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So, Windows 7 64bit, how's it going for you?
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FeatheredSerpent
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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So, Windows 7 64bit, how's it going for you?

I love it. Have been on XP Pro since 2003, never switched to Vista, although had it pre-installed on this new computer and wiped the hard drives after about 10 mins, hated everythign about it.
There was so much crapware pre-installed too though obviously geared toward the younger 'lifestyle' crowd so that had a lot to do with it I guess.

What should I be aware of when running a 64bit OS? I see there are two Program File folders, one with an x86 suffix, is there an automatic 'compatibility mode'?

I'm lucky because all my motherboard components and all hardware pieces in this setup have native Windows 7 64bit drivers so that should avoid a few headaches.
I don't like the amount of ram that's being used idle though (around 800MB), and the process list in Task manager is a bit overwhelming compared to the streamlined XP list I was used to, is there a definitive W7 tweak list for audio yet?
Is there anyone running a fine-tuned W7x64 OS tht can give me some tips?

Thanks for any help,

Matt
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#2
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Just did an inplace upgrade from Vista x64 PRO... works great... no issues... took a couple of hours... then I had to reinstall a couple of drivers and software authorizations...

Good news is that all works and my DAW gained about 4% CPU on the exact same project (8 threads peaked at 27% before, 23% now).....

Good stuff

Jim

PS - just made sure any HARDWARE device will have a x64 bit driver for it that works under WIN7 (most if the Vista x64 stuff seems to work too under Win7)... that is, Video Card, Audio Card and DSP cards, etc.
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10th January 2010
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=1 on double checking for driver availability, I almost came unstuck wanting to pull the trigger on some pieces only to find out at the last minute that thre weren't W7 drivers.
As you say though, no doubt some drivers are exactly the same as they were under vista, just re-labeled (and magically working better!).

There's a service list as long as both my arms in task manager at the moment, have to start pruning that lot down.
How low have you got your ram consumption when idle?
Just under 1GB is a bit much for me to take, am looking at BlackViper's site now, looks like he's on the ball, bless him!
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10th January 2010
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I upgraded my main DAW computer to Win7 64-bit some days ago. Pro Tools installation was kind of a pain, but they released a full 8.0.3 (Win7-compatible) installer right after I went through blue-screen installation-hell (successfully in the end, though). I cannot transfer licenses yet (works on my Win7 32-bit laptop), but everything else (PT, 002R, 2xUAD-1, Waves v7, URS, IK Multimedia, Toontrack SD, ...) works just fine. More available RAM as well, which is good.
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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DPC Latency Checker benchmarks? Anyone?
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10th January 2010
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New system build with W7 x64 last week. The Powercore and the RME went in nicely, and the iLok based plugs also went in seamlessly. Don't ask about the challenge response plugins!

First impressions: a vast improvement over Vista x64, more sleek, seemingley more efficient, but still RAM hungry. Can't imagine trying to run a x32 version of it.

Disabing UAC is a must!
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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No Problems in Win7 64bit exept one thing.

Everytime i loop something in Sonar 8 there's some kind of crackling when the loops begins.

any suggestions how to solve that problem?
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10th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Key View Post
DPC Latency Checker benchmarks? Anyone?
About the same as Vista.
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10th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent View Post
list I was used to, is there a definitive W7 tweak list for audio yet?
Apart from watching DPC latencies (and trying to get misbehaving drivers out of the way) you wont need no tweaks other than the following two:

You may consider turning off Superfetch in order to gain some extra RAM (upto 100 mb) and keep the prefetch cache from accessing your drive (which is only done at idle priority anyway though).

Another problem with Vista/W7 is that most audio applications don't use realtime priorities, but only the highest NON-realtime priority. Unfortunately the very same priority is used by Aero/DWM. It's a fault of audio application developers, not Windows. Workarounds are: turn off Aero, force the audio application to use "Realtime" priority via Task-Manager or use an application that properly uses priorities (Sonar uses MMCSS, Samplitude offer to use the highest realtime priority 31 via options).

