Couple techie questions

Set-up

This is to clear up a blurry issue or two I’ve had a while:

I just looked into my machine (not the one I’m internetting on), and saw I have, for a video card, a RAGE 128 PRO AGP 4xTMDS. I bring it up because when I move windows around, I get a ‘trail’ of the image following. Also, sometimes the image, i.e., knobs and such, on-screen is a tad ‘skittish’. Familiar to anyone else?

Next: I have USB 2.0, using a Tascam US-428 thing. The USB 2.0 shares an IRQ with a “USB Rev 5 or later” ‘device’. Does this need to be rectified? Or is this not, in actuality, the sharing of an IRQ by two devices? Should I disable all the other USB controllers (escept the one 2.0 used by the -428) in the Device Manager list?

I am using a Logitech ‘Marble-Mouse’, which is a USB gadget with a PS-2 connector, going in to the PS-2 port on back of the PC. Is this acceptable- and not again the sharing of USB resources by two devices?

Concerning Audio/Wave devices: I have switched to MME drivers for recording (as per the Word of Phoo), but have gone back to WDM for playback. I’m having no problems as of yet, but I just thought I’d mention it.

And now, today’s final musing:

What exactly is meant by “Multithreaded processing” in the settings dialog box (under the ‘General’ tab)?

Thanks to whomever finds the moment to spare for the enlightenment of my murky understanding. :)

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RAGE 128 PRO AGP 4xTMDS. I bring it up because when I move windows around, I get a ‘trail’ of the image following. Also, sometimes the image, i.e., knobs and such, on-screen is a tad ‘skittish’. Familiar to anyone else?


Have you checked for an updated driver for that card? I seem to remember my ATI card doing that until I updated the driver. A couple months ago though, the ATI card smoked. The Matrox I installed does not “smear” or “jerk” like the early ATI old driver combo did.

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Next: I have USB 2.0, using a Tascam US-428 thing. The USB 2.0 shares an IRQ with a “USB Rev 5 or later” ‘device’. Does this need to be rectified? Or is this not, in actuality, the sharing of an IRQ by two devices? Should I disable all the other USB controllers (escept the one 2.0 used by the -428) in the Device Manager list?


IMO I don’t think I would disable the other USB devices. The "Root or “Hub” controller might occasionally poll the ports for a new attached device but I have never had it cause problems. I really don’t know for SURE how the USB spec works though…

My son uses a Tascam US-122 USB box. I have borrowed it on occasion for laptop use. I found the WDM driver to work great. The ASIO driver works but is a little finicky IMO. Never had to resort to MME to get work done with it though.

I’ll let some more qualified “geeks” chime in on Multi-threading. I have an idea of what it’s about… but I’ll probably muck it up! :D

D

I used a Rage 128 Pro for a long time. It’s good and stable with the last drivers that were out there for it. It was not too good with some earlier drivers, and would regularly show screen corruption and occasionally blue screen. It happened most often when working in graphics apps, though the buttons in n-Tracks would show the dreaded “interesting background colors” or go completely black.

That’s not to say the latest drivers would fix similar problems on you machine. Every machine is a little different.

I eventually got a Matrox with dual-monitor support and have been very happy with that.

I’ve heard horror stories when dealing with USB though. I don’t have any experience with USB audio except at work and very little there - not enough to even be exposed to the typical recording scenarios via USB - just enough to know that playback is working fine in games, etc. I think the different chipsets in machines have a LOT to do with USB problems or lack of problems.

I have an extra USBII PCI card in my DAW at home. It’s got a printer, scanner, GuitarPort, and Variax Workbench hooked to it. My Mouse and keyboard are USB into the motherboards USB port. I haven’t have any problems with any of them, or any interactions with recording that I can tell.

I was getting a few sync issues until I bumped buffering up to very high. These problems were very obvious sine it sounded like I was just not playing very precise. I’m so out of practice on the drums I figured it was my playing (seriously).

Bumping up the buffering has been one of the best practice methods to improving my playing that’s come along in a while. :)

I’d heard lots of bad USB stories concerning use of more than one such device on a recording machine. Looks like that may be less *universally true (*ahem…) than I was lead too think, in light of your USB-endowed DAW, Phoo. I’ll leave that 'lone, and for now believe that any issue has another source.

I set up n-Track with ASIO drivers today, and figured out the thing about all the recorded (empty) tracks that had plagued me with that setting. A simple right click on the Record vu meters disables/ables your inputs. :p Should have gone there first! Anyway, ASIO seems to function just fine, and without the latency of MME, I guess, so that’s a go-er.

I’ll go look up the new driver for the Rage card, sounds like a sensible idea.

So thanks for all the input! I do much appreciate it. Now, if anyone’s got a line on this ‘multithreaded processing’ thing, that’d be interesting to know about. I just hate being in the dark…

Keep in mind that I don’t use USB for any audio IO at all. The GuitarPort and Workbench simply control the sounds on external device. I use PCI devices (Echo Audio) for recording. Actually having to move audio across USB would be a whole different ballpark and that’s there the major headaches usually happen, though simply having a USB mouse is enough to royally screw up some machines for some unknown reason. I am SO glad I haven’t had those kind of problems. I don’t even have to disable the virus checker when recording unless I’m also playing back a lot of tracks and CPU usage is getting up there. I consider myself very lucky.

I started off just trying to stay out of that ballpark entirely. I do use USB for I/O, the US-428. But, I don’t think it’s giving me trouble, since I don’t do more than 4 simul. recording yet, anyway. O.k., partly because I’m using the -428!

Got my driver, thanks again, all.

Regarding the multi-thread, it has to do with processing instruction sets in a parallel manner. In other words, if the software is multi-thread capable (as n-Track is), and it sends 100 instructions to the CPU, the CPU begins by processing instruction 1 in thread 1, and instruction 2 in thread 2, etc. If for instance, instruction 2 is done before instruction 1, the CPU waits for instruction 1 to complete, etc. (in theory, anyways).

In my limited understanding of this, usually enabling multi-threading will increase the throughput. But there can be instances of bottlenecks, etc. which may make the non-multi-threading better.

If I remember correctly, multi-threading was introduced with the pentium-class processors.

Hope that helps.

This is a re-writ post!
I’m using an Intel Celeron processor- don’t know if this qualifies as Pentium. Maybe not… I’d read here that I’d be better off leaving that box unchecked. ?

Celerons are pentium class processors, just stripped down a bit - like the old 386SX, etc. The only way to know if it enhances n-track on your machine is to try it on and off.

I’ve run into a few dx plug-ins that didn’t work very well when multi-threading was enabled. In this case “didn’t work very well” meant they crashed and it was crashing in the plug-ins. I don’t remember which ones it was. I haven’t had any problems recently. Maybe it was a bug in n-Tracks long ago when that function was first added. Doesn’t matter now as long as it works with the plugs I use these days.

Just something else to think about when something blows up. :)

Ah, I got it, thanks.