Sonar 4 PE hangs when pressing STOP during playback.

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Sonar 4 PE hangs when pressing STOP during playback.

Postby SciFiArtMan » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:20 am

So I have just been getting started with Cakewalk Sonar 4 PE and I've run into a pretty major problem.

Yesterday I wrote a little 3 minute, 3 track tune with no problems (two instances of Synth1 VST, ERSdrums VST, Pantheon Rev, on one Synth1 track). I saved several versions, as I improved the tracks. But now when I reopen these files and playback the tracks all is fine until I press the STOP button. The app usually doesn't completely stop all at once - with the drum track drifting on for a second or two, and sometimes one synth as well. And at that point the app hangs - won't let you press any other buttons or open menus, etc. I enter CTRL-ALT-DELETE a few times - the Windows Task Manager says 2 instances of Cakewalk Sonar 4 are "Not Responding" each time - on about the 3rd or 4th try the app unhangs and seems to go back to normal - but hangs again next time the STOP button is pressed during Playback. Any help on this situation would be greatly appreciated!

PS - should I be using ASIO or WDM drivers with my Cakewalk Soner 4 PE and M-Audio Delta 2496 PCI soundcard?

Dell 2.53mhz
Windows XP Home
1280 RAM
7200rpm 80gb HD
I/O buffer=256kb
WDM/KS driver
Dithering=Rectangular
Read and Write Caching Enabled
Sample Rate=44,100
File Bit Depth=24
Audio Bit Depth=24
Buffers In Playback Queue=2
Effective Latency=40.6msec

Thanks!

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Re: Sonar 4 PE hangs when pressing STOP during playback.

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Postby andychap » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:57 am

Sounds like you have a note sticking or continuous controller info still being sent after you have pressed the stop button. This can cause Sonar to hang.

Try Options Menu > Project Options > Midi out and make sure the "Zero controllers when play stops" box.

If that does not cure the problem then it could be a faulty plug in, probably Synth 1. As good as Synth 1 is it can be a bit buggy so try reinstalling it and try both the DXi and VSTi versions.

Post back and let us know how you get on and if it solves the problem.
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Postby SciFiArtMan » Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:14 pm

On the song project I was speaking of (3 tracks), the "Zero controllers when play stops" box was already checked. So I created a new song using Mellosound VST on one track and Synth1 DXi on another. Now when I press STOP all sounds stop for about a quarter of a second then there's a second or so of audio decay type sound from the Synth1 DXi track. I openned up the 3 track song mentioned earlier and tried STOPPING and the same effect happened, with both Synth1 VST tracks popping back for a brief second after pressing STOP. This is an improvement, but still not what I was hoping for, ie, pressing STOP bringing on a full and immediate stop to all sounds.

I really hate to hear the Synth1 is problematic as I have already created some really fine sounds in it, and I like the features and layout. But I suppose with so many free synths available these sound could be acheived on a different synth if it will bring on better system stability.

Thanks Andy!

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Postby SciFiArtMan » Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:20 pm

Also, do my other settings sound correct/optimum (or is there any way to know as everyone's sysytem would be different)?

And is there any reason to use the WDM/KS driver over ASIO or vice versa? I have used ASIO before on Ableton Live Lite 5, but I think I read somewhere that Sonar preferred WDM/KS over ASIO, but this may have been an older verion of Sonar, and now all is equal. I'm confused.

Thanks!

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Postby andychap » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:10 am

It might be worth checking in the Options > Audio > advanced that the box "play effects tails after stopping" isn't ticked. After all a VST is just a glorified effect.

There isn't much to choose in general benefits between ASIO and WDM drivers with Sonar now. WDM always used to be the standard preferred by Cakewalk but that was only because their products are not cross platform.

Now the decision on which to use depends on the equipment you are using. Try using them both. See which gives you better latency and better quality ie which performs the best before you start getting crackles and pops or total audio dropouts.

Looking at your settings your latency seems awfully high with that soundcard. You should easily be able to achieve sub 10ms latency for general use.

