Pro Tools DAE errors 9128 and 6101

Posted by admin on Feb 17, 2011 in Uncategorized |

I gotta say that this is why Pro Tools is the industry standard and why their customer support is world class. Please remember that I have no formal relationship with Pro Tools and I am writing this post SOLELY as a happy customer.

I was experiencing these awful clicks and pops during both playback and recording. The clicks and pops were so bad that my sound recording was basically useless. After reading some posts online, I went to the “Setup” menu and selected “Playback Engine.” For some reason, I had checked the box next to “Host Engine.” After unchecking the box, the screen looked like this:

The clicks and pops went away, but I encountered a 9128 error which had to do with CPU issues. I know this had to do with having multiple apps open, but I wanted to stress the system. Since I often do live streaming of bands, I also need to be able to keep a browser open so I can make sure that the stream is being picked up by the web. I also need to have my email easily accessible if the band’s management or label needs to contact me (I have a NO CELL PHONE rule when I record as it gets picked up my my mics). As such, I wanted to see how many apps I could keep open before I got the error message. In total, (you can see this in the app dock below) I had Mail, Chrome browser, Preview, iMovie, Skype, and of course Pro Tools 9 running at the same time. Obviously, this is excessive (particularly Skype), but it was a good test. The error message looked like this:

I also ran into several 6101 errors as well which was an indication that Pro Tools is having difficulty reading from the hard drive fast enough. I momentarily solved this problem by setting the DAE Playback Buffer to Level 4. The latency would cause such a delay that a live band would not be able to record and monitor their playing – obviously, this was not a long-term solution. Every time I set the buffer back to the Level 2 default, the 6101 error would pop up.

I then threw up my hands, cried “Uncle,” and emailed support at Pro Tools. They were responsive and gave me the impression that they cared about my issues. Cameron, the support guru, diagnosed that it was likely a hardware setup issue. I use a ProFire 2626 as the IO device and an older MacBook Pro with 6GB of RAM. I’m using a GT050Q Glyph external hard drive. We tried various configurations:

1) Profire 2626 via FireWire400 ExpressCard, external drive via FW800 port on the right side of the laptop… RESULT: NO DICE
2) External drive via FW800 port on the right side of the laptop and daisy chain to FW400 port of Profire 2626… RESULT: NO DICE

We then tried:

Profire 2626 via FireWire400 port on the right side of the laptop and daisy chained external drive via the FW400 port at the back of the 2626… RESULT: YES YES YES!

It’s really weird, but sometimes these configurations make a huge difference. Interestingly, I also kept ALL of the applications open that I had previously mentioned. I was able to run an hour long recording session. I also did several mixdowns with about 11 tracks. No problems and everything ran smoothly. Hopefully, this will be useful to someone out there on the planet… or at least the one person who reads this blog (hey mom… oh yeah, but you have no idea what Pro Tools is…).

Oh, here’s the report that I got from AVID – good work guys and thanks for saving my ass! BTW – if Avid has a problem with me posting their email, I’ll gladly pull it down, but they really did a good job for me… thanks Cameron!

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