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  #1  
Old 03-25-2007, 01:51 PM
gunark gunark is offline
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Default Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly Bad

Hi,

I hope someone can help as this is driving me crazy. I have a 3 month old Mac Mini 1.83ghz Core Duo with 80gb and 1gb RAM. Coupled with this I have an Mbox Mini with PT 7.3.1. Now, when I run PT I get so little performance out of it before it chokes it's unreal! For instance, my current project has:

8 Stereo Tracks 24 bit
2 Instrument Tracks (Click and Xpand)
2 Aux Groups

and the following plugs: 2x BF76, 1x Sonalksis TBK, 1x Amplitube, 1x Sonalksis TBK2, 1x Dverb, !x Sonalksis SSV315 Comp, 2x T-racks EQ, 1x Medium Delay and 1x Expand/Gate

Not a whole lot really, and many of the tracks are just dry.

Now I've considered this may be a disk issue, especially with the laptop drive in the Mini, but there is little audio here (each track is currently a 30sec loop bounced from another program) and I have a friend who used a g4 tiBook to make audio intensive glitch jungle without issue. Furthermore the disk meter in PT shows no problem and doesn't go into the red. I also run the audio from an external USB2 drive anyway.

So it seems to boil down to a processor or memory issue. The CPU should be about the equivalent of a 3ghz PC, give or take, and with multithreading, more capable. But my previous machine (Athlon 64 2ghz, 1gb Ram, etc..) could take triple that including convolution reverbs and still not fall over. The iMac G5's I have also used have taken more punishment than this Mini. As for memory, I know 1gb can nowadays be regarded as minimum but it's not like I'm using multi gigabyte ROMplers (something incidentally I could do with the Athlon)!

Much as I like my Mac and want to learn to like Pro Tools, I'm at a shocked loss as to just what is going on here.

FYI, I've got a good install of OSX, up to date and with no rubbish preloading on boot. I use onyx regularly and run no other programs whilst using PT. My drive has at least 50% space and are formatted with extended. I've also followed the guides to switch services and bits off to help it run better.

The error code is -9128 and the buffer is set to 2048, CPU to 90% and DAE Playback Buffer to Level 4. Can anyone offer any advice? Is it me, my Mac or anything else?
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2007, 02:39 PM
Park Seward's Avatar
Park Seward Park Seward is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly Bad

Two problems I see. One is NOT to use the inrternal drive. The computer will have to get app info from the drive as you are recording, causing an interupt.

Second, do NOT use a USB drive. Not supported or recommended by Digi.

Your RAM is marginal. Digi says 1.5 is good with 2 GB best.

Do you have 10.4.9 or 10.4.8. If .9, did you do the COMBO Updater?

How are your RTAS processors set? Do you have one dedicated to RTAS?

You are using several plugs that require a lot of CPU power.

Also, I don't think 7.3.1 is optimized yet for the Intel processors. Just my personal opinion.
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Park
The Transfer Lab at Video Park
Analog tape to Pro Tools transfers, 1/4"-2"
http://www.videopark.com
MacPro 6 core 3.33 GHz, OS 10.12.1, 8 GB RAM, PT12.6.1, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, PreSonus DigiMax, MC Control V3.5, dual displays,
Neumann U-47, Tab V76 mic pre, RCA 44BX and 77DX, MacBook Pro 9,1, 2.3 Mhz, i7, CBS Labs Audimax and Volumax.
Ampex 440B half-track and four-track, 351 tube full-track mono, MM-1100 16-track.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2007, 03:06 PM
gunark gunark is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I have 10.4.9 but the problem was just a prevalent in 10.4.8 (although I was unaware of the problem so now will do the combo update - should have guessed from the trouble we have with HD systems and updates).

Ok to address your statements - I realise the internal is not recommended, nor USB but I am running so little audio it's unreal! Disk access should be very minimal. I do of course plan to get a FW drive asap but in the meantime even a tiny amount of work would be nice. I've come from Logic and Live so tend to use PT as a sequencer not a DAW as such, and as I've said, people I know have been able to do that on TiBooks without problem.

I realised the plugs were relatively CPU heavy so with some bouncing I am down to:

1x Sonalksis TBK2 bitcrusher, 1x Dverb, 1x Sonalksis SSV315 Comp, 1x T-racks EQ, 1x Click and 1x Xpand.

It's still giving me that same error, and that's frankly becoming unacceptable. None of those plugs are real Absynth/Massive style CPU killers, and I was able to use them pretty liberally on the PC.

Is PT simply a huge resource hog? Even Live, with it's complex audio engine doesn't eat away at my CPU and RAM like PT, and PT seems to be doing an awful lot less for the resources. I guess I can stretch to 2gb if need be if it will help - opening the Mini isn't something I really want to get into!

Ok, if my Mac is ok and PT is just hungry, if I get an external FW400 drive and 2gb of RAM will I see enough difference to justify the expense? I don't want to pay out then still have the same problems.

p.s. I agree on the Intel optimisation, the G5 still runs smoother and makes a mockery of the Intel>G5 argument when it comes to PT. Maybe the real optimization is for the Core2Duos and Leopard's 64 bit extensions?

