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  #1  
Old 10-25-2014, 04:34 PM
Markrosoft Markrosoft is offline
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Default New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

Just wanted to share my experience... I was getting lots of 9173 CPU errors (even though I was only using a tiny bit of the computers CPU) and just couldn't really run most sessions at a 32 or 64 sample buffer size (was having problems on bigger sessions all the way up to 512). Chalked it up to PT11 bugs and have been pretty frustrated.

I'm running Pro Tools HD Native on a new Mac Pro (trashcan) with 32 Gigs of RAM. I WAS using a quad Firewire Satellite but just got the Thunderbolt Octo running and I'm about 99% certain it was the Firewire Satellite that was making my system run so poorly. I just plugged in the Thunderbolt Octo and loaded the biggest session I have, one with tons of plug ins and tons of UAD plug ins, and switched the buffer size to 32 and it's been running perfectly with no hiccups. Tried to break it by stopping and starting quickly (which used to cause the 9173 error) and skipping around a lot but couldn't break it. Huge session running perfectly at 32 buffer size! Super speedy and not buggy. I feel like it's FINALLY running how it always should've.

So just wanted to share this with people who might be in a similar situation. There are so many variables that it's hard to figure out what might be causing issues but this was one of those rare moments of a controlled change that helped me identify that PT11 HD Native + the *firewire* UAD Satellite = bad news. And that the new Thunderbolt Satellite = smooth sailing. (It would make sense that sending all that data over the firewire cable and back was causing a bottleneck and stopping everything from running smoothly). OK - hope that helps someone out there....
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2014, 11:12 PM
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JCBigler JCBigler is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

My first suspect would be the FireWire hardware/drivers.

Since the new MacPros don't include FireWire, I assume that you are using a Thunderbolt to firewire break out box. Care to post those specs and any idea what FireWire chipset it uss?
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2014, 11:32 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

32 or 64 sample with the latencies involved in UAD processing is always optimistic.

Getting rid of the latency involved in relatively slow Firewire and moving to Thunderbolt where you are basically operating like a UAD PCIe card is always going to be a good thing. But you've got to remember that hosting plugins on the UAD DSP will always involve latency out of and into Pro Tools and over to the outboard DSP, is really not something intended to deliver low latency processing for tracking. It is far from how Avid HDX provides low-latency tracking with plugs, if you want that with UAD plugins get an Apollo interface to host those plugins in the console.

An Apple (or other) Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter should be capable of providing as good a performance as equivalent Firewire 800 adapters provided on the motherboard.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2014, 04:11 AM
johnsimmons johnsimmons is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

Early days yet but if anyone is running the UAD thunderbolt , with thunderbolt Native and another hub (i've got a cal digit breakout box for usb3) would like to know if this three item chain or similar is working for you. Ive an IMAC 2011 and wondering if I could do this and dump the firewire Satalite.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:46 AM
Markrosoft Markrosoft is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

I was just using Apple's FireWire to thunderbolt adapter... The little white one. I should have also said that I was NOT getting these problems running PT10 vanilla with my FW satellite on my old laptop. It was just with HD11 native that I was having all sorts of issues: CPU errors - even at really high buffer settings... or even when just trying to record a VO in a super, super basic session with 2 tracks and no plug-ins at a buffer setting of 64. All these issues *seem* to have gone away the second I unplugged the FW satellite and plugged in the thunderbolt one. So just wanted to share a little PSA to all those who are having weird CPU problems and general poor performance and have a FW satellite - consider getting the thunderbolt satellite.

Darryl - I never track with UAD plugins but I do often mix as I go with UAD plugins. When I try to record new tracks in these sessions, I never insert UAD plugins (or any plugins really, unless the track is an VI and then the VI is the only plugin) on the track I'm recording. My understanding is that pro tools 11 is supposed to intelligently have two different buffer settings - one for the tracks you're recording and one for all the rest. So I thought I should be able to record a VI at a 64 buffer sample even if all the other tracks needed a higher buffer because of the UAD plugins. Well before that wasn't really do-able without a lot of errors and performances issues and now it's working perfectly. Maybe this is how UAD platform works with the PCIe cards - it's just I've never used them (couldn't on my old laptop and can't now without a chassis and I was just waiting for a thunderbolt satellite to come out because it felt inevitable). I never really understood that the FW satellite was inferior to the cards.

