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Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 is driving me insane! HELP!


I am at my wit's end with CWPA 9. After 3 years of owning this program and being unable to get it to "play nice" in my computer, I am ready to cut my losses, give up on computer-based HD recording, and buy a workstation. Granted, I am not a computer genius, but I have to believe that my problems aren't all due to my lack of knowledge on the subject. I have "optimized" my PC (Gateway, Pentium 2, 356 mb, 80G HD, Widows 98 SE, Delta 44 Audio card) and followed manufacturer's directions to the letter, but problems still persist. (Cakewalk tech support has not been able to fix the problem either.) The most annoying one is that after executing a transport command such as play or record, the program freezes for about a minute - completely locking up the computer. ctrl+alt+del gives me the "Program is not responding" message. So, the program is virtually useless. The real kicker is that the program was working a short while back. I recorded some old demo's (to convert from tape to cd) and it woked fine! The next time I went to use it, it was useless again (this problem has come and gone before). AFter going in and deleting all of the newly recorded demos, it worked again a few times, but is now freezing EVERY time. And NOTHING has been changed on the computer! This seems to be spontaneously happening! Ghost in the machine? Any ideas? Anyone? Anyone? At this point, I'd settle for going back to a 4-track cassette machine!
January 17, 2003 @07:23pm

Sounds like something in your computer isn't right, either part of the configuration itself, or the audio drivers.
I'm on a Mac now, which works flawlessly, but even when I was still on a PC, things generally worked okay. Most of the trick to getting a PC to run without hiccups is being able to choose the right components, use the right software, and configure it all the right way. I'm no expert at this on the PC, which is why I'm now on a Mac, but it can be done.
I notice that it appears you are using a single drive for both your system and for audio. This in and of itself can be problematic, but your problem also sounds a lot like a DMA problem I used to have with PT LE. On your hard disk, you should check to see that DMA is enabled. This can be accessed from the device manager. Just a random idea.
Don't give up on DAW recording entirely. Most DAW setups can run pretty smoothly, and I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be along to assist you with yours.
January 17, 2003 @08:16pm

Thanks, Michael. My DMA's are checked, and I am using a separate 80 GB Hard Drive for music (Cakewalk) and another 10 GB for everything else. I have also followed the Sweetwater instructions for "Optimizing Your PC for recording", but still no luck. I have downloaded the latest patches for Pro Audio 9, as well as making sure I have the latest drivers for my Delta 44 card. I'm just completely stumped. Anyone have any ideas where I should turn for expert advice/support?
January 22, 2003 @01:50pm

The cakewalk program itself needs to reside on the system drive, while the audio files live on the 2nd hard drive.
Just a weird vibe on this one...how long has it been since you ran a virus scan?
My wife's machine was having some glitchy issues like this on other programs, made me think it was out of memory or cpu cycles, turned out the machine had a bad case of NIMDA that was sucking up all the available resources.
Try downloading a 30 day trial of Norton AV or McAffee Virusscan.
January 22, 2003 @02:33pm

Thanks, Arbiter. I hadn't heard that suggestion before. I'll run the Norton virus scan (I had it disabled so it wouldn't interfere w/ Cakewalk), and try moving the program to the other drive. I really hope I don't have another virus. Happy 99 got in and screwed things up before. I had to scrub the HD. You know how that goes! Hopefully moving the program will do the trick. I'll let you know. Otherwise, I may be contacting Sweetwater about purchasing a HD recording workstation!
January 22, 2003 @04:57pm

You'll have to re-install Cakewalk in the new location (in case that's not what you meant). Moving the program is NOT a good idea.
January 23, 2003 @12:51pm

Well, relocating the program seems to have done the trick. Thanks for the advice! However, now I have a NEW problem. I'm getting a lot of pops, clicks, chirps, buzzing, etc...in the audio. Other than following the usual computer set up for audio, is there something else I need to do? I recorded an acoustic 12-string part, then attempted to add a synth pad underneath with disaterous results! The synth track was a distorted mess on playback. (My levels were not peaking, by the way.) I had a similar problem before, and honestly can't remember what cured it. Any ideas?
January 24, 2003 @01:42pm

I'm surprised moving the program worked. If you start getting weird error like Cakewalk can't find presets or anything, check you folder settings.
Pops and clicks tend to be from timing issues when buffers are tight. This has more to do with SONAR than Cakewalk, though, typically. Try re-running the Wave Profiler.
January 25, 2003 @01:44am

