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AxlBrutality

I'm done with Cakewalk.

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I have stuck by Cakewalk for almost 15 years.  Through all the highs and lows, through all the changes...I've been their biggest champion and their most intense apologist.  I've spent hours and hours and hours with devs and customer service tracking down bugs and resolving issues.  I stuck by CW/Sonar through the worst of the instability issues in years past.  I've stuck by this program in spite of INFURIATING losses of work, and workflow stoppages, over the years due to random crashes, auto-save not actually working, and any variety of random problems over the years.

Today was the final straw.  I lost 4 HOURS worth of vocal recording at once due to a freeze that came out of the blue.  No recent changes, no new plugins, everything is updated, nothing running in the background, etc. I simply clicked on my timeline as I have a million times before and the program froze, necessitating a force-close and the loss of ALL my work in spite of auto-save being enabled.  This isn't the first time such a thing has happened, but it came at a VERY bad time and was the final straw.

NO ONE I know who uses Cubase, PT, S1, etc. has these kinds of issues as routinely as I have with Cakewalk, nor have I in my time with other programs on this machine (which, by the way, is more than powerful enough to handle anything I throw at it).

Could I go down the days, weeks, even months-long rabbit hole with CBB trying to track down the cause of this one?  Sure.  But I've been there before...multiple times.  I'm not doing it again.  I've given enough of my life to the devs tracking down issues over the years.  I have better things to do with my time than spending hours not getting paid just to track down yet another issue that caused me hours of work loss in the first place.

This kind of stuff, right here, is why Cakewalk has never been able to compete commercially with its peers....and never will.

So long, CBB....you screwed me over for the last time.  My sanity is worth more than wasting it contributing to your desperate attempts to stay relevant in this industry.

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Posted (edited)

Just out of curiosity, was it 4 hours non-stop recording? If it was done in multiple recordings, like 3 or 4 minutes of recording (typical song length), did you save between recordings?

Edit: in any case, your recording should still be on your drive even if it is not shown in your project. If you go into your project folder under the folder 'Audio', your recording should still be there.

Edited by Jacques Boileau
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A long time ago I found a method to consistently break Cakewalk for DOS; causing it to freeze or crash completely. The method worked in Pro Audio, Sonar, SPlat and continues to work in CbB to this day.

The method is simple....

Record or edit for 4 hours without saving. Depending on the complexity of the edits or recordings it may not last 30 minutes.

When I Save often, I never have problems with Cakewalk. I hit Cntrl-S after every take; If I'm editing; at least every ten minutes. And here is the important bit.

    Auto-Save is not the same thing as Save. 

 Auto-Save is a different file and does not "clear" a "dirty" project file.   Failure to Save your work is the surest way to lose it in any computer application. 

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Good by and good luck. Seems there’s always one in a hundred that have multiple issues. Just bad luck  I guess. 
Personaly I would not trust auto save. I just save after an average of 15 minutes or so. Just a long-standing habit.
Same goes with any software I use. They all have auto save but experience has taught me not to trust it. 

Instead of blaming Cakewalk you might want to just change your workflow and carry on. 

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I've lost stuff in CbB before now - usually because of my own poor workflow hygiene. I always make a habit now of hitting Ctrl-S before I do anything I consider to be significant - that might be quantizing, doing a bounce, synth freeze or a mix export - even adding a significant effect or inserting a new VST. It takes seconds to do it but it has saved me in the past but YMMV. Ultimately your call I guess but I get the frustration - I've been there - but you have to find a way to work around it or switch DAWs I suppose.

Andy

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Ha! Well then, farewell. 15years? Sh*t! by this time i would not rely on Autosave at all if it keeps losing my work. Hehe! I've been married to CTRL+S for 12years in every software i use - all the way across in to paint! 

I bet you that freeze was a windows update, Antivirus picking up on a "POTENTIAL" corrupt file, as many AVs think every file is - especially Windows Defender. 100% guarantee it was a plugin acting up temporarily too. The iLok taking its meth shot. 

Chocolate Ice cream is your friend in these hard times. 

