Avoiding Disk Overload

  • Live Versions: 8 - 10
  • Operating System: All

If the hard disk cannot read or write audio quickly enough, you may hear dropouts. In this case you'll see the Disk Overload (D) indicator turn orange. This is more likely to occur if triggering multiple large audio files at once. Check the following tips to try and avoid disk overload.

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Enable RAM mode for selected clips. 

This loads the sample into RAM rather than streaming directly from the hard disk. Be careful however not to load too many clips into RAM as you may exceed your allotted memory. We recommend using the 64-bit version of Live to utilise more than 4GB of RAM. More info: 32-bit vs 64-bit FAQ

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RAM mode is also available as an option when using Multisample libraries in Sampler.

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Lower the Sample Rate 

Recommended: 44100 Hz

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Use 24-bit or 16-bit audio files to reduce their size 

Convert the bit depth of existing audio files using an external audio editor. To record new audio files at a set bit depth open Preferences → Record/Warp/Launch

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Bounce stereo tracks to mono

A track playing a stereo sample causes more disk traffic than a track playing a mono sample. 

Reduce the amount of audio tracks

The amount of disk traffic Live generates is roughly proportional to the number of audio channels being written or read simultaneously. Bounce multiple tracks together to reduce the load on the hard disk. 

Rotational hard drives vs SSD drives

A hard drive’s access speed can limit Live’s performance. Most audio-optimized computers use 7200 RPM or faster drives. Laptops, to save power, often use 5400 RPM or slower drives, which is why projects on laptops usually have lower track counts. SSD drives allow faster data transfer speeds, thereby helping to reduce the likelihood of disk overload.