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Sonar Users: Let's identify ourselves so we can nework. Audio Interfaces
Old 8th November 2007
  #181
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both

no problems on either
Old 8th November 2007
  #182
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Do you have an elaborate midi setup ?

According to someone that should know, there are problems in the way windows handles midi that cannot be resolved so as produce truly acurate midi recordings. He stated Microsoft will never correct the problem. I do know that in the 4 years I have tried, I haven't been able to get rid of the timing inacuracies. But my setup is rather complex. I had always thought it was strictly a Sonar problem, but have learned that is probably not the case.
Old 8th November 2007
  #183
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianodano View Post
Do you have an elaborate midi setup ?

According to someone that should know, there are problems in the way windows handles midi that cannot be resolved so as produce truly acurate midi recordings. He stated Microsoft will never correct the problem. I do know that in the 4 years I have tried, I haven't been able to get rid of the timing inacuracies. But my setup is rather complex. I had always thought it was strictly a Sonar problem, but have learned that is probably not the case.
I think I've read you quote this unidentified someone you know about this putative OS-level MIDI problem in Windows before and I believe I've searched in vain for some sort of authoritative -- or any other kind -- of info on this problem and I'm still not finding it -- though I've found reference to many other bugs and problems with Windows unrelated to MIDI in that same search (and, of course, found numerous reports of bugs and problems with 3rd party MIDI applications and drivers).

I'm really curious.

Since you've mentioned this a couple times now yet I can't find reference to it -- and I've been using Windows for MIDI since 3.x in the early 90s when it most certainly did have serious MIDI deficiencies -- and yet I'm still not aware of this problem (and did have a somewhat complex MIDI system in the 90s, with two ADATs synchronized to my computer, which was running three MIDI adapters with a total of 4 in ports and 8 out and, besides keeping the ADATs synched up, was also taking input from two keyboard controllers and controlling 5 and sometimes 6 MIDI modules, not a simple rig, anyhow)...

I'm wondering if I can't pin you down a little bit here to shed some light on this problem you keep talking about.

I certainly don't doubt it's possible but I'm not aware of it, I don't think...

Details? A link to authoritative info on it?

Thanks in advance.

Old 8th November 2007
  #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I think I've read you quote this unidentified someone you know about this putative OS-level MIDI problem in Windows before and I believe I've searched in vain for some sort of authoritative -- or any other kind -- of info on this problem and I'm still not finding it -- though I've found reference to many other bugs and problems with Windows unrelated to MIDI in that same search (and, of course, found numerous reports of bugs and problems with 3rd party MIDI applications and drivers).

I'm really curious.

Since you've mentioned this a couple times now yet I can't find reference to it -- and I've been using Windows for MIDI since 3.x when it most certainly did have serious MIDI deficiencies -- and yet I'm still not aware of this problem (and did have a somewhat complex MIDI system in the 90s, with two ADATs synchronized to my computer, which was running three MIDI adapters with a total of 4 in ports and 8 out and, besides keeping the ADATs synched up, was also taking input from two keyboard controllers and controlling 5 and sometimes 6 MIDI modules, not a simple rig, anyhow)...

I'm wondering if I can't pin you down a little bit here to shed some light on this problem you keep talking about.

I certainly don't doubt it's possible but I'm not aware of it, I don't think...

Details? A link to authoritative info on it?

Thanks in advance.

Sure, here you go. Be prepared to spend sometime reading this to fully understand what's going on.
MIDI "Jitter" - It Does Exist=

BTW, here's my midi i/o setup.midi ports reordering - still not fixed
Old 8th November 2007
  #185
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianodano View Post
Sure, here you go. Be prepared to spend sometime reading this to fully understand what's going on.
MIDI "Jitter" - It Does Exist=

BTW, here's my midi i/o setup.midi ports reordering - still not fixed
Much obliged!



[update]

pianodano -- I'm going to share my thoughts briefly off the top of my head -- and then I'm going to give this jitter thread a proper reading.

But it seems to me an excellent test for WIPINWIG (What I Play Is Not What I Get) in general is recording the audio you're monitoring as you track your MIDI and then comparing. There would be two main classes of error, I'm thinking: 1) a uniform shift forward or backward in the timeline and 2) irregular MIDI playback of MIDI-recorded information (as documented in the audio recording) which would suggest a form of MIDI jitter (irregular timing of the MIDI clock).

