The term Dropout is sometimes used interchangeably to describe a few different behaviors. Technically, a dropout is when samples are dropped during playback and/or recording, resulting in the transport stopping. Sometimes the term Dropout is mistakenly used to describe events not sounding audibly despite the transport passing over them, or it is used to describe an audible stutter, click or pop during playback.There are many very in-depth procedures for tracking down what might be causing performance-related dropouts and audible artifacts. The most common causes of these behaviors are listed below.Before proceeding, make sure Cakewalk is correctly configured for use with your sound card or audio interface. Please visit for recommended settings for many popular devices. We also recommend updating your sound card or audio interface's drivers to the most recent version available from the manufacturer's website.If you are experiencing dropouts in the sense that the audio engine is completely stopping and Cakewalk is reporting “DROPOUT” in the Control Bar’s Transport module, then you should try increasing your sound card's latency settings by doing the following:
1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Driver Settings.
2. If you are using WDM/KS or MME(32-bit) drivers, adjust the Buffer Size slider to the right toward Safe.
3. If you are using ASIO drivers, click on the ASIO Panel button. This opens your sound card's proprietary control panel. If the ASIO Panel button does not launch your device's control panel, try to open it from the Windows Control Panel or from the Windows Task Bar.
Note: For the majority of dedicated audio interfaces you will want to use ASIO drivers for the best stability. This can be applied by going to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Playback and Recording and setting Driver Mode to ASIO.
5. Click Apply and then OK to apply any changed settings.If you are experiencing dropouts in the sense that events that aren't sounding and/or you are hearing pops and clicks at random points in playback, then this behavior may be related to your hard disk buffer size settings. Typically when this is the case, projects containing more tracks and more demanding virtual instruments that load large sample libraries will exhibit more clicks and pops than simpler projects with lower track counts.
1. In Cakewalk, go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Sync and Caching.
2. Increase the Playback I/O Buffer Size and Record I/O Buffer Size values. Typically you will want to increase these settings in double increments. For example, settings such as 128, 256, 512, 1024 and 2048 are recommended. 256 is the recommended default starting point.
Note: It is not recommended to select Enable Read Caching and Enable Write Caching. Choosing either of these options lets your software use the Windows disk cache while reading or writing audio data. Your software will usually perform best with all caching disabled, which is the default setting. If your computer has an older IDE disk controller, or a disk controller that does not use DMA transfers, enabling caching may improve audio performance.
3. Click Apply and then OK to apply any changed settingsUltimately, the larger the hard disk buffer size, the easier it is for your hard disk to stream audio files with stability.If neither of the above help, then you may want to look into more hardware specifics with your computer. There is a free utility called LatencyMon that can test your system for DPC latency spikes. Essentially, if your system is experiencing these spikes, it can be prone to clicks and pops and dropping audio samples. DPC latency spikes can interfere with all real-time audio and video streaming applications on your computer. You can download the free utility from .A common cause of DPC Latency Spikes on laptop computers is built-in Wi-Fi adapters. Per the suggestions in the link above, you might consider temporarily disabling your Network adapters from the Windows Device Manager to reduce your overall DPC Latency and reduce the amount of clicks and pops. More detailed information in regards to how to use the utility, and suggested measures to take, can be found at the link above.Lastly, you should strongly consider disabling any services that are unnecessary for recording that run on your computer in the background (such as anti-virus, anti-spyware software, gadgets and auto-updates).
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