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Thread: audio track count - what do I need?

  1. #21
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    wow thanks jason for the orgy of information.

    1)I am dealing with a dealer who is not advanced on these issues as you guys. However slowly, particuarly as i hang around this forum, i am becoming more of an expert. which means among other things: they have no specific diagonistic tools for hard drive throughput measuring..

    Yes we are playing the 110 tracks inside logic 7.1.

    The dealer and I are unfortunately in different cities 6 hours apart so i am not sure of everything. But his report i am sure was using the Logic activity meters. As far as i know he does not have a way of measuring disk i/o, outside of loading tracks and seeing when the system is starting to hic-cup.

    2)you guys know so much: what is black magic decklink HD pro card....etc etc all this information, it makes my day job of mixing 400 musical parts seem easy.

    As far as i know there is nothing else on the PCI bus except the Tempo card....In another PCI slot i bought and they have installed the M-audio Revolution 5.1 PCI card for doing 5.1 monitoring.

    But the Tempo card and this card are on separate buses and should not be slowing each other down. Right? (remember i am not a hardware guy). the audio is coming out of the 8 hard drives....going straight into the tempo card and straight into the computer bus...right?

    3)Wow you actually read my bio. thank you for the compliments. However I am not "famous" in any way. I write contemporary classical music that pushes the emotional and intellectual envelopes in every way-which i am sure you gathered if you went on and read the reviews.(go to www.electrocd.com and select Paul Dolden . lots of reviews etc. ) However perhaps i gave the wrong signal when i said "I have money"...For a serious artist like this it means i can afford to buy a new system and i have money for the next few years without picking up another commission. Remember this is modern music no-one is paying big bucks for me to write avant garde music. the commissions come and go but none are the big bucks of a hollywood film composer.

    Bottom line: I have earmarked $15,000 Canadian on new gear. (exhange rate is about 20 percent)The $15,000 includes ....$2,500 for a new mic preamp (separate purchase later this summer),,,and $2,200 is for the new Apogee Rosetta 200....$2500 in software and sampling libraries,,,$500 to make my Les Paul into a midi controller....and therefore we have about $7500 to $8000 for computer , hard drives, including uping the Ram to 2,5 gig etc(other small details)..........sorry but when i said have money,,,i only meant i am not a starving artist right now...in my earl years I was very poor though so i know what it means to suffer for your art and all those other cliches...the type of stuff that is suppose to make your art authentic for my bourgoise patrons and audience of musical dillantes.......now $8000 what does that get me in pro tools? When you say they can do 400 tracks that is amazing but because i am curious what would it cost me for a ready to go 400 track pro tools system (just off the top of your head-i am just curious-i am not trying to be argumentative...i just see no other way than the way i am going.
    Last edited by TZ; 07-28-2006 at 03:20 AM.

  2. #22
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    Lightbulb

    Paul,

    I'll take a stab. XServe RAID (XRAID).

    Dual 2Gb Fibre Channel
    3U rack
    redundant hot swap power and cooling
    how swap drives
    512MB cache per RAID controller
    dual-independent hardware RAID
    supports nearly all RAID protocols
    - stripe, mirror, parity, distributed parity, stripe + mirror, etc.
    ie, all the data redundancy and protection you could ask for.
    Java remote setup management and monitoring
    redundant cache backup battery

    4 x 250GB
    2 controllers

    US$6,000

    can also be configured with 7 or 14 drives for $8.5K and $13K.
    ---------------

    PCI-X has better PCI separation and bandwith, the two 100 MHz PCI slots #2 and #3 share one bus, and the 133MHz #4 is separate, but the entire PCI bandwidth does have a limit. It seems unlimited compared to what we had before with G4s though

    there is a photo that really helps see/show what a G5 architecture looks like and how memory, cpu, FW, SATA, USB, PCI bus are wired together.

    G5 2.3 BTO with Fibre Channel adds $500 to the cost.
    www.store.apple.com - Xserve RAID and PowerMac G5:
    A Fibre Channel host bus adapter is a 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X add-in card required (also supports 33, 66, and 100MHz speeds) to connect Xserve RAID to your host server or computer.

