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Fawudd

Performance Settings

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Hello All,

First off, full disclosure. I am in the midst today evaluating both Cakewalk and Reaper for my DAW.  I like the UI and the pro-Channel in CW, so workflow is a bit better fit. However, I am having performance issues in Cakewalk that I am hoping is due to settings and need some help.

I have created exactly the same project in both DAWs. 12 tracks of midi in a 4 minute song. It is not very dense at all. Same instruments and effects on the same machine (i5 16Gb). In CW I get crackling and periodic stutters that do not happen in Reaper. I even get crackling sometimes when soloing a track. The very first time the song is played in CW it has an audible glitch when it first plays certain instruments. Seems better after that. The performance monitor is mostly in the single digits for % used,  but periodically the engine spikes to 300%+ and buffers are lost. Nothing else is running on the machine. I cannot decipher any rhyme or reason to when this occurs. 

I ran both DAWs on my less powerful laptop and the performance issues are worse for CW including a few crashes.  This all seems to be down to the performance of the engine and its consumption of resources. I have seen posts regarding buffer size and configuration settings, but I would like to get an official guide to performance settings for CW. I want this eval to be based on correct setup of CW rather than me fumbling around in the dark. 

BTW, running 2020.04

Thanks

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What audio interface are you using?

What driver mode is it set to?

What are the  buffer settings (ASIO) for your audio driver

Most glitches like that are caused by the driver settings. It can also be that your hard drive is not spinning at 7200RPM or higher./ Do you have a dedicated audio drive for audio only?

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CJ, I am using ASIO with my M-Audio 192/4 set to 48K.  See below. Drives are SSD, but I do not have a dedicated drive just for audio. This is the same machine used for both DAWs, so no hardware differences. My older surface Pro is the same for both DAWs as well. I am hoping to use the DAW on both the workstation and a laptop.

Thanks

ps:same buffer size in both, which is the recommended by the M-Audio.

CW ASIO Settings.png

Edited by Fawudd

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I've been a user of Cakewalk for many years and i have been defending it as the best DAW around...... sadly this is not true anymore :/ I bought a new audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen) and recently built a monster PC that should last me a couple of years..... I fired up Cakewalk just to realize that the performance was still sluggish 😮 Lowered sample/buffer size, tried to find the golden spot, but it's no way to get a good performance using VSTs. Sure it works fine recording without any active VSTs but that's not always what you want to do!

So I decided to try out Reaper, to see if this is an issue with other DAWs as well...... Well it's not! I went all the way down to 128 samples, have no noticeable latency and i can run loads of VSTs without any audio dropouts or crackling! 😮

So for now, until the obvious performance issues are dealt with, Cakewalk is a no go! Finally i can go back to having fun with making music not fight buggy software ;)

Edited by Egil Hansen

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Egil , I have been active on another forum for years with different sections dedicated to different daws. They "All" have their problems. As an X reaper user I wish you the best luck in the world. Good bye..  

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5 hours ago, mark skinner said:

Egil , I have been active on another forum for years with different sections dedicated to different daws. They "All" have their problems. As an X reaper user I wish you the best luck in the world. Good bye..  

I love everything about Cakewalk besides the sucky performance, i am back if they can sort that out ;) Reaper at least performs well, even though it looks a bit weird :P

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There you have Cakewalk in its current state -- a seemingly bad audio engine design that can glitch beyond that seen in any other DAW of note.  Don't let defense of Cakewalk and ideas on tweaking ASIO settings distract you from the point (your settings are fine -- in fact, you should be able to use even smaller buffer size).  Adjusting to higher buffer to chase at the problem ignores that it doesn't happen with other software and asks you to effectively compromise.  Cake just doesn't handle audio well at times (many times and configs).  

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:34 AM, mark skinner said:

Egil , I have been active on another forum for years with different sections dedicated to different daws. They "All" have their problems. As an X reaper user I wish you the best luck in the world. Good bye..  

 

Edited by Jon White

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Sorry , I did not mean to sound sour. I actually still have Reaper installed on another pc. If I ever decide to make it my daw of choice , I will quietly leave and not complain about constantly improved  "Free" software...  mark

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Back to the original post. Fawudd , I am using basically the same pc and settings you are with an old Cakewalk UA4fx interface and win 7 pro. I do use 44.1. I have 0 glitches on audio or midi (although  most of my stuff is not high in track count) If I record something in CbB it plays well  and the same for Reaper and I have Never adjusted my buffers . It's going to be something simple like a synth ,vst, or interface settings. Reaper has a very small footprint. Keep them both and use them for their best qualities. Just don't upgrade Reaper too many times or you'l have to pay again to keep it registered. Sorry about the diversion from your post ...    mark

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11 hours ago, mark skinner said:

Sorry , I did not mean to sound sour. I actually still have Reaper installed on another pc. If I ever decide to make it my daw of choice , I will quietly leave and not complain about constantly improved  "Free" software...  mark

Very cool, Mark.  I'm always impressed with what blossoms to be the intelligence here.  I'll erase my comment, knowing that you just tilted a bit to the pedantic!

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Hey Fawudd, try this, go edit - preferences - configuration file and then thread scheduling model, I simply changed this value to 2 and I now have no pops and crackles. Let me know if you have any joy!

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:23 AM, Matt Burnside said:

Hey Fawudd, try this, go edit - preferences - configuration file and then thread scheduling model, I simply changed this value to 2 and I now have no pops and crackles. Let me know if you have any joy!

