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  #61  
Old 12-31-2017, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OwenMorris View Post
Hello forum people,
This thread is very interesting and informative: thank you!
I'm planning on completely changing and upgrading my (very old?) Pro Tools mix system in the next joule of months, and an iMac Pro, with new Pro Tools software and all new plug ins (some upgrades....some new), seems to be a potentially good option for me.
I would almost exclusively use my system for mixing only. I work on large, professional sessions....involving lots of tracks/groups/plug ins.
My wife would definitely like it if I could just basically use an iMac Pro (with a suitable, small interface....I've been considering the UA ii...)....
Is the 10 core version the best for big Pro Tools mixing sessions......or should I be looking at the 18 core?
Apologies for the vagueness and probable dumbness of my questions......
If you are used to a MIX system, the base model imac pro or even the standard imac i7 will be a huge improvement in the number of plugins and tracks you can run. Depending on what you use on a regular basis with the MIX system, you will miss some of your old plugins, but you can always use the MIX rig as an effects processor for your new system.
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If a MIDI event triggers a sample of a tree falling and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
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  #62  
Old 12-31-2017, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

I got everything installed on mine but I have not yet had a chance to put it through its paces.

Being a Mac newbie, I was apprehensive about the Sonnet Echo Express SE II expansion chassis for my HD Native PCIe and UAD 2 Quad cards, but I fired up Pro Tools 12 and they are recognized and work without issues. So far the fan on the Sonnet is louder than the iMac Pro (which, so far, has been dead silent), but I have not yet pushed the iMac Pro.

One thing that made me smile was how quickly all the installers ran and how quickly applications launch -- I don't know if that is due to the SSD's speed or just the overall system's performance, but compared to my experiences with my 5 year old PC, this thing is zippy.

I'll report back in the next few days.
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  #63  
Old 12-31-2017, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWgEAR View Post
I got everything installed on mine but I have not yet had a chance to put it through its paces.

Being a Mac newbie, I was apprehensive about the Sonnet Echo Express SE II expansion chassis for my HD Native PCIe and UAD 2 Quad cards, but I fired up Pro Tools 12 and they are recognized and work without issues. So far the fan on the Sonnet is louder than the iMac Pro (which, so far, has been dead silent), but I have not yet pushed the iMac Pro.

One thing that made me smile was how quickly all the installers ran and how quickly applications launch -- I don't know if that is due to the SSD's speed or just the overall system's performance, but compared to my experiences with my 5 year old PC, this thing is zippy.

I'll report back in the next few days.
You can swap in a quiet aftermarket fan on the Sonnet echo SEII box, such as a silenx brand. I sold my SEII a few years ago, but iirc they use one 80mm fan.
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If a MIDI event triggers a sample of a tree falling and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
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  #64  
Old 12-31-2017, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by John_Toolbox View Post
You can swap in a quiet aftermarket fan on the Sonnet echo SEII box, such as a silenx brand. I sold my SEII a few years ago, but iirc they use one 80mm fan.
Thanks, John. When I had the Sonnet Echo Express SE II chassis open, I did notice that the fan looked to be the same size as common case fans. The noise from the stock fan is not too bad (it is under my desk), but it is nice to know that I can eventually swap out the fan.
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  #65  
Old 01-01-2018, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellizzi View Post
Got my iMac Pro 8 core up and running yesterday, and I've been putting it through the paces all day today.

This thing is a beast in every way, but one thing is really bugging me.

I'm still noticing a bit of GUI lag/latency when zooming and scrolling. It's light years better than my 2015 iMac, but still just a bit sluggish.

Same deal as usual - turn on Low Resolution mode, lower your display resolution (scaled), or resize your Edit Window and the performance improves dramatically.

It's like there's something weird with the 2560x1440 iMac Retina resolution that Pro Tools just doesn't get along with. The machine isn't being taxed in the least, barely ever reaching 10-20% CPU/Memory usage in most of my larger sessions.

