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  1. #1
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    Default Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    [B]I'm a newbie in this forum but from what I've read so far in the last 20 minutes - especially what Danny Danzi stated in "Re: Why would someone choose Sonar over Cubase?" I said to myself hey, there might be a solution to my problem somewhere in this world and they won't drag me to the funny house because what I have to deal with nearly drives me nuts!!!

    setup is:
    PC, Win7 ultimate 64, MB: Asus P7P55 WS SuperComputer, RAM: DD3 8GB-1600 MHz-CL8-Corsair XMS3, CPU: Intel i7 860 , Power supply: Enermax ATX 625W 80plus Bronze, Graphics board: Radeon 4850, HD's: OS + Progs: Intel SSD X25-M G2 160 GB, DATA: WD 1TB- 64MB Cache, Seagate 1.5TB with BBox 2010 audiophile version on it (nothing else)
    DVD: SATA Plextor PX-880SA, FireWire Controller: PCIe Delock (with TI chip),
    Audio Interface: RME Fireface 400.
    ALL SW / HW / ALL DRIVERS / FIRMWARE ->LATEST VERSIONS!!!

    problem:
    Sonar 8.5 every few seconds I get a dropout, which really drives me nuts by now.
    I've been using cakewalk since the floppy disk version, always preferred it to other DAWs because of it's reliability, had dropouts in the past but negligible, had Sonar 8.5 PE installed before on a slower machine and no problems at all - apart from speed. Until now I've installed everything from scratch several times, running win7 and only sonar,
    really nothing else, insert audio track, start recording, -pang – dropout, click on the red dropout field, start recording again, and,after a few seconds, always the same. Playing back audio track from previous recordings, the same.
    No problems with midi files, but as soon as there is an audio track in a file-> dropout.
    Put the machine to he dealer who thouroughly checked the whole hardware for 24 hours continuously, everything ok.
    tried the cakewak V-Studio 20 interface -> same, tried my Line6 pod x3live as an interface-> same.
    This does not happen always with the same file but with each file that has got audio tracks in it.
    I use the same version of Sonar on my laptop (IBM, Win7 64 pro, 4GB RAM, Cakewalk V-Studio 20 interface, same Intel SSD X25-M G2 160 GB for OS /Progs plus external HDD for data) -> no problem at all.
    Installed sonar for testing purposes on another desktop PC –very close to my setup – no problem either.
    When I go further and install DimPro – only VST version – I see the plugin only when I’m logged in as admin.
    When I do a little bit of editing, like moving / cutting clips and then press play, machine very often hangs up, I have to close down the program which often takes quite a while since sonarpdr.exe apparently got stuck
    (as I can see in the task manager).

    Important: The same occurs with Sonar 8.0 installed!!!

    Why does this all happen only with this particular PC?
    This situation really drives me crazy, I can’t use Sonar anymore,
    and therefore: any help / suggestions highly appreciated
    Last edited by feal45; 11-01-2010 at 07:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Danny Danzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    feal, do me a favor...post me up some screen shots of your Sonar options. Options/Audio you'll see tabs there. Screen shot me each one so I can have a look.

    Also take a look at your asio settings. You may have them too low. Start at 256 samples and see how that works. Also, in options/audio/general, if you see a check box in the 64 bit precision engine, take it out of there. Some machines don't play nice with that.

    One other thing...when you bring up Task Manager, how many running processes do you see? Anything over 50 would be a cause for concern, but heck, you could have 30 running and have issues if those things running shouldn't be running. I've managed to get my Win 7 box to 38 running processes that I absolutely need when using Sonar.

