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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:55 am 
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Hello good people! :)

I'm a longtime Mixcraft user (well, from v4 on, currently have the v5 as it perfectly suits my needs and don't really need the v6). I bught a more serious audio interface (RME Babyface) and am planing to go a bit more seriously into the recording and mixing (I mostly play Heavy Metal, I do all the instruments and vocals). And I have some questions (asked about many things on the RME forum already, but were told to ask here since Mixcraft is my DAW). I have a good computer (i7, 6GB RAM, 7200RPM HDD), set and tested for real-time audio work + the aforementioned RME Babyface audio interface which should operate without latency. So here goes:

1. I have set the buffer size in my RME Babyface settings to 128 samples (44100 Hz). How much latency is that in reality - 3ms? When I have more than say three or four tracks with some plugins (FX) enabled in Mixcraft I get errors in sound (skipping, crackling, lagging) - during playback and during recording. Why is that so, how can I solve that, get rid of the errors (skipping, noise...)? I've read all the tutorials and did everything I could, I also tried and froze all tracks except the one I was recording with and that didn't help either.

2. Where can I change the recording mode (24-bit vs 16-bit), in Mixcraft maybe? I can't find it in the RME settings.

3. Babyface manual says I should turn off the Windows souns to avoid the errors but I'd like to keep my MS Windows 7 sounds enabled, what do you think? I tried it with disabled sounds but the problem from the first question seems to persist.

4. Where can I find the "Get position from Audio driver" checkbox for MIDI in Mixcraft? Or is that not even necessary as MIDI always "follows" audio "lag/delay" as it should in Mixcraft?

5. Not really Mixcraft related, but what exactly is the Talkback function and what for can I use it?

6. I think that sometiems PAN and VOLUME automation doesn't work on the same track. Maybe cause I'm using the square on the top of the Mixcraft GUI insted clicking on the respective thrack's automation button and working there with both PAN and VOLUME?

Thank you very much for your help! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:04 am 
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PS - addenum to my 1st question: My style of creating/composing/recording is I usually make a simplified drum pattern (I use Addictive Drums VST) and then record a few layers of distorted guitar, then I add bass and I'm doing the mixing simultaneously when recording (well, after I record a track of course), se yes, there are a few tracks and at least four with a VST called Amplitube (for my guitar tone), but I need to hear it as it should sound to be able to create a song. How can I eliminate the crackling, lag and noise without gaining latency to be able to record it all. For the fine mixing I will raise the buffer size but when I'm recording I need all in the same, low buffer, to keep it in sync. Any suggestions are welcome, as you can see I'm still a beginner. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:29 am 
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6: Not sure what you mean, but you can automate volume and panning as seperate operations by toggling between the two in the autmation lane.

5: Also not sure what you mean, where are you seeing this function information? Could be referring to a couple of things. I once had a mixing board with a talkback function where you could set up a dedicated channel to communicate with a performer remotely while they were in a booth for instance. Or is this maybe a midi data thing. My ex wife had a backtalk channel, but I dont think thats it.

4: Midi? I have no idea. I am not the guy to help with that.

3: Turning off the Windows sounds, among other things, helps reduce the chance of capturing some "beep" or other unintended sound in your project. It has nothing to do with #1, but it is always a good idea and best practice.

2: This is interface and driver specific. Different drivers use different terms and offer different options.

1: What you describe certainly sounds like you are running out of processor. And I am out of time......

I will return to try to help with #1 later, unless someone beats me to it!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:38 pm 
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On Marks point 1. - I always recommend Eric's video Optimize Your PC For Use With Mixcraft

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:32 pm 
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I completely agree with Mark.

Mixcraft 7 is on its way, there'll be a lot more things to do on there. Including more sounds.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:55 pm 
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dadabujontomasteel wrote:
I completely agree with Mark.

Mixcraft 7 is on its way, there'll be a lot more things to do on there. Including more sounds.


