Recording software dropping out.

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by liveit777, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. liveit777

    liveit777 Active Member

    Hi guys.... I wasn't really sure on which forum to post this in so I just picked this one. Here's my problem. I am trying to edit a song but my software keeps dropping out. As soon as I hit play its plays for like 2-3 milliseconds. It's horrible. There's no way I can edit a song like this. This happens even when I take all of the plugins off. My CPU is barely using 20%. I use Sonar Home Studio. Any advice would be so cool! Thanks and God bless!
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Usually buffers set too low. Head for 1024 or 2048ms...not sure where the option is in Sonar.
  3. liveit777

    liveit777 Active Member

    Is that not to high? Some other guy told us to set it at 512. That was a long time ago.. Thanks for the advice!
  4. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    It makes no difference unless you are re-monitoring via the software, which you shouldn't be doing, although you may have no choice. When you are editing a song its immaterial.
  5. liveit777

    liveit777 Active Member

    Can you please rephrase that? Sorry... I don't quite understand what you are meaning. Thank you so much for helping me out.
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    The buffer defines the time between the software processing the audio and kicking it back out. Increasing it gives more time for the software to process before it sends it to the output device, allowing the processor more cycles in which to process.

    So if you wanted to take audio in, add reverb from your computer, and then monitor it, the higher the buffer, the longer the delay between the audio going in, and coming back out, and therefore the higher the latency.

    But if you are just listening to outwards audio as you mix/add effects etc, it makes no odds if there is a 1000ms delay between pressing play and the audio starting, you still hear everything inline. But you give your processor chance to apply the mix effects and generate the audio, resulting in less clicking. Savvy?
  7. liveit777

    liveit777 Active Member

    Savvy dude! You are awesome! Thank you so much for all the help. I think that might be the problem. But if it's not, is there any other tips you could give me?
  8. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Yes, but I need to know your hardware. Disk access speeds & single-use bus is the next most likely culprit.
  9. SharkFM

    SharkFM Active Member

    A buffer is data storage, so the CPU uses the audio software to pack the buffer, then go do something else. If the buffer runs dry before the CPU gets back to it = no output.

    So yeah increase it. This is the whole latency deal too. Higher buffer values are better for the CPU but will create more real time delay. Hard to decipher sometimes in the audio jargon used.
  10. uncamike

    uncamike Active Member

    Hey Liveit777,

    I am assuming it is just the one song doing this and not all of the tunes in sonar you have recorded. I have cakewalk 9 which is an older version than sonar. This doesn't sound like a processor drop out problem from plug in effects. This sounds more like you defragged your hard drive possibly. Defrag is not your friend in recording with cakewalk and I assume this might have happened if you have your computer set up automatically do this. What happens in a defrag is the computer packs all the wave files seperately and they are no longer all blocked in one easy place for Sonar to find and it has to jump all over the disk to read all the different tracks. This causes the disk to not be able to keep up and this causes the drop out. Defragging doesn't always mess with all the song files but it can screw up some tunes. Defragging should be avoided on your recording machine. My old recording computer is pretty crappy and the buffer is set to 464 milsec with sample rate at 44100Hz.

    This is what I would do to try to fix this problem. You cannot refix the original tracked wave files that have been spread onto your hard drive by defragging or whatever jitter that caused the data displacement but you can go to the tools tab in the menu and choose to change audio format of the tracks you select. This will rewrite these tracks in a closely spaced format that is correctly spaced for Sonar to get to and read the hard drive data in real time. You will need to do this for all the audio tracks in the song since there is no way of knowing which track wave file is the offender.

    Another thing that can cause this is not cleaning your audio disk under tools after your sessions. If you do not clean the disk all those mistake and do over tracks are still sitting on the hard drive waiting for you to click undo / redo in the Sonar program. This build up of data makes it tricky for the writing of new data so this can make weird drop outs too. Compacting the audio data might help as well since it should take the files and place them in blocks that are logical to Sonar.

    If it were a driver or buffer problem it would affect all of your projects. This is what leads me to believe it is a bit of corrupted or displaced data. Compacting the data or changing the audio format will allow Sonar to correct it digitally and not in real time like trying to retrack it through recording. Let us know if it works and good luck.
  11. liveit777

    liveit777 Active Member

    Hey thanks dude!!!