Oh and RTAS processors is set to 2 - right or wrong?
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2007, 03:47 PM
Park Seward's Avatar
Park Seward Park Seward is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly

See if this helps any:

"When you have finally exceeded the limits of your CPU, an error message stating "You're running out of CPU power. Take out some plug-ins to free up CPU power (-9128)" will appear onscreen. From this point, it will be necessary to de-instantiate one or more of the plug-ins to achieve playback. To squeeze the highest RTAS plug-in count out of your system, you must manage your CPU resources wisely. Here are a few recommendations for optimizing your CPU usage:

1) From the Pro Tools menu choose Setups > Hardware. Set the CPU Usage to 75 or 85%. This setting determines the percentage of CPU processing the software will be able to use from your system's total
CPU resources.

2) When you have completed tracking in your Pro-Tools LE session and are ready to mix, choose Setups > Hardware and set the Hardware Buffer size to 1024. This may allow instantiating of one or more additional RTAS plug-ins as compared to the lower Hardware Buffer settings. You can experiment with this setting to see how it affects plug-in performance.

3) The RTAS D-Verb plug-in is the most CPU intensive of the RTAS DigiRack plug-ins. Most high end systems will max out at 4-5 RTAS D-Verb instantiations therefore it is not practical to instantiate a separate D-Verb on every track. A more appropriate alternative would be to create a Stereo Auxillary track with the RTAS D-Verb instantiated, and then bus any audio tracks that require effecting to this track. You can apply this method to other RTAS plug-ins as well. The goal is to share one RTAS instantiating between tracks that require similar effecting.

4) Keep in mind that the amount of automation and the number of edits in your session will directly affect the amount of RTAS plug-ins available. Conservation in one area will free up more CPU resources for another. Having unnecessary applications running in the background can also lower the amount of available RTAS plug-ins.

5) Remember that Audiosuite plug-ins do not require any CPU resources. Most RTAS plug-ins have an Audiosuite counterpart which makes Audiosuite processing practical when CPU resources are running low. Since most plug-in settings are savable as well as interchangeable between RTAS and Audiosuite architectures, a track instantiated with an RTAS plug-in setting will sound similar to the same waveform processed with it's Audiosuite counterpart."

Also:

"Maximum Performance Guidelines

Recording to the system startup drive is not recommended or supported
Although limited recording and playback of audio tracks may be possible using the internal startup drive, a separate external dedicated audio hard drive (or multiple drives) is highly recommended for maximum performance and track count."

Also, run the 10.4.9 COMBO updater.

Hope it helps.
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Park
The Transfer Lab at Video Park
Analog tape to Pro Tools transfers, 1/4"-2"
http://www.videopark.com
MacPro 6 core 3.33 GHz, OS 10.12.1, 8 GB RAM, PT12.6.1, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, PreSonus DigiMax, MC Control V3.5, dual displays,
Neumann U-47, Tab V76 mic pre, RCA 44BX and 77DX, MacBook Pro 9,1, 2.3 Mhz, i7, CBS Labs Audimax and Volumax.
Ampex 440B half-track and four-track, 351 tube full-track mono, MM-1100 16-track.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2007, 06:30 AM
gunark gunark is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly

Thanks for your help - I'll try to find some more lightweight plugs but I am still a touch disappointed by how little I can run on what is a relatively powerful system.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2007, 08:12 AM
tele_player tele_player is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly

I'd try running the same session from the internal hard drive (disconnect the USB hard drive), and set the DAE playback buffer to the default (2 I think.)

Then I'd watch CPU and memory usage in Activity Monitor.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2007, 12:28 PM
Park Seward's Avatar
Park Seward Park Seward is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly

Plugs like D-Verb can take up some CPU cycles, please read about the other ways to improve playback. A FW drive will help a lot.
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Park
The Transfer Lab at Video Park
Analog tape to Pro Tools transfers, 1/4"-2"
http://www.videopark.com
MacPro 6 core 3.33 GHz, OS 10.12.1, 8 GB RAM, PT12.6.1, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, PreSonus DigiMax, MC Control V3.5, dual displays,
Neumann U-47, Tab V76 mic pre, RCA 44BX and 77DX, MacBook Pro 9,1, 2.3 Mhz, i7, CBS Labs Audimax and Volumax.
Ampex 440B half-track and four-track, 351 tube full-track mono, MM-1100 16-track.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2010, 05:07 PM
fsilano fsilano is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly

Quote:
Originally Posted by tele_player View Post
I'd try running the same session from the internal hard drive (disconnect the USB hard drive), and set the DAE playback buffer to the default (2 I think.)

Then I'd watch CPU and memory usage in Activity Monitor.
Agreed. The USB drive is almost certainly the biggest problem in that setup. I wouldn't even think about it.
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FrankenCat Productions
Landmine Recording
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<><

PT 2018.12 (Win)
PT 10.3.10 (Win)
Mbox Pro Gen 3 Firmware 1.0.4
Focusrite 18i8 Gen 2 (mobile rig)
Windows 10 Enterprise (main PT OS)
Mac Mojave 10.14.4 (no PT at the moment)
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2010, 08:37 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly Bad

This thread is from 2007.
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2010, 01:58 PM
fsilano fsilano is offline
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Default Re: Am I Missing Something?! Mbox Mini, Mac Mini, Shockingly Bad

Why yes it is. Nevermind then. :)
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FrankenCat Productions
Landmine Recording
Tampa Bay, Florida
http://www.frankencat.com
<><

PT 2018.12 (Win)
PT 10.3.10 (Win)
Mbox Pro Gen 3 Firmware 1.0.4
Focusrite 18i8 Gen 2 (mobile rig)
Windows 10 Enterprise (main PT OS)
Mac Mojave 10.14.4 (no PT at the moment)
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