Old 04-07-2008, 07:15 AM   #1
adouglas
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Default Full system lock-up report

In another thread ("Realistic system requirements") I noted that I had a critical recording project to do this past weekend, and that I wanted very much to use Reaper because that's my long-term platform.

I set up everything and successfully made a short test recording using WAV, so I figured I was okay. I couldn't figure out how to get Reaper to recognize the control surface functionality of my Tascam FW-1082, but that was a mere annoyance. As an audio interface it worked just fine.

The project was to record eight audio tracks. That's it. Nothing fancy.

I set it up, did a test recording, verified that it was okay, and left the computer to do other things. The project was left open.

When I returned to the machine some time later, the system had crashed (not an application crash...full system lock-up). I had a doom-and-gloom dialog saying that I had to reboot the machine.

I don't recall if it said anything about the kernel, but it might have.

After rebooting I ran Reaper again and recorded. After a fairly short time of recording (maybe 15-20 minutes...didn't make a note of that) it locked up again. Completely unresponsive, no cursor movement, no response to clicks or keyboard. I didn't get the reboot dialog, but I suspect that's only because I didn't let it sit long enough for the dialog to appear. I rebooted a few minutes after it locked.

I did the rest of the recording session, successfully, in Cubase.

The obvious conclusion is that there is something fundamental going on with Reaper that is bringing the entire OS down after a certain period of time. Memory leak, perhaps? I am not qualified to speculate further.

Due to time and attention constraints I did not copy the bug reports that appeared after both reboots. I will attempt to replicate the failure and document it more fully as time permits. Stay tuned.

System details:

Powerbook G4, 1 GHz
2 meg RAM
60 gig drive, about 3 gig free before recording
Latest release of OS X 10.4
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:35 AM   #2
Jeronimo
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I see if I can make this happen with my Macbook with an Audiofire12....
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
mahasandi
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It may be the tascam. Or the driver the tascam is using.
USB and FireWire drivers for mac have had there share
of problems for audio.most companies use the apple driver.

I have never had a crash like this and have been using the
preview builds regularly for the last year.
but iam using a metric halo interface.
which has a custom written driver.

Luckily I hear BJ of Metric Halo is consulting
Apple on their driver and perhaps improving it.

Last edited by mahasandi; 04-07-2008 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
adouglas
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Well, I know it's not the interface itself because I recorded almost 8 GB of audio...almost two hours...flawlessly using Cubase LE on the same machine the same evening, using the same driver, with full control surface functionality.

So perhaps it's something about that driver interacting with Reaper.

But I'd expect an incompatible driver to simply be unresponsive, not be the root cause of a full-bore OS crash.

The only part of the laptop/recording hardware/os/system/driver/application setup that differed between the session that ended in system crashes and the session that ended in success was the application itself.

Therefore I conclude that it's more likely there's something going on with the application, not the hardware or the driver.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:20 AM   #5
mahasandi
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hmmm you have some good points.

I guess the main difference in our systems besides
any driver issues,(and I wouldn't know how or why a driver
crashes a system) is that you are on a 1 ghz g4,
I am on a mac pro.
Also the drive seems quite full, are you an internal or
an external drive?
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:07 PM   #6
adouglas
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I was using the internal drive.

Given that it locked the system with 3 gigabytes of disk space available (note that the system locked the first time after recording maybe 15 seconds of audio -- I stopped the recording and left the machine alone for some time, and when I came back it had crashed), I don't think that disk space was the problem.

I might suspect faulty RAM (I installed the machine's maximum just for this project), but again, everything except Reaper runs flawlessly.

I simply haven't had time to try to replicate the issue. Hopefully the text of the crash report (assuming I can get it to crash again) will prove useful to the team.

Speaking of external drives, it makes sense to go that route for the long term. For what I'm doing (8 track audio only, no MIDI), do I really need a costly audio-specific drive, or will any decent-quality drive do?

My machine has only one Firewire port, but the Tascam has two. I'm assuming that since it's a bus, I could plug a drive into the Tascam and it'd work.

I do have two USB 2.0 ports on the laptop in addition to the single FireWire. Is USB 2.0 too slow?

Thanks....

Last edited by adouglas; 04-08-2008 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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well keep us posted if it crashes again.

I had bad ram once. It totally sucked
it was a g4 gigabit and kept gettying the screen
of death...

You know ever since I got burned recording
7 simultaneous tracks with a drummer in a Montreal
rehearsal space , I only record to externals
on location. All the tracks were garbled and the
internal couldn't keep up!

