1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Problems recording on my laptop

Discussion in 'Recording' started by stratman312, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    I'm running Sonar 7 on my HP (w/ vista) and I often get audio dropouts b/c the meter labeled CPU exceeds the maximum. I tried running XP but my computer was running into too many problems so I switched back to vista. I also have 3GB of RAM, so I don't think that is the problem either. Is their anything I can do to make my laptop run without dropouts?
  2. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Memory is sold in pairs, but that is not the reason they use the term parity. Memory is not sold in gig and a half sticks...it could well BE your issue.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    If you buy 4 gigs, Vista will only see 3Gigs. Having an odd value like 1.5 gigs is not necessarily bad in itself. Dropouts can result from a plethora of other things.

    Do you have a dedicated external drive for audio? If not, you should. Is your current hard drive loaded/fragmented? Try to keep as much free space as possible. Defragment often.

    Try to use as few plugins as possible while tracking. If you must use plugins for midi instruments, export the midi and label it appropriately. IE: piano, B3, Pad, Lead synth etc. After you've exported the midi to a folder, render the midi to an audio track in your project. You can use those as scratch tracks. Freezing the tracks can help but audio uses much less cpu than virtual instruments.

    When mixing, max the buffers. At that point you can import the midi files you exported and load the instruments. With the buffers maxed, your computer will have an easier time dealing with the data.

    Disable any unnecessary programs/wireless cards/firewalls/antivirus. Work off line while you are doing audio.
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Actually, Vista will report whatever it reports, but may actually see and map all the memory...or not. Everything matters, motherboards, bios, chipsets, the whole nine yards but at the end of the day if you physically have 3 gig of memory then there's your trouble.
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Pardon me. Let me rephrase. A 32 bit OS can only use 3 gigs of available ram. I've run plenty of computers with less than equal value of ram. 1.5, 2.5 it's virtually a non issue. Most of the newer motherboards require Dimms in sets of 3. Even then, I don't think it's a requirement to function correctly. It merely allows you to use the full bandwidth capability.

    Can using less than ideal RAM values cause drop outs? Sure but if you're using a 32 bit OS only 3 gigs will be available to you anyway. Your memory bandwidth should not be so disabled that you are unable to do reasonable track counts.

    Plugins will encumber your computer very quickly. Especially when you are using high quality, high resolution modeled plugins. Which means, anything by Waves and many others.
  6. Space

    Space Well-Known Member


    :here is the relevant information form page 18 of the pdf:

    'With SP1, Windows Vista will report the amount of system memory installed rather than report the amount of system memory available to the OS. Therefore 32-bit systems equipped with 4GB of RAM will report all 4GB in many places throughout the OS, such as the System Control Panel. However, this behavior is dependent on having a compatible BIOS, so not all users may notice this change."
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Regardless of how much an OS can see (I can see 4 gigs in XP with the right hardware monitor), a 32 bit OS can only make use of 3 Gigs. That is the nature of the beast. That is also why people are looking at 64 bit OS's. 64 bit will allow you to see four times as much RAM. That's just the way it is. Regardless, I think RAM is the least of the problems.
  8. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    The issue is what it always is....patience!

    At least two operating systems are being employed in this situation, most likely not EVEN in a dual booting configuration. So if your right or if I am right is not even part of the equation. It isn't memory and it isn't a handfull of tweaks that a first grader would already have done by now.

    It is PATIENCE!

    "I tried running XP but my computer was running into too many problems so I switched back to vista."

    Here lies the answer to the question. Not only is it NOT the operating system and it is NOT the memory and it is NOT a handful of tweaks that first graders are already aware of...it is a loose nut on the keyboard.

    It is the same two things in the same order over and over, patience and a loose nut on the keyboard.

    Regardless of 3 gigs and the limits imposed from hardware...there is no quick fix to the question at hand.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I think we should try to refrain from chastising people just because they may be less informed. For all we know Stratman is an accomplished engineer with a minor issue with his daw.

    Being right is the least of my worries. Whether I'm right or wrong, I just want to make sure that accurate info is given.
  10. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Definitely apply patience to your tasks! Something I personally am in VERY short supply of!!

    I'm not fond of PC DAW problems, or the steps required to "compensate" for their short-comings. However, my answer to "unknowns" is to eliminate ONE thing at a time until I discover what is causing the problem. It can come from a registry error, or programming error, maybe two programs fighting for resources...

    I find my USB mouse causes more problems than just about anything else.

    And the problem thet galls me the most is the IEEE 1394 Firewire connector on my laptop's MB!!! WHY IS IT SO INFERIOR TO TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FIREWIRE? More importantly, how can I "fix" it? Ultimately there is no fix for that problem. But it took 2 years, and quite a bit of belly-aching to come to that conclusion.

    I said all that to air out my grievances more than anything else. Hope it helps give you a starting place. I tell my budding PC builder son to start at the beginning each and every time he has a problem. For both of us, it is the only way to resolve a problem - which sometimes randomly occurs and randomly repaired!

