Why The Dropouts In Sound?

Mostly When multi Voices Sound Together?

Can someone please tell me why there are always dropouts in sound when arranging drum patterns with these sequencer software programs? It seems to happen every time there are fast rolls/fills, more than one voice on the same beat and when notes are close together, etc. Voices will always either play real weak or not even sound at all. It’s not just N-Track, because every software i’ve used so far seems to do it. It’s almost like it’s a memory issue or something, but i’m running 756mb of RAM (upgrading soon) and my CPU only seems to be running about 12% at the most when the patterns are playing.

Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Edit: Let me guess… You can only have so many drum voices playing at the same time on the same track. Is that the problem?



Hi Aedryan,

Yes, you’ve almost answered your own question.
MIDI stuff gets a bit hairy when notes start to overlap, and even more so when notes are very short.
Not being a MIDI expert, I can’t give you the full explanation for this, but it does happen.

As a workaround, you might try converting tracks one by one (all others muted) into .wav files and using those, rather than mixing down multiple MIDI tracks.

Hopefully someone smarter will chime in on this thread.



OMG! That’s what I was afraid of. >8>( That is going to make it an absolute nightmare to arrange entire songs and keep everything in synch, isn’t it? On the bright side, this does answer one of my other questions about keeping all of the drum voices on seperate tracks for mixing, etc, which is a good thing.

Just so i’m thinking right, an ideal/typical setup would be something like the following, right?

Track 1 - Bass drums
Track 2 - Snare
Track 3 - Ride, hi-hat, china boy, etc.
Track 4 - Crash cymbals
Track 5 - Toms (possibly even have to put each tom on its own track if dropouts occure when more than one tom plays at the same time?)

Additionally, Steve is suggesting that I may have to convert each of these midi tracks to WAV files as I go? Man, if this is the case, it seems like it’s going to be a total nightmare, flipping back and forth between tracks, converting file types, editing, re-saving and getting everything matched up for EACH 3 - 6 minute song. Does this really have to be this difficult? I mean, I have been using a little Alesis SR16 drum machine for years with absolute simplicity, yet it’s this difficult to do this on a great big PC?

Someone please tell me there is a more feasible way than this to create complex drum patterns with sequencer software…

- Aedryan

Are you sure your buffering isn’t just set very low and the VST isn’t dropping “frames” to use a video term? I would first take a look at cranking up your buffers.

I have tried every combination with the buffer settings and it doesn’t make any difference. It’s either bad, real bad or extremely bad… I mean, I made a single track with a 1 measure long, sixteenth note double bass pattern in 4/4 time, which has nothing but the bass drum on it (no snare, no ride or anything else) and it literally only plays 3 beats before it drops off. How can I fix this, guys?

- Aedryan

Does anyone else have any suggestions for this major issue?

One question is how the particular synth handles polyphony. Normally a given synth design (hardware or software) can only produce a finite number of simultaneous sounds. If the end of one note is still playing and another one needs to begin the synth will either start a new sound if an unused tone generator is available or truncate another sound to use that generator. There may also be different ways to resolve the conflict of too many sounds at once and it may introduce artifacts. If the sounds have long tails (slow decay) fast playing may generate far more simultaneous notes than is obvious from the score.

I woud try using very “dry” fast decay samples and see if matters imnprove.


If you’re using DFH2 (you mentioned that somewhere), then there is a patch that allows ‘direct from disk’ reading so that it will save some of your memory. If you’ve overrun your memory, then the disk swapping will be a major issue. For a full kit in DFH2, you’ll need at least 1gb.

Back to buffers… what drivers are you using (WDM or ASIO) and what do you have the buffers set to?