Forums > MaxMSP

optimizing Max/MSP-based recording on OS X

June 24, 2007 | 6:15 pm

Hello,

I am working on a new track (piano & live electronics) that will be recorded "live" (actually, "in realtime") to six tracks using something similar to [sfrecord~ 6].

Is it useful to defragment the hard disk before ? I think it requires a defragmenting utility …

Also, the computer is a laptop so the hard drive is 4700 rpm. Some people advised me to use a Firewire external hard drive (7200 rpm) ; considering that the Firewire bus transmits about 400 Mbits / sec, is it really a serious choice ?

PS. Viruses: there are a few viruses that can attack OS X. On Windows and Linux I use AVG free, but there is no OS X version. A question to Mac users: is it useful to install an antivirus software on OS X ? Which one ?


June 24, 2007 | 6:31 pm

On 24 Jun 2007, at 19:15, julienbreval wrote:

> Also, the computer is a laptop so the hard drive is 4700 rpm. Some
> people advised me to use a Firewire external hard drive (7200
> rpm) ; considering that the Firewire bus transmits about 400
> Mbits / sec, is it really a serious choice ?

It’s not the Firewire bandwidth that’s the issue, it’s the access
time of the disk. To be honest, I wouldn’t expect any problems with
modern laptop disks for that number of tracks (although you’ve not
said what bit depth or sampling rate you’re going to use), and I
would only worry about fragmentation if the disk were getting full.

– N.

Nick Rothwell / Cassiel.com Limited
http://www.cassiel.com
http://www.myspace.com/cassieldotcom
http://www.loadbang.net


June 24, 2007 | 7:19 pm

well, 16 bit / 44100 Hz most probably


June 24, 2007 | 8:58 pm


June 24, 2007 | 9:40 pm


June 25, 2007 | 2:46 pm

>
>
>Also, the computer is a laptop so the hard drive is 4700 rpm.

at some point i had problem recording (in msp)an 8 track file of one
hour. As I remember there is a limit as to the size of the recorded
file. I don’t know if this is still aproblem, but 2 years ago
recording 8x1hour with one sfrecord~ did not work

best

kasper

Kasper T. Toeplitz
noise, composition, bass, computer

http://www.sleazeArt.com

http://www.myspace.com/sleazeart


June 25, 2007 | 3:43 pm


June 25, 2007 | 8:42 pm

Quote: Kasper T Toeplitz wrote on Mon, 25 June 2007 16:46
—————————————————-
> at some point i had problem recording (in msp)an 8 track file of one
> hour. As I remember there is a limit as to the size of the recorded
> file. I don’t know if this is still aproblem, but 2 years ago
> recording 8x1hour with one sfrecord~ did not work
—————————————————-
it’s ok since my track is 30 min long

anyway I will do a complete recording test (at home) before going to the "official" studio


June 25, 2007 | 8:45 pm

Quote: jeanfrancois.charles wrote on Mon, 25 June 2007 17:43
—————————————————-
> You won’t use the same computer for the live electronics and the recording,
> will you?
—————————————————-
of course I will ! (unless I find some problems with it while rehearsing) What is wrong with that ?


June 25, 2007 | 9:14 pm


June 25, 2007 | 9:48 pm

Quote: jeanfrancois.charles wrote on Mon, 25 June 2007 23:14
—————————————————-
> Well, in that case, check the CPU of your patch without recording and with.
> Maybe also using a sfplay~ and your 6-channel sfrecord~ would be bad for
> playback and/or recording (if your patch uses sfplay~, you might consider
> relocating to [buffer~] and [groove~] or something like that).
>
> In any case, you will see that while testing.
> Open the "Activity Monitor" (in Applications/Utilities) while you do your
> testing, to see the "real" CPU usage, as well as the disk usage.
—————————————————-
That’s more or less what I intended to do.
CPU itself shouldn’t be a problem, but indeed I use some sfplay~ functions that could be replaced by a buffer~/groove~ combination (I will have to check the RAM though).


June 25, 2007 | 11:21 pm

Also, you might consider adjusting the disk buffer. My patches do a
fair amount of heavy disk-reading and writing at the same time using
sflist~ and a larger disk buffer and I haven’t had a problem. (and in
a patch that averages 50-60% and tops out at 80-85%) I will add the
caveat that most of the soundfiles that I play are relatively short
(2-20 seconds).

Peter McCulloch

http://www.petermcculloch.com


June 25, 2007 | 11:34 pm

Don’t worry about viruses – if you’re concerned, you can download ClamX AV*,
a free, open source anti-virus app that’s pretty good… at detecting
Windows-based viruses! I’d download it, NOT install it, and should you hear
about a new OS X virus in the wild (btw, there’s none that I know of), then
install it. I’m a sysadmin who did install it on the Macs I look after over
a year ago, as there was news of a OS X virus in the wild… which never
amounted to anything, really (and I’m currently NOT using ClamX AV. For
now…)
*Most machines were able to run it with no CPU issues, but some of the
dual-core G5 workstations saw serious CPU spikes from the app, FYI

Regarding defragging, I bought iDefrag, used it to defrag both of my Macs
and… it didn’t make any difference, performance-wise (except that I
couldn’t use either computer for hours while they were being defragged!)

