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  #1  
Old 08-14-2023, 04:56 PM
Ericthomson11 Ericthomson11 is offline
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Location: Gravenhurst Ontario canada
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Default DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

I need help. I have been recording with my setup for about 7 years but today while I was making a song I got this message:

"DAE cant get audio from the drive(s) fast enough. Your drive may be too slow or fragmented, or a firmware device could be having trouble due to the extra firmware bandwidth or CPU load."

Can someone explain why this problem would show up out of nowhere? I don't understand the idea of changing settings if I have been using the current settings for years.

Computer: Mac mini OS X 10.7.5 lion
Processor: 2.3 ghz Intel core i5
Memory: 2 gb 1333 mhz ddr3
Storage: 284 gb free space

Pro tools: pro tools mp 9 (9.0.5)
Interface: m-audio mobilepre with USB connection

I record usually 30 vocal tracks, 10 instrument tracks and 5 piano (one mono track at a time being reocrded, simple as can be). Most paino tracks get muted but most of my sessions are 48 tracks and iv never had this issue except for maybe a few times over the years but goes away instantly before when I just hit ok. But now the error message continues to pop up.

There is no other devices connected just the pro tools dongle and the monitor and keyboard.

My session file is in a folder that's in my documents folder. And there is a folder also in documents called audio files.

I tried the troubleshooting I found on here but when I changed playback engine settings like buffer size to 1024 and host processors to 4. I don't really know what any of this means, but it did seem to give me about 10 seconds longer before I get the error message.

I open system usage and see that disk percentage spikes right before the error. Help please.

I would like to highlight that I have been making about a song a week for the past 3 months with zero issues. It started after I recorded all my piano and vocal tracks and about a third of the way through editing vocals. But now I can't do anything. Seems so random. Very frustrating. Please help.

Last edited by Ericthomson11; 08-14-2023 at 05:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2023, 05:28 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

do not use the system drive for session, currently you are asking one drive to play back your session, do OS background items, and some PT app access and probably a spinner not a SSD
get a qualified external drive to run your session(s) off of

worst thing I have seen happen recording to the system drive was having the System Folder overwritten by the session killing the OS
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Thank you,

Craig
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2023, 05:44 PM
Ericthomson11 Ericthomson11 is offline
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

So what you're saying is to buy an external hardrive? And then when I start protools I would start a blank session and save in a folder on my external hardrive? What iam worried will happen is that the "audio files" folder will be taken from where they usually are in my documents folder and then when I go to play or use my older sessions they will have issues because the "audio files" folder has been moved. Do you see what iam saying? (I would like to confirm that there is only one folder called audio files and all protools sessions have their audio files in here, or does each session have its own "audio files" folder?) Or do I have to move every single protools session file, folders and audio file folders all to a same folder i create inside my external hardrive now to move forward properly? Thanks for the help
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2023, 07:46 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

creating a new session creates a session folder, an audio files folder, a fades folder and the session file in the session folder and all audio created/recorded in the session goes to the audio files folder for that session
If you are working from templates you need to double check were the session wants to put the audio files
you can also open the old session then do a Save Session Copy In to the new drive and PT will copy all the audio files into a new folder set on the new drive
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Thank you,

Craig
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2023, 06:32 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is online now
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

From what I can tell, that's a 2011 Mac Mini with a 5400rpm spinning hard
drive. That's a slow drive.

You have a few options, none great.

1) Replace the spinning disk with an SSD. Requires backing up all the contents of the existing drive and then pulling the Mac apart, installing a new SSD and re-installing MacOS, re-installing you applications followed by copying all your data back. Or, if you use Time Machine, you may be able to skip the re-install of the apps. Either way, long-winded and will take a while. You may not be comfortable with pulling your Mac apart. Video here....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a8NssACulA

2) Get an external USB hard drive or SSD drive for your sessions. The problem here is that the Mac Mini 2011 only has USB 2.0 ports, which aren't very fast, so you may not fix the problem. You don't have to copy across anything from the existing disk - just point the new sessions at the new drive.

3) Get an external Thunderbolt hard drive or SSD drive. Although it's only a TB1 port, this will be much faster than the USB ports. The downside is that TB external drives are rather expensive. Same as (2), above, you only need to put new sessions on the new drive, you don't have to copy any stuff across (apart from the session you are having trouble with).

4) Get a new computer. Expensive, have to install everything from fresh, have to get used to a newer OS, probably have to use a later version of Pro Tools, which might involve a subscription. Audio interface may not work with the new OS, so you may need a new audio interface. On the plus side, it will be way faster than the existing machine and may last another 12 years.

