When working on a Logic Pro project with a lot of audio tracks, software instruments, or plug-ins, a system overload alert might appear that interrupts playback or recording. System overloads can occur when your Mac doesn't have enough processing power to play back or record audio. Use the techniques in this article to avoid system overloads.

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  • The Playback Pro system offers superior flexibility in both studio and field applications, and gives complete controls over the levels, size, and aspect ratio of output video, including the ability to reference the same file numerous times with different in and out points while rendering effects.
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Configure your system

Follow these guidelines when configuring your system for use with Logic Pro:

  • Quit other apps when using Logic Pro.
  • Make sure your Mac has the maximum amount of RAM, especially if your projects usually include many plug-ins or multiple instances of the EXS24 sampler.
  • Save projects with high track counts to a dedicated storage device such as an external USB-C hard drive or an external solid-state drive (SSD) instead of saving projects to the system drive of your Mac.
  • If your projects include multiple instances of the EXS24 sampler, use a dedicated hard drive to store EXS24 samples. Always use a dedicated drive if you use the Virtual Memory option with EXS24.
  • Format hard disks, flash drives, or other storage devices used with Logic Pro in the APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. Learn more about which file system is best for you.
Playback

Monitor system performance

Use the meters in the Logic Pro CPU/HD window to monitor system performance while working on a project. To view the CPU/HD window:

  1. Choose Logic Pro X > Preferences > Advanced Tools, then select Show Advanced Tools. Choose any other additional options to streamline your workflow.
  2. Choose View > Customize Control Bar and Display.
  3. Choose Custom from the pop-up menu in the LCD section.
  4. Select the Load Meters (CPU/HD) checkbox, then click OK.
  5. A CPU/HD meter appears on the right side of the LCD. Double-click the CPU meter to open it in a new, expanded window.

The CPU/HD window has two sets of meters:

Audio: Shows the amount of CPU and RAM processing power used by Logic Pro. Each CPU core in your Mac has its own meter. On Mac computers with processors that support Hyper-Threading, two meters are shown for each core.

Mac

Disk I/O: Shows the amount of disk bandwidth used by Logic Pro.

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Watch the meters as the project plays back, noting when the meters are full. When a meter is full, the CPU or the disk has reached the limit of its processing capability. System overload alerts can appear when any of these meters peak. You can use this information to make adjustments to your project or your system configuration.

Set audio device preferences

Choose Logic Pro X > Preferences > Audio, click Devices, then adjust the following preferences:

  • I/O Buffer Size: Increase the I/O buffer size, up to a maximum of 256 samples. The I/O buffers temporarily store audio data before sending it to other destinations on your Mac. Increasing the I/O buffer size reduces the load on the CPU of your Mac. However, larger I/O buffer sizes increase latency when recording.

To avoid latency and system overload alerts, decrease the I/O buffer size when recording, then increase it when mixing. If you're recording audio and not software instruments, you can monitor your audio directly from the source. Choose Logic Pro X > Preferences > Audio > General, and deselect Software Monitoring. You can then set the I/O buffer size to 256 samples and leave it there for both recording and mixing.

  • Process Buffer Range: Set this option to Large. As with the I/O buffers, higher settings increase latency.
  • ReWire Behavior: If you aren't using ReWire, then set this option to Off. If you are using ReWire, set this option to Playback Mode.
  • Multithreading: Multithreading affects how Logic distributes the DSP resources of your Mac. Learn more about setting the Multithreading preference to optimize performance.

Set automation preferences

If your project doesn't include automation, or the automation doesn't need to be sample accurate, you can reduce the CPU load by turning off Sample Accurate Automation.

  1. Choose Logic Pro X > Preferences > Audio, then click General.
  2. From the Sample Accurate Automation pop-up menu, choose Off.

If your project does include automation, choose the option that includes only the parameters you're automating.

Choose the best sample rate for your project

Projects with higher sample rates create larger audio files, which can increase the load on the CPU and disk. Plug-ins also require more CPU power to process audio files at higher sample rates. When choosing the sample rate for your project, balance the considerations of audio quality, the anticipated format of the final product, and the performance of your Mac. If disk activity is causing system overload alerts, try choosing lower sample rates for your projects.