I have tried every possible combination of buffer sizes between the Delta card and in cakewalk itself, but I still can't make all of the little "burps" go away. I ran a defrag which seemes to have helped eliminate the really bad distortion. Today, I had a dropout, followed by a message saying that I'd run out of disk space! Does that shed any light on the problem, or just make it more confusing? (I have about 3 GIG available on the drive where Cakewalk is installed.) I also re-enabled virtual memory. It just seems like as soon as I fix one thing, something else is waiting to appear! I swear, analog tape is sounding more appealing all of the time!
January 25, 2003 @07:47pm

Honestly, it sounds like you are over-tweaking. What led you to disable virtual memory? To get your situation straight, verify these statements for me:
You have Cakewalk on your C:/System drive.
You are recording and working on your D: drive or another drive which is not just a different partition on your system drive, it is an entirely different drive.
You have the Cakewalk project and system directories set to use your D: drive.
You have virtual memory enabled on your C: drive.
You have the latest driver for the Audiophile under Win 98 and you understand that the Audiophile works much better under Windows 2000 and XP.
You have the M-Audio driver buffer size set to something slow for testing purposes that corresponds to maybe 10ms.
You ran the Cakewalk Wave Profiler.
If all of this does not get Cakewalk running smooth (and no variations, do all of this in order as stated), I would re-install Cakewalk to your C: drive (since you simply moved it from D: to C: ) and reset the list above and/or contact Cakewalk.
Final notes: "Program Is Not Responding" often means that the program is just too busy to respond and WILL come back. It CANNOT come back while you have the Task Manager displayed as all processes are paused.
When you first boot Windows and you press Ctrl+Alt+Del, how many programs are listed and what are they?
When was the last time you re-installed Win98 SE?
January 26, 2003 @04:20pm

Hey, TeeCee - I really appreciate your input. Thank you. I have done most of what you are suggesting, EXCEPT that I have not been woking on the D drive! I am not sure how to set up cakewalk to do this. Is it under global settings? And if so, which ones do I need to change...and to what? Of course, when you install the program on your C drive, it defaults to do all of the work there as well. I didn't even know I COULD have the actual project on the D drive while working on it. (Of course I knew I could save it there, but I assume that's not what you're talking about.) By the way, I did reinstall it on the system drive, didn't really just "move" it. I have set the latency/buffer on the Delta 44 card to the ballpark you suggested also. As to where I got the idea to turn off virtual memory, it recommended to do so in Sweetwater's "Optimizing Your PC for Audio recording" guide. I have turned it back on. Anyway, I'm kind of stumped on this "woking on D drive when the program's on the C" business. Is there a simple (layman's terms) way to set this up? Thanks!
January 27, 2003 @05:10pm

Bingo, you've probably found your problem.
Your audio is being written to C:\whatever\ and then in the middle of writing, the OS needs to access part of the disk...or a plugin...or a part of Cakewalk, so it picks up that drive head and skitters over the the part it needs, then jumps back to writing your audio track. The noise you hear is where the head started writing again, but wasn't able to do it seamlessly (buffer underrun or overrun error or somesuch).
If you have all the project data on the other drive, then nothing can interfere with the writing process as long as you're not overwhelming your IDE / ATA controller's abilities.
January 27, 2003 @05:57pm

I'm not at my audio PC, but you are looking for something like Folder Locations or Default Locations. Many are fine on your C drive, but you don't want your audio or wave data or whatever Cakewalk calls it on your C: drive.
The problem with Cakewalk and it has been fixed with SONAR is that it wants to keep all audio in the same location which I believe is a global setting. With SONAR 2.0, you can have project specific audio folders. Finally they've done it right.
January 27, 2003 @08:04pm

Okay...now I just need to know HOW to set up Cakewalk to write to the D drive. The only place I can see that looks like what we're talking about is under options\global...correct? (Couldn't find anything in the manual to explain how to do this!) If that is correct, there are a number of locations for writing/storing data listed. They currently all say C:\CAKEWALK\something\something. Do I need to change them to D:\CAKEWALK\something\something? And do I change ALL of these fields, some of them, what? I know I'm a computer ignoramus, but I don't want to change the wrong thing and screw something up. God knows, I've had enough of THAT! Would appreciate any help. Thanks!
January 27, 2003 @08:24pm

Like I said
I'm not at my audio PC, but you are looking for something like Folder Locations or Default Locations. Many are fine on your C drive, but you don't want your audio or wave data or whatever Cakewalk calls it on your C: drive.

What are the location descriptions (i.e. CAL scripts)? If you list them, I can tell you which ones to move.
January 27, 2003 @08:47pm