Using PowerCore with Ableton Live

Question

I am experiencing high CPU load when I use PowerCore plug-ins in Ableton Live. Is there a solution for this?

Answer

Ableton Live 5 (and above).

Live 5 introduces 2 new features that improve the performance of PowerCore in Live.

  1. Automatic Latency Compensation
  2. Plug-in Buffer size preference.

Setup Audio Buffer Size to values 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024 or 2048 samples. Even higher values are really no fun, because they introduce too high latencies to work. The shorter the value, the less latency you get and the faster Live reacts to user input, but it also costs performance. The perception of responsiveness and latencies is very individual. Find the best balance that works for you.

In most cases the best value for Plug-In Buffer Size is "As Audio Buffer".  If you are running very small audio buffer sizes, in individual cases, you might want to increase the Plug-In Buffer Size for additional performance gains.

An ADMA buffer setting of 1, should not give you the same host performance penalty than earlier versions.

Note that the Plug-In Buffer Size has no influence to Ableton Instruments and Effects.

Ableton Live 3 (and higher)

To use PowerCore plug-ins with Ableton Live in we recommend that you use an I/O buffer size of 128-256 samples and a setting of the PowerCore Asynchronous DMA buffers of 3-4.

Because Live is highly optimised for live usage, it uses a different kind of buffer scheme than hosts like Logic, DP, Cubase or Nuendo, and this means the CPU usage when running 1 PowerCore plug-in can be up to 3 times as high with Live.

Please note: this does not mean that the plug-ins run on the CPU - the plug-ins can only run on the DSPs - but the traffic to and from the PowerCore can demand more CPU power in Live than other hosts.


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