Hi @Matt Burnside great idea - I just spent some phone time with @Fawudd, going through his Preferences, and covering a lot of these kinds of things, and some Windows power plan options changes, and antivirus exclusions, etc., on his Surface Pro, which he occasionally uses for some project work, and he made notes about what we covered, and will make those corresponding changes on his desktop, and then will test out the Cakewalk performance later on, after the day-job tasks, so hopefully, some progress will be made with his getting resolution to his issues.  He actually has a pretty good handle on a lot of this stuff, so it was a completely painless conversation.

After he makes the desktop changes and Cakewalk changes, and tests it all out, he will post back here with the results, so fingers crossed.  :)

He did raise a pretty good point - if some of the various kinds of things to tweak for helping Cakewalk run with less trouble, were somehow more available in one or more videos, or in some handy documentation - and while some of it certainly is - his point about knowing where to go to find such helpful info, might help folks like him get less frustrated with getting Cakewalk to behave well, and run without things like crackles and pops, and that might help folks get up and going without so much frustration - not sure I am explaining that well - per his thinking, but I tried to represent his thoughts.  :)

Bob Bone

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Here is a ASIO tutorial that was recently published on YouTube that mentions the audio crackling that you are describing.

Plus here is a video tutorial for improving Windows 10 performance. 

 

Best of luck.

 

 

Edited by Dennis Gavin

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@Dennis GavinTHANKS for posting those - I will watch them in a minute, to see if I think they might apply to the OP's issues.

There ARE, obviously, videos out there that cover lots of the kinds of things that would help someone avoid or resolve, several kinds of audio issues with Cakewalk.

What @Fawudd was pointint out to me, is that those kinds of videos, or documentation, or both, might help more folks, if those videos and helpful documentation, were perhaps kept in a playlist, maintained by Cakewalk staff, perhaps, where there was a link to those videos and maybe documents with those helpful tips on dealing with and avoiding, audio issues, where users wouldn't have to hunt around on the internet for them, but rather, that stuff was maybe kept in a sticky post in these forums, or on the Cakewalk web site, or wherever - more accessible - rather than random YouTube or internet postings.

Does the above make sense?  He was saying that he was evaluating both Cakewalk and Reaper, and that he found direct links to videos and doc, right on the Reaper site, somewhere, whereas he did not find anything like that on the Cakewalk site or in the forums.  He indicated he might have avoided getting so frustrated, with Cakewalk, had he seen such helpful videos and doc in either location - like he ended up finding for Reaper on the Reaper site.

Bob Bone

 

 

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We have to come to grips with the instability of Cakewalk.  Only then can it move forward.  Finding a million things that might fix audio glitches while other programs work fine is contrary to wise thinking.  All of them work better in terms of audio stabiity.

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2 hours ago, Jon White said:

We have to come to grips with the instability of Cakewalk.  Only then can it move forward.  Finding a million things that might fix audio glitches while other programs work fine is contrary to wise thinking.  All of them work better in terms of audio stabiity.

There are some basic things to look at, generally speaking, with regard to the different kinds of issues that folks have - unless there are widespread reports of the same issue - such as dead in the water crashes, for example, many, if not most, of the issues that folks have, are local to some aspect of their system, 32-bit plugins, behind on maintenance, ASIO4ALL issues, 12-year old computers, BIOS or other drivers out of date, etc...  Many folks have extremely stable systems - I have 3 music production computers, all have multiple DAW suites, and approximately 1200 plugins, and I have literally not had a crash in over 3 years.

I do not state that about bragging about it - all I am saying that there are ABSOLUTELY a reasonable number of things that can be done, to result in a very stable DAW platform.

Yes, there are bugs - yes there are features that they are developing, where some of those will end up rolled out and tweaked over multiple months, depending on the complexity and anything unexpected that they have to tweak - such as the ThreadSchedulingModel parameter 3-aggressive - that is a work in progress, and was stated as such from the moment it was rolled out - but the setting of 2 works FABULOUSLY, to help distribute work load across the now everywhere multiple-cored CPUS's.

There ARE some standard kinds of things to review and resolve for most audio glitches, latency, and performance-related configuration modifications, that can be pretty reasonably quickly gone through, with good outcomes.

I have helped lots of folks resolve their reported issues, as have other forum regulars, with a pretty good track record of success, as long as the folks we are trying to assist are willing to engage in the process of looking at the areas most likely involved with producing the issues they report.  I will continue to do my best to assist anybody willing to work through it - it doesn't generally take very long to go through things, with a good chance for a successful outcome.

You frequently voice a different take on it all, which is kewl, I hope that whatever DAW you use or end up using, whether it is Cakewalk, Reaper, Logic, Pro Tools, Studio One, FL Studio, whatever - that you are able to find a good platform to produce music of your choosing.  Best wishes for success to you, and to everybody else out there.

Bob Bone

Edited by Robert Bone
Just restated one comment a little for clarity

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On 5/15/2020 at 7:04 AM, Egil Hansen said:

So I decided to try out Reaper, to see if this is an issue with other DAWs as well...... Well it's not! I went all the way down to 128 samples, have no noticeable latency and i can run loads of VSTs without any audio dropouts or crackling! 😮

i also move to reaper i can record on a full-mix project buffer @128

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27 minutes ago, martsave martin s said:

i also move to reaper i can record on a full-mix project buffer @128

It is all about what works for you - should you ever decide to take another look at Cakewalk by Bandlab, I would hope that you can get whatever audio issues you were having with it resolved - I happen to have multiple DAW software suites installed - and each have different methods of performing common functions for music production.  Best wishes for success with your music projects :)

Bob Bone

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