Mac mini performance issue/ideal cycles?

  • So I noticed something strange on the Mac Mini at one of my theatres.  The current show I'm running is very simple, audio only, no video.  Just a few mp3's.  Even when I'm in a blank scene, with no loaded media, I'm running at 150 cycles.  When I loaded the same show onto my MacBook Pro, the show runs around 270 cycles, regardless of what media is loaded.  Specs on the Mac Mini below.  I first noticed the cycles on my last show, which did use video, and cycles were getting down into the 30-50 range and stuttering something awful, but I wasn't running HD or anything that I thought would be too taxing.  I dropped the res on all of my vids down even further and simplified some of my patches to get an acceptable frame rate.  So now I'm thinking, is there something going on behind the scenes with the mini, causing a serious decrease in performance?  What should the target number of cycles be?  I've had some trouble with this particular machine before, back in the pre V2.0 days, but it was right before the launch of V2.0, and the problems I was having seemed to be cleared up with the upgrade.  But now I'm not so sure.  Is there a way to check if there are plugins or extensions that are interfering with Isadora?  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Mac Mini 6,2 (Late 2012)
    2.6 GHz i7
    16 GB RAM
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    Running Isadora 2.1
    MOTU 828 Mk1 Firewire audio interface
    Cues triggered from ETC Ion via usb 1x1 midi interface
    Isadora is the only running program

  • Oh...I'm a dummy.  It was simply the general service tasks in Preferences set at 4x, whereas on my Macbook, it was set for 8x.  So, I guess my question is does the service tasks setting affect performance?  If I understand it correctly, that number determines how non-movie player related actors are processed.  So, in a show with no video, a higher setting would be preferable, for better handling of things like envelope generators, right?  But does too high a general task setting run at the expense performance and speed of video heavy patches?  Is there an updated "Optimizing for Speed" document for ver2 that addresses this?  Sorry, ELI5....


  • I opened a support ticket, but thought I'd post here too.  Tonight, the weirdness started again.  Getting midi cues from an ETC ion to jump to the next scene. The message was received in Isadora, but there was a serious lag before actually jumping to the next cue. Sometimes this lag was milliseconds, sometimes it was up to 7 seconds. Sometimes after the lag, jumping into the next scene would not play the audio within that scene, sometimes it would play just fine. After rehearsal I ran Etrecheck to see if I could get any additional information, and there was a coreaudio crash logged about a half-hour before I noticed the problems with the cues. 

    The problems I've had running Isadora on this machine over the past year have been so sporadic and random, I really don't know how to recreate. It seems most of the actual Isadora crashes occur when I'm editing a scene or importing media while a movie player is running, and haven't had full program crashes much during show playback.  But I feel like most of the unexpected behavior within Isadora is something specific to this mac, as I seem to have very few problems on my macbook or on a mac pro at other theatres. Could it be a problem with the MOTU 828 Mk1 firewire interface? Could it be a plugin or extension from software on this machine? How could I go about troubleshooting something like that? Bad RAM? I've run quite a few diagnostic tests, made sure software and drivers are up to date, but I'm at a loss as to how to proceed.
  • Tech Staff


    What is your OS version?

    Best Michel

  • I'm still running Yosemite.