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  #1  
Old 11-17-2019, 08:39 AM
Scott.Brownlee Scott.Brownlee is offline
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Default Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

I have seen a few of these on here, so it appears I'm not the only one...

I realize there are a lot of moving parts to tech questions like these, so please bear with me. My knowledge of computer hardware is a lot lower than my knowledge of music theory.

I'm trying to write an orchestral piece with 23 instruments loaded (per the attached screen shot). To keep my computer happy, I usually Freeze the sections I'm not using. However, to make global tempo changes, I can't have any Frozen tracks.

This is where the problem starts.

All I have done with the attached is to Unfreeze all the tracks in my template, loading all the instruments back up, so I can change my tempo and meter. After I do that and save, I am unable to load the session back up again. Pro Tools just hangs with the lovely spinny blue circle of death and eventually goes non-responsive.

As far as I know, my machine should be able to handle a session like this, but it happens *all the time.* It's hard to tell from the screen shot, but I've loaded up the instruments within two instances of EastWest Play and four instances of Kontakt. I have a six-core computer, so that should potentially split the load among all six cores (I think).

Do I need a slave computer or something? Do I need to upgrade my existing computer again? Am I just asking too much of Pro Tools? I'm so baffled here and really need some help (explained in fairly basic terms).

Here are my full specs:
Windows 10 64-bit, Intel i7-8700 3.20 GHz, 6 cores, 32 GB RAM, SSD for main Windows drive and Pro Tools, instruments stored on a combination of internal HDD and external SSD (USB 3.0), Pro Tools sessions stored on internal HDD, running Pro Tools 2018.12.0.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2019, 12:45 PM
babaorum babaorum is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Do you have tried to increase the latency of your soundcard before re-open the project ?
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2019, 02:11 PM
Scott.Brownlee Scott.Brownlee is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

I have not tried that, but I'm using a Scarlett Solo audio interface to drive my speakers (sorry, forgot to mention that above), so it's not likely a sound card problem...or am I wrong there?
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:56 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott.Brownlee View Post
I have not tried that, but I'm using a Scarlett Solo audio interface to drive my speakers (sorry, forgot to mention that above), so it's not likely a sound card problem...or am I wrong there?
Upping the buffer can help a lot but at the expense of latency. If tracking is finished, then this is not an issue, so pushing the buffer to 1024(or higher if available) will lighten the cpu load a lot. If you need that low buffer, instead of FREEZE, use Track Commit. When you use this option, you can choose what happens to the original track(Do Nothing, Make Inactive or Hide and Make Inactive). If you think you may need to make further edits, I would choose the "Make Inactive" option and MUTE the original after the COMMIT finishes(Inactive means it will use zero system resources, but should still respond to tempo adjustments). Set your new "commit" tracks to TICKS and enable Elastic Audio. That way, your printed tracks will also respond to tempo changes. You can always make an inactive track active again and re-commit if changes are needed

Another option is to decide on tempos early on and avoid those changes later(which might be tough, depending on how you like to work).

One more option that may help, depends on what plugins you use. Example: KeyScape pianos, which sound great, are real system hogs. If you substitute MiniGrand while building the piece, the cpu usage will be much lighter. Once you have the part and tempo finalized, swap back to the KeyScape plugin and commit the track.
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:41 PM
Scott.Brownlee Scott.Brownlee is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Thanks for the tips. I didn't really know the difference between "Freeze" and "Commit," and enabling Elastic Audio would certainly make things easier. I'm finding it's bad when I begin a new project, because when I load up my orchestra template, everything begins as Frozen and I can't make any tempo changes that way when setting up the score. I'll give Commit a try instead.

The buffer idea still baffles me somewhat, but definitely worth a look.

I do find it surprising that my computer can't handle this many instruments at once, but I guess it's just a matter of deactivating them properly so it isn't overloaded.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:57 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott.Brownlee View Post
Thanks for the tips.
1-I didn't really know the difference between "Freeze" and "Commit," and enabling Elastic Audio would certainly make things easier. I'm finding it's bad when I begin a new project, because when I load up my orchestra template, everything begins as Frozen and I can't make any tempo changes that way when setting up the score. I'll give Commit a try instead.

