Digi002, can't mix more than 16 tracks without it dying???

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by HarryB, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. HarryB

    HarryB Guest

    Help me recording.org... Your my only hope,

    I own a digi 002 rack but im finding out fast that i cant mix more than 12-16 tracks without it dying. Im trying to keep my setup as portable/minimal as possible on the hardware side. I run protools LE 6.4 on my G4 17" Powerbook (1GHz Processor, 512Mb RAM) and use very few plugins (mostly D-Verb and EQ) but it just cant seem to handle it. Ive tried partitioning the hard drive to no avail and have just purchased a 320Gb Firewire 800 hard drive but it still doesnt seem to take any workload off the CPU. Im beginning to believe that I have been mislead into thinking i would be able to mix 32 audio tracks on a portable computer.

    Is their any kind of digidesign/mac compatible hardware processing device which will take some of the workload off my CPU or am I gonna have to bite the bullet and sell my powerbook, get a desktop and fit it with a protools HD core card? This solution however, may involve a mortgage application so if there are any other alternatives (I am bound by blood to a Mac and i love protools because it can open doors for me but would consider switching to cubase if someone could convince me) please advise.


    Harry B
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Is it possible to install more RAM in your powerbook? I suspect the problem is related to RAM and not the CPU ...

    I run a PC with 1 gig of RAM and I never have a problem. I run up to 32 tracks with many plugs quite often and I get a CPU load under 25%.
  3. HarryB

    HarryB Guest

    It is possible to add another 512Mb but would that make that greater difference?

    Im beginning to think theres something wrong with my setup but if you think thats the way to go then thats the way i'll go.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    More RAM certainly won't hurt. But you are right, in that the problem may lie elsewhere. Is your computer optomized for audio? I assumed it was. Run your graphics card at it's lowest resolution / slowest settings. Are you running other programs in the background? Check with one of the many PT forums online ... perhaps they can help you optomize your powerbook for audio. Contact Apple and Digi customer support for some hints in streamlining your OS ...
  5. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    Is it your CPU that's causing the problem? If it is, you may be running too many plugins, even though you don't think you are...how many D-Verbs are you running? Your computer shouldn't have any problem running 32 tracks (at 44.1 or 48 at least) as long as your buffer settings are correct and you're not trying to run too may plugins.

    Normally, the problem is the hard drive...I certainly wouldn't expect to get 32 tracks off of the internal drive, but with a good external drive you shouldn't have a problem. I'd make sure that that's set up right and that it's actually a compatible drive (I don't know much about the Firewire 800 drives, but I know there were compatibility issues with some of the 400 drives, especially those that didn't use the Oxford 911 chipset).

  6. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    did you remember to set you max cpu usage to 85%????

    what plug's are you using???
    what os version?? what pt version??

    some plug's are really heavy so you have to be careful what you use...

    altiverb eats 1/4 of my laptop's cpu!

    maybe post a screenshot of your mix

    do yourself a favor don't switch to cubase.... i love it for programming.... but for mix..... :?

    if you wan't a portable hd system : http://www.mobl.com/expansion/pci/1slot/index.html

    and buy some more ram.... an xtra gig is not too much..
  7. HarryB

    HarryB Guest

    The CPU usage is set to the maximum (99%) and DAE Playback buffer etc. is all set up to give me the most possible power, the only plugs i am using are D-Verb (x6) and EQ (x4), both from the host software, Ive got no other applications running. My graphics card is set at its lowest resolution.It's all running on Protools LE 6.4 on OSX 10.3.3.

    She still not having any of it!

    What would your advise be on a portable HD system. I looked at the link and got a little overwhelmed by technical info but i am interested to know how well the PCI expansions slots work in comparison to a desktop? Is there any difference in performance?
    Its obviously a big step up financially, and im a little in the dark as to whether or not a HD system is worth the money... Especially because on paper, my current system should be adequate. I need professional quality and i need to be able to mix up to 32 tracks without causing a power surge. Would a HD system be a waste of my cash or is it the way forward?

  8. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    Why so many verbs? Set up an aux send and an aux channel.
  9. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Get a PC. All your problems will be solved.

    But yeah... 6 verbs in a mix is ridiculous!
  10. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    6 Dverbs? :shock:

    Unless you're onto something particular (sound design or FX driven stuff) I haven't find a single mix I did in years that needed that many.
    Are you inserting them directly on the tracks? If so there's a better way to manage DSP usage for reverbs, like creating an aux bus, instantiate the reverb on that and use aux sends to that bus from multiple tracks (this is one of the basic 101 concepts of mixing).
    You can get a lot more mileage out of a single instance of Reverb that way.
    Those 6 DVerbs could be the culprit right there.

    On my Athlon XP1800+ PC DAW I can easily run 32 track sessions with heavy loads of plugs (Waves, Bomb factory, Focusrite, Antares etc...usually about 3 instances of Waves Renverb or Trueverb) and I only get DAE errors when I'm reaching the very limit, usually when the mix is about to be finished and I'm inserting plugs on the Master Fader.

    Hope this helps

  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    Don't get a PC!
    You will open up a can of worms.

    My experience with TiBook, PowerMac and any PC tells me that a Mac is far more stable.
    If you go out and get a PC you will maybe not have CPU power problems but then you will have so many other isues!! What's the fun in that! fixing one problem and getting new problems!!

    If you are going to use your PowerBook CPU for plugins then you have to think very simple, and not use that many verbs.

    May I ask why you use that many verbs? I can only imagine how split up a mix would sound with that many sepperate verbs! If you use only one on all the tracks you will get a better audio image.

    If you are a serius plug'o'holic then consider some external DSP power.

