Ableton xruns

What other apps and distros do you use to round out your studio?

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

Post Reply
somedude
Established Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm
Location: Mexico City

Ableton xruns

Post by somedude »

I've managed to get Ableton running pretty decently in my Debian (testing) machine. I downloaded Wine from the kxstudio repos, and except for some minor GUI issues (that I bellieve can be easily fixed with wineprefix) things are running better than expected. My Scarlett 2i4 is recognized and I can playback record, render, save, export (haven't tried midi yet). I also managed to get very low latency using WineASIO and jack.

However, I'm getting CRAZY amounts of xruns and audio distortions, from the time I fire up Live. I'm running jack RT at 48k and a buffer of 1024 (same thing happens at 512 and 256). The CPU usage on Live is erratic, hovering around 5% and spiking randomly but consistently to about 75%. The xruns and the spikes seem correlated although not perfectly.

Debian testing 3.13-1-amd64
wine-1.6.2 (Windows version set to XP, audio driver to winealsa.drv, I/O set to defaults)
jackdmp 1.9.10

Any suggestions what should I be looking into? (I'm trying to avoid the sweet little PlayOnLinux scripts since I want to understand what I'm doing).

(THB, I would ditch Live but haven't found an application that allows me to use Live's "clips" functionality + bass amps).

Thanks,

studio32
Established Member
Posts: 2421
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:09 pm

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by studio32 »

Check Bitwig Studio or even Luppp maybe

User avatar
Qualitymix
Established Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:45 pm

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by Qualitymix »

The only thing that comes to mind is if the distro you're using isn't an audio distro then it is likely not setup for audio. Have you tried Ardour? You may see the same problems there.
You need to be sure you are running either a low latency or RT kernel. And also make sure that your IRQ settings are set right. As I recall there is a script you can run that checks these things for you. I can't remember what it's called...anyone?

Anyways, if those things are indeed setup properly then I couldn't begin to tell you what the problem might be. Check that you're running a proper graphics driver.

Also, don't you need WineASIO installed?

somedude
Established Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by somedude »

My Linux audio apps are all running properly with no xruns (and I do have WineASIO installed).

My kernel is set to 250 Hz (I understand setting the kernel to 1000Hz is mostly useful for intensive midi use, which I don't). I ran raboof's realTimeConfigQuickScan script... a bunch of warnings and "not goods" came out. I changed most of my settings per the script's suggestions, but I'm still getting xruns (although many less than before). When I play something via Live it generates sound with no latency but it makes some nasty crackles (which I think might be related to xruns).

If I increase my buffer size in jack the xruns start going down, and at at 1024 they almost disappear! :)

I seem to be getting there. Can someone more knowledgeable explain to me what could be going on? I think it has less to do with the clocks and timers and ticks and more with sample rate and other similar parameters.

Thanks for the Lupp suggestion, looks useful.

** Edit: At 512 I get a relatively low amont of xruns but latency is audible, so I need to bring it down to 256 (which creates the horrendous xruns of this post).

64Guitars
Established Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by 64Guitars »

I'm having similar problems, so I hope someone has a solution for us. I have Ableton Live Lite 8 AKAI Professional Edition (it came with my AKAI MPK25 keyboard controller). It works but there are lots of xruns and clicks. I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 with the KXStudio repositories. My JACK buffer size is 1024 and Periods/Buffer is 2. Dithering Mode is set to None.

User avatar
sysrqer
Established Member
Posts: 1961
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by sysrqer »

Might be a good idea to use the Playonlinux script to see if that does the same thing, if it doesn't then uninstall it and try to work out what the issue is. Otherwise you could spend a lot of time trying to fix something that might not be fixable. I never had very good performance with ableton, even with POL.

somedude
Established Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by somedude »

I installed and ran the PoL script and I couldn't get the aplication to start correctly. I uninstalled PoL, reinstalled everything manually and I'm back where I was.

(I checked out Luppp, looks like a great piece of software but its more a looper than a clip programming app. I will definitely be using it.)

Does someone have any pointers on why it is that xruns (and crackles) almost disappear when I bump my buffer size to 1024? I think the solution might have something to do with this.

somedude
Established Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by somedude »

I uninstalled all instances of wine (all of them, purged, cleaned, etc). I was then able to properly install wine-rt and wineasio from the kxstudio repos and now Live runs properly (with minor crackles and pops) at 512 (instead of the 1024 previsously described). So yeah :) . When I play a song at 512 though, I get some xruns at first but after about 10 seconds it stabilizes and it stops xrunning altogether, so that is great! At least I can use Live for live performance since latency doesn't really matter because I'm not hooking any instruments up. This is a great step forward for me. But at 256, xruns still go crazy, although definitely not as bad as with the standard (non rt) wine.

64Guitars
Established Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by 64Guitars »

somedude wrote:I uninstalled all instances of wine (all of them, purged, cleaned, etc). I was then able to properly install wine-rt and wineasio from the kxstudio repos and now Live runs properly (with minor crackles and pops) at 512 (instead of the 1024 previsously described).
By coincidence, I also uninstalled the old versions of wine (1.4) and installed wine-rt due to another issue. Unfortunately, Abelton Live would no longer work at all after that. When I tried to start it, I'd get the error message "Exception raised. Unimplemented function msvcr90.dll._vsprintf_l called at address 0x7b83bcd5. Do you wish to debug it?"

