Old 12-20-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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Default Sound problems. Help!

Recently when playing back projects in Reaper, I have had major problems with choppy sound leading to a complete halting of the playback. The recording begins, the time line moves, but the sound is very choppy and then finally quits! I run my equipment into an M-Audio Firewire interface and then into my PC when I record and also listen back through headphones via the same interface.

Everything was running great until this morning when the problem above began. Unfortunately, I'm kind of a noob at all things PC, so I haven't been able to diagnose the problem, much less fix it.

One thing I have noticed though is that my computer's hard drive seems to be working alot now. I constantly hear that "sound" of the computer running whenever it's on.

Any idea what might be the problem? Has Reaper finally gobbled up too much of my memory, or maybe a soundcard/interface problem?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:52 AM   #2
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Search this forum for "stuttering". The results will include a large number of posts -- some will provide helpful suggestions which may fit your situation.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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What is your computer setup - memory, drive, OS, etc..

When is the last time you rebooted?

By what you describe, it seems that your hard drive is thrashing due to either a small page file and or not enough memory. Unless your drive is slow and may need defragging or complete replacing to a faster 7200RPM drive as well.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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Are you running the projects off the boot drive???

You ALWAYS want to run the data off a secondary drive.

Here's a quick paste from my hard drive setup page:

You use a separate drive when data is being streamed constantly and you want quick, uninterrupted access.

Here's how you want your system set up:

C: (Boot) OS, apps and vsts - your applications and vsts are generally only loaded once and don't hit the disk thereafter HOWEVER your OS will need to do occasional housekeeping work.
(order of secondary drives doesn't matter)
D: Sample libraries
E: thru Z: Music projects and misc data

Partitioning will NOT help you and is, in fact, bad. The arm has to stop what its doing on one partition, lift up and go alllllll the way across the disc to the other side, set down to do its job and then go alllllllll the way back again EVERY time the OS or an app needs to do housework. This mechanical movement is GLACIAL in computer terms and will lead to pops, clicks and dropouts in your audio. AVOID PARTITIONING and go to SEPARATE DRIVES. (the ONLY reason to use partitioning is if you BIOS doesn't support large disks or organizing a disk and then I would still avoid it as partition maps can go bad - or hacked - and then you lose EVERYTHING.)

A 7200rpm drive can stream around 100 tracks simultaneously, so film and orchestra producers will split up music project to multiple project drives every 80-100 tracks.

Because a standard 7200rpm drive can do 100 tracks, expensive 10K and 15K rpm drives are not neccesary. They're generally noiser, too... bad for the studio.

RAIDs are not very efficient on desktop OS's and tests by major magazines (Sound-on-Sound) have found that they only speed up access by 10-15% in the REAL WORLD and are not worth the extra complexity they bring to the desktop. Separate dedicated drives are better.
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