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MikeyT

[Bug] Memory not freeing up on closing projects

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First up, many thanks again to Bandlab for keeping Cakewalk going, really very much appreciated.

Sorry to say that with each Windows update and Cakewalk version update, I'm seeing new problems arising, making it harder to continue using Cakewalk. The thing I've started having trouble with over the last couple of weeks seems to be related to Cakewalk not freeing up resources/memory between opening projects.

The symptoms are:

  1.  I open a project with a combination of midi and audio (the particular set of projects I'm using at the moment are using Session Drummer 3, which came with Sonar X2, my last purchase)
  2. I do some work on this, close it and open the next project. However, sometimes, this second project starts to play the midi track but then stops. The audio continues but the now marker does not progress. It doesn't always do this but the further through a working day I progress, the higher the likelihood of it happening. It also seems to happen more frequently if I drag Cakewalk files from the file manager into the software rather than using the File->Open route. Once this problem has manifested, the only solution is to completely restart Cakewalk
  3. However, sometimes, Cakewalk will not close down properly. The interface dissappears but I cannot restart Cakewalk. If I look in Task Manager, I can see an instance of Cakewalk running. However, it is completely immune to Task Manager's attempts to "End Task". So, now I need to re-boot my PC.
  4. All of the above happens far less if I click the  "Reset Midi and Audio" button before I close projects. However, it is still the case the longer my PC is on and I am working, it happens eventually.
  5. The final symptom I have noticed occasionally is that after one of the above mentioned failures, on re-starting Cakewalk I get a message saying there is not enough memory to connect the midi devices.

I'm not techie but all of the above seems to point to me towards something not releasing memory properly.

My technical spec is:

  • Dell Inspiron 15 with 16GB Ram, Core i7 (8th generation) processor, Cakewalk and Cakewalk files all running off an SSD, Windows 10
  • Zoom R24, with the latest ASIO drivers (which are pretty old)
  • M-Audio Keystation-Pro 88, with latest ASIO drivers (which are pretty old)
  • Cakewalk version 2020.01(Build 28, 64 bit)

Any thoughts or suggestions from anyone else who has experienced this are very welcome.

Many thanks,

Mike

 

 

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:04 PM, Wookiee said:

@MikeyT Have you tried to update to the latest version?

Hi Wookie - thanks for your response. I'm using the latest version of Cakealk - 26.01.0.28

I've been trying to work all day and the workaround I mentioned above doesn't seem to work all that well - it seems to be dependent on how many projects I've opened - I don't mean at the same time, I mean open a project, close it, open the next one... and so on. It seems to be about the third or fourth one that fails to open. The fact the now marker doesn't move as well is quite strange. If a file is just audio, I can work with it because the lack of midi doesn't matter.

For further information, I've tried different settings of Midi playback buffer, from the default of 200 up to 1000 milliseconds but it makes no difference. I've also tried using the Zoom and M-Audio on USB-2 ports and USB-3 ports, again no difference.

As much as I hate to say it, I'm going to have to start looking at alternatives to Cakewalk. I had real trouble mixing the previous project with audio dropouts that I've simply never had before with Sonar X2 and earlier versions of Bandlab Cakewalk. I really regret this as I've been working with it since when it was just midi only (20+ year ago???). But it's just not stable on my setup and hasn't been for a few months now.

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17 hours ago, Wookiee said:

@MikeyT I would report this with a recipe and full system details.

Hi Wookie - thanks for the message. I'm not sure I fully follow you - where would I report it other than this forum? By recipe, I guess you mean the content of my original message about how the problem arises?

Many thanks,

Mike

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@MikeyT I believe the email address is Support@cakewalk.com and yes recipe what you did to get to happen.

 

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2 minutes ago, Wookiee said:

@MikeyT I believe the email address is Support@cakewalk.com and yes recipe what you did to get to happen.

 

Great - many thanks. I will email them this one and the other thread I have at the moment about freezing tracks not working properly.

All the best,

Mike

 

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Howdy

1) If the Now marker doesn't advance during playback, check to see if Scroll Lock has been hit (try hitting Scroll Lock to see if the Now marker then starts moving again) - also, if the Picture Cache folder gets a lot of stuff in it, it can cause this - you can go into the Picture Cache folder and clear its contents, as Sonar/Cakewalk will rebuild anything it needs there - there is no issue if you delete the contents of the Picure Cache, because it is just where Sonar/Cakewalk stores the temporary representations of audio files, and they get rebuilt as needed.