Following a suggestion I found here, I reinstalled vcrun2008 using 'winetricks --force vcrun2008 '. I can now load Abelton Live without getting the error, but it wants me to authorize my copy again. It's late (early morning actually) so I'll try to fix that tomorrow. However, it seems that I'm getting more xruns now than I was before. In fact, the xruns are increasing continuously while Live is running, even though I'm not playing anything or doing anything in Live.

I wonder if the amount of RAM could be a factor? This computer only has 2GB and my brief test tonight was done with Firefox open to type this message. So maybe the combination of Firefox, Wine, Jack, Abelton Live, and whatever else might be running was too much. I'll try it tomorrow without Firefox running.

somedude
Established Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by somedude »

I'm running a 6Gb laptop and I have the same problem, although maybe a bit less acute, so I'm not sure RAM is such a big factor. I do notice that when I'm doing somethiing else (for example using a browser) the amount of xruns increase momentarily.

After bricking my laptop and going through somewhat of an fstab hell, I was able to modify all the parameters of my laptop except the RT preemption kernel and the Timer Interrupt Frequency (still set to 250Hz). I'm still getting xruns at 256 frames, but even less than before, so that is good. Xruns at 512 are neglegible.

I notice however that if I setup jack to *not* use RT, the amount of xruns drastically drops, even at 256 frames, so it seems that trying to use RT capabilities with a non-RT kernel makes Ableton via jack whacky.

So at this point I have a fully functional Ableton, with very decent sound at 512 and no RT in jack, with only minor xruns. I can record, playback and export fine, but if I add effects to the armed audio channel I start getting annoying latencies (but if I record raw and then process with amps it sound is fine). Much better situation than when I started this thread 8)

I've read that the 1000Hz timer only really matters for intensive midi use (not my case). Can anyone more knowledgable tell me if compiling a RT kernel would potentially affect wine-rt performance for my situation?

bazsound
Established Member
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by bazsound »

make sure you hard frequency scalling set to performance. the Default governor will cause xruns once u start putting load on the CPU.

also don't expected to get low latency without xruns with lots going on. unless u have a really pwerfull machine.

my machine on some projects I have to increase latency to stop x runs. 5ms for me is fine for a few tracks and buses with plugin. once it's gets a bit more complicated I have to change to around 40ms latency.

also running windows programs under Linux is never going to be perfect. some things might just not Work as expected. it's emulation windows.

64Guitars
Established Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by 64Guitars »

somedude wrote:I'm running a 6Gb laptop and I have the same problem, although maybe a bit less acute, so I'm not sure RAM is such a big factor. I do notice that when I'm doing somethiing else (for example using a browser) the amount of xruns increase momentarily.
Yeah, it was a daft idea on my part. :oops: I checked my system monitor afterwards and I'm only using about 40% of my available RAM when Live is running. So, obviously, 2GB should be more than enough.
somedude wrote:I notice however that if I setup jack to *not* use RT, the amount of xruns drastically drops, even at 256 frames, so it seems that trying to use RT capabilities with a non-RT kernel makes Ableton via jack whacky.
I just tried this and my runaway xruns have stopped. I got 7 xruns when I started Live but they didn't increase after that, even while playing. Thanks for the great tip!

bazsound
Established Member
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by bazsound »

64Guitars wrote:
somedude wrote:I'm running a 6Gb laptop and I have the same problem, although maybe a bit less acute, so I'm not sure RAM is such a big factor. I do notice that when I'm doing somethiing else (for example using a browser) the amount of xruns increase momentarily.
Yeah, it was a daft idea on my part. :oops: I checked my system monitor afterwards and I'm only using about 40% of my available RAM when Live is running. So, obviously, 2GB should be more than enough.
somedude wrote:I notice however that if I setup jack to *not* use RT, the amount of xruns drastically drops, even at 256 frames, so it seems that trying to use RT capabilities with a non-RT kernel makes Ableton via jack whacky.
I just tried this and my runaway xruns have stopped. I got 7 xruns when I started Live but they didn't increase after that, even while playing. Thanks for the great tip!
I would think so, i dont know what the RT option does, but theres maybe something different way that jack operates and with RT not being availible in the kerne (maybe theres some background errors going on trying to call functions that arnt supported) and that is causees the system spikes.

I might try this on my system to see if it makes any difference, im not running an RT kernel, but instead a low latency kernel.

User avatar
linuxdsp
Established Member
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Oxford, England
Contact:

Re: Ableton xruns

Post by linuxdsp »

So, why would anyone want to go to all the trouble required to run (proprietary) Windows audio software on linux? If you run Windows audio software, on linux using WINE, you will almost always get worse / less stable performance than you would running native linux applications on linux - or - running the Windows software on Windows and, especially as Windows is pre-installed on most machines, why battle the problems of glitchy linux drivers and incompatible video / audio interfaces etc, just to run a 'free' operating system in order to host a compatibility layer to run an application(s) which weren't even designed for it, with inferior performance.. I'm struggling to see the sense of it.. I'm an enthusiastic supporter and user of linux for audio (as well as a developer) but, the best OS to run Windows applications is still Windows (isn't it? )

Post Reply