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slow disk audio

916 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2013 3:05 AM by jur12 RSS
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armenjc Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 20, 2012 7:18 PM


I'm on an 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon with 10 GB RAM, 10.6.8 using Logic 9.1.7. in 64-bit. I keep my Logic files on a separate WD 1TB drive that is only 50% capacity. 



I am getting a "Disk is too slow or System Overload" error when I add audio to my session.  In this last session I had only 14 stereo files, no plug-ins - audio only. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason in regards to the I/O LED being low or spiking and stopping the file from playing. I know it can't be a Sudden Motion Sensor because 1) aren't those only on lap tops? and 2) my computer is perfectly still and I get this error whether my file is playing on any one of my other 3 internal HDDs.


I've been reading similar discussions all over this board and there doesn't seem to a be a solution that's worked.  I've fussed with the audio settings, changing my buffer range from medium to large, my buffer size is always at 1024 when mixing,  Track/Mute is at SLOW RESPONSE, and Sample Accurate Information changed to OFF.  I've even moved my session to a different internal HDD and the same thing occurs.  I've repaired permissions, run Disk Warrior and TechTools Pro 6 and AppleJack, deleted preferences, blah blah blah.


I'm starting to think that there is no solution to this problem and that Logic and/or this computer is buggy or maybe this is totally normal and I'm expecting too much from this computer.  Any idea what might be going on and if there is a fix to this (other than switching to Nuendo on Windows)?


Screen shot 2012-07-19 at 4.18.32 PM.png

Logic Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,505 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2012 8:44 PM (in response to armenjc)

    What sample rate / bit-depth are the audio files?


    Also, set the I/O buffer to 256 and the process buffer to medium or small.


    Your external drive was formatted MacOS Extended by you, correct?

  • Eriksimon Level 6 Level 6 (10,450 points)
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    Jul 21, 2012 3:43 AM (in response to armenjc)

    Have you set all you audio tracks to No Input ? That sometimes helps. Also, is it your CPU meter that's peaking, or the Disk Activity meter?

    The fact that the message mentions the SMS, doesn't mean it is the cause. The message lists three possible causes. It can be any of these three, or any two of these three, or all three.

  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,505 points)
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    Jul 21, 2012 8:36 AM (in response to armenjc)

    Ok, you didn't mention the UAD in your original post..


    The UAD plugins aren't being used when this happens, correct, you said... "no plugins"


    Whenever UAD/Mac/Logic is involved I always suspect (as Erik hinted) a system bus overload rather than a disk overload. The system bus has become saturated and all of the data cannot be transferred without an error. A combination of the UAD hardware and MacOS, this type of behavior has been around quite a while.

  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,505 points)
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    Jul 21, 2012 2:19 PM (in response to armenjc)

    Don't get me wrong... I understand and agree with you... Nine years ago you had a dual processor G5 or G4, Intel Macs weren't available until 2006. Also the operating system was a lightweight speed demon comparable to the bloat nowdays.


    Just curious, the UAD is an internal PCIe card  correct? What is you audio system.


    Anyway..  this is probably why I stuck with 9.1.3 on 10.6.8 I don't seem to be having any of those problems.


    Looking at the pic you posted, you're Disk I/O is slammed into the red, does it stay like that or is it just a peak that levels out?

  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,505 points)
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    Jul 21, 2012 2:55 PM (in response to armenjc)

    I won't venture a guess but I bet if you put L back in 64-bit mode and removed one or both UAD cards you would see normal CPU/Disk use.


    Either that or the Fireface driver is having some serious issues at 64 bit.

  • Eriksimon Level 6 Level 6 (10,450 points)
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    Jul 21, 2012 4:11 PM (in response to armenjc)

    armenjc wrote:


    Eriksimon, all audio tracks are set to NO INPUT.  However, It doesn't seem to make a difference whether there is an input or not on the audio channels. I get the same result if there are inputs.


    It is the Logic CPU meter is peaking - see photo.



    The meter is called CPU/HD, the peaking meter is labeled Disk I/O - how have you concluded that this shows it's the CPU? It's clearly the disk, on this screen. Also, on your other screens I can see absolutely no peaking CPU activity. So, how fast is your Audio Files/Project disk?

  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,505 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 21, 2012 11:03 PM (in response to armenjc)

    I'm thinking this has something to do with running the UAD cards/drivers in 64-bit.. even though they can be disabled in software they are still loading the bus. If the bus is saturated the drives cannot deliver data fast enough.


    It may be the running two UAD cards in 64 bits is the problem, it shouldn't be acting like this but you can't be certain until you remove one of the cards. Might check on the UAD boards to see if there's anyone else running two cards and Logic at 64 bits, just a hunch.

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