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sealesb

Should dithering be selected in preferences?

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We have noticed some strange behaviour with Sonar Bandlab lately on large projects with lots of audio files. Corrupt audio files, corrupt audio regions replaced with silence, clicks which appear from nowhere usually around the same point in the timeline etc. These problems are particularly bad when we would take a project home from the studio to listen to it or vice versa. In other words these errors would not occur on the PC we were copying the project from, only when they were played on a different one! Then all these error messages would start appearing and Sonar Bandlab could not see the missing audio files in the audio folder even though Windows Explorer could. Eventually we figured it out. We had the dithering setting in preferences switched to POWR-3 in the preference settings. Changing it to "None" had an instant effect. All the projects now open with no errors. Also we noticed that if we tried to change the audio format in the project files then Sonar Bandlab would just close! Disabling dithering in this sub menu also solved this problem. There were really a lot of issues caused by this Dithering setting being switched on in the preferences.

Any ideas what the reason is for Dithering causing such widespread errors or should we just have had it switched off from the start?

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I think yes. Noel has indicated that when it should not be used it will not be used.

Which one to use is a tricky question. I default to triangular except for final export. Then powr3 for final export.

Edited by Gswitz
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Thanks for the reply, I saw that before but I get the impression here that it is running all the time if it is switched on in Edit>Preferences>Audio Playback and Recording. Change it to "None" and the CPU activity drops.....so it is doing something in the background.

Yeah we use it for export alright but cannot remember why we turned it on in the preferences in the first place. I would expect, in our case at least, that on a large project file with lots of audio it is probably pushing audio processing to the limit if it is turned on in preferences and always running, even if not necessary, especially if the project has a lot of audio tracks with different sample rates like this one had.

Still it doesn't explain why the errors do not show up on the PC the project is first created on in the first place. If I start a project at home here and bring it to the studio on my external hard drive, then when the project is opened, the studio PC ( a more powerful one ) starts showing missing audio errors and vice versa. That is not normal is it? Why would Sonar Bandlab not see the missing audio in the audio folder? It is there and when you use "search for missing audio" and just click on the so called missing file CBL  says this file has a different name than the missing audio, which it doesn't. Once you locate the missing audio, load them and continue working with the project and finally save the project, the errors return when the project is reopened. In previous versions of Sonar if audio files went missing and you located them and copied them to the audio folder and saved the project then the errors would not return again. This issue has been annoying us for some months now. We will just leave it at "None" then in the preferences from now on. Hope this experience helps others who might be having strange errors appear and cannot track them down.

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OK I have just tested something here. The exact same project file causing all the problems in CBL has just opened in an old version of Sonar Platinum with no "audio files missing" errors. Just one error showed up and that was to do with a corrupt audio region. I do see one audio file which is dodgy so I can replace that. The Dither setting in Edit>preferences is set to powr3 for the record. So something has changed with the version of powr3 used in CBL.

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possibly some of these PC's are using an older version of Cakewalk By Bandlab ? I know Pow-3 was not included in earlier versions, possibly this is what's happening here.

POW-R Dithering is owned by the POW-R Consortium and it needs a license to be used in Cakewalk, Bandlab made a choice to not include some of these add on's that required licenses in the early stages (and with good reason, they were more focused on resurrecting Sonar).

http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/3746538

 

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First thing I thought of as well but the desktop in the studio and the one at home here are both always running the same version of CBL as we try to keep them both on the same version all the time. But thanks for the input as that could have been the problem.

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Interesting. I hadn't found that reference before when searching for this issue.

So the way it stands with us now is this.

In Sonar Platinum with Dithering turned on in the preferences all our projects load and play fine., (minus any new things added to CBb of course).

In CBb with Dithering turned on in the preferences we get audio missing errors and corrupt audio region errors.

In CBb with Dithering turned off in the preferences all our projects load and play fine. No errors.

We still have not found out the reason for this but at least we have a workaround.

 

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