Dual CPUs?

Does NTrack utilize multiple processors?

My PC has been struggling to playback multiple tracks w/effects etc once the track list goes beyond 13-14ish. I’m sure most of you would have had this problem. I know there are ways to combat this, such as freezing tracks, or sub-mixing but I was just wondering if any of you have used N-Track on a Dual-CPU machine and whether it’s much of an improvement. Or maybe theres a few PC configurations some of you could recommend?

Cheers :slight_smile:

PS I’m currently using an AMD Athlon XP 3200+ with 1GB of RAM.

I don’t have any experience of running N-track on dual cps, but looking at your machine spec, you should be able to do better with what you have.

In general the number of tracks you can playback/record is governed by the speed of your disk, and the number of effects is governed by the CPU. RAM (over and above what the O/S and apps need to run) doesn’t make a great deal of difference.

With a machine like yours you should easily be able to exceed what you are currently getting (assuming you are only running “normal” effects and not super-cpu-hungry ones, or recording at 24/96).

Recording is a very resource intensive activity on a PC, so if anything is “stealing” that resource it can cause problems.

In your case, we’re not sure if CPU or harddrive (or both) is the limiting factor. (Maybe both). In the top left of the waveform view is a tiny little green button. Click it and it turns off the effects. If this improves things then that should be a clue. Also check the CPU loading on the bottom left of N-track (warning - some versions have had problems displaying this recently).

Some suggestions (in no particular order):

* A second harddrive for N-tracks files

* Check that no other unnecessary programs/processes are running (eg Virus scanners, etc, etc). Better still have a dual boot PC or a dedicated PC for your DAW.

* Remove spyware etc.

* Defrag your harddrive (this is a big subject that it’s better to not get into. Just defrag once and see if things get better).

* Generally make sure your PC is running well.

* Check DMA is enabled on your harddrives.

* Tune your PC for recording. Depending on your O/S there are several sites around that can help.

This is not an exhaustive list, I’m sure others will have other suggestions (any maybe answer your original question! ) …

In the meantime I hope this helps.


It all depends upon how well the software is multi-threaded.

Read this article - Multiprocessing in SONAR 3.1.

Quote (Mr Soul @ April 27 2005,13:50)
It all depends upon how well the software is multi-threaded.

And so the question is: "How well is N-track multithreaded?" This is a good one to direct to Flavio--well, actually I'd ask him the dual CPU question directly--and the answer would make a good entry for the FAQ. There's a "multithread DirectX plugins" option in N-track, and I'm sure there are other ways threads are used, but I think Flavio might be the best source for information on that topic.



first let me say I agree, your setup should not be struggling to handle the load. I’m using Intel now but I ran a Athlon 2000 with 16 tracks record and play with no problem. I guess the sound card could effect things . . . however, somethngs to check in Ntrack:
In the File>Settings>Preferrence and click on the Options tab.
There is an entry for DSP thred priority followed by check buttons of 1 or 2 or 3. If you use VST effects try setting this to 3 for the effects to have top priority, and one for low.
Beside this is a place to check if you want to try multi-thread. I’m not sure if Athlon supports multi-thread, it may be an Intel thing. Multi-thread uses a single processor as though it were two (at least that is the theory). I have an Intel Pen 4 3.2 and I can’t tell the difference with the multi-thread checked - I believe the Effect it’s self must be written to support multi-thread, and I would guess that means dual processors too (I could be off base on that - someone may know better.)

Quote (Mark A @ April 27 2005,03:56)
assuming you are only running "normal" effects and not super-cpu-hungry ones

Yeah, I am kinda running some FX that might be considered cpu-hungry - mainly amp-sim & compression on guitar tracks. Obviously playback is ok if FX are bypassed, but it would be nice to have everything play in it's entirety for the final mix.

Anyways the main reason I asked is because I'm gonna be building a high end PC with 2 SATA drives (one for O/S, the other for tracks) and was just wondering if it was worth spending the extra $$ on a 2-cpu system.

Thanks guys, I will email Flavio and see what he has to say.

Hey zedbo,

When you get Flavio’s answer, could you post it here? I’m curious to hear a definite answer on this one. Thanks!