Ardour freezing now

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steveo157
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Need some help, we were using Ardour on one Mac and have changed locations and the machine that we are now using is older. After about 15-20 minutes of recording 3 separate microphones at one time the system suddenly freezes. What are the minimum system requirements for Ardour? I think that might be the problem and the system simply can't keep up.

Would it be possible to track down an older version of Ardour that wouldn't be so hard on the system we are using now?

Any help would be appreciated.

seablade
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Unless you have a machine that is older than about a 1GHz G4, then something else is going on with that machine. In actuality Ardour will probably run those recording requirements fine even on an older machine, it is very light on resources typically.

Seablade

steveo157
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Thanks, that's good to know. Any ideas as to what could be causing it? I haven't changed any of the settings on it from the defaults which is what we did before.

We have started using a set of Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser Microphones, I know that they are pushing in stereo content instead of the mono tracks we used to use. I had set them up to record in mono only since it seemed like it would be pushing less info into the system. Could that be part of the problem?

steveo157
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Ok so I think I might have identified what is going on. We are recording on 3 separate mics for anywhere from 20-40 minutes straight for a show we run and using the internet at the same time. When I pulled up the activity monitor I saw spikes happening when Ardour was saving the file as it ran and then start to lag as heavy things loaded on the internet (YouTube for example).

So if I am guessing correctly the system is devoting memory to load the new content from the net and Ardour is falling behind and doesn't seem to be able to keep up. Does that sound plausible?

seablade
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It is possible two different things are happening yes then.

One is if you are recording to your internal system HD, it is very possible that may not be able to keep up, particularly if that HD is old and on a system without much memory. Performance degrades significantly in such a situation because the heads have to jump back and forth to load things from swap or software from disk to memory, and write your audio to disk.

The second problem is that yes, if you are taking up your entire CPU with the internet, then it is conceivable that it could cause Ardour to fall behind as well. Most people do not do professional audio tasks like recording or mixing while anything else is going on to be safe. Typically OS X is pretty good to a fairly decent point to allow audio not to drop out, but if you overtax the system something is going to die.

Seablade

anahata
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We have started using a set of Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser Microphones, I know that they are pushing in stereo content instead of the mono tracks we used to use. I had set them up to record in mono only since it seemed like it would be pushing less info into the system. Could that be part of the problem?

Whether you call it two mono or one stereo channel, two mics recording to two tracks is almost the same thing in terms of system loading.

As for internet use... Though I also use my studio system for the internet, YouTube etc. I've never do that at the same time as I was recording - I'd consider that was asking for trouble, for the reasons Seablade has described.

steveo157
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Well that would explain it then. Thanks everyone for your input and help.