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Mac Optimization Guide for OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

Sweetwater Tech Support recommends Avid’s Mac OSX Optimization Guide for Pro Tools.   The full article can be found here.

The following Mac settings taken from Avid’s article are recommend for any DAW software with Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Configure System Preferences

  • Click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen
  • Choose System Preferences

Optimize Energy Saver
This optimization will free up system resources as well as prevent the computer from going to sleep or standby mode which can cause audio dropouts with Pro Tools software and hardware.

  • Click the ‘Energy Saver’ preference.
  • Set the slider for ‘Computer sleep’ to ‘Never’.
  • Uncheck the box for ‘Put hard disks to sleep when possible’.

Turn off Wi-Fi
If your computer is equipped with Bluetooth wireless and/or a Wi-Fi (AirPort) card, these may need to be disabled for Pro Tools to work correctly.  In addition to freeing up system resources, disabling these can help resolve DAE errors -6085, -6086 and -6101.

  • Click the ‘Network’ preference.
  • On the left hand sidebar, click on Wi-Fi.
  • Click on the button that says Turn Wi-Fi Off.

Disable FireWire Networking (FireWire Devices only)
This optimization can help free up bandwidth in the firewire bus and allow Digidesign FireWire devices to work more efficiently.

  • Click on the ‘Network’ preference.
  • On the left hand sidebar, click on FireWire/Built-In FireWire/Thunderbolt FireWire.
  • Click on the drop-down menu for ‘Configure IPv4′ and choose Off.
  • Click Apply and restart your computer.

Disable FileVault protection
This optimization will allow your hard drive to work more efficiently with Pro Tools and can prevent DAE Error -9035 from occurring.

  • Click the ‘Security & Privacy’ preference.
  • Click on the ‘FileVault’ tab.
  • In this window find where it states: ‘FileVault protection is (on/off) for the hard disk…’.
  • If FileVault is on, click the button to ‘Turn Off FileVault’.

Update iLok Drivers

  • Visit the iLok website.
  • Download the iLok Driver Installer.
  • Install it afterwards.

Software Update
Some updates to your Mac software can cause conflicts with Pro Tools.  Disabling this will prevent your computer from automatically updating.  If there is an update that you need, you can manually update your Mac software my clicking on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and choosing Software Update.

  • Click the ‘Software Update’ preference and make sure the box that is labeled ‘Check for updates:’ is unchecked.

Disable Spotlight Indexing
Spotlight indexing can sometimes cause conflicts with Pro Tools’ database files, causing the drive to work sporadically.  Disabling this will allow the drive to function more efficiently in Pro Tools.

  • Click the ‘Spotlight’ preference.
  • Click on the Privacy tab.
  • Every hard drive that is being used (internal and external) needs to be added to this list.
  • To add a drive to the list, drag the hard drive icon from the desktop or Finder sidebar onto this list.
  • Repeat until all hard drives appear in the list.

Disable Sudden Motion Sensor (For laptops only.)
If you’re recording in a loud environment, this optimization will prevent the Sudden Motion Sensor from kicking in and throwing a -9073 error in Pro Tools.

  • Double-click on the Macintosh HD icon on your desktop.  (This would be your system drive if you have renamed it to something else.)
  • Go to the Applications folder.
  • Go to the Utilities folder.
  • Double-click on Terminal.
  • Type sudo pmset -a sms 0 and press Return. (Typing in ‘0’ disables it.)
  • Enter your administrator when prompted.
  • Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied.

To re-enable Sudden Motion Sensor:

  • Go back to Terminal following the above steps.
  • Type sudo pmset -a sms 1 and press Return. (Typing in ‘1’ re-enables it.)
  • Enter your administrator when prompted.
  • Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied.
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