Use send effects

When using CPU-intensive effect plug-ins such as reverbs and delays, you can reduce the load on the CPU by usingsend effects. Send effects let you use a single plug-in to process signals from multiple channels.

Avoid inserting effect plug-ins on individual tracks in a project. If you need to insert reverb plug-ins on individual tracks, try less CPU-intensive reverbs like the SilverVerb and PlatinumVerb.

Optimize software instruments

Use these guidelines when working with software instruments:

  • When mixing, make sure to select an Audio track or an External MIDI track, not a Software Instrument track. Select a Software Instrument track only when you're actively working on it. If your project includes Track Stacks, make sure no Software Instrument sub-tracks are selected.
  • Freeze tracks, especially tracks with a lot of plug-ins. However, if system overload alerts coincide with peaks in the Disk I/O meter, avoid freezing Software Instrument tracks. Freezing Software Instrument tracks can increase the load on the disk, increasing the likelihood of encountering a system overload alert.
  • Set the number of voices used in a software instrument to the lowest number required. For example, if you have a Sculpture track that plays only two simultaneous notes, you could set that instance of Sculpture to use two voices.

Optimize EXS24 Virtual Memory settings

You can adjust EXS24 Virtual Memory settings to optimize its performance. In the EXS24 Parameter window, click the Options button, then select Virtual Memory from the pop-up menu.

Adjust the following preferences:

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  • Active: If most of your system overload alerts coincide with peaks in the CPU/HD window Audio meter, select this option. If the alerts coincide with peaks in the Disk I/O meter, deselect it.
  • Disk Drive Speed: If you have a solid-state drive or a 7200-rpm or faster hard drive for your audio samples, choose Fast. If you are using a 5400-rpm drive for your audio samples, choose Medium.
  • Hard Disk Recording Activity: If your projects include very few audio tracks, select Less. If your projects include a lot of audio tracks, select Average or Extensive.

Settings in the EXS24 Virtual Memory window are global—they affect all instances of EXS24 in all projects.

Optimize Alchemy

You can also optimize Alchemy for improved performance.

New - 64bit PlaybackPro Plus X Public Beta for macOS Catalina now available

PlaybackPro Plus drives professional, high-definition, nonlinear media playback to the next level. Live event experts will benefit immediately from a mixer for crossfades and direct cuts between clips, support for still images and available remote control over Ethernet. Like PlaybackPro, it far surpasses the limitations of legacy technologies like DDRs, DVD players and video tape machines, streamlining digital workflows.

PlaybackPro Plus is the expansion of the core PlaybackPro feature set and includes a mixer for crossfades and direct cuts between clips, support for still images and remote control over ethernet. It makes professional media playback on a Mac quick and simple. Using the same high-end Apple media engine as PlaybackPro, PlaybackPro Plus has been optimized to play virtually any modern Mac file type. The familiar and intuitive interface allows the user to rapidly add media, organize and play clips, set transition times, apply custom settings and save runlists for instant recall, all without altering the original files. The expanded yet flexible show controls allow users to quickly gain confidence and proficiency with the nonlinear function of PlaybackPro Plus.

Remote control and multi-sync video rolls are possible with PlaybackPro Plus. Using TCP, UDP or SimpleSync protocol options, a remote system can send commands over an ethernet network to control many functions within PlaybackPro Plus. A complete list of commands is available in the PlaybackPro Plus user guide.

Like PlaybackPro, automatic output resolution and aspect ratio functions are built-in, with real-time manual adjustments available for sizing, stretching and cropping, as well as gain, saturation, gamma, black levels and volume.

Connecting a PlaybackPro Plus system is simple, too. By using modern Apple video adapters or third party converters, a Mac easily connects with high-resolution monitors, video walls, video projectors and professional switchers.

