Problems with recording on GT pro 3 after hard drive upgrade

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Problems with recording on GT pro 3 after hard drive upgrade

Postby MikeH » Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:48 am

Dear all
Any thoughts/suggestions on this problem greatly appreciated.
Been using Guitar Pro 3 for about 12 months on my PC and no problems. Have just upgraded the hard drive as the old one was getting a bit noisy so was expecting if anything quicker processing and less drop out when using Amplitube in real time, but..........! New hard drive in and set everything up no problems - until I try to record any length of track. For example if I play a guitar or bass for a couple of minutes everything sounds OK and in time during recording, but on play back the back end of the recording starts to slip out of time from the drum track I have recorded over! So, first few bars in time then a slow shift to being out of time!

Hard Drive is 250GB
Two times 512DDR memory
Audigy platinum pro sound card

Like I say all was well until I put the new hard drive in!

Any help appreciated before the PC ends up on the garden lawn.

Cheers Mike H :roll:
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Re: Problems with recording on GT pro 3 after hard drive upgrade

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Postby HDB » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:00 pm

Changing a hard drive shouldn't cause that. Something else must have changed.

First, though, I'm going to assume that the new hard drive is the secondary drive used to record audio to, and the primary is the OS?

How did you format it? How did you set the "cluster" sizing, or did you just let it default. Having a large fast drive is a good thing. Having it all used for recording might not be the best. If you can partition it so that the recording portion is actually a bit smaller, and that its partition is on the outer edge of the disk, you may find things run smoother. The outer portion of a hard drive actually reads and writes faster.

Depending on how many audio tracks you may use in a project, you may not need more than about 20GB for the recording portion, and the rest as project storage.

Consider even 20 4-minute tracks of linear stereo 44.1/16 = 10MB/minute x 20 tracks= 200 MB x 4 minutes= 800 MBs. That's not even 1GB for the tune. And, you still have 19 left, if you were to partition it to 20GB.
That's still probably better than scattering it over the rest of 249 GB, and forcing it to search through all the other stuff on there to find the right data.

If you partition it to use less room for recording, but large enough for your projected amount of tracks, and some overhead for perhaps a few different projects and some breathing room, then you are limiting the possible amount of travel that the heads will need to swing to read and write info, and it doesn't have to sort through all the other stuff while it's doing it. Ideally, there should only be one project at a time on your recording partition. Just makes things faster. When setting that project aside, just move it to the storage section, and work on something else, then move THAT one out, and move the other back in. Having a couple projects on the recording partition probably won't slow things much, but I don't leave much stuff on it.

As far as cluster sizing (file allocation units...basically, groups sectors so they stay together), did you just let it default to something like 4KB? Are you doing a lot of linear recording that creates large, continuous files?
Depending on how many tracks you normally would do, it may be better to increase the size of the clusters. Why? Because if you have a 40 megabyte linear guitar recording (about 4 minutes, stereo, 16/44.1), if you have the clusters set at 4KB, then you are scattering them out to possibly 10,000 spots on your drive (40,000,000/4000=10,000). It has to retrieve all those, process them and move them around. That's a lot of head skittering. If you were to increase the size to, say, 16KB, that's 4 times larger, which is about 2500 places it has to search, read and write...4 times fewer (40,000,000/16,000=2500). The heads skitter around less, have fewer 'look-up' transitions, stays on a portion a bit longer, and saves a bit of wear-and-tear, thus possibly increasing disk life.

The consideration with that is, now, how many tracks will I usually record? The fewer tracks you record, the larger you can make the a point. If you do many tracks, a too large sizing may actually cause problems because the heads may be lingering a bit too long on each portion to get to the next in time. So, it's a juggling act...but you may want to consider this. You may want to browse around in the following link for confirmation:

Especially, click on the link to the left: "Special-Purpose Partitions and Other Partitioning Issues". Granted, this is not the newest info, but the theories are still basically the same with NTFS.

I just took a couple of weekends and experimented to set things up. I had an 8 track 4 minute tune that I ran out of the Delta 1010 and back in several times. (It didn't matter that I was re-recording the same tracks...a new track is a new track and uses resources). I finally got it to do 48 while recording 8 more...and after that, it would start messing up. As I know I will never use near that many, I knew I had plenty of headroom for applying plug-ins and recording with some overhead. I have recorded up to 34 and used plug-ins with no problem. It's up to you to experiment. Could I tweak mine even further? Probably...but it's more than enough for my purposes. You have to figure out yours. BTW, I have mine set at 16KB. When I tried 32KB, it started messing up with more tracks. Since I know it works fine for my purposes at 16KB, there is no need to redo it to 8KB, or smaller. I have found a balance that works for MY system and purposes.

Of course, drive buffer sizes, and other hardware and software buffers and settings all play a part in this, also. While your drive is relatively new, and since you probably haven't filled it up much yet, it may be a good time to take a few days to experiment, keeping in mind your work methods. If you generally do a LOT of really short snippets, and looping...stuff like that...if your individual files that are being triggered, recorded, etc., are relatively small, then it may be best to leave the sizing small. Large, linear files will fill up the spaces, usually only leaving the last one with any unused space. Short snippets and files smaller than your sizing will waste space, and possibly even slow things down.

Having too much room on your drive leaves a lot of space for the heads to swing. Partitioning the drive for a smaller working space, which is at the outside of the disk, may speed things up, and cause less stress.

Just some things to consider.

About your recording going out of sync. When you mentioned drums, was that a MIDI file, or is that an audio recording (of MIDI'ed or real drums)?

If audio, are the sample rates and bit depths of the drums, and what you are recording as, the same?

How is your sync clock set? Once an audio file is recorded into a Cakewalk project, then the clock should be set to "Audio" (in "Options>Project>Clock"). If left at "Internal", audio is going to have problems. If not responding to absolute timing to Word Clock, etc., there will be problems.

Check those things, and see if your situation improves. Hope this helped.

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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:19 am

Postby MikeH » Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:31 am


Thanks for a great response. Many thanks for taking so much time to help.

Tried a number of things you suggested and what I have found is if in the audio drop down if I set the buffer to as fast as possible problem goes away. At the normal (middle) position there is still a lag. That is to say as I play a note I hear it in real time (guitar or bass played along a drum sample track) but you can see by the response of the record meter that there is a very slight delay in the note being recorded!

I get the feeling I'm one click of an option away but not sure which one!!!!!

Any thoughts?

Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:28 am
Location: Melbourne

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