AP Tech Blog

Working with music editor for Rock Of Ages, Tron: Legacy

Written by Jason Atkinson

Today I worked with Sally Boldt, music editor on films such as Rock of Ages, Tron: Legacy, Hairspary, and countless others. Sally recently migrated to Pro Tools 10HD and a few weeks later she started experiencing a few issues.

The first issue we tackled was the dreaded DAE -9073:

"DAE can't get audio from the drive(s) fast enough. Your drive may be too slow or fragmented or a firewire drive could be having trouble due to the extra firewire bandwidth or CPU load. (-9073)."

In Sally's case, it was a bug known to Avid, which they'll probably take care of in a future release. Sally had the hardware buffer set to 1024, which can cause that error. The resolve for now is to avoid using a hardware buffer of 1024. We set the buffer to 512 and the issue was resolved.

On to the next issue. When editing music for film, scrubbing is a very useful function. Over the past few weeks, scrubbing in Pro Tools had become sluggish, jittery, and somewhat unusable. After trying all the standard Pro Tools fixes, we had to dig a bit deeper. After consulting with Avid support, we discovered that Pro Tools 10.2 had some major changes that also made it more resource hungry than previous versions. We were able to mitigate that and make scrubbing more usable again for Sally.

A few things that helped remedy the situation are as follows:

- Doubled the RAM to 12GB. This allowed us to increase the Disk Cache in Pro Tools 10, which allows more of the session to be cached in RAM. We were able to run the disk cache up to 4 to 5GB.

- Start running sessions from an internal SATA drive. There was a noticeable difference between scrubbing a session on a SATA versus a Firewire drive.

Between those two remedies, the scrubbing responsiveness improved enough to be useful again for Sally. We'll see if this is something that Avid addresses in the future.