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2 hours ago, AxlBrutality said:

NO ONE I know who uses Cubase, PT, S1, etc. has these kinds of issues

Hi, my name's Dave. So now you can say you know somebody who has never had these kinds of issues with Cakewalk, either.

What I'm saying is that any software can make you pull your hair out from time to time. Go ahead and switch to Cubase. A good friend of mine did exactly that back when Gibson kicked us to the curb, and he's pretty happy with it. But don't think that's going to guarantee you won't ever have future issues. Software just doesn't work like that.

In all probability your freeze probably wasn't even the fault of the DAW, which, generally speaking, really isn't prone to hangs. Drivers and drives, OTOH, are. For that reason if I were you I'd be very curious to know what caused the problem, lest my next cry of frustration merely moves to the ProTools forum, or the Reaper forum, or the Cubase forum.

When the hang occurred, did you check for any clues, e.g. Windows logs, Task Manager for other processes hogging resources, memory usage or network activity? Yeh,  I get it, you were angry and frustrated in the moment. But hangs are often hardware-related. You'll want to know if you have a failing hard drive before enduring the pain of switching to another DAW.

 

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My PC was freezing twice a week - I spent AGES trying to work it out.  The thing was, I've got a quad-boot:  2 x Win10,  1 x Win 7 64 bit, and 1 x Win 7 32bit.  It would freeze in all four of them, and once it froze while doing a disk backup ( when it was running Linux booted from a CD ).

On a hunch, I increased the CPU voltage in the BIOS very slightly... freeze problem solved.  It's been around a month now with no issue.

This was a complete computer freeze though, not just CbB.   I've not seen CbB lock up in a long long time.

I run a pretty clean machine though, and make sure no AV or cloud sync programs are looking at anything CbB might be.

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For comparison, the very first post and several under it mention Cubase freezing: https://forums.steinberg.net/c/cubase/6

If you don't save for hours in Cubase and it freezes, you're right back to where you are here, except with far more expensive software, and a whole new platform to learn.

I think I've had maybe 2 freezes in the last decade, and even then I have a nervous tic in my left hand that hits CTRL+S regularly. It's just a good idea.

There's some good advice worth following in this thread 👍

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

My PC was freezing twice a week - I spent AGES trying to work it out.  The thing was, I've got a quad-boot:  2 x Win10,  1 x Win 7 64 bit, and 1 x Win 7 32bit.  It would freeze in all four of them, and once it froze while doing a disk backup ( when it was running Linux booted from a CD ).

On a hunch, I increased the CPU voltage in the BIOS very slightly... freeze problem solved.  It's been around a month now with no issue.

This was a complete computer freeze though, not just CbB.   I've not seen CbB lock up in a long long time.

I run a pretty clean machine though, and make sure no AV or cloud sync programs are looking at anything CbB might be.

And this is the other reason why I'm leaving Cakewalk and it's forums.  The default is always to blame to user or their hardware first and foremost; it's been that way since the height of Sonar's known instability issues.

I'm not inexperienced. I could rant about how I've had this happen on numerous machines over the years.  I could rant about how there's very few, if any, background processes that run on my machine while I'm working, including all the basic stuff that we caution people about (cloud syncing, antivirus, etc.)  I could rant that my current machine has been just fine up to this point, and will likely be just fine long after I uninstall Cakewalk.  I could rant about how I pay pretty close attention to performance stats; I could rant that this computer can easily handle 3x the load that gets put on it with the current project.  I could rant about any number of things, but it doesn't matter because people treat you like a wet-behind-the-ears engineer fresh out of audio engineering school who doesn't know the basics of how computers work or what an optimal build is for this type of work.

I understand that software can and will have issues regardless of the name on it or the devs behind it.  But I also know firsthand how happy many of my peers are with the industry-standard programs...including a close friend of mine (a professional engineer who switched from Sonar to Cubase years ago) who has been screeching at me to switch every time a problem like this occurs.  Again, there's a reason Cakewalk has never been able to compete on that level.  Things like this are why.

I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by switching to a more stable, more well-supported, industry-standard program that doesn't lose me hours of work at a time at least once a year for as long as I can remember.

Edited by AxlBrutality

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I genuinely wish you all the best, @AxlBrutality.