2-The buffer idea still baffles me somewhat, but definitely worth a look.

3-I do find it surprising that my computer can't handle this many instruments at once, but I guess it's just a matter of deactivating them properly so it isn't overloaded.
1-Time to make a new template

2-the buffer is an allowance of time(in samples) for the computer to process the audio. Big buffer means the computer gets more time to complete processing(more time=more latency). Small buffer means the computer needs to process everything in less time(lower latency) with more load on the system.

3-Very dependent on the plugins being used. Some require very little power from the computer, while others require lots of horsepower. It might help you to become familiar with which use more. That way, you can plan ahead(work those early and commit early), maybe choose different plugins(remember my comparison of MiniGrand to KeyScape's piano) or look into whether those "power hog" plugins offer a "lite" setting(example, leaving out ambiance samples or pedal noise. Or not loading stuff you won't really need, like 5 crash cymbals when you only need 1 or 2).

If you're wondering how to figure out which plugins are power hogs, start with a blank session and call up 10 stereo Instrument tracks. Note the cpu meter reading. Then holding the Alt key(PC) select one of your usual VI plugins on one track(holding Alt will load the same VI on all tracks). Once things settle and the plugin opens and completes the load, note the cpu meter again. Did it jump from 3% to 10%, or from 3% to 60% or higher? Repeat with each of your "usual suspects" and see what happens
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:54 AM
Scott.Brownlee Scott.Brownlee is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Thank you kindly! I have re-tooled my template and made the instruments Inactive instead of Frozen. This allows me to move the tempo freely, and then I can activate the instruments as I want to record on them. I'll Commit them when they're done rather than Freezing them. I also took out a bunch of the articulations that I don't use often.

I will definitely look at the buffer option and try to figure out which of my virtual instruments are eating up all my resources.

Much appreciated.
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:40 AM
Scott.Brownlee Scott.Brownlee is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Well, I tried increasing my buffer size to maximum, decreased my bit depth, and played around with the disk cache size. All of this was to no avail. I tried starting a new session and importing session data from my previous one. All the data I was trying to import was a single horn line from EW Play, and five string instruments loaded into one instance of Kontakt. As soon as I imported one Kontakt line, the session became non-responsive and I had to start all over.

I tell ya, I'm about two degrees away from dumping Pro Tools and trying a different DAW altogether. I've poured a lot of money and effort into learning this thing over the last three years, and it continues to frustrate me at every turn due to bizarre system issues. I write a piece of music that I love, and then suddenly I can't get back into my session to do anything with it and I have to start all over from memory. Even the backups stop working.

sorry to rant...I'm just hoping someone has another solution to try.

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Old 11-24-2019, 03:24 PM
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64GTOBOY 64GTOBOY is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott.Brownlee View Post
Well, I tried increasing my buffer size to maximum, decreased my bit depth, and played around with the disk cache size. All of this was to no avail. I tried starting a new session and importing session data from my previous one. All the data I was trying to import was a single horn line from EW Play, and five string instruments loaded into one instance of Kontakt. As soon as I imported one Kontakt line, the session became non-responsive and I had to start all over.

I tell ya, I'm about two degrees away from dumping Pro Tools and trying a different DAW altogether. I've poured a lot of money and effort into learning this thing over the last three years, and it continues to frustrate me at every turn due to bizarre system issues. I write a piece of music that I love, and then suddenly I can't get back into my session to do anything with it and I have to start all over from memory. Even the backups stop working.

sorry to rant...I'm just hoping someone has another solution to try.

Split the instruments in Kontakt to different tracks. It should decrease the amount of usage in an individual core and spread it among the others

I assume you have done all the standard optimizations?
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2019, 04:35 PM
Scott.Brownlee Scott.Brownlee is offline
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Default Re: Another "Pro Tools crashing" issue

Well, as far as I know I have. Thanks for mentioning that, though...I'll double-check Avid's optimization recommendations.

If I have a six-core computer, I expect my first six instances of Kontakt (or Play) would be spread out one per core...am I understanding that correctly? If so, I'd be best to start with six separate instances and then pile instruments on those six in different MIDI channels as needed.
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