  • Nonlinear media playback
  • Play virtually any modern Mac file type
  • Clip ordering and playlisting, printable to paper and PDF
  • Resolution agnostic – SD, HD, 4K and beyond. Ideal for use in ultra-widescreen applications
  • Frame rate agnostic
  • Crossfade or cut between clips
  • Use still images
  • Remote control over ethernet
  • Automatic output resolution and aspect ratio settings
  • Infinite image adjustability through sizing, stretching and cropping
  • Complete adjustment controls for individual clip gain levels, black levels, saturation, gamma and volume
  • Looping for individual clips or entire playlist
  • In-point and out-point markers
  • Custom Fade In and Fade Out settings
  • Time-elapsed and Time-remaining counters
  • Selectable slate image for quick visual clip identification
  • Goto 10, Goto 20 and Goto 30 buttons for cue-to-cue rehearsals
  • Easy interfacing with high-resolution switchers via VGA, DVI, HDMI or SDI*

*HD-SDI connections require 3rd party converters like BlackMagic Design or AJA mini converters. Video output devices like UltraStudio or T-Tap products are not compatible with PlaybackPro or PlaybackPro Plus.

Recommendation for 1920 x 1080 resolution or lower.

Current Version:

  • PlaybackPro Plus 3.7.2

Hardware:

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  • CPU:
  • Quad core i5 or better
  • Graphics:
  • Dedicated (AMD or Nvidia) with at least 512 MB of video RAM or 2019 Intel UHD
  • System RAM:
  • 8+ GB
  • Storage (in order of preference):
  • Internal SSD
  • SSD external drive connected via Thunderbolt or USB3
  • NOTE: Apple Fusion drive is NOT recommended

Software:

  • OS:
  • macOS 10.10 – 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • Recommended Codecs:
  • ApplePro Res 422 (standard)
  • H.264 encoded with variable bit rate between 15-30 Mbps
  • Container:
  • .mov
  • QuickTime components:
  • 3rd party QuickTime components like Flip4Mac for .WMV encoded files may be added to a system to allow for expanded playback options however it is still advisable to stay with the recommended codecs

Recommendation for 4k UHD 3860 x 2160 resolution or lower.

Current Version:

  • PlaybackPro Plus 3.7.2

Hardware:

  • CPU:
  • Six core i7 or better
  • Graphics:
  • Dedicated (AMD or Nvidia) with at least 1GB of video RAM or 2019 Intel UHD
  • System RAM:
  • 8+ GB
  • Storage (in order of preference):
  • Internal SSD
  • SSD external drive connected via Thunderbolt 2+ or USB3+
  • NOTE: Apple Fusion drive is NOT recommended

Playback Pro For Mac Os

Software:

  • OS:
  • macOS 10.10 – 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • Recommended Codecs:
  • ApplePro Res 422 (standard)
  • H.264 encoded with variable bit rate between 30-40 Mbps
  • Container:
  • .mov
This tab is provided for existing customers. Click the appropriate link for the license type you own. To try a demonstration version of PlaybackPro Plus select the Try tab.
PlaybackProPlaybackPro Plus
Non Linear Playback
Play Most Modern Mac File Types
Clip Ordering
Create, Save and Print Playlist
Mixed Resolutions - SD, HD, 4K and beyond
Mixed Frame Rates
Automatic Output and Aspect Ratio Settings
Image Sizing, Stretching and Cropping
Clip Looping and Linking
In and Out Markers
Custom Fade In and Out Times
Countdown Timer
Slate Image
Custom Clip Attributes (Saturation, Gain etc.)
Crossfade or Cut Between Clips
Use Still Images
Remote Control Over Ethernet
Custom Gamma Settings
Freeze on Last Frame
Pro

The Demo download of PlaybackPro Plus is fully functional with the exception of a watermark on the full screen output. It is generally used for testing the application or for setting up a show offline.

For best results when testing:

  • If using a laptop, plug in an external monitor
  • A modern multi-core Intel-based Macintosh is recommended
  • If using a desktop system, use two monitors (one for the interface, one for the output). If a second output isn’t available, the Program section of PlaybackPro Plus shows what would be displayed on the output
  • Although PlaybackPro Plus scales to most modern hardware — the more disk bandwidth, processing power and graphics processing — the better
  • Running other applications simultaneously may cause the OS to use virtual memory and could potentially impact performance
  • PlaybackPro Plus uses the QuickTime Framework, and is therefore extensible by using third party QuickTime components (i.e. use Flip4Mac component for .WMV playback)
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DT Videolabs offers two license options, a USB Enabler key (dongle) license for the PlaybackPro Collection and Internet Activated (IA) serial code licenses for individual applications or the PlaybackPro Collection. All licenses are single seat but may be moved as needed. For more licensing information please visit our licensing page.

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