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  • New Imac and VEP

    Hello everybody, i'm new on this forum and a relatively new VEP user, i hope someone can help me a bit with this, i just got a new Imac (see specs below):

    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5

    2560 x 1440 resolution

    upgraded to 24GB

    1TB hard drive

    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

    and i'm a pro tools user, so i created the following setup:

    VEP SERVER 64 BIT:

    -5 instances of EWQL Play (EWQSO,EWQLSC,QL MOR) each instance with no more than 5 single instruments/articulations and the memory usage is around 2GB total

    -8 Instances of Kontakt 4 with 5-6 Instruments each using 1GB (with a low memory server preload size) and/or 3GB (with the biggest memory server preload size) multi-processor disabled

    -1 Instance of Omnisphere with a single instrument (not sure the size but i'm pretty sure is pretty small)

    VEP SERVER 32 Bit:

    -1 Instance of Miroslav Philharmonik with 3 instruments (again not sure how big is it but since it loads in 1 second i assume is minimum)

    In Pro Tools (10.0.1) i have 2 instrument tracks holding the servers and around 70 aux inputs for all the instruments (however i really only have less than 20 aux tracks per session, the 70 is just for the main template and i haven't use them all together) So far everything fine and no problems, setting up was easy and hassle free, then the tricky part:

    Pro Tools playback engine (digi 002/03):

    HW Buffer Size: 1024 (i tried everything here)

    RTAS Processor: 1 processor (out of 4)

    CPU Usage Limit: 99%

    Ignore errors during playback and minimize latency both checked

    Delay compensation: I tried it all and makes not much difference, so have it set to None

    Plug In Streaming Buffer: Level 2 (default) sometimes have to move it to 4 and sometimes i need to use Optimize for streaming content (depending on how many crashes and troubles i have)

    In the vienna side i have the buffer set to 3 on the rtas plug in (both servers) and i have each instance of vienna set with 2 threads This configuration kind off works and has been the only one that behaves decently, getting around 10% on the RTAS usage on pro tools and around 50-60% on the 64 bit VEP instance and 10% and even less on the 32bit one.

    So, considering this is not a massive template by any means (there's no more than let's say 10 instruments playing together and not more than 15-20 auxs at once) and that i have tons of ram to go 5 GB out of 24 seems pretty good and i have done all the pro tools tweaking in the book (disabling spotlight, no airport,no firewalls, no indexing etc. etc.) what would you suggest to get a better performance. My main problem is that i get every now and then the dreadful "error -6086 increase the buffer size..." but i have no where to go, i can't raised more, i tried with a smaller buffer size 256 or 512 on pro tools and bigger one on VEP (None1,2,3,4 i tried them all) and still i keep getting this stops every now and then, sometimes constantly sometimes less, but is always there and is a problem for my workflow, i tried creating smaller VEP instances with less instruments each and is actually worst,VEP cpu meter goes to the sky.

    Does someone here has experience setting up Imacs or quad-core systems, is there some recommendation ?? any help is very welcome, i'm losing my patience with this but i still have hope someone here can kindly help me.

    Thanks a lot


  • Please edit your profile and set Community/Content editor to enhance


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" - 1 x 27" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D Dolby Atmos --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • No problem, i'll do the profile changes, thanks


  • I am not a Protools user, with this kind of message, normally is that you are running out of disk I/O, and your software does not have enought time to read the sample in time. You must look to increase the pre-load buffer size (it is in K4/K5 prefs) in Play and Miro ??????

    try to put the instruments that you are not using to off (horizontal mixer)

    You can monitor your disk I/O and the CPU in Activity Monitor 

    Good luck (the other solutions is to reduce your template !!!!! or to put your libs on a ssd, or to have a slave ! )


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" - 1 x 27" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D Dolby Atmos --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • Thanks a lot Cyril, i actually forgot to mention i have my libraries spread on 4 four barracuda HDs, using an eSata-thunderbolt adaptor, so the main hd is not reading the samples but this 4 drives, i'll make the buffer size bigger on every player and see if that helps, if not i'll try using protools on my laptop as a test and having the libraries on the imac maybe that will help, thanks a lot again i'm glad these forum exist. Best regards.


