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  #1  
Old 08-14-2012, 12:50 PM
avonkorff avonkorff is offline
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Default Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

Hi there!

I am a new member to the Avid online community, hoping to find some help in solving an issue with my current system (detailed in my profile). I have frequented these forums as a guest, but have yet to post and join in on the discussion. I am confident I can find, or perhaps provide others with, a few answers to PT rig related issues.

Here's the jist of it...

My Pro Tools system is incessantly crashing and seems to become increasingly unstable as I build up bigger and bigger sessions.

I am working with a film composer currently and we interface with two instances of VE Pro 5 (one on host mac, one on slave mac) to access our synths, instruments, samplers, what-have-you.

We have a 510~ track template currently, that will likely grow over the course of the project, but in my estimation our Mac Pro's are more than capable of handling it; to verify this assertion I have kept Activity Monitor running constantly and have kept a careful eye on everything from load, to temp, to RAM usage.

Issues started early last week with consistent DAE -9162 errors, which were followed by DAE -4 errors, which were followed by other DAE errors, and finally a few absolutely bizarre breakdowns between Pro Tools and VE Pro occurred that manifested themselves as a direct result of PT crashes.

DIGItest hasn't found any problem with any of the Accel cards, nor the core card, and despite multiple re-seatting, power cycling, hard reboot procedures, nothing seems to keep the system rock-solid.

After consulting a few more tech-savvy professionals than myself, I have narrowed the problem down to our Magma Chassis. However, I have reached out to Magma and they tell me the PE6R4 is "obsolete". Their justification for using the word 'obsolete' is that they don't manufacture the components, nor cables, to support our particular model, but suggest purchasing an upgrade pack to bring our current enclosure up to par with their latest product. They offer literally 0 tech specs to back up the claim, so I have no way to compare the PE6R4 with an upgraded chassis to deem whether or not it's a worthwhile upgrade and will fix the issue.

Can anyone shed any light on this situation, and perhaps deduce whether or not the Magma chassis, is in fact the culprit?

Questions would be welcomed if I haven't provided enough information!

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2012, 01:52 PM
avonkorff avonkorff is offline
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

Perfect example of what I'm talking about...

I just encountered a DAE -4 error after a re-load of a session***.

I pressed play after the session was loaded, Pro Tools balked, said I needed to increase CPU Usage Limit or remove RTAS plugins (I only have 2 Revibes running as RTAS...rest is negligible or TDM). I go to increase the Core Processor allocation (tried to increase from 16 to 18) and bumped up the usage limit to 95% from 85%.

As a result, Pro Tools locked up, would not respond for 30~ seconds, then gave me an error dialogue saying that it could no longer find my hardware, twice, resulting in the final error message; DAE -4 has been encountered.

Please, if you have any ideas, let me know! Deadlines fast approaching.

***Reloading was necessary because of a crash unrelated to the above issues (VE Pro 5 behaving strangely with instances of PLAY, caused VE Pro to crash, subsequently had to save and close out my PT session, then boot up VE Pro, then boot up the PT session again to re-establish connection to vFrames).
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:21 PM
Mixchump Mixchump is offline
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

I went through a few weeks of HELL last month with a very similar problem.

After trying all kinds of troubleshooting options, I swapped out the DigiLink cable between the Core card in the chassis and the first interface. Because my chassis has very loud fans, I have the long cable (rated for only up to 96kHz). I'm (temporarily) running my system with the shorter 12' cable, and all seems fairly stable right now.

First of all, is your chassis a PE6R4 (two cables) or a PE6R4i (a single iPass cable)? There was a particular problem with certain Magma / MacPro configurations with the two-cable setup, where, if you unplugged the Ethernet cable (and the computer loses it's IP address), the system would finally start up and become stable. Otherwise, it's constant DAE errors and no ProTools launch. It's worth trying to see if yours is one of those configurations.

Mine is the PE6R4i (actually, I upgraded my old chassis with the PE6NE board, Host Card, and cable set).

According to Magma, slot #1 is the furthest from the power supply, but according to Avid, the official card order should start from the first valid PCI slot (not the taped-over slot) closest to the power supply.

After rounds and rounds of troubleshooting, I was unable to get my system stable with the Avid-supported card order, so my cards are HD-Core (furthest from power supply), then Accel cards (Port B on Core, to Port A on next Accel).

I had every DAE error you mentioned, and many more...

I still have a problem with clicks and pops in the audio now and then (a full reboot will fix this) when zooming in and out. This was nightmare-ish last month, and is tolerable now... I'd love to know if anyone has suggestions for that, but at least I can work now.