2) If the drivers for your audio interface don't release after shuttung down Sonar/Cakewalk, by the time you try to open another project, this can cause issues with launching that additional project.  Sometimes, it takes a bit for the audio interface drivers to release.  You could try looking for audio interface drivers in Task Manager, and killing that, or other folks either power cycle their audio interface, or they disconnect and reconnect the audio interface's USB cable.  That usually does the trick.  Some folks also found success with logging off and back in, to Windows, which also seems to resolve it.  My guess here, is that the audio interface drivers may be at issue.

Anyways - please try the above,

Bob Bone

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Posted (edited)

Dear Robert,

Many thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

Since posting the response below, I've started going through my entire rig eliminating things one by one. I expect you are correct and it is something to do with the drivers. I'll post back if I find out what it is.

My original post was:

Regarding your first point, the now marker not moving is just one of the symptoms that manifests itself. I'm aware of the Scroll Lock toggle and that was the first thing I tried. To be absolutely clear, this is what I am seeing happening:

1) I open a project that contains a mixture or midi (to Session Drummer 3) and audio (a small number of guitar and bass tracks). I hit play, the now marker moves, the midi and audio play and I am able to work on the file. I then close the file but keep Cakewalk open.

2) I open, work on, and then close a number of other projects as per point 1). All are fine and I'm continuing to keep the one instance of Cakewalk running, only ever one project open at a time.

3) However, eventually, I open a project and the problem manifests itself. It may be the second, third, fourth, or whatever project I open (although it usually seems to be the third or fourth). The problem is that the first two beats or so of midi play and then the midi engine stops. The Now marker does not move (I have not pressed Scroll Lock in between projects and in any case, pressing Scroll Lock has no effect on the Now marker not moving). The audio continues to play, even though the Now marker is not moving and the midi instruments are not playing. On rare occasions, I get this situation with the first project I open.

Once I have reached stage 3), the only thing I can do is to re-start Cakewalk. This generally resets me to point 1) above but on rare occasions I might get one of the following:

a) It doesn't clear the problem and I have to restart Cakewalk again before it will load and play a project

b) Cakewalk doesn't seem to shut down properly and remains visible in Task Manager, impervious to any attempts to End Task. I then need to reboot my PC to get back to working condition.

I've tried your suggestion of clearing the Picture Cache, sadly with no benefit (the second project I opened this morning went to stage 3) above).

Regarding your second point, you're talking about the drivers not releasing after shutting down Cakewalk. So, I don't think this relates to the issue I'm having opening a project, closing it, then opening a second project and having the issue outlined above. However, it could perhaps relate to why sometimes after closing Cakewalk, I get conditions a) or b) outlined above - although it is not the ASIO drivers for the Keystation-Pro and Zoom R24 I am seeing stuck in Task Manager but Cakewalk. In fact, I cannot see the drivers for Keystation-Pro and Zoom R24 in Task Manager and I'm not sure I would expect to.

The options you've kindly suggested in your point 2 don't really move me forwards - on the whole, I can reset the problem by restarting Cakewalk, which is less onerous than doing the things you've suggested each time. It is a pain to have to close down Cakewalk each time I want to work on a new project (I'm working on a suite of fourteen songs at the moment). It does feel to me like this is some sort of issue with memory not being released. I had problems mixing a previous batch of audio-only tracks earlier in the year, where the first project worked fine but then I started getting weirdness as I closed and opened new projects, eventually needing to restart Cakewalk.

Anyway, I appreciate this sort of problem is almost impossible for you to diagnose remotely, there are just too many variables and it's impossible for you to recreate the issue yourself. I will try longer pauses between closing and opening projects or perhaps just restarting Cakewalk each time I want to work on the next project.

Many thanks for your help.

All the best,

Mike T

P.S. Cakewalk just hung on me (after a load of unsaved edits, of course). The screenshot shows the Cakewalk Application frozen in task manager. End Task has no effect on it, it just sits there and remains until I re-boot the machine. This is a rare to infrequent occurrence for me - froze in the middle of doing some edits and did not come back. I don't think this is related to the issue discussed above.

Cakewalk_Frozen_In_Task_Manager.PNG

Edited by MikeyT
Updating progress

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Okay, apologies for the delay in responding but a quick update:

I've tried a few things out as follows:

  • Cakewalk Sonar X2 on the setup above (Zoom R24 audio interface) - same problem
  • Cakewalk Sonar X2 and an older version of Cakewalk Bandlab on a different laptop, same Windows OS version plus Zoom R24 - same problem
  • Current version of Bandlab on current rig using internal RealTek ASIO drivers not the Zoom - doesn't have the problem above but is not usable because of other problems (audio dropouts)

I do have a work-around in that if I get the issue, I go into the project settings, de-select one of the Zoom's 8 input channels and hit apply. This seems to reset everything and allows me to then work on the project.

