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Slow response to Import Audio in Pro Tools.

“I run Pro Tools 5 on a 867 MHz G4. Recently I’ve begun having a problem using the Import Audio dialog. It seems to take forever, or sometimes the computer locks up. I’ve reinstalled the software a couple of times, but I thought I would ask if there’s something I’m missing before taking more drastic measures.”

It’s likely that the problem is due to memory fragmentation in the OS, especially if you don’t have a lot of RAM and have the machine running (without a reboot) for a long time. When opening the Import Audio Dialog, Pro Tools needs to go into a different “mode” than when running with DAE. Transitioning between these modes allocates and releases large amounts of memory. In the process, memory can get fragmented and, when Pro Tools attempts to return to “DAE” mode, the OS can take a while (or even fail) to recover the original memory.

So, how can you get around this?
1. Add more RAM to your system and allocate more to DAE by increasing the preferred size. This will make it easier for Pro Tools to allocate memory when returning to DAE mode — especially when running sessions with large (>64) voice counts.
2. Reboot. OS9 doesn’t always do a good job of recovering from fragmented memory situations and a reboot is sometimes the easiest cure for the problem. This shouldn’t be a problem on Windows or OSX because the software is able to do some pre-allocation/caching that holds on to memory when going to the Import Audio dialog.

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