Logic Pro 9 System Overload - Audio Engine Not Able to Process Events

Logic at the moment is not my friend. :(

I've been battling little glitches in the app of and on and it is amazing to me how many things in Logic cause issues in your workflow, because they show up whenever you expect them the least. I have a mental list of things not to do in Logic (even though they are published features), because they either crash Logic, or mess up my projects in other ways. I digress though...

One of the things that I run into quite frequently is the cryptic message "System Overload. The audio engine was not able to process all required data in time. (-10011)"

Now, I know how to separate system from project files by using different hard drives, down to using a RAID array for critical speed stuff. This message, along with interrupted playback, shows up even with the extreme lightest load of tracks (mostly just MIDI), so it can't be that the system is overloaded. Watching the CPU meters also shows plenty of headroom.

So, I am on a hunt for the reasons and a solution, as this is starting to really bug me, let alone causes workflow interruptions.

Anyone seen this issue and found a cause and solution?


While this might not sound likely, Logic works pretty darn good here. A few questions and then a few suggestions:

1) Have you deleted your Logic Prefs? Sometimes they get corrupted, causing all sorts of little issues.

2) If you upgraded and are using older autoloads, did you rebuild you template (this is what we now call the autoload file) after Logic 8 came out? There are many changes in the way the audio engine works, and it is suggested (or should I say recommended) in the manual that you recreate your pre-Logic Pro 8 templates.

When you say midi, do you mean external synths, or are you using internal VI's?

What version of Logic, computer, OS, ram amount, etc. There are many general things that can be figured out when this info is known.

George Leger IIII
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One of the things that I run into quite frequently is the cryptic message "System Overload. The audio engine was not able to process all required data in time. (-10011)"


I have used Logic Pro since version 7 and have seen the infamous System Overload message all the way thru 9.9.1 but it in my case, this usually happens in large projects (many tracks: VI, audio, tracks with oodles of plug-ins, etc,) when I open Logic and hit play for the first time in a session...
I also see it happen when I've got a lot of CPU intensive VI's or plug-ins all fighting for RAM and processor power. Usually, if I Freeze the heavy tracks, all is fine then.

I agree with the above opinion about corruption in user-templates and will also ask how much RAM you have and your processor type etc.
These are the right places to start trouble-shooting. :thmbup:
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Thanks, Charlie and George,

First, the hardware:

Mac Pro 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 10 GB or RAM. I also have a system drive and a RAID 0 production drive.

Mac OS X 10.5.8 with the latest patches installed - Logic 9.1.1 32-bit

Like Charlie, I've been having these system overload issues since version 8, but they seemingly have become worse with the latest update to 9.1.1.

And yes, I had a corrupted Logic preferences, so I had to start with fresh preferences. The problems persisted before having to start with new preferences.

That brings us to the templates I use. They all are somewhat derived from templates I started building for Logic 8 and have over time evolved to the current set based on my composing setup.

It would be a painful thought of having to recreate those templates from scratch, so my hope is that it doesn't come to that. If so, I'll have to weigh what's worse, downtime due to rebuilding the templates, or downtime due to the constant glitches. :(

So, from what it sounds like the audio engine can't complete it's job of processing the audio, because of what?

Too many plug-ins? (Doesn't seem to be the case here as this happens even with a really small project)

CPU priority issues in the application? (Something else interfering with Logic's processing priority, etc)

Hard Drive issues? (That one would surprise me given my current setup.)

The interesting thing is that the Logic CPU meter does not spike when this happens. What it does do is stop the audio playback for about 2 seconds before the error message shows up.

I'm not expecting you guys to come up with more answers. Essentially, Apple is responsible for that. I was just curious whether someone else had run into these issues and found the source and a solution.


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Thanks, Charlie and George,

First, the hardware:

Mac Pro 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 10 GB or RAM. I also have a system drive and a RAID 0 production drive.

Mac OS X 10.5.8 with the latest patches installed - Logic 9.1.1 32-bit


I default to George's opinion on this (he's a bit of a legend around here, you know :)) but one thing caught my eye... OSX.5.8...
I would be curious if anyone else has issues running L9 on OSX.5...
Just for the record, I'm running Snow Leopard and everything runs pretty smoothly (knocking on every wooden surface around me lol)
I can also tell you there have been a few Pro-updates built into some of the recent Snow Leopard OS updates that have perhaps smoothed out some potential Logic bugs associated with Logic 9.
Your system/RAM/drive set-up sound like you've got enough horse-power for what you are doing so that rules them out.

I'm wondering if the OS has something to do with this...
Perhaps posting a similar thread in the OS Topic would give some feedback of users' positive or negative interactions with L9 and older OSX's...

Just thinking out loud.
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Maybe a legend in my own little mind ;-)


Try opening Activity monitor (Utilities folder) Do something in Logic and you should should able to see if you are getting system overloads.