Ooooo more sounds... will there me more orchestral loops?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:42 am 
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I do MIDI but I don't quite understand your #4 question.. Please elaborate


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:17 am 
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Bellzemos wrote:
Hello good people! :)

I'm a longtime Mixcraft user (well, from v4 on, currently have the v5 as it perfectly suits my needs and don't really need the v6). I bught a more serious audio interface (RME Babyface) and am planing to go a bit more seriously into the recording and mixing (I mostly play Heavy Metal, I do all the instruments and vocals). And I have some questions (asked about many things on the RME forum already, but were told to ask here since Mixcraft is my DAW). I have a good computer (i7, 6GB RAM, 7200RPM HDD), set and tested for real-time audio work + the aforementioned RME Babyface audio interface which should operate without latency. So here goes:

1. I have set the buffer size in my RME Babyface settings to 128 samples (44100 Hz). How much latency is that in reality - 3ms? When I have more than say three or four tracks with some plugins (FX) enabled in Mixcraft I get errors in sound (skipping, crackling, lagging) - during playback and during recording. Why is that so, how can I solve that, get rid of the errors (skipping, noise...)? I've read all the tutorials and did everything I could, I also tried and froze all tracks except the one I was recording with and that didn't help either.
set the computer for optimum performance as others have suggested. are you running w/ antivirus on while using Mixcraft? the latency could be from large vsts. I run my buffers around 256 & notice no latency w/ my M-Audio c400.
2. Where can I change the recording mode (24-bit vs 16-bit), in Mixcraft maybe? I can't find it in the RME settings.
Babyface manual chapter 9.1-
http://www.rme-audio.de/download/bface_e.pdf
Note on Windows Vista/7:
Since Vista the audio application can no longer control the sample rate under WDM. Instead the
user has to work himself through numerous settings (up to 32 with a MADI card!), and to set the
sample rate to the same value per stereo device.
Therefore the driver of the Babyface includes a workaround: the sample rate can be set globally
for all WDM devices within the Settings dialog, see chapter 8.1.


3. Babyface manual says I should turn off the Windows souns to avoid the errors but I'd like to keep my MS Windows 7 sounds enabled, what do you think? I tried it with disabled sounds but the problem from the first question seems to persist.

4. Where can I find the "Get position from Audio driver" checkbox for MIDI in Mixcraft? Or is that not even necessary as MIDI always "follows" audio "lag/delay" as it should in Mixcraft?

5. Not really Mixcraft related, but what exactly is the Talkback function and what for can I use it?
the ability to "talk back" to a person in a booth or using headphones.you need a mixing board w/ a dedicated channel for that or something like the Mackie Big Knob.
6. I think that sometiems PAN and VOLUME automation doesn't work on the same track. Maybe cause I'm using the square on the top of the Mixcraft GUI insted clicking on the respective thrack's automation button and working there with both PAN and VOLUME?
you need to click the automation button for each track & select pan or volume.

Thank you very much for your help! :)


Mixcraft 5 is fine but you really should upgrade to MC6 if nothing else for the extras & the mixing board is so much better. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:16 am 
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I was going to wait to see if the OP was going to return and turn this into a discussion before getting into this further. But since similar problems are common and others might be reading up, I decided to add a few comments. And yes, as Trevor suggests the "optimizing performance" tutorial video is the starting point.
As is pointed out, turning off all other processes is critical to peak performance of any rig. Close all other programs, turn off wireless, turn off virus detection and firewall, etc. (dont forget to reactivate them afterward if going back "online"!)

The specs provided for the OP's computer suggest there is plenty of performance potential to function much better than described. But with some caveats. For instance not all processors are created equal. For whatever reason you can for instance purchase I7's that dont have all the cores activated. Some builders apparently also put them on mother boards not really capable of allowing full performance. Also laptop configurations can be somewhat slower than desktop.
6 Gigs of ram should be sufficient to perform well beyond the description as well, assuming good quality, proper speed etc etc.
But based on the description I think we can assume here the computer's capability isnt the entire issue.

