Garageband '11 Error

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SandboxGeneral, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. SandboxGeneral, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #1
    Can anyone help me with this error? As you see in the pic, I have only one track going. I always use the same 'project' and just record a few tracks and then later delete them from the project. But I get this error every so often and it stops the recording and I have to start it back up again losing a few seconds from the whole track.
     

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  2. jacg macrumors 6502a

    jacg

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    #2
    Do you have a lot of apps open? Or is available hard disk space less than 10 GB? Try logging off and logging back in again.

    I sometimes see this when first opening and playing a song but it shouldn't happen after that if the song is not too demanding (like your single track!).

    Good luck!
     
  3. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #3
    The only apps I normally have open in addition to Garageband are Safari, Mail, maybe iTunes and iCal.

    I've got a brand new 500GB HDD with 409GB available. RAM is good, have 4GB installed (3GB utilized) and it's barely being used as can be seen in the menu bar of the pic.

    This doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's very frustrating.
     
  4. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #4
    OK. It just happened again a minute ago. This time I checked Console and this is what it says:

    Does anyone understand this and how can I prevent it?
     
  5. ikemcfadden macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Garageband '11 Error

    That error message is basically telling you that you are maxing out your RAM or overtaxing your audio card/bus.

    Now, I use Garageband a fair amount for assembling professional audio work before then exporting to another program like Logic or Ableton, so I am pushing the program a lot further than a ‘normal’ user does.

    But I typically only get that error message when I’ve got a composition open that has, say, 30 separate stereo tracks, and have a MIDI controller connected, and am attempting to trigger a lot of effects (compressors, keyboard emulators, etc., etc.) all at the same time.

    So, having said that, here are my recommendations for some general ‘best practices’ that I feel confident will help you:

    1) Start a new project every time you start...well...a new project. I would hazard a guess that continuing to re-open and re-record and re-save in the same project file over and over is probably resulting in a lot of memory leaks. I don’t know this for certain, but at the same time, I can’t think of any good reason why you should keep using the same project file over and over again...and I can imagine quite a few problems that might result from the practice.

    2) I personally would never recommend having another audio-application (like iTunes) open at the same time as I am working in Garageband. It’s needlessly overloading your audio card and your RAM. Garageband and iTunes are both very big memory-hogs, and running them both at the same time will sooner or later cause problems.

    3) Garageband '11 is an even worse memory hog than the prior version was. And it is buggy as all hell. Given that you don't seem to be using any of the more advanced features, you'll probably run into fewer problems if you just 'downgrade' to a prior version of Garageband.

    4) Go check out this link for other general tips on optimizing performance in Garageband across the board, which includes general CPU, MIDI and hard-drive settings:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA27607?viewlocale=en_US
     
  6. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #6
    It must be overtaxing the audio card/bus because the RAM is fine. In the photo attached at the top menu bar you can see the iStat reading for it and it is rather low in usage. This is on a 2007 (2,2) MBP, 2.33GHz C2D, 3GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD.

    While using GB last night, it was only registering about 174MB of RAM usage. So it's not hogging RAM at all. But like you said, I am using it in a very basic way. Safari hogs a whole lot more RAM than GB does in my experience.

    I will take your recommendations and implement them and see how it goes. Thanks, I appreciate it very much.
     
  7. ikemcfadden, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    ikemcfadden macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Cont'd

    I would tend to agree with you on the RAM, but I also run iStat, and have seen programs like Garageband, Final Cut Pro, Logic and After Effects go totally down the drain while showing no particularly harsh signs of RAM issues on the monitor...and yet seen the issue improve dramatically when I added RAM.

    So, I've come to not completely trust iStat (or similar apps) as presenting the whole picture. I.e., I think it is possible to have a very large RAM spike that is very brief, and isn't always caught (by me, at least visually, since there is no logging feature on iStat) and yet can still have an impact.

    Again, the relative un-taxing nature of what you're doing with the program would seem to argue against a RAM issue.

    On the other hand, the temperature monitor in the screengrab shows you running close to 160 degrees F. While that's not outside bounds, that makes me think *something* in there is working mighty hard...or else just getting overheated due to the whatever physical location you have the computer in.

    For example, even when I run very RAM/CPU-intensive processes, I rarely see peaks much above 125 or 130 degrees, and frequently it's closer to 115 degrees.

    That might be another angle...it might simply be that some component is just overheating by the tiniest amount. I would recommend paying attention to the temperature, and seeing if there is any correlation there between high temps and program lockups.

    I also recommend downloading and running smcFanControl, which is a nice free app that allows you to tune your Macbook fans to significantly higher RPM's. I made that particular discovery after realizing that (of all things) my internal airport card would tend to lose wi-fi connection when the computer was at higher temperatures....so there's probably no end to potential trouble if things get hot under the hood. One of the downsides of the sleek, ultra-compact constructions of Macbooks.

    Just another suggested avenue you might explore.

    And, i'll also reiterate that IMHO, Garageband '11 was released too early, and isn't ready for primetime. It's significantly slower and less CPU efficient that the prior version.

    Ike
     
  8. SandboxGeneral, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

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    #8
    Actually, that 158 degrees is cooled off. Normally when running GB it is between 180-190 degrees. Since the recording stopped and I took a few seconds to grab the screen shot, the CPU temp dropped. However, that 185 degree temp has been that way [under GB load] since I bought it. Cooling is fine, I have a great laptop cooler made of aluminum and it has two big fans on it. The place I use the MBP for GB usually has a cool room temp. Other folks in the forum have mentioned that these temps are quite normal under a load.

    One thing I noticed in the support link you gave is that the play head changes colors depending on CPU usage and when it's red it's about to not be playable or something to that effect. In my screen shot, the play head is red and I never noticed that before. So I will make sure iTunes is shutdown while recording and I'll keep an eye on that play head and what the CPU is doing.

    What machine do you use? Remember that my issue here is on a MacBook Pro. The temps you normally see are consistent with my iMac, not the laptop.
     
  9. ikemcfadden macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I have a MacBook Pro 15". I run the internal fans a solid 25% above their default setting.

    I understand those higher temps are within the theoretic tolerance range...but I know for a fact I've seen some pretty screwy behavior *far below* those ranges.

    As I said, I use this kind of software professionally, so it's very likely I'm hyper-careful about running hot. Someone else who does *not* use the MacBook for media production probably wouldn't care one way or the other.

    But if I saw 190 degrees on my laptop, I would be tempted dump a bucket of ice on it. ;-) I can honestly say I personally would much rather lose a couple of 5-dollar fans a little early in the lifetime.

    For example: I'm running Ableton Live right now, with six different tracks all being beatmapped and quantized in realtime (like running Garageband's flextime function on a bunch of tracks at once)...and the temp is 115 degree right now.

    And I live in Florida.

    Anyway, best of luck....
     
  10. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #10
    I agree with you whole-heartedly. I don't like seeing such high temps either. But this MBP of mine has been a real trooper for almost 4 years now and has never acted screwy at all. This error I have only happens once in a great while. These temps have always been consistent and I use GB about 4 times a week like this and have been since I got it.

    These temps of mine might be due to the model of MBP I have. It's one of the very early aluminum ones with the C2D (pre-Santa Rosa) models. I'm not sure how the newer models (unibody) perform under a load temperature wise.

    I do appreciate the tips and will try them out.
     
  11. ikemcfadden macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Out of curiosity, how are you recording the instrument itself?

    I.e., do you have it (or the mic) plugged directly into the input of the MacBook?

    If so, that might also account for some issues. Whenever I record an actual physical instrument, I usually run it through either a MIDI controller, or a dedicated junction box, both of which have some processing ability of their own, and will take some of the load off the CPU.

    I do this because of latency issues (i.e., the lagtime between when I hit a note, and the time when I actually hear it in Garageband)...but it could probably also effect performance in other ways.

    Having said all that...if your Macbook is 4 years old...and you're just recording single-tracks...was there any particular reason you upgraded to Garageband '11?

    Just curious is all.

    I think Garageband v1.0 (I'm being a bit facetious, but I'm sure you get my meaning) would probably be sufficient for what you're doing, and would definitely be heck of a lot easier on the CPU/memory/audio bus/etc.

    Apologies if I'm needlessly extending this chat. I finished all my work for the day about 9:01AM today, and this just happens to be a subject (Macs and media-performance issues) that occupies a large chunk of my brain on any given day. ;-)
     
  12. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #12
    I am recording sermons at my church and the audio comes in through the sound mixer and I have that connected to the MBP via the stereo input jack.

    It was part of iLife '11 and I wanted to upgrade for some of the new features, mainly in iMovie. Plus I've always had a good experience with Apple software.

    I don't have that version. This MBP is my first ever Mac and whichever version of iLife came on it is also gone now too.

    No need to apologize at all. I enjoy the discussion and appreciate the help! :)
     
  13. ikemcfadden macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Aaaahhhh. I bet that's the issue right there. I erroneously assumed you were talking about recording a musical instrument of some kind (even though I now see the screenshot is set up for 'male narrator'). My mistake.

    Okay: I would guess your sermons are usually sermon-length? I.e, fairly long recordings?

    Garageband really isn't tailored very well for lengthy recordings. (Especially if it's a new pimped-out software version running on a 4-year old laptop, which is relatively old when compared to just-released media software) Even though it has a 'podcast' feature, it's really sort of an after-thought.

    Garageband is based on the same engine as Logic Pro, which was originally designed to be used in recording studios, by producers & musicians (and therefore designed for an average recording length of, say, 4-5 minutes per project...i.e., a pop-song).

    Assuming your sermon is something like 45 minutes long (which of course I NOW see when looking at the screenshot), then that is going to be a *very* large AIFF/WAV file you're dealing with...probably several hundred percent larger than even a very dense pop-song with dozens of separate tracks.

    If the above assumption I'm making about length is correct, probably the easiest way to improve performance is to reduce the bit-sample rate of the recording (and exportation of the file)...assuming you haven't already done this.

    Go to GARAGEBAND > PREFERENCES > ADVANCED and then use the 'Audio Resolution' drop-down box to select "Good" instead of "Better" or "Best".

    This wil lower the audio resolution from 24-bit to 16-bit, and cut the file size (and CPU load) by 50% or so.

    And since we're talking about recording a human speaking voice through a mono microphone, that will *still* easily be high enough resolution to sound absolutely fine to the ear.

    You really don't need 24-bit resolution unless you're trying to capture the delicate tones and huge dynamic range of, say, a string quartet in a studio isolation booth, and using a $30,000 Sennheisser microphone. I bet you probably won't even be able to hear the difference with your naked ear between 24-bit and 16-bit for a mono vocal recording. But it will make a world of difference in terms of computer performance.
     
  14. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #14
    Right. 45 minutes to just over an hour most of the time.

    Is there any software available that is better suited to what I am doing?

    Yeah, I'm already doing that. I figured that out early on when I first started using GB when the output MP3 was a huge file size. Now they're usually about 13MB to 20MB depending on length. I recorded last night and it was a shorter message, 39 minutes and the output size was 9.6MB (see attached screen shot). It's set to custom for the MP3 encoder and I have the custom box showing here too.
     

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  15. ikemcfadden macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Okay. I see the mp3 output settings; those are good. And you say you've already tweaked the recording resolution down to 16-bit?

    If so, then it sounds like you are doing pretty much all that can be done in that environment.

    Other minor things to check would be to make sure you aren't running a ton of effects on on the vocals...I would recommend just use something like a little compression, some EQ, and maybe the noise gate. Feel free to post a a screengrab of it, but with the EDIT tab for the track on the far-right open (as opposed to the BROWSE tab that is currently open, and I can look at it to double check.

    But at this point, I doubt that is the problem. I think you're just simply running up against the limits of an older-MacBook that is trying to run the most-recent version of GarageBand.

    I've got a MacBook Pro that is half the age of yours, and is fitted out with 8G of RAM, and a high-capacity audio/video bus...and I *still* notice a significant degradation in the performance of GarageBand '11, as compared with the prior version. So, it doesn't surprise me that it runs even worse on an older Macbook.

    At this point, I would recommend removing your current version of GarageBand '11, and reinstall a version of the program that is closer to what was available at the time your MacBook was new.

    It will perform much better with your computer's specs. (I assume you do not have the original OSX install DVD that came with the MacBook? Correct me if I'm wrong...you said it was no longer on the computer, but if you have the install DVD, it will be on there.)

    You can do this either by:

    A) Going to Amazon.com and buying an older copy for circa $25-35, or
    B) Downloading a BitTorrent version of the same thing.

    ...and then installing the older version over the '11 version. Probably either iLife 09, or iLife06 would be fine.

    But to answer your question, for what you are doing, yeah, I think Garageband is probably one of the best programs out there, in terms of quality and ease-of-use. You're just unfortunately running a version of it that is too new for your current MacBook to handle efficiently.

    There are other alternatives, but they usually require you to be quite a bit more audio-tech-oriented to use them, and I can't imagine it would be worth your while to deal with one of those other programs, given the fairly limited technical nature of what your final product is.

    If you need further suggestions on A or B, let me know...
     
  16. SandboxGeneral thread starter Moderator

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    #16
    Yep.

    See attachment. I don't think I'm using a bunch of effects. Mostly default settings.

    I think that is probably the culprit here. The audio board or even the system bus is probably the bottleneck here. Don't get me wrong though, this older MBP performs quite well. It's very fast and stable, not still not as good as the newer ones of course.

    I do have the original discs. I just meant by the original iLife being gone is that it's not installed and I have kept up with all the OS releases as well as iLife. Plus I changed HDD's and added the maximum amount of RAM this MBP can accept.

    Thanks for the help and advice, but I will stick with GB '11 as this particular error happens only once in a great while so far and with some of the other suggestions like starting a new project every time, I think that will help curb it.
     

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