One last problem that may occur is CPU Speedstep aka dynamic CPU clocking. There are some tools out there that allow you to manually override this, but most are written for XP and don't run properly with the latest chipsets.
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10th January 2010
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Timur,

I was under the impression that if you set W7 for "performance" processor scaling was disabled.

Is this incorrect? Should we all be going into the BIOS and disabling from there?


Thanks!
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10th January 2010
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IMHO... Win7 x64 is the OS I have always wanted. It's ROCK solid, much more streamlined, gives better performance than XP or Vista, and is simply better organized.

I can't think of anything bad about it currently.
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10th January 2010
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Been running 2 machines on W7-64 for a few of months. Latency is slightly better, though DPC results aren't ideal (under 397us on one machine, and under 500 on the second). Thanks for the tips Timur! I'll check them out.

But overall the fact that my RAM playground is much larger makes a huge difference (8 gigs each). My second machine mainly handles Play libraries which runs in 64-bit native. My DAW is 32-bit Nuendo and even though it's 32-bit, projects that were hitting the RAM ceiling in XP-32 are running smooth in W7-64.

The system is also snappier, and MS put most settings into logical places compared to Vista. And so far it's been incredibly stable. I'm also happy to report that 99% of my 32-bit software is running perfectly on W7-64, which is pretty amazing (there's now 2 Program Files folders for each type). To avoid UAC issues, I set up my two VSTplugin folders (32 and 64) on the root of my C: drive and installed all my plugins there.

The only annoying technical issue I've heard of is Firewire, which affects FW interface users. I don't use FW audio so I don't know the details, but I did have to retrograde the FW to get proper throughput to an external FW drive (it was doing < 2 megs/sec). There's always something.

Other than that, it seems MS finally delivered on their promises.
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10th January 2010
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Glad to hear that I wasn't just being pre-judgemental with the vista layout felt so prohobitive.
W7 took 5 mins to feel comfortable with after xp and ther are some great navigational features that I all ready feel I couldn't live without, and yes it's very snappy even right off the initial install, and I've only got 4GB ram in this laptop, although maybe I should replace one of the 2GB sticks with a 4GB if I cant knock a few hundred MB off the OS useage manually.

Firewire - I have a sapphire that will be used with this pc and focusrite say that in order for firewire to function as it should, you need to step down to the legacy driver, which is simple though, it's all ready installed in the OS, just go to device manager, choose to update driver and you can choose the legacy driver from a list, that's it done.
They also state that full compatibility with the native W7 firewire driver will be happening soon.

And thanks for the tips by the way!
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10th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent View Post

Firewire - I have a sapphire that will be used with this pc and focusrite say that in order for firewire to function as it should, you need to step down to the legacy driver, which is simple though, it's all ready installed in the OS, just go to device manager, choose to update driver and you can choose the legacy driver from a list, that's it done.
They also state that full compatibility with the native W7 firewire driver will be happening soon.

And thanks for the tips by the way!
BTW, Focusrite has a BETA W7 driver for the Saffire. Focusrite / Novation Beta Testing :: Releases

From the few accounts I have read up on....it seems to be working pretty well. You might want to give it a try.

BTW how do you like the Saffire? I am considering a Saffire Pro 24 but would like some info on what to expect as far as the quality of the AD/DA (I don't really care about the preamps....I am using external Pre's)

Thanks
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Can somebody chime in if Addictive Drums will work on a 64-bit install of Windows (in my case with Cubase)? I've been told it won't, then I heard it will... I guess I've been too afraid to try to make it work, but man I gotta get my Cubase rig off XP on on to 7-64...
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#17
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
About the same as Vista.
Yeah, that's what I figured but I had only heard from a few people. Anyone tried to strip the junk out of 7 get it trimmed down to "Min Win"? It just buggs the crap out of me that my machine can hold 15 gigs of ram and has 8 now but the whole feature is pretty much negate by the DPC latency floor and instability.
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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I just ran the DPC utility on this machine.
It's a core 2 duo laptop with 4GB ddr2 800MHz ram.

