10 Tips for Reliabilty on any Vegas Pro Edition

VideoFreq wrote on 6/21/2014, 1:46 AM
Every so often a person buys Vegas Pro or has been using Vegas Pro and they start experiencing crashes. Here are things that many people overlook when trying to create reliability in their Vegas Pro editing workflows. I have used 9, 10, 11 & 12. After hundreds of crashes I found the following things were KEY to reliability whether rendering or editing.
1. Horse Power - forget minimum specs. Use at least a 3.0 GHz Intel chipset. The higher the video data rate, the more HP you must have. If you are editing 100 Mbps data, you should be using a XEON. Minimum Memory of 16GB is recommended. Make sure your memory is of good quality and that its latency characteristics match the mother board's settings and capabilities. Use an SSD if you can. Choose quality components. I have built many a computer but my wife's POS, store bought PC's have been way more reliable. Yes they are slower but their components were chosen for reliability and there is a lot to be said about that.
2. Turn off FILE INDEXING on all your drives. Windows will slowly start to index your drives in the most subtle way. Periodically check and turn OFF File Indexing. Indexing causes breaks in data flows that cause Vegas to crash.
3. Make sure your hard drive isn't about to crash. I used to leave mine on all the time. When you start hearing clicking back up ASAP. Many Vegas Pro crashes I had were caused by a failing drive and went undetected for months. Keep power settings in Windows to Maximum Performance - Hard Drives off NEVER when editing! For some, turning off Aero Peek is recommended. AVID Media Composer does this automatically.
4. Your video card is most likely not compatible with Vegas Pro. Go to the Vegas Pro release notes for your version and look up the benchmark video card and use only it. The is much written about CUDA and GPU usage and Kepler architecture. Forget it. Reliability trumps speed. Download the OLDEST driver that your card was originally meant to use and experiment from there. 99% of video cards are for gamers. Vegas is the ONLY major NLE editor that does not have a MANUFACTURER recommended benchmark video card, listed by the video card manufacturer. So instead, stick with the Sony tested or "bench marked" card used to test your version with. Stay away from updates to the "latest" driver. Find what works and DON'T change a thing. Don't let othe programs update your drivers for you. This is machine suicide. Also, in many nVidia cards, you have to turn on CUDA cores from the card. This isn't automatic. Speaking of nVidia, stay away from Kepler architecture. SVP doesn't recognize it.
5. Place all your OS files on the same drive as your Vegas Pro and other software program files. I even render to the same drive. Here, speed IS important.
6. Keep your CPU time fast by stopping unnecessary programs from running and eating memory. Also, a good CPU fan will let your machine run to its highest capacity. Forget overclocking. Think reliability. Video editing is like driving across the country. Gaming is like drag racing to the next light. Not the same vehicles.
7. Vegas does not get along with Apple codecs. So, it's a crap shoot here. I am a huge mov and Pro Res fan, and use the codecs when I can, but hey, when a company has a great codec and can force people to buy the only machine that really understands it, well, that's just good capitalism.
8. When creating programs longer than 30 minutes, keep the number of files in your project to a minimum, and dear Lord, keep out as many mov's as you can. Somehow, they slow the system up. Learn to use nesting and create multiple smaller projects. This is the greatest feature of Vegas Pro and makes it the only 3-dimensional editing platform.
9. Always remember that computers are EXTREMELY complex and are subject to many causes of corruption including, viruses, malware, bloatware and other sordid causes of failure. Get a new drive, load everything from scratch, open and activate your programs, install updates and then make a mirror of it. When a problem arises, just reload your entire system and viola, all is new again. Sometimes you have to re-acquire usage or license rights again, but it's worth it in my opinion. Yeah, I know how long that takes. I have 172 programs on my machine. It's worth it and the partitions can be placed onto any new drive whether a SATA or an SSD. Mine takes 27 minutes to reload from a new drive.
10. When all else fails, remember, the FCP Adobe and AVID editors are crying about the exact same issues we are. I know, I've been there. Sony Vegas Pro is the best editor I have ever used. The problems are RARELY software related.

Comments

craftech wrote on 6/21/2014, 6:42 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post that RF I am sure a lot of people will appreciate it.

I have already been doing 2, 3, and 5 - 10. The longest and most important recommendation (Number 4 - video card) is unnecessary for me because I am still happily using Vegas 8 and this just reinforces my contention that Vegas went downhill after they made the software GPU dependent. And that also renders recommendation number 1 (The higher the video data rate, the more HP you must have.) unnecessary.

I haven't had a single crash ever with Vegas 8. And whatever advantages GPU dependency supposedly gave to Vegas Pro I don't seem to miss.

John
mdindestin wrote on 6/21/2014, 10:23 AM
I've been thinking lately of making my most powerful computer an edit only, Pro 11 machine that never sees the internet.

