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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 09:53 #122995

Having problems with spinning beachballs. This topic has been discussed again and again over the years and most of the advice centres around the drives, or other background apps.
My question is, are we just dealing with a programme that can't handle basics when its database gets too large?

FCPX doesn't crash but work is extremely unproductive. it is almost every time I press play. I also get the Beachball briefing if I open the main footage event and click on a keyword.

I have read most of the threads I could find here and tried all the stuff people suggested.
e.g. looking for duplicate fonts
but haven't been able to pin down the problem yet. e.g. reformatting my SSD to GUID then APFS.

I am running Monterrey 12.6.1 on a Mac mini M1 (2020) 16 GB memory 1TB internal drive.
FCPX 10.6.5
Same problem on a MacBook Pro - M1 with 16GB.

Library on a Samsung T7 2TB formatted as GUID and then as APFS
Footage and Audio etc. on Sandisk G-TEch ArmorATB 5TB HDD - formatted with Apple Extended (Journaled)

Total Library size is 500GB
Total Footage is > 2TB hence not on same SSD

View - Proxy preferred

I have most of the footage available as Proxies - but not all - some DJI Magic and DJI Action 2 footage is still original. Just transcoding that now to see if it makes any difference.

Could it be related to me having my media in too many nested folders?
Actually I only have 6 folders for Days of footage with Subfolders for 4 Cameras. That can't be too much right?

And advice really appreciated.

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 11:59 #122997

DJI footage is precisely what needs to be transcoded to ProRes in the first place.

oups your Sandisk G-TEch ArmorATB 5TB HDD is absolutely not a HD for footage editing , ok for the field.
absolutely not a studio disk

Mechanical 2,5 ?! @ 5400 

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Last edit: by Stu Wart.

Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 12:27 #122998

Thanks Stu for your helpful reply.

It is so annoying that manufacturers only publish the speed of the USB 3.x bus and don't reveal what drive is inside. If I had known that it was 5400 rpm I would have run ....

Question

Where do you find out what info on what's in the box for HDDs. So for example, I also have a WD Elements 14TB where the backup for the footage is now held. Any idea where I can find the info on what's inside that enclosure?

Excuse - but no excuse

Actually I grabbed that G-Tech drive the night before a flight because it was the only locally available drive with that form factor and large capacity. I was worried I would not have enough space on the Samsung SSDs that I was carrying, and I ended up doing some test editing off it while travelling and everything was going fine, so I brought in all the footage from first week of filming and started editing.

It was only when the edit got more complex that the beachball started to show up all the time.

But all the discussions focus on the M1 and the SSDs and esoteric stuff, so I didn't think that it might be that basic.

Also the challenge of moving everything and relinking put me off doing that test earlier.

Anyway - now I know what I have to try.

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 15:01 #123000

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Having problems with spinning beachballs...

A common cause is poorly-behaved 3rd-party plugins. Duplicate your project (aka timeline), open that project, select all clips on the timeline with CMD+A then delete all effects with Edit>Remove Effects. Then play that and see if the beachballs still happen. If they no longer happen, restore the Fx, delete 1/2 of the timeline, then the other 1/2, then 1/4, etc. to narrow down which region is causing it.

If the beachballs still happen, how long is the average duration? Longest duration?

I've also seen some odd slowdowns caused by having large numbers of compound clips. Are you using many of those?

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 15:07 #123001

Thanks Joema. That's an interesting and concrete approach. Much appreciated.

That said, the fact that I get the beachball even when I open a keyword collection suggests that it is probably a matter of how fast FCP can manage the clip database itself as opposed to specifics of playback.

Or do I misunderstand how FCP works in the background?

The only 3rd party plugin I have is SSL's Vocal Strip. The rest is all Apple standard built in.

My 45 min film is divided up into chapters - each being a compound clip - but I am not nesting those.

I have a few Multicam clips on the timeline aswell.

Finally, I have got a lot of color correction going on in clips.

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 17:36 #123004

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...the fact that I get the beachball even when I open a keyword collection suggests that it is probably a matter of how fast FCP can manage the clip database itself as opposed to specifics of playback...My 45 min film is divided up into chapters - each being a compound clip - but I am not nesting those. I have a few Multicam clips on the timeline as well...Finally, I have got a lot of color correction going on in clips.

How long does the beachball typically last? If it ever lasts for 10 sec or more, you could try generating a spindump and sending that to me for analysis. Much less than about 10 sec and it's hard to get it done in time. Maybe if you practice the below procedure you could do in in about 5-6 sec.