    Best Regards
  12. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    first of all.... your cpu usage should not be at 99%.... there will be nothing left for the os...

    one question..... is your problem only on one session or them all???

    i have had session that are slow as hell with no apparent reason... (i work on hd2 / dual 2gHz G5)

    there could be something wrong with the way you have installed your machine.... try opening energy saver in the system preferences.... and check if energy svaer is entirely off as well as all sleep functions.... it is also essential that processor performance is set to highest....

    also your clock must not use 24 hour time.... :?

    i would also recommend that you try downgrading to pt 6.2 ... as i have yet to see 6.4 working properly... or even 6.1 running under 10.2.7.....

    10.2.7 is not as great an os but it has less problems with audio than 10.3

    as far as hd goes you must remember that when using a tdm system the cpu of the computer is not used for plugs..... unless you choose to do so (rtas is also supported)..... but an hd system for powerbook will set you back at least 15k !!!

    regarding pc..... according to me and other protools supporters /salesmen protools does not run well on pc.... pc's have only one good thing going for them ..... they're cheap..... but not that cheap if count in the hours spend on setup and maintenance..... and forget hooking it up to the net!!!!

    but start with a reinstall and a fresh session and post back
  13. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Originally posted by inzogood:

    Ok, don't want to start a flamewar (I usually stay out of these discussions as they are useless to me) but this is simply not true.

    Just take a look on the DUC on the Pro Tools TDM for Win or LE for Win and see what the reports are.
    I won't get into the Mac/PC performance tests as they are clearly displayed for you to read on the very DUC, and the results are self explanatory, do a search for the Dverb test and see the actual numbers.
    There's dozens of PC configurations proven to work flawlessy (including the one I use) which don't need to be troubleshooted; what mainteinance are you speaking of? If it's changing an HD or updating your OS with Service Packs I think Macs are at the same mercy isn't it? and BTW those are no-brainer mainteinance tasks.

    The final word on this is from Digidesign itself: what interest should they have in developing the PC side of Pro Tools if it wouldn't work? the two platforms are equal now, and plug in support is catching up too, so much that the major manufacturers ( McDsp, DUY, Eventide...) have awaken and started porting the plug ins to the Windows side...does this ring any bell?

    I think those supporters/salesmen need to update a bit.

    Cheers 8)

  14. HarryB

    HarryB Guest

    Firstly, I must state that i am a musican and not a technician and that my engineering skills are limited.

    I assumed (incorrectly) that reverbs and eq's should be placed individually on each track for more control. As i said earlier, i have no hardware (except for the digi rack and a focusrite twintrack) and I understand that well recorded audio will require less polishing but i wanted to be able to do all the mixing/sound processing on my powerbook... including adding reverbs.

    I have changed the clock to 12 hour time, downgraded to pt 6.2 and I have taken all my plugs off. You guys have hit the nail on the head - it looks like the plugs are the problem as ive now got 28 tracks happily ticking along. However i feel robbed of my tools and my mix sounds naked without any reverb. Surely there must be a way of using my toys - What is an aux send and an aux channel and how do i set it up?

    And thanks all - you've just saved me 15k :roll:
  15. HarryB

    HarryB Guest

    And how do i apply one reverb to all the tracks?
  16. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004

    i'm not trying to start a war...

    i'm glad your system is working great......

    but the fact is alot of win/le systems isn't!!

    i'm just giving advice based on my own experience(and those i work with)
  17. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    You can create an Aux bus by simply choosing File>New Track>Aux (stereo or mono). That is a bus that you will use to instantiate the reverb plug-in on; choose an input for the Aux (say bus 1-2); now chose a track you would like to have reverb on, and click on one of the 5 aux send symbols (those under the insert points where you instantiate plug ins), choose aux send 1-2, set the fader that appears to the amount of dB that you like (you'll need to tweak it to fit the need when you hear the reverb) and you'll see the meter on the Aux bus light : this way you have the original track untouched and its copy going fully into the reverb whose return you can control with the Aux bus fader. Repeat for all of the tracks you wish to send on that reverb (say you have a drum kit).
    Hope I explained clearly.


    I understand your point of view, and I could have agreed with you if this was discussed 3 to 4 years ago: back then the Win platform wasn't mature enough to be used within professional contexts as a fail proof OS for DAW use; fastwind to 2004 and you can see that things have dramatically changed; Macs were the standard for multimedia production, but lately they have improved a tiny fraction compared to the Win XP OS; I'm not bragging or boasting anything, and I understand that man is a creature of habits, but all it takes to assemble a reliable PC DAW is simply to follow some guidelines (which for Pro Tools are provided by several great folks on the DUC, to which I contribute when I can) about the components and the way to install software, plus a few simple tweaks to the OS: quick and easy, I put together my system in half a day, including peripheral install (PCI cards, breakout box, controllers etc..) and software and it has been rock solid from day one (minus the obvious maineinance routines and upgrades I planned to do), and I'm no rocket scientist.

    Apple makes you pay (a fair amount of money) for this, and to me it's not justified, considering the fact that now performance is lower on the Mac side (given an equal price).
    Stability issues are a thing of the past, I can see that you've had bad experiences with PCs before and that Macs were more stable and more performing, but take a look at the sheer benchmark results of a Dual Athlon Opteron PC with Nuendo or a single processor Athlon64 3200+ with Pro Tools LE and you will start reevaluating.
    Macs are still great machines, but way overpriced and finally PCs are stable and more than a viable alternative for professional use, again Digidesign is investing a fair amount of money to port a software that was Mac native to the PC side...Avid is doing that also...there must be a reason for this other than ploitics.


  18. d-gautam

    d-gautam Guest

    Hi HarryB

    If u wants to use one reverb to many tracks, don’t use it on inserts. Use sends of your protool mixer. Sends are useful for assigning one reverb, delays or effects (like chorus, phasor etc.) to many tracks.


Share This Page