iMac System Overload? with Logic

newb3fan

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1,355
I have a 27" iMac 2013 with an i5 processor and 8GB RAM. Logic is running off of a separate dedicated drive but not all plugins have been moved yet. I've created a project and maybe have 7-8 software instruments running (drums, keys, bass). I'm getting an a system warning, for the first time since I've owned the machine and have been using logic to record. Is this really the limit before I have to either upgrade RAM, bounce it down, or do something else to limit the resource loading? Experienced users please let me know your thoughts on this...thanks! Mike
 

SteveO

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16,950
I'm running a 2011 Mini Server (i7, 16GB RAM). Logic is installed on the main OS drive, all of my software libraries are on separate drives, and I have a dedicated drive to record everything to. I can run 40+ software instruments, plus additional plugins, without so much as a hiccup. I think that the additional drives facilitate this much more than CPU power and RAM. If you're recording to the same drive that your OS, Logic, or software libraries are on, this is most likely the bottleneck.
 

newb3fan

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1,355
SteveO - Thanks a lot! Do you know if there is a tutorial somewhere on how to move some of this stuff around? Sounds like this is what I need to do. First I have to baseline how I have it set up. The last thing I want to do is screw everything up. Also how many separate drives do you run? Are any of them thunderbolt?
 

maydaynyc

Gold Supporting Member
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1,339
Your DAW should definitely be running on your main OS hard drive, not an external drive. Your logic sessions should be on a separate fast external drive, and your VIs/samples on yet a third fast external drive. This is the gold standard for audio production setup for Pro Tools. I don't use Logic but I imagine it would be the same. I have a mid 2011 imac and just installed a new thunderbolt hybrid drive that has completely given my system new life. This product is perfect because its part solid state part 7200 spinning hard drive and it has some intelligence to know what data to move to the SS portion for maximum performance. Its actually got 2 separate hard drives in one enclosure so I use 2TB for sesions and 2 TB for samples. Here is a link http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/METB7DH4.0TH/

I'd also recommend upgrading your RAM to the maximum your imac can support if your imac is one that still allows users to upgrade memory. Its incredibly easy to change, cost very little and makes a dramatic differnce. I went from 4 GB to 32 GB and it was like getting a new machine. 8GB seems low for running 8 VIs at once.
 

newb3fan

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1,355
OK thanks for the help. I'm in the process of moving my plugin files from their home location on the Mac HD --> Library --> Application Support to their own dedicated external drive, creating the alias and then copying back that back to the original location - all fairly straightforward. I also move the folder named "Logic" containing all its sub-folders. When I restarted Logic, the software downloaded all that content again (i think). These subfolders all lao samples, settings, drummer, patches, etc.

Next question: How do I tell the program to save audio files and all the associated project information from my projects to a different location. I'm still saving projects to the default location Mac HD-Users-Music-Logic. I think this is the major source of my issue. I'm reading and writing to the mac HD concurrently. Please advise. Thanks!
 

Atmospheric

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4,079
Definitely more RAM. Max it out. RAM is pretty cheap these days. I like Crucial.

You might be running into bus contention as well. I know that I did. If you have more than one other USB device (other than your external HD), the bus may be bogging down. I changed my audio interface to a Firewire (this was years ago) and performance instantly improved.
 

MDMachiavelli

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1,129
It is pretty common with Logic Pro X. Here is a video on one of the best ways to fix, or at least minimize it.



This guy, "DanceTech", is one of the most knowledgeable people I have seen when it comes to logic.

Good luck. If you have any other questions about logic let me know.
 

maydaynyc

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,339
OK thanks for the help. I'm in the process of moving my plugin files from their home location on the Mac HD --> Library --> Application Support to their own dedicated external drive, creating the alias and then copying back that back to the original location - all fairly straightforward. I also move the folder named "Logic" containing all its sub-folders. When I restarted Logic, the software downloaded all that content again (i think). These subfolders all lao samples, settings, drummer, patches, etc.

Next question: How do I tell the program to save audio files and all the associated project information from my projects to a different location. I'm still saving projects to the default location Mac HD-Users-Music-Logic. I think this is the major source of my issue. I'm reading and writing to the mac HD concurrently. Please advise. Thanks!

I've never used logic so I can't help. If no one here answers adequately, I'm sure there must be a dedicated logic users forum and gearslutz should have knowledable logic users as well. Sorry.
 
