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Improving audio performanceImproving performance with digital audio ► Getting the most out of your computer

The maximum number of audio tracks you can expect to play on your computer depends on the audio sample rate, the speed of your hard disk, and the speed of your computer’s CPU.
The effect of your CPU on audio track throughput is much more difficult to quantify. Throughput is affected by the type of chip, clock speed, the number and type of real-time effects in use, cache size and settings, and many other factors.
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If you use DoubleSpace, Stacker, or some other disk compression system, it will slow down playback of audio tremendously. Configure your system so that the Data directory is on a hard disk that is not compressed.
The more programs you have open, the more CPU cycles you are taking away from your project. Exit any programs unnecessary to the task at hand.
If you open and close windows or do lots of editing while playback is in progress, you may steal CPU cycles that would otherwise be used for playback.
If you are happy with your real-time effects, consider using the Process > Apply Effect > Audio Effects command to apply those effects offline. Then remove those effects from real-time use and free up lots of CPU power.
Audio tracks that are muted continue to place a load on your processor. To lessen the burden and free up cycles to handle more audio, archive all unused audio tracks. See To archive or unarchive tracks for more information.
If your project contains many different audio/synth tracks or many real-time effects, you can use the Track view Tracks > Bounce to Track(s) command or click a track’s Freeze Track button to reduce all of this content to an audio track or tracks with no active effects.
Change I/O Buffer Size on the Advanced tab of the Audio Options dialog box
The default setting is 64 KB. Yours may work better with 128, 32, or 16. If those values don’t help, try 256, 512, or move on to another remedy.
Turn off dithering in the Edit > Preferences > Audio - Playback and Recording dialog box (choose None in the Dithering field).
By default, SONAR bypasses all disk caching, which typically results in better performance with audio data. If your computer has an older IDE disk controller, or a disk controller that does not use DMA transfers, enabling caching may improve SONAR's audio performance.
Note: Changes to these settings only take effect when you restart SONAR. Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Sync and Caching to change the Enable Read Caching and Enable Write Caching settings.
Drawing the contents of audio clips in the Clips pane uses some CPU cycles. If you are using a slow machine, you may want to disable this feature. To do so, click the Track view View menu, point to Display and choose Display Clip Contents.
Digital audio requires a large amount of disk storage. The following table shows the disk space requirements in megabytes for a single minute of digital audio in mono and stereo at various sampling rates.
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