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RICHARD HUTCHINS

Is my laptop up to it? Cakewalk is crashing

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Hi

I use Cakewalk on my laptop, running windows 10, CPU is Intel Core 2.4ghz 4 mb RAM. Randomly when recording stuff it just goes bonkers, huge buzzing noise in the headphones and I have to reload and start again. Is this to do with a lack of processing power?

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1 minute ago, RICHARD HUTCHINS said:

Is this to do with a lack of processing power?

Probably.

Full spec?

i3? i5? i7?

Not a lot of RAM either.

How big is your swap file?

 

Do I sound like I know what I am doing?

I don't, but others will be along shortly who do...

 

cheers

andy

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What you could try is to double the RAM to 8GB and swap out the HD for a SSD drive. I did this on a 2008 Sony Laptop that has a 2.4 duo core processor. It is slow, but it seems fine with Cakewalk on most simple work. I have recorded 16 audio tracks of live Band for over 3 hours with out issue.  I think that Hard drive speed and RAM are more important than the process speed. 

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Yes, more ram, having a dedicated audio hard drive and i noticed you didn't mention a dedicated audio interface so i would add that as  one of your things to get.

Edited by CJ Jacobson

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I would second the need to sort the drives out. Laptops are usually not the best selection for music production if they can only support 1 drive and especially if that drive is a 5200rpm HDD.

I have heard that 1 SSD can be OK but I don't know about that as I've never tried it.

My laptop supports 4 internal drives and RAID but I only use 3. I don't use it for music production though, it was used as a field video editing laptop.

If you have space for more hard drives, get them so you can have a separate recording drive. But before you do this, would need to know whether it is worth doing to that laptop, what generation processor? Laptop processors tend to be below their desktop counterparts in power as well. You are going to need at least 8 gig ram as well for smooth operation.

There is a point where it is better to just get a different computer rather than update the current one.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Tezza said:

There is a point where it is better to just get a different computer rather than update the current one.

Big Plus One to that sentiment.

Perhaps some sort of a "new minimum spec" for @RICHARD HUTCHINS would help, with some kind of budget in mind. Some of us have money to chuck at stuff like this but some don't. Would be nice to know what you could do on a tight budget.

And even though I am a massive laptop fanboy I have just this week pulled the trigger on a new desktop. So could be that a budget desktop might be an even better idea, unless the OP really does have a need to be "mobile."

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Also, need to know what you want to do with it Richard, is it EDM or big sample libraries or loops etc or recording mainly you and your guitar.  You might get away with an SSD and RAM upgrade as suggested by cactus. Also, as mentioned, are you using an audio interface, if not, there may be the issue of ASIO driver.

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With 4GB RAM, the machine is likely getting "ram-starved" in which case it'll hit the Virtual-Memory Swapfile (which absolutely kills performance).

You need enough RAM for your largest projects.

Additional unused RAM doesn't buy any additional performance.  

 

Also, check the laptop's DPC Latency using Latency Mon.  

High DPC Latency can cause audible glitches and transport drop-out.

Edited by Jim Roseberry

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16 hours ago, RICHARD HUTCHINS said:

Randomly when recording stuff it just goes bonkers, huge buzzing noise in the headphones and I have to reload and start again.

This sounds more like a soundcard issue than a specs issue.

16 hours ago, CJ Jacobson said:

you didn't mention a dedicated audio interface

^^^ What he says^^^

Don't go throwing money around upgrading RAM, New Laptop only to find out your Soundcard is a Hugo.

I used to use an I3 intel with 4GB of RAM (my mobile DAW) back when Sonar X1 was released. I had great results. But I also had a USB Focusrite scarlett.

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30 minutes ago, Brian Walton said:

Windows 10 needs more than 4 gigs of ram.  Period.  

That was my first reaction. Possibly a old W7 Laptop that was inadvertently updated to W10.  

And it's still a good investment if you have the spare cash to upgrade the old laptops and keep using them if they don't have any other issues. I have 4 kicking around and find uses for them. I use one just for looking up lyrics and running power point for my live rig. 

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38 minutes ago, Brian Walton said:

Windows 10 needs more than 4 gigs of ram.  Period.  

When you say "Period" does this mean Cakewalk is giving us the wrong System requirements ?

 

Bandlab by Cakewalk-

OS: Windows 7, 8/8.1 or 10  (64-bit)

Processor: 2.6GHz Intel or AMD multi-core processor (at least Intel i5 or AMD A10 APU recommended)

Memory: 4GB

Hard Drive: 5GB for minimal install (20GB recommended)

Monitor Resolution: 1280x800 (1920 x 1080 recommended)

Audio Interface: ASIO compatible hardware is recommended

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4 minutes ago, Chuck E Baby said:

When you say "Period" does this mean Cakewalk is giving us the wrong System requirements ?

 

Bandlab by Cakewalk-

OS: Windows 7, 8/8.1 or 10  (64-bit)

Processor: 2.6GHz Intel or AMD multi-core processor (at least Intel i5 or AMD A10 APU recommended)

Memory: 4GB

Hard Drive: 5GB for minimal install (20GB recommended)

Monitor Resolution: 1280x800 (1920 x 1080 recommended)

Audio Interface: ASIO compatible hardware is recommended

A well-configured lean install of Win10 will use about 2.5GB RAM when idle.

That leaves a whopping 1.5GB for CbB and any plugins.

Even if the OP was recording audio/MIDI only (no virtual instruments), that's running too lean and most likely hitting the Virtual Memory Swap-File (which absolutely kills performance).

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Fwiw, all the old timers used laptops like yours back in the day. 😃

What i mean is, you might be able to get this sorted. If your budget is tight, the first thing I'd do would be borrow a USB interface from a friend... Use asio. Does it fix things?

If yes, there are entry level interfaces for around $100 usd.

Most important, set it to asio.

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2 minutes ago, Gswitz said:

Fwiw, all the old timers used laptops like yours back in the day. 😃

Agreed... but not running Win10.

If you're left with 1.5GB RAM (or less depending on how well it's optimized), that's running super lean.

It wouldn't take much of anything to get the machine hitting the VM Swap-File (and that'll kill performance on any machine).

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I'm running with Win10 on a desktop with  8 GB of RAM and never run low on memory. And if it did ever hit the swap file on my SSD, I probably wouldn't notice it.

So yep, I would suggest 8GB RAM and a SSD for Windows 10. Maybe the budget route.

But before I did anything else, I would assess the audio hardware being used. The cheapest USB audio interface would be miles better than the onboard audio chip.

I also have a cheap laptop running Windows 10 with only 4 GB of RAM. It quickly hits the memory limit, mostly due to what Jim described. Windows 10 eats up a significant amount of that RAM even at idle.

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