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This should be a nice simple open-and-shut case: Why does Sonar 7 sometimes slow down during track creation or playback? It may look like a gray mass of text below, but am only trying to give the clearest possible picture at the outset. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for any advice you can give!

There are two clear-cut ways this problems happens -- when it does:

1. I'm adding layers upon layers (that's what I call 'em) in a track, rarely more than 3 total, as always with a lot of deleting and redoing. The background field clouds up (as it's supposed to) showing where starts and stops have lain. (Or just the starts?) The drag is worst when I finish one complete element of the track (e.g the right hand part or a solo line in the top voice) and then add others under it.
1a. If I lay one complete track and commence adding a separate/parallel one (e.g. in the default "MIDI 2";) it really starts lagging.
2. I'm on an instrument other than the one I normally create on (Rodgers church organ) -- basically a Casio WK-1500 or 35-year-old Clavinova. Can spend a whole hour (or say 10 minutes) running my tracks just fine on these and then a brisk one will move at a crawling pace -- even seems to resist speeding up with the little inline BPM box!

Does a track that slowed down in the creation phase run OK if I close everything and run it another day? You would ask me that -- believe it does, and that the tracks that lag on "other" instruments do fine once back on their "original" one.* Can check that if need be -- church is 30 miles from home and puter, alas.

I attempted a google on this situation. If I understand latency correctly, that is not the problem. The tempo of the music I've already sequenced and am hearing as I add to it gets slower, the track on the screen too accordingly.

*Have never finished a dual-track project because of this problem. Really want to -- triples, too.
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Sorry, but more questions.

This might be something within Sonar, but it might also be something else.

When you get this slow down, what is your machine doing? And connected with this, which OS are you using, and what sort of computer? Is there any hint of activity on the internet connection.

When you have this slowdown, can you invoke Task Manager (or your system equivalent) and see what the machine is doing. It could be very busy doing something else?

If it IS something within Sonar, what is the memory situation at the time of slowdown, is the program struggling with lack of memory (but this would show in excessive activity, how is the disk activity light acting at the time).

When you have this slowdown, if you just leave the machine to get on and finish whatever it's doing, does it then recover and then work OK?

Geoff
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I'm on a Windows 7 64-bit Toshiba laptop with 6 GB RAM. Sonar is the only thing going on -- am nowhere near a computer. Does that answer about memory use?

If I recall correctly from the scene of battle:

A track that drags during creation will work normally after a reboot -- but if it's a finished track I'll have to up the overall tempo. If it's not, the problem will just happen again as I try to finish the project. I have use a metronome when creating a track. I can't reboot when playing tracks from people and it drags like mad -- puter takes too long to come back up, and as I said tracks that do so in this situation resist simply upping the tempo.

Has anybody else out there had this problem?
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Hello,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'am nowhere near a computer'. I very much suspect that your Windows 7 64-bit laptop is very much a computer.

I have a W7 laptop, and I get exactly the same problem with that, although in my case it's with Audacity. When this happens, the light/indicator for hard disk activity is solidly ON, not even flickering, indicating that the computer is VERY busy doing something, but I don't know what.. All attempts to do anything within Audacity do not achieve anything, maybe, after a LONG wait, something might happen, but it's so slow it's an almost complete waste of time.

I THINK Audacity is doing some sort of on-line update. Although checking Task manager gives no indication of anything, but at least it does not indicate anything else.

Eventually, the computer seems to complete what it's trying to do, and then I get some normal operation back.

If I use the computer every day, then it's better. If I use it occasionally (as is usual, as this machine is not my main computer), then it's worse.

Your original description seemed very similar to a problem I have. So I was asking, in the hope I might rule something out, or get some hints where else to look. But now I understand that you also are using W7, I'm thinking you might have the same problem I do.

Please confirm if your hard disk activity light shows machine is totally busy.

Geoff.
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Thanks so much for the replies, Geoff. It's extremely helpful just to hear somebody else has the same problem. I meant to say "nowhere near internet", not computer :( Must remember to check the activity light when next the problem happens. It would be typical of my puter -- except it's not doing anything else at the time. No surfing, no gaming, no other programs open. Why should it care how many times I've gone over a track (or section) and added to it? There's nothing for RAM to memorize or whatever. Or is the puter doing something redundant to that that we could stop?

Maybe if you and/or I cut down the programs that are running from startup or whatever? AVG keeps telling me to -- so does the puter itself, but I can't seem to get the hang of it. (Can't even remember where to look.)

Do you know anything about converting a MIDI file to an audio one? Supposed to be a cinch in Sonar but I haven't succeeded on that either. I'm really a refugee from the Victorian era, though I love my 21st-century toys.
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Hello,

So, you were NOT connected to the internet when you had the slow-down problem? If that is the case, that rules out certain things, but maybe you WERE connected but didn;t realise? Or, the computer was assuming you were connected, and was repeatedly trying to do something, and failing, slowly, as it was NOT connected?

Is there any difference if you ARE connected?

When your system complains about other software running, what specifically? Are there things you can disable, or better NOT start at all? Calling up Task Manager (via the System Options, or via Ctrl+Alt+Del, might shed some light on what's running, and what effect it's having on system performance.

As for converting a MIDI file to Audio (i.e. a .WAV) yes this is certainly possible. I don't know about Sonar.

