General - Soft Synth CPU Question

Hey y’all, beginner question here.

I just got a touché by expressive e. I load up a patch in Ableton, and as soon as I start playing my CPU jumps and I get crackling galore.

My interface is a Focusrite Sapphire Liquid 56, and I’m using a MacBook from 2014 with 8gb of ram. Is this an issue with the processing power on my computer or my interface? Trying to determine what I would need to upgrade in order to be able to use soft synths without fearing CPU jumps/clicks.


It would be useful if you reported your buffer settings. Decent bespoke drivers on a fast desktop-grade machine could give you latency as low as 64 samples (5ms roundtrip). A few factors work against you. One is Firewire on Apple laptops where Apple’s own drivers are historically hit or miss, so depending on what driver you use this might affect you. Another, potentially bigger, issue is that mitigations against side-channel attacks like Meltdown or Spectre have made older CPUs slower. On a laptop I would try at least a 256 sample buffer. Not improbable to have to use 512. I’ve done a fair few projects using 1024 (on 2010 hardware) but only when I get to later arrangement or mix.


I will give that a shot!