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Sunset Recording

Constant dropouts

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Hey gang,

Having a bad few days here.  I've been using Cakewalk about a year and haven't had many issues that weren't related to Windows updates. But lately, I'm getting a tremendous amount of " Audio engine stopped". This is on playback while mixing. The transport stops as well. It seems to happen when I make simple moves like turning a VST effect off, or rewinding. It can happen every few seconds. In the past the only ongoing issue I've experienced is the transport stalling while recording a take.

I have been through a great deal of research and I think I have basic stuff covered like no firewalls on, Wi-fi off and what I think are all the "usual" Windows 10 tweaks to enhance performance. I'm ASIO with a Steinberg Ur-RT2 and  Focusrite Scarlett interfaces. Everything is latest drivers ( minutes ago ). One specific question is when I go to preferences in Cakewalk I can't adjust my latency buffer size , the fader is all the way to the left and greyed out. 

Any direction for me?

 

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The ability to use the buffer slider depends on the driver mode and the driver in use.

Some ASIO drivers do not respond to the slider. In those cases, the slider is disabled and manufacturer supplied software must be used to adjust the buffer.

WASAPI Shared buffer size is fixed and cannot be adjust so the slider is disabled for this driver mode.

AFAIK the rest of the driver modes can use the slider.

16 minutes ago, Sunset Recording said:

Steinberg Ur-RT2 and  Focusrite Scarlett interfaces

I assume you are not trying to use both interfaces at the same time.

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Am I just asking to much of my wimpy laptop? My latest project is larger then my average. 57 tracks, no virtual instruments and plenty of automation. Dell lap, i5 7200 U, 16 GB ram. Trust me, I'm saving my $$ for more PC.

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Thanks for the link, that manual is was open on my Ipad as we speak. I really appreciate any input, I've been digging deep for a few days before I hit this forum up. 

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6 minutes ago, Sunset Recording said:

Am I just asking to much of my wimpy laptop? My latest project is larger then my average. 57 tracks, no virtual instruments and plenty of automation. Dell lap, i5 7200 U, 16 GB ram. Trust me, I'm saving my $$ for more PC.

Could be. If the laptop does not have an SSD, the drive may be a limiting factor.

Adjusting the ASIO and playback buffers may help

 

 

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Agreed again, I went from a buffer playback setting of  512 to 768 about 2 hours ago. No change. And yeah, no SSD, It's old school.  I'm pretty sure $2000 will solve my prob. I've got the new PC build on paper. If you wanna loan me the coin, I'll be sure and drop your name when I pick up my "best engineered album" Grammy next year.

Thanks again, If you ever need any tips on recording live anything, hit me up. Or splicing tape, I was pretty good at that.

- Cary

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I am curious - can you please detail the tweaks you made to Windows 10?  Some info out there is not accurate, and some just does not apply anymore, so I would like to see what you have tweaked, if you don't mind posting that.

Also, do your issues go away if you temporarily bypass the effects?  (Hit 'E' on your keyboard or hit the FX button ub the Transport Module, to toggle effects processing for the project Off/On.)  Perhaps you have one or more effects loaded, like a convolution reverb or one that uses linear-phase processing, and those are really meant for use during mixing/mastering, and by temporaily turning them off perhaps you can expose that as something to look at.

So, IF you, for the above, or any other reason, need a larger ASIO Buffer Size for mixing/mastering, go ahead and jack up the ASIO Buffer Size to either 1024 or even 2048, and see if that does the trick.  I record at no higher than 128 samples for my ASIO Buffer Size, and I always set it to 1024 or 2048 when moving on to mixing./mastering, and I switch between a small and a large buffer whenever either recording or mixing/mastering.  It's just the way it works best.  Having a large buffer when mixing/mastering does not adversely affect my projects, because I don't care if it takes a moment longer before starting playback, as I am not trying to sync new recording to existing tracks, I am simply playing back the project, and having a super large buffer helps give the more robust effects enough room to properly do their processing.

Bob Bone

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Hi Robert,

Yes, I'll send you a list of the tweaks. Most came from the sweetcare tips at Sweetwater, some from this forum. Last thing I did to day was uninstall " Bonjour" (Apple product ).  I agree with your tips and like your self I'm not concerned about a few extra seconds for the transport to go. I'm aware of the FX global delete but had not tried that.

I try to be smart with my plugins, but the CPU drag adds up. I must say big thanks to the response I've had today, first time here. reviewing your DAW and PC build it looks like you know a little about hot rod PC's. I"ll be sure and show you the specs on my future build. I'm just an old analog guy, made my living as an engineer in Canada in the late '80's, but switched back to bass where I started my career and ran with that till last year. Most of my  bread and butter has dried up, just a workin cat from Vegas. ( If your paying, I'm playing ) . Strictly commercial.

And guess what, new prob. I just tried to close that project and it won't. Just gives me a " general error" with a yellow warning sign. Never saw that before. sigh, the torture will continue till morale improves.

 Take care,

Cary S.

 

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9 hours ago, Sunset Recording said:

Hi Robert,

Yes, I'll send you a list of the tweaks. Most came from the sweetcare tips at Sweetwater, some from this forum. Last thing I did to day was uninstall " Bonjour" (Apple product ).  I agree with your tips and like your self I'm not concerned about a few extra seconds for the transport to go. I'm aware of the FX global delete but had not tried that.

