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Dialog box referencePreferences dialog ► Audio - Playback and Recording

The Playback and Recording section lets you specify various settings that affect playback and recording.
The Playback and Recording section contains the following settings:
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Driver Mode. Select from WASAPI Exclusive, WASAPI Shared, WDM/KS, ASIO, or MME. Consult your hardware documentation to determine which driver your hardware uses. Use WASAPI Shared for sharing the audio device with Windows and other programs, or WASAPI Exclusive for lower latency. WASAPI is ideal for use with onboard audio devices. Use ASIO if you have a pro audio device with an ASIO driver.
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Dithering. Whenever an audio signal is converted from a higher-bit resolution to a lower resolution, it is necessary to apply dither to avoid introducing undesirable quantization noise or harmonic distortion into the signal. The purpose of dither is to reduce the resulting distortion by adding low-level random noise or “dither” to the audio signal. Different mathematical calculations are used to generate dither, each method has advantages and disadvantages depending on the particular operation. Cakewalk features the Pow-r dithering process, short for Psycho-acoustically Optimized Wordlength Reduction, which can produce lower-bit files that sound indistinguishable from higher-bit source files. When this option is turned on, Cakewalk uses dithering when you export a higher-bit file at a lower resolution, or lower the bit depth of a project’s audio files by using the Utilities > Change Audio Format command, or when you “render” audio (bounce, freeze, or apply effects).
This option is turned on whenever the Dithering field has a value other than None. You can choose bit depths for recording, importing, and rendering (bouncing, freezing, and applying effects) in Edit > Preferences > File - Audio Data, and for exporting in the Export Audio dialog box (File > Export > Audio command). Cakewalk offers five kinds of dithering:
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Rectangular. Essentially white noise, no noise shaping. Advantages: least CPU-intensive, lowest signal-to-noise ratio, preferable to shaped dither when successive dithering can occur (e.g. bouncing, freezing). Disadvantages: suffers from intermodulation distortion, higher perceived loudness than Pow-r dither.
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Triangular. Higher level than rectangular, no noise shaping. Advantages: low CPU-intensive dither, superior to Rectangular as it does not suffer from modulation noise effects. Preferable to shaped (Pow-r) dither when successive dithering can occur (e.g. bouncing, freezing). Disadvantages: higher perceived loudness than Pow-r dither.
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Pow-r 1. Noise-shaped dither. Advantages: less CPU-intensive than Pow-r types 2 and 3, lower perceived loudness than Rectangular or Triangular. Disadvantages: less noise shaping than Pow-r types 2 and 3, not recommended for operations where dither will be applied successively (e.g. bounce and freeze).
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Pow-r 2. Noise-shaped dither. Advantages: lowest perceived loudness, highest quality settings, recommended for audio export. Disadvantages: highest CPU-intensive settings, not recommended for operations where dither will be applied successively (e.g. bounce and freeze).
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Pow-r 3. Same as Pow-r 2 except most CPU-intensive and transparent of all choices.
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Suspend Audio Engine When Cakewalk Is Not in Focus. This option allows other software to access device drivers. When this option is checked, other software can access device drivers when Cakewalk is not the focus of Windows.
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Use Multiprocessing Engine. This option is grayed out unless you have a multiprocessor computer. If you have a multiprocessor computer, check this option if you want Cakewalk to use both processors at all times. If you do not check this option, Cakewalk still uses the second processor for some tasks.
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Plug-In Load Balancing. When Use Multiprocessing Engine is enabled, the Plug-In Load Balancing option allows you to distribute plug-in processing across multiple cores.
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Use MMCSS. This option gives real-time applications such as Cakewalk higher priority for resource scheduling (thread scheduling) under Windows 7 and later (leave it checked).
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Always Stream Audio Through FX. If any tracks or buses contain active plug-in effects, the audio engine will be activated and stream silence through the effects, even if the tracks have no audio data or Input Echo enabled. You will typically only disable this option if you want to conserve a bit of CPU processing if you play a project that contains lots of empty audio tracks with effects. There are several benefits to having this option enabled:
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Always Open All Devices. With this option checked, Cakewalk opens all enabled stereo pairs of audio outputs as soon as you press play or turn on the audio engine. Any pairs that don’t have any tracks feeding them stream silence, but are still ready for use. So if you then change a track's output assignment on the fly Cakewalk doesn’t have to reopen a device, which can cause gaps in playback.