    A Fibre Channel PCI-X card is required to connect Xserve RAID to Power Mac G5. This PCI-X Card option is a Dual Channel 2Gb Fibre Channel PCI-X Host Bus Adapter and ships with two 2.9-meter Copper Fibre Channel SFP to SFP (small form factor pluggable) interconnect cables. The cables are used to connect to the SFP port on Xserve RAID with SFP connectors. The Fibre Channel PCI-X card supports 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X as well as 33, 66, and 100MHz speeds.

    SFP connectors on the card allow use of copper or optical cabling and provide the capability of directly connecting to Xserve RAID or Fibre Channel switches over long distances up to 500m.

    The Apple Fibre Channel PCI-X card offers leading performance and compatibility with Mac OS X and Xserve RAID.

    The PCI-X Fibre Channel Card is qualified in both PCI and PCI-X based Power Mac G5 systesm. In PCI-based Power Mac G5 systems, the Fibre Channel Card will operate at 64-bit, 33MHz.

    NOTE:

    * Installation of Apple Fibre Channel PCI-X in Power Mac G5 reclassifies these systems as FCC Class A devices.
    * Optical connection requires SFP transceivers and optical cables.
    * Customers who select this option and intend to connect to Xserve RAID products with HSSDC2 connection must purchase a separate HSSDC2 to SFP cable kit (part number M9360G/A).
    So that helps give you some idea of what is involved. And let me say, that I love to learn more, we all do, and all of this is enlightening.

  3. #23
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    Paul,

    Your thruput is so bad that I'm wondering if your two PCI cards are on the same bus.

    Two cards:
    M-audio Revolution 5.1 PCI card
    Sonnet Tempo-X eSATA 8 (must be in one of the two 100MHz slots)

    The M-audio Revolution 5.1 PCI card looks like a 32-bit PCI card. If installed on the 100MHz bus, it would slow the Sonnet card down to very low thruput. It must be installed in the 133MHz bus slot, slot-4.

    If your G5 is like mine, the physical layout looks like this:
    slot-4 (133MHz)
    slot-3 (100MHz)
    slot-2 (100MHz)
    slot-1 video card (AGP slot)

    Looking at the rear of your G5, the 133MHz slot, slot-4, is at the top, furthest from the video card. This is where you should see the backplane of the Revolution card with all of its external ports. In slot-3 or slot-2 should be the Sonnet card backplane. and the lowest slot, slot-1, is your video card. k

  4. #24
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    Default Kaye hit the nail on the head...

    The Sonnet eSata "8" has to be in slots two or three (2 or 3), as it will not physically fit in slot "four" (4) due to the design of the G5. Therefore, it is being slowed down to 33MHz to be compatible with the 5.1 card.

    You either need to pull the 5.1 card, or move it to slot 4 (kinda backwards thinking, as most of us want slot 4 for the highest bandwidth).

    Your other option is buying a Sonnet e4+4 card (like mine) or a Firmtek 4 channel card for Slot # 4.

    Lots of options open, just what you have configured is kinda 'broken'.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  5. #25
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    Default How can I get tons of tracks with LogicPro 7.1?

    I am that guy trying to achieve an awesomely high track count for Paul. Here's the story so far:

    G4/Dual/2.3GHz, 2.5GB RAM, OSX 10.41 (and now 10.42, with no improvement)
    Logic Pro 7.1
    MacGurus 8-Bay SATA box with 8 x Western Digital 160GB 7200RPM SATA drives hooked up to a Sonnet Tempo eSATA8 PCI card.

    It's true that the card can't easily fit in Slot4 (the 133MHz slot) but it actually can be done with a minor bit of nudging. But this gives absolutely no change in the track count. The middle slot of the G5 is always empty, so the other PCI card (M-Audio Revolution 5.1) was never on the same bus as the eSATA card, since slot 4 is on one bus and slots 2/3 are on their own bus together.

    I get 55 stereo tracks @96KHz/24bits before Logic gives a "Disk Too Slow or Core Audio Overload" message. That's a 32MB/sec data stream. The DSP meter in Logic doesn't move at all (since I don't have any plugins whatsoever), but the Disk meter is maxed right out. This suggests it's the "Disk Too Slow" thing and not the "Core Audio Overload" thing.

    I realize that the most taxing thing likely is the access time of the disk heads since we're trying to do lots of simultaneous files that are relatively small where each file doesn't need to stream very quickly, as opposed to what video people want: a few humongous files that need to stream very quickly.