    Good luck! And please post your findings, no matter how small or random you believe them to be.
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I didn't chastise anyone and most of the information I posted was for your benefit sir, as it seems you require it almost as much as the OP.
  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    What is with the attitude? Why do some people insist on acting so rudely? Your "advice" is at best partially informed.

    That is name calling and childish. Sure sometimes it's called for but not always. The OP did not warrant that kind of response.

    You don't know the qualifications of the OP. Calling him lazy is ignorant. The OP did not mention how many tracks he is running, how many plugins, how much routing is going on. All these things factor. It's not always a problem per se. Running high track counts will cause dropouts.

    Andfor the sake of argument:
  13. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your ability to get involved where you clearly are not needed but this is not a moral issue that requires your divination.

    Any one person who has been involved in tech support will recognize, immediately, the issue in the question. Your input has not helped any and has only served to exacerbate the concern.

    You would be a better citizen had you kept your mouth shut, but this is something that seems to be outside of your ability.

    So I ask you, what do you hope to gain from this examination of moral infractions?

    Do this, and do it quickly, fix the issue or leave it alone.
  14. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Just to throw my 2 cents in on this RAM thing....FWIW....I've spent way too much time reading and researching the whole 4G RAM thing in WinXP 32 bit and it turns out that WinXP actually does utilizes all 4G of RAM if you have it installed....32 bit can and does map all 4G of those address spaces (max for 32bit). The problem is WinXP maps the first 1G of memory blocks to store all of its system drivers and system services specific to operating WinXP then it gives you and your applications what ever is left over....There is a PAE (Physical Address Extension) setting that can be enabled during the auotexec.bat file execution that can alter the way that space is initialized and allocated....
    If you put 4G into a WinXP system you do in fact get a small advantage in memory block allocation over 3G but it is minor and does not exhibit a substantial increase in speed that is noticeable..
    BTW the same thing occurs in Vista 32 or 64 it's just worse and more than 1G of RAM is masked for system services....so buy as much as you can....it will help your performance while executing your applications...
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Did you even read what I posted. Your "advice" is ill founded. PERIOD. READ it again.
    the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista limit the total available memory to 3.12 GB. See the "More information" section for information about potential driver compatibility issues.

    This isn't about morals although that does apply. It's about mutual respect and how people view this site. It is also about your reputation. If you want to act like a pompous know it all, go to gearslutz.

    If you have a problem with me go talk to the Admin.
    Edit: this is in response to Space
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    For Windows Vista to use all 4 GB of memory on a computer that has 4 GB of memory installed, the computer must meet the following requirements:

    * The chipset must support at least 8 GB of address space. Chipsets that have this capability include the following:
    o Intel 975X
    o Intel P965
    o Intel 955X on Socket 775
    o Chipsets that support AMD processors that use socket F, socket 940, socket 939, or socket AM2. These chipsets include any AMD socket and CPU combination in which the memory controller resides in the CPU.
    * The CPU must support the x64 instruction set. The AMD64 CPU and the Intel EM64T CPU support this instruction set.
    * The BIOS must support the memory remapping feature. The memory remapping feature allows for the segment of system memory that was previously overwritten by the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) configuration space to be remapped above the 4 GB address line. This feature must be enabled in the BIOS configuration utility on the computer. View your computer product documentation for instructions that explain how to enable this feature. Many consumer-oriented computers may not support the memory remapping feature. No standard terminology is used in documentation or in BIOS configuration utilities for this feature. Therefore, you may have to read the descriptions of the various BIOS configuration settings that are available to determine whether any of the settings enable the memory remapping feature.
    * An x64 (64-bit) version of Windows Vista must be used.
  17. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Problem is you are preaching to the choir....but we are of a different religion.

    You are hung up on this Vista/hardware issue when it was early on explained , by me, that I had more interest in hard ware.

    Your interest is not to help the OP but to discredit me.

    So ^#$% off my brother, you are officially on my nerves.
  18. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Spoken like a true Christian. NOWHERE did I mention RELIGION here. RELIGION DOES NOT BELONG ON THIS FORUM! PERIOD!

    I'm am NOT trying to discredit you! I want accurate info as I said. Using less than equal values of RAM is not going to slow down your system so much as to cause problems the OP described. There are obviously other factors at stake.

    Nevertheless, this posting has gone way off topic. Let it stop there and get back on topic or I'll lock it. No one needs to read this bickering.
  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well there. Now you see. That is what they call a misinterpretation. I obviously wasn't paying attention when I read that last post. But hey, I can laugh at that.

    For what it's worth. Dell ships one of their Studio 17 with 3GB of RAM.
  20. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    I may be a bit late responding here, but to try to clarify some things, my computer came with two 1GB pieces of RAM. I replaced one of them with a 2GB, thus equaling 3GB. Also, impatience isn't the issue either, becuase I've spent months trying to get my recording setup in working order, but I'm leaving for college in a week, and wanted to have my laptop able to function for school related things. Althouh I'm fairly new to recording, I've been playing music since I was six, and I really don't see a need to try to lower others to make yourself look better. I joined the forum to hopefully learn some things about recording, not to have my intellegence insulted when I'm already aware of my abilites. However, thanks to those who actually do offer advice.

Share This Page