If it's the former and it's consistent, Sonar has an adjustment similar shift the MIDI by a given number of ticks.

If it's the latter, you'd need to isolate the problem.


I began using this MIDI vs audio test when I started syncing my ADATs to the old MasterTracks Pro in Windows 3.x around 1993.

(I switched to Cakewalk in '96 when Windows added a multichannel audio layer to the OS, CW jumped on it and MasterTracks took a wait and see attitude to see if it would catch on, only coming out with an audio sequencer a few years later.)

I did have occasional problems in Windows 3. But they weren't nearly as often as one would expect from that benighted OS.

Now -- mind you -- my criteria was fairly generous... if the audio from tracking and the MIDI playback of the same performance were indistinguishable (a bit rare) or minimally phase shifted, I considered it acceptable.

But if there was anything approaching distinct iterations (flamming) I considered that straight up unacceptable. Of course, to test I used transient-laden percussion. I also often panned MIDI to one side and audio to the other to get a better idea of what was going on those mostly rare times when there were problems.


I'll go dig into that thread, now...
Old 8th November 2007
  #186
pianodano

That's one of those threads where there's a real mix of levels of understanding (not to mention terminologies). But I haven't found anything there that I didnt' already know or that reveals a systemic problem with Windows treatment of MIDI along the lines to which you allude.


Perhaps this post from that thread by a drummer who, concerned with MID timing accuracy between his drum pads, the audio output from his drum brain and the MIDI transcription of what he's playing, regularly tests:
Quote:
For what it's worth, I was just doing some routing testing to check between the midi I'm recording, the audio that that midi is producing, and the sound of me actually whacking a drum pad. I set up a midi track and two audio tracks. I record the midi note being triggered, the audio from the drum brain, and the audio from a mic picking up my stick hitting the head of the drum.

I do these sorts of tests every so often to make sure that I understand what is being recorded and tell how close it is to what I'm playing.

I was impressed with how close they all were, actually, having experienced some midi to audio issues on my previous system.

I'm using a Layla 3G and a TD-20 drum brain. when zooming in as far as I can, and changing the ruler bar to display samples, I can measure the space between the three diferent recordings and it is REALLY tight. It's a little hard to measure the exact differences, but it seems like it's somewhere around 23 samples total diffefrence between the three hits - this is about 1/2 millisecond based on my calculations at 44.1khz.

I don't know how much it adds to this particular discussion, but I thought I'd throw it out here anyway.
post # 17

Now -- are there problems and limitations with MIDI itself? You bet. And they're alluded to in that thread. It's a serial tranmission protocol and that means that near simultaneous events get shoved into a transmission queue -- but that is certainly not the fault of Windows -- which wasn't even a gleam in Bill Gates' eye when the foundations of MIDI were laid.

The thread also talks about issues with VSTi's -- but that, again, is not a Windows problem but rather a putative problem with a proprietary, third party standard.


Maybe this post is what you're thinking of?
Quote:
A few points

1 - You will get MORE jitter if you use 960 PPQ. (huh?). Its true. If you want more reliable timing accuracy, then go with 480, or if you can, go even lower than that. The only downfall of lower PPQ is that you are introducing a very subtle form of quantizing to whatever you record. However, let's do the math:

at 120 BPM, that is 2 quarter notes per sec. That is 1920 ticks per sec, which is sub millisecond.

So right off the bat, changing to 480 PPQ will give you theoretically around 1ms tick timing.

However, what you need to know is that the Windows OS is not even capable of reliably providing timing even that low. Many tests and studies have been done about this. As soon as you try to get down to 1ms timing, or even somewhat higher...the error rate goes up...which is what gives you real jitter. This is particular true while recording your midi track from a midi keyboard. USB adds even more latency and jitter to the mix.

If you could, for example, live with say 5ms ticks, then the jitter is a lot less, because the OS timers can keep up with it more or less error free.

200 ticks per second = 5ms ticks. At 120 BPM that is only 100 PPQ.

