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Disk too slow or system overload in Logic pro

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by beestigbeestje, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    I'm having lots of trouble recording live bands with Logic pro 8
    I'm recording with an Presonus Firestudio project and a Presonus Firepod, set up as an aggregate device in audio/midi setup.
    I tested it first at home with blank audio regions, and it recorded fine on my internal harddrive. ( 16 channels of simultanious audio) But when I tried to record the band that evening, Logic pro freezed an gave me the "disk is too slow or system overload error". Then I tried just recording 2 channels, and it didn't work either.The computer acted very strange, very unresponsive. Disabling the sudden motion sensor didn't help either, because I mostly record in very loud environments, and the vibrations could spark the head of my internal drive...
    So I assumend my internal harddrive just wasn't fast enough, although I had read that you could easely record up to 24 channels simultaniously with the internal drive.

    I've bought an external harddrive. The Lacie 2big dual in a striped RAID configuration, (2 bay harddrive) connected via eSata to my macbook pro, so I thought my worries would be long gone with such a speedy harddrive.
    But even now Logic pro gives me the same error, recording 16 audiotracks at once. After an hour of trying things to work again and restarting my whole system, I could record to the external for a longer period. In logic I could see that Harddrive usage spiked constant to red.

    So, basically, I'm trying to record 16 audiotracks simultaniously in logic pro with 2 audio interfaces, configured as aggregate device. I'm recording to an Lacie 2big Dual. (2disk RAID) in a striped RAID configuration using diskutillity.

    The 2 drives in the external are 7200rpm and the external is connected via eSata to my macbook pro.
    I'm running 10.5.5
    Have the latest drivers for the audio interfaces.
    Oh yeah, samplerate I'm recording to is 44,1 khz and 24 bit

    Could anyone please help me with this, it is driving me crazy...
  2. macrumors 65816

    Run Activity Monitor while you are using logic pro and look at the CPU use.
  3. macrumors regular

    Cpu usage doesn't go over 40%, I checked it.
  4. macrumors regular

    If this could ring a bell to anybody,

    I only get the error while recording when all the instruments and mics are plugged in to the soundcards.
    I don't get the error if I record from the inputs of the soundcards, when nothing is attached to it, so recording blank regions.

    thank you
  5. macrumors regular


    well you've definitely got a great setup, good God. I don't think this should be happening. If this doesn't happen when there's no signal, then that's a clue. How hot are your levels? Could that be it? Also, are you monitoring through effects? If the CPU never goes over 40% (wish i could say that), then i think this is a problem you can resolve.

    Have you tried this forum



    They're pretty knowledgeable over there.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Have you try recording only one audio interface and see if it still chokes.
  7. macrumors regular

    With one audio interface plugged-in, I have zero problems when recording.
    The harddrive isn't choking at all..
    When I use the 2 audio units at the same time, I can record blank regions without the harddrive choking, but, when I plug in mics, instruments,.. Logic says the harddrive is choking and the "disk is too slow error" occurs.
  8. macrumors regular

    I'll check that forum right away, thanks!
    I keep the levels always as loud as possible, without going into red. Could that be it? It sound a bit unbelievable.. I thought that, when levels were too loud, the ad/da convertors would clip and there would be digital distortion, not some sort of "harddrive slowlyness or something"?
    I tried software monitoring, but I'm getting weird noise ad distortion on the outputs of the soundcards, sound like crap, don't know what is causing this too... could be I am overlooking something..
    But I don't use any plugins while recording
  9. macrumors regular


    Hey. Yeah, it's strange. To the hard drive, tracks of "blank" audio with no signal is still audio... same file size, for example, no matter how loud or soft. So it's interesting that it does this only when there is audible signal, but it's actually good that you included that detail, because that's what is going to clue those guys into what's going on, i think. Good luck.
  10. macrumors 65816

    I know this might be too much work but if you have Live 7 or not, download the demo. Try recoding on Live 7 to see if you get the same hard drive problem. You will know when Live 7 goes crazy or your audio quality goes down.
  11. macrumors regular

    Well, I'm not really familiar with the user interface of Ableton live.

    Could it have something to do with te clocksource ? It is set to device, and the presonus firestudio project's internal clock is used to sync.
  12. macrumors newbie

    I'm having the exact same problem. I get the 'disk too slow' error when I record my band's practices. I use a Presonus Firestudio Project into my Macbook Pro (2.2 intel, 2 GB ram). It will work for a while, maybe 10-15 minutes then start giving me the error. It works fine when there is no noise but as soon as we start playing it dies. I run 6 mics in and none of them clip. Even if I use 2 mics sometimes it gives the error. I thought it might be a ram issue so I restart occasionally. This didn't solve the problem.

    Did you ever find a solution???
  13. macrumors G4

    Silent audio compress real well and requires less Disk IO. Your problem is the disk as the CPU is only at 40%

    "Everyone" always recommend that you never try and record audio data to the system start-up disk. Buy a fast Firewire disk drive and use that for recording. You may even need one of those RAID-0 "stripped" drives to support the data rate you want.

    In any case the internal drive in a notebook computer is just not up to the task.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Thanks ChrisA. I was hoping that wasn't the case. How does an external work in this situation? I connect it to my laptop and record into the logic file from that drive? The signal would go from my Presonus box through my laptop and out to the drive then...and that's faster than the internal drive. Excuse my ignorance, I'm learning this as I go.

    What hard drive RPMs are appropriate for writing 8 channels at once?
  15. macrumors G4

    Quick answer disk drives are MUCh slower then the cables used to connect them.

    RPM tells you how fast the drive spins. What you care about is how many bits fly under the read/write head per second and this is the product of the "bit density" and the tangential speed of the track on the drive. tangential speed depends on the RPM and how far the track is from the center of the disk. So make matters worse drive makers might change the bit density depending on distance from the center of the drive. OK the point is RPM tell you nothing it's just an easy to under stand number that is used for marketing drives to people. Ignore it and look further down the spec sheet to where it talks about "sustained IO rate".

    sustained IO rate is the native speed of the platters and heads. Almost always this speed is much, much slower then the "interface speed". Interface speed says how fast data moves over the cable and into the drives on-board cache.

    The other problem with recording to the internal drive is that the internal drive is also dong otherthings and is being shared. It acts as a swap file and programs load from it whereas the external drive ONLY has your audio files on it.
  16. macrumors newbie

    I didn't know that about hard drives. I always thought it was related to disk speed. A nice bit of misleading marketing here.

    Are there specs you would recommend for this? USB 2.0, firewire, Brand of drive to look at, an IO rate that I should stay above?

    This is really helpful, I've been having these problems for months and could never figure out what the deal was. It's really distracting when you are trying to play music and have to keep attending to your laptop. Losing good takes is frustrating.

    What do you record ChrisA?
  17. macrumors 601


    for 6 mics, at i'm assuming 44kHz or 48kHz sampling rate w/ 24-bit word depth, a firewire 400 drive will work fine. 7200 RPM is typical, but try to find one with 8 meg of buffer as opposed to 4.

    i like the OWC drives for remote work and backup. (in the studio, i use a second internal SATA drive).

    i've not used USB2.0 for audio, perhaps others here can chime in. the only downside about the firewire 400 is in future-proofing.
  18. macrumors newbie

    the same old story...

    Hi guys,
    Im having the same problem as theseal mentions.
    When i record with my internal microphone logic seems fine...
    When i tried to record 3 channels of audio through my Yamaha o1x a get the message "Disk too slow"
    Anyone got any ideas??
  19. macrumors newbie

    Does it only happen when it's loud?

    I have gotten skunked several times now in the field with the "system overload yada yada" error.... it seemed to have a sensitivity to the smokin'-ness of the jam... shutting down invariably in the peak moments :eek:

    I am starting to think about power-draw and vibration as possible variables....

    I spent last week making sure all my system and software are up to date.... tried drives that have been reliable in the past..... last nights outing had only one drop.... maybe three minutes into first set...

    I am also looking at HD standalone recorders.... but I really don't need any more gear...
  20. macrumors regular

    its a bug. you're probably stuck with it.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Bug details?

    Do you have any other info? Similar experience? Who's bug? (Apple or presonus? or for me Mackie)

    HD recorder is sounding like my solution...

    For the disk too slow stuff to an external drive...... nine times out of ten it has been a from a non-Mac formatted drive as the culprit... Just erase the drive using disk utility and format with Mac OS extended...

    If USB2 make sure your machine sees it that way.... USB1 is not fast enough....
  22. macrumors newbie

    Would be interesting to see if you get this resolved as that is quite strange.

    Ive just hit exactly the same problem from out of nowhere.

    Im recording 80+ tracks @ 48k / 24 bit via 2x rme hdsp madi pci cards direct into logic using a dedicated internal 500gb 7200rpm drive.

    Had no problems at all, then now, all of a sudden Im getting this same error.

    Ive mailed some people at apple, so if I hear anything useful back Ill post up here also, but I do not see why you would be getting this error with your set up and amount of tracks :confused:

    After all my macbook pro can handle 56 channels on the internal no problems.
  23. macrumors G4

    Are you writing the audio data to the disk in some compressed format? Only a few formats are not compressed. Silence compress a LOT but loud, complex music simply does not compress well and more data must be written to the disk.

    The other think is the drivers for the audio interface. When one person can do 40 tracks and another can't do 16 I wonder if they are using the same audio drivers. There can be huge differences in the competence of the software engineers who wrote the drives.
  24. macrumors regular

    Thanks Everyone for the input!

    I can assure u it has nothing to do with harddrive speed.
    I still get the "disk too slow" error even on my 2-disk Raid harddrive

    But, If I set the I/O buffer of Logic pro to 1024 samples, Logic does nog freeze anymore.
    And if I record at 96khz , setting the buffer down to 256, the harddrive perfomance indicator won't go into red anymore.
    But this I still can't officially confirm, cause sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, it is a very weird problem in Logic pro
    I have tried Cubase in the meanwhile and have encountered zero problems.
    I would really like to stay with logic pro, because of the plugins, user interface, bla bla bla..
  25. macrumors 68000

    which version of logic are you using?
    i was recording 6 tracks 96khz 24bit on a 5400rpm disk, with 4gigabytes of free drive on my MBP.
    and it went without a hitch for 2 hours (chuncks of 15minutes, than breaks).

    oh yeah,buffersize 128.

    logic 8.0.2, osx 10.5.6

    echo audiofire8 connected with fw400>fw800 cable.

    few ideas:
    have you tried changing the "Clock source" in Audio/Midi setup? you may have a bad clock in presonus? (changing the master device basically)
    Maybe Scripts are being ran in background.
    Do you have enough memory? maybe your system is trying to page onto hard drive while recording.

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