ForumsSoftware ← Kaivo 1.1 in Ableton Live 9.1.6 = huge CPU usage

Hi, in Ableton Live 9.1.6 when I use Kaivo, the CPU usage meter stays over 40% all the time, even if I don't play a note. And for any patch I use, the usage goes over 70%. I tried the same in Reaper 4.7xx and even for the pads the CPU usage is not higher than 5% even for the pads with voice put to 8.
Is this a known bug and do you intend to fix this ? Thanks

Kaivo can be very CPU heavy, but there are plenty of ways to make it less so. I wrote an article on the topic here:

I don't know why Reaper is so different in its CPU reporting from Live in your experience. Each host can have its own idea of what CPU means, so it's not always a good comparison to look at in-host meters.

A good way to compare different apps is to look at Activity Monitor (or Task Manager on Windows.)

@wanterkeelt, hard to say if your performance is 'normal' without machine specs/operating system etc.
but I found Live 9.1.6 was not really any different to other hosts, in practical use.
(LPX, Vienna ensemble pro,Bitwig, Max)

Im running Mac OSX 10.9.4, Live 9.1.6 on a i5 2.9Ghz, (so not that powerful) and on default patch, Live shows 9% and on Koto 40% (8 voices).
bare in mind, comments in randys article, about 'always' active.

as for Live…
its 'well known' live cpu meter, is not a cpu reading at all… its percentage time required to process the audio buffer, i.e. 25% means its used 25% of the max time it could to process a buffer.

this is a reasonable way, but its rather subject to external things, like the operating system preempting it, and can be a little misleading with multiple cores/cpus.

one thing is worth noting though, is its worth getting to know how a daw handles plugins with regard to threads (= distribution over cores).
e.g. in Live do not put FX on the same track as a heavy cpu use plugin, as it will be put in the same thread, instead put the fx on a return track.

Randy, a question … if you bypass Kaivo/Aalto does it stop the oscillators, and stop all other processing? i ask, as i noticed it keeps the osc connection open.
It would be nice, if the plugin is bypass if everything is stopped including closing the osc server port.

Thanks to both of you for the info.

I can support that both Kaivo and Aalto use considerably more CPU in Live on Yosemite vs Mavericks. I have sets that used a couple instances of each with 60% in Live's meter than now register 140% and are unplayable.

Thanks for the info Joel. Looking around I see a lot of complaints like "Yosemite made my audio / view slow."

Try running Aalto with animations ("anim") disabled. Does it help?

I tried disabling animations as well as the polyphony and the changes were minimal. I have setups on both OSes if you need me to help test.

Thank you for the offer! Since it's a general performance issue but not a crash, there's not too much I can do to move forward short of running some profiling tools on your system.

Meanwhile, if you could look at some things for my sanity, here are my requests:

  • pull up a new Live project and make one instance of Aalto running "ancient 4-voice" preset.
  • close the Aalto window (we are ruling out graphics for now)
  • what is the CPU use in Live's meter?
  • what is the CPU use in Activity Monitor? (will vary by 2--3% after settling down)
  • what is the buffer size in Live under Preferences / Audio?

if you have a minute to look at this on both 10.9 and 10.10 with the same buffer settings and audio interface I would appreciate it. Also be sure Multicore / Multiprocessor support in Live is the same setting on both machines.

Also, please let me know the CPU details for each machine, or if it's the same machine so much the better.


Hi, I'm demoing Kaivo and my system just freaks out whenever I load a setting. Especially Dulcimer is a guarantee to bring the whole thing to a grinding halt.
Mac Pro 2008 8 core 2.8GHz Xeon, Mac OS 10.8.5, Logic 9.18, setting 512 (and other) buffer, running it at 96 KHz and 44.1 KHz (same results).
I've read the tips on minimizing CPU load, but mind you, this is just testing the presets, no other plugins, or audio loaded.
Now I do think it's a problem within Logic, because my external CPU meter never goes higher than 30% per core while Logic's meter spikes.

Errors: first there's spikes hearable, but they do not show up on the Logic volume meters. then I get the old error different sample rates recognized (while the converter is still locked to the OS audio driver) etc. next step is that the performance meter spikes and the whole thing gets stuck.
I could even start a youtube playing during the crash, while Logic was belching clicks and noise.

I do want to buy this, cause the sounds that do work (digidub) are great. And I know you're going to clean it up... like Aalto.
But I think it's not just a CPU load. It's the plugin inside the host.

So please help?

Hi Reptil, In the past I have heard of some issues with multithreading that affect Xeon machines in particular. I have made a bunch of changes in Aalto 1.6, coming very soon, that might fix some of these problems. They will also be rolled into the next version of Kaivo soon. I hope you will stay in touch, test these coming versions, let me know if things improve on your system.

Hi Randy, ok I will. thanks!!

Just purchased Kaivo. Just loading patches like "pan pur bell" in Cubase 8, and without producing any sound (idling), makes CPU go to 75%! Playing a SINGLE note causes glitches and audio drops. This is the very FIRST plugin with which I'm having this kind of troubles. Just for comparison, I am able to record 4 streams of audio @96K/32bit while playing four instances of AAlto without problems. System specifications:
Cubase 8 pro x64, Kaivo x64, Alienware M17r4 with i7 3940XM @3,8Ghz, 16Gb RAM, Windows 10 x64. Projects are 96Khz/32bit, tried to enable/disable ASIO guard, animation, numbers without results.
Can you help?

I wrote a post about this topic with a lot of suggestions:

Also if this is a Xeon system you may be running into the multithreading issues I mention above. Please stay tuned for the next update coming soon.

Hey Randy,i have been using a full version of Aalto and a demo version of Kaivo with no problems.i just decided to purchase Kaivo at Sale price and have encountered a problem.everytime i try to fold the GUI away in Live,the Kaivo synth dissappears but it leaves an empty white Gui box on the screen and it cant be doesnt affect the sound but with four incidences of Kaivo running i cannot see my DAW screen.has anyone else had the same problem?

in Live,the Kaivo synth dissappears but it leaves an empty white Gui box on the screen

This is a problem some people encountered in the pervious version of Aalto. The next Kaivo update coming soon should fix it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

As reported it happens only in the 32-bit version. So if you want to use the 64-bit version instead that's a good workaround meanwhile.