If you are using the WDM settings then run the wave profilor again. If it still comes up with that latency figure then I would switch to ASIO drivers, adjust the buffer in the control panel until you get latency down to about 5ms.

To give you an idea, I run an EGO SYS Waveterminal 24/96 (built around the same converters as the MAudio 2496) on ASIO drivers on a machine of similar spec to yours and I have 5.3 ms latency with 12 audio tracks running 3 or four VSTs (Kontakt, J&BB, Trilogy and BFD).

I also run a simalar set up with an Edirol PCR 1 USB audio interface. This performs best with WDM drivers to give me the same results as above.

Its all a game of trial and error until you get something up and running the way you like it. My waveterminal is very long in the tooth and associates of mine are always telling me to upgrade to this or that, which is tempting, but why rock the boat.

The other things I would suggest are:

Set dithering to none, there is no need to bother with dithering right until the end of a project just before you burn to CD.

As soon as you can get a second hard drive and dedicate a partition on it specifically for you audio stream to and from Sonar. You don't want your audio and OS on the same disc if you can help it.

If you haven't done so then optimise you Windows XP set up for audio recording there is a good guide to follow at MusicXP This is a must for serious audio work.

Let me know how you get on. You never know doing all the tips above might solve your original problem :wink:
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Postby SciFiArtMan » Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:42 pm

Yes, making sure that box was unchecked was one of the first things I checked (becuase it's one of the few parameter options I could actually understand, at least to some degree).

Unfortunately when I returned to the new song (2 track, Mellosound + one Synth1) that song behaved just like the original song - sloppy stopping and an app hang when pressing STOP. I'ts effectively stopped me from recording or doing any further work in Sonar.

The odd thing is that while I was recording the original 3 track tune I had no problems of any kind - and I worked on it for probably 6 hours or so. Originally, I was just recording ANYTHING to get the ball rolling, thinking I'd figure a lot out as I went - and I DID. But then the "nothing song" began to sound pretty cool and before I knew it I had a minor masterpeice on my hands - OK VERY minor, but not the junk I expected to be making.

Anyway, I've gone through and made all the XP optimization changes I could. Did this before I started with Sonar. The one thing that I read that I couldn't seem to change was the IRQ for my audiocard which is on IRQ 17. It's not sharing a slot (at least not that's visible in the IRQ panel), but I read that ideally your audiocard should be on one of the first 15 IRQ slots - so I don't know, but I can't see anyway to change it with my BIOS settings panel.

So the non-stopping/hanging stop problem is so annoying and I guess all I can do is delete Sonar and reinstall it. But resetting all those options and reinstalling all my VST instruments and VST EFX isn't gonna be fun. But Sonar is all but useless to me like this.

Thanks again!

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Postby andychap » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:17 am

The audio card doesn't need to be on the first IRQ just it's best in the first PCI slot but that is a hangover from Win 98 days when there were only a limited numbers of IRQs available.

As long as it's not sharing an IRQ it will be OK.
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Postby SciFiArtMan » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:07 am

andychap wrote:As long as it's not sharing an IRQ it will be OK.


At this point I'm looking for ANY reason for this STOP hanging/sloppyiness! A conflicting IRQ makes as much sense as anything, to me. Why else would pressing STOP not stop the music right away!?

When I first record a tune all is fine. But once I reopen the song this odd behavior returns. It doesn't help that I'm relatively new to Windows OS (coming from Macs) so I don't know all the little details of the XP OS quite yet. I've tried Googling this problem but haven't found anyone else with such a problem.

I even deleted Sonar and reinstalled it and after all that, the problem remains! Guess I need to get in line with Cakewalk proper, or M-audio, or Dell... I foresee a long run-around in my future! :)

Thanks again!

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Postby SciFiArtMan » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:16 pm

While I was searching around for new VSTi plugins (I know, that's not going to help my problem, but I have to have SOME fun!) I saw these MIDI path analyzers or detectors (probably not what their called, but you know), and I was wondering if one of these might help locate my stopping problem? And if so, which one?

