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Need Help Identifying System Bottleneck Data Storage
Old 11th December 2014
Here for the gear
Exclamation Need Help Identifying System Bottleneck

Hi everyone,

I've been having some problems with semi-frequent "system overload" messages in Logic Pro 9 for a little while now. I used to get the "low memory" messages when loading EastWest samples, but since upgrading to 32GB of RAM I haven't had that problem. I Still get system overloads though on my larger projects, which may contain 50 - 60 tracks, and even sometimes on not-so-large projects if I'm using EW Hollywood Strings sustain and legato patches heavily. I've found that it tends to be HW Strings that is the primary culprit of causing system overloads in general.

In an effort to free up system resources, I recently purchased an external thunderbolt SSD, the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt All-Terrain, 250GB, on which to store samples. Up until now, all of my samples have been stored on my internal drive (I realize this is not recommended, but until recently it hasn't been too much of a problem). Since it appears that my EastWest libraries are the ones giving me trouble, I figured I would start by moving only those to an external SSD. Ultimately it would be nice to have all of my sound libraries on external drives, obviously, but at the moment I have room in my budget for one SSD. The entirety of my EastWest libraries are roughly 160GB, leaving me still over a third of the drive's storage space free. I know that 250GB is not very large, but for the purpose of storing solely my EastWest libraries, it seemed plenty big enough. Am I wrong on that?

After moving my samples over to the SSD, which went swimmingly except for HW Brass (some kind of error message with a specific .ewi file, I'm working on that), I am finding that my system still seems to be under the same amount of strain. I am still getting just as many "system overload" messages as before, even with HW Strings which is now on the external SSD. I would like to figure out why this is still happening.

Did I make the right choice for an external drive? Is there any reason to think that the SSD is the problem? Would it have anything to do with the fact that HW Brass is still on my internal drive, while the rest of my EastWest samples are on the external? If not the SSD, then the problem must lie in my computer system itself. My system is as follows: Late 2012 27" iMac, OS X 10.8.5, 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 32 GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive. After having moved the samples to my SSD, I currently have about 580GB free on my internal drive, which seems like plenty of space. So, I'm wondering what is the cause of my system overloads in Logic, and why I feel as though I haven't seen any difference since moving those samples to an external SSD. Also, is there some way, some app I can use, to try to identify the problem myself? The activity monitor, perhaps?

Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Old 17th December 2014
Here for the gear
Bump. Anyone?
Old 17th December 2014
Lives for gear
Can't you just check the activity monitor to see if anythings hitting red? That would be a good start. I'm not a Logic user, but I use the Performance Monitor in Studio One for the same thing.
Old 18th December 2014
Lives for gear

The CPU will also get under heavy load in Logic fairly regularly and there isn't a whole lot you can do about that other than start freezing some of the tracks here and there. You seem otherwise to be doing all the right things. Maybe google "performance settings for Logic" or something like that to see what preference settings are recommended. Make sure you have the latest drivers for whatever your audio interface is and even consider upgrading to Logic X (keep LP9 too) and see if there is any improvements. Migrate to 64 bit plugins if you can. I'd stay away from Yosemite for now.
Old 18th December 2014
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Jhoge04 View Post
I Still get system overloads though on my larger projects, which may contain 50 - 60 tracks
are you tracking at 192 or something? 60 tracks is pretty miniscule,. On a modern i7 you should be able to get easily in the 300+ range at 96k.

What I would do is start a clean project and start inserting stems and see how the monitor reacts as you keep getting up in track counts, then start adding samples and midi tracks and see what ratio you get... and where it starts to wear down.

If you start adding stems without plugins or samples and it starts maxing out it's definitely a harddisk issue. Maybe start a clean project and only use samples (no audio tracks)
then see where it leads you. Just use process of elimination. Keep in mind audio tracks are only dependent on disk speed, plugins are CPU dependent, Samples are more about ram and the sample engine is all about CPU power.

... It could be a setting in logic, maybe you just have to raise your buffer sizes?? when you get up in counts
Old 19th December 2014
Here for the gear
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm so busy, but I'll have to do a little research to make sure I'm running Logic at optimal settings. The reason I didn't upgrade to Logic X right away when it came out is because it didn't support 32-bit plugins, and I do have some 32-bit plugins I use, so I need that support. I think now there are some 3rd party bridge applications to help with that in Logic X? I've been thinking about upgrading, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

What do you mean by "tracking at 192"? 192khz? If so, no I am not haha. My buffer size is at the max setting I'm pretty sure. Ideally I'd like to have 64GB RAM, but I used to get "low memory" notifications when loading my samples all the time back when I only had 16GB RAM, and once I upgraded to 32 those went away completely. That would make me think it isn't a RAM issue. Could it still be a RAM issue?
Old 19th December 2014
Gear Head
Fre3energy's Avatar
I'd look at the buffer size in Audio settings. Just a hunch.
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