Moral of the story, lower PPQ values will give you more reliable and error free, reproducible playback. It will play back more exactly what you see on your PRV. As you raise the PPQ, more and more jitter will be present. The downside is that if you want to nudge notes forward or backward by 1ms or whatever...then you need the higher PPQ and just have to live with the jitter. One situation where you might care about that is if you're doing film scoring or something where you need to line up beats on frames, etc.. Having more PPQ allows you to calculate tempos that are more accurate for those hit points. In that case, you're not using a midi keyboard to record, so the Windows OS crappy timers are not relevant. Also, once the midi track is recorded, if its playing back through a VSTi, then when the track is frozen or a mixdown is done, in theory there should be no jitter. If it has to play back through external midi gear or even using a virtual midi cable inside the PC...then the jitter can be bad and there is not much Cakewalk can do about it.

2 - Cubase is notoriously worse
post # 21
But as he points out, he's talking about sub-ms accuracy, here. And, as we know, MIDI itself is compromised by note-choking far above that level. So, in a practical sense, I would think Windows support for MIDI is actually much more accurate than MIDI in the real world of multiple near-simultaneous events, etc.

Quote:
Timing problems exist on the Mac also, don't kid yourself. If you want more accuracy, use hardware. In the old days a lot of people using macs used to let their MOTU midi timepiece act as the master midi timer and have the mac slave to it. This was more reliable as somehow the interrupt received by the mac, from the hardware somehow forced a less jittery performance.

But also don't get down about it. The timing these days is remarkably good on both OSX and XP and as I said, if you're using soft instruments, then they should all be mixing down without jitter. The biggest issue today IMHO is the timing havoc created by using USB midi controllers. For this reason I use a parallel interface midi interface on my PC. If you're the kind of person that does not rely on real time performance timing too much and tends to quantize or program most of your notes to where you want them....most of this is a moot point.
post # 23

Also check out post # 26 which has more observations on the relative timing accuracy of different DAWs and on OS X -- along with a number of links giving background info.



PS... Oops... I just realized that thread goes on for at least four more pages... I'll have to carch up with the rest of it later.

PPS... the same fellow I quoted in the last two quotes does use the phrase "due to the limitations of the OS" when talking about the limits of MIDI accuracy on Windows... but he also points out that it offers that Sonar in Windows offers the best MIDI accuracy in a contemporary computer DAW.

And I hope you understood the significance of his advice to use a lower PPQN value of 480 (as opposed to 960) as well as noted the apparent accuracy trade off vis a vis overhead reduction, resulting perhaps paradoxically, according to him in better PB accuracy. As he also noted, we're still talking about accuracy of approximately 1 ms accuracy at normal tempos, using 480 PPQN.
Old 8th November 2007
  #187
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Really ? So a Mac Pro is.....a PC too ?

This is awesome...if true... so you´re saying...I could install bootcamp..... then... install windows xp, and the windows drivers for my audio interface.... and be off to the races ? I could , then.. on this Mac Pro, have all the benefits of a MAC.... and also, PC daws ? I could run Logic 8 on the OS Leopard, and then reboot and run Sonar 7 , or samp, pc vsti´s...etc.... if I wanted ? I¨m buying a Mac if this is true !!!! Damn....why don´t they just sell OS 10 to PC users then so I can run Logic !!! ( I´d pay $ 1000 for that OS !!! ) (watch out microsoft !!! )
Old 8th November 2007
  #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
OK... this issue is what CW has called "recording latency adjustment" -- essentially, the alignment of new tracks to old ones. (Some other folks call this "hardware" latency since it's related to but not restricted to the roundtrip latency from AD-to-DA, minus whatever adjustment the driver has already applied.)

Depending on whether your use WDM/KS or ASIO drivers, the recording alignment adjustment works differently (as described in Soanr help).

You'll find the control on the Options/Audio/Advanced-tab... at the bottom of the dialog box, marked "Recording Latency Adjustment (Samples)."

(My description specifically describes the WDM/KS configuration -- it changes a little when you have ASIO drivers selected. You can read about it in Help.)

Beneath that you'll see a pull down (combo) box with a selection list of the sound devices that Sonar has access to (from other settings). Below that you'll see a box marked "Manual Offset" -- this is the number of samples you want to move/nudge newly recorded tracks forward by. (Unfortuantely for the handful of people whose device drivers over-compensate for such latency, there's no way of entering negative compensation values.)

