter miniprojects, and using Ableton (I used v9) to load miniprojects and manage the computer's resources. I tried it with Logic (pro X v 10.2.4) too but it does not work (because turning on and off a Maschine track does make the Maschine instance loaded on that track stop consuming CPU and memory).

    It works as follows:

    1) Maschine: Chop a big Maschine project into multiple miniprojects, in my case 20 or 30 minute mini-projects work. Within each miniproject, remove all instruments and effects that section does not use so when you load them, it consumes a minimum amount of resources. The general rule to build a miniproject is that any pair of miniprojects should be able to be active at a given point in time without saturating CPU AND MEMORY utilization.

    2) Ableton: Load each Maschine miniproject set in an Ableton track. Turn off all mini-projects that are not currently playing. This way, Ableton releases the resources of inactive miniprojects.

    upload_2018-11-5_10-23-11.png

    3) Switching in Ableton between mini projects: For this, you will use Ableton's mixer.
    1. When you're done playing a miniproject and want to play the next one, turn the latter on (this is why any two mini-projects should fit within the CPU and memory bounds. WARNING: it is possible that loading all your mini-projects in Ableton will consume more memory than what your computer really has. This will cause to swap to disk. Because of this, I would load the miniproject that I want to play next, a minute or so before actually playing it to let the computer take care of memory swapping and not risking trying to play an instrument that's not yet in memory (which might cause a glitch in the sound).
    2. Use ableton's mixer to transition from one to the other. For this, I've mapped each of the ableton tracks to a midi controller, and also eq, delay, filters, reverb, etc. In any case, it is good to have control of effects that are applied to the master output outside maschine. It's up to any of you to chose how to do this.
    3. When you have transitioned to the new miniproject,
      1. turn off the previous one to release its resources. I've, for instance. mapped the buttons of an akai mini to turn on-off mini-projects and its knobs for each miniproject's volume, and master filter and delay.
      2. Use the maschine hardware to start controlling the instance of maschine that takes care of the project (you can switch between the maschine instances by pressing Shift + Plugin/instance and choosing the one you want to control.

    Personal note: this sort of works, but I find the need to do things like this, disgusting. Maschine should improve resource management. Again, is there an official channel to complain about this to people working there?

    I hope this is of any use for anyone.

     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Jiloo

    Jiloo NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    1,273
    And you just did what we have told you to do but using 3rd party application.
    Basically what you are doing is bypassing instances of Maschine in Live to preserve CPU.


    Sent from Tapatalk
     
  18. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Yes, that's right. There is a difference though. Bypassing instrument by instrument and effect by effect is impractical in a big project.
    With this workaround, you turn off a large number of instruments/effects with a single click. Thanks for your help, without your comments I would not have thought of any of this possibilities. I was (and still am) extremely pissed of by the resource utilization of Maschine. I still think that all workarounds we discuss in this thread should not be required.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    9,286
    How fast is the bypass thing? Sounds risky to be 'loading' stuff while performing as that often causes CPU spikes that lead of nasty audible audio dropouts, that would make me nervous as hell especially in hot environments that often cause the CPU to throttle down the clock speed making everything even slower...

    Another workaround is to just embrace the silence when loading the next project lol... for someone with a fan base half of that time is filled with people clapping so it's ok, when that's not the case it can get awkward. If you're not the shy type grab the mic while you're at it and communicate with the crowd a bit while things load. Most drum-machine performers do small breaks to load projects in between mini-sets like Jeremy Ellis and Araab Musik performs with 2 MPC's.

    Everything about the software is built with production in mind only, this is especially noticeable when you own more than one controller and you want for example switch a pattern on one controller while playing some drums/synth in another Group, as soon as you change the Pattern Maschine focuses on that Group. The software forces users to do only one thing at a time mostly, which is super weird for performances especially in Ideas Mode, unlike Ableton where triggering Clips in session view doesn't force focus at all and is way more usefull...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Alejandro Tomsic

    Alejandro Tomsic New Member

    Messages:
    17
    I do not know Ableton in depth to answer that, I can only say that I've played with it for a while without hearing sound glitches. I guess the key is in keeping those "mini-projects" reasonably small.



    Sounds reasonable. In my case, I can't do that because I am working on a DJ set with mostly no singing or breaks.


    This is great to know, couse I had considered buying a JAM or another maschine to be able to control more things at the same time. so, I guess we're trying to play ahead of the available technology :p. Looks like Live is the way to go, and just using normal midi controllers with assigned parameters. Too bad, the great hard-instrument integration of machine is of limited use.
     
    • Like Like x 1