I try to be smart with my plugins, but the CPU drag adds up. I must say big thanks to the response I've had today, first time here. reviewing your DAW and PC build it looks like you know a little about hot rod PC's. I"ll be sure and show you the specs on my future build. I'm just an old analog guy, made my living as an engineer in Canada in the late '80's, but switched back to bass where I started my career and ran with that till last year. Most of my  bread and butter has dried up, just a workin cat from Vegas. ( If your paying, I'm playing ) . Strictly commercial.

And guess what, new prob. I just tried to close that project and it won't. Just gives me a " general error" with a yellow warning sign. Never saw that before. sigh, the torture will continue till morale improves.

 Take care,

Cary S.

 

Kewl - would like to review the tweaks.  I am following this thread, so I will get notified of replies.

I was a programmer for 38 years, and have built my own computers for about 20 years, I suppose - long time anyways, and have built a bunch for other folks, though lots of those were for general use, and not specifically for music production.  Happy to look at any current specs, as well as any potential components or pre-built computers you are contemplating for a new computer.

I notice you had increased the "buffer playback setting of  512 to 768" and that is a different buffer than the ASIO Buffer Size.  I am interested in what your current ASIO Buffer Size is, and I would like to know specifically what plugins you have loaded into the project, as well as whether or not you see any difference if you do the bypassing of your effects (FX button), to rule out plugins being the issue.

Also, is your Windows up to date on all maintenance, as well as your Cakewalk version, and any firmware or software driver updates for your audio interface?

Thanks, I will try to keep an eye out for your responses to the above questions.  Perhaps we can get you squared away.  The GOOD news is, since there is not a general complaint about your issues, coming from folks using Cakewalk, that means this is most likely a situation with the causes being within your local environment, so if we take a look at details - maybe we can figure it out.

Bob Bone

 

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22 minutes ago, Robert Bone said:

I notice you had increased the "buffer playback setting of  512 to 768"

I will add, this still may be too small. My projects are on a 7200 rpm drive and I recently had to bump my playback buffer to 1024 to handle a problem I was experiencing. My guess is the laptop is using, at best, a continuously spinning 5400 rpm.

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Wow, you guys truly rock. Another member, John @StudioNSFW called me this morning and we had a great chat. The general consensus at the moment is my bottleneck is I/O. John has sent my a load of info which I will be opening in a bit. To condense the conversation he believes if I swap out the internal mech. hard drive for a SSD, also add internally a NVMe drive ( i can't explain exactly what that does ) I should be good to go.

Tell me if you agree that it's no coincidence that this problem got super bad mixing on a large project ( by my standards ). This one is 58 tracks. I'm a believer in "less is more" when it comes to plug in's, but I use what the track requires. For example I have a part with four tracks of stacked, dirty rhythm guitar sent to an aux channel. I'm using zero processing on the individual tracks, getting a blend with just levels then the aux has my go to channel strip the Brainworx SSl 4000e plug. I will also use the SSL linked on the master bus. And of course I'll use whatever else I need when required on individual track. But overall I really try to get the sound I'm looking for when tracking. And of course my bus's have the usual suspects for modulation, verb and delays. I'm hybrid in a small way, I get a lot of bang for my buck with my  Warm WA 2A and Daking Mic-Pre one. Again, thanks so much for all your help, I'll be in touch throughout the day as I try to mix and suss out these upgrades.

Cary

 

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3 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

"buffer playback setting of  512 to 768" and that is a different buffer than the ASIO Buffer Size.

I will backtrack this and let you know what I was talking about, I may have been looking at something else.

- Cary

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Just a bit more - it turns out his laptop was built to support Intel Optane, but that slot is not populated.  So the slot is there, it's just a drive and a screw to boost the disk throughput and drop disk latency firmly down into the "Silly fast" range.

 

Great chat, BTW!

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Gentlemen,

I can't seem to find where I changed a buffer setting from 512 to 768, my notes say ASIO panel. I did find under File System Playback I/O buffer size setting at 256 and record I/O buffer size at 256 as well. Also, below that there is a box for manual offset which is set at zero, a checked box that says use ASIO reported latency and 528 in that box. I would upload pictures but I don't know how to make them small enough. 

as always, thanks,

-Cary

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37 minutes ago, Sunset Recording said:

Gentlemen,

I can't seem to find where I changed a buffer setting from 512 to 768, my notes say ASIO panel. I did find under File System Playback I/O buffer size setting at 256 and record I/O buffer size at 256 as well. Also, below that there is a box for manual offset which is set at zero, a checked box that says use ASIO reported latency and 528 in that box. I would upload pictures but I don't know how to make them small enough. 

as always, thanks,

-Cary

...and that was because the Steinberg was not turned on..... have set to1024, will test soon.  Whoa, look at the time, late for a nap... be back soon.

-Cary

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44 minutes ago, Sunset Recording said:

I  would upload pictures but I don't know how to make them small enough.

Here is a handy website that will resize images for you over the Internet.

https://pixlr.com/x/

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