Logic Pro Crashes – Make The Most Of Them
Let’s talk crashes. I must say I’ve had my dose through the years. I tend to update Logic Pro rather quickly after there’s an update out, which isn’t always the smartest thing to do. I run a pretty big collection of third-party plugins – so I easily lose track of version updates. Dealing with crashes unfortunately is an integral part of working with Logic Pro, so let’s have a look at what you can do to find out more about the cause of a crash.
These are the steps I follow whenever I get this warm welcome:
After clicking ‘quit’, if all goes well, this pops up:
After clicking ‘Report’. This dialogue appears:
I never leave a comment. Given the state I’m in after a crash, chances are it won’t begin with ‘Dear Steve’ anyway, so I just leave it empty. Before you send it to Apple (you should), hit ‘Show Details’.
If you’re not getting any of these dialogues after the crash, you can find the crash report in
Doubleclick the most recent report, and it will open in the Console application (located in Applications/Utilities).
Finding The Culprit
After either clicking ‘Show Details’ or opening the crash report in Console, look up the thread that crashed:
As you can see, thread 0 crashed. This list is in reverse chronological order, so the last task right before the crash is at the top. The system component is on the left (libSystem.B.dylib) and the task is on the right. Having entered geek territory, we need help, so let’s visit a forum.
Site Specific Google Search
Before I jump to my favorite forum, I always use Google first. I use a site specific search:
‘site:(domain to be searched) (searchterm)’.
In this case, a good query would be “site:logicprohelp.com libSystem.B.dylib”.
A good idea here is to narrow down the search by adding a version number (9.1.3 in my case) to the search query, and move from there. This typical crash, I learned, turns out to be almost perfectly replicable on 9.1.3 running on OSX 10.6.7. Read about it here. I bumped into a bug.
The Audio Unit Crash
When a third party Audio Unit is the culprit, often more specific action can be taken. One day I was editing vocals in Melodyne, when Logic suddenly crashed. I checked logs, and found a suspect, its name ending with “.music.apps.MAAudioEngine”. Searching that pointed to Melodyne. Basically I was left with two choices: update the plugin, and if that didn’t work, disable the plugin in the Audio Units Manager. But what if a plugin causes a crash right after loading your project, and you’ve set that project as the default song?
Logic Pro Startup Modes
By using modifier keys while you open the application, you can put Logic Pro or into one of several troubleshooting modes. Just go to your Applications folder, double-click the Logic icon, and then immediately hold down the respective modifier key(s) until Logic Pro is fully loaded.
- Launch Logic Pro, then hold down [option]
- Launch Logic Pro, then hold down [ctrl]
- Launch Logic Pro, then hold down [ctrl] and [shift]
This will open Logic Pro without Autoload/Template/LastRecent.
This will open Logic Pro without the audio engine.
AU-Safe Mode. This will skip plugins that didn’t pass validation.
I know, having to stop right in the middle of your creative flow can be very frustrating, if not unhealthy. But at least now you know some ways to be back on your feet when Logic Pro crashes again, either with or without the faulty plugin. And if it turns out to be a bug, always report the crash to Apple, or submit the report to your favorite help forum.