"Stuttering" on Playback

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DrLeonard
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"Stuttering" on Playback

Post by DrLeonard »

I am composing an orchestral piece with 19 tracks (so far) with a lot of rapid 8th notes. On playback at certain points there is a lot of "stuttering" or "popping" (not sure what the correct term is). It seems to go away (at least most of it) when I mute the snare drum and cymbal parts, even though there isn't much written in those parts. I am using VoiceMeeter for audio, and have it set for 768 samples. Changing the sample number, up or down, only seems to make it worse. The "stuttering" phenomenon isn't there when I export the piece to a .WAV file, but I would like to be able to hear it through Overture while composing without the distortion. Computer is Windows 7 Professional SP1, 8GB RAM.
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by Bill Reed »

What sample library, and what sort of disk is it stored on?
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

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Sample library is Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra. The piece is on my PC's hard drive.
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by DrLeonard »

I find now that if I raise the VoiceMeeter audio buffer size to 2816 samples the stuttering or crackling seems to go away -- but the playback runs several beats behind the cursor.
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by Merv »

Latency, audio settings, memory, disk access speeds (HD vs SSD) are all worth investigating as possible culprits. Somewhere between a buffer size of 2816 and 0 you should be able to find, if not a perfect spot, at least a ‘sweet spot’.
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by DrLeonard »

I was advised a few years ago to install an SSD because Overture would run faster. I have an SSD but I have been reluctant to use it for an application with a lot of read-write activity, because in researching SSDs it was indicated that they don't over-write previously used areas so they deteriorate over time. For that reason I chose to keep Overture and the .OVEX files on my hard drive. For those who use an SSD, how would I install Overture on it (and would Windows also have to be booted from it), if I already have Overture on my hard drive? And would it make a great improvement?

I have latency checking software that indicates no problem on this PC, and I have the max amount of RAM that this Dell Optiplex 960 64-bit can handle.
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by Dean Krommydas »

Hi Doctor Leonard,

I seem to recall a lengthy thread surrounding your hardware, SSDs, and the like from a while back. That thread is here just in case you didn't revisit...but I don't know how helpful it was/is to you at this point.

https://sonicscores.com/forum/viewtopic ... 46&t=20542

To resume a bit...a few things at a glance...

The difference between an SSD and a regular HDD is like night and day. I would try to forget whatever justification it is you think why you shouldn't get or use an SSD...and start to find a way to justify using an SSD.

You have to put the RAM and the SSD together to really begin seeing a difference....and that's not even getting into your processor.

As you are finding...the higher the buffer size...will give the system more time to process the audio information but will increase latency....and so the see-saw for the sweet spot begins that Merv is alluding to.

Based on your system...you have several issues against yourself... especially if/when you begin trying to push with using a lot of instruments and/or fast passages.

So, if you are not going to buy a new computer yet...besides experimenting to find the sweet spot which hopefully will help...you could go ahead and use the SSD!

However, in your scenario what I would try is...

Assuming Overture and Amadeus are already on your C drive...yes you could of course try them all together on the SSD, but I would try putting Amadeus and whatever other samples you may have onto the separate SSD and see what happens. Ideally, it would be good to try with more than one SSD. The nice part is, you can always use the SSDs in a new system...so it's not a wasted investment.

Any brand-name SSD drive (Samsung 850 EVO, Crucial, Kingston, etc.) with a READ spec of 500 MB/s or better will do and you don’t need to worry about the WRITE spec because you won’t be writing to that drive except to copy samples to it.

All hard drives eventually fail. I have 4 computers currently in my setup...3 that I use constantly. They each have 4-5 SSDs inside them. They are several years old. Nothing has happened. That's not to say nothing will happen...so you take precautions in advance...keep an image file of your C Drive and whatever else you might worry about....that you can easily/readily restore quickly when/if that dark day of the crash should arrive. Then it's not a big deal.

Try AOMEI Backupper or similar software you may be comfortable using - to make an image of your current C Drive - and then restore it to the SSD. You can always revert back to the other one.

My .02
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by Merv »

...what Dean said...
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by Bill Reed »

It's unlikely you'd even be able to buy a computer today that didn't have a SSD system drive.

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Overture 5, Sibelius, Finale 25, Notion 6, Cubase
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Re: "Stuttering" on Playback

Post by Dean Krommydas »

Hey Bill and Merv, hope you're doing well.

..and Dr. Leonard I apologize if I went off with too many ellipses trains of thoughts there...I should probably answer your questions more directly.
For those who use an SSD, how would I install Overture on it (and would Windows also have to be booted from it), if I already have Overture on my hard drive?
1. Find a program like AOMEI Backupper (it's free) - or similar software that allows you to create an image of your C Drive. There are different types of images you can create, but let's not complicate it. Using AOMEI, selecting to create a System Image file (with Windows on it) should suffice.

2. I'd recommend creating/writing the system image file to a 3rd hard drive. Whether that be an additional internal, external, or flash drive. This is for a few reasons but mainly precautionary and that it's going to make your life easier during the restoration process. Ultimately, you will point the software to the system image file you created, and tell it to restore that system image file from that location to the new SSD drive.

3. You need the means to plug the new SSD internally into your system and make sure it is detected/recognized by your computer (using SATA cables). I wouldn't proceed further until I knew that was all set. I'm assuming the new SSD is formatted properly and blank with no partitions on it.

4. Using the software, restore the system image file you created to the new SSD Drive. It's going to be overwritten.

5. Once that is completed successfully, you need to tell your computer to boot from the new SSD instead of the old HD drive. You can also remove the older HD C drive altogether, and see if WIndows auto detects the new SSD image without additional steps.

6. You can control all this if you know how to enter your BIOS - typically by pressing F12 upon startup - you can go into the boot options and select the new SSD drive to be the primary (or first) and or only boot drive. After that, you should be fine.

Once I knew the system was booting up from the SSD successfully (multiple successful restarts) and NOT the old C HD Drive...I would format the old C HD Drive, and use it for storage or a paperweight or something. :D

Keep your System Image file somewhere other than your C drive as backup.
And would it make a great improvement?
Let's put it this way...it would be one of the best improvements you could make given the computer you have.

I'd try two SSDs. Overture on the C drive and Amadeus (and whatever other samples you may have) on another as the last attempt. Besides your processor being dated and your RAM maxed out (which we won't get into different types of RAM capabilities)...I mentioned in the older thread if your motherboard does not provide SATA 3 only SATA 2 - you will only be getting about half of the performance out of a new SATA III SSD....but it will still be miles beyond the HDDs performance.

After that...I'd start looking into a new computer...and bring the new SSDs over to it.

Hope this helps.
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