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Old 10-25-2008, 05:26 PM
ComposerKid ComposerKid is offline
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Default SONAR 8 Solution

Until recently I had been having numerous problems with audio artifacts no matter the settings I used. Popping and crackling abounded and I could find no settings in the ASIO or WDM drivers that could produce more than a marginal improvement.

This changed when I bought SONAR 8 (upgrading from SONAR 7). SONAR 8 includes full support for Vista 64-bit WaveRT drivers. Echo supplies WaveRT drivers for my MIA audio interface and when I've set SONAR 8 to use that driver all of the audio artifacts disappear. Additionally, the system uses less memory than before, the CPUs almost never run above 15%, and the hard disks are just loafing! Now, all I need is the faster save times that the coming PLAY update is supposed to provide.

So, to anyone else who has had these problems when running SONAR 7 under Vista 64-bit, it's probably worth investigating SONAR 8 since its support of Vista's WaveRT audio drivers seems to solve the problem. If you bought SONAR 7 in September then you are even eligible for a free upgrade to SONAR 8.
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Intel Q9550 Quad Core 2.83GHz, 8GB RAM, GIGABYTE P35-DS3P MB, 7x WD 500GB SATA hard drives, nVidia GeForce 8800GTS video card, Echo MIA audio interface running in WaveRT mode, Windows 7 x64
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:07 PM
jloving jloving is offline
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+1 on the Sonar 8.

Audio Engine improvements are for real - and system performance is clearly better.

not that it doesn't have it's issues (can you say, CC11 envelopes )....but it has them while eating less resources
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:18 PM
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francois_harel francois_harel is offline
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Dear Composerkid,

What is WaveRT ? Is it a new audiodriver ? Is it compatible to only some hardware ?
Is it faster that asio2 ?
Thank, Francois
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:06 PM
Logicology Logicology is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jloving View Post
not that it doesn't have it's issues (can you say, CC11 envelopes )....but it has them while eating less resources
+1,000,000!

EW could also help us out, though. Check this out: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/s...ad.php?t=15978 (add to that thread too so EW knows how may people it would benefit.)
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:21 PM
ComposerKid ComposerKid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francois_harel View Post
Dear Composerkid,

What is WaveRT ? Is it a new audiodriver ? Is it compatible to only some hardware ?
Is it faster that asio2 ?
Thank, Francois

Hi, francois. This is from the ReadMe for the WaveRT audio driver for my Echo MIA interface:


WaveRT
WaveRT is a new driver model that is only supported by Windows Vista. Essentially, WaveRT
lets the driver get out of the way, enabling audio applications to connect more directly to the
hardware.
Applications that use standard Windows audio APIs such as DirectSound, wave or the new Core
Audio API should enjoy more robust, glitch-free performance with the new driver.


This is from the SONAR 8 detailed product description, titled "Performance Optimizations," under "What's New in SONAR 8":

Performance optimizations

Although every version of SONAR we shipped in the past had some degree of optimization work, SONAR 8 is the first version of SONAR to which we applied the same engineering process to performance optimizations as we do with other more user visible features. i.e. we established goals, built a specification for the optimizations, split up the work into milestones and tracked the progress of these tasks just as we do for other features. To make testing more deterministic, we devised various internal profiling tools in order to track and measure changes in performance across a variety of hardware platforms on XP as well as Vista.

Systems tested included brand new cutting edge platforms from Intel and AMD as well as earlier generation machines. We split up this work into the following classes of performance enhancements for SONAR 8:

CPU and kernel level optimizations - use less of your CPU to do the same amount of work
User Interface optimizations - faster drawing, scrolling, zooming
Driver level optimizations - more efficient access to drivers, minimizing driver state transitions
Vista OS specific optimizations - Better use of MMCSS thread priorities, support for custom MMCSS task profiles, new WASAPI support
Audio engine optimizations - optimize "hotspots" in our bussing, streaming and mixing code
As a result of all these changes, SONAR 8 has the following benefits:


greatly minimized kernel usage. This helps provide more "kernel bandwidth" to drivers who need it the most. More kernel bandwidth translates into less potential for audio glitches.
Lower CPU usage - translates to better performance at low latency
More efficient use of audio drivers - esp with ASIO drivers
Better performance on Windows Vista esp X64. Many of the complaints of Vista performance as compared to XP have been solved with SONAR 8. X64 low latency performance should now be on par with X86.
Faster application launch
Less flicker in GUI. Track view splitters no longer flicker when resizing.
More responsive zoom and scroll with large projects. Zooming with wave files now uses 1/2 the RAM with 24-bit or less stereo or mono files used.
Better meter performance.
Improved thread scheduling by insuring threads are properly distributed on processors.
This shows the overall benefits of SONAR 8 as compared to SONAR 7.


ASIO enhancements

ASIO devices are now always kept in a started state and not periodically stopped and restarted each time you start playback from the transport.
Addressed problem where the first ASIO buffer was not audible (audio metronome first beat is now always clear in ASIO mode).
Improved handling for driver reported ASIO output latency. Tracks are now automatically compensated based on the driver reported output latency. i.e when running at higher latencies, the now time in SONAR will exactly coincide with what you are hearing from your speakers.

SONAR Audio Options buffer size display automatically updates after changing buffer size from ASIO Control Panel.
Loopback recording is now sample accurate in ASIO mode
Numerous other improvements and optimizations to ASIO core.
ASIO latency updates in audio options after changing panel.
Audio driver changes without restart
SONAR has traditionally required an application restart when changing various driver specific settings in the audio options dialog, before the changes were applied. For some changes such as configuring ports or changing the driver model, this often meant restarting more than once, as well as several confusing prompts that the user had to respond to before the changes were accepted.

In SONAR 8 we now streamline this process by minimizing the number of prompts and not requiring a restart of the application. This includes adding and removing inputs/outputs and changing driver modes.


I knew that the ASIO drivers did not make best use of Vista's WaveRT audio processing improvements. I can't tell from the Edirol drivers download page whether the Vista 64-bit drivers include WaveRT support. If you haven't already installed this driver, but you are using Vista, you might try the new driver to see if it helps you. If WaveRT is supported by your hardware, you will see WaveRT as a driver choice in SONAR.

Hope that helped!
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Intel Q9550 Quad Core 2.83GHz, 8GB RAM, GIGABYTE P35-DS3P MB, 7x WD 500GB SATA hard drives, nVidia GeForce 8800GTS video card, Echo MIA audio interface running in WaveRT mode, Windows 7 x64
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