As a favor from one Cakewalk Veteran to another, could you check back in here a in a couple of months and let us know where you ended up and how you're getting on? So many of these stories don't get a satisfactory conclusion.

 

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I didn't blame you, but you didn't respond to my post.

I was trying to help you recover your recordings btw, even if to use them in Cubase, if that is what you wish to do.

It is not blaming someone to point out, as other have done, that saving regularly is a good habit. Pro Tools, the industry standard, does crash from what I have read.

Who do you complain to if you loose 4 hours of good work because of a power loss? Or you PC's motherboard failure or a hard disk crash or Windows simply having a bad day?

Again, your recordings are probably still on your drive ready to be imported into Cubase.

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I guess I got into the habit of saving as I went along from my days using Corel Draw regularly.  Sooner or later I knew CorelDraw would end up freezing up when I was getting more and more complicated work on it to render. So it just became habit. I looked on the bright side if I had to do the layouts the old fashioned way it was a very small price to pay.    I hope you find eternal bliss in whatever DAW you end up with. I truly do!  Just remember the grass isn't always greener on the otherside/DAW 😅

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15 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

The default is always to blame to user

 

15 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

I'm not inexperienced.

 

16 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

treat you like a wet-behind-the-ears engineer

 

17 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

industry-standard program that doesn't lose me hours of work

Only someone who doesn't learn from experience would lose hours of work more than twice. 

Cubase is a great program. You may enjoy working with it, but Cubase is also going to punish you if you continue to work long hours without saving.

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3 hours ago, AxlBrutality said:

NO ONE I know who uses Cubase, PT, S1, etc. has these kinds of issues as routinely as I have with Cakewalk, nor have I in my time with other programs on this machine

I call BS.

Either that, or you don't know very many people.

46 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

And this is the other reason why I'm leaving Cakewalk and it's forums.  The default is always to blame to user or their hardware first and foremost; it's been that way since the height of Sonar's known instability issues.

Well, if you work for hours without saving, it is your fault.

48 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by switching to a more stable, more well-supported, industry-standard program that doesn't lose me hours of work at a time at least once a year for as long as I can remember.

Yeah. 'Cause no other DAW ever crashes and looses the work of some fool who goes for hours and hours without saving

 

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I really don't think that I could find anyone who has logged more hours on Cakewalk than me over the years.  Granted, I have not always been heavy into audio, a lot of midi scoring to picture, but a fair share of audio.  in 30 years I can not recall losing more than 15 min to an hour of work and I can't recall the last time any loss happened.  

The method I use is similar to what people mention.  I have my auto save  set up,  but  the main thing I do is save project versions.  After I complete a  a major task I save then save as v(+1).   Another trick to prevent lock ups is bouncing to clips.  After I edit a voice over or a singers part I can have tons of clips, fades, clip gains, eq's dropped in a clip,  Or drum parts can have hundreds or small timing corrections.  So after I'm done with a major chunk I save , then bounce the audio to a clip, then save to the next version.  All your edits get printed and the computer frees itself of tons of data.    Just a note...one thing that people don't really realize is that when you do a long take , split it into a small section, the DAW still is trying to edit the audio as one big file.  So split out the small section that needs to be fixed and bounce it to clips.  It then creates it's own small file (less chance of crashing ).

I have spent a healthy amount of time in ProTools, Cubase,  Sibelius and  Dorico.  None of them are any better off as far as crashing.  In fact I like CbB's  safe mode better than anything else for dealing with crashes.  Saving versions is lifesaver and It's rarely the DAW that fails, but some 3rd party plugin that is the issue.

My point is not to berate anybody or anything, but chances are you will have the same issues on your next DAW.

I learned this all the hard way...very hard way.

 

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FWIW, when you install Cubase, be careful not to let it install the Generic Low Latency Audio Driver. If you think you have problems with CbB now, just wait until Steinberg installs that little gem onto your system.

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On a serious note and I really mean this . . . PT? Well, I will let you experience that world yourself and just say - within a period of two years, 60% of my clients have moved to another DAW. Which left me reaching deep in my pockets to keep doing business with them.

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