So moving to the configuration of the rig. Some experimenting might reveal the core of the issue pretty quickly.
Setting buffers for lower latency increases the load on the computer processor, and its often possible that setting for the very lowest possible latency simply isnt functionally feasable with a given configuration. Try adding some buffers and see what happens with your performance. A small amount of increased latency should be perfectly acceptable in most cases, and is the tradeoff for being able to run the VST processing you desire while recording. Sometimes you need more buffers for smooth playback and need to find a functional "balance."
Freezing the playback tracks was mentioned, and should help dramatically while recording, by reducing the processing load of any VST's applied to those tracks.

But keep in mind, some VST's are just processor hogs. I am not familiar with Amplitube specifically, but these kind of plug-ins can and do function as strings of multiple VST's and some settings are going to be a pretty big CPU load. I have found some combinations in both Guitar Rig and Waves GTR simple dont "play nice."

Test a recording session with everything as you described but the Amplitube plug-in removed. If it fixes the problem, try removing some elements of the plug-in while recording. Especially if one of them is reverb. Reverbs specifically can be the worst culprits. Are you possibly running two distortion processors into two delay processors thru chorus and stereo effects and reverb...... you get the idea.
You might try removing processes that can be added after the recording. Just use the minimum you need for recording "inspiration" and change to the more desireable setting afterward for mixdown. Keep in mind some of those players you see running all this stuff have DSP units with multiple extra processors.

Thats all I have for now, please let us know what your results are!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:00 am 
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Two general tips to avoid crackling, which i found help on my system:

1. once a project is loaded, play it once entirely (turn volume down if crackling is bad). Afterwards, playback/recording is much smoother. (or just play that part you want to work on, if it's a 20 minute project)
2. when moving the mouse around, try to avoid moving it over clips or tracks that you don't need to click on (for selecting, muting etc.). Move the mouse around them, not over them. Much less crackling this way.

No idea though if this is just on my system (HDD, memory, driver, config, etc. can all be parameters) or if others may benefit from this.

One other thing you could try is to load the project, play it, raise your buffer in steps of 8, play again, and keep repeating until the project sounds fine.

Question #4: have read just about the entire internet for this (everything's much smaller where i live :D ). Think you should take this up with the manufacturer, because their manual refers to this option as part of a "typical" settings dialogue, but they never mention what program they open this in. IMO, it's not a "typical" settings screen if no one on the internet knows it.

The only thing i found that made a bit sense was that there are 2 ways to retrieve play position, DMA and driver position, and that you'd need to look into this if midi and audio are not in sync. From which i conclude: don't worry about it if you don't have the option to change it. It's out of your hands.
If you're in doubt, there are ways to test midi-audio synchronization.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:03 am 
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clavguy wrote:
dadabujontomasteel wrote:
I completely agree with Mark.

Mixcraft 7 is on its way, there'll be a lot more things to do on there. Including more sounds.


Ooooo more sounds... will there me more orchestral loops?



Yes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Thank you all for your replies and help, I really appreciate it. I've read it all but don't have time to reply at the moment, but I will, as soon as I try the things you suggested. Again, thank you very much! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Don't get over-excited about Mixcraft 7. I understand it's going to be a long while before it's made available.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:05 pm 
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Nor has anyone officially said it would have more orchestral loops as far as I know.

And while that may be nice if it does, I certainly hope its not a major selling point....... :roll:

Bellzemos, let us know about your progress.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:09 am 
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I have nothing to really report yet as didn't do anything in that time yet, but just some notes here. I will reply to all of you in one post, sorry about my lazyness. :P

1. "My ex wife had a backtalk channel, but I dont think thats it." Good one. :D OK, seriously, I now know what Talkback is and I don't need it. And the MIDI seems to be working OK with audio, at least in Mixcraft so I guess I'm not gonna dwelve on that anymore.

2. I've seen the Eric's video "Optimize Your PC For Use With Mixcraft" and did all the necessary stuff + more.

3. I've read the RME Babyface manual but still can't find the option in any settings (RME or Mixcraft) where I can change from the 16-bit to 24-bit.

4. Thanx for all the tips about lowering the latency. It won't be so pleasant turning off all the reverbs and stuff while recording, but I'll try it and see if it helps. And the thing is I can only set the buffer size from 128 to 256 and then to 512 etc., there are no small steps available unfortunatelly.

Thank you all for your tips! :)


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