The install is W7 64bit, and I haven't done anything to it other than go in and remove some windows features via 'Programs and Features' (add/remove programs).
All the main OS bling is still running.

I'm getting figures at a constant average of 150 microseconds, but at exact 10 second intervals I get a jump up to around 700 (for one readout bar), then it drops back down to average 150 for 10 seconds and so on, ad infiintum.

Any idea what's causing that spike every 10 seconds?

Here's a pic (and how cool is the 'snip' tool!! Holy moly! I love things like that, no more fannying around with print screen and paint to grab screen portions!)

The absolute maximum figure is at over 1 millisecond on the y axis due to me forgetting to close firefox and doing that when the program was running).
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So, Windows 7 64bit, how's it going for you?-dpc.jpg  
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#19
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent View Post
Any idea what's causing that spike every 10 seconds?
M$

With XP on your machine and probably the same hardware - maybe minus the NIC - you would probably get around 15-30 with no spikes.

It's really hard to say what causes it. You have to basically just start disabling hardware starting with your Network Interface Card and deduce what is hogging the resources. It could be a USB port polling. Sometimes it's good to disable unused ports in BIOS. I had the spiking problem on Vista 64 and deduced it down to some diagnostics software my mobo came with. I was still getting some from my NIC but I seemed to mitigate it enough to where I don't get any interruption unless I am playing really high bandwidth files like 1080p with 192kHz lol. 1080p with 192 WILL play on XP though with no problems.

It doesn't hurt to optimize the OS for audio as most all windows OSes come optimized for the web and word processing. Change your processing priority to Background Services since ASIO is a background service etc.. way too many things to get into. But I'm afraid you are fighting the tide if you ever expect to get it to perform as snappy as XP Pro. I never tried XP 64 - the driver support and OS support seemed a little lacking. I doubt any of my soundcards would run basically. So for now I am pretty much sticking with my super stripped down (nlite) XP Pro for production.
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10th January 2010
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Well this is with all mobo hardware enabled that will eventually get disabled, I haven't started trimmng anything down yet, all the resource hog features of the OS are still running too.

I'm sure you're right that it won't be as streamlined as XP, but then again over time as people get familiar with what's doing what, I expect it to get a lot better.
For an off-the-shelf laptop and a full install of W7 with no service tweaks I think it's a pretty good start, can't see performance going anywhere but up once I start trimming and getting rid of the bundled devices/drivers like webcam and onboard audio and so forth, I love all the bling though so looks like it'll be a dual boot for me on this one.
#21
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
About the same as Vista.
That's depressing.

I wonder just how long I can keep an XP box under me? I'm not sure I'm anxious to swap at rest DPC times of 15-25 us (with networking active) for ~500 us times...

I don't even have my current machine fully populated -- so moving to 64 bits is not a priority for me.
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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I think people get carried away with the numbers. There was a very convincing argument put forth on this site that there was no need to obsess over dpc figures beyond a certain level, it's like frantically worrying because you can 'only' get 1ms latency.

There's a reason there's a green line on the dpc gui from 500 microseconds down..
#23
10th January 2010
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Quote:
I was under the impression that if you set W7 for "performance" processor scaling was disabled.
I will have to check that again, but as far as I remember it's the same as on Vista. That means that with "Performance" power-options set processor scaling is *not* disabled, but the CPU is switched to higher clock-rates earlier/easier than with the "Balanced" preset.

Switching off Speedstep via BIOS might have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve: it may turn the clock to minimum permanently. So you have to check the CPU's clock after turning it off to make sure it runs at max. OS X has about the same problems btw, but the workaround/solutions are slightly different.

Quote:
Yeah, that's what I figured but I had only heard from a few people. Anyone tried to strip the junk out of 7 get it trimmed down to "Min Win"?
There is no junk to be trimmed down. You might consider Superfetch (which has been improved since Vista btw) and Defender, but that's it. Everything else just doesn't matter on modern computers!