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    @Karmafied said:

    Thanks a lot Cyril, i actually forgot to mention i have my libraries spread on 4 four barracuda HDs, using an eSata-thunderbolt adaptor

    this is very good, just make a Raid 0 of those drive and your I/O much faster. the speed is about 1.5 per drive


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" - 1 x 27" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D Dolby Atmos --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • Thanks Cyril, i will try the RAID option, i'm wondering something, the Imac only has 1 FW port so i have my 002  and my recording drive plugged to a hub (sonnet ying-yang) can this be a cause of some of the problems too??/ unfortunately apple has been very nice removing more and more ports, i tried already plug in the recording drive thru esata-thunderbolt but i didn't really notice much difference, it was in the same thunderbolt port as my libraries but isn't thunderbolt suposse to be the fastest more powerful option?? thankfully i have a second thunderbolt port on the imac but before i commit to buy another thunderbolt-esata adaptor + the cable and so on, i 'l like to know your opinion or anybody on the forum that had more experience. Thanks a lot you have been very kind and helpful.

    Karma


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    last edited

    @Karmafied said:

    Thanks Cyril, i will try the RAID option, i'm wondering something, the Imac only has 1 FW port so i have my 002  and my recording drive plugged to a hub (sonnet ying-yang) can this be a cause of some of the problems too??/ 

    try removing the recording drive to see if it does something, same with your 002

    For Thunderbolt I cannot help ! sorry !

    for the preload bufer size you can increase it but you must watch the Swap parameter so it stay at zero, it is no good to have some Mb of swap


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" - 1 x 27" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D Dolby Atmos --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • Thanks a lot Cyril,i'll  try all your suggestions, your help is much appreciated, best regards.


  • Hello Cyril and all other users, so finally i got my head around all the problems i had, i tried all sugesstion that Cyril kindly provide and i have a bit of success however i kept getting the dreaded protools error sometimes every now and then sometimes a lot, so i decided to start from scratch and i found a solution although i think is not the best but works perfectly for me without any crashes any more, no more protools messages etc. Basically as Cyril pointed out the problem lies in the hard drive, i tried many options (FW hubs, Internal SDD vs external Esata/regular and SSD, Esata raid etc. etc.)  always with the same result, slight better performance sometimes but same results, so i went back to the pro tools suggestion of daisy chain the HD and then the Digi 002/003 and i got a significant better performance but still problems with the buffer message from PT and the slow response from the sessions due the daisy chain factor, so i did what the digidesign doesn't recomend and i went Digi 002/03 FW and a USB recording drive (same drive i used with FW just plugin the USB port),  samples always on esata/thunderbolt hub  and voila, no problems at all,no more buffer size messages, i actually manage to reduce the buffer for both protools and vep, smooth playback,no problems with streaming etc. etc.  

    So if this helps someone  FW hubs seems to be not working with digi002/003 units, there's always hd swapping and seems to be create a bottle neck, esata  as much as i love it  has a little problem with PT due the Oxford Chip part, so i'm going to try to find some esata enclosure or drive with the PT recommended Oxford chip and i'll report my results (in theory should work), in my case will be using the 2nd thunderbolt port with a pcmcia-fw-esata adapter and an a drive/enclosure with the oxfor chip and finally although Digidesign/Avid doesn't recomend the use of USB drives for some reason ( i'm guessing the chip)  is the only way i have managed to make this work, however going the opposite route, USB interface + FW Drive   seems to be really slugish (i tried with an MBox 3 going usb and using the same drive thru the fw port) and didn't work. And finally  a big thing i found out,  aboid using those Docking stations that have been coming out lately, theyre total junk, they come without any antischock mounting system, no high performance chipsets, constant unmounting of your hds randomly and most of the times during critical process and they don't any port multiplier software/drives or anything of the sort and believe me that's a big problem when using multiple esata drives.  I hope this can help some fellow vep+ pt10 users  or anybody that has this kind of troubles, again Cyril thanks a lot without your knowledge i would never be able to figure this out, thanks everybody and i'll report my results with the second thunderbolt port as soon as i can start a new testing time (loaded with projects now for good or for bad)  

    Peace everybody

    Karmafied