    Try some of this stuff and get back to me with some screen shots and I'll see what we're up against. Also, I've read a few issues with some RME drivers and Sonar. I don't know the extent of these issues, but there were some known bugs for a few users. There were a few threads about them on the Sonar forum. Hope to hear from you soon, good luck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    high danny,
    attached please find screenshots. before I made these, I started from scratch:
    installed win7 / 64 again (I think the 6th time within 2 months) plus the latest drivers for the audio interface, graphics bord and chipset for m'board, ran windows update and nothing else, NO antivirus program! Disconnected from Inet, then I reinstalled sonar 8.5 PE as admin logged in, with all patches and no other additional synthie than the included cakewalk TTS. restarted, ran sonar, opened a file with audio tracks, and, after a few beats->DROPOUT.
    so I made a few ammendments following your suggestions - most of which I'd tried out before - like changing fireface sample - settings from 128 to
    1024, audio options in sonar program I/O buffers from 32 to 2048-> see attached shots.
    as I said before this happens only when there is an audio track in the project.
    I've tried it out with 24 midi only tracks, edited quite a few things in the piano roll, copied-cut-pasted-moved parts from one midi track to another, no problem at all, but then I added an audio track and recorded my voice for
    just 2 seconds -> DROPOUT!
    Issues with RME drivers and Sonar are, according to chief technician of RME,
    concerning only WDM/KS drivers and Microsoft' fault - see:
    RME User Forum / Latest driver updates.
    btw, when I added this link to RME's forum I saw that there is a new driver available, will try it out immediately and keep you informed.
    for the time being, many thanks to you,
    sincerly,
    ferry
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    high danny,
    attached please find screenshots. before I made these, I started from scratch:
    installed win7 / 64 again (I think the 6th time within 2 months) plus the latest drivers for the audio interface, graphics bord and chipset for m'board, ran windows update and nothing else, NO antivirus program! Disconnected from Inet, then I reinstalled sonar 8.5 PE as admin logged in, with all patches and no other additional synthie than the included cakewalk TTS. restarted, ran sonar, opened a file with audio tracks, and, after a few beats->DROPOUT.
    so I made a few ammendments following your suggestions - most of which I'd tried out before - like changing fireface sample - settings from
    128 to 1024, audio options in sonar program I/O buffers from 32 to 2048-> see attached shots.
    as I said before this happens only when there is an audio track in the project.
    I've tried it out with 24 midi only tracks, edited quite a few things in the piano roll, copied-cut-pasted-moved parts from one midi track to another, no problem at all, but then I added an audio track and recorded my voice for
    just 2 seconds -> DROPOUT!
    Issues with RME drivers and Sonar are, according to chief technician of RME,
    concerning only WDM/KS drivers and Microsoft' fault - see:
    RME User Forum / Latest driver updates.
    btw, when I added this link to RME's forum I saw that there is a new driver available, will try it out immediately and keep you informed.
    for the time being, many thanks to you,
    sincerly,
    ferry

  5. #5
    Danny Danzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    Hi ferry,

    Thank you for the excellent and in depth shots there. Here's the screen shot that I would work on first. Change the I/O from 32 to 256 and change the 128 to 256. I think your drop out is from your hard drives.

    If this works for you and you find you are running large projects with audio, you can increase both of these to 512, which is where mine are due to the large amount of audio I run here.

    Also, get rid of that MMCSS check mark because you are using Win 7 and not Vista. The only other thing I can add is, get rid of Full Chase Lock because you are not chasing to time code. Use Trigger and Freewheel unless there is a specific reason to have that option selected the way you do. For example, all my working versions of Sonar had "Full Chase Lock" selected. When I switched over to my Layla soundcard and got my UAD 1 DSP cards, both Echo and UAD told me that Trigger and Freewheel must be selected for my stuff to work correctly.

    Just try these settings and let me know if there is any change, ok? Keep me posted because I'd really like to see you beat this demon.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    hi danny,
    thanx for your advises, most of which I've already tried out.
    what happens sometimes is that after I made changes it works for a while -
    1 hour or so -and then gives me hard times again.
    meanwhile I got in touch with cakewalk's tech. support, nothing new from this side, giving me advise as how to install / setup internal / external audio devices.
    Btw, I've installed Cubase 5 meanwhile - not my DAW, awful UserInterface - but worth a try, and I can load as many audio files as I want and it plays back without any problem, looped the whole project and let it run for 2 1/2 hours, did a lot of changes in it, copied, erased, pasted and moved clips, everything went fine.
    What I know for sure is that sonar 8.5 runs smoothly ( except for V-Vocal) on PC's but not on mine - it used to on my previous (though much slower) one.
    I asked Cakewalk to send me a trial version of sonar X1, may be that would solve the problem, I personally don't know what else to try out, I expected
    cakewalk to ask me to send them kind of a log-file wherin they (the pros) could find the flaw, but I'm rather pessimistic that I'd get a sound proposal to get rid of D R O P O U T S!!!! from them.
    Danny, I'll keep you informed of what's going on here in Vienna, thank you for your help and just in case you have some idea, please let me know, and, I agree, this demon's got to be beaten.

    sincerly,
    feal45

  7. #7
    Danny Danzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    You're welcome....I'm sorry I couldn't help you. I had another friend that had this same issue and he was unable to fix it. He found a work-around though. He mentioned something about a drop-out threshold that he set that tells the program not to drop out. I don't recall where this option is, but he adjusted it from the default and he said it made an incredible difference. If I can find where it is I'll let you know.

