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  #1  
Old 07-07-2008, 10:41 AM
timebandit timebandit is offline
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Default maintenance best practices?

Hello DUC community...
I am working on a textbook (of sorts) to use with a studio maintenance class within a recording engineering curriculum. These days, of course, that means computer maintenance moreso than aligning tape machines or cleaning heads!

I know there are a lot of IT-savvy users here and I wanted to take an informal survey of what people are doing to optimize their systems and keep them running smooth and trouble free. The class is not Pro-Tools specific, but comments in that direction are welcome. I am specifically interested in things not clearly outlined by Digi or other software providers.

I have already written chapters on
harware setup (environmental and power issues, peripherals)
OS tweaks and settings (very general so far)
file management (naming conventions and organization)
backup and archive schemes
hard drives (rotating and swapping drives, cloning working system drives)
emergency troubleshooting

If anyone has anything to offer on those or any other topics, I would appreciate the input...as would the next generation of engineers!

Thanks in advance,
Tom
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2008, 11:10 AM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: maintenance best practices?

I haven't given much thought but initially when reading your post the first thing that came to my mind about PC maintenance is cleaning the inside of the computer case. With all the fans moving air and dust through the computer, it doesn't take much time for the dust to build up inside the case. About quarterly (of more often if it gets really dusty) it is time to open up the case and clean out the dust. The dust blocks the flow or cooling air which may lead to premature failure of components like the CPU, graphics card, memory. Dust also clogs up the fans, heatsinks and power supply and may increase the noise level which we want to keep at a minimum in the sutdio. One can use a vaccum cleaner (shop vac) along with a can of compressed air to get most ot the dust out. Make sure you clean all the vents and fans.

Here are a few other tips:
1. D/DVD cleaner for your optical drives. (Does any one still use floppy drives?)
2. Removing the memory modules and cleaning the contacts with contact cleaner or at least rubbing them with an eraser.
3. Removing the graphics cards (or any other peripherial cards and cleaning the contacts with contact cleaner or at least rubbing them with an eraser.
4. Check if it is time ot replace the batteries in your Uninterruptable Power Supply.
5. Check if it is time ot replace the batteries on the motherboard that keeps the CMOS settings.
6 If your computer sits on carpet or other static prone material, reapply anti-static treatment.
7. Check if your motherboard, graphics card, etc. have updated drivers and install them only after making a backup.

Hope that helps. It sounds like a great resource. How do we get a copy of your book?
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Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro14,3
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
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Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 16 GB
MacOS 10.13.6 running Protools 2018.7.0
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2008, 06:56 PM
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Top Jimmy Top Jimmy is offline
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Default Re: maintenance best practices?

http://www.grammy.com/Recording_Acad...rs/Guidelines/
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Pro Tools HD 2018.12, Focusrite Red 8Pre, Mbox 3 (Mac)
Pro Tools 11.3.2, Mbox2 (Win 7)

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  #4  
Old 07-08-2008, 08:15 AM
timebandit timebandit is offline
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Default Re: maintenance best practices?

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it!

Obsidian: Thanks for the tips. I didn't take it to the level of contact cleaning but I think I will include that in the semi-annual course of maintenance. I am trying to just suggest some routines with variables but mainly introduce the ideas and concepts so students can come up with their own. Regarding the copies. Right now I am just developing it for one specific class. Once it is done (by the end of the year) I will post is as a pdf on my site and probably offer hard copies through print on demand. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the help!

Top Jimmy: Thanks for the suggestion. I have actually been using the P&E guidelines for a while since they are some of the few detailed guidelines in print on the topic. I've glossed over the ideas in the book then just pointed readers to the real thing online. That also helps expose students to the P&E wing which may play a role in their futures. Thanks for the idea - it is something we should at least all look at!

Tom
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2008, 04:00 PM
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The Weed The Weed is offline
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Default Re: maintenance best practices?

Use Acronis True Image or Ghost on PC or SuperDuper on Mac and make image files regularly of your OS and Audio Record drives. By regularly I mean daily and before updates or upgrades of any program.

