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How many tracks till you break you PC's back

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BushmasterM4, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    I use Tracktion 3 as my DAW and I love the layout and feel of it. Well I recorded 24 tracks today and with only 8 plugins I started to get the stutters. I running Windows XP Pro (32Bit), with an AMD X2-4800 cpu (dual core) and 4 gigs of memory. My hard drives are all 7200rpm WD. And all inessential processes are removed from Windows. With Tracktion 2 (the previous version of my DAW), I had a tune with 30 tracks and several plugins on each track and it didnt break a sweat. That was on a single core AMD-3800 with 2 gigs. This is the first time with Tracktion 3 Ive had over say 16 Tracks. So, I may go back to Tracktion 2 for big projects or I may jump ship. So tell me what you use as a DAW, and what you PC specs are, and a rough track/vst count for that Daw/PC. Ive read Cubase is very cpu friendly, but I would rather hear it from actual users. ProTools is out of the question. Thanks. Oh yea I run a 6ms latency and record at 24bit 44100. Changing to a higher latency has no effect.
     
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I get the same thing with Tracktion3 though I don't think Tracktion 2 is much less a resource hog.
     
  3. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    Im gonna load the mix up in Tracktion 2 tomorrow and see how it differs.
     
  4. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I have Cubase LE, 2.2 intel core2, 4 gigs, 8800GT 512, All 7200 rpm HD's and dual monitors. I have yet to see it shudder. I think I have 20 tracks with God only knows how many plug ins running on one of my sessions. Hope this helps.

    Oh, I thought I would add that I haven't shut down many services and that I usually mix with a browser open and Media player paused in the background so I can go back and get a reference at anytime because it helps my mix.
     
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Somewhere I did read that T3 munches resources. No idea where though.

    I haven't had more than 6 tracks with 9 plugins total.
    I also have a PC that craps out recording via ASIO after 5 mins on 1024 buffer size, and my "gaming rig" has motherboard troubles that actually prevent me browsing some websites + playing music at the same time.

    "Yes, it runs Crysis. No, you can't run firefox+foobar at once or the music skips. Yes, really, it runs Crysis. Look, I'll load it up and show you..."
     
  6. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    Ok, I think what I am experiancing is a hard drive problem. My cpu meter in Tracktion does not go over a 1/3 with all those tracks. But I see a exclamation point in the meter and the stuttering happens. So I thaught that was a cpu issue. But in the manual, I read that the mark in the cpu meter shows the program is having problems getting tracks from the drive. A cpu problem will max the bar and turn it red So I need to run some speed tests on the drive and also increase the cache size in Tracktion. Will try this tomorrow. One of the biggest things is the cache size. The default Tracktion 3 uses is small. Looks like an easy fix. Tweak the drive and cache size and see what happens.
     
  7. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

  8. Greener

    Greener Guest

    True that!

    I was getting audio dropouts from Sonar. It said it was HDD size issues but I have 12gig free...
    Because I'm recording to the OS drive I was walking a fine line, which got crossed before I filled it up.

    Keeping my drive tidy means I don't need to spend on an external just yet.
     
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Drives are cheap. External boxes are cheap. 100 bucks and your there.
     
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    That's half a weeks welfare for some!

    :p


    Also that's a 3fer and a slab... I got priorities.
     
  11. RichS

    RichS Active Member

    12 gigs in not really a lot of space. There are several temp and scratch files (for copy/paste and undo's) that don't figure in that free space total.

    The most important (and obvious) point is that your "work files" should be on a different drive than your operating system and applications/plug-ins. Since the CPU is not stressed, the stuttering is most likely a result of trying to access too much information from different areas on one drive... it just has to "wait its turn" -- even if it's a fast drive.
     
  12. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    I have 3 drives on the system. One is for the OS and the largest 750gig is the muisc drive. The other I use for backing up stuff. The music drive is a few months old and I really never benchmarked. Getting ready to go out and change the cache,defrag and bechmark it. Well I'll bechmark before and after :)
     
  13. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    Slide the cache buffer in Tracktion 3 all the way to 150. Also changed my swap file settings in windows and the 25 track mix no longer stutters. Also benchmarked my drives and switched to the quickest. One was an average of 68mb/second and the one I switched to was 98mb/second.
     
  14. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    What did you use to benchmark them?
     
  15. BushmasterM4

    BushmasterM4 Active Member

    HD-Tach and the utility in xp. HD-Tach is pretty straight foward.
     

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