Firewire is the way to go, USB is good for back-ups.
I got a seagate.
I think newegg has pretty good deals it shouldnt
be too expensive
I think western digitals are good these days.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:08 PM   #8
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I tracked 8 channels at 44.1/16 for hours, stoping at each 50/60 minutes with no problems using the internal HD on my macbook.
After this, I mix 24/30 tracks at 44.1/24 everyday with the internal HD.
A few weeks later, I started using my external USB2 160Gb HD as the main HD to mix sessions and didn't have any problems so far.
Again, using 24/30 tracks at 44.1/24 with tons of plugs.
With DigitalPerformer the CPU meter goes to 70% but the playback meter never goes over 20%.
The same with Logic 8.
So I would think the same with Reaper since we don't have meters yet...
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:32 AM   #9
mahasandi
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tracking 8 @ 16/44 will of course be a lighter
load.
I have tracked 16 tracks @24/44
with a FireWire external 7200rpm on a macpro.
And mixing no problem but that is more CPU
of course depends on how your using buffers etc.

I have found .72 quite stable so far.

I would love to put tiger on my g3 laptop
to track on location with reap. With a FireWire
drive I can track 6-8tracks @ 24/44, but
Again have not yet tried reaper

Buffers can be high for tracking before overdubs..
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:23 AM   #10
adouglas
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It's been a crazy week and I haven't had time to revisit this issue. But this morning I had a spare few minutes, so I launched Reaper and left it running on my laptop. When I get home, if it's locked up I should have diagnostic report to share.

If that happens, who should I email it to?
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:42 PM   #11
adouglas
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I came home from work early and checked my laptop, which had been running Reaper for about six hours.

It happened again...total system lock. I don't know how long it took to lock up.

Circumstances were that I had only Reaper running, and it was not recording.

I did not have a restart dialog this time, and it did not generate a bug report on restart.

If convenient, can someone try to duplicate this? Just launch Reaper and leave it running for a long time. See what happens.

Frankly I'd suspect my machine, but it's run flawlessly for five years until this happened.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:17 PM   #12
adouglas
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The latest version, 0.895, appears to have fixed whatever the lockup issue was. I've been running a continuous playback loop of an eight-audio-track project continuously for a couple of hours on my old machine...an Aluminum G4 Powerbook, 2 gig RAM, latest version of OS 10.4 with all updates.

In other words, the same machine that locked up consistently with older versions of Reaper.

It still can't handle playing the Brad Sucks demo, but it's been established to my satisfaction that this is because the demo project uses OGG files and the system overhead involved in decompressing those files while playing audio is beyond the capabilities of this machine.

I'm going to leave it running all night and see if it locks up. If not, it looks like I'll be able to use that old Powerbook as I wanted to...to record band practices and just leave the thing in situ instead of having to take my MBPro along with me to every session.

I know this is not of much concern to other users, since it appears that everyone is using more recent (i.e. Intel) hardware. But I appreciate that the application now appears to run on my five-year-old PowerPC laptop with only minor caveats.

Thanks, guys, and keep up the good work!
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:25 PM   #13
adouglas
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BZZZZTTTTT!!!

Nope. It still locks.

I just checked, and the machine is locked solid, just like before.

I don't know exactly how long it took to lock up, but the last post I made was put up after about an hour and a half of running the program. It locked sometime between then and this post.

Back to the drawing board.....

A suggestion: If it cannot be established beyond doubt that the program will run on a PowerPC-based Mac, then the system requirements should be changed to reflect the need for an Intel-based Mac.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:18 PM   #14
Per Lichtman
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I experienced a releated problem on a dual G5 2.5GHz. Here are my notes on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Lichtman View Post
While trying to put together an illustrated Reaper OS X installation manual for a friend of mine I ran into some issues. Most notably, I could not finish writing the manual because the system kept crashing.

Problem: The system frequently crashes in conjunction with Reaper. The crashes occur in two types.

Type 1: Reaper runs fine and closes properly. A short while later (usually less than 3-5 minutes) normal system operations (such as web browsing) cause the "gray restart screen" to appear.

Type 2: Running Reaper at the same time as other programs causes the "gray restart screen" to appear. This time the error happens while Reaper is still running. For instance, I have been unable to run "Grab" for very long while running Reaper and ditto for FireFox.

Note: The crashes only happen on boots where Reaper has been run. I've been spending the last couple hours testing reproducibility and have only been able to get crashes on boots where I run Reaper.

System: G5 Dual 2.5 GHz
OS: OS X 10.4.8 and 10.4.10 (different partitions)


Has anybody else encountered similar difficulties? Any idea what might be causing the problem?

I have already tried running Disk Warrior and Disk Utility; flushing the "Reaper" folder in "Applications"; hiding VSTs from Reaper; switching audio interfaces and running on the versions of OS X mentioned above.
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