I use 10.5.8 and recommend my clients stay there. SL may be the latest greatest, but my guys are the type of people who need a system that is 100% (or as close and can be). I found SL and 64 bit stuff to be a little too bleeding edge for a full time composer system.

I just had a thought: In your main Logic audio prefs, what do you have the "Process Buffer Range" set too? If it's been changed to large, change it to medium. This setting has caused many a system to start acting like a petulant child...

Some other things: What is your I/O buffer size? Do you happen to have a small buffer and maybe Space Designer with a long IR going?

As for too many plug-ins: Sculpture can bring most macs to their knees using the right patch and a big chord, or a long decay. Wile you might think a few plug-ins are not much, it really depends on WHAT plug-ins are running... really.

As for Apple: they charge a lot for a real tech call if you are "out of warrantee, 90 days after purchase, and only regarding install issues, not usage issues". Like any big, faceless corporation, they can (and will) only help so much. This kind of voodoo stuff (more than one thing may be causing this, so fixing one of the issues still leaves the others) can be a real pain to resolve.

I would try this:

Open a new blank Logic file, and using only Logic plug-ins, make a quick song. Make it as many tracks as you can... do you still have the issue?

If not, one of your 3d party plug-ins is messing things up. If yes >

New Logic song, from a blank song file. Add 1 track, make a part , new track, new part, until you have replicated the same tracks you did in your original song that was having the issue. Does it still over load?

If not, it's your song file... if it still does>

Make sure your song file and ALL data is not on the raid...

If it now works, it's your raid, IF it still does...

Get another drive (Firewire) and install a system on it, and the smallest Logic install you can. Should only take an hour or so.

Now, do the same thing, using ONLY Logics built in plug-ins.

Does it work now? It should, if not, you have a hardware issue.

I do tech for some pretty serious people. If they were under the deadline gun, that would be my most likely steps to resolve the issue.

It will take a while (maybe a couple of hours) but you should have the problem sussed out.

I would suggest EVERYBODY do a main drive backup RIGHT NOW if you don't have one, to a FW drive. Use Carbon Copy Cloner, or Super Duper. That way, if you have issues you can test on a system you know works. Also, the basic system and Logic app drive is a real help once done. You can suss out some things pretty simple with it (like a hardware or ram issue).

Ah, don't you love it :cool:

Good luck... I understand your frustration.

And just to give you a light at the end of the tunnel, my personal system works great 99% of the time, I have a backup that I regularly do an incremental update to, and a simple System/Logic disc. I have lots of plug-ins as well (part of the tech support business I do), and can say most are no problem, or which ones you have to treat with kid gloves (Trillian, Ace, DCam Synth Squad, BFD, Superior Drums to name a few)...

And when it is working, it is the coolest thing. Being an older guy, I still remember a time before midi, or aligning a 24 track deck for a half hour before every session, and a SPX 90 reverb FX costing $2000 (for a reverb that is worse than most free AU reverbs out today).
It's a great time to be doing music... now if I could only find a way to make a living doing music only, DOH!

George Leger III
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Ha! I remember the SPX 90...

Just an FYI, though the 64 bit thing is a ways from working "right," Apple is releasing updates for OSX.6.x at a pretty decent clip... Tonight I found an OS update that (among other things) hopes to "improve performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode..."

I don't trust it as far as I can throw it, but at least they're trying!:D
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Thanks, George. Lots of meat to chew on and I truly appreciate the detailed troubleshooting workflow.

There's one other element in this mix that I thought may be a dominant source of the issue: Playing back a Quicktime movie in Logic.

Composing for film obviously necessitates the need for having everything synchronized to the film. The Quicktime file is streamed of the RAID drive, so that should definitely help. I have noticed thought that the CPU load increases, which is to be expected.

At one point I moved the film playback to another Mac (a G5), but it wasn't powerful enough to keep up with the synchronized playback, and to be honest, the locked video response wasn't quick enough, thus moving it back into Logic.

What are other composers on the forum doing with their locked video playback, especially in light of system performance?


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What format is the QT video? Are you also streaming samples off your Raid? And your audio?

One thing I do know is that the guys I work with do small DV video for cues. It's allot easier for a computer to stream uncompressed video that to have to convert it and stream it. Also, They do the video off a FW drive, and audio recording/playback off a drive, then samples off as many drives as they require (depending on the libs they own, it can be spread over 3 or 4 big, fast drives.)

Welcome to the voodoo ;-)

George Leger III
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hope I'm not too late to contribute to this thread. I have an 8 core pro, 13 gB Ram, plenty of drives, latest OS and security updates and I also get the "system not coping message" just a few seconds into play, often the first play after opening a project, or after a long pause. Activity monitor etc shows nothing strange, it is more like the system is surprised by the sudden demands, as when I restart the song, it usually plays perfectly.

Thanks for the wisdom shared by all. PS George, I am an oldster too...I started helping my dad with his reel to reel when the Beatles were still together!

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