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Remove DC Offset During Record. With this option enabled, Cakewalk filters out any DC Offset disturbances that may be present during recording. See Removing DC offset for more information.
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Disable Input Monitoring During Playback. This option is off by default. When enabled, input monitoring will be disabled on all tracks during playback but not during recording.
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Command Audition Length (seconds). When you apply an edit or effect to an audio clip, Cakewalk lets you audition that edit for “N” seconds: the value you fill into this field.
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Record Pre-allocate File (seconds). When this option is set to a value greater than zero, Cakewalk will pre allocate the file to be recorded to the size specified (in seconds). This means that the file will not be resized while recording until it reaches the allocated size. The setting has the potential to reduce disk activity while recording and allows for more possible tracks. The valid range is 0–14400 seconds and the default value is 0. A reasonable setting would be 10 minutes (600 seconds) to 30 minutes (1800 seconds).
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Fade On Start (milliseconds). When this option is set to a value greater than zero, starting playback will cause a gradual fade in of the audio for the specified duration. The valid range is 0–100000 and the default value is 0.
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Fade On Stop (milliseconds). When this option is set to a value greater than zero, stopping playback will cause a gradual fade out of the audio for the specified duration. The valid range is 0–100000 and the default value is 0.
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Default. Specify the default global stretch methods (see Algorithms and rendering). The options are as follows:
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Online Render. Specify the algorithm to use during real-time playback.
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Groove. This mode works faster than Percussion render mode, using less processing power.
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Percussion. This mode works better than the Groove render mode on percussive material, especially if the stretching is by more than a few beats per minute.
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Elastique Pro. Elastique Pro is a general purpose high quality time-stretching engine that fulfills the demands of professional productions and broadcast applications. It minimizes stretching artifacts, offers stable timing, inter-channel phase coherence and sample accurate stretching which allows for sharp transients and crystal clear vocals.
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Elastique Efficient. Elastique Efficient gives you similar time-stretching quality as Elastique Pro, but with a lower CPU hit. The algorithm is targeted at complex polyphonic signals like complete mixes and offers the same transient preservation as Elastique Pro.
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Offline Render. Specify the algorithm to use when exporting, bouncing, or freezing stretched audio.
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Radius Mix. Better for clips containing polyphonic, stereo data.
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Radius Mix Advanced. Similar to Radius Mix, but exposes Radius Pitch Coherence and Radius Phase Coherence sliders in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Playback and Recording.
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Radius Solo. Better for clips containing monophonic, solo instruments.
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Radius Solo (Bass). Better for clips containing solo bass instruments.
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Radius Solo (Vocal). Better for clips containing solo vocals.
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Elastique Pro. Elastique Pro is a general purpose high quality time-stretching engine that fulfills the demands of professional productions and broadcast applications. It minimizes stretching artifacts, offers stable timing, inter-channel phase coherence and sample accurate stretching which allows for sharp transients and crystal clear vocals.
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Elastique Efficient. Elastique Efficient gives you similar time-stretching quality as Elastique Pro, but with a lower CPU hit. The algorithm is targeted at complex polyphonic signals like complete mixes and offers the same transient preservation as Elastique Pro.
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Same as Online. Uses the same choice as the Online Render field.
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VocalSync. Specify the default global stretch methods to use for VocalSync clips (see VocalSync automatic audio alignment).
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Radius Pitch coherence. Pitch coherence preserves naturalness of timbre for pitched solo voices, such as human speech, saxophone or vocals. The default value for this control is 50%. Higher values of pitch coherence will increase phase accuracy but may sound more modulated.
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Radius Phase coherence. When processing stereo or surround audio, Phase coherence helps to preserve the phase relationships between channels. The default value for this control is 50%. Higher values of phase coherence will preserve the phase between multiple audio channels at the expense of slight distortion.
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