Mac newb could do with some help.....

ak301

Member
Messages
1,363
So I got a Mini-mac a few weeks back after this:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/mini-mac-query.1679916/#post-21579621

2012 i5 2.3 - 2.9 GHZ i5 16GB RAM 250GB SSD + 500GB El Capitan

I've got Logic Pro now (which is amazing, so easy to use) but I'm having some issues that are putting a holt on really getting creative with this setup.

I'm running into a regular problem with latency and the CPU seemingly overloading when I'm recording, or even putting a few loops together from Logic's library
I keep getting latency issues with plugins where they'll be fine one min and have to be reset the next.
The mac is seemingly running everything off of the SSD.

The 500gb memory has nothing on it, should I be using this to save projects on?
It's been mentioned I could do with a better interface, I'm currently using a Focusrite Saffire 6

I'm a newb to Macs and logic, I'm working my way through David Nahmani's excellent book but has anyone got any suggestions what i can do to improve things, I'm concerned now with my mac being I5 I should've got an I7
 

MDMachiavelli

Member
Messages
1,129
I had this same exact problem with the same exact hardware just a few months ago. Several thing were causing the problem and several things fixed the problem.

There is nothing wrong with your Focusrite interface.


First of all, are you writing or reading from an external drive? Sometimes pulling from and writing to a thumb drive, portable hard drive or other device can really significantly slow you down your system causing it to shut down. I'm not at my Mac now but I would pull up the CPU meter on Logic Pro and change around my drives until I found something that worked better, and used less CPU.

Also I had to do some type of "reset", and I can't remember what it is called now. But essentially it reset my Mac without changing any of my downloaded programs. Those two things really improved my performance.

Let me know how this helps.
 

ak301

Member
Messages
1,363
I had this same exact problem with the same exact hardware just a few months ago. Several thing were causing the problem and several things fixed the problem.

There is nothing wrong with your Focusrite interface.


First of all, are you writing or reading from an external drive? Sometimes pulling from and writing to a thumb drive, portable hard drive or other device can really significantly slow you down your system causing it to shut down. I'm not at my Mac now but I would pull up the CPU meter on Logic Pro and change around my drives until I found something that worked better, and used less CPU.

Also I had to do some type of "reset", and I can't remember what it is called now. But essentially it reset my Mac without changing any of my downloaded programs. Those two things really improved my performance.

Let me know how this helps.
That's encouraging, if you could give some more specific details I'd really appreciate it mate

I'm just working off of the internal SSD drive by the look of it

Thanks!
 

MDMachiavelli

Member
Messages
1,129
That's encouraging, if you could give some more specific details I'd really appreciate it mate

Thanks!
Sure, I won't be home in front of my Mac for an hour or two. I'm at work now, as soon as I get home I'll look and see and let you know.
 

oldhousescott

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,737
You should certainly be creating/opening/saving your projects on the secondary 500Gb drive. I don't know if Logic has a default project location setting, or how that's handled, but I expect you should be able to change it. It may also help performance to move your Logic loops and virtual instruments to the secondary drive as well. If you search on "move apple logic loops and virtual instruments", you'll find articles and videos on how to do this (usually involves creating "symbolic links" so Logic can find the files after they've been moved).
 
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Another Logic trick from the old days of slow(er) machines: go into your Audio preferences and set your I/O buffer to the smallest value you can get away with (likely either 32 or 64 samples) for recording. This will reduce the latency, but does cut into your total processing power. Keep your processing to a minimum (i.e. the least amount of EQ / compression / FX / etc.) during tracking, and/or Freeze tracks that you're not currently working on.

When you go to mix, change the I/O buffer to a higher amount to give yourself more processing overhead to handle all the plugins, etc. you end up wanting to use. On a new machine you may only have to bump it up one or two notches; on my old Mac I used to have to go to 1024 in order to mix properly. (Thankfully not the case on my currently laptop!)
 

lang.murphy

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3,582
Your Mac mini has plenty of juice... I5 cpu should be fine.

The SSD drive is going to be way faster than the disc hard drive. Verify that Logic is saving to the SSD. IF It's not, change it to use the SSD.

Other poster is talking about resetting PRAM. Google is your friend here.

Plug-ins can cause latency, or so I've read. I assume running too many loops simultaneously might cause an issue, but I'm not experienced with either.

Are you running an anti-virus? If yes, disable it to see if it's a problem.

