Windows 98SE and nTrack V4

Resources and CPU usage?

I am a user of PowerTracks Pro Audio and the newest release uses too many resources in Windows 98. nTrack has so many more audio recording features that I am considering dropping PTPA and going to nTrack. But I don’t know if I will find a similar resource problem with nTrack.

I am running a PIII 800mHz with 256MB RAM and Windows 98SE, well within the published system requirements for nTrack. What has been the experience of other users of nTrack using Windows 98, particularly nTrack V4?

It sufficient for many audio tracks and a few (depending) fx or softsynths.
I’ve used N on a system older than that and it works fine if you do overdubbing.
If you’re a MIDI user however, N is not the best option. But for audio, it’s very good.

Not familiar with v4, but 3.3, and 2.3 even moreso, will run pretty good in that configuration. I didn’t find 2.3 overly stable once mixing started (getting tracks down was fine, not so good after various plugs and evolutions were added), but trackcount was fine (24+ at 16/44.1)

I have to so say that I use midi a lot and have found n-track very easy to use both in terms of creating and editing midi tracks and running them through vst-i’s alongside audio tracks.

I have heard negative comments re. n-track and midi before but my experience is good; maybe they’re historical problems relating to older versions, Flavio has an excellent record of incorporating useful changes into the program so don’t write it off.

Mike F

In addition to the overall stability and performance in a Windows 98 configuration like mine, I am trying to find out how many system resources nTrack 4 uses. By running resource meter and noting the percentages of system, user and GDI resources, then launching nTrack, then looking at the percentages of resources in use, you can determine the amount of resources used by nTrack. I am currently on Powertracks 8 and it takes about 20% of each resource. Powertracks 9 will take 40-45% of each resource. What does nTrack 4 take?

Probably the best way to test this is to download the evaluation version from here and try it for yourself. You can just import the wav files from your PowerTracks software (or download the demo song from here).

I like to keep my PC as “clean” as possible, so I usually don’t install demo software until I am reasonably sure I will permanently use it. Based on the replies that nTrack will run fine on my Windows 98 system, I downloaded and installed nTrack 4. Upon the initial open of nTrack the system resources only dropped about 10%. Good, I thought. But I loaded two stereo tracks and began playing them and the system resources began slowly going down until the system ran out of resources.

I saved the .sng file and quit nTrack. The system resources jumped back up to 80%. I relaunched nTrack and the resources dropped to 70%. I loaded the .sng file and the resources didn’t change. I started playing the song and the resources began going down again and within 45 seconds the system resources were down to 0.

Is this expected? What could be eating up my resources? In PowerTracks 8.0, my resources drop 20% and stay that way all through my recording sessions with DX effects, mixer moves, etc. being implemented.

I’m not writing Flavio or N off…I still very much like this software. I learned a lot about producing music with the simplicity yet versatile N-Track.

However, I use MIDI heavily because I don’t own a piano or a bass guitar and having use MIDI quite a bit with audio as well for a year…I discovered that the MIDI capabilities are quite limited such as cutting and pasting from one midi track to another…freezing portions of a midi track. While there are “work-arounds” its terribly time-consuming and many of us know that when we get bogged with weildy tasks when we get that rare creative juices flowing…patience and and the creativity at least for that day vanished.
By no means, Im saying N is a bad software…I think it was more geared towards audio than MIDI.
I’ll still work with N as my sole audio/mixer/sequencer but I’ll need to find an alternative product for my MIDI needs.

I currently have ntrack 3.3 and Powertracks 8 with a PIII 800 mhz, 384 Meg of RAM. Up until a month ago I used 98SE but it started getting confused about the IRQs for my 3 sound cards so I switched to XP Pro.

I purchased ntrack for the ASIO support. I use both of them and happily ignore the CPU usage messages. If I get the BSOD then I know I am out of resources.

I don’t have any incentive to go to PT9 or N4 since everything is working fine on my humble setup at the moment, and there is plenty yet for me to learn with both.

If you download build 1703 it looks like this has been fixed in win 98.