How much PC Power for minimal latency?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Lee_B, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Lee_B

    Lee_B Guest

    I just got my firebox and started playing around with it, the first track I recorded to a click track in cool edit, and it recorded fine. I then started to record a second track using my preamp into the line input as track two in the same session, and the click was waaay off; delayed in the headphones when I was recording- and the track was full of pops and clicks.
    Im wondering how exactly to get around the latency issue, because in the future I need to be able to monitor the previous tracks recorded in cooledit while hearing what the mic picks up in the headphones at the same time. But generally how much processor power is needed?
    Of course first Im going to try optimizing the system and see if that helps-
    I've been reinstalling windows to get a separate OS dedicated to DAW. Also- is it really that much better to record the tracks onto a separte hard drive from the system drive?

    The system I have now is an AMD XP 1.29 GHZ with 512 ddr ram (333mhz) and two 80gb 7200 hdd's (one with 8mb cache, thinking I'll use that one for recording the tracks).

    Should I be thinking about upgrading my system? As it looks now do you think it will be impossible to record 4 tracks simultaneously to track a drum kit with this system?

    Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    There are folks who record 24 tracks, quite reliably, on Pentium One machines... Too many things must be done to tweak an audio machine to begin(Again) the endless list tonight... Do searchs on this forum and on Google, like:

    "Audio recording tweaks"

    "Audio recording with computer"

    this sort of thing. Read the manual that came with your audio interface or soundcard. Go to the manufacturers website for your audio recording software(Though as Cool Edit hasn't been around for a couple of years, now, you may have trouble there?), etc., etc., etc.

    "Play around with it" for more than a few minutes before asking such basic questions. What you've asked is: "I just bought a car, I'm driving it down the road, now - how do I get it into second gear?"

  3. JustaJigolo

    JustaJigolo Active Member

    Feb 6, 2006
    Sunny Coppull, Lancashire
    Home Page:
    They've got loads of tweaks on optimising for audio
  4. jcnoernberg

    jcnoernberg Guest

    you also gotta eliminate all those useless windows services running in the background... they suck up all your power! goto start>run>services.msc and start setting things from automatic or manual to disabled. How do you know what to set??? Services.htm

    you should dedicate this computer to recording and forget about ever using it for internet or games. Perform a fresh formatting/installatin of windows and delete any software that isn't needed. eliminate absolutely everything you can. It wouldn't hurt to upgrade that cpu/mobo and get more ram.
  5. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    jcnoernberg brings up a point I have been mulling over for a couple days. With a dedicated DAW, how does one download driver updates and such?

  6. jcnoernberg

    jcnoernberg Guest

    Well honestly, how often do you really need to do that? I use a 128mb flash drive if I have to (to move drivers around)...

    Download SP2 and just forget about the rest. The rest are mostly security updates that have to do with bein on the net or luxury updates anyhow.

    It's not like your computer is gonna explode without windows "background intelligent transfer service" running alongside with your click track adding a few clicks and pops to make you aware of it being there!
  7. Lee_B

    Lee_B Guest

    Well, I'm going to have to throw in the towel here.
    I've spent the last couple weeks trying to figure this out, but its either cooledit software is the problem, or my system is too slow for multitrack recording.
    I reinstalled windows on one hard drive, and use the other for data. I went through every step on musicXP, I have 18 processes now, no extra installed programs, no networking.
    Im lucky if I can get two tracks recorded without pops, after that, monitoring is impossible- it cracks and pauses every 1/2 second. I spent hours messing with the settings in cooledit, buffer sizes, priority, etc.

    I can mix fine, with tons of real time effects on all the tracks, but as soon as I try to record and monitor what I already got, its a nogo. Also tried bouncing everything to a single track.
    I'll just have to go back to recording through my PA mixer until I can affort a new PC with dual processors. :roll:
  8. Lee_B

    Lee_B Guest

    Well- learned a bit more info today- when playing back a mixdown in my "DAW" installation of XP, even the mixdown, which is just a pre-rendered wave from cooledit, is full of pops and clicks. When I play back the same file on my regular winXP installation that I use for internet and everything else, it plays fine, not one click. Maybe I need to install all the audio drivers and extra drivers in my daw XP.
  9. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Are you using the ASIO Drivers?
  10. Lee_B

    Lee_B Guest

    Yep- using the asio drivers for the firebox.
    Also downloaded and installed the driver from, and learned how to use that. tried every different setting.

    So far I've tried both cooledit and cubase le, which comes with the firebox. In cubase same thing, if I play back a simple .wav it stutters and pops and clicks continuously, and when recording an audio track (even with no monitoring) same effect. Ive tried every different setting in the universal asio driver, as well as every different buffer setting I could find in both software programs.
    Something has to be wrong here. Maybe the firewire isnt transfering fast enough? my firebox is defective?

    I just dont understand. The minimum requriements for the firebox is a 900mhz cpu and 256 mb ram. I have a 1.3 mhz and 512, and I cant even record a single track, even with no monitoring, no effects, no plugins, no extra background processes running, and no internet.
  11. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I believe some versions of XP have a Firewire "bug" that limits FW operation to 100 Mbps (should be 400Mbps). There is a downloadable "fix" from Microsoft. Maybe try that?

  12. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    It is with SP2 when that happens. Look here for the fix.

    Your hardware should be fine. I've seen a P4 1.GHz (Pro Tools) record 16 tracks in one go. Don't buy anything new just yet.
  13. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    I am experiencing dropouts, but don't know whether it is related to FW speed. I see that the fix has some inherent risk, and do not want to take an unnecessary risk. Is there a way to test to see at what speed my FW is operating?

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