Last edited:

JCM 800

Member
Messages
6,614
Your DAW should definitely be running on your main OS hard drive, not an external drive. Your logic sessions should be on a separate fast external drive, and your VIs/samples on yet a third fast external drive. This is the gold standard for audio production setup for Pro Tools. I don't use Logic but I imagine it would be the same. I have a mid 2011 imac and just installed a new thunderbolt hybrid drive that has completely given my system new life. This product is perfect because its part solid state part 7200 spinning hard drive and it has some intelligence to know what data to move to the SS portion for maximum performance. Its actually got 2 separate hard drives in one enclosure so I use 2TB for sesions and 2 TB for samples. Here is a link http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/METB7DH4.0TH/

I'd also recommend upgrading your RAM to the maximum your imac can support if your imac is one that still allows users to upgrade memory. Its incredibly easy to change, cost very little and makes a dramatic differnce. I went from 4 GB to 32 GB and it was like getting a new machine. 8GB seems low for running 8 VIs at once.

Agree with all of the above. All software (DAW and Plugins) should be installed on the main system drive. Audio files should be recorded to a different drive. I also keep all my samples on another separate drive. Keeps things running smooth. Everything else (music, photos, videos, all other data) is kept on yet another drive. Then I have a huge internal for backup and an external for a redundant backup. It's a lot of hardware but it works very well for my system.

Load up with the most RAM you can!!
 

newb3fan

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1,355
Hey thanks everyone - I'm getting this figured out. I added a thuderbolt dedicated drive yesterday so now I have 3 external drives (the other 2 are USB 3.0). More RAM is on the way. And I'll start saving my audio files to this new drive with my next project. I've moved most of my plugins to one of the dedicated drives. The only other thing I'm contemplating is to move Komplete over to the ext. drive as well.

@jcm800 - So you only have samples on a separate drive and not plugins? Why is that? If that is the case then I need to move some stuff back and leave Komplete where it is. I've read and/or watched videos of other people recommending to move the plugins too? So I'm a little confused on this point.
 

newb3fan

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1,355
Which OS are you using, which version of Logic? How are the external drives connected?

I am on El Capitan and the latest version of Logic. I have 3 external drives. Two are USB 3.0 and one is thunderbolt. One of the USB drives is for "other"files and not working with Logic. I'm going to use the thunderbolt to write the audio files for projects. I'm going to use the other USB to store samples and (I think) plugins. Unless someone tells me that is a bad idea.
 

JCM 800

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6,614
Hey thanks everyone - I'm getting this figured out. I added a thuderbolt dedicated drive yesterday so now I have 3 external drives (the other 2 are USB 3.0). More RAM is on the way. And I'll start saving my audio files to this new drive with my next project. I've moved most of my plugins to one of the dedicated drives. The only other thing I'm contemplating is to move Komplete over to the ext. drive as well.

@jcm800 - So you only have samples on a separate drive and not plugins? Why is that? If that is the case then I need to move some stuff back and leave Komplete where it is. I've read and/or watched videos of other people recommending to move the plugins too? So I'm a little confused on this point.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by having plugins on a separate drive. Do you mean running the plugin installers and installing the actual plugin software on a separate drive? I definately don't do that, and would advise against it. Plugins should be installed on the same exact drive as where your OS and DAW are installed. Note that all the plugins that come with your DAW are on that same drive. Your DAW and plugins work hand in hand and I can't see any reason that it would be beneficial to have them installed on separate drives.

For example, I have Windows, Pro Tools, and every single plugin installed on my "System Drive". It's a SSD and is super fast. I use Slate Trigger as one of my plugins quite often. The plugin is installed on the "System Drive", but all the samples/sounds are stored on a separate drive called "Samples Drive". The plugin software and sample files are two separate things. I do the same with Slate Drums, SampleTank 3 and all other sample files. The audio files that I record are on another separate drive called "Record Drive".

Software and audio files should absolutely be on separate drives. You don't HAVE to put samples on another drive but if you are running large sessions as I frequently do, it certainly helps. If you have an extra drive go for it but you don't have to run out and buy one for your system to run smooth. If you don't use many samples then the extra drive wouldn't really benefit you much.

In general I like to keep my system drive as clean as possible. That's why all my music, photos, and all other files do not reside there. I keep all of that 100% separate.
 
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Software and audio files should absolutely be on separate drives.

