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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Mini Unable To Record 8 Tracks Simultaneously

Mini Unable To Record 8 Tracks Simultaneously
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magneticpoet
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Oct 30, 2006, 01:17 PM
 
I was attempting to record 8 tracks simultaneously on my Mini with GarageBand 2. I got an error message that said something about the disk spinning to slowly and recording stopped. The next day, in a different environment, I was able to record 8-tracks simultaneously.

The two differences were:

The level and complexity of the sound sources were significantly lower when I was able to record.

There was limited electricity the day I had the problem because I was at a band's storage unit.

Anyone know which of these two things would have caused the problem? Any other ideas?

Thanks-
     
ibook_steve
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:44 PM
 
"Limited electricity?" What's that about?

In any case, of course if data is more complex, it will require more hard drive space that needs to be accessed at a faster rate. With a slower drive, probably 4200 rpm, the drive couldn't keep up with the complex sound data you were trying to record, so you got the error.

Steve
     
magneticpoet  (op)
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:53 PM
 
The limited electricity was due to being in a self-storage unit that was built to support a few light bulbs and not a computer, preamps, and guitar amps. There was definitely some fluctuation in the amount of electricity that was available for the computer. The lights dimmed at times and the PA volume fluctuated also.
     
harrisjamieh
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Oct 30, 2006, 05:13 PM
 
What Mini was it? a G4 or an Intel? If a G4, then it has a 4200 RPM disk (unless it was one of the few 'stealth upgrade' machines). If it was an Intel, then it has a 5400 RPM disk. I would be surprised if a 5400 disk would have a problem...
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magneticpoet  (op)
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Oct 30, 2006, 05:54 PM
 
It's the G4, 4200. You think that's the problem?
     
SSharon
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Oct 30, 2006, 07:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by magneticpoet View Post
It's the G4, 4200. You think that's the problem?
yes for sure.
but if you don't want to break it I would get a cheap UPS too.
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magneticpoet  (op)
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Oct 30, 2006, 07:48 PM
 
Pardon my ignorance, but what's a UPS?
     
SSharon
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:20 PM
 
Uninterruptible power supply - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A battery for backup. Most will also 'clean' the power and make sure your mini gets the power it should when it should.
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EFFENDI
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:22 PM
 
Additonal RAM would help as well.
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magneticpoet  (op)
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:29 PM
 
Cool-Thanks all for your assistance.
     
harrisjamieh
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Oct 31, 2006, 04:35 AM
 
If its the G4, then its less likely to be the hard drive and more likely the processor itself choking itself under the pressure of recording so much. The G4 minis are sloooow, and I doubt the chip would be able to process 8 tracks at once.
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xlmdxlmd
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:27 AM
 
What Mini was it?
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magneticpoet  (op)
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Oct 31, 2006, 03:23 PM
 
I think it's the first generation mini, 80 gig, 512 RAM, G4. I can record 8 tracks at a time at home but I haven't been able to test it out with live drums. I set up six mics and recorded acoustic guitar, along with two channels of drum machine and didn't have any problems. The levels on some of the mics weren't very loud, though, and they were basically all recording the same information/sound source.
     
Tuoder
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Oct 31, 2006, 04:02 PM
 
An external FW400 HDD MIGHT help. The old Minis have low-end laptop HDDs in them. The G4 doesn't help either, as mentioned before. Making sure there aren't alot of progs running would also help. As I remember there, there is an app that will allow you to shut down the finder, just to free up that much more resources.
     
magneticpoet  (op)
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Oct 31, 2006, 05:58 PM
 
A la Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson impression:

"I did not know that (you could shut down the finder)"
     
Tuoder
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Oct 31, 2006, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by magneticpoet View Post
A la Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson impression:

"I did not know that (you could shut down the finder)"
I can't remember what the software was called, but i do remember that it was part of the Software for Starving Students disc. It is available at SoftwareFor.org: Free Software for You
     
Judge_Fire
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Nov 1, 2006, 03:29 AM
 
I've routinely performed 8-track recording with my PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz (1,5 GB RAM) which has a 5400 RPM drive and the same bus speed (167 MHz), too. The software was different, Logic Express, but there shouldn't be too much difference.

I'd try using a faster, dedicated external disk first.
     
ChasingApple
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Nov 2, 2006, 02:02 AM
 
Garageband is ram dependent, the more ram you have the more tracks you can have going.
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SSharon
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Nov 2, 2006, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by ChasingApple View Post
Garageband is ram dependent, the more ram you have the more tracks you can have going.
I haven't used it recently, but I could have sworn that the error message clearly says something about insufficient disk speed.
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magneticpoet  (op)
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Nov 3, 2006, 02:16 PM
 
Ya, you're right SSharon. "Disk is not spinning fast enough."
     
magneticpoet  (op)
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Nov 3, 2006, 02:16 PM
 
I'm going to do some testing this weekend and report back.
     
magneticpoet  (op)
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Nov 10, 2006, 04:24 AM
 
Just for the record, I was able to record 8 tracks of drums simultaneously for over five minutes without any problems. I was unable to recreate the original situation exactly because I didn't have another person to play guitar to draw power/electricity. I did, however, turn on all the lights/computers/amps, P.A., etc. Will report back after more testing...
     
SSharon
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Nov 10, 2006, 03:57 PM
 
I think the max draw of a mac mini is 85 watts. That means that at full draw it uses as much electricity as a normal lightbulb. I highly doubt that quantity of power is an issue here, quality of power is a different story.
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CheesePuff
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Nov 10, 2006, 05:22 PM
 
I've gotten a slow disc speed error in GarageBand before on a 5400 RPM drive. But on the same machine and a larger 7200 RPM drive it didn't happen.
     
magneticpoet  (op)
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Nov 10, 2006, 06:59 PM
 
CheesePuff-Do you recall how many tracks you were recording when you got the error? Did the "play head" in garageband turn colors before you got the error, like the manual says?
     
magneticpoet  (op)
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Nov 21, 2006, 07:09 PM
 
OK-Just for the record, I am now able to record 8 tracks simultaneously without any problems. I may run into the disk speed issue in the future, but for now, all is good. Thanks.
     
   
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