problems with dropouts and CD burning

I’ve had some problems in the past month or so with dropouts (little skips or glitches) on playback after recording with n-Track version 4.

I’m using an Emachines 6805 laptop with AMD64 3000+, 512 MB RAM, XP with SP 2. I’m using the internal hard drive, which is 4600RPM, I believe. It’s 8% fragmented. The soundcard is an Edirol UA-1000.

I’ve used these successfully before, including, I think, with V.4 n-track.

I’m using ASIO drivers. I assume thats the best for this setup. I’ve been recording at 24/44.1, because I can’t find a way to record just 16-bit.

Lately, when recording even four tracks at a time, I can get permanent dropouts after a few seconds of recording.

I increased the buffer size on recording and playback. I don’t use synths or live effect processing. There is only one version of driver for this audio interface. I have previously recorded 8 simultaneous tracks of 24/44.1 without trouble, although I usually use fewer inputs. I once recorded an hour of a live show at 16 bits without difficulty. I can’t find a way to use just 16 bits now.

Today I successfully recorded a song with 12 tracks, after having a few takes ruined by dropouts, then I couldn’t burn the song to CD without it having repetative, stuttering droupouts on playing the CD in iTunes.

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about the problems. I don’t know where to start. I would really appreciate any help you can give. I am so used to n-Track (user since early 2000 or so) that I would really like to keep using it.

Your 4600rpm drive will be half the problem.
It will have problems streaming the audio to record or playback multiple wav files at a time.

Secondly if your laptop has a 4600 drive it may very likely only have USB1 ports. so even though you have a USB2 device it may only be operating at USB1 speeds.

If the soundcard has WMD drivers maybe try them, but if you have already increase the buffers then not sure what else to try…

You should be able to record at 16 bit… that will reduce the load on your HD and USB port as well…


How long are the drop outs? I have had bad problems with a Wireless NIC causing dropouts for like 30 seconds or so. As soon as I disabled the Wireless NIC, everything worked great.

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.

The recording dropouts are shorter than half a second. I get about two or three dropouts per four minute song.

The CD burning (using n-Track) dropouts are all less than a second in duration and constant in frequency (about 2/sec.).

I will try to switch to WDM drivers today. I think that’s what I was using when things went well, but I was still able to record things without dropouts after using ASIO, including 6 and 8 tracks at a time. I really can’t think of what has changed since the time things were working well. Except maybe it was the change to 24-bit V. 4. I know I could choose to record 16-bit before. Though I know that eight simultaneous tracks at 24-bit with this equipment is possible (I did it successfully when I fist got the audio interface), I’ll concentrate on getting back to 16 bits for now.

I realize this is hard to diagnose, so I thank anyone willing to try to help.

HOld the door… Where are you adjuting your ASIO buffers? If in N-track… that is your problem. N-track can only control WDM and MME buffers. You will need to dig into your sound card’s software to change the buffers for ASIO. I am wondering if you didn’t assume your were increasing buffers but in reality were not.

I’m really glad that you mentioned that about the ASIO drivers not being controllable from n-Track. I never would have guessed that those controls weren’t going to do anything.

The soundcard’s control panel has only eight steps from “Min” to “Max” buffering–no actual figures of any kind. It has been set for right in the middle, which, I would think, would be sufficient for this computer.

It turns out that the recorded CD does play fine, as long as it’s not played through the Edirol audio interface.

I’ve updated my virus software, and I’ll soon try WDM drivers. I thought that ASIO was always better, but I just don’t know all that much about computers.

I appreciate the help.


…8% fragmented…

Its a good idea to defrag before each DAW session.

Also, are you sure that your drive is not 5600 or 5400 RPM?