    I'm not sure if Apple's Disk Utility provides options for RAID formatting which accounts for what the user is going to be likely doing. My guess is that a strategy which puts whole files on invididual hard drives, and that simply round-robins all file writing (ie... 1st file on HD1, 2nd file on HD2...., 8th file on HD8, 9th file on HD1 etc..) would be best. If this isn't possible, then I'm guessing that the manual version of this (making the user record to the 8 hard drives in a sequential round-robin way) would achieve the same result (although be a pain in the goolah).

    By the way, I get more than double the track count using a RAM-Disk, so the bottleneck doesn't seem to be Logic itself... unless there's something else going on that I'm not aware of.


    Ferenc Szabo

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnwolf
    The Sonnet Tempo-X eSATA 8 card can achieve 150MB/s per port and also uses Bus Mastering (PCI bus locking) which creates PCI traffic right away on the bus. Any audio program is going to be constantly monitoring the PCI bus, and so Bus Mastering will definatly affect bandwidth.

    The benchmarks Sonnet has on their site (BlackMagic Disk Speed Test) was "obtained using Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0 GHz running Mac OS X Version 10.3.6, BlackMagic DeckLink HD Pro card in slot 2, Tempo-X SATA 4+4 card in slot 4 with Maxtor MaXLine III 300 GB Serial ATA disk drives formatted in RAID 0 arrays using SoftRAID 3.1".
    That's the key - you cannot compare the the Tempo-X eSATA with Tempo 4+4. One will fit in the slot 4 (4+4), the othr not. The slot 4 is independent, so it won't take much bandwith from the rest (= Black Magic) which is in the "shared" slot 3. Now if you have Tempo X eSATA, the only slot (in that case) it can fit is the slot 2. You can't put the Black Magic in the slot 4 (otherwise you will fry your machine - you have to remove the fan's connector). Therefore you land up using the shared slot pair (2+3) for both Tempo and BlackMagic and I am sure, the benchmark won't be that glorious, but perhaps still OK.

    In our case if the Audio Revolution card cannot be fit in the slot-4 (which is possible - please verify!) due fan connector, you simply cannot use the Sonnet 8-channel eSATA card in that machine for what you need. You can use their (Sonnet) 4+4 or my 4-port card tough.

  7. #27
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    Every MediaVault 320 is fully tested and burned in during 20 hours of continuous testing before shipping. Full sector scanning is repeated multiple times to be certain of drive quality.

    Utilizing 5 or 10 ATA drives from 600GB to 1.25TB depending on the model
    Removable drives
    Single unit supports 10 bit HD Video
    Switchable from RAID0 to RAID3
    Built in diagnostics

    Chain up to 4 Media Vaults per SCSI Channel
    Manual pdf
    http://www.hugesystems.com/

    MacGurus recomends that you connect your MediaVault 320-R via either an ATTO UL4S Single Channel Ultra320 host card or the UL4D Dual Channel Ultra320 host card.
    MacGurus MediaVault320R

  8. #28
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    Tongue

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferenc Szabo
    I am that guy trying to achieve an awesomely high track count for Paul. Here's the story so far:
    Ferenc Szabo
    Szia Feri

  9. #29
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    Talking

    Every TurboMax/33, UltraTek/66, Tempo/100/133, SeriTek/1S2/1SE2/1VE4/1V4/1VE2+2 has a small "easter egg":

    If you are playing with IORegistry Explorer or anything what looks up the "bowels" of the Mac, you will get som text in Hungarian which will tell you, who wrote the thing.

  10. #30
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    There should be actually a bit more capability in the controller, than that. I have a theory, but let's see how is going. I can provide Feri a 4-channel card (made by me) for testing, but please either return (I don't have many "personal" cards any more and I need them) or buy it later. You might be surprised, we never know.

  11. #31
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    Arrow Seek Performance is the Problem?

    Just a quick intro, since it's my first post here: I've been a BSD user for a couple of decades, and a NetBSD developer since '96; some of my code is in MacOS X. I know FFS pretty darn well, and I've got a reasonable amount of experience building and performance-testing disk and RAID systems for database applications.

    Now looking back through this thread, I see a couple of things that really have the alarm bells ringing. Paul said
    Most of my files are about 65 MB (2'00 of 24 bit 96 khz)..they are each recorded one at a time but then i want to play several hundred of them at once.
    And then Ferenc said
    I realize that the most taxing thing likely is the access time of the disk heads since we're trying to do lots of simultaneous files that are relatively small where each file doesn't need to stream very quickly, as opposed to what video people want: a few humongous files that need to stream very quickly.
    So, if I'm not out to lunch here, what we have is an FFS (Unix) or similar filesystem from which you want to do steady reads of smallish chunks of more than a hundred different files, right?

