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Pro Tools LE and PCI Errors.

Q: “I’m getting an error message with my Pro Tools LE system that indicates that the PCI bus is too busy during playback/recording on my Macintosh computer. Any ideas?”

A: The error that you’re seeing is probably DAE error -6042. This error has many potential causes, all of which relate to over-taxation of your computer’s PCI bus. The information provided below should resolve most occurrences of the error.

1) Make sure that all system hardware is compatible by checking the online compatibility page for your specific Pro Tools system at http://www.digidesign.com/compato/. Pay careful attention to the SCSI, expansion chassis, and dual monitor graphics card requirements. Systems using unsupported hardware are prone to -6042 errors.
2) Make sure all PCI cards are installed in the correct order in your computer or expansion chassis. Refer to your hardware installation guide.
3) Dual monitor configurations utilizing a secondary PCI Graphics card are prone to -6042 errors and are not supported.
4) Hard drives that will be used for recording / playback with Pro Tools must be formatted correctly to ensure proper performance. Current hard drive requirements for your Pro Tools system are available at http://www.digidesign.com/compato under the Hard drive Minimum Requirements Section. -6042 errors can occur when writing to unsupported volumes (Jaz, Zip, USB, Network Etc.)
5) SCSI Accelerator card Sync Rate / Burst Rate settings must be configured according to card model. Correct settings for the supported SCSI cards can be found in Answerbase ID#26515. Incorrect SCSI settings may cause -6042 errors.
6) Pro Tools running under OS 9.x does not utilize the second processor in dual processor Power Mac G4 models. -6042 errors can occur when the second processor is active. Digidesign recommends moving the folder named “Multiprocessing” from the System Folder “Extensions” folder to the “Extensions (Disabled)”. Restart the computer.
7) Under OS 9.x, the following optimizations should be made to your computer to prevent -6042 errors:
_ Create a Pro Tools specific extension set in the extensions manager by duplicating the Mac OS Base 9.x set and activating only the necessary Digidesign, OMS, ILOK etc. extensions. Do not add any third party extensions for products that are not being used in conjunction with Pro Tools.
_ Disable any graphics accelerator extensions in the extensions manager (I.E. ATI Extensions for ATI graphics Cards)
_ Set monitor colors to 256 for Macs with PCI graphics cards.
_ In the Apple Memory Control Panel set a Custom Disk Cache of 512k.
_ In the Apple Appearance Control Panel do not use Charcoal for large system font, turn off font smoothing, and disable Platinum Sounds.
8) The following Pro Tools Software adjustments will help reduce PCI bandwidth thereby decreasing the likelihood of -6042 errors:
_ QuickPunch doubles the amount of data per voice sent over the PCI bus. Disable QuickPunch to see if the session plays back.
_ Disable the Record Online at Insertion / Selection Preference.
_ Automation, especially of TDM plug-ins, requires PCI bandwidth also. Try suspending automation globally or per-track.
_ On a Mix system with Pro Tools 5.1.3 and higher you can take advantage of Voice Load Balancing if there is more than one Mix card installed. Go to Setups > Playback Engine. If in 32-voice mode, try switching to 64-voice mode and make sure that the voice allocation is set to auto. This will balance the PCI load between multiple chips on multiple PCI cards. On HD systems you have the option of assigning more DSP chips for the same amount of voices. (I.E. 1 DSP 32 voices, 2 DSP’s 32 voices etc.) Using additional DSP chips for the same amount of voices will reduce PCI load.
9) In Pro tools, you can monitor PCI usage in Windows > Show System Usage.

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