Cheers,
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2012, 02:24 PM
epiphone epiphone is offline
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Default Re: maintenance best practices?

Hi,

I just posted this today as useful information PT 10 and OSX related.

Playing Nice: ProTools 10 and OSX: Set up, Best Practices and Maintenance some Info as of February , 2012

Hi,

Context:

Recently I have had many error messages, insufficient memory, high cpu indications (170 %) and forced closure of sessions. This has been while running current versions of PT 10 with updates, OSX Lion with update and SSD 4.0 on an 09, iMac, 2.66 k, i5 with 16 g of ram.

Intention and Disclaimer:

I have simply pulled together some sources of information ( AVID, APPLE sites, Sound on Sound etc. and from Internet) that provide insights, into and possible solutions to or ways to attempt to mitigate these problems ( Set up, Maintenance, tools, etc.).

Maintenance: Do Don't ?

For Mac users, frankly there appear to be two camps about Maintenance: some do, some don't. There is contradictory information on the Internet about whether this is required or not. I am not advocating one way or the other or recommending a particular product: just sharing information: you decide.

I have no great expertise and am just sharing this to be helpful and to reduce time you might use to looking for this information too.

Comments Welcomed

Please feel free to comment or to correct any errors I might make and or to indicate other solutions you may know about. Finally, this note presumes that you have properly installed , your respective software and have appropriate licenses etc..



MAC SET UP for Protools:

Here are directions for setting up your Apple Preferences to establish the best working relationship between your OS and Protools. Here is a document from the AVID site and you tube videos also from the Avid site.


OS X 10.7 Lion Optimization and TroubleShooting (article)
http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/self...p?DocId=423791

Snow Leopard:
http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/self...p?DocId=349739



System Preferences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LINM1...ure=plpp_video

Start up and Log Items:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1sTq...ure=plpp_video

Trashing Preferences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj2fJ...ure=plpp_video


Optimization: (Video)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?desktop_u...M1EvvTxM&gl=CA

New User Account (video)

:http://m.youtube.com/watch?desktop_u...x_DRg8XU&gl=CA



Overview of OSX Maintenance and Trouble Shooting


Tuning OSX Performance: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/performance.html


http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html ( Somewhat dated)


3rd Party Softwares: For OSX Maintenance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QByvF...e_gdata_player


OnyX: Titanium Software http://www.titanium.free.fr/

PRAM NVRAM Resets (Videos)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?desktop_u...ouaqmL3c&gl=CA

http://m.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=...&v=yOLm-ump7cU





Protools Tutorials etc.

Sounds on sound: http://www.soundonsound.com/articles/ProTools.php

Protools Error Messages:

6101, 9128, 6043, DAE Error :–9073 Without Reaching the 2 GB File Limit, –9128, –9131 (92747, 20843) –9132 (32397), –9155 ,–9735 , : Workarounds ?


[bleep]Re: PT 10 6101 and 9128 errors

Spoke to a lovely bloke Renato at Avid today and he suggested this

As discusses during our telephone conversation, the quickest way to troubleshoot DAE Errors -6101 and -9128 is to move all third party plug-ins from the Plug-Ins folder to the Plug-Ins (Unused) folder and test the system in this basic configuration.[bleep]

If performance will improves dramatically, the next step will be to gradually move your plug-ins back to the Plug-Ins folder.[bleep]
When performance will degrade again, then you will know which plug-ins might have issues and investigate for possible updates or known issues with the plug-in manufacturers.[bleep]

Let us know how your testing progresses,[bleep]

So I will do this and report back. Hopefully this info on troubleshooting these particular DAE errors will help others in the same boat too.
__________________
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MacBook Pro Dual 2.3 i7[bleep]
OS 10.7.2
4 gig RAM

6101: CPU overload fix:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=...&v=PstdpHHHOVo
http://m.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=...&v=mfJ12UGJbkw



Error Messages:

Error –6042
If you repeatedly encounter –6042 errors, open the System Usage window and check the PCI gauge. If the gauge is peaked, you will need to reset the PCI bus. To reset the PCI bus, make all tracks inactive and start playback. If you still encounter a –6042 er- ror, quit and relaunch Pro Tools, open the Playback Engine dialog, and change the Number of Voices to a setting that uses fewer voices per DSP.
DAE Error –9073 Without Reaching the 2 GB File Limit
If you encounter a –9073 error, and you have not reached the 2 GB file size limit, please refer to the Knowledge Base for possible causes and solutions (www.avid.com/onlinesupport).
DAE Error –9128
In sessions with high sample rates (96 kHz or higher), you may need to set the Hardware Buffer Size to 512 or more to avoid –9128 errors during playback with Native (RTAS and AAX) plug-ins or dense automation.
DAE Error –9131 (92747, 20843)
GUID partitioned drives will not allow you to record beyond the third partition when running on OS X. A workaround is to par- tition audio drives using Apple Partition Map instead of GUID.
– or –
Recording to or playing from a UNIX File System (UFS) formatted drive is not supported in Pro Tools.
DAE Error –9132 (32397)
If a –9132 error occurs during Bounce To Disk (even with the highest Hardware Buffer setting selected), bus the appropriate tracks to the appropriate number and format of audio tracks, and record to disk. You can then use the resulting audio files as you would have used bounced files.
DAE Error –9155
In sessions with high sample rates of 96 kHz or more, you may need to set the Hardware Buffer Size to 512 or more to avoid –9155 errors during playback with dense automation.
DAE Error –9735
When Pro Tools reaches the end of its time limit in the session Timeline, or if Pro Tools has been in continuous play for longer than the maximum time limit, you will encounter a DAE error –9735. The maximum time limit for Pro Tools depends on the ses- sion sample rate. For more information, see the Pro Tools Reference Guide.[bleep]

Protools Plug in: Hygiene: (Expired Plug ins can cause problems), Infro, Updater, 3rd party tools


Plug Tool: Shareware that helps you manage plugins

http://emptymusic.com/software/Plug_Tools.html


ProToolerBlog:

http://www.protoolerblog.com/2009/12...nd-help-tools/

Sound on sound article: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug1...es/pt-0810.htm

AVID Protools10 Plug in info:
http://www.avid.com/US/products/Pro-...undled-plugins


AAX:

http://www.avid.com/US/categories/Audio-Plug-ins/AAX

Updater:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/self...p?DocId=362887

Optimizing ?

http://community.avid.com/forums/post/515280.aspx


Ram Problems:

http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?p...59#post1901559


APPLE Site OSX Problems, Articles:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0

GADGETWISE:

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/...-wounded-lion/
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2012, 04:37 PM
Pinball Wizard Pinball Wizard is offline
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Posts: 181
Default Re: maintenance best practices?

This might be a little controversial but I would like to throw out the idea of NOT doing some usual maintenance operations.

Once you achieve a stable working system, disconnect from the internet and don't do Windows updates. Don't do driver updates. I don't run any anti-virus program because I don't take my workstation on the internet so there are no virius definitions to update. Don't update anything routinely. If you purchase a new plug-in and it doesn't work, maybe then look into some updating, but only if you really identify that you need to. Maybe try it first on a cloned drive. I wouldn't even do Avid updates unless they offer a specific bug fix or feature that you need. The old cliche: "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

Sooner or later the time will come when you want to do a completely new version of Pro Tools (PT11?). Then and only then, go out and update everything before you do the install.

Of course, I understand that this is only possible if you don't take your workstation on the internet. The Marketplace & the export to cloud functions sort of encourage internet connectivity. So this concept won't work for everyone.

Thoughts?
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:26 PM
gaas gaas is offline
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Location: Austin
Posts: 86
Default Re: maintenance best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinball Wizard View Post
This might be a little controversial but I would like to throw out the idea of NOT doing some usual maintenance operations.

