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Topic: Why Oh Why...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Why Oh Why...

    I have a crazy problem. As a disciple of Randy, I am bouncing my MIDI tracks to audio tracks for final mixing.
    Have no problem arriving to the 10 audio tracks in this little project. When try to play back, my MIDI interface Alpha by Lexicon, goes crazy, stops, yells at me and crushes Sonar X1.
    This is the second time it is happening. In my ignorance I thought that the audio tracks represent a lighter load on my system than the MIDI tracks. Wrong?
    The only thing I can think of that I am running Windows 7 64. When bouncing to tracks should I elect 64 engine? I did not, could that be the problem?
    Any help I'll be grateful.

    Ted

  2. #2

    Re: Why Oh Why...

    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    ...As a disciple of Randy
    Oh dear. Rather sure I don't merit having "disciples"--but your post certainly got my attention, Ted!
    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    ...I am bouncing my MIDI tracks to audio tracks for final mixing...
    I'm sure it will get straightened out, but there is an important caveat to make. Others on the Forum at times have been inspired to try mixing with audio, since I've posted so often about it, but they didn't always have the best of experiences. As a result, I try to not go out of my way to encourage people to try it anymore. Obviously I love it, and it's the only way I could work. But I've done it for years, and I'm sure I've just forgotten how it can introduce a whole new set of difficulties which at least for some people, may just not be worth it!
    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    ...When try to play back, my MIDI interface Alpha by Lexicon, goes crazy, stops, yells at me and crushes Sonar X1...The only thing I can think of that I am running Windows 7 64. When bouncing to tracks should I elect 64 engine?...
    Working backwards- Selecting the 64 bit engine shouldn't matter. I often work with that off since it seems to make things go faster and more smoothly, even though that's counter-intuitive.

    Your audio interface is a perfectly fine one, I'm sure. I've looked at the product page - it's a standard interface, much like any other. Let's assume it's not the issue.

    Once you've bounced your tracks, make sure you disengage all instances of ARIA and whatever other soft synths you may be using. Both Mute and Archive all your MIDI tracks, and use the Track Manager to hide them from your onscreen view so you only see and work with the audio tracks for the mixing part of your project.

    So - there is the one possibility that after bouncing, you're still running the MIDI tracks by accident.

    But here's the most likely cause for the crashes that I can think of: You may not be setting your projects up with the "per project" option checked off so that inside the project folder there's a sub-folder for the audio. The structure for a project folder should simply be this:

    Master folder of music projects>Folder with name of project>project file (e.g. "my-symphony.cwp" - if it's a Sonar project) AND a folder inside that folder "AUDIO"-which contains all the audio files associated with that project file.

    If your project is currently set up with its audio files located somewhere else, it puts a strain on the program and the computer, and it's possible it can even make everything come to a grinding halt.

    So, if your project isn't set up as described, you can make a new copy like this:

    --Open the project. Don't try to play it, since that's currently causing everything to crash. Save As - and direct this copy to a new folder "Project version 2" - AND this time, be sure to check off the option which will create an audio folder for you in that project folder. When you click to make that happen, all the audio will be copied, so will take awhile, and when it's finished, you'll have a new, organized copy to proceed with.

    Close the program, re-open, try the new file. I predict it will play fine now -- Unless you already had the project set up that way, in which case, it would be back to the drawing board.

    If it does open and play - then just delete the older version and get rid of its audio files.

    I suspect the disorganized nature of your project is causing the crash, because I remember making that mistake a few times in the past. When I didn't have the audio folder inside the project's folder - things never worked so well, and at times would cause crashes.

    EDIT: One more item which could be important for you, Ted. Sonar (or any DAW program) can crash if your latency is set too low for playing back all those audio files at once. It's best to have one low latency setting for your audio interface while recording, and then a higher latency for mixing audio. The settings don't need to be exact - just move it up for audio mixing, and what you'll notice is that there'll be a pause before playback starts, but it's tolerable. Once the project is playing, your slider moves etc during mixing will be in that delayed time so you won't be aware of any lag. Repeating--Too low a latency during mixing can cause crashing. Just look at the CPU and RAM meters in Sonar and see if you're pushing the envelope too much, and adjust accordingly.

