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  #1  
Old 11-02-2020, 04:38 PM
ThosSounds ThosSounds is offline
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Default major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

Hi all,

I've had an open support case with Avid for almost six weeks now and they've been unable to solve issues I'm having on a new Mac system. I'm hoping someone here might have some ideas?

New 2018 Mac mini 3.2GHz 6-core i7
64GB 2667 MHz DDR4 memory
SSD startup disk with Mac OS 10.15.7
Pro Tools Ultimate 2020.9.1.123 with 1 HDX Core card
Two Avid HD I/O interfaces
HDX card and two UA cards in a Sonnet HDX version Thunderbolt 3 Echo Express III-D chassis

Here's the whole saga. Forgive me for my wordiness, but I'm trying to leave no stone unturned so to speak.

When I first got the Mac and the Sonnet chassis, the Mac was on OS 10.15.6. The chassis worked fine with the UA cards, but the Mac didn't see the HDX card. I had to send the chassis back to Sonnet twice. At first they thought maybe they'd sent me the non-HDX version, so they sent a different one, but the second time I think they were suspicious about it and did some tests and/or work on it (they didn't really detail this for me). But, third time around things seem to be working on that end. The Mac sees the cards, DigiTest seems happy with the HDX card and I can select HDX as the playback engine in Pro Tools.

The issues.. are somewhat random, but frequent. The only one I can reproduce basically on command is that if I leave Pro Tools idle, and come back to it, almost any command results in an endless spinning Mac OS wheel. I've let it run for several minutes. The only thing that ever changes is that if I bring up the "Force Quit" window, the Mac at first shows Pro Tools is running fine, but then after maybe 1-2 minutes it changes to say Pro Tools is not responding. All my Mac OS Energy saver settings are optimized, nothing is set to go to sleep or go to screensaver, and the time interval here can be pretty short. I've had this crash happen in under five minutes. But it's not consistently that fast. Other times it's happened only when I was away from the machine for something more like 20 minutes or more. When PT does freeze this way, and I force quit, if I try to just restart PT, I get error -6001. I have to restart the machine to get things working again.

Less frequently I have a slightly different error where I can be playing or recording audio and although playback stops audibly, Pro Tools still has some visible signs like it is still playing; LED meters show a frozen signal level, and sometimes the playback button is solid green and the record button is flashing red. In this state I sometimes get a dialog popping up that just says "Pro Tools timed out while trying to stop." (no error code). At this point I can usually do some basic things, like save the session, but most actions bring up the same error message, so I'm left to force quit and restart the machine again.

Avid has asked me multiple times for crash log files, but the machine has none. They keep asking me to look for them in: Finder>Go (hold Option key) Library>Logs>Avid. Interestingly I have two Avid folders there, one is simply labeled "Avid" and one is "Avid®." Both have crash log folders, but both of those have always been empty. Is that normal to have two folders?

I have tried all the "usual" things I'm aware of.. trash preferences, uninstall/reinstall the HD driver and Pro Tools, reset PRAM. At Sonnet's suggestion I also did a total hard drive wipe and reinstalled the OS from the Mac OS recovery procedure, hence why my OS is now the latest: 10.15.7 I've had these same errors with no third party plugins installed, and no extra Avid plugins installed.

At this point, I've had two different Avid techs looking at this and the last thing I head from them about a week ago was that the tech was going to forward my basic Pro Tools .txt log file to "coding." I'm not sure what that entails? Also for what it's worth, this whole hardware system was running fine on my old 2010 Mac Pro (running OS 10.13) which thankfully I still have and might have to go back to.

Any thoughts? Hope so and thanks!

Tom Griesgraber
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2020, 05:35 PM
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DetroitT DetroitT is online now
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

thoughts.
change card order. power?
Add GPU horsepower not stock hdmi.
reseat mini ram slots
(wifi mini upside-down)
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2020, 05:42 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

There are not going to be crash log files unless Pro Tools actually crashes, and your description does not include a crash. So I'm not sure what Avid support is expecting here.

SO forget crash log files what about normal log files? What do they show? They are plain text and might have obvious clues (good they are looking at them).

What about system log files?... any hardware or system.log events happening around these times? All available under Console.app.

Avid supports seems to be struggling at the moment. Hopefully folks you are dealing with who what they are doing.

Some other easy thing to try: I'd also be trying to run with only the standard HDX plugins (move all .aaxplugin files out of the plugin folder and just run with the standard ones the Pro Tools puts back... you may have effectively done this when you did a clean macOS install... hopefully you did not use the system migration assistant when you did that.) and seeing if that was more stable. And confirm that playing with Built-In Output as the playback engine is much more stable.
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:14 AM
Wolfgang Eller Wolfgang Eller is offline
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

Did you try to get rid of spindump?
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:51 AM
Basstian Basstian is offline
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

Try to uncheck the use GPU Preference in ProTools.
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2020, 03:14 AM
cqd cqd is online now
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

Probably no help, but I find 2020.9 a lot more unstable than previous versions on windows anyway..
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Old 11-03-2020, 08:29 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThosSounds View Post
...The only thing that ever changes is that if I bring up the "Force Quit" window, the Mac at first shows Pro Tools is running fine, but then after maybe 1-2 minutes it changes to say Pro Tools is not responding. ...

That's pretty normal - not the crashing, but the delay in displaying "non-responsive".


This whole thing smells like hardware to me. I'd suspect two things immediately; RAM and the expansion chassis. Ideally, I'd swap out *all* the RAM with known good RAM and see how it behaves. Also, can you possibly run for a while with no chassis? Let it cycle overnight and see how it does?
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:22 PM
clancychris clancychris is offline
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

I had a similar issue to this with a MBP 2018.

It was resolved when I switched out a cheap Thunderbolt-USB adaptor and replaced with with a CalDigit hub.

All I can think of is that something was getting choked up and it was freezing my computer. I'd have sessions open and it'd just literally stop. Spinning wheel.. even the force quit didn't always work.

Not sure if this is related but try unplugging any peripherals that you can.
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:20 PM
hivestudios hivestudios is offline
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

I'm running two HDX cards in a Sonnet chassis, although mine is Thunderbolt II.

I experienced all kinds of nightmares and did all kinds of experiments until I tried a different thunderbolt cable. I was so frustrated that the fix was so simple.

You must have tried most of these things, but:

-Try a different thunderbolt cable

-Set your buffer setting to 1028. I've noticed anything under 128 is very unreliable with my machine. 128 is iffy but workable. 256 and up is good. 1028 is absolutely rock solid.

-Using the same thunderbolt cable connect the chassis to a different computer... something like a macbook pro and see how reliable Pro Tools is on there.
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Old 11-03-2020, 04:00 PM
sleiweke sleiweke is online now
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Default Re: major Pro Tools 2020 issues, Avid seems stumped?

For what's its worth, I've had a reoccurring hang that happens and I've narrowed it down to one of my 2 UAD cards. Sometimes a session just won't play, the play and stop buttons respond like you've described and when I try to quit or close the session, it hangs and I have to force quit.

The solution for me has been to open the UAD control panel, and under system info, I disable the 2 cards. Then reopen pro tools. Once the session has loaded, I can re-enable the cards and turn the UAD plugs back on and things seem to work fine.

I had this with my previous 2012 Mac Pro, and my new 2019 Mac Pro. Not sure what it is, and it's pretty few and far between, but it happens. Try that and see if it helps at all.
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