DAE Or AAE?
DAE stands for Digital Audio Engine on older versions of Pro Tools and AAE is short for Avid Audio Engine which replaced the DAE from Pro Tools 11.
9073 Error In Pro Tools
There are usually two main ways Pro Tools reports -9073 errors...
DAE can't get audio from the disk fast enough. Your disk may be too slow or too fragmented.
The PCI bus is too busy for DAE to communicate reliably with the audio hardware.' Error occurs during Bounce to Disk, playback or record on Mac or Windows platforms. DAE (and more recently AAE) error -9073 "
The leading cause of the -9073 error is recording, playing back, or bouncing to a drive that is literally "too slow or too fragmented". A lot of the advice relates to older computer systems with Firewire or USB drives etc.
In my experience 9073 errors come up at the point Pro Tools cannot get all the data on and off the session drive fast enough. That can be because the data is too fragmented, ie bits of the audio file are spread across the drive, but again things have moved on so much that fragmentation isn't always the issue. Also, the reasons for -0973 error messages can be many and varied, but can include the fact that the computer is too busy to serve Pro Tools in a timely manner, which could be background applications running and so on
The PCI Bus version "The PCI bus is too busy for DAE to communicate reliably with the audio hardware. Disk too slow or too fragmented" is a variation on the same problem but in this case, it is the PCI bus that is getting clogged up so that Pro tools can't get the data fast enough.
Things To Try To Resolve -9073 Errors
Pro Tools HD users have had Disk Cache since Pro Tools 10, which enabled Pro Tools to load some, or all of the session and media into your RAM, making 9073 errors history. Disk Cache came to Pro Tools Vanilla in version 12.2, which makes the likelihood of getting 9073 errors on any Pro Tools system later than v12.2 much less likely.
Even so, it is still possible to get 9073 errors with Disk Cache. If playback is started while Disk Cache is in the process of filling, Pro Tools will stop playback with an AAE -9073 error. Avid recommend that you wait until Disk Cache has finished caching the timeline to begin playback.
Check your Disk Cache settings. Some users have reported that if it is set to Normal Pro Tools can still produce 9073 or 9173 errors. Increasing the Disk Cache to say 10GB (providing you have the memory for it) may resolve the problem.
Look at any application that might be scanning drives creating catalogs etc, as they will make the hard drive have to work harder.
Spotlight indexing has been found to cause -9073 "disk too slow" errors while recording in Pro Tools. You can disable Spotlight indexing:
Open OS X System Preferences
Open the "Spotlight" Control Panel
Select the "Privacy" pane
Use the Add button (the "+") or drag a folder or disks into the list
Audio tracks with lots of edits, as can be created when using Beat Detective, can also cause -9073 errors. Bounce to disk, Consolidate, or using Track Commit all can help.
Advice On 9073 Errors On Older Systems
If you have a lot of tracks in a session then consider splitting your audio tracks up across multiple drives to prevent this error.
Partitioning large drives into volumes no larger than around 9 gigs in size can help prevent fragmentation. But partitioning drives can also cause issues and again this largely relates to older systems. Large drives now rarely need partitioning for performance reasons.
Firewire drives have been known to cause 9073 errors. Avid recommends that all Firewire drives must have an RPM speed of 7,200 and have the Oxford 911 Bridge chip.
9173 Error In Pro Tools
This is another common error on Pro Tools that can occur in a wide range of circumstances. There are usually two main ways Pro Tools reports -9173 errors...
Pro Tools ran out of CPU power. Try deactivating or removing Native plug-ins. (AAE error -9173)
Pro Tools 11.2-11.2.2 experiences an AAE -9173 during a real-time bounce to disk.
Things To Try To Resolve -9173 Errors
Pro Tools ran out of CPU power. Try deactivating or removing Native plug-ins. (AAE error -9173)
This can occur if you are pushing the CPU too hard. Go to Window > System Usage and check the CPU usage meter. If the CPU meter is > 80% you should deactivate Native plug-ins to find the most CPU intensive one. You can then make them inactivate and replace with a less CPU intensive plug-in or Bounce/Commit the processed audio to a new track and make the original track inactivate.
Other things to check...
If using a Click Track in Pro Tools 12.5, try deleting the Click Track (Bounce or Commit the track prior to deleting if needed). Avid report this problem was resolved in Pro Tools 12.6. The temporary workaround is to render the click using Commit or offline bounce and import after bounce deactivating the Click Track.
If this error is occurring with a real-time bounce, try enabling the Offline option in the bounce dialog box or bounce to a track, rather than use Bounce To Disc.
With Pro Tools 11, try enabling Dynamic Plug-In Processing in the Playback Engine.
This error code can be caused by a plug-in. Track down and remove the offending plug-in and should be good again. The troublesome plug-in doesn't have to be in your session. Just being in the Plug-ins Folder is enough.
Reports on the DUC recently suggest that for Mac users to try the Turbo Boost Switcher app. It seems to manage the sudden CPU spikes that can trigger -9173 errors.
Some Windows users have reported improvements when Hyperthreading is turned off, although it would seem this is much less helpful for Mac users.