You can run Activity Monitor to see if there are other programs hogging the cpu. You shouldn't run any other apps while recording.

Good luck!
 
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12,038
Mos def, store the LPX projects/work on an external drive. I have a USB connected 1TB 7200rpm to store the work on. I was also recently told to store all the samples and software voices on a separate drive. I have not tried that yet. But with 16GB of RAM I am not having issues at this time.

The other suggestion was to add SSD, I haven't visited that tech yet.
 

MDMachiavelli

Member
Messages
1,129
Your Mac mini has plenty of juice... I5 cpu should be fine.

The SSD drive is going to be way faster than the disc hard drive. Verify that Logic is saving to the SSD. IF It's not, change it to use the SSD.

Other poster is talking about resetting PRAM. Google is your friend here.

Plug-ins can cause latency, or so I've read. I assume running too many loops simultaneously might cause an issue, but I'm not experienced with either.

Are you running an anti-virus? If yes, disable it to see if it's a problem.

You can run Activity Monitor to see if there are other programs hogging the cpu. You shouldn't run any other apps while recording.

Good luck!
That is exactly what I was talking about. Sorry I didn't get back to you last night, I had to work late.
 

cjcayea

cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce
Messages
4,032
without seeing your project, my guess is that you're simply using too many plugins with too small a buffer. I find its best to bounce all tracks to audio when you plan to record, or at least as many as you can. ideally you'd record to an external, a 7200 rpm spinner should be just fine. increase your buffer and that will help to improve performance but your latency will increase too. figure out how to monitor directly through the interface and you'll have no latency, but you won't be able to hear any plugins on that channel. it's really a balance of various things that you'll just need to figure out along the way, whatever is best for your workflow. that Mac is plenty powerful and that interface is fine so long as you're realistic and don't expect your rig to operate like a quantum computer.
 

ak301

Member
Messages
1,363
Well the good news is I've done the PRAM thingy and done a quick test by running Amplitube and a few Apple loops............already at least a 30% reduction in CPU usage and sat there noodling away for a lot longer than I was able to before the reset.
The Mac deffo seemed quicker and had more pop when opening things up, quite impressed

I've checked the 500gb drive, there's nothing at all on it.
Nothing at all. So if I try to put things like Apple loops on there will this help things run smoother?

Big thanks for all your helps guys
 

cjcayea

cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce
Messages
4,032
most people can get by with loops and samples on the same drive as the OS, but the ideal configuration is 3 drives:

1. system drive. daw. plugins. apps, etc. this should be a SSD.

2. "record to" drive. this is where all your recordings go. all project files and associated data goes here. this can be a traditional HDD. 7200 rpm is what I recommed but you can get by with whatever honestly.

3. samples. a drive strictly for samples and loops. this should also be SSD as the computer will read the files directly from it in real time. speed is a must.

there is a TON of information on this very topic all over the interwebs. Google till your eyes bleed, and welcome to the rabbit hole
 

stratocat63

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,489
SSD is the way. Samples, OS/apps, current projects each get their own. And as much RAM as you can stuff in there. I run pretty hard with a lot of VIs amp modelers, audio tracks and plugs. I am pretty sure the Mac Pro has a fan but I never hear it kick in. Even though we are supposedly advanced past the need for it, periodic restarts to clean everything out are good to do too.
 

DaveNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,619
Also, make sure that the 500GB drive is formatted correctly - MAC formatted, GUID partition map. Sometimes, drives are formatted for windows systems (fat32) and while they will open on the mac, will be very slow...
 

SideBMusic

Member
Messages
1,519
without seeing your project, my guess is that you're simply using too many plugins with too small a buffer. I find its best to bounce all tracks to audio when you plan to record, or at least as many as you can. ideally you'd record to an external, a 7200 rpm spinner should be just fine. increase your buffer and that will help to improve performance but your latency will increase too. figure out how to monitor directly through the interface and you'll have no latency, but you won't be able to hear any plugins on that channel. it's really a balance of various things that you'll just need to figure out along the way, whatever is best for your workflow. that Mac is plenty powerful and that interface is fine so long as you're realistic and don't expect your rig to operate like a quantum computer.
Agree. This is the likely solution.
 

ak301

Member
Messages
1,363
Update: Well the Pram reset helped a lot and now I've got a 7200 2TB external drive which I'm recording to

Things are heading in the right direction as it's all working much smoother

The SSD drive still has the loops and plugins on, would moving anything to the 500g internal drive help further?
 




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