Your experience may be different, but I think you can save your cash and NOT
buy AV and defragging apps

On 6/26/07, julienbreval wrote:
>
>
> Quote: jeanfrancois.charles wrote on Mon, 25 June 2007 23:14
> —————————————————-
> > Well, in that case, check the CPU of your patch without recording and
> with.
> > Maybe also using a sfplay~ and your 6-channel sfrecord~ would be bad for
> > playback and/or recording (if your patch uses sfplay~, you might
> consider
> > relocating to [buffer~] and [groove~] or something like that).
> >
> > In any case, you will see that while testing.
> > Open the "Activity Monitor" (in Applications/Utilities) while you do
> your
> > testing, to see the "real" CPU usage, as well as the disk usage.
> —————————————————-
> That’s more or less what I intended to do.
> CPU itself shouldn’t be a problem, but indeed I use some sfplay~ functions
> that could be replaced by a buffer~/groove~ combination (I will have to
> check the RAM though).
>
>


arliss renwick
http://www.myspace.com/radiopellucid
http://www.flickr.com/photos/east_asia_photo_gallery/

http://picasaweb.google.com/maxmsp/KoreaKoreaKoReverendAlGreen


June 26, 2007 | 8:17 am

Quote: peter.mcculloch@gmail.com wrote on Tue, 26 June 2007 01:21
—————————————————-
> Also, you might consider adjusting the disk buffer. My patches do a
> fair amount of heavy disk-reading and writing at the same time using
> sflist~ and a larger disk buffer and I haven’t had a problem. (and in
> a patch that averages 50-60% and tops out at 80-85%) I will add the
> caveat that most of the soundfiles that I play are relatively short
> (2-20 seconds).
>
> Peter McCulloch
>
> http://www.petermcculloch.com
>
>
—————————————————-

That’s a good idea. The problem is that I use sfplay~ for playing a few raw "long" files only (about 20 files). Besides this, lots of "short" files are played by a buffer~/groove~ polyphonic sampler that also adds some treatments (mostly filters and amplitude envelopes).
After reflecting about this yesterday, for the studio version I may record without the long samples and add them later inside Digital Performer.


June 26, 2007 | 8:20 am

Quote: Arliss Renwick wrote on Tue, 26 June 2007 01:34
—————————————————-
> Don’t worry about viruses – if you’re concerned, you can download ClamX AV*,
> a free, open source anti-virus app that’s pretty good… at detecting
> Windows-based viruses! I’d download it, NOT install it, and should you hear
> about a new OS X virus in the wild (btw, there’s none that I know of), then
> install it. I’m a sysadmin who did install it on the Macs I look after over
> a year ago, as there was news of a OS X virus in the wild… which never
> amounted to anything, really (and I’m currently NOT using ClamX AV. For
> now…)
> *Most machines were able to run it with no CPU issues, but some of the
> dual-core G5 workstations saw serious CPU spikes from the app, FYI
>
> Regarding defragging, I bought iDefrag, used it to defrag both of my Macs
> and… it didn’t make any difference, performance-wise (except that I
> couldn’t use either computer for hours while they were being defragged!)
>
> Your experience may be different, but I think you can save your cash and NOT
> buy AV and defragging apps
—————————————————-

Thanks for this information Arliss. I never experienced fragmentation problems on this (new) machine but the hard drive has still lots of free space.


June 26, 2007 | 1:06 pm


June 26, 2007 | 1:06 pm

Kasper T Toeplitz schrieb:
> at some point i had problem recording (in msp)an 8 track file of one
> hour. As I remember there is a limit as to the size of the recorded
> file. I don’t know if this is still aproblem, but 2 years ago recording
> 8x1hour with one sfrecord~ did not work

Yeah, a 2 GB file size limit. If you record 8 tracks into a single file,
this is reached roughly at about 50 minutes (16-bit/44.1 kHz)…

I believe HFS+ was introduced to circumvent this and other limitations,
but programs might still inherit this behaviour….

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com


June 26, 2007 | 2:13 pm

> Yeah, a 2 GB file size limit. If you record 8 tracks into a single
> file, this is reached roughly at about 50 minutes (16-bit/44.1 kHz)…
>

If you run into this, you can always break up your files into multiple
sfrecord~ objects. You can use click~ like the clapper that they use
to synchronize film. (meaning, send a one-sample impulse to all the
tracks at once after you start recording. Once you get it into Logic,
DP, Protools, Cubase, etc., it’s just a matter of matching up the
sample in the different tracks.

Peter McCulloch


June 26, 2007 | 2:22 pm

>>Yeah, a 2 GB file size limit. If you record 8 tracks into a single
>>file, this is reached roughly at about 50 minutes (16-bit/44.1
>>kHz)…
>>
>
>If you run into this, you can always break up your files into
>multiple sfrecord~ objects. You can use click~ like the clapper
>that they use to synchronize film. (meaning, send a one-sample
>impulse to all the tracks at once after you start recording. Once
>you get it into Logic, DP, Protools, Cubase, etc., it’s just a
>matter of matching up the sample in the different tracks.

yeah, sure

but when i was recording this piece (live) i didn’t knew about it
(the inability of msp to record past this limit)

anyhow, i guess that’s what all the protools, DP, etc etc are made for….

best

kasper

Kasper T. Toeplitz
noise, composition, bass, computer

http://www.sleazeArt.com

http://www.myspace.com/sleazeart


June 26, 2007 | 6:50 pm

On 26 Jun 2007, at 14:06, Stefan Tiedje wrote:

> As far as I know, in the beginning of this year, there arrived the
> very first! and only! virus on the Mac.

Not true. I was removing viruses from Mac Plusses and SE’s nearly 20
years ago. (WDEF anyone?)

– N.

Nick Rothwell / Cassiel.com Limited
http://www.cassiel.com
http://www.myspace.com/cassieldotcom
http://www.loadbang.net


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