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Logic 9 Audio engine overload

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by Rafa, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    Hey guys,

    I'm running a Macbook Pro, 2.53 Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6.2, Logic 9.0.2.

    I'm having a severe CPU, audio engine overload problem which is totally disrupting my workflow. The session that i'm running on is 96Khz, 24 bits, with about 60 tracks, no plug-ins, and it is impossible to play the session for more than 30 seconds.
    I've tried running it from the computer's HD, firewire HD, USB HD (which was a total joke), air-conditioner on full blast and nothing seems to work. Is this a bug? Because I feel that my set-up should be able to, at least, play the session straight through.

  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    What sort of audio hardware are you using, Rafa? Which Buffer I/O settings, and have you tried to see if your Mac starts choking at any particular, lower track count? 96 kHz Audio is pretty demanding, how do things look with 44,1 or 48 kHz?

    kind regards

  4. Howard W

    Howard W Member

    I don't know, 60 tracks at 96kHz is a LOT of data for a laptop bus to handle.

    As Mark mentioned, do you have your I/O buffer maxed, set it at 1024 if possible.

  5. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    Are you running off a FW bus, or the internal drive. The internal drive on a Mac Book Pro, usually 5200 rpm, will not play back that many 96 k tracks.

    Even a FW 400 drive at 7200 rpm might have issues...

  6. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    I'm using a MOTU Ultralite mk3. Buffer settings always 1024, software monitoring off.

    I never had this kind of problem before, not even with 88.2Khz, this is my first time with 96Khz. I'm still editing, which means that I can workaround most of the time, doing stems etc. But I'm worried with the mixing stage, at that point I must be able to play all tracks, and have individual control over them.

    Answering Goerge's question, I'm running this session on the internal HD and it still chokes all the time, plus I never get the "disk too slow" message, only audio engine overload.

    So that's it? Macbook Pro wont run a 96Khz session with 60 tracks?

  7. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    Could this be some kind of bug? If I export everything to a brand new session do you think it will work better?
  8. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    A side question

    Does 2 mono channels use more CPU power than 1 stereo channel?
  9. garethJones

    garethJones Member

    I use a PC card Firewire Adaptor on my laptop to run the Audio Interface, and I run the Audio off an external FW drive. (7200). Try that?
  10. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    That's excellent advice! I'll try that!

    Thanks Gareth
  11. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    Remainding issues

    So that's it? Macbook Pro wont run a 96Khz session with 60 tracks?

    Could this be some kind of bug? If I export everything to a brand new session do you think it will work better?

    Does 2 mono channels use more CPU power than 1 stereo channel?

    Ideas on any of these 3 questions are more than welcome!
  12. garethJones

    garethJones Member

    I believe stereo file is less CPU intensive than 2 monos
  13. garethJones

    garethJones Member

    Let us know!
  14. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    You will not get that many tracks off a 5200 RMP drive, no way. Think of it like this: that is equal to 120 + 44.1 tracks. I',m lucky if I get 30 or so of those off my drive... with FX for a mix).

  15. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    I understand that a slow HD would be more burdening for the CPU, but again I never get the "slow disk error".

    Is it really possible that the audio engine overload I'm getting is related to HD? I'm saying that because when it stops playing, the CPU meter is always maxed out and HD is O.K.
  16. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    You will not get a 60 track count from a 5200 rpm drive, even a Glyph drive. They top out at 60 tracks on a 5900 rpm drive over a fw 800 bus:

    So if you are going to have to use the internal drive, you will HAVE TO figure out another solution.

    Here is the best analogy I can use: I sometimes wish the sky could be green, but no matter what, it is blue (or black at night). It is impossible.

    I say get yourself a 7200 rpm firewire 800 drive, and run it off of a FW 800 card and you should be good to go... just be sure to run your audio interface off the built in FW bus, or you might still have a problem.

  17. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    I'm getting the picture...
  18. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Gareth

    Same here with my MAc Book Pro, that is IMO definitely THE way to stream audio to and from a notebook, gives you much more bandwidth than either FW or USB, and AFAIK frees the FW bus for audio interfaces.

    kind regards

  19. Janne

    Janne Member

    The error "Audio Engine Overflow" usually means that in the slice of time that You have given the computer (the buffersize) to do all it's processing, some piece/pieces of the computer/software combination have failed to do their part in time.

    For example, a convolution reverb didn't complete its calculation in time, a software sampler didn't manage to load the appropriate sample and make the correct sound on time, and so on...
    I guess You get the picture...

    But it can also relate to the hardware, for instance, You might getting close to the available memory on the machine and that forces the OS to start swapping pieces of memory out and in from it's system disk. If that happens it's bad, and if You are storing Your audio files on the same disk it's twice as bad as it will interrupt Logics reading of the data and it will not be able to return "the appropriate data in time".

    And I agree that pushing that many tracks in 96Khz on a MacBookPro, and on the internal drive is probably very, very close to what the hardware can cope with...
  20. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    It sounds like you are talking about 60 stereo tracks, which is the equivalent of running 90-120 96kHz mono tracks. That seems like huge amount of audio for one laptop to be processing!

  21. Rafa

    Rafa Senior member

    No way Orren!
    I'm aware that I'm new in the biz, but when I say 60 tracks I mean 60 mono tracks, if they were stereo tracks I would have brought it to everyone's attention and present my miracle Macbook pro to world!

    I've just started working with higher sample rates recently, I had a couple of very good experiences with 88,2Khz, so I was feeling confident enough to edit and mix a whole album in 96Khz. The problem is that here in Brazil we tend to put a hell of lot of percussion on everything, so the track count can easily get incredibly high!

    But it looks like this is about all that my Macbook can do, I'm realizing now that I've reached the limit. It's time to make more money and buy a bitchin' desktop!

    Greeting from the southern hemisphere!

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