I'm yet to try:

  • Cakewalk Sonar X2 and older version of Cakewalk Bandlab on my old desktop with the Zoom - this has an earlier version of Windows 10 and I do not ever recall having this problem with that machine
  • Another DAW such as Cubase with my current rig (Zoom plus laptop) - very hard to make comparisons. But I need something that's stable.

While the above points to some issue between the Zoom R24 drivers, the current release of Windows 10, and Bandlab Cakewalk, it is hard to see why. The problem is arising with Midi-driven soft-synths internal to Cakewalk. So, before any of this hits the audio interface, Cakewalk must run the synth, convert it to an audio output, and then channel it to the audio driver along with the audio channels. *And* to cap it all, it all works fine (usually) for the first project I open - it's only the second or subsequent projects that have the problem. It seems like when I close a project, Cakewalk issues a call to the driver to release resources and for whatever reason, that does not happen properly. When I open the next project, the audio plays fine but the midi channels start and then immediately stop and the now-marker doesn't move.

Also, how am I going to get anyone to take responsibility for this? The Bandlab developers will say it's a Zoom driver issue, Zoom will say the driver works fine and it's an issue with who Bandlab interact with it - it is a midi issue after all.

Anyway, stumped for the moment and will post further updates but do at least have a work-around to get me through the current project.

Mike

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On 4/17/2020 at 12:01 PM, msmcleod said:

@MikeyT - what's your ThreadSchedulingModel set to within Preferences->Audio->Configuration File ?
 

Hi @msmcleod - many thanks for the response and apologies in my delay responding, the day-job has been getting in the way.

My ThreadSchedulingModel is set to 1 (Legacy Wait-for-single-object). I'll try playing with different settings on this and see if it makes a difference :-)

Many thanks,

Mike

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, MikeyT said:

Hi @msmcleod - many thanks for the response and apologies in my delay responding, the day-job has been getting in the way.

My ThreadSchedulingModel is set to 1 (Legacy Wait-for-single-object). I'll try playing with different settings on this and see if it makes a difference 🙂

Many thanks,

Mike

Hi @msmcleod

No luck I'm afraid - I've tried all four options of this setting and it makes no difference.

What is interesting is that if I go into the Preferences section and make any change and hit apply, the file will play normally. So, to recap:

1) The first file usually plays fine.  So, the Zoom audio interface is working fine with Cakewalk at this point.

2) I close this and open and close the second/third/fourth/nth file and at some point, one will open and when I try to play it, the first couple of notes of midi will play and then the midi instruments fall silent, the now marker doesn't move, but the audio plays fine. So, the audio bit is still working but something is preventing the midi from playing

3) If I go into the Preferences section and make a change, such amend the ThreadSchedulingModel as discussed above or deselecting one of the Zoom audio interface channels and hit "Apply", the file will then play normally - playing the midi synths, the audio files, and the Now Marker moving. It's as if it resets the audio interface.

I'm not having any problems with the Zoom audio interface working with playing other applications on the PC, although they're not really fair comparisons.

It is only the midi sounds and the Now Marker not moving that are the issue. It would be useful to know (at a high level) how the midi implementation works in Cakewalk - at what point does the midi engine in Cakewalk controlling plugin synths interact with the audio interface? Surely, that must all be internal to Cakewalk - the midi says play something, the soft-synth generates the waveform and only then does it send stuff to the audio interface? And there must be some sort of protocol between Cakewalk and the interface, so Cakewalk issues a "release resources" (or something) statement and the Zoom interface is meant to implement that properly.

The driver for the Zoom Audio interface is at the bottom of this page here:

https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/multi-track-recorder/r24-recorder-interface-controller-sampler#downloads

Do the Cakewalk developers have any way of issuing commands to the driver to test whether it is behaving properly? I've no idea how to do this or understand the results.

It's only really by understanding this that I can go back to Zook and ask them to fix what is wrong - that is, assuming the Zoom interface is wrong and it's not an incorrect implementation in Cakewalk. Or indeed something completely different on my PC that is getting in the way - no idea how I could trace that!

Anyway, many thanks for your help and suggestions so far, much appreciated.

Mike

 

Edited by MikeyT

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On 4/27/2020 at 4:29 PM, JoseC said:

On that Downloads page is this document:

https://www.zoom.co.jp/sites/default/files/products/downloads/pdfs/Issues_and_workarounds_about_DAW_software_R-Series.pdf

It only mentions FL Studio by name, but nevertheless...

