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Sidechaining still causes crashing in Cakewalk. Issue dates back years; still no fix?

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I'm having an increasingly common problem where inserting a send on a track for sidechaining immediately crashes Cakewalk upon subsequent playback...often half a dozen times in a row before it will work.  There's often no rhyme or reason, it happens with various sidechainable plugins, and happens even with little to no CPU load in both small and large projects.

Further research has discovered that this has been a problem for several people for at least two years; no one has found a sure fire solution and no investigation or fix has ever been mentioned.

Tl:dr: Inserting sidechains crashes Cakewalk, and it's been a known issue for some for years.

Anyone else have this issue or a solution?

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Its not solved because most likely nobody submitted a bug report with a recipe. We can look into it if you have some steps to repro it.
Can you make it happen with one of the Cakewalk sidechain plugins such as sonitus compressor or CA-2A, or LP Multiband?

I have not seen this crash personally.

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I have never had sidechain crashes (in Sonar Platinum) during many years of use, so I can't help you out unfortunately. :(

@Noel Borthwick - as we are discussing sidechaining: could you guys please consider implementing a simple dropdown for selecting a sidechain input on the instrument track itself? :) Like Logic has had for years and like Cubase 10 just implemented. Thanks & keep up the great work!

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Um that's an ancient thread and if you read it all the issues have long since been resolved. Most of the issues were with sidechaining in VST2 which was ill defined and implemented differently by different vendors.  If someone has an actual recipe to reproduce a crash with sidechaining we'll look into it,

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thanks for responding noel - and sure it's an old thread, but i chose it from all the google results because you'd commented in that thread... it's been a regularly reported issue since then (x1) at least - if you really need a recipe from a user before considering investigation, not via your internal q.a. team, i guess we're looking to @AxlBrutality for the steps to repro then

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I've never had Sonar/Cakewalk crash with sidechaining. I've only done it with Sonitus plugins (DirectX) and VST3 though. Maybe the problem is with VST2 plugins as Noel mentioned?

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It might be helpful to specify exactly which "various sidechainable plugins" you're using. It could be a specific combination of plugins, and that's why it's not a widespread problem.

Also, presumably you have crash dumps that would identify whether the fatal error was raised by CbB itself or a plugin. That's the first place I look after a crash has occurred. 98% of the time it'll point to a specific third-party plugin, usually a recent acquisition that I  haven't established a track record with yet. I have, however, never experienced a sidechain-related crash with any plugin, and I use sidechaining a lot

One other thought...if the project does not consistently crash, then the problem could lie outside the DAW entirely. If it does crash consistently, that's the best possible scenario because then you'd have a reproducible bug that Noel & Co can analyze. If it's a big project, make a copy of it and start removing plugins until you've boiled it down to the simplest demonstration of the crash. Doing that has sometimes pointed me in a surprising direction, toward some factor that I'd previously not thought of as being relevant.

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I was doing a bunch of Sidechain stuff with Sonitus about 2 days ago - worked as intended for me.

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I use sidechaining regularly and have never (knocking on wood) had a crash from sidechaining.. I did recently have a song that I had inserted Waves Vocal rider on the lead Vocal track and the sidechain input for the music did Not show up as a send option.  (Yes I'm using VST 3 version) I have sidechained with it previously so I knew it should work.  I tried reinserting, didn't work.. I tried it in the Vocal bus and it worked, sidechain inputs available.  I already had some sidechaining of the kick to a Freq dependent Compressor on the bass and I think another Synth and some other stuff sidechained as well.   At this point I think I deleted one of the sends that I ended up not using from the Vocal and reinserted Vocal rider on the Vocal track and this time the sidechain option was available again.

So my question: Is there a limit on the number of sidechain inputs in Cakewalk or was this just a fluke?. I hadn't run into this before.

Anyone else run across this?

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There are no limits to the number of sidechain inputs so I'm not sure why it didn't work. If you have a way to reproduce it let us know and we can look into it.

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@Noel Borthwick Apologies for the super late response and dragging up an old thread; I didn't have email notifications turned on and haven't worked on music at all in the last two months or so.

Sidechaining to the Sonitus compressor (which is the primary culprit) on a track (in my case, a simple audio [kick] track, sidechained to the compressor on a bass track) and hitting play instantly crashes Cakewalk (completely, to desktop....along with no warning, no error message, nothing).  Happens probably 6 or 7 times before it will hold, so to speak.  It's also occurred on two different computers, an MSI desktop with an i5 and an MSI laptop with an i7.  Both running Windows 10, fully updated.  Both with only 8GB RAM, but the offending projects were/are nowhere near full utilization.  And for some reason no minidump files are being created.

And yes, the issue is still occurring.  (Among many others as of this week, but I've sent a support ticket in for those and that's a frustrating story for another thread.) 

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@AxlBrutality that's strange, I just tried it and its completely fine here no signs of anything going wrong. I wonder if its related to some settings in the compressor.

Could you please send me a link to the project in question so we can try and reproduce it? I tried both doing a send to the compressor as well as outputting to the compressor and it was fine.

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Posted (edited)

@Noel Borthwick It does it on any project at any point in their development, including new/blank projects.  If you really need me to I can upload one, but it's important to note that it does it before I've even touched settings on the compressor, lol. I usually insert the sidechain and then tweak the comp.  Maybe that helps (knowing that the setting are at their default)?

I should also note that once the first sidechain is implemented successfully (again, after about a half a dozen tries), there are zero problems thereafter with it or with additional sidechains.  It's really bizarre, lol.

The only common theme is that both machines it's done it on were MSI gaming machines, but that's where the  similarities end.  Different processors, SSDs, RAM, everything.

Edited by AxlBrutality

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Maybe try some other compressor?

There are numerous nice free ones available nowadays, like TDR Kotelnikov, although I'm not sure which offer sidechaining possibilities.

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