SNAPS CRACKLES AND POPS

SEE it CURE it

Do you know what your PC is doing behind the desktop -

Ns CPU use meter may show 10% but if the CPU is allready loaded to 90% your AUDIO is going to falter no matter how much you spent on the PC or soundcard -
would you like to see the ACTUAL CPU USE your PC is using at any time ? -

N (thanks to the .NET framewirk it uses) is memory friendly but PLUGINS ARE NOT, adding plugins/soft synths to your tracks is like letting loose a pack of VERY HUNGRY lions, they eat memory like there is no tomorrow -
would you like to see how much memory a plugin is taking up -

HIGH memory use and HIGH CPU use are the two most common reasons for audio POPS and BREAKUPS (there are others as we know to well) these we cure using manual intervention, adjusting sample rates, different drivers, upgrades etc, but there are many inponderables in the Windows OS (and the way plugins are written) that we have no control over at all -

N gets the blame for A LOT of things that are nothing to do with it - 90% of problems lie in the PC you are using, the little application below opens a window into the hidden insides of your PC - THIS ONE APPLICATION has solved more problems for me than anything else i have come across EVER (and thats saying something) -

you can if you download ‘CPUmon’ from the link below - its FREE (and its absolutely nothing to do with me) - its just so good that i think you all should be aware of it -

http://www.den4b.com/downloads.php

Dr J

Hey, thanks for the link and the advice Dr J. Snap crackle and pop is not a huge issue for me at the moment. Though when I get up to X number of tracks and effects, I do get some of that when I open N’s mixer.

Any tidbits on how to use this monitor? Turn things on and off and see what makes the biggest impact? Mix down tracks with effects/vstis that hog CPU? What else? My CPU hovers at a continous 2-3% when idle, and then spikes up to 11% if I scroll up and down a web page with the scroll bar. Up to 26% if I use the wheel on my mouse. Is that weird? Guess that’s the on-board video card working against me, eh? I could see where that would wreak havoc updating a slew of track level meters.

Thanks,

I just downloaded it and am looking for CPU hogs on my 98SE desktop.

Thanks Doc. Unfortunately, it confirms what I thought about n V5. Using the same project with the same plugins, n-Track spikes 100% several times during playback and pops and farts ensue. In Reaper, playback is smooth and the CPUMon never goes above 70%. Something is wrong with n’s audio engine. :(

D

HotDogWater -

2/3% on idle is OK -

watch out for the real big spikes (upto 100%) every 15/20 seconds when Windows addresses your C drive - these occur when Windows is housekeeping - while window addresses your hard drive all other programs are switched OFF - and there is NOTHING you can do to stop this -

apart from sheer overloading the CPU, the above is the biggest cause of audio artefacts, there are many who are so obsessed with latency they set the soundcard buffers/ASIO sample rates at the lowest possible levels/rates - then they complain about dropouts - the lower the buffer/sample rate size the faster N has to work to keep up with demands, the faster N works the greater the chance of Windows cutting in and spoiling the fun -

setting buffer rates to high and ASIO to maximum lets N run slower and keeping the buffers (which are often on the soundcard) full for longer means that there is less chance of Windows interfering - high rates may slow down meter refresh and a jumpy timeline - these things do not matter at all on playback, and it overcomes a problem that is universal to all DAWS -

click on the DOT (next to the + sign) and tick the following boxes 1-2-4-5-7-9 and especially box 10 to show unused (free) memory, invaluable when using soft synths and greedy plugins -

Dr J

Diogenes -
i both aggree and dissagree with you at the same time - in favour of V5, it is approx 30% more efficient than V4, thats a massive improvement -

REAPER i have not used so i cannot comment on it, BUT i have tried Fruity Loops, Ableton Live and Audacity, (all long uninstalled) now i just use Magix, Sonar LE and N - Magix products because they do reasonable audio and great video and Sonal LE because it was free and is only two versions behind the latest version and as a testbed for things that dont work first time in N of which most times things dont work in LE either - so my fault - all of these are on a par with each other in capability - except where it comes to AUDIO - to my ears N has the best audio from a DAW i have ever heard - OK there may be better but at what price ? -

secondly one has to take into consideration the things that N is doing in the background that Reaper is not capable of doing - a trip around the Sonar and Cuebase forums will show the more sophisticated the DAW the greater the problems, especially when it comes to the capabilities of the computer you run the DAW on - for one simple example a PC with a Celeron CPU is no where near as powerful as one with a Pentium - so on that CPU N will strulggle but Reaper may not -

this PC is running Win 2k on a 932meg Pentium 3, 256 meg of ram - and by comparison with my much faster, more ram, specially built studio PC - on this PC is N IS RUBBISH - but its not N that is to blame its this PC - N has improved greatly over the years, but in doing so (basically with every new version) N needs a better platform to enable all of its features to run correctly -

Dr J

Yep. I understand and agree with you Doc. It’s just that Reaper is NOT less capable than n-Track. It’s editing features leave n in the dust while maintaining an impressively small footprint on the PC. The developer HAS to be using a very low level programming language and none of the crappy Microsoft .NET bloatware. The installer is only a 1.9MB download for goodness sake!

Don’t get me wrong here… I LOVE n-Track and have used it successfully for years but starting with the .NET stuff and especially V5, I have not been getting stuff done efficiently in n-Track. I use Reaper and it just works. I am REALLY hoping Flavio can get a handle on this weirdness because I really like the look and feel of n and like you, I think it SOUNDS great. I just don’t have the time to fight the software to get stuff done.

D

Quote (Diogenes @ Jan. 10 2007,09:18)
It’s just that Reaper is NOT less capable than n-Track. It’s editing features leave n in the dust while maintaining an impressively small footprint on the PC. The developer HAS to be using a very low level programming language and none of the crappy Microsoft .NET bloatware. The installer is only a 1.9MB download for goodness sake!


