Cakewalk // Documentation // Cakewalk // Dropouts and other audio problems
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A. Dropout reason code 
Increase the Buffer Size value in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Driver Settings.
Driver did not request audio buffers for over DropoutMsec milliseconds. Possible driver overload.
Increase the DropoutMsec variable value in AUD.ini (see AUD.INI), which lets you configure the tolerance time in milliseconds before dropping if the audio pump mechanism becomes starved (default is 250 ms).
Increase the Buffers in Playback Queue value in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Driver Settings.
Increase the Playback I/O Buffer Size value in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Sync and Caching.
Increase the Prepare using n Millisecond Buffers value in Edit > Preferences > MIDI - Playback and Recording.
Also, set StopEngineOnASIOPanelOpen to True in audio configuration settings (see AUD.INI).
Switch back to the default thread scheduling model (set ThreadSchedulingModel to 1 in audio configuration settings (see AUD.INI).
Dropout code 3: Driver did not request audio buffers for over DropoutMsec milliseconds (see AUD.INI). Possible driver overload.
To handle these cases, a new MaskDropoutDetection option in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Configuration File can be used to suppress dropouts.
Setting this value to True will activate dropout masking during playback and recording.
Turn off the Microsoft Office FastFind option if present on your system.
Turn off the Auto-Notification option for your CD-ROM drive. If it is turned on, the insertion of a CD-ROM can interrupt audio processing.
To disable it, open the System applet in the Control panel, click on the Device Manager tab, expand the CD-ROM list entry, double-click on the listed CD-ROM device, click on the Settings tab, and clear the Auto Insert Notification check box.
Remove all programs from the Windows Start Up folder (\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Start Up).
Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Driver Settings and click the Wave Profiler button.
If your sound card is listed at, read and follow any special card-specific operating instructions listed there.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Sync and Caching and try different values for Playback I/O Buffer Size and Record I/O Buffer Size until you find values that works well for your particular hard disk:
The default value is 64. Try reducing this value, to 32, then 16. After each change, close the dialog box (click OK) and re-test your project's recording/playback behavior.
If problem(s) persist, try increasing this value, to 128, then 256, then 512. Again, close the dialog box and re-try your project after each change.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Driver Settings. Move the Mixing Latency Buffer Size slider control to the right in small increments until you see the value to the right of the slider increase; close the dialog box (click OK) and re-test your project after each increment.
If problem(s) continue, move the slider control back to its original position, and try increasing the number in the Buffers in Playback Queue text box. (This value starts out at 4; try increasing it to 5, 6, 7, or 8). Close the dialog box (click OK) and re-test your project after each such change.
Save it as a Cakewalk Bundle (.cwb) file by selecting Save As from the File menu and selecting Cakewalk Bundle from the Save As Type drop-down list and clicking the Save button.
To disable the hardware acceleration on your graphics card: Launch Control panel (Start > Settings > Control panel). Double-click the Display icon. Select the Settings tab. Click on the Advanced Properties button. Select the Performance tab. Move the slider for Hardware Acceleration one notch at a time toward ‘none’ and re-test your recording/playback after each such adjustment. If problem(s) persist, leave the slider at ‘none’ and proceed with the next step.
You can adjust color depth by right-clicking on your Windows desktop, clicking Properties, clicking on the Settings tab, and selecting a suitable entry in the Colors list. Also, try reducing the display resolution. Re-test your audio playback/recording with these changes.
Open the System.ini file in Notepad (or any text editor). In the section called [Hercules], check to ensure that this line is present:
Open the System.ini file in Notepad (or any text editor). In the section called [mga.drv], add the following line:
(Start > Settings > Control panel > Display > MGA Settings > Advanced > Performance)
(Start > Settings > Control panel > Display > Settings > PowerDesk button)
Open the System.ini file in Notepad (or any text editor). In the section called [display], make sure the following line is present:
Ensure that your sound card is not sharing IRQs with any other device. Although some sound cards claim that they work properly on a shared IRQ, this is usually not the case and it is advisable to avoid such sharing. To do this, right click on My Computer and select Properties from the pop-up menu. In the System Properties dialog box, click on the Device Manager tab, then double-click on the Computer icon at the top of the list. This allows you to look at all the devices on your system and which IRQs they are using. Scroll through the list until you see your sound card. Check the IRQ setting to the left of the icon. If there are other devices (such as a video card) that are assigned to the same IRQ, you should try moving your sound card to a different slot in your computer. Note that entries which say something like “IRQ Holder for PCI Steering” do not indicate conflicting devices, and can be ignored.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Devices and make sure that only your sound card's input and output drivers are highlighted in both menus. (If you have more than one sound card installed in your system, try using only a single sound card and deselecting the other(s). If you can get audio to record/playback properly on a single sound card, but you encounter problems using two sound cards simultaneously, there may be a conflict between the two sound cards. Contact Cakewalk Technical Support for assistance in this event.)
To disable these other device(s), in Windows go to the Control Panel, and double-click the Multimedia icon. Click the Advanced tab, and click the plus sign next to Audio Devices. Double-click any audio devices listed there that AREN'T the sound card, and choose Do Not Use Audio Features on This Device. Click OK, and repeat this step for any non-sound card device, including voice modems, 'virtual audio devices' or 'game-compatible devices'. Once the sound card is the only device left, click OK, and restart the computer. After restarting, delete the file cw9auddx.ini from your Cakewalk folder. Once you've deleted those files, launch Cakewalk, and let it profile your audio hardware. When it's done, try playing your audio again.
If problem(s) continue, try deselecting any MIDI devices which you might be using. In Cakewalk, go to Edit > Preferences > MIDI - Devices and deselect every MIDI device in both Inputs and Outputs, then when Cakewalk asks, select Continue with no MIDI input and Continue with no MIDI output, and try re-test your audio recording/playback.
Reduce the number of distinct tracks being played back simultaneously. Consider “sub-mixing” several of your audio tracks into one track (using the Track view Tracks > Bounce to Track command), and then archiving the individual tracks which were combined in the sub-mix. (Archived tracks don’t use up any CPU resources during playback, leaving more CPU resources available to properly play the non-archived tracks.)
Ensure that your hard drive controller is NOT configured to operate in “compatibility mode” which can greatly slow data transfer to/from your hard disk and make it almost impossible to record/play audio in Cakewalk reliably. To do this, go to the Control Panel and double-click on the System icon. Click the Performance tab. At the top of the Performance screen read the entries across from File Systems and Virtual Memory. They both need to say 32-bit. If they mention MS-DOS Compatibility Mode, then your computer has a serious problem, beyond the scope of what a Cakewalk technician can fix. Your computer is processing the audio data very slowly and Cakewalk will not work properly until the MS-DOS Compatibility Mode problem is eliminated. Help is available on the Microsoft Technical Support Web page at Click on the Support Online link and search for the phrase Troubleshooting MS-DOS Compatibility Mode on Hard Disks. This problem can arise when installing a new hard disk in your computer; if Windows cannot find a suitable driver for the disk, it installs a generic driver and operates in Compatibility Mode.
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