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External sound card to help reducing CPU stress?
Katatsumuri
post Sep 20 2012, 17:13
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Hello. Hope to find an answer to this little problem of mine.
I sometimes run Ableton Live 8.2 on a Samsung laptop (windows 8 64bit). When playing above around 10 tracks with effects ecc (without "freezing" them) the CPU load indicator tends to go over 100% and everything is messed up. The bottleneck of this computer is clearly the CPU: it's and AMD A6 4455 "trinity"(dual core). It's clearly not a great processor but it's still brand new and I thought it could handle some more stress by Ableton.
Now, my question is:

Would an external sound card help taking off some CPU stress when processing audio? (Maybe dedicated drivers instead of Asio4all might help?)

In that case, what kind of external sound card should I buy? (I'd like to buy one anyways)

Thank you in advance.

PS: sorry about my goofy english!
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Sep 21 2012, 17:26
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Ableton was a fantastic piece of software when it first came out but it's old now. It doesn't make much use of multi cores for example. They are duppodrd to be doing a new version which I understand is practically a rewrite.

These are the official system requirements. So you ought not to have a problem.

QUOTE
Windows: 2 GHz PentiumŽ 4 or CeleronŽ compatible CPU or faster (multicore CPU recommended), 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended on Windows Vista and Windows 7), Windows XP (home or Pro), Windows Vista or Windows 7, sound card (ASIO driver support recommended), DVD-ROM drive, QuickTime recommended


Either way, if you have an expensive software tool such as Ableton you really owe it to yourself to get hold of a multi-channel audio interface. If you don't have one already I think it must be difficult because if you cannot hear the incoming cue track before it hits the main outs you are going to risk getting train wrecks on a regular basis.

Contrary to what someone has previously suggested many audio interface type of soundcards do have DSP processing carried out by a special chip on the device. I have a MOTU Ultralite and it has reverb, 2 compressors and 7 parametric EQs which can be applied to any of the I/O channels(10i+14o) and mix busses (8) simultaneously. Other manufacturers offer similar suites. RME and Focusrite do for sure. Of course this will not take the load off Ableton directly but there is scope to add effects. You could also use the inserts or a spare channel pair to add external effects if you wanted.

I started out with Ableton and Traktor with an M-Audio Fast Track Pro. About $200. You can find alternatives from the likes of E-MU, Berhinger, Native Instruments and ART among others. Some are ven less expensive.

The gold standard, if you can afford it, is the RME Babyface @~$550.

MOTU, TC-Konnekt, Presonus, among others have offerings at intermediate prices. I like the look of this one atm. Focusrite Scarlet 8i6 @~$300.

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Posts in this topic
- Katatsumuri   External sound card to help reducing CPU stress?   Sep 20 2012, 17:13
- - saratoga   QUOTE (Katatsumuri @ Sep 20 2012, 12:13) ...   Sep 20 2012, 17:20
|- - gymnos   QUOTE (saratoga @ Sep 20 2012, 17:20) QUO...   Sep 23 2012, 01:42
- - yourlord   You have some other issue.. That CPU should barely...   Sep 20 2012, 17:47
|- - dhromed   QUOTE (yourlord @ Sep 20 2012, 18:47) You...   Sep 20 2012, 18:48
|- - washu   QUOTE (dhromed @ Sep 20 2012, 13:48) Pret...   Sep 20 2012, 19:46
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (washu @ Sep 20 2012, 14:46) QUOTE ...   Sep 20 2012, 20:12
|- - washu   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Sep 20 2012, 15...   Sep 20 2012, 20:24
- - Katatsumuri   Thank you for answering, you're really helping...   Sep 20 2012, 18:46
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (Katatsumuri @ Sep 20 2012, 13:46) ...   Sep 20 2012, 19:00
- - DVDdoug   Some effects can take lots of processing power. ...   Sep 20 2012, 18:50
- - Katatsumuri   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Sep 20 2012, 19:50) A ...   Sep 20 2012, 19:04
- - yourlord   A single Bulldozer core, while not the greatest th...   Sep 20 2012, 20:55
- - Katatsumuri   The point is that I don't think the hard disk ...   Sep 21 2012, 08:36
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Katatsumuri @ Sep 21 2012, 03:36) ...   Sep 21 2012, 13:06
- - yourlord   I'm not familiar with the program you're u...   Sep 21 2012, 15:57
- - RonaldDumsfeld   Ableton was a fantastic piece of software when it ...   Sep 21 2012, 17:26
- - slks   To address the original question - No, a new sound...   Sep 22 2012, 09:04
|- - washu   QUOTE (slks @ Sep 22 2012, 04:04) isn...   Sep 22 2012, 15:51
|- - slks   QUOTE (washu @ Sep 22 2012, 09:51) QUOTE ...   Sep 23 2012, 21:46
|- - washu   slks: You are correct about the A6 not being a tr...   Sep 23 2012, 22:44
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (slks @ Sep 23 2012, 16:46) I'm...   Sep 23 2012, 23:02
|- - washu   QUOTE (saratoga @ Sep 23 2012, 18:02) Sha...   Sep 24 2012, 00:24
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (washu @ Sep 23 2012, 19:24) By tha...   Sep 24 2012, 00:28
- - Katatsumuri   Ok I get the point of DSP processing of just EQ an...   Sep 22 2012, 10:25
- - punkrockdude   Try to increase your latency/buffers in audio sett...   Sep 22 2012, 21:54
- - Katatsumuri   QUOTE (punkrockdude @ Sep 22 2012, 22:54)...   Sep 23 2012, 00:06
|- - washu   QUOTE (Katatsumuri @ Sep 22 2012, 19:06) ...   Sep 23 2012, 00:27
- - phofman   It takes just a single coding blunder to make any ...   Sep 24 2012, 13:32
- - Gecko   What happens when you use the standard audio devic...   Sep 24 2012, 18:16
- - Katatsumuri   QUOTE (washu @ Sep 23 2012, 23:44) Katats...   Sep 25 2012, 00:47
|- - washu   QUOTE (Katatsumuri @ Sep 24 2012, 19:47) ...   Sep 25 2012, 02:35
- - Katatsumuri   Uninstalling the anti-virus software does not help...   Sep 25 2012, 21:40
- - [JAZ]   Mmm.. Are you using the same output samplerate on ...   Sep 26 2012, 19:46
- - Katatsumuri   I always work at 44khz. Definitely need OpenCL su...   Sep 27 2012, 09:25


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