    If you get a minute...go into the Sonar help file and type "dropouts" in search. There are a few other things you can try in there. Some people have had video card issues to where they need to disable hardware acceleration. Sorry feal...if I think of anything else, I'll let you know. If you happen to solve this, let me know, ok?

  8. #8
    Danny Danzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    Oh wait, feal, I found it! In Sonar options/audio/advanced, click "edit config file". Scroll down until you see "drop outs" and it will have a number of like 250ms. Try making that number bigger. Maybe 500ms or even 1000ms and see if it makes a difference. Click save in notepad, click apply in Sonar options and restart the program. That's the threshold that Sonar uses before it drops out. Increasing that number may help you.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    danny, I can't believe it, for the last 2 days I haven't seen any dropouts or any other malfunctioning in sonar, can I trust it?
    Followed your advise, made changes in the aud.ini file - dropout line -
    and it worked immediately. After 2 months of almost getting crazy because of the dropouts I feel like a newborn child, still a little bit sceptical,
    will it come back? But one thing irritates me, I've changed the dropoutMsec value from 250 to 500, saved the aud.ini file, clicked apply in options-audio,
    restarted and, voilá, everything worked fine. Then, for curiosity, I went back to the aud.ini dile - line dropouts - and I see value 250 again, strange, isn't it? But I couldn't care less as long as it works, so danny, many many thanks, you really bailed me out, I have to get used to this new situation, but am convinced that I'll manage.
    Danny, please let me ask you another question:
    I've installed Dimension Pro as admin but when I open Sonar as a user I don't see it in the SoftSynth rack, only when I run sonar as admin, it is there.
    Any idea?
    Again danny, many thanks, would love to treat you to a drink but unfortunately distance is too far.

    sincerly,
    feal

  10. #10
    Danny Danzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    I'm eating dinner at the moment feal...I'll report back to you in about an hour.

  11. #11
    Danny Danzi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    I actually gave you the wrong information. I thought editing that file would do the trick, however, it does not save your changes because Sonar is open at the time. You have to manually edit your AUD.ini file. For me on Win 7, it is located in my "users/username/app data/roaming/cakewalk folder. Just do exactly what you did before, but make sure Sonar is not running and don't try to edit the file from inside Sonar. Find it like I said, change to 500ms in drop outs and see how that works.

    You've actually dont nothing (and neither have I) to make it work. Why it's working right now, I have no idea. But if it's working, we might as well leave it alone. But if you do decide to try editing the dropout stuff, now you know how to really do it.

    One other thing you can try if the dropout come back and you try this dropout ms thing and that doesn't work, go to that AUD.ini file manually (make sure Sonar is not open) and rename it to MUD.ini. Change the A to an M. This will force Sonar to create another AUD.ini for you the next time you open it. If the new ini it creates gives you more issues than you had before, close Sonar, go to that AUD.ini file and delete it. Change the one I made you rename to MUD.ini back to AUD.ini and you'll have your old configuration just the way it was. Sometimes creating a new AUD.ini file fixes everything with Sonar.

    This is mostly the case for those running WDM drivers though. ASIO users aren't usually as affected by this in my experience.

    As for Dim Pro, I installed it without using admin rights and I have no problems here using it on both Sonar 32 and Sonar 64. Did you do any of the updates for Dim Pro on the Sonar site? You may want to check into those if you haven't. Not sure why it's not showing up for you all the time. You may want to do a search for this on the Sonar forums as I remember reading that a few people had this issue. See if you have or need these updates. Cakewalk Support - Dimension Pro

    Good luck, sorry I can't be more helpful.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts

    Hi there! I was having the same problem actually with my software. I use Sonar 8.5 studio, but I found a page online that helped me out a lot and solved the problem with the dropouts. If you go to Options/Audio and select Advanced, you will find a control on there where you can change your buffering size. What you need to do is increase your buffering size and that will fix your problem. I hope that helps you.

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Sonar / Cakewalk Thread, Sonar PE 8.5 Dropouts in Recording Software; [B]I'm a newbie in this forum but from what I've read so far in the last 20 minutes - especially ...

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