(If anyone's out there reading this) Does this sound like a problem with my Sonar app, my soundcard, my MIDI connection, or with my computer not recognizing the STOP command? Guess I'm leaning toward a computer problem, at this point.

Thanks all!

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Postby andychap » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:50 pm

MidiOX is probably your best bet for that type of thing, make sure you read the instructions though, it can be a bit confusing.

Just a quick thought. Does you computer have an onboard audio chip or soundcard? If it does, have you tried disabling it in the bios just to make sure it is not conflicting with your MAudio card.
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Postby SciFiArtMan » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:20 am

Yea, Andy I DID disable the onboard audio both in the BIOS and in the Device Manager. Everything claims it's free of conflicts and functioning properly.

I tried a few freeware and shareware music composition/sequencer type programs (Ableton Live Lite 5 and Music Studio Producer 1.21) and they all run fine, as does all other programs on my computer. But I really wanted to get some use out of this Cakewalk Sonar before I bail on it.

Does this sound more like a computer problem, than a problem with Sonar? I just can't imagine what would be causing such a thing!

Thanks!

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Postby andychap » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:41 pm

Certainly looks like there is no easy answer to this one.

I have read through most of the thread on the official forum and see that people were thinking along the same lines.

I don't know if this is a problem with the computer or XP or Sonar, I think it is a combination of things and there is definately a conflict somewhere.

If it was me who had this problem I would not be prepared to bail just yet, considering the cost of Sonar, it would be an expensive option.

There is only one way to track down a conflict and that is to start at the beginning and work through methodically. I would document everything I did then If at the end of it all I still had the problem I would present it all to cakewalk tech support and ask for a solution or a refund.

The way I would go about it would be to leave everything set up as it is, ie the way you want it to work. I would then create another partition, format it and install a fresh version of XP. I would make sure XP is all patched and updated, including the audio patch for SP 2 but I wouldn't start tweaking it just yet.

Next install your soundcard and any other audio related hardware and make sure all the drivers are up to date.

I would then install Sonar and test it staright away. If the problem is there then you are really flogging a dead horse. Get onto tech support and ask for another copy of Sonar because it should be working at these default settings.

Next add the updates to Sonar and again test after each update.

Now would be a good time to do all the XP tweaks. Sonar should be stable with XP at default settings but retest after each tweak.

Start adding your plugins and instruments, again testing after each one.

Lastly I would then install any other software that I require for audio.

At any point when the problem reappears, backtrack a step and also try removing the problem area on the original partition.

If you go through everything and do not reproduce the problem then at least you have a partition with everyhting set up and working properly. You could then dual boot or erase the original partition and stick with the good one you just created.

It would be a long and tiresome process but I think it would be worth it in the end.
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Same Problem

Postby C-Bass2602 » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:55 pm

Hey everyone... i just found this forum and read about your problem. i am realetivly new to sonar. well basics are the same on every program. i have a uni project to finish where i am putting music and sound effects to a video.

first i worked on sonar 4. when i pressed stop the music still kept going but sonar 4 was hung up and i couldnt do anything untill i waited for a few minutes then pressed ctrl alt del and then it worked again. but everytime i press stop the same thing happens. this way i cant finish my uni work.
i tried reinstalling it but i still had the same problem. so i started using sonar 6 but it is doing the same thing to me. can anyone help please?
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Postby uncle remus » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:15 pm

.............this is a good one! I have experienced the same problem sonar 4 . To sart with I would suggest that you defrag hard drive reguarly, what i do is utilize task manager to trun off All process's that aren't needed, anti virus programs etc. and even IE explorer......leave task manger open and monitor CPU.......in my case it was usually some other process interupting that caused problemmy rig is similar to yours spec wise and it is sadly a"DeLL" but currently I can run 6-7 soundfont players3-4 synths and have fairly stutter free operation with latency at around 10ms. As mentioned in outset, though most of the time when problem occured I would analyze hard drive and find a lot of fragmentation once i defragged every thing was smooth again. another thing to keep in mind is just how cpu hungry the plug-ins are. render heavy cpu load synth tracks and import back in or archive the tracks when not in use.
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