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  #1  
Old 07-22-2020, 04:31 AM
splicestudios splicestudios is offline
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Default Unstable iMac Pro

I have an end-2019 iMac Pro that is the same config as a end-2018 iMac but hasn’t been stable since first installation

Both machines have ProTools, Avid Plugin Bundle, Waves Dorrough Meter & Loudness Meter, Universal Audio Arrow Thunderbolt 3 interface, Mojave 10.14.6 and PT 2020.3.0 I have USB Overdrive plugin to map PT shortcuts to a Razer mouse, same mouse on both machines

2018 iMac is super stable
2019 iMac Pro is prone to crashing as often as every 20 minutes, and has been unstable since day 1 running PT2019

First sign of trouble is smart tool cursor stops changing, although the functionality still works. ProTools will eventually crash. Since iMac Pros restart super fast, I am currently hitting save a lot and restarting the machine when the smart tool goes goofy to be sure of not losing work during a crash.

When rendering, the iMac hits 30x with simple podcasts, iMac Pro struggles to get to 20x. During rendering, iMac Pro Durrogh meter is not smooth while iMac Durrogh is smooth. WLM smooth on both machines during render.

It’s been 7 months of this premium-priced machine underperforming. I've trashed prefs, reinstalled UA software, etc. Could this be a hardware issue?

I have a MacPro PT8 that is due to be retired and this iMac Pro was supposed to take over, but it’s too unstable right now.

Hoping someone can help me figure out what the issue is, it’s driving me bonkers!

Last edited by splicestudios; 07-24-2020 at 11:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2020, 04:03 PM
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DetroitT DetroitT is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

ideas;
Same Graphic resolutions?
Test 2019 by booting from 2018 in target mode?
backup 2019 and clone from 2018.

"Could this be a hardware issue?" Apple care testing?
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2020, 04:58 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by splicestudios View Post
2019 iMac Pro is prone to crashing as often as every 20 minutes, and has been unstable since day 1 running PT2019

What crashes Pro Tools or macOS? I think you only mean Pro Tools but please confirm. With exactly what error messages (AAE error? or what?) and symptoms. Since you are on 2019.5 you are back with usable text logs... what's in the Pro Tools log file?

Just in case MacOS is crashing... what errors or warnings show up in logs in Console.app? Is the machine panicking? or hanging?

If Pro Tools is crashing always start at standard basic troubleshooting... you should have trashed prefs, tried moving out all plugin files from the plugin folder, tested starting with a new empty session, tested using Built In Output, etc.

I would have macOS Activity Monitor running while Pro Tools is running and see what is happening to Memory Used and CPU use as the system starts misbehaving.

And yes screen resolution differences may be important.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 07-27-2020 at 06:29 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2020, 06:42 PM
splicestudios splicestudios is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitT View Post
ideas;
Same Graphic resolutions?
Test 2019 by booting from 2018 in target mode?
backup 2019 and clone from 2018.

"Could this be a hardware issue?" Apple care testing?
Let me have a look into this. the 2019 iMac Pro is at my studio, the 2018 iMac is at home, but maybe bringing the 2018 to the studio for this test is worth it!
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2020, 06:48 PM
splicestudios splicestudios is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
What crashes Pro Tools or macOS? I think you only mean Pro Tools but please confirm. With exactly what error messages (AAE error? or what?) and symptoms. Since you are on 2019.5 you are back with usable text logs... what's in the Pro Tools log file?

Just in case MacOS is crashing... what errors or warnings show up in logs in Console.app? Is the machine panicking? or hanging?

If Pro Tools is crashing always start at standard basic troubleshooting... you should have trashed prefs, tried moving out all plugin files from the plugin folder, tested starting with a new empty session, tested using Built-In Output, etc.

I would have macOS Activity Monitor running while Pro Tools is running and see what is happening to Memory Used and CPU use as the system starts misbehaving.

And yes screen resolution differences may be important.
Let me check on all of your suggestions:

1. the iMac Pro seems to be fine, passes apple diagnostic without issue, and the only software I run on it is PT
2. will get console.app going, I added CleanMyMac and it has a hung application feature and has pinged up ProTools and also ProTools Quicktime Server; I've tried force quit for the Quicktime server before launching a session right after launching PT, but it's not curing the problem.

Will run it today with ProTools Aggregate I/O using the internal iMac's soundcard.

As an iMac with Thunderbolt 3, Avid says the UA Arrows is not qualified, and looking through the approved hardware, the Apogee Quartet seems to fit what I'd likely need, would love to know what hardware on an iMac Pro has worked well

Appreciate the suggestions, will update once it's all best tested!
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2020, 06:53 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Have you done a clean install of OS and PT?
It IS the only way.
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  #7  
Old 07-29-2020, 07:32 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by splicestudios View Post
As an iMac with Thunderbolt 3, Avid says the UA Arrows is not qualified, and looking through the approved hardware, the Apogee Quartet seems to fit what I'd likely need, would love to know what hardware on an iMac Pro has worked well
I am not sure what you are looking at for those qualifications. Generally I would not worry about what Avid qualifies for CoreAudio interfaces... unless somebody has reported a problem. They all tend to work. And if any UAD interface was having problems on Macs I think you would hear about it here. I sure would pay attention to what UAD says about hardware and macOS compatibility. Testing with build in output tests for a lot, and also just tests for mangled driver installs or other compatibilities.
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  #8  
Old 07-29-2020, 07:48 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by splicestudios View Post
1. the iMac Pro seems to be fine, passes apple diagnostic without issue, and the only software I run on it is PT
2. will get console.app going, I added CleanMyMac and it has a hung application feature and has pinged up ProTools and also ProTools Quicktime Server; I've tried force quit for the Quicktime server before launching a session right after launching PT, but it's not curing the problem.
I don't know how it it is nowadays, but apps like CleanMyMac usef to be known as… bad. Like, stay away from them if you want to have a stable system that you have control over. Just sayin'.
__________________
Life-long audio enthusiast and small studio owner, now retired.
Mac mini, quad core i3, 3.6 GHz (Late 2018), 16 GB RAM
128 GB internal (2500/650 Mbs r/w)
1 TB external (425/425 Mbs r/w).
Focusrite 2i2 3rd gen, Dynaudio BM6's, Command 8, a couple of mics.
Pro Tools 2020.9.1, Mac OS 10.15.6.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2020, 10:04 AM
splicestudios splicestudios is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
Have you done a clean install of OS and PT?
It IS the only way.
Yeah, I'm at the point where doing the clean install seems to be the only option left: I used to use an SSL Scenaria and it was very reliable - everything from one manufacturer meant the buck stopped with them. With my situation, software and interface are the same, and RAM and processor are to spec, and with the iMac Pro passing a diagnostic, it's got to be some small thing that a total install will hopefully solve
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2020, 10:07 AM
splicestudios splicestudios is offline
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Default Re: Unstable iMac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
I am not sure what you are looking at for those qualifications. Generally I would not worry about what Avid qualifies for CoreAudio interfaces... unless somebody has reported a problem. They all tend to work. And if any UAD interface was having problems on Macs I think you would hear about it here. I sure would pay attention to what UAD says about hardware and macOS compatibility. Testing with build in output tests for a lot, and also just tests for mangled driver installs or other compatibilities.
Ran the iMac Pro without the UA interface and same issue. looking at console, there was some mention of "avid video engine has hardened" but force quitting that didn't help... besides, what I need is this iMac Pro to work reliably.

I'll figure this out... eventually!
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