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Old 09-18-2015, 10:57 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,433
Default Re: Pro Tools Constantly Crashing

The WDC Caviar green drives are toxic as Christopher says, you *must* get rid of them. Suitable only as a backup/archive drive, and personally for me too slow even for that.

But a couple of questions/comments.

How large is the boot drive inside your MBPr?

Samples normally go on the boot drive, if they will fit put them there.

The MBPr has a *superfast* M.2 based PCIe SSD that is factors faster than the fastest spinning disk. So fast that you want samples there, especially any samples for plugins that stream. And so fast that you can often put audio and sample files on that boot drive and it will work just fine (even without Pro Tools disk cache). So first thing to try is put everything on that drive if you can, if you cannot fit samples there at least copy over the session folder and all content and see the difference when run from that boot drive.

But more... With Pro Tools 12 mere mortal Pro Tools standard users get the disk cache feature that used to be Pro Tools HD only. But confusingly you have to turn that on by setting a cache size in the Pro atolls Setup>Playback Engine dialog panel. With 16 GB in your MBPr I would start at a cache size of 4 GB. I would still get as much stuff in your boot drive as possible and then turn on the Pro Tools disk cache.

And if you did need to buy an external drive, the WDC Black drives are well regarded HDD options, but I would want to know what you needed that for in some detail, and what your budget was before recommending any model drive. Especially as you can get much better performances, reliability, robustness from an external SSD than a HDD. And if you have high-end needs you can even get external SSDs about as fast as that superfast internal SSD, but you have to pay for that performance of course. And you have thunderbolt and USB SSD options, either may make more sense for you based on other uSB and Thunderbolt usage on your MBPr. If you need to move this computer around/track on location or mix on the go then I would definitely go with a much more abuse resistant SSD over a fragile HDD.

And the bad news... I actually suspect the problem you are having is not disk IO related. Pro Tools sure needs good disks, even with disk cache, but it is very good about throwing AAE errors when encountering problems. A hang is more likely to be caused by bad plugins, or at least a bad interaction of Pro Tools with a plugin. This could also be caused by a corrupt session.

Things to do to debug that is...

Trash preferences (follow instructions under the "Help us help you" link up top of this page.

Does it happen for any other sessions? Try making a quick test session if you need to, using some of the same plugins/content as the problem session. If that test works OK try doing a "Save In" from the current session to a new one and open that new session? Any better?

Temporarily move all the .aaxplugin plugin files out of there folder to some place else (like the unused folder). Pro Tools will automagically put back its standard plugins. Try opening the session and see if it is now stable. Put back the third party plugins in batches or one at a time if needed until you find what one is causing problems. Plugins you are not even instantiating in the session can cause problems so do you need to go this route, just disabling/removing plugins in an insert is not enough.

The order of which things you try are up to you, but I would first get at least the session files and any streaming plugin samples off the kniwn toxic Cavuar Green HDD just so you are close to something expected to work reliably. And thise green drives are so bad I would not waste time trying to cheat with disk cache on them.
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