I'll eventually get time and will use all your recommendations.

Thanks!
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/21/2014, 11:02 AM
I always break 1, 4 & 8 regularly. Haven't used an Intel since a P3, have 6gb RAM, never touched an SSD in my life, never bothered wondering "Will me GPU work with Vegas?", can't stand nesting and love long, event, file and FX intense projects. :)

Still can't get most issues people report to happen to me. 8)
BruceUSA wrote on 6/21/2014, 11:32 AM
Have a powerful PC system for Vegas editing only. Nothing else? This is crazy..

My PC is always connected to the internet and have over 60 programs installed and 2 Antivirus programs are running on full time. I use my system for everything and everything that I need of the PC. Never had an issue with Vegas Pro. Don't believe me? want a screen shot? I can do that if your wish. Just a thought.
Robert_NY wrote on 6/21/2014, 12:48 PM
Not really crazy.

Industrial, professional computer systems that have a purpose and are revenue producing, have a specific build and contain nothing but the software and hardware required to do the job. Any changes to the computer hardware is a big deal and must be tested thoroughly before being implemented in a production environment. The idea of randomly assembling a computer and loading many other applications is something that would be considered crazy in a professional environment.

There is a volatile mix of computer hobbyist and semi-pro/pro video developers that is an issue with having a stable production environment. The more sophisticated the software, the more selective a good hardware setup is likely to become.

It's a natural urge to want to use the latest and greatest hardware and expect that 'professional' software will just be happy with it. The truth is that is not how it really works and is not realistic.

IMHO...
riredale wrote on 6/21/2014, 5:41 PM
Any time someone posts another "Here's some VERY IMPORTANT things!" he or she is sure to get flack.

Running V9c here, dual-core AMD overclocked 12%, system on 24/7, doubles as web server, used for all the usual activities--email, web surfing, games. Oh, and a whopping 2GB of ram, no pagefile. System is rock solid, Vegas never crashes here either.

I built it myself and have updated it 3 or 4 times over the years, but the only change recently was going to an SSD. I agree that good ram is important, as is a name-brand power supply.

Backup is critical; mine incrementally backs up automatically every couple of days, if I screw the OS up somehow I can just save current email and desktop contents, go back in time, and I'm back in business in an hour or so.

So I appreciate your own experience but need to point out that many of the tips don't necessarily correspond with my experiences.
Kit wrote on 6/21/2014, 6:50 PM
Thanks for posting this, I'd appreciate it if you would edit it to put a space between each point. That would make it a lot easier to read. My eyes are getting old. Cheers.
VidMus wrote on 6/21/2014, 9:02 PM
BruceUSA said, "Have a powerful PC system for Vegas editing only. Nothing else? This is crazy.."

For my budget, this is a must. I used to have my NLE system on all of the time and had a light bill that was way too high from the power that it itself used. Not to mention the cost of air conditioning that went up from the generated heat.

I now have my NLE system on ONLY when editing, rendering and burning DVD's and use my very low power laptop for internet and other uses. And even the laptop gets turned off when not in use for an extended amount of time.

Result, my light bill and expenses have dropped considerably. This gives me a lot more money for things I need such as my recently purchased Zoom H6 which helps my audio recordings considerably! Money spent on things I need instead of the light bill! Also, money to save back for other needs.

Now that is something to consider.

Note: I do this as a hobby and for the Church. I do not run a business so I cannot deduct the light bill and other expenses from taxes. Still, it is best even for a business to keep expenses as low as possible.

ushere wrote on 6/22/2014, 2:29 AM
i've always had my nle on a separate pc, though it was / is always updated and connected to the net. these pc's have always had ALL the programs required for a complete production on them, ie, vegas, dvda, the complete adobe suites, and a host of other peripheral apps, such as font viewers, womble, avs, handbrake, etc, etc.,

for everything else i've either had an 'office' pc, or as now, a decent laptop that'll also run nearly everything that's on the desktop nle, if nowhere near as fast ;-(

much depends on your budget / business, but if you are to make a living with your tools it's worth looking after them.

btw. i use macrium reflect on both on a regular basis - i don't particularly trust m$'s restore, and their system image doesn't work with udfi bios (microsoft is so far behind technology with this they should hang their head in shame).
PeterDuke wrote on 6/22/2014, 6:42 PM
"I've been thinking lately of making my most powerful computer an edit only, Pro 11 machine that never sees the internet"

That was my thinking initially. I think of the web as a giant cess pool of viruses and other nasties. I struggled to keep my video editing computer isolated from the network for a few years, but the forces out there eventually wore me down. Some software can't be installed without the internet and TMPGEnc software does periodic checks that requires the internet. I sometimes need to transfer data to and from my internet connected computer, and I got tired of copying to a USB drive first to do the transfer.

I still don't have antivirus software on it and never surf the web with it.