    I think you're right about the defragging thing. I was having this problem even before I defragged the hard drive . But now it's even worse than it was before. I'm never doing that again. Lol...... I did try something that helped a little bit though. I high-lighted all of my tracks and then did Edit-bounce to tracks. I think that kind of did the same thing. Like there were "new" files instead of the defragged ones. But I'll probably try your suggestion though. I don't know what is is about sonar!!!! I like they way it works but I'm always having problems. Like I'll be recording and the screen will just turn black. Or will just randomly say sonar has to shut down fir no reason. But anyway... Thank you for the help! I really appreciate it! God Bless!!!
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I am not familiar with Sonor but I have never had a problem nor heard of an issue with defragging a hard drive. In fact while I don't have the process automated I do defrag non SSD drives regularly and this is usually a recommended proceedure.
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Generally buffers need to be set low for recording & high for mixing. You don't want to be using plug-ins while recording either. There are other tweaks In Windows to utilize as well and one always needs to have their system & storage drives defragmented. If your drives are not defragmented the computer will run like crap, plain and simple.

    So There are two opposing views try both.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  14. uncamike

    uncamike Active Member

    Jack is right about my post being obscure information. I think I found this information a long time ago on some cakewalk forum back in the day when my songs started crashing. Remy is also right about making sure you aren't using destructive editing during your recording and use plug in processing on the back end when you want to marry it.

    Sorry that I was not clear before. When I said Defrag I am talking about windows defrag assigning where the wave files are put on your recording machine's hard drive. If you let windows do the defrag it can trash the songs in cakewalk. It is not an all the time thing but it can trash a tune. After the first time this happened to me I made that computer my recording machine alone and never used it to do other functions anymore like surf the web etc. The wave files or each track are all independent in cakewalk/ sonar and are plug and play components to the tune. If windows moves these files in any way it thinks is logical, data will be all over the place and on a slow drive it will crash the song. This is especially bad on songs that have multiple jumps in and out since each sound bite is a new sound file that will be relocated. Cakewalk and its later counter parts have a part of the program designed to defrag the musical data, and compact the recorded material in its format. This is a big limitation for cakewalk/ sonar products I know. But it is the price we pay when working with a poor man's software and slower hard drives.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Wow. That is unusual behavior for a DAW. Most modern DAWs load the files for a session into a temp folder for the duration of the session. That way they are always easily accessed. Again I am not familiar with Sonor or Cakewalk so I don't know how those programs work the audio but I would be surprised if they are significantly different. Go into your program preferences and ensure your temp folder for your DAW is not your main C hard drive. If you only have two drives make the temp folder on your audio drive or attach a usb drive for temp space. A little known bit is to keep your main drive at least 35% empty for best efficiency. I follow that rule on project drives also by moving finished projects to an archive/storage drive. Hard drives are dirt cheap these days. And I still recommend defragmentation of both non audio and audio project drives. I don't bother with archived storage.
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The defragmenting issue disappeared a long time ago. I always defragment my hard drives and most if not all DAW developers recommend it now. I would bet that if you did a search on any DAW forum's FAQ, IE: DUC, or Cakewalk forums, you will find that they recommend defragmenting your hard drive regularly.

    Livit777 go here. Read the instructions thoroughly first, then start disabling services in your OS. You are using a secondary hard drive right?

    Just a note. There are well more than one hundred fifty processes that you can disable. There's a drop down menu that allows you to show up to 100 services at a time. There are several pages to go through otherwise. Navigatable by the arrows at the bottom right hand corner of the table.
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Wow... Windows7 Rocks and IMO PC are incredible for audio now. Macs are the bloated OS now. Being able to get rid of all this unnecessary and stream line puts PC on top. Well, lets just say very pro audio... Love my PC's
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think the problem with defragmenting that some people have experienced is that some defragmentation programs will begin to defragment, in the background, automatically. This won't cut it with audio programs. So, yeah, defragmenting can cause you problems if "auto defragment" isn't first disabled. That's where the crashing occurs. When your machine is setup for audio purposes, you'll find that most any programs running in the background need to be disabled from ever starting up. This will then require you to manually run these programs when you're not doing audio of any sort. So before you begin any recording sessions or mixing sessions, you first defragment your drives. When you finish recording and/or overdubbing, then you defragment your drives. Virus scanners, everything needs to be shut down & neutralized when you are doing any kind of audio work. So you don't necessarily want your computer to be online while you're doing such things since you turned all protection features off. Although some programs can load in the background, they just cannot be allowed to run.

    Running with the pack
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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