Quote:
Any idea what's causing that spike every 10 seconds?
Some driver, if it's a laptop then probably the "ACPI compliant Battery" thing. Deactivate it via device-manager and you are good to go (but wont get battery load status any longer). If it doesn't help then you have to find the rogue driver by turning them off/on one by one via device-manager.

Quote:
With XP on your machine and probably the same hardware - maybe minus the NIC - you would probably get around 15-30 with no spikes.
And what? At lowest possible audio buffer settings you wont ever reach below a total of 1 ms aka 1000 us latency. Anything upto 300 us is usually fine and anything around 100 us is perfect. Anything below that is just a bonus without real-world impact.

Especially since you cannot measure the real-world DPC latencies anyway. If you are measuring without the high priority audio application you wont get right numbers (the audio application's DPC calls are missing). And if you are measuring with the audio application running you are still getting wrong numbers (the audio driver's DPC calls are part of your measurement while you want to know everything *but* the audio driver).

Quote:
That's depressing.
Sorry, but this is a nonsense statement. Vista's DPC latencies are around 65 us on my setup (measured under *load* to ensure CPU Speedstep not to mess with the measurement), that is while running a torrent up/download over WLAN. W7's DPCs were more around 100 us when I checked some months ago, which is still perfect enough. According to Microsoft no *single* driver should create DPCs longer than 100 us, so a total of 100 us (under load without audio running) is everything but depressing.
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10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
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Thanks for the info Timur, you've been extremely helpful (and put my mind at rest!)

Now to start dumping all the unneccesary drivers and see what I get.
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11th January 2010
Old 11th January 2010
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U

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
There is no junk to be trimmed down. You might consider Superfetch (which has been improved since Vista btw) and Defender, but that's it. Everything else just doesn't matter on modern computers!
Really if you are talking about running a DAW there is a ton of junk that can be stripped out - unneeded services, a litany of security and networking features which have no purpose in the audio video world and can make your machine perform much slower allowing you to use less tracks, effects etc.. before getting bogged down.

Quote:
And what? At lowest possible audio buffer settings you wont ever reach below a total of 1 ms aka 1000 us latency. Anything upto 300 us is usually fine and anything around 100 us is perfect. Anything below that is just a bonus without real-world impact.
Depends on how you work and what you were expecting from a large amount of ram. This should give you more room for real time virtual synths and real time FX processing which would need a very small overall latency and a stable system in order to monitor yourself without a large delay. But lets be real it's not just the latency floor Vista systems and Windows 7 systems SPIKE much more often than XP.

The thing is I do think this has a real world impact on how the same machine with the same hardware will perform under different OSes. XP Pro will probably always beat out Vista and 7 for low latency operations. 64-bit was supposed to open up new worlds in the ram hungry software synth arena but I am not so sure it will be useful unless your system happens to have the right hardware combination which already gives you a low latency or you do a bunch of stripping.
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11th January 2010
Old 11th January 2010
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i got a new box around new years , an intel quad-core with 6gb RAM and went with win7-64 and i love it. luckily mackie finally decided to release win7 drivers for their onyx line, so i was able to get my firewire mixer up and running literally in a minute. it has performed flawlessly so far. im using reaper 64bit as my DAW of choice, and so far all of my plugins have loaded and performed fine, except the annoying thing that reaper does where it puts 32bit plugs in a x86 bridged mode, which while it performs the same, puts the plugs in a seperate window which is annoying. maybe its a GUI tweak i need to fix.

anyway i even loaded up my old sonar 3 and it works fine too. in fact really the only thing i havent been able to do is play a few games that were designed for XP. im not really a gamer, but i figured since i had a new comp with a nice video card, id give it a whirl with a few demos. stuff like half-life 2 and COD4 played great, while Doom3 and crysis wouldn't even load. probably something to do with opengl rendering or some other 3d stuff i have no experience in.

but as far as DAW performance, its great. I can load up a few amp sims and effects and run at 2.8ms latency with no problems. Even running big mix projects (well big on my old computer) hasnt been an issue even at that low latency. thats obviously a factor of my CPU being a beast than win7-64 being all that great. But i know the added RAM factor is definitely helping, plus having a DAW designed for 64-bit helps.