D

"cept I just recorded 28 tracks 24bit/44.1 in Cake Home Studio and have done as much in n-track but Reaper choked on the 6th track. Ya I have a lowly Celeron 1.2 but on a purely tracking basis n-track and Cake do pretty well. Reaper doesn’r handle multiple sound cards nor does it handle the other driver modes very well (or at all) besides ASIO. In n-track I can record SPDIF and Audio 1+2 at the same time using WDM. Not so in Reaper. Reaper imports a midi file on 1 track. So much fun taking that apart. It doesn’t let you assign different patches from the soundcard 'cus there’s no fricking dialog! Lots of users complain of its high cpu usage (even in idle) but the worst feature for me was the constant taxing of my harddrive. The light never goes off. Reaper has many features that are cool but it has a long way to go before it catches n-track and even longer to catch Cake.

KingFish

Hi Gentlemen:
I went to the Page… There appears to be several utilities to download … there… The CPU monitor is there… What would be the correct application of the CPU monitor to download… ?? The Novice one? or??

Bill…

which one only depends if you have WINZIP or not ? - .ZIP file will be shorter, if you have WINZIP then you will already know how to first set up a destination folder and unzip it to that - from there hit the .EXE file and installation will start and away you go -

if your not happy with WINZIP Bill, take the top option - all roads lead to Flavio (sorry that should read ROME)

Dr J

Hi Doc:
O.K. I understand… I can download any of them… It’ll get to the CPU Mon. utility…

Bill…

[EDIT]
Has anyone looked at that “Re-namer” application? That looks interesting… to me… Well…

Bill…

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Don’t get me wrong here… I LOVE n-Track and have used it successfully for years but starting with the .NET stuff and especially V5, I have not been getting stuff done efficiently in n-Track. I use Reaper and it just works. I am REALLY hoping Flavio can get a handle on this weirdness because I really like the look and feel of n and like you, I think it SOUNDS great. I just don’t have the time to fight the software to get stuff done.


See this is my big bitch too. I’m still using 4. whatever, and it’s a constant headache. It crashes constantly, won’t play back tracks, gets error messages… you know the drill. I wouldn’t even mind upgrading to 5 (it’s not the $), but why in a million years would I pay 1 cent to upgrade my non-working program to another non-working program. I agree with what many have said over the months on this forum: forget about the 4D super surround sound-make-you-coffee-and-toast-for-breakfast bells and whistles, and focus on getting the program to just plain work. I’m going to try going back to a V3 build and see if the projects I’m working on will open in there, and if they do, I’m sticking with V3.

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"cept I just recorded 28 tracks 24bit/44.1 in Cake Home Studio and have done as much in n-track but Reaper choked on the 6th track. Ya I have a lowly Celeron 1.2 but on a purely tracking basis n-track and Cake do pretty well. Reaper doesn’r handle multiple sound cards nor does it handle the other driver modes very well (or at all) besides ASIO. In n-track I can record SPDIF and Audio 1+2 at the same time using WDM. Not so in Reaper. Reaper imports a midi file on 1 track. So much fun taking that apart. It doesn’t let you assign different patches from the soundcard 'cus there’s no fricking dialog! Lots of users complain of its high cpu usage (even in idle) but the worst feature for me was the constant taxing of my harddrive. The light never goes off. Reaper has many features that are cool but it has a long way to go before it catches n-track and even longer to catch Cake.

KingFish


That’s weird KF as I have the exact opposite thing going on here… I record a boatload of tracks in n-Track no problem. It’s the playback and effects is where it starts choking. The song I posted in the music review forum had 19 tracks and I had to make judicious use of compressors and such on several. The only way to get smooth playback out of n was to set my latency to max and freeze about half the tracks. That is a major PITA when trying to just mix a song. Freeze, listen, unfreeze, tweak, freeze, listen ad nauseum… Ain’t no way to get anything done. I wound up doing the song in Reaper and the session went smooth as butter.

BTW, Sonar LE and Cubase LE work well for me too. I just like n-Track and Reaper better overall. The editing/processing features in Reaper are excellent. Of course in your case, if you can’t get past 6 tracks, it don’t mean much! :)

D

i have over the last two monthe spent more time and money than i care to think about getting to grips with the C++ programming language and it relationship to the .NET Framework - and i can see exactly where Microsoft are coming from - the main feature of the .NET Framework is memory management, in non .NET programms the programmer had to take care of memory management - in .NET programming Windows OS takes cars of memory management -

it also makes Windows open to a new level of portability. ie a programmer only has to produce one program that can then be ported to other platforms -

but heres the rub -

ITS .NET that makes V5 some 30% more efficient than V4, but as V5 has more features than V4 you have to have a PC that has the HORSEPOWER to run V5 -

if you think you can run V5 on a knackered out old PC (i mean that brand new one you bought last year) think again -

ITS NOT JUST N that has problems with its users, its across the board with all the major DAWs - and across the board there is one answer, NEW VERSION, NEW PC - or at least a major upgrade -

OK so you dont agree, but every new version of a DAW is based on the latest advances in computer technology - the minimum specifications for a DAW change with every new version - if your PC hasnt got it, then it isnt going to work -

+ there is the Firewire chip problem and the XP media centre edition problems that have to be added the list of things that cause the latest round of DAWS to throw a fit -

ONE THING THAT WOULD HELP OVERCOME THIS IS FOR FLAVIO TO REVISE THE MINIMUN SPECS FOR EVERY VERSION/BUILD HE GENERATES - this should be on the download page for all to see - if your PC/Laptop does not comply, then expect problems -

Dr J