Hardware Drivers and Cakewalk

Last updated on 3/29/2016

Hardware Drivers and Cakewalk 

What's a driver?
Your computer has a lot of different devices inside it: sound cards, MIDI interfaces, video cards, hard disk controllers, modems, etc. Each one of those hardware devices is run by a piece of software called a driver, without which all those devices are just expensive plastic paperweights. The driver communicates between the hardware device and the operating system, letting the software on the computer work with that device. If for some reason the driver isn't working properly, communication between the hardware and the software can become erratic or fail completely.

What does this have to do with Cakewalk?
Cakewalk depends upon the drivers of your sound card to function properly at all times in order to record and play back audio and/or MIDI data, letting you record and play your songs. When a driver becomes corrupt or fails, Cakewalk will no longer be able to communicate properly with the sound card or MIDI interface, and work on your project may come to a halt. 

Symptoms of driver trouble
Sometimes the signs of driver problems aren't as obvious as a sudden inability to record or play back audio or MIDI. The symptoms you experience may be less dramatic, but can still have a negative effect on your ability to work with Cakewalk. Here's a list of some symptoms that may indicate driver trouble:

  • Stuck, delayed, or random MIDI notes during recording and/or play back.

  • Audio or MIDI data drifting out of time with other tracks in the file.

  • Cakewalk pops out of Record mode in the middle of recording.

  • Cakewalk pops out of Play mode in the middle of play back.

What can I do?
If a problem does arise, you may be able to resolve it by simply reinstalling the drivers currently in use. However, in order to ensure Cakewalk functions as well as it possibly can, we recommend you update your hardware drivers as new versions become available, particularly for your sound card and/or MIDI interface. In general, hardware manufacturers regularly release new versions of their drivers and make them available to be downloaded from the web. These updated drivers often contain fixes for problems with the previous version, or new features that can enhance the performance of your hardware. Click here for a list of links to various hardware manufacturers.

After you've reinstalled or updated drivers, you need to have Cakewalk analyze those new drivers so it can configure itself properly. Here's how:

  1. Open Cakewalk, and choose Options | Audio | General.

  2. Press the Wave Profiler button.

  3. Click 'Yes' in the dialog that appears.

  4. When the Wave Profiler has finished, you can continue working.

Note: Hardware manufacturers often make Beta versions of drivers available for download. Keep in mind that Beta drivers are by definition incomplete, and installing them may or may not result in erratic device behavior in Cakewalk and other programs.

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