    Randy

  3. #3
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Why Oh Why...

    Randy wrote:

    So - there is the one possibility that after bouncing, you're still running the MIDI tracks by accident.

    Me:
    No, I did deleted all possibility to playing MIDI, BUT:

    Randy wrote:

    But here's the most likely cause for the crashes that I can think of: You may not be setting your projects up with the "per project" option checked off so that inside the project folder there's a sub-folder for the audio. The structure for a project folder should simply be this:

    Master folder of music projects>Folder with name of project>project file (e.g. "my-symphony.cwp" - if it's a Sonar project) AND a folder inside that folder "AUDIO"-which contains all the audio files associated with that project file.

    If your project is currently set up with its audio files located somewhere else, it puts a strain on the program and the computer, and it's possible it can even make everything come to a grinding halt.

    I suspect the disorganized nature of your project is causing the crash, because I remember making that mistake a few times in the past. When I didn't have the audio folder inside the project's folder - things never worked so well, and at times would cause crashes.

    Me:

    Yesssss! Correcting it, NOT to save the audio file somewhere else as I did routinely, solved the problem.

    Randy wrote:
    EDIT: One more item which could be important for you, Ted. Sonar (or any DAW program) can crash if your latency is set too low for playing back all those audio files at once. It's best to have one low latency setting for your audio interface while recording, and then a higher latency for mixing audio. The settings don't need to be exact - just move it up for audio mixing, and what you'll notice is that there'll be a pause before playback starts, but it's tolerable. Once the project is playing, your slider moves etc during mixing will be in that delayed time so you won't be aware of any lag. Repeating--Too low a latency during mixing can cause crashing. Just look at the CPU and RAM meters in Sonar and see if you're pushing the envelope too much, and adjust accordingly.
    Me:
    I was designing experiments all my working life and knew that plan on one change at a time, so what I did, besides the change where to save the audio file, I also adjusted latency settings, so I had to work back again and found that latency settings were in the "safe" range, so I was OK there.

    Thanks Randy, great help and all is well now!

    Ted

    (I do not know how to make the neat quotes you guys are doing, so this is messy as hell, but it is the best I can co.)

  4. #4

    Re: Why Oh Why...

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    ...You may not be setting your projects up with the "per project" option checked off so that inside the project folder there's a sub-folder for the audio...
    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    ...Yesssss! Correcting it, NOT to save the audio file somewhere else as I did routinely, solved the problem.
    ...I also adjusted latency settings...

    ...Thanks Randy, great help and all is well now!

    ...I do not know how to make the neat quotes...
    Ah, good! Thanks for letting us know your problem is solved, Ted. This thread may help others with the same problem. In Sonar at least, one absolutely needs to have audio files for a project in a sub-folder inside the project folder to avoid problems. When initially setting up a project, have the option checked to create audio folders on a per-project basis. Once you have that checked, it will stay checked when you set up future projects.

    And setting your interface for higher latency is also important, as you figured out. If the latency is too low, the project may stop playing and you have to click the red box at the bottom of the screen to go again, but playback will keep stopping until you loosen up your latency.

    I don't think you meant it literally, but at the start of your reply you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    ...deleted all possibility to playing MIDI...
    You wouldn't want to delete the MIDI!-- But I'm rather sure you mean you turned the ARIA instances off, and muted/archived the MIDI tracks.

    How to make the neat quotes:

    When you reply to a post, click "Reply With Quote." In the text field, the first thing, there's the unique Forum member idea code inserted. At the end of the quote is the simple code of -bracket slash QUOTE end bracket- For doing multiple quotes, just copy and paste the code for the person you're replying to, and insert the end quote code. To make sure you've done it right, click Preview Post before finally clicking Submit Reply.

    Randy

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