Thanks for the suggestion JoseC, much appreciated. However, this issue is a very specific one for FL Studio and its pre-installed ASIO drivers interfering with the Zoom R24 drivers. Cakewalk does not come with pre-installed ASIO drivers.

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4 hours ago, MikeyT said:

Thanks for the suggestion JoseC, much appreciated. However, this issue is a very specific one for FL Studio and its pre-installed ASIO drivers interfering with the Zoom R24 drivers. Cakewalk does not come with pre-installed ASIO drivers.

Yes, but I don´t know what other software you might have installed in your PC. 

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Mike,

I wish I could offer more than just sympathy, but I've experienced a problem using v. 2020.1 that seems similar to one of the problems you've described and I'm working on a CS 450v6, Win 10 Home, feeding a MOTU 828x interface (ASIO drivers, 48kHz, 24 bit) which would indicate that the problem is not unique to your hardware.   Description:   after playing and/or editing a MIDI track or making adjustments to the pan and volume envelopes I hit rewind, the Now Time line/cursor returns to the very beginning of the track (the beginning of all of my tracks have at least one measure of silence--the envelope is at -infinity), when I hit Play I get sound/audio during that measure and it may continue over the recorded MIDI!  Clicking on Reset once or twice gets rid of the audio that shouldn't be there, but this is unlike anything I ever experienced with Sonar X3.  I too have noticed a number of annoying little glitches that seem to crop up when I've working with CbB for two or more hours (see my recent letter Concerns About Upgrading to 2020.5) and sometimes the only thing you can do is close down CbB then start it again--not a good solution.

If I discover anything that may help you I'll post a note in this thread.  In the meantime I wish the Bakers would test the new versions of CbB more thoroughly--we are not moving forward here.  I don't recall Sonar X3 having any of these problems.   I think what most of us want and really need is a DAW that is rock solid and stable when we do MIDI, Instrument, and audio track playback, recording, editing, and work with software synths and plug-ins.  Other features are nice, but the basic functions are essential; this is where the focus should be. 

 

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17 hours ago, aleo said:

Mike,

I wish I could offer more than just sympathy, but I've experienced a problem using v. 2020.1 that seems similar to one of the problems you've described and I'm working on a CS 450v6, Win 10 Home, feeding a MOTU 828x interface (ASIO drivers, 48kHz, 24 bit) which would indicate that the problem is not unique to your hardware.   Description:   after playing and/or editing a MIDI track or making adjustments to the pan and volume envelopes I hit rewind, the Now Time line/cursor returns to the very beginning of the track (the beginning of all of my tracks have at least one measure of silence--the envelope is at -infinity), when I hit Play I get sound/audio during that measure and it may continue over the recorded MIDI!  Clicking on Reset once or twice gets rid of the audio that shouldn't be there, but this is unlike anything I ever experienced with Sonar X3.  I too have noticed a number of annoying little glitches that seem to crop up when I've working with CbB for two or more hours (see my recent letter Concerns About Upgrading to 2020.5) and sometimes the only thing you can do is close down CbB then start it again--not a good solution.

If I discover anything that may help you I'll post a note in this thread.  In the meantime I wish the Bakers would test the new versions of CbB more thoroughly--we are not moving forward here.  I don't recall Sonar X3 having any of these problems.   I think what most of us want and really need is a DAW that is rock solid and stable when we do MIDI, Instrument, and audio track playback, recording, editing, and work with software synths and plug-ins.  Other features are nice, but the basic functions are essential; this is where the focus should be. 

 

Hi Aleo - thanks for your comments and sympathy. Yes, it sounds quite similar. The problem for me is that I cannot really identify where the fault lies - it could simply be the old Zoom drivers for the R24, which are now about six years old. Zoom are completely unresponsive to any queries about drivers. That is a shame because I've always found their kit to be pretty good.

So, I have largely given up on this thread - I cannot see there will be any solution to my specific problem but for now I have a work-around that keep me playing. I find the rest of Cakewalk to be pretty amazing, considering it is free - I've spent some time trying out other DAWs and found them all a little lacking in comparison.

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Mike,

I understand.  Other DAWs have their short comings too.  I'm staying with 2020.1 at least for the next couple of weeks until I finish the final mix on a couple of projects thinking that it is better to deal with the devil you know.   Best of luck with your projects; hopefully we'll be able to hear some of them soon!

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20 hours ago, aleo said:

when I hit Play I get sound/audio during that measure and it may continue over the recorded MIDI!  Clicking on Reset once or twice gets rid of the audio that shouldn't be there, but this is unlike anything I ever experienced with Sonar X3.

Is Always Stream Audio Through FX enabled? This should help flush plug-in buffers when the transport is stopped.

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