It has to be something with Metal and Pro Tools just not taking advantage of the GPU, or something with the Retina resolution. This doesn't happen on my 2016 Macbook Pro 13" with Touch Bar, which pales in comparison to the specs of this iMac, so I'm a bit disappointed.

Also doesn't happen on my studio Mac Pro cylinder with 1080p displays... but it has happened on every 27" iMac I've owned over the years.

If you Get Info on Pro Tools in Applications, and check 'Low Resolution', then restart PT - you'll see and feel the difference immediately. The reason I really don't want to run that way, is because it blurs a lot of the text on clips, in menu/dialogs and introduces a handful of other weird GUI things. Plus it just looks ugly. We shouldn't have to sacrifice anything when we drop $5k+ on a top of the line computer that Avid made a press release specifically announcing support for.

Anyone else with me on this, or am I just being nitpicky and crazy?

Edit:
Made 2 quick videos with screen capture, though it might be tough to tell without doing and feeling it for yourself.

Here's how it runs normally:
https://youtu.be/TMyJA8iUI6o

and here's in Low Resolution:
https://youtu.be/Nf_Q_sQk1b0
We just had a customer with this issue and Avid CS sent them this info:

Thank you for contacting Avid Technical Support. Currently there is a Quartz Redrawing issue with Pro Tools and 4k and 5k displays. This issue is being prioritized with our Engineering team and they are also in touch with Apple, to help resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Currently, here are the recommendations given by Engineering and Apple for better performance:

1) BUILT-IN RETINA DISPLAY SETTINGS:
-> Choose: sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (away from the default), found here:
System Preferences > Displays > Color > Display Profile

2) QUARTS REDRAWING ISSUE with 4 and 5K monitors:
-> iMac 5k models, as per Apple:
-> Set to 2K for it to be smoother

3) Try the following on iMacs particularly 5K models (As per Apple):
->Disable Automatic Brightness

I hope this helps as our customer was dead in the water with that issue and is now back to work done.
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  #66  
Old 01-01-2018, 02:51 PM
jpellizzi jpellizzi is offline
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris75 View Post
We just had a customer with this issue and Avid CS sent them this info:

Thank you for contacting Avid Technical Support. Currently there is a Quartz Redrawing issue with Pro Tools and 4k and 5k displays. This issue is being prioritized with our Engineering team and they are also in touch with Apple, to help resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Currently, here are the recommendations given by Engineering and Apple for better performance:

1) BUILT-IN RETINA DISPLAY SETTINGS:
-> Choose: sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (away from the default), found here:
System Preferences > Displays > Color > Display Profile

2) QUARTS REDRAWING ISSUE with 4 and 5K monitors:
-> iMac 5k models, as per Apple:
-> Set to 2K for it to be smoother

3) Try the following on iMacs particularly 5K models (As per Apple):
->Disable Automatic Brightness

I hope this helps as our customer was dead in the water with that issue and is now back to work done.
I can't believe this worked... it's like magic. Night and day difference - holy crap. Avid CS got back to me and said the same thing, right after I read your post.

All I had to do was disable automatic brightness and select the sRGB 2.1 Color Profile. I didn't change my resolution at all.

This should be a Sticky for all iMac Pro users, and Avid should add it to the Optimization guide or release notes. I would imagine everyone buying a new iMac Pro (or any iMac) would run into the same problem.

It runs like a dream now. Thank you sir and Happy New Year!
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  #67  
Old 01-01-2018, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

Happy New Year to you as well!
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  #68  
Old 01-04-2018, 10:37 AM
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DAWgEAR DAWgEAR is offline
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

For what it's worth, I tried the D-Verb test outlined here:

http://www.pro-tools-pc.com/performa...ing-pro-tools/

I followed the steps exactly with the only difference being that I instantiated 10 mono D-Verbs in step 12.