even before i got this machine I put win7-32 on my old Dell laptop. pentium M with 2gb RAM and it ran better on win7 than on Xp. obviously no aero or fancy stuff like that, but stripped to its core, Win7 is just as stable and quick as XP, if not moreso because of the little helpfull stuff they added. Great all around.
#27
11th January 2010
Old 11th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Key View Post
Really if you are talking about running a DAW there is a ton of junk that can be stripped out - unneeded services, a litany of security and networking features which have no purpose in the audio video world and can make your machine perform much slower allowing you to use less tracks, effects etc.. before getting bogged down.
Again, this is nonsense on a modern computer. Most services lie dormant in the background doing so little that you cannot even measure their load in percentage, but only in "context switches". The amount of RAM used up by these services is at max in the two digit mb area which is irrelevant on a system with several GB of RAM.

Quote:
Depends on how you work and what you were expecting from a large amount of ram.
What does RAM have to do with DPCs?

Quote:
This should give you more room for real time virtual synths and real time FX processing which would need a very small overall latency and a stable system in order to monitor yourself without a large delay. But lets be real it's not just the latency floor Vista systems and Windows 7 systems SPIKE much more often than XP.
Neither Vista nor W7 has anything to do with it! DPC latencies are caused by drivers that occupy the CPU longer. In fact these are no "latencies" at all, it just means that some other driver needs the CPU at a time when you want your audio driver to have it.

And as I already explained you wont need DPC latencies lower than 100-300 us to even work at lowest possible audio buffer setting of 32 samples even with an interface that can go as low as 1 ms *real* buffer size (including PCI/driver/safety-buffer offset).

Quote:
The thing is I do think this has a real world impact on how the same machine with the same hardware will perform under different OSes. XP Pro will probably always beat out Vista and 7 for low latency operations.
Probably not. I can push my CPU close to 100% on Vista at lowest audio buffer setting and likely will on W7 in Ableton Live and Reaper. I can reach the same track + fx count on XP, Vista and W7 in Ableton Live. There is no such thing as beating 100%. The main problem is that nearly all DAW developers don't make proper use of realtime priorities on Windows, but only use NON-realtime priorities. But that's not a fault of Windows, it offers the tools, but developers don't use them.

Quote:
64-bit was supposed to open up new worlds in the ram hungry software synth arena but I am not so sure it will be useful unless your system happens to have the right hardware combination which already gives you a low latency or you do a bunch of stripping.
So you will only get good performance with the right set of hardware (drivers)? Now that's a real surprise, isn't it?
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11th January 2010
Old 11th January 2010
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I must be doing something wrong. I just put Win7 64-bit on my DAW after having WinXP 32-bit on it for years. I've had nothing but problems. SONAR crashes seemingly every 15 minutes. It happens mostly when I try to insert a plugin during playback, but that's not the only time. I can't tell you how much time I've wasted going back and redoing edits after a crash. I think it might have something to do with the BitBridge thing where I think SONAR wraps the 32-bit plugs so they'll work in the 64-bit DAW. I don't know, but honestly I'm really frustrated and I'm nervous I might have to go back to XP at 32-bit just for the stability.

In case anyone's interested, it's a Dell PC, E4600 processor, and a Mackie Onyx 1640 with the latest Win7 drivers. I was so excited to upgrade to Win7 too...
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11th January 2010
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Originally Posted by buddy View Post
I think it might have something to do with the BitBridge thing where I think SONAR wraps the 32-bit plugs so they'll work in the 64-bit DAW. I don't know, but honestly I'm really frustrated and I'm nervous I might have to go back to XP at 32-bit just for the stability.
If you suspect Bitbridge to be the problem why don't you try Sonar's 32-bit version first? No need to do a complete reinstallation of XP just for that. If it turns out to he the culprit you can call for Cakewalk to adress the problem.
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11th January 2010
Old 11th January 2010
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standard lenovo machine with 32bit Windows7, Virus scanner loaded (normann), 3 gigs of ram, dual core intel cpu.

nothing special..

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