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How to Fix Logic Pro’s -10011 System Overload Error

December 6, 2014


If you’re getting Logic Pro’s dreaded -10011 system overload error, it simply means your computer doesn’t have enough resources to perform realtime audio processing. Before you go out and buy a new computer, here are a few tips that might just fix the -10011 error.

Increase Your Buffer Size

To increase Logic Pro’s buffer size, go into the application’s preferences menu and find “I/O Buffer Size” under the audio tab. Logic gives you options from 32 samples all the way to 1024 samples. Setting this number to maximum means Logic will hold 1024 samples of audio data in buffer before sending it the CPU for processing. This means the CPU is accessed LESS FREQUENTLY, and there will be less chance of a -10011 system overload error.

The downside is that latency will be increased, so a setting of 128 samples is the recommended maximum for live recording. If you’re mixing with a lot of plugins, increasing the buffer size to 1024 is perfectly fine (and recommended) because all of the audio has already been recorded.

Use Stock Plugins While Recording

If you record with a high buffer size, the resulting audio will likely be off with the rest of the mix. To avoid getting a system overload error during recording, you should use stock plugins. It’s perfectly fine to use the built in EQs and compressors when recording, especially if you don’t have a super powerful computer. These stock plugins are usually built for efficiency, and use very little resources.

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Use Effects Sends

Certain effects like reverbs and delays can be applied on a global level via auxiliary sends. The better way of doing it is to route whatever you need to ONE aux track with ONE reverb plugin.

Bounce to Audio

If you’re done recording your parts with resource-hungry virtual instruments, there’s no reason to keep them enabled. Bounce them to audio, and disable the VST plugin. This will ensure you’re not wasting any CPU or RAM on something you don’t need.

RAM and Hard Drive

RAM is a much faster kind of memory, and having enough of it is crucial for music production software. When RAM is running low, OS X will automatically start caching data to your hard drive or SSD. Depending on how quick your drive is, your computer might slow down to a crawl.

The recommended minimum amount of RAM for modern sample libraries and software is 8 GB. Anything less than that is risky, especially considering it’s common for OS X to use 2 GB or more for system processes. Maximizing RAM will help cut down on -10011 errors in Logic Pro.

Upgrading your spinning hard drive to a modern SSD will also improve Logic Pro’s performance. SSDs have considerably higher bandwidth than their mechanical counterparts, enabling you to stream large sample libraries with less glitches and dropouts. In addition to upgrading your internal hard drive, also consider getting an external SSD for storing samples.

Is Spotlight Running?

Spotlight enables you to search your Mac for files, but first it must index everything on your computer. If you’ve recently upgraded your computer to the latest version of OS X, it’s possible that Spotlight might need some time to re-index everything. Depending on how many files you have and your system configuration, this might take up to a few hours. Spotlight indexing uses a significant amount of CPU power, so you should just let it run before doing any work. To find out if Spotlight is indexing just click on the magnifying glass in the left corner of your menu bar. If you see a status bar, Spotlight is in the re-indexing process.

The Latest Update

Remember the latest isn’t always the greatest. There have been a few times where updates to Logic or MainStage have caused a drop in performance. Before upgrading, be sure to read up other users’ experiences. If you see a reoccurring issue that might affect you as well, hold off on the update.

Conclusion

In summary…

  • Use maximum buffer size when mixing.
  • Use stock plugins while recording.
  • Make sure you have enough RAM.
  • Upgrade to SSD for a huge performance boost.
  • Bounce VSTs to audio.
  • Let Spotlight re-index before doing work.
  • The latest updates isn’t always better.

These tips should help you minimize the chance of a -10011 system overload error in Logic Pro!


Hi, I’m Brian and I’m an electronic music designer for Broadway shows and more. I write about music tech, photography, and wanderlust. If you enjoyed this article, click on the ? below to let the world know.

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