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How to Use Activity Monitor?

Macintosh software/hardware discussion and troubleshooting

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How to Use Activity Monitor?

Postby pacificm » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:18 pm

I'm using Digital Performer 9 (DP) with lots of Virtual Instruments (VIs). I prefer not to freeze or bounce if possible. I started to run into crashes when I loaded too many VIs in a project. I recently started using Vienna Ensemble Pro (VEP) to help spread out the VIs to different computers. That has definitely helped. However, that still leaves unanswered the question of how much can one safely load onto any one computer - whether it be with DP and/or a VEP server? People have referred me to the Mac Activity Monitor (AM). But it has never been clear to me exactly how to use it. I've never been able locate online guidelines on how to use the AM especially when using VIs.

What readings are critical to monitor? Is % CPU the critical reading? If so, what readings from the monitor are within normal ranges or out of normal ranges for using DP or VEP to avoid crashes? For example, the % CPU readings can vary a lot within a brief sequence depending on the VIs being used. At times, on my Master/DP machine with a VEP server running, DP and VEP can jump up to about 50.0 each at the same time. Is that too high? Please advise what I should do help maximize the use of my computers using this or other monitors.

Thanks!
Computers:

1) iMac Quad Core (Late 2015, 4GHz Intel Core i7) OS X 10.11.5, 32 GB RAM, MOTU UltraLite Mk3
2) iMac Quad Core (Mid 2011, 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7) OS X 10.11.5, 16 GB RAM

Software: DP 9.02, FCPX, VSL Chamber Strings, Vienna Suite, Ensemble Pro 5, MIR Pro | Ivory | Stylus RMX, Trillian, Omnisphere 2 | Ethno, Electric Keys | Samplemodeling Trumpet, Flutes & Saxes | EZ Drummer 2 | Fxpansion BFD3 | East West Quantum Leap Symphony Orchestra

http://www.pacficmm.com
pacificm
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: South Salish Sea Area, WA
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: How to Use Activity Monitor?

Postby Michael Canavan » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:59 pm

Hey, Activity Monitor covers RAM, CPU and Disk usage. For me the most useful information comes from disk usage, but if you're running a lot of sampler instruments then RAM will come into play.

CPU is default set up to measure each core as 100% Since you have four core machines readings of 300% could be common. That would be a good indicator of a possible issue as I don't know a DAW that can push to exactly say 398% on your setup without serious issues. I would say that the one trade off with our modern multi core machines is that you don't get say 12Ghz from a 3Ghz four core machine, more like 10Ghz worth of possible juice.

RAM and disk activity in Activity Monitor are pretty self explanatory.
Mac Pro 12 core 3.33Ghz. 24G RAM, RME fireface 800, Remote SL, DP9, Live 9 Suite. Falcon, Diva, V-Colletion, NI Ultimate, Maschine, Spark, not enough time.
Michael Canavan
 
Posts: 1846
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:01 pm
Location: seattle
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: How to Use Activity Monitor?

Postby pacificm » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:51 am

Hello Seattle,

Your reply regarding 100% CPU per core was very helpful. I have never heard of that before. This definitely helps to plan best resource management.

Thanks from Olympia!
Computers:

1) iMac Quad Core (Late 2015, 4GHz Intel Core i7) OS X 10.11.5, 32 GB RAM, MOTU UltraLite Mk3
2) iMac Quad Core (Mid 2011, 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7) OS X 10.11.5, 16 GB RAM

Software: DP 9.02, FCPX, VSL Chamber Strings, Vienna Suite, Ensemble Pro 5, MIR Pro | Ivory | Stylus RMX, Trillian, Omnisphere 2 | Ethno, Electric Keys | Samplemodeling Trumpet, Flutes & Saxes | EZ Drummer 2 | Fxpansion BFD3 | East West Quantum Leap Symphony Orchestra

http://www.pacficmm.com
pacificm
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: South Salish Sea Area, WA
Primary DAW OS: MacOS


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