John - the new mac pro has so many Thunderbolt ports so I'm not daisy-chaining so I can report back to you on that.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2014, 10:01 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

Sonething to be aware of with the new Mac Pro is the way the Thunderbolt busses are laid out. Arranging things a certain way could help with performance issues.

This article may help:

http://www.fcpworks.com/thunderbolt-...g-new-mac-pro/


Note that with the Imacs of the last few years (including the new Retina), the Thunderbolt ports are all on one buss, so placement doesn't really matter. (This is also another benefit to using the new Mac Pro vs. an Imac).
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2014, 12:47 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markrosoft View Post
Darryl - I never track with UAD plugins but I do often mix as I go with UAD plugins. When I try to record new tracks in these sessions, I never insert UAD plugins (or any plugins really, unless the track is an VI and then the VI is the only plugin) on the track I'm recording. My understanding is that pro tools 11 is supposed to intelligently have two different buffer settings - one for the tracks you're recording and one for all the rest. So I thought I should be able to record a VI at a 64 buffer sample even if all the other tracks needed a higher buffer because of the UAD plugins. Well before that wasn't really do-able without a lot of errors and performances issues and now it's working perfectly. Maybe this is how UAD platform works with the PCIe cards - it's just I've never used them (couldn't on my old laptop and can't now without a chassis and I was just waiting for a thunderbolt satellite to come out because it felt inevitable). I never really understood that the FW satellite was inferior to the cards.
If you are avoiding any use of a UAD plugin on a track in record mode then yes I hope you are only getting the 1024 or 2048 (depending on sample rate) playback IO buffer and so you would hope would be stable. The situation with using them on a record enabled track is more complex, you would think you would get whatever smaller Pro Tools record IO buffer you are specifying in the playback engine settings, but there is also internal UAD IO involved in going out from their RTAS or AAX plugin to the DSP and back and it is just not clear to me exactly what happens there. UAD should write a good explanation/optimization guide for Pro Tools 11, I don't think they have ever done that. I'd be curious to get my hands on a modern Thunderbolt UAD system (I don't use UAD plugins in my own setup) and test what actual latencies are involved with all the different use scenarios with Pro Tools 11 and UAD settings.

UAD PCIe/thunderbolt interfaces are going to be superior to Firewire, there is just inherently more physical latency, and more stuff the driver has to do with Firewire. And for cases where you do want to try to track with a UAD plugin in Pro Tools, the UAD PCIe/thunderbolt DSP options allow you to choose LiveTracking mode to reduce some of the additional UAD plugin buffering/ latency (definitely don't use that on plugins not used for tracking).

So it's not great if you were not trying to track though the UAD plugins before and still having issues. There are certainly lots of folks having general issues with Pro Tools 11 and plugin stability, and all the UAD AAX stuff is very new, so lots of possibilities for problems. And maybe the VIs you are using are some of the more problematic ones with Pro Tools 11 to start with... and so a combination of those and UAD plugins tend to be even more problematic. And your problem may be more trying to track with the VI(s) at 64 samples buffers (e.g. you might find that just adding other native plugins also cause problems). That you can do that now with the Thunderbolt Satellite in the system is great.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2014, 01:08 PM
Cutlerbri Cutlerbri is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

Pardon my duh here guys, but is the term "satellite" used here meaning the same thing as an interface?
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2014, 01:13 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

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Originally Posted by Cutlerbri View Post
Pardon my duh here guys, but is the term "satellite" used here meaning the same thing as an interface?
Google is your friend.... http://www.uaudio.com/uad-plug-ins.html

So no a UAD Satellite is an outboard (i.e. non internal PCIe card) USD DSP processor it is not an interface. The UAD Apollo Twin, Apollo and Apollo 16 are interfaces that also happen to internally combine the same capability (and more via plugins hosted in the UAD Console) of a UAD Satellite. UAD have very good info on their web site, all your questions should be answered there. And UAD Satellite is not to be confused with Avid Video Satellite.
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2014, 02:01 PM
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smfelton smfelton is offline
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Default Re: New UAD Thunderbolt Satellite = MUCH, much better Pro Tools performance

I definitely feel that my PTHD system is more stable with my Apollo with thunderbolt than with the HD Native/Omni. And with the DSP I have the best of both worlds.
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