Pro Tools 11.2-11.2.2 experience an AAE -9173 during a real-time bounce to disk. Real-time bounce to disk fails with an AAE -9173 error.
Avid reports that this was fixed in Pro Tools 11.3. But suggested workarounds for previous versions are...
Use the offline bounce feature in Pro Tools 11
Use a real-time bounce to track to print the mix
Check Your Plug-ins
9173 errors can be caused by having older plug-ins in your plug-ins folder. So check your plug-ins and make sure that they are all up to date. We used to recommend PluginUpdate to help with this process, but support for it has been discontinued and the database that supported it is no longer live, so it has taken away the main functionality, so it’s back to checking the latest version from each developer's website one by one.
6177 Error In Pro Tools And Pro Tools First
"AAE error -6117" with Pro Tools First. This error means "Device is not present" and is likely due to a missing driver for your interface. This is likely to be on a Windows machine.
Download and install the driver for your audio interface (download drivers for Avid interfaces)
If a driver is not available or using the built-in audio hardware on a PC, try installing ASIO4ALL. Check out our article on ASIO4ALL.
Hold the N key down immediately after launching until the Playback Engine window opens to select your device
If the same error occurs, Avid recommend you try the following...
Right-click the Speaker Icon you can see on the lower right side of your screen. Then, click Playback Devices.
Right-click the devices and disable all sound device.
Do the same in the Recording tab beside Playback (on top of the dialogue box) After all the Playback and Recording devices are disabled, try to run Pro Tools First again. If it runs, you can enable all the sound devices again.
Although the -6117 error is most likely to happen in Pro Tools First, it can happen in other versions of Pro Tools when it cannot find an audio interface. One user with Pro Tools 12.6.1 reported that de-activating all audio devices (in devices panel of windows 8.1), then re-opening Pro Tools, it will work with the generic driver. Finally, re-activate the correct audio device and drivers and it worked fine.
Another user with an Apollo Quad interface on Windows 10 with Pro Tools 12.4 reported that whenever they try to load up Pro Tools they get the error: "The selected audio device could not be initialized. Please choose another audio device." When they hit "OK", they got: "AAE error -6117 was encountered". Their fix was to go to Playback devices on the Windows toolbar and make sure the Apollo was enabled. Then go into Recording devices and make sure the Apollo was disabled. This caused Pro Tools to recognise the Apollo, and can still play sound from iTunes/Spotify/etc.
9171 Error In Pro Tools
This error usually pops up when the hardware buffer size is too low and relates to other CPU Overload Errors at Low Buffer Sizes, but the key issue is low buffer sizes.
In the Pro Tools 12.5 notes Avid report "CPU performance degradation with lower buffer sizes (AAE error -9171) with HDX"
When using Pro Tools 10.2 on a Mac or Windows dual-processor system and Host Processors in the Playback Engine is set to a number of cores that is equal to double the number of physical CPU cores, playback at the lowest available buffer sizes will throw up CPU Overload errors.
For example, if you have a dual 6-core CPU with Hyperthreading enabled, Pro Tools will allow 24 Host Processors to be used.
If you are using 32, 64, 128, or 256 sample H/W buffer sizes on a dual-processor system, then Avid recommend that you set Host Processors to the number of actual physical cores.
In the dual 6-core CPU example, the desired Host Processor setting to avoid errors strictly related to this bug would be 12.
This bug does not occur when the H/W buffer size goes above 256 but is seen most frequently at 32 and 64 sample buffer sizes. However, this bug is not known to occur on single CPU configurations.
A DAE -9171 error can be encountered when recording large track counts at high sample rates and low buffer sizes with the HD Native Thunderbolt interface, Pro Tools 10.3.2 or 10.3.3 and the 2011 MacBook Pro (non-Retina) computers with disk cache enabled.
This is an issue specific to the 2011 (non-Retina) MacBook Pro computers (8,1 8,2 and 8,3).
As a workaround, Avid recommend...
Use a different computer (Retina MacBook Pro computers do not encounter this error)
Turn Disk Cache off while recording at higher sample rates
Revert to Pro Tools 10.3 or 10.3.1
In some cases, raising the H/W Buffer size can help reduce the error.
9013 Error In Pro Tools
This is a weird one as the suggestion in the error message is completely misleading. Pro Tools reports "AAE’s memory is running low. Please try to increase AAE’s Preferred Size. (AAE -9013)", or it might just report "AAE -9013 is encountered".
Either way, what this may actually mean is that Pro Tools is looking for a missing file or drive, which might occur if the session's storage device becomes unmounted.
Avid recommend that you ensure the session's storage volume is still available, and then quit and relaunch Pro Tools.
There is no way to adjust AAE's preferred size. and so Avid close by asking that we "Please disregard that instruction"!
Any More Errors Causing You Trouble?
So there are 5 error numbers that can come up regularly, but there are hundreds more, if you are having trouble with error messages in Pro Tools then Google is your friend. Alternatively, go to the Avid Troubleshooting pages and put the error number in and finally don't forget to try the DUC Search page too. If you are getting Pro Tools error messages then do let us know in the comments and we may put together another one of these articles.