Reducing the CPU load on Apple Silicon computers

Computers with Apple Silicon processors such as ‌M1, M2‌, ‌M2‌ Pro, ‌M2‌ Max, and ‌M2‌ Ultra, perform differently than previous generation Macs with Intel processors. To optimize performance and reduce CPU load on Silicon Macs, adjust Live's preferences as detailed below. Additional tips can be found in these guides:

Buffer size and audio performance

On Mac computers, the effect of buffer size settings on real-time audio processing changed with the introduction of Apple Silicon processors. 


  • Smaller buffer sizes may result in higher CPU usage
  • Larger buffer sizes may result in lower CPU usage

Apple Silicon:

  • Smaller buffer sizes may result in lower CPU usage 
  • Larger buffer sizes may result in higher CPU usage

Optimizing Live for Apple Silicon

  1. Update all third-party plug-ins and hardware drivers to the latest Silicon-supported versions. We also recommend keeping your installed versions of macOS and Live fully up to date. If available, use native Apple Silicon builds of third-party plug-ins.
  2. Open Live's Preferences → Audio → Sample Rate, and select the desired sample rate, if different from Live's default 44100 kHz. Select the sample rate before starting a new project, rather than changing it while working on an existing one
  3.  In the Latency section, set the buffer size to 128 samples or lower.

Note: In some cases with very CPU-intensive processes, lowering the buffer size will not reduce CPU load. In that case, it may help to increase the buffer size. Learn more about how to optimize CPU usage of devices and plug-ins and multi-core CPU handling.

To test the impact of plug-ins in a Set on CPU load, hold down the [OPTION] key on your computer keyboard while launching Live to temporarily disable plug-ins.


Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: