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cheap_guitar

Cakewalk by Bandlab Issues / Fustrations

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For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to get Cakewalk by Bandlab to run in a good way on my DAW machine. This is after almost a year of using Reaper as my main DAW. Cakewalk appeals to me due to familiarity and some pretty slick features such as Pro Channel, which I always loved.

My experience so far hasn't been as good as I'd hoped. I've had issues with crackling audio while using certain plugins, at least one flat out crash, crackling audio on a track that had a section which was copy / pasted. Just a lot of random stuff. I found that Automap (which worked with legacy Cakewalk) no longer seems to work properly. Just a lot of annoying issues.

These are issues that I really haven't had with Reaper. Same soundcard, same drivers, same plugins, better performance all the way around. So, I find it hard to believe that the machine has any real issues. Granted, it's not the latest and greatest on all fronts. Some of the components are getting quite old. However, the performance issues between CWbB versus Reaper are pretty eye opening.

Now that brings up my question: I know a great number of people are happily using CW on a daily basis with no big issues. What am I missing here? Is is such a trick to properly configure the darned program? I didn't have to jump through hoops like this in the past. I was running SPLAT on a Quad Core Intel machine with 8gb of ram not long ago. I'm running dual Xeons with 32gb and 5.75 freaking tb of HDD spread over 4 drives for pete's sake! I don't understand.

For the record, I live and breathe computers on a daily basis, so configuration and programming is my bread and butter.

Any ideas are appreciated.
Signed,

Frustrated in Louisianastan. (I'm a multi core squirrel is a single core world)

Edited by cheap_guitar
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CbB will use all the CPUs made available by the OS. One the thing I noticed about the Xeon E5420 is its slow clock speed. This could be an issue. That said, WRT to CbB settings, in preferences:

EnableSetThreadIdealProcessor should be True

ThreadSchedulingModel should be set to 2

You may try tweaking MixThreadCount. By default, it is set to 0 which makes all cores available to CbB. Sometimes, it is preferable to reserve 1 or 2 for the OS and other tasks.

 

 

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All of the power settings are in High Performance mode . Both the minimum and maximum processor states are set to 100%. A question for anyone that knows:

Is CW able to utilize multiple CPUs? Is there a setting I should tweak? All 8 cores are showing in the performance meter of CW.

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10 hours ago, scook said:

CbB will use all the CPUs made available by the OS. One the thing I noticed about the Xeon E5420 is its slow clock speed. This could be an issue. That said, WRT to CbB settings, in preferences:

A 2X Xeon 5420 system running at 2.5ghz might be too slow!? I can take the same project, pull it over to Reaper using Alexy's plugin and the project plays perfectly. I can have 20 tracks all with their own plugins (Soundspot included) and NEVER worry about issues of the kind I've seen in trying to get CW to run. It makes no sense to me that the two programs would run so differently on the same machine. If BOTH programs ran poorly, then I might agree that it was the machine, but being able to run the same project in one DAW but not the other tells me the issue lies somewhere else. CW has some really nice features, and I ran it exclusively for over 20 years in it's various forms, so I'm really puzzled and disappointed by this experience. Ok, enough of my venting. And for the record I appreciate you all taking time to give this a look. It does mean a great deal to me that this community is so willing to assist.

Here is the relevant portion of my AUD.INI file:

[Aud]
DataDir=C:\Cakewalk Projects\Audio Data
PictureDir=C:\Cakewalk Projects\Picture Cache
PicCacheMB=500
PicCacheZoom=128
PicCacheLevels=2
EnablePicCacheThreads=1
ComputePicturesWhilePlaying=1
CopyOnImport=1
ReadCache=0
WriteCache=0
EnableCacheWriteThru=1
VolMethod=1
PanMethod=1
DiskBufSize=256
DiskRecBufSize=256
ExtraDiskBuffers=2
DitherAlgorithm=0
ZeroFillMethod=2
RecordPreAllocSeconds=0
ZeroFillDB=300
FlushWriteBeforeRead=0
FlushMultiple=1
DefaultEqPosition=0
DefaultAudSnapOfflineStretchMethod=11
DefaultAudSnapOnlineStretchMethod=12
RadiusStretchingPitchCoherence=50
RadiusStretchingPhaseCoherence=50
DefaultVocalSyncOfflineStretchMethod=7
DefaultVocalSyncOnlineStretchMethod=12
RealtimePreroll=0
SuspendPluginsOnBounce=1
[Wave]
DefaultSampleRate=44100
DriverID=0
WaveInID=0
OpenInputFirst=0
SmpteMode=1
TimingOffsetMsec=0.000000
TimingOffsetBuffers=0
LatencyMsec=11
BounceBufSizeMsec=0
AlwaysStreamAudioThroughFx=1
MaxInputChannels=16
MaxOutputChannels=16
ThreadSchedulingModel=2
TransDetectorModel=1
EnableMixThreads=1
MixThreadCount=0
EnableSetThreadIdealProcessor=1 (I'll assume 1=True)
EnablePluginLoadBalancing=1
MinPluginLoadBalancingBufferSamples=128
CSUseSpin=1
AllowOfflineRenderMixThreads=1
UseMMCSS=0
MMCSSThreadPriority=2
MMCSSTaskKey=Pro Audio
FreeMemOnUnload=1
AlwaysOpenAllDevices=0
MinimizeDriverStateChanges=1
RemoveDCOffset=0
EnableAsioBufferSwitchTimeInfo=1
EnableDeviceOutputLatencyCompensation=1
UseHardwareSamplePosition=1
BitsPerSample=24
FileBitDepth=16
RenderBitDepth=32
ImportBitDepth=0
ExtraPluginBufs=0
MixDezipperUsec=50
GapDezipperUsec=500
WaveInBuffers=8
WaveOutBuffersMME=4
WaveOutBuffersKS=2
MeterFrameSizeMS=40
SyncMaxDriftMsec=2
SyncDivisor=8
ProfiledMME=0
ProfiledKS=0
ProfiledWASAPI=0
UseWDMDmaForWASAPI=1
LinkSendPan=0
LinkPFSendMute=0
StopOnEmptyPlayQueue=0
KsUseInputEvent=0
WaveOutExtraBuffers=1
AutomationDecimationMsec=50
EnableSSEMixing=1
ThumbnailCacheSize=100
ManageASIOThreadPriority=1
EnableLiveADCRecalc=1
UseAlias=0
DropoutMsec=250
StartFadeMsec=0
StopFadeMsec=0
PanLaw=0
PanLawCompatMode=0
DisableIMDuringPlay=0
ShowMultiChannelInputs=1
ShowMultiChannelOutputs=1
MaxPreviewMsec=300000
EnableWasapiDSP=1

 

Edited by cheap_guitar

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My audio engine just stops.  Then I have to:

1.  Close CW
2.  Go to Task Manager and end task, since CW will not fully close by itself
3.  Delete AUD.ini and TTSSEQ.ini
4.  Launch CW
5.  Reconfigure audio and MIDI I/O

When I was in the business, I used Sonar all day long with many plug-ins and GigaStudio running on a much less powerful machine than I have now.

I have no idea what's causing the instabilities.  I hope there's a solution.  I've only been using CW for a couple days and the crashes or sudden loss of audio engine happen several times an hour.
 

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There are a few things about the AUD.INI. None of which appear to big performance issues but each machine is different.

The project and picture cache are on the system drive. Given the machine has multiple drives, it may be better to put these elsewhere. This may already be done with directory junctions. Can't tell from AUD.INI entries. If possible put the picture cache on a non-system drive that does not contain project audio.

I use a regular HD for my project audio and needed a little larger DiskBufSize.  I double the default to 512.

UseMMCSS is set to 0. The default is 1 and the help advises to leave it at 1. Sometimes the help is not accurate but it may be worth testing the default value.

FileBitDepth is set to 16. This is not a performance issue but most would recommend projects record bit depth of at least 24.

ExtraPluginBufs is set to 0. With 32GB of RAM it can't hurt to give a little extra memory to plug-ins. I changed this to 32.

DropoutMsec is set to 250. I increased this on my PC to 750.

 

With the exception of UseMMCSS and FileBitDepth, I cannot recommend my values for any machine but my own. These just stand out as differences from my config.

 

 

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Check your buffer size too, in the audio controls. I'm not in front of my DAW or I would post a screen capture.

I love, love low latency, and I used to push the low buffer to the point where I would have similar cracking symptoms like you describe, and I'd have to increase a little with the buffer size. Sometimes you have to play with the buffer size until you find just the right balance of performance.

Might be worth a try.

Good luck!

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As I understand it, whether or not to check "UseMMCSS" depends on your audio interface. The documentation for my Antelope Orion 32+ suggests turning it off in the DAW as it is being handled by the Antelope driver. I had better performance after turning it off in CbB.

However I don't think that is the OP issue.

Crackling audio is usually is caused by too small of a buffer. Many people have reported being able to use smaller buffers with Reaper. I have auditioned Reaper and while I like the program well enough, I did not find it to perform any better than CbB. However Cakewalk works very well on my system, so YMMV.

As far as this goes...

4 hours ago, MitchNC said:

My audio engine just stops.  Then I have to:

1.  Close CW
2.  Go to Task Manager and end task, since CW will not fully close by itself
3.  Delete AUD.ini and TTSSEQ.ini
4.  Launch CW
5.  Reconfigure audio and MIDI I/O

When I was in the business, I used Sonar all day long with many plug-ins and GigaStudio running on a much less powerful machine than I have now.

I have no idea what's causing the instabilities.  I hope there's a solution.  I've only been using CW for a couple days and the crashes or sudden loss of audio engine happen several times an hour.
 

You should probably start a new thread.  Deleting those two .ini files is not something you should have to do repeatedly. More info will be needed.

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Louisianastan 🙂   

Just noticed that. Kind of chilly here today but that won't last long.

 

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37 minutes ago, Base 57 said:

Louisianastan 🙂   

Just noticed that. Kind of chilly here today but that won't last long.

 

Gonzales checking in.

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1 hour ago, Base 57 said:

That's about 50 miles from Boutte.

There are several of us LA based musicians hanging around here. Grem, I'm looking at you...

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4 hours ago, scook said:

There are a few things about the AUD.INI. None of which appear to big performance issues but each machine is different.

The project and picture cache are on the system drive. Given the machine has multiple drives, it may be better to put these elsewhere. This may already be done with directory junctions. Can't tell from AUD.INI entries. If possible put the picture cache on a non-system drive that does not contain project audio.

I use a regular HD for my project audio and needed a little larger DiskBufSize.  I double the default to 512.

UseMMCSS is set to 0. The default is 1 and the help advises to leave it at 1. Sometimes the help is not accurate but it may be worth testing the default value.

FileBitDepth is set to 16. This is not a performance issue but most would recommend projects record bit depth of at least 24.

ExtraPluginBufs is set to 0. With 32GB of RAM it can't hurt to give a little extra memory to plug-ins. I changed this to 32.

DropoutMsec is set to 250. I increased this on my PC to 750.

 

With the exception of UseMMCSS and FileBitDepth, I cannot recommend my values for any machine but my own. These just stand out as differences from my config.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback Scook. I'll give these suggestions a go. 

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One game changer for me was tweaking the  ( mix thread count ). I'm using an Appollo interface and I presumed that using all cores was the  most efficient way to process. But I had to reduced the number of cores to 6 before all was well. I presumed that maybe the Appllo required core for it's internal processing. I don't really know but - I luckily found a very old thread on the forum that eluded to this and sure enough that was the key. I don't know enough about how this all works - but you might try to see if it helps. Hopefully it couldn't hurt.

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While many things can be tweaked so Sonar/CbB can run fine, expecting it can work as most performance optimized DAW to the date (I mean REAPER) is hopeless. One responsible for fluent operations with small buffers feature, the anticipative processing,  simply does not exist in the Cakewalk engine.

But it should be possible to make CbB working. With bigger buffer size and less plug-ins, but still. When I think I have troubles, I normally start with my personal list: http://www.azslow.com/index.php?topic=395.0

 

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53 minutes ago, azslow3 said:

While many things can be tweaked so Sonar/CbB can run fine, expecting it can work as most performance optimized DAW to the date (I mean REAPER) is hopeless. One responsible for fluent operations with small buffers feature, the anticipative processing,  simply does not exist in the Cakewalk engine.

But it should be possible to make CbB working. With bigger buffer size and less plug-ins, but still. When I think I have troubles, I normally start with my personal list: http://www.azslow.com/index.php?topic=395.0

 

Thank you for the information Alexey. I will look over your list this weekend and see if there is anything I've missed. At this point, I suspect that it's related to the multi-cpu configuration I'm running. However, that is purely speculation after trying a multitude of other tweaks. I don't see my hardware configuration changing anytime soon, so the answer at the end may be that I stick with the DAW which can best take advantage of it.

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My list does not include multi-cpu checks. I have racks of servers, but they are not used for audio 😉

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12 hours ago, azslow3 said:

While many things can be tweaked so Sonar/CbB can run fine, expecting it can work as most performance optimized DAW to the date (I mean REAPER) is hopeless. One responsible for fluent operations with small buffers feature, the anticipative processing,  simply does not exist in the Cakewalk engine.

But it should be possible to make CbB working. With bigger buffer size and less plug-ins, but still. When I think I have troubles, I normally start with my personal list: http://www.azslow.com/index.php?topic=395.0

 

 

23 hours ago, RBH said:

One game changer for me was tweaking the  ( mix thread count ). I'm using an Appollo interface and I presumed that using all cores was the  most efficient way to process. But I had to reduced the number of cores to 6 before all was well. I presumed that maybe the Appllo required core for it's internal processing. I don't really know but - I luckily found a very old thread on the forum that eluded to this and sure enough that was the key. I don't know enough about how this all works - but you might try to see if it helps. Hopefully it couldn't hurt.

 

On 1/24/2019 at 11:37 AM, razor7music said:

Check your buffer size too, in the audio controls. I'm not in front of my DAW or I would post a screen capture.

I love, love low latency, and I used to push the low buffer to the point where I would have similar cracking symptoms like you describe, and I'd have to increase a little with the buffer size. Sometimes you have to play with the buffer size until you find just the right balance of performance.

Might be worth a try.

Good luck!

 

On 1/24/2019 at 11:29 AM, scook said:

There are a few things about the AUD.INI. None of which appear to big performance issues but each machine is different.

The project and picture cache are on the system drive. Given the machine has multiple drives, it may be better to put these elsewhere. This may already be done with directory junctions. Can't tell from AUD.INI entries. If possible put the picture cache on a non-system drive that does not contain project audio.

I use a regular HD for my project audio and needed a little larger DiskBufSize.  I double the default to 512.

UseMMCSS is set to 0. The default is 1 and the help advises to leave it at 1. Sometimes the help is not accurate but it may be worth testing the default value.

FileBitDepth is set to 16. This is not a performance issue but most would recommend projects record bit depth of at least 24.

ExtraPluginBufs is set to 0. With 32GB of RAM it can't hurt to give a little extra memory to plug-ins. I changed this to 32.

DropoutMsec is set to 250. I increased this on my PC to 750.

 

With the exception of UseMMCSS and FileBitDepth, I cannot recommend my values for any machine but my own. These just stand out as differences from my config.

 

 

Guys, I appreciate all your help. I've either verified or implemented most of the changes you've suggested along with going through Alexey's  recommendations. I've used Latency Mon and gotten validation that the machine is good enough to run as a Daw without dropouts. I've run a project with resource monitor up, and never reached over a 50% CPU load. The downside is that on the test project, I still have the issue with little improvement. So at this point I'll conclude my effort and carry on. Again, thanks for the help. I've learned a lot from you all this week.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

My experience so far hasn't been as good as I'd hoped. I've had issues with crackling audio while using certain plugins, at least one flat out crash, crackling audio on a track that had a section which was copy / pasted. Just a lot of random stuff. I found that Automap (which worked with legacy Cakewalk) no longer seems to work properly. Just a lot of annoying issues.

Man, I login to say YES. You defined perfectly what Sonar has become: RANDOM THINGS. I updated my production pc and I downloaded CbB with the hope the random behaviour was thing from the past... But not at all (in fact I turned back to Platinum). My VST forget their configuration. Random Crackles with 29% CPU (I have Ryzen 5 2400G 4 cores 3.6 Ghz, 16 gb ram) that makes me reboot the program. Random Bias FX failures while opening projects that take down Sonar. Sometimes I play one vst in one track in SOLO mode and sounds another that is out of the SOLO mode. Sometimes I can listen one track and the graphs are moving in another one. It is unreal... Sonar 8.5 was the last Sonar... I am thinking to move to Reaper, if Reaper has Step Sequencer I won't look back.

Edited by Metalhawk

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