Once you achieve a stable working system, disconnect from the internet and don't do Windows updates. Don't do driver updates. I don't run any anti-virus program because I don't take my workstation on the internet so there are no virius definitions to update. Don't update anything routinely. If you purchase a new plug-in and it doesn't work, maybe then look into some updating, but only if you really identify that you need to. Maybe try it first on a cloned drive. I wouldn't even do Avid updates unless they offer a specific bug fix or feature that you need. The old cliche: "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

Sooner or later the time will come when you want to do a completely new version of Pro Tools (PT11?). Then and only then, go out and update everything before you do the install.

Of course, I understand that this is only possible if you don't take your workstation on the internet. The Marketplace & the export to cloud functions sort of encourage internet connectivity. So this concept won't work for everyone.

Thoughts?
I actually abide by this daily and preach it to many! The only time I get on the Internet is to update plugs or other software, or when I want to send a mp3 or mix to someone through email. After I'm done I'll reset safari before I do anything else! If I want to surf I'll get on my phone, iPad, laptop or any other computer around me at the time. Personally Im very against anything cloud based interacting with my system. I won't even sync or update my iPhone on it.. Every now and then though I'll use the optical ins & outs on my 96 to route iTunes in for playback through it, but that's pretty much it for me.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2012, 03:35 AM
Bill Denton Bill Denton is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,644
Default Re: maintenance best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian Dragon View Post
I haven't given much thought but initially when reading your post the first thing that came to my mind about PC maintenance is cleaning the inside of the computer case. With all the fans moving air and dust through the computer, it doesn't take much time for the dust to build up inside the case. About quarterly (of more often if it gets really dusty) it is time to open up the case and clean out the dust. The dust blocks the flow or cooling air which may lead to premature failure of components like the CPU, graphics card, memory. Dust also clogs up the fans, heatsinks and power supply and may increase the noise level which we want to keep at a minimum in the sutdio. One can use a vaccum cleaner (shop vac) along with a can of compressed air to get most ot the dust out. Make sure you clean all the vents and fans.

Here are a few other tips:
1. D/DVD cleaner for your optical drives. (Does any one still use floppy drives?)
2. Removing the memory modules and cleaning the contacts with contact cleaner or at least rubbing them with an eraser.
3. Removing the graphics cards (or any other peripherial cards and cleaning the contacts with contact cleaner or at least rubbing them with an eraser.
4. Check if it is time ot replace the batteries in your Uninterruptable Power Supply.
5. Check if it is time ot replace the batteries on the motherboard that keeps the CMOS settings.
6 If your computer sits on carpet or other static prone material, reapply anti-static treatment.
7. Check if your motherboard, graphics card, etc. have updated drivers and install them only after making a backup.

Hope that helps. It sounds like a great resource. How do we get a copy of your book?
2. Removing the memory modules and cleaning the contacts with contact cleaner or at least rubbing them with an eraser.
3. Removing the graphics cards (or any other peripherial cards and cleaning the contacts with contact cleaner or at least rubbing them with an eraser.


Allow me to respectfully disagree with these two items.

Typically, a very fine layer of "corrosion" will form over the exposed portions of the connectors which forms a "seal" over the entire assembly. This "seal" keeps dust out of the connection, and prevents corrosion of the contact portion of the connectors.

Removing the module, card, etc destroys this "seal", and "fragments" of the seal can fall into the card slots, causing further problems.

So, unless you are having a problem with a module, card, etc you will probably be better off just dusting them and leaving them in place.

And, as always, YMMV...
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Note that all opinions, observations, whatever, in this post are mine, unless I'm being mean or am wrong, in which case it's somebody else's fault. I do not work for Avid (their loss)...my only relationship with Avid is that of a customer (when I'm not too poor to buy stuff, like now)...and that hot administrative assistant...that's more of a "thing" than a "relationship" (that should keep them guessing for a while...)

Just rockin'...what more is there?

Bill in Pittsburgh
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