My system is HD-6 Accel PCI, 2008 Dual Quad MacPro, 12GB Ram, Mac OS 10.7.4, ProTools HD10.2.0

You mentioned that your template is approx 510 tracks? Surely, these must be mostly inactive, as you only have 192 actual voices at 48kHz right? Are most of the channels actually AUX inputs?

Hope some of this helps?

Cheers, eh?
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

ALL of those problem indicate the missing r35 or. r10 , c269 or A few other parts on the cards in other locations

It can be on any of the cards or even all the cards
I'll bet this is your problem


Let me know if I can help you with this
I'm in Burbank and will fix same day if needed
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:30 AM
avonkorff avonkorff is offline
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

@Mixchump

Thanks for your response. As stated in the OP, it is a Magma PE6R4 chassis, not the PE6R4i. In addition, the upgrade I'm talking about that Magma has recommended, is indeed the PE6NE kit. I also believe we tried seating the cards in the order you describe (not the order Avid recommends, but the one Magma recommends) and I'll post here when I have confirmation that we did try that.

Would you recommend the PE64Ri upgrade via PE6NE? If so, why? I am still waiting to hear back from Magma on this issue; as stated they have not provided us with a shred of tech-talk substance to encourage the purchase.

Regarding the ethernet anomaly; are you saying that I should try simply unplugging the cat5 carrying internet signal to the host computer? Since I need to network to the slave machine (passing MIDI through ethernet and a LAN switcher to the slave machine's instance of VEPro; common), I can't unplug from that port...but the internet is not imperative. I've not heard of this issue so it's quite intriguing, however like I said the problems we encounter seem to inexplicably come and go, sometimes fixing themselves for periods of time.

For instance, yesterday in the early evening, an instance of PLAY caused VE Pro 5 to hang, which caused Pro Tools to freeze. Had to force quit both apps, then after waiting 10 minutes for our samples to load up in VE Pro, I started Pro Tools only to be greeted by a DAE -4 error. I restarted the computer, started Pro Tools, and was then greeted by a DAE -9162 error. I restarted the computer, started Pro Tools, and it loaded up fine, allowing me to open a session. Let me stress that I did nothing at all besides restart the computer. Completely absurd....

With concerns to the template, 510 tracks includes all of the VEPro auxes (which are in fact operating as RTAS, which I of course failed to mention in my OP), and hundreds of MIDI tracks...not much taxing stuff at all. We are adding a lot of audio tracks as we build the project, all of which are active and using predominantly TDM plugins. I'm also printing/summing down where applicable. I was just saying that I've kept my eye on Activity monitor during sessions and the system isn't being taxed much at all.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2012, 10:39 AM
avonkorff avonkorff is offline
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the dude View Post
ALL of those problem indicate the missing r35 or. r10 , c269 or A few other parts on the cards in other locations

It can be on any of the cards or even all the cards
I'll bet this is your problem


Let me know if I can help you with this
I'm in Burbank and will fix same day if needed
Are you suggesting there are missing or defective components on our Accel or Core cards? This is highly unlikely considering these types of issues have yet to occur with this frequency on this system. This is an HD5 system, thus, not a new installation.

As stated in my OP, all signs are pointing to the channels of communication between the computer(s) and the chassis being the culprit. The 192 and 96 I/O's have never presented an issue, and neither have the cards. If you can provide me with some information that suggests it is a problem with the cards themselves, then I'd be thrilled to go through it and bring you out here for a same day repair if the price is right. However as of this moment, I cannot imagine that the cards would be causing problems of this magnitude. As stated, all cards passed DIGItest.

We'd like to go to an HDX system and just scrap the chassis all together, but for 7K-10K being the investment, it's not financially plausible right now, nor financially sensible since this system SHOULD (in theory) be working just fine.
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2012, 10:59 AM
avonkorff avonkorff is offline
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

Update:

Now, when ProTools has finally launched appropriately, and connected to VEPro, I cannot press play without getting the "CPU Usage Limit or Remove RTAS Plugins" dialogue; effectively making it impossible to work.
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  #8  
Old 08-15-2012, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Recurring PT rig crashes on powerful Mac Pro system; Magma Chassis the problem?

IM 100% serious about what i said with regards to missing components

EVERY single issue you have is linked to this type of problem


check out this Link on my site
The R10 issue occurs without even removing the cards

( HERE )

if you want to chat just drop me a line this afternoon

you can be up and running by tonight

Just 1 example
DAE -4 and possible damage to PCIe HD Cards when Installing or Removing from Mac Pro.
In many cases when a Pro Tools|HD card (Accel Core or Accel) is encountering a DAE -4 error, the issue is caused by missing components on the card itself (R35, C269, C255, and C10 are the most common ALSO R10).
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ALL NEW HD192 AD -DA modification. the difference is incredible... no need to ship the entire unit , fast turn around

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