The configuration of the iMac Pro I used is in my signature (10 core/64GB/2TB/basic graphics). I have done all of the optimizations found here: http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/e...Optimize-10-12

At a 64 sample buffer, I got 141 tracks to record for 10 minutes without breaking up. The CPU meter was at approximately 85%-95%, occasionally spiking up to 100% and lighting up red (but audio not breaking up). That is 1410 mono instances of D-Verb.

During the 10 minutes tests, the iMac Pro was dead quiet. I checked by putting my ear near the top of the monitor. I had to do that because the fan noise in the room from the Sonnet chassis and the HD Omni interface was all I could hear. The Omni is on my desktop about the same distance as my iMac Pro and the Sonnet is under the desk. These two fans were not obnoxiously loud, but that provides a basis for comparison since some people reading this might have one or both of those devices.

Oddly, when I stopped recording, deleted the recorded clips (I ran several passes of the test to converge to 141 tracks, so there were numerous clips created), and permanently cleared them from disk from the clip list, the fans on the iMac Pro kicked in. It was a gentle whirring, less than the Omni or Sonnet and less than any PC case or CPU fan I have experienced. Obviously, tolerances for noise are subjective, but if that is the extent of the fan noise, it is not at all a concern for me, and I record vocals and acoustic guitar within a few feet of my desk.

If anyone has any other suggestions for how to push the iMac Pro to provoke more fan noise, I will gladly try them out.
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  #69  
Old 01-04-2018, 12:43 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWgEAR View Post
For what it's worth, I tried the D-Verb test outlined here:

http://www.pro-tools-pc.com/performa...ing-pro-tools/

I followed the steps exactly with the only difference being that I instantiated 10 mono D-Verbs in step 12.

The configuration of the iMac Pro I used is in my signature (10 core/64GB/2TB/basic graphics). I have done all of the optimizations found here: http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/e...Optimize-10-12

At a 64 sample buffer, I got 141 tracks to record for 10 minutes without breaking up. The CPU meter was at approximately 85%-95%, occasionally spiking up to 100% and lighting up red (but audio not breaking up). That is 1410 mono instances of D-Verb.

During the 10 minutes tests, the iMac Pro was dead quiet. I checked by putting my ear near the top of the monitor. I had to do that because the fan noise in the room from the Sonnet chassis and the HD Omni interface was all I could hear. The Omni is on my desktop about the same distance as my iMac Pro and the Sonnet is under the desk. These two fans were not obnoxiously loud, but that provides a basis for comparison since some people reading this might have one or both of those devices.

Oddly, when I stopped recording, deleted the recorded clips (I ran several passes of the test to converge to 141 tracks, so there were numerous clips created), and permanently cleared them from disk from the clip list, the fans on the iMac Pro kicked in. It was a gentle whirring, less than the Omni or Sonnet and less than any PC case or CPU fan I have experienced. Obviously, tolerances for noise are subjective, but if that is the extent of the fan noise, it is not at all a concern for me, and I record vocals and acoustic guitar within a few feet of my desk.

If anyone has any other suggestions for how to push the iMac Pro to provoke more fan noise, I will gladly try them out.
Thanks for the testing. Do you have any kind of utility that'll tell what the various temperatures inside are? Would be interesting to see in light of what you mentioned about the fans coming on when you did your housecleaning.

Something I've seen that will make temps rise is to play a lot of video (YouTube in my case). You may want to try that.
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  #70  
Old 01-04-2018, 01:21 PM
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DAWgEAR DAWgEAR is offline
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Default Re: iMac Pro Customization Options - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Thanks for the testing. Do you have any kind of utility that'll tell what the various temperatures inside are? Would be interesting to see in light of what you mentioned about the fans coming on when you did your housecleaning.

Something I've seen that will make temps rise is to play a lot of video (YouTube in my case). You may want to try that.
Thanks, Jack. I will give some video playing a test.

Regarding utilities that monitor temperatures, I am new to things Mac-related. Is there a particular utility that is well-regarded around these parts?
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