FCP Stutters to a complete stop

Posted by Chuck Spaulding 
FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 11, 2009 12:30PM
Everything has been working well for several months and we have not changed anything about what we're doing. Editing long form XDCAM over a fiber channel SAN, editing as normal, after a while, and with no apparent reason the playback starts to stutter until it won't play anymore. If I try to jump around the timeline it is very "sticky" and takes several seconds to move the CTI.

I immediately did a read/write test of the file system and everything was fine. I trashed preferences and that didn't help. If I restart FCP it has no effect and starts up immediately in this state. If I reboot the system everything is fine for a while but then starts crapping out again.

Anyone else experiencing this? Any suggestions on how to trouble shoot this or repair it?

Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 11, 2009 01:11PM
Maybe this is totally off the mark, but that sounds exactly like you're exhausting your RAM and going into swap. How much RAM do you have? Pop open Activity Monitor and look at the "system memory" pane. It'll show you a pie chart. If there's no green on it, shell out some green (see what I did there?) and buy some more RAM.

Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 11, 2009 03:43PM
I've also been experiencing this same thing in the last few days but with a VERY basic SD video clip I was working on. Even after rendering the very few things I had applied to the clip (3-way color correction, slight raising of audio level) the dumb thing would start to stutter and pause. I have 16 gigs of RAM and I believe I have at least 200 or 300 gigs of free space on this drive. Any suggestions for me too?
Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 12, 2009 02:39PM
OK Jeff, I did see what you did there, and I admit it made me laugh. However I have 6GB of RAM and about 5TB of free disk space.

Another annoying thing it is doing is crashing at the end of renders. It wouldn't be nearly as annoying if it crashed at the beginning...

Anyway this is getting to be quite annoying because I can't figure out how to trouble shoot it to solve the problem.
Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 12, 2009 03:03PM
I would start by troubleshooting the fiber channel SAN. Move that project to a local drive / FW800 / eSATA and see what it does it there.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 12, 2009 03:05PM
This may or may not apply.

I just had my riser card replace because during certain ram intensive operation riser B would go offline/dormant. The Apple tech had me recreate the conditions in which i was getting the problem.

My problem came in these forms.

1. the computer could not calibrate the power in both of my super drives.

2. clicking on a sd clip and dragging it up 1 v-track would give me the beach ball. 3way CC adjustments were like moving a refrigerator with no help.

3. system wide i got beach balls in 70% of my programs when doing very simple things.

4. when encoding, the output file would have TC skips/stutters. you could watch the file and tell that at those points there was some type of computing/binary miscalculations.

I hope this helps.
intel quad 3.0 / 10gig ram / ati x1900 512mb / fcs2 on 10.5.6 and the latest QT 7.6

i had 7 gigs of ram when this problem started. the other 3 cam after the new riser.

""" What you do with what you have, is more important than what you could do, with what you don't have."

> > > Knowledge + Action = Wisdom - J. Corbett 1992
Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 13, 2009 09:27AM
I haven't moved the project off of the SAN onto local drives but I have opened this project on two other FCP system and they work correctly. The only thing I have done to test the SAN on this machine is a read/write test where I was getting the performance I'd expect. Admittedly, that's not much trouble shooting.

J, that's an interesting observation. I am experiencing many of the symptoms you described. Most recently I rendered a scene and it took an unusually long time, about half way through the audio went way out of sync with the video but oddly enough it picked sync back up after about a minute of being out of sync. -- I should have realized there was an issue when it didn't crash... There were no changes in the timeline in the area of the problem that would account for this. Again, rendered fine a second time and on other machines.

How did they come to the conclusion that you had a bad riser? Is there a way to test the RAM/Riser?
Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
June 14, 2009 06:33PM
he originally thought it was the burner but when i told him that both went at the same time he started investigating other things.
he did a tech tool diagnostic and used some proprietary apple diagnostic software to find out that all of the ram was not reading CONSISTENTLY.

he said if i was experiencing the beach ball in that many programs it was most likely the riser card.

i had no program crashes either. fcp would run fine but the beach ball on simple moves was thru-out the suite.

'open with to PS v8.0' just completely did not work.
Ay program that stayed open and cpu idle for 4 hrs or more would need restart.

the down side of the riser replacement was that in 1 50% done project that i was working on at the time. The riser replacement completely deleted all fcp work accept for the browser files. the TL was blank.

""" What you do with what you have, is more important than what you could do, with what you don't have."

> > > Knowledge + Action = Wisdom - J. Corbett 1992
Re: FCP Stutters to a complete stop
July 04, 2009 03:14PM
Because life is what it is I have had to continue working with this system, I have just had to render at night on another system. All projects that I originate on this system where playback begins stuttering, work and render fine on any of the other systems. So that's what I've had to do as a work around.

There are a lot of third party plugins installed on the system that is having a problem. Is it possible to re-install FCP without having to re-install all of the plug-ins? It could take a considerable amount of time to re-license all the plugins.

Is there anything else I should check before removing and re-installing FCP?
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