Sonar4.0 - audio rendering lag

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Sonar4.0 - audio rendering lag

Postby bigspace » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:51 am


- Sonar 4, running fine, doesn't crash
- WinXP, 256 Ram, 1.0ghz Athlon chip
- 30gig separate drive just for Sonar, at least 15 gig free


Up until a couple months ago, any audio recording or Normalizing (command) on audio clips were speedy, no lag. I noticed the the very first clip recorded after opening a project went through a big of a lag, I figured it was setting up a buffer or something, as all subsequent recording/audio modifying had no lags to speak of.

Recently however, there is a constant tendency for the system to lag after (sometimes) recording a clip or (always) modifying it with Normalize. I'm talking a 15 second clip takes 45 sec/1 minute to finish rendering.

At first I suspected this was happening only in big projects where there were a lot of real-time track effects running, I read about that. But I tried recording/altering a clip in a brand new project, 1 track, and it still does it (even after closing Sonar and reopening, etc).

It is getting very aggravating. I don't know what could have precipitated this as nothing has changed on the machine. No new software, nothing. There are getting to be a goodly amount of audio files stacked up from the variou projects, but I don't see why that would affect it. The thing is not hitting the hard disk during this delay, it is all going on in memory (i.e. no hd LED flashing during the wait). I have updated Sonar with a couple of patches since the purchase, can't remember what the latest one was.

If you have any suggestions, please pass 'em on. Thanks.
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Re: Sonar4.0 - audio rendering lag

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Postby andychap » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:08 am

The only things I can suggest are make sure you are up to version 4.04. and if you have XP service pack 2 installed install the hotfix available from cakewalk here this had something to do with resource leakage which might be the case here.

I would also run the clean audio tool you might have a lit of clips and files that are not being used but still being loaded.

Plugins can also be a cause of problems like this. Try disabling each effect or plugin in turn and see if things improve. If you find one that is making a difference try reinstalling it or use something else.

If I think of anything else I will let you know.
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audio rendering lag - tries

Postby bigspace » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:10 pm

Thanks Andy. I went ahead and loaded everything you suggested, don't know why I hadn't updated to SP2 yet but it's all up to date now, including the memory patch and Cakewalk 4.4 patch.

Cleaned the audio disk, cleaned the registry, played with the pagefile, etc. The behavior varies, but does not consistently fix. The very wierd thing is that it's so intermittent (I'm going to forward all this to Cakewalk, can't believe other people aren't going through some of this). Typical behavior:
- 1st clip recorded, 30 sec lag to render
- 2nd clip, 1 sec to render (normalize)
- next clip, 1 sec to render (quiet 3db)
- next clip, 45 secs to render (normalize again, or quiet 3db)
- record next clip, 30-40 secs to render

And on and on. For some reason it seems to render fast more often when rendering stereo clips, as opposed to mono, but that's not necessarily consistent either. I watched the Windows performance meter as the rendering/normalizing commands were executing, and it pegs the CPU every time. That's why I'm not sure if more memory would handle it (I have 256mg, which as I said seemed to be ample until recently). There's something odd somewhere but I don't know what other setting to try. I was thinking that maybe there were too many audio clips piling up on the disk, but there's plenty of space and the thing isn't hitting the disk when rendering (per the LED anyway); it's all upstairs action.

Just typical Windows environment b.s. I don't know what it was that changed in the environment to suddenly have this lagging all over the place but something did. I just don't think Sonar is robust enough to operate through whatever the condition is. Forward this around if you wish, I've yet to have my original question come back from C.W. with an answer. Thanks again man,
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Postby andychap » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:38 pm

Just a thought but you have tried all the spyware removal, antivirus tools etc. Just in case it is a spurious program running in the background.

One of the worst things in a DAW is Anti virus software running while you are processing audio, it's a right processor hog.

Although my DAW machine is networked to my other machines which are connected to the internet I don't run AV software on it. I just protect it with a firewall on total lockdown.

I take it you have tried all the XP tweaks for audio production?
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Postby bigspace » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:10 am

hey Andy - re: virus sw: I keep that machine completely disconnected from the Internet, since birth. I didn't ever want to introduce that stuff into an audio production environment, plenty enough to deal with without that.

re: XP tweeks for audio, don't know exactly. I just went into the Performance settings and set the pagefile, etc, to "adjust for best performance". Memory use is set for best performance of Programs (not System Cache). None of that stuff seems to make a difference. I resubmitted our discussions to C.W. today, hopefully they'll do some real research on it. I will definitely let you know what they say! Thanks for the contributions.
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tweeks more

Postby bigspace » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:12 am

Andy - p.s. - I also disabled a lot of services that were loading automatically, to try to keep the resource usage down, no consistent difference that I could see.
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Postby andychap » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:28 am

Try this list of tweaks

Most people I know swear by them and they come recommended in a lot of music publications/magazines now.

It will be intresting to see if cakewalk ever come up with anything on this problem.
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 7:26 pm
Location: UK

XP tweeks

Postby bigspace » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:15 pm

thanks a bunch man! appreciate it. I resubmitted the question to them (did I already say that?!) yesterday, I'll let you know what they say.
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:48 am

CW sticky rendering solution

Postby bigspace » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:15 am

I heard back from CW, here is what they suggested. This did work, for the most part. There appears to be still a little bit of intermittent lag, like when I do process\audio\3db quiter. But the rendering appears to be generally back to normal. Just your basic uninstall/reinstall. I'll let you know if it relapses.


a) Completely un-install SONAR from your computer. This is normally
done from Start | Programs | Cakewalk. This will not remove any of
your files or audio data.

b) Make sure nothing else is running while reinstalling SONAR in step
'e'. In Win 98/ME/XP, choose Start | Run and type MSCONFIG. Click OK,
then click on the Startup tab at the upper right of the window that
opens. Uncheck all items listed, click OK, then restart your computer.
You can always recheck those items again at a later time. In Win 2000,
click Ctrl+Alt+Del and manually End Task on the items you don't need

c) Click the Windows Start button and select Run. At the prompt type
REGEDIT and click OK.
Backup your Registry before making edits - you do this by clicking the
Registry menu, Export Registry File.
Now delete the following Registry keys
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Cakewalk Music Software
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Cakewalk Music Software

Please note that this will remove any effects presets and key bindings
you may have made in Cakewalk. You can back up those registry keys
separately if you like.

d) Delete the files AUD.INI and TTSSEQ.INI from the SONAR program

e) Restart your computer, then reinstall SONAR and the patches from

This should eliminate any software irregularities that are causing
your problem, but let us know if it does not.
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