    Well, no wonder you're having problems. If this is really the case, the first thing you want to do is get rid of all of that striping and unlink the disks, going for JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks), giving you essentially eight separate disks. Put a separate filesystem on each one, and mount them all separately, and spread your files evenly across all eight filesystems.

    Here's my guess at what might be going on here. I don't have enough information to know that I'm not completely out to lunch here, but if my assumptions are correct, my conclusions probably are.

    You have 200 files, each containing a stereo pair recorded at 24 bit 96 KHz, or 576000 samples per second. I bet they're stored aligned in memory, giving memory consumption a bit over the disk bandwidth needed, but let's for simplicity set them the same and say you need 750 K of memory and bandwith per second per track, for a total of something close to 150 MB/sec.

    Well, for eight disks, pulling 150 MB/sec off them, reading sequentially, is no problem. Heck four standard desktop drives (reading 40 MB/sec) on no special controllers should give you that. But let's look at what we have to read here:

    How much data are we going to buffer here?

    Let's say I'm fairly conservative and, even with all that RAM, I don't count on being able to buffer more than a second of audio per track. (That alone is keeping 200 seconds, or over 3 minutes, of stereo audio in memory--not an insignifcant amount.)

    That means that every second I have to read 600 KB of data from each of 200 different files, and probably write out another 600 KB to my output file. Likely you're going to have to seek for every file read, so that's 200 seeks per second. But it could be even much worse; a Unix inode has a "last read time" that's updated every time you read a file; these may all be updated on a regular basis, too, adding up to another 200 seeks per second for those writes.

    Well, a standard desktop drive these days, last I checked, was good for perhaps 130 transactions per second if there's a fair amount of seeking involved: i.e., it's not something close to a pure sequential read.

    Now, if you're reading from a striped array, each file, especially if you're reading in 600 KB chunks, is going to end up striped across all eight disks. Which means that for each 600 KB read, you're going to have to move all eight disk arms to the appropriate position, do you read, move all eight on to the next, and so on; you've essentially locked them all together. Sure, you'll read that 750 KB a lot faster than you would off one drive, but you need to be doing 200-400 seeks per second on each drive, more than the drive is probably capable of.

    If you instead put 25 files on each of the eight disks, and use them independently, you now have 25 600 KB reads per second from each disk, requiring the same bulk throughput per disk overall, but each disk now has to serve only 25-50 seeks per second, rather than 200-400.

    You're still asking for 200+ transactions per second from your controller, though; you'd better make sure that it can handle that. A lot of the cheaper ones can't.

    You might be better off splitting the load between two 4-disk controllers rather than one 8-disk controller, if that's a problem.

    If you are using FFS, and you mount it with the "noatime" option, you won't update the access times of files and save yourself a whole bunch of seeks and tiny writes right there.

    I don't know if MacOS X has this, but if it does, run "systat vmstat" and it will print out, among other things, a list of the disks in the system and the number of KB transferered and number of transactions per second on each. If, as you crank up the number of tracks, you see this figure go up correspondingly, and it maxes out when you can't add any more tracks, that could be an indication that transaction and seek throughput, rather than raw data throughput, is your problem.

    Just a theory, but worth trying.
    Last edited by TZ; 07-28-2006 at 03:35 AM.

  12. #32
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    Sonnet's solution to fit eight connectors on the back of a single PCI bracket and squeeze eight shielded cable connectors to such a tight place is a challenge for the user.
    Read: 411 MB/Sec, Write 421 MB/Sec (Raptor, 90% full)
    Read: 311 MB/Sec, Write 299 MB/Sec (Seagate, 90% full)

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by lerner View Post
    Sonnet's solution to fit eight connectors on the back of a single PCI bracket and squeeze eight shielded cable connectors to such a tight place is a challenge for the user.
    Read: 411 MB/Sec, Write 421 MB/Sec (Raptor, 90% full)
    Read: 311 MB/Sec, Write 299 MB/Sec (Seagate, 90% full)

    Why are you posting on an 11 year old thread?
    molṑn labe'
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