I'm guessing option (2) is probably the best combination of quick, cheap and easy.
Run a speedtest (Blackmagic Disk Speed Test is free) on your internal disk, and report back here - we can work out if an external USB disk will be quicker.
The other thing to do is run a System Report (from the Apple Menu - about this Mac, or something similar on your version of MacOS) and see what ports your various USB devices are hanging off. You have the Mobile Pre on one port - is its controller shared with anything else? Do you have any other USB devices plugged in? Sometimes rearranging which USB port things are attached to will free up some CPU or other I/O which will help. I can't remember where the disk controller sits on the 2011 Mac Mini, but it may be shared with one of the USB controllers. Post a screen shot if the System Report doesn't mean anything to you.

Dominic
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2023, 08:35 AM
Ericthomson11 Ericthomson11 is offline
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

Correct it's a 2011 mac mini. But I bought it with protools in a package as a workstation at guitar center. But it doesn't sound like this should be used to run protools so that's pretty frustrating to hear.

Options 2 and 3 hopefully fix the issue. I would start from scratch if I were doing 1 or 4.

Any explanation as to why this issue would happen randomly like that? I had no problem recording 35 tracks and bouncing it to disk as a wav. I just don't understand why it would work fine all day with no issues and then start giving me the error msg simply playing back the recording.

Let me know what you think of the comp pic.
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2023, 08:47 AM
Ericthomson11 Ericthomson11 is offline
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

Here's the system info...
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2023, 04:02 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is online now
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericthomson11 View Post
Correct it's a 2011 mac mini. But I bought it with protools in a package as a workstation at guitar center. But it doesn't sound like this should be used to run protools so that's pretty frustrating to hear.

Options 2 and 3 hopefully fix the issue. I would start from scratch if I were doing 1 or 4.

Any explanation as to why this issue would happen randomly like that? I had no problem recording 35 tracks and bouncing it to disk as a wav. I just don't understand why it would work fine all day with no issues and then start giving me the error msg simply playing back the recording.

Let me know what you think of the comp pic.

If you've been using it for 7 years, then that's not a bad run for what is now a 12 year old machine, running a version of Pro Tools from 11 years ago.

What has probably happened is that the disk has filled up a bit. Unlike an SSD, where all disk access is of equal speed, a spinning hard disk is more like a vinyl record, where more infomation can be stored / accessed faster from the outer grooves. Anyway, you've clearly reached a tipping point.

You didn't list the things plugged into the USB ports, but from left to right, I'm guessing:
1) Mobile Pre, 2) Keyboard (or hub with keybd and mouse), 3) iLok, 4) nothing.
The System Report seems to show that the WiFi is on the same controller as (1) and (2) and that BlueTooth is on the same controller as (3) and (4). Are you using any Bluetooth devices?

Assuming the above is correct, I would suggest you get an external USB SSD - something like a Samsung T7 is a good choice. Plug it into port 4. Disable BlueTooth if you aren't using any BlueTooth devices.

I also notice that you don't have a backup disk plugged in. Are you doing backups? If not, you should consider it a priority. Either backup to the cloud using iDrive or a similar service, or get an external USB disk and use Time Machine to backup automatically. A cheap external spinning disk will do the trick - you should choose one which is at least twice as big as your internal storage. Pick a recognisable name like Seagate or Western Digital or Toshiba. Avoid cheap Chinese things. It's desirable to have it plugged in at all times, but given the number of ports you have, I would suggest unplugging the Mobile Pre (port 1?) and plugging it in there to do a backup. You will need to make sure Time Machine is backing up the internal disk and the new external USB SSD we have been discussing for audio files.

Dominic
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2023, 07:26 AM
Ericthomson11 Ericthomson11 is offline
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

Thanks for the help. No Bluetooth devices. I'll check and make sure Bluetooth is off, pretty sure it is.

I'm going to try an external hardrive from the thunderbolt port into a drive using USBc. I'm hoping this frees up some ram and fixes the problem. I guess solid state drive is better than spinning disc?

Iam ok with using the backup files protools spits out. And once I start using the external drive for my files they should be ok on there.

I appreciate the help. I have a computer store that's going to help me build a hardrive. I'll keep updating.
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2023, 07:37 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is online now
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Default Re: DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericthomson11 View Post
I'm going to try an external hardrive from the thunderbolt port into a drive using USBc. I'm hoping this frees up some ram and fixes the problem. I guess solid state drive is better than spinning disc?
OK, careful here.

On you machine, the USB A ports are USB, the Firewire port is Firewire and the Thunderbolt 1 port is Thunderbolt. None of these are interchangeable.

USB-C is not really a USB thing at all - it's a connector type.

On more recent Macs you have combined TB/USB running across a USB-C port. But not for your Mac. So if you plug a USB drive into your TB port, it won't work.

A solid state drive is better than a spinning disk for physical resilience and speed. Reliability is different, but not necessarily better. I would always choose an SSD for session files.

I'm not sure what PT backup files you are talking about, but if they are stored on the same disk as the main session files, you are still at risk of losing EVERYTHING if you don't have a backup on a second disk and/or in the cloud somewhere. You will get zero sympathy and zero help from anyone here if your internal disk crashes and you lose everything you have stored on it. I won't mention it again.

Dominic
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