I don't have cloud anything and have no intention of doing so, but the evil forces are at work...
mdindestin wrote on 6/22/2014, 9:34 PM
That's really more along the lines I was thinking as well Peter. There will be times when an internet connection is very convenient, but I like your practice of not installing anti-virus or surfing the web with it.
DiDequ wrote on 6/23/2014, 6:09 AM
I also agree : no internet, no antivirus, but the network, for file sharing with other linux workstations.

In case we need to register a new software, we just have to set the gateway, and remove it once done.
Steve Mann wrote on 6/23/2014, 5:39 PM
"5. Place all your OS files on the same drive as your Vegas Pro and other software program files. I even render to the same drive. Here, speed IS important.
"

This is incorrect. In fact it can slow your throughput if the O/S is doing something while Vegas or a Codec wants attention. At least every ten milliseconds to update the RTC and look for hardware interrupts. If one of those processes wants disk I/O, and another process is already waiting for an I/O command to finish, then the second process has to wait for the first process to finish.

Your O/S should *always* be on a separate hard drive so there will be no contention between calling processes. If a process is performing I/O on drive D: and a system process wants something on Drive C:, then it doesn't have to wait for the first process to finish. Yes, we're only talking microseconds, but there could be hundreds of these occurring every second. It adds up.


"Forget overclocking. Think reliability. Video editing is like driving across the country. Gaming is like drag racing to the next light. Not the same vehicles."

That's a good analogy - I like it.

Partitioning is *not* the same as separate drives. Disk Partitioning is an anachronism from the days when the disk capacity was larger than the O/S could address. It was the only way to use the whole disk. The only appropriate for partitioning is when you are dual-booting or only have one physical drive. In the cast of the latter, you want only the O/S and programs on the system partition.
riredale wrote on 6/23/2014, 10:00 PM
Partitioning is still useful for me because my backups are incremental partition backups, and the SSD is much larger than needed as just the C drive. So another partition contains all my music, for example. That partition doesn't get backed up frequently.
ushere wrote on 6/24/2014, 12:34 AM
some very useful info here abouts... thanks.

meanwhile i'm still trying to fathom the fear of having a pc connected to the net. i'd understand surfing, etc., but simply connected?

i don't see how you can operate an nle efficiently without a connection; program updates, up/down loading video files, even if it is simply to use dropbox, vimeo, youtube, etc.,

and i should have to change pcs to email a client for a name check or the like?

then there's my collection of font, graphic, and music sites which i can directly access, search, and incorporate without moving either physically, or transferring to intermediate media, etc.,

all my pc's run mse without noticeable problems or resource usage.

i think there's a touch of paranoia to all this ;-)*

*nsa is welcome to read ALL my emails cause i don't....
Larry Clifford wrote on 6/24/2014, 6:50 AM
riredale - What program do you recommend for backing up and what do you back up to?
Steve Mann wrote on 6/24/2014, 8:19 AM
i think there's a touch of paranoia to all this ;-)*

*nsa is welcome to read ALL my emails cause i don't....

I love the quote - it took me a few moments to get it.

Yes, there is paranoia here. Many of the programs we use require an occasional connection to home (or mother ship), for example for updates, new media (like Smartsound and Digital Juice), and worst of all, Adobe Cloud. (Note, DJ is moving to a cloud-based subscription delivery just like Adobe)

I do not use my editing PC for anything but editing. Yes, it is networked for the occasional "phone home" requirements. My general office PC is where I do my web browsing and email work.

If you never open a browser or email on your editing PC, then you greatly minimize the exposure to malicious programs. There are other vectors to install bad stuff, but the vast majority of it is through untrusted websites.
riredale wrote on 6/24/2014, 5:45 PM
Larry Clifford, I use Macrium Reflect and (automatically at 1am) incrementally back up every few days to a hard disk.Once the full and incremental backups total about 100GB, I start a fresh full backup, dump the incremental backups and move the previous full backup to a different hard drive. Sounds more complicated than it actually is, just takes a few minutes.

Do a search on this website for backup information. Lots of good comments in the past six months.

I don't understand the concern about an external connection either. Just use an antivirus utility (I use the freeware Avast) and do backups. I also use ZoneAlarm as my firewall, only because I've done so for at least a decade. There may be better ways to do this now, but ZA v6.5.737.000 is free, monitors both inbound and outbound connections, and simple to use.
farss wrote on 6/24/2014, 6:56 PM
[I]" i think there's a touch of paranoia to all this"[/I]

Absolutely. If I found any software with that many requirements to work reliably I'd never use it or recommend it. All code written to run under Windows has to be able to work in a multitasking environment which means it is going to have to expect delays and being interrupted and have limited resources. For sure more resources and less interruptions makes for a more fluid experience but that does not excuse crashing. At the worst the code should alert the user to issues it faces elegantly.

Bob.