This was true back in the day of hard disks. With large capacity SSDs, recording onto the same fast drive that houses the OS is the option that provides the best performance. External HDs are still useful for back up, and for storing finished projects - scenarios where fast read/write performance is not critical.
 

newb3fan

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1,355
For example, I have Windows, Pro Tools, and every single plugin installed on my "System Drive". It's a SSD and is super fast. I use Slate Trigger as one of my plugins quite often. The plugin is installed on the "System Drive", but all the samples/sounds are stored on a separate drive called "Samples Drive". The plugin software and sample files are two separate things. I do the same with Slate Drums, SampleTank 3 and all other sample files. The audio files that I record are on another separate drive called "Record Drive".

This is the key that I was not understanding. Thanks a lot!
 

JCM 800

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6,614
This was true back in the day of hard disks. With large capacity SSDs, recording onto the same fast drive that houses the OS is the option that provides the best performance. External HDs are still useful for back up, and for storing finished projects - scenarios where fast read/write performance is not critical.

I strongly disagree.

SSD are fantastic for system drives. No real benefit has been shown that they are any better for audio drives than your standard HDD. For best performance you should always record your audio on to a drive that is separate from your OS. This is a standard way of running a DAW and I'm confident that 99% of your semi serious home user - studio professionals do this. 7200rpm drives work just fine to record audio. You don't need anything faster.

I'm not sure what you consider to be "large capacity". Have you looked at the price of 1TB and larger SSDs lately? They are still significantly higher priced than your standard drive. Anything over 1TB is crazy expensive.

My system drive is 500mb SSD, the recording drive is 3TB and my samples drive is 1TB. I have internal and external 4TB drives strictly for back up. Yes it's a lot, but I do more audio work than your standard home user. My system runs smoooooooth and error free.
 
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For best performance you should always record your audio on to a drive that is separate from your OS.

Why?
Do you have any actual numbers that show that recording to an external 7200RPM HD has better performance than recording to an internal SSD??
 

JCM 800

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6,614
Why?
Do you have any actual numbers that show that recording to an external 7200RPM HD has better performance than recording to an internal SSD??

You are putting words in my mouth. I never said EXTERNAL 7200drive, and I never said INTERNAL SSD (other than I use one for my OS)

I also didn't say one is "better". What I said is that SSD drives don't gain you anything for recording audio. So why would you pay WAY more to record on an SSD? What is there to gain?

Regardless of the type of drive or internal vs external, it is a standard in DAW recording to record to a drive SEPARATE from your OS drive. It is DAW 101 and yes it is BETTER and eliminates many errors. I don't know one single person that would tell someone to record on the same drive as the OS. Everyone else in this thread has given the OP the same advice.

My knowledge comes from my own experience of over 15 years of computer DAW recording and mixing.
 
Messages
312
For best performance you should always record your audio on to a drive that is separate from your OS.
(emphasis mine)

You are putting words in my mouth.

Not really. I asked you to clarify how read/write performance of a 7200RPM HD can be better than that of an SSD. Maybe you define 'performance' differently - feel free to explain what you mean.

So, again: how does recording to a drive that is not the OS drive ensure 'best performance' (your words), meaning, any kind of measurable difference in performance?


I never said EXTERNAL 7200drive, and I never said INTERNAL SSD (other than I use one for my OS)

OK, to clarify what I meant: if you have an internal SSD vs. external HD, bus speed may be an additional factor. Internal busses are in most cases significantly faster than busses to peripherals.


What I said is that SSD drives don't gain you anything for recording audio. So why would you pay WAY more to record on an SSD? What is there to gain?

Faster loading of samples, faster performance when RAM gets low, faster loading of plug ins, no need to de-frag SSDs (OS X automatically defrags internal HDs, not external ones..), much quieter performance, reliability (no moving parts), lower power consumption (which means less heat, fans don't kick in, silence in the studio..)

I upgraded my MBP with a 1TB SSD, the gain in overall performance was worth every penny.


Regardless of the type of drive or internal vs external, it is a standard in DAW recording to record to a drive SEPARATE from your OS drive. It is DAW 101 and yes it is BETTER and eliminates many errors. I don't know one single person that would tell someone to record on the same drive as the OS. Everyone else in this thread has given the OP the same advice.

My knowledge comes from my own experience of over 15 years of computer DAW recording and mixing.

The point I'm trying to make: this used to be true, I'm in complete agreement with you over that. But with the advances in technology in recent years, that's not the case anymore.

I listed SSD advantages, so if you have any actual, preferably measurable, advantages for going with a multi disk system, please list them. 'We've always done it like that' is not a good enough reason for me...
 




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