Procedure: have Activity Monitor already running and highlight the FCP process. When the beachball happens, switch to Activity Monitor and press CTRL+OPT+CMD+S. Be ready to rapidly enter your password. Practice that ahead of time. When you see the spindump output on screen press "Save..." at the upper-right. Save it as a .txt file and post it on this write-only DropBox folder: www.dropbox.com/request/WKw830PzRjC535UPv2FE

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 22 Nov 2022 21:52 #123007

Great tips from Joe, and I'll echo Stu - that 2.5" spinner is a major bottleneck. Did I say major? That might be an understatement.

I've never met a DJI clip that didn't bog at some point, even when it's on an SSD, which is why it's on the short list of source media that I automatically transcode to ProRes prior to ingest.

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 23 Nov 2022 09:26 #123016

it is true that there is no mention of "what's inside" on most 2,5 disk packaging.

and beware there are also some SSD product on the market "pretending" to be 800 M/s when dropping to 50M/s ! at serious use. Always read users reviews !

footage for editing ? mechanical 3,5 @ 7200 Raided

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 23 Nov 2022 13:28 #123017

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...Library on a Samsung T7 2TB formatted as GUID and then as APFS...Footage and Audio etc. on Sandisk G-TEch ArmorATB 5TB HDD - formatted with Apple Extended (Journaled)...I have most of the footage available as Proxies - but not all - some DJI Magic and DJI Action 2 footage is still original. Just transcoding that now to see if it makes any difference...

As previously mentioned the DJI footage is often sluggish to decode. However -- by that same token it is small in size and does not create much I/O stress. That said if you have multicam with several angles fed by media on a single mechanical hard drive, that may slow down performance.

OTOH you mentioned you have proxies for most media and are creating proxies for the DJI content. By default proxies are inside the library which you have placed on your Samsung T7 SSD. With proxy preferred enabled, during playback FCP is mostly pulling media from the SSD, not from the mechanical drive. That implies it's some type of compute or decoding problem, not an I/O problem. Audio and graphics files do not have proxies so those will still be on the mechanical drive, but normally the I/O bandwidth of those is limited.

You can test that by creating the remainder of proxies, then switching to "proxy only". In that case it's pulling only proxy media (which is smaller than the originals) from a much faster SSD drive. If that's still showing frequent sustained beachballs > 5 sec, try taking a spindump of the FCP process as I previously mentioned and upload that to me.

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 25 Nov 2022 10:16 #123052

I shifted all my footage and libraries etc onto two Samsung t7 SSDs

PROBLEM SOLVED!

I put all footage from one location on the first SSDs and then small amount of footage and libraries and everything else related to the edit on the second SSD.

After relinking it has all be running smoothly as expected.

Only issues are with Multicam footage where I moved a Multicam clip from one library to another without copying media or proxies and relinked. Need to work out what is going on with the proxies there.

OBSERVATIONS

I was really thrown by the problem at first because I expected FCPX to say frames are being dropped during playback rather than beachballing me before playback.

I failed to do my homework on drive speed/suitability before starting the project.

I still need to work out the best way to manage the volume of footage because as I started creating optimised media for all the DJI footage, my second SSD is filling up rapidly.

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Constant Beachballs in Final Cut Pro X 10.6.5 25 Nov 2022 20:30 #123064

Amen to the point about plug ins. I've had a miserable 6 weeks troubleshooting my system, its been so awful on 10.6.5.
Turns out I had copied and pasted some clips from a timeline a year ago, they kept references to an older version of a plugin, so the timeline kept trying to reference it upon opening, or shortly afterwards.
I'd applied the newer version of the plugins, then deleted them but the old references remained - cue the spinning ball of death... there doesn't seem to be a timeout, why the {beep} not??? It's been so unproductive and stressful... :(

Anyway, for the benefit of others following i my stressful footsteps, I'd suggest first run through these basics:
blog.frame.io/2016/09/13/recognize-fix-common-problems-fcpx/

Then I'd suggest:
1. Use X-Library Check (free!) to show the path that plugins are trying to reference, and identify any missing fonts.
www.spherico.com/filmtools/Utilities/FCP...ary-Check/index.html

2. Use FCPX Manager (free!) to disable and enable plugins and narrow down what was causing the problem if the above doesn't work. So disable all, work for a day or two, if no problems, then it is likely to be a plug in, so enable a few, work for a day or two and so forth.
www.fcpxmanager.com/

3. Open up Font Book, validate all, remove any that are reported as dodgy. If step 1 shows some missing fonts in your Project, then ad them into FCP is probably a bad thing to do, but I did it anyway and everything rocks:
discussions.apple.com/thread/7617838

Note: Izotope 10.2 Logic plugins crash my system as well - especially the Denoise module, click, crash.

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