[When you change the device selected in the pulldown, it will show whatever amount, if any, of comp you have entered for that device.]

If you enter the amount of comp there, then you should be good as long as you carefully measure the offset/misalignment that you are getting with your device and driver (using a loopback test and carefully noting sample values in the time ruler) and your device and driver's "misalignment" remains constant (I had a USB mic that had different misalignment in ever session, forcing me to recalculate each time -- a huge pain in Sonar 6 but Sonar 7 apparently has a calibration utility similar to Mackie Tracktion (and, I think, Cubase, but I hear conflicting info on that).


Anyhow, this was a huge vexation to me (my MOTU WDM/KS drivers deliver around an 8 ms misalignment in Sonar, Tracktion, and Reaper, unless compensated) but Sonar 6 gave us this rudimentary adjustment and Sonar 7 apparently refined it.
I guess I'm one of the unfortunate ones whose drivers overcompensate for the latecy. I'm using ASIO with a Layla 3G...

I haven't been successful with any compensation settings. (Negative #'s of samples are what's needed in my case.)

Thanks for the reply blue1!
Old 9th January 2008
  #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steved View Post
Gotcha. If we're talking about per track hardware inserts... SONAR doesn't have that yet.

I've been asking them for it as a feature request though and I'm hopeful that we will see this in SONAR. Would certainly make SONAR a commercial studio contenda.
it does now
Old 9th January 2008
  #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoob View Post
it does now
Yes... it does. Is it working for you?

Hopefully SONAR 8 will have the kinks worked out of the Hardware Insert functionality.
Old 7th August 2008
  #191
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SONAR User here as well.
Old 7th August 2008
  #192
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iomegaman's Avatar
 

Another slut using Sonar...

Did Cakewalk 9-Sonar3 Upped to 7 last year...love it.

We run it in 2 studios with Prism, Lynx, Apogee and 2" tape...

We actually have a PT rig in the corner just so we can say "Yes, why do you ask?"

Hate the Cakewalk forums, except for a handful of guys who seem to be here as well...

...the forum is probably one of the reasons it hasn't over-taken a bigger market share...not to be to big a dick about it...
Old 7th August 2008
  #193
I've been using SONAR for about a year and a half now. That's what I started on, so I don't know anything else really. But I've found it a good product. As with all DAWs, they are somewhat hostage to the quality of the plugs you use, and even the best plugs probably have some bugs that are benign 99% of the time, but mix the right set of plugs and suddenly you can get whacked. But I abuse it pretty hard and it's quite stable for me. Occasionally I've had a crash, but it's rare. I think that Amplitube and Waves aren't necessarily completely happy together all the time.
Old 7th August 2008
  #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steved View Post
Gotcha. If we're talking about per track hardware inserts... SONAR doesn't have that yet.

I've been asking them for it as a feature request though and I'm hopeful that we will see this in SONAR. Would certainly make SONAR a commercial studio contenda.
Agreed... if it worked correctly, Sonar would be well on it's way!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoteRotie View Post
Cakewalk is pretty good about releasing bug fixes (and improvements and free added features at times) fairly quickly, so I'm guessing they'll sort this out soon. I hope.

John
Unfortunatley, since Roland became a 'majority share holder' Cakewalk has taken a Steinberg-esq turn down the dark road of uncertainty... by possibly making their customers pay for bug fixes... Some of these users are customers who left Seinberg for the very same reason after it got aquired by Yamaha ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoob View Post
it does now
What kind of external processing have you been able to successfully accomplish? Have you ever tried parallel compression with it by any chance?
Old 7th August 2008
  #195
SONAR 7 PE here.

Currently accepting outsourced work...
Old 10th August 2008
  #196
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I recognize some folks from the SONAR forums. Steve D has helped me a lot over there. Howdy Steve! I'm still gonna send you some tracks for re-drumming one of these days when my current drummer poops out on me and says I can't use his tracks, which he will. Whatta band!

I've been pretty loyal to and patient with Sonar over the years, and it finally paid off with version 7. I've been frustrated with every version since 2.0, but