ForumsSoftware ← CPU Increase In Aalto 1.4

Hello, everybody!

After installing the update (1.4b6) the first thing I saw was that Aalto uses even more CPU than before. In Studio One 2.6 on
Win XP SP3 the 4 voices need 49% of my C2D E6750 @2.66 Ghz. Version 1.3.2 was happy with 'only' 35%. I tried it in Live 9.0.5 too, because somehow the 1.3.2 needed a little less CPU in Live than in Studio One, but 1.4 was 49% here as well. One voice used 9% in 1.3.2; for 1.4 it's 15% now.

Anyone experienced this CPU increase?

I'm pretty curious, what processors do people here use and what is the load for Aalto? I'm thinking of an upgrade for my 6 years old machine...

Randy, I hope you're not trying to have the biggest CPU hog on the market with Aalto!


Hi sunsyn,

Thanks for letting me know. There's nothing I did on purpose that would increase CPU use in 1.4. I will check and see if, as they say, mistakes were made.

One thing to check is turn off the dials updating with 'anim'-depending on how you are metering CPU the animations can make it appear as though the plugin is taking a lot more DSP.

Aalto is not the biggest CPU hog on the market... not anymore at least! The first version was pretty bad. But since Aalto 1.2 or so I would call it reasonable, and now many other good sounding plugins are out there that can gobble more CPU.

Four voices of Aalto take around 20% of one core on my (still new and excitingly fast) 4-Core i7. on my previous laptop, a 2.4GHz core i5 from 3 years ago, it was about 35% of one core. 3rd generation Core processors were a huge step up from the Core 2 Duo, and could be a pretty cheap upgrade for you at this point.

There are still some things I can do yet to reduce CPU use in Aalto. I will definitely work some of these optimizations in, in the future. but in general people seem to think it's acceptable now, so I have been focusing on other fixes and, of course, the new plugin.

Tried disabling 'Num' and 'Anim'. No change.
Just to be clear, the CPU usage in my first post is the one reported by the DAWs. Windows Task Manager shows 33%.

Thanx for sharing your i7 and i5 consumption.

I'll go off topic now:
Is there a Madrona Labs newsletter? I would love to know when new things happen. Also your forum doesn't send notifications
to my mail when new posts are made in the topics I participate.

Have a nice day!

I have a similar problem with CPU usage.
I'm using Aalto 1.4b6 in Ableton Live 9.0.6 on a 2.13 GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM laptop running 32 bit Windows 7.

Before updating Aalto, CPU usage reported by Live was a stable 42% (four voices). With 1.4 it's 55% while playing MIDI notes, but jumping to 77% when Aalto makes sound without incoming MIDI.
When Aalto is running but not producing sound, it looks like Live turns Aalto off (CPU ~2%). I don't remember this happening before updating.

I updated Live 9.0.4->9.0.5 at the same time as I updated Aalto, so I can't know for sure which one is the reason.
Maybe if you can provide a download of the old version of Aalto, I can find out?

Aalto has been my main instrument for playing live since I bought it last year, but this CPU usage problem makes it impossible for me to use it in a live session, so I really hope it can be fixed.
Anyway, thanks for making such a fantastic musical instrument!

Thanks for all the info. This will help me track down what's going on in the Windows build.

You can click on "My Account" to make sure you are signed up to receive the newsletter. I do skip a month sometimes if I'm, say, cranking hard on a new plugin that's coming soon...

I'm Madronalabs on Twitter, in case you want to read some of my more random updates and DSP nerd in-jokes. :-)

I would like to add an email notify feature to the forums when there is time.

Would be very very sweet if you fix the CPU issues. I cross my fingers.

I never received any news mail from Madrona. Went to 'My Account'; the newsletter was checked. I unchecked, then checked it again and then saved the changes. Hope it works now.

That email notify is a must.


...and bring that new one faster!!!

i'm having the same high cpu problems as the other guys.
cpu was fine on the previous aalto version.

This is still near the top of my list. Thanks for your patience.

hi again, i went back to version 1.3.2 of aalto so i could get rid of the cpu hike, but a lot of patches i've made don't work in that version, so looking forward to a fix for this problem

cheers michael


I have watched some equal issues. A friend of mine and I sync our Ableton Live DAWs with MIDI Sync. But if I recieve MIDI Clock signal input from his machine and use Aalto the cpu usage increases by ~20%. So if i have a big project or multiple instances of Aalto in my project it is unusable.

Windows 7 Home x64 SP1 - Ableton Live 9.0.5 - Aalto 1.4

Maybe this notice helps.

No more XP for me. Now it's Win7 Home SP1 x32 on the same hardware. Aalto CPU usage is 65% now with all 4 voices. Ouch!

Can only concur with previous posters - I'm limited to two voices on any given patch, anything beyond that will result in quite heavy distortion. I'm on an i3, running Mavericks and Logic X.

[Edit] Perhaps one way of dealing with this would be to include a function to limit the number of voices in the synthesizer, regardless of what patch you are loading.

any news on the update to fix the cpu issue?

i'm getting a constant 45/50% cpu usage on ableton 9 with 4 voices, even when i'm not playing any notes.
i've been put off using aalto for a while now cos of this problem, which is a shame cos it was my favourite synth till the scary cpu hike started happening.

randy is no slouch that is for sure
he is in the process of releasing a whole new synth
I'm sure aalto fixings are planned forthwith

i'm looking forward to seeing what kaivo can do too and appreciate randy is busy, but this has been going on for about 5 months now and i'm locked into using aalto in 1 voice mode

Hi, I realize it's been quite a long time and I understand it's frustrating, so thanks for staying civil about it.

As I finish up Kaivo I'm working on some optimizations that will benefit both Kaivo and Aalto. I'm eager to roll these out to you as soon as I can. I can say with some confidence that Kaivo will be out next month and that an Aalto release will be the thing I work on full time next, if I can't sneak it out before Kaivo is done.

@forshaw What OS and CPU are you experiencing the problems on?

hey randy, i'm using windows 7 64bit,
on a lenovo thinkpad t410, intel core i5 cpu m 480 @ 2.67ghz,
32bit version of ableton 9.1.1

Version 1.5 brings the CPU usage back to 35% on my Win7 system using all 4 voices. I'm back in business. Great work, Randy!

Great to hear, thanks for the update!