I have a midi file player system called SynthFont. This can load a Sound Font file to provide Virtual instruments, and I can then play midi files using the loaded fonts/sounds. The software includes an option to 'play' the file to a file, whereupon the sound goes to a .WAV file at CD quality, but note that the sound quality will be dependant on the quality of the SoundFont data you're using. Your Sonar system may be capable of something similar. Note that if you're using the Windoze default sound font data this is pretty poor quality, and you should find something better - I use a system (free) called 'Timbres of Heaven' which sounds fairly good, but I've no doubt there are even better sound sets than that.

Geoff
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There is no internet ever when I'm sequencing because there's none at my church. There's not even a phone in the church bldg. I don't have an air card or anything -- am 100% certified netless there.

How could the extent of other programs running cause this problem -- Isn't recording these little MIDI events the lightest work the puter's ever has to do? The same programs are running in the background whether the problem's happening or not.

Am not sequencing right now but have opened Task Manager. Under 'Applications' it just shows the stuff I've got open now -- browser windows, word processors, Agent Ransack, Eudora, AVG Tuneup. 'Processes' shows .exe's of those, tons of things unintelligible to me and names of some of my programs that open at startup but shouldn't (CCleaner, Seagate Dashboard etc.) -- how do I permanently stop them from doing so?

I just right-clicked and dropped CCleaner from this Processes list but maybe shouldn't have -- a warning box said closing a system process could result in an unstable computer, and I just noticed that CCleaner prolly had 'SYSTEM' as username in col. 2 of this 'Processes' screen because Seagate Dashboard does. How can they possibly be 'system' in any sense.

I feel certain there's some other very familiar, more user-friendly Windows utility you can open to get at all this but I can't remember what. AVG PC TuneUp occasionally gives me their version of it out of the clear blue but I can't get it to do this manually – ditto the computer itself. When AGV or puter has done so, the list it shows is mostly stuff clearly needed for ongoing puter processes -- I googled some of it to check. Since SuperAntiSpyware was one of the big offenders at the top of the list (and hasn't to my knowledge found any bugs in years) I've just removed it from the hard drive -- though it was quite useful maybe 10 years ago.

Oh, there's something else I need to know. How do you find your own content here quickly? Neither searching my username or clicking it in the upper right does it. If somebody's replied to me that shows, but surely that's not the only route?

Thanks.
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Hello,

Thanks for the info from Task Manager.

Regarding the Processes screen, this is not so important as such, and yes, a lot of the items listed will mean nothing. The important thing however is the percentage figure displayed, i.e. 0%, or whatever. Many will show zero, some may show an occasional few percent, but look out for anything that shows any significant numbers, or regular values, these are busy, and maybe too busy?

Much more important is that you say you have a number of items showing on Applications. These are ACTIVE programs, it these are showing on this list then they are doing something. In some cases, maybe not a lot, but most of the ones you list, I don't know what they are, and I don't know why they are ACTIVE in this way. You need to try and get rid of some - or all - of these, especially while you are trying to use SONAR. At least to find out if this gets rid of the problem.

At least part of what you're trying to do with Sonar will be time critical. Yes, the system should be able to cope with all that, but this may well NOT include maintaining timing to the extent that you need to. Some of the applications may be far too busy. Even if just ONE of them is, this could be the source of your problem.

I don't think the Applications screen gives an indication of resources being used (i.e. the % figure that shows on the Processes screen), but look out for anything listed that ALSO shows a significant or regular % figure on the Processes screen. Also, check the items listed in Applications listed via the web to see if any are known for being resource greedy.

Geoff
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In the 'CPU' column in 'Processes', the vast majority of items are a constant, unchanging '00'. Some rarely flash like 01, 02, 03 while I’m replying here, one went to 07 just briefly once. System Idle Process is consistently like 87 to 92.

Once again, when I'm writing in this Forum I'm at home and not sequencing. 'Applications' will only show Cakewalk Sonar and perhaps my music planning document in Libre Office at church. Rarely I’ll have Windows Media Player and/or Hearts open but I won't ever be using either while laying tracks. I experimentally just started a movie playing in WMP and it shows only 00-03, quite often just 00.
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Well, there's no signs there of what the problem might be.

Next thing, you need to look at the same screens when you're using Sonar, and you get the slowdown problem. Also, note the activity of the light (I assume there is one) that shows the HD activity.

Geoff
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That light is on solid all the time on my puter.

I have a notification 'ethanes replied to the discussion, Tempo lags in Sonar tracks' from Thursday. Any idea where it is?
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'ethanes' might be a rogue reply. Someone abusing the forum to post a piece of spam. The message maybe triggered the message to you, but was then deleted by forum admin.

The HD light should NOT be 'on solid all the time' unless the computer is VERY busy doing something. This is exactly what my W7 laptop does. As mentioned before re Audacity. I don't know what the system is doing, but it's seriously busy doing it. Eventually, it finishes whatever it is, and I get control of the machine back. Eventually!!

Hmm - found 'ethanes' on user listing. Shown joined 9th May, i.e. Thurs. Now shows 0 postings/replies, no other activity. So I think my original guess is correct.


Geoff
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Thanks, I've always assumed that when the puter's extra-active you can tell by its sighing, heating up over the fan area, getting less responsive etc. This does happen when I've got too many programs and browser windows open, regardless of how many are doing anything. I do remember my computer tower action lights flickering when something was going on tho. Thanks!
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