Maschine Stand-alone vs Maschine instance in Ableton

Guitoune Member Posts: 14 Newcomer


I'm creating projects using Maschine Stand-alone on my laptop, my projects became bigger and bigger and at a point, I was unable to play the arrangement, so much CPU saturation.

I thought about testing something : loading my project as an instance of Maschine in Ableton, and I was surprised to see that my CPU is ok, 0 saturation, 0 clicks during all song arrangement.

An instance of Maschine 2 with a second DAW running is better in performance than Maschine alone, how is it possible? Something is running in Stand-alone and not in an instance and taking more power than excepted?

Have a nice day,



  • ShelLuser
    ShelLuser Member Posts: 239 Pro

    It's speculation on my part of course but... if you load Maschine as VST then the hosting DAW is now in control over resource management, so that obviously changes things.

    Then there's also the issue of actual load. You said you weren't able to play the project, what did it consist of? Did you only use Maschine or also relied on other external VST's for example?

    But this could also be caused by dozens of other reasons as well. For example... Maschine is probably using a different location for its cache than Live is, I also wouldn't rule out the possibility just yet that there might be something wrong over there as well.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,576 Expert

    I do not know how well Maschine runs as VST and how much DAW hosting it may do in sheduling, resheduling CPU load.

    But what is for sure, if Maschine used standalone it is able to use only about 50% of CPU capacity. At least in case CPU has physical and logical cores.

  • Mi.Alpha
    Mi.Alpha Member Posts: 14 Newcomer
    edited March 2022

    I can confirm that Maschine as a VST in Ableton uses much less CPU (I am on a 2015 MacBook Pro 15'', 16GB RAM, 2.2GHz, i7). Try and do the following and measure your computer's CPU load (I'm on a Mac so, I use Activity Monitor):

    Case 1: use Maschine standalone (tip: if you resize the Maschine's software window to its minimum you will use less CPU).

    Case 2: use Maschine as a VST in Ableton (tip 1: hiding the Maschine's VST window in Ableton will result less CPU; tip 2: hiding the Maschine's VST window in Ableton and Ableton itself will result even less CPU usage).

    There was a thread in the old forum regarding how Maschine and Ableton utilise in a different manner CPU (due to multithreading etc.), try to find it, it will help you understand a few things (it helped me at least).

    My advice (and what I do when using Maschine in a live performance scenario): run Maschine as a VST with Ableton, it's much more CPU efficient. I can post some pics/numbers related to CPU usage if you like.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,051 mod

    I have the opposite experience on one computer and maybe the same as you guys on another.

    I am able to load more stuff on the standalone version on my desktop: 56 instances of Massive VS 48; now if with other instruments it behaves differently idk, no patience to test that but it's possible. On my M1 MB Air the performance is the same but since it live runs in rosetta atm for MAS support it could be better implying Plug-In mode is better... A bit confusing.

    Note that your OS CPU meter won't tell you anything about when the Audio starts glitching, it will never reach 100% so only the meter inside Maschine or the DAW is actually meaningful... So, an accurate metric to compare performance should be when audio starts glitching not the numbers the OS reports.

Back To Top