I encountered my first Mbox Pro Tools problem yesterday. I was converting a massive dialog session from BWF to SD2 via “Import Session Data” and it seemed to stall at the very end. I tried to force quit and it ended poorly. I had to hold down the power button to shut down my laptop and reboot. A second test wound up with the same result.
I wasn’t sure what what causing it but I thought I could figure it out so I tried it one more time. This time I kept the Task Window open and the arrow on the process turned down so I could see the complete list of audio and fade files it was working with. Sure enough, as soon as the last audio file was reached the end of its conversion, Pro Tools hung again. This time however I fired up Terminal, which took a really long time. I was starting to suspect that maybe Pro Tools had managed to chew up all my processor cycles and was now stuck in loop and not freeing it up.
When I ran “top” from the command line, I was surprised to see 75% to 80% free CPU. But then I noticed that I was only showing 5MB of RAM free. When I went down to the Pro Tools process I saw that it had wound up with nearly 2GB of virtual ram. I don’t have 2GB of physical ram in my computer so it had written a lot of stuff to the swap space on the hard drive. As I watched, that number slowly dropped. Eventually I was showing about 250MB of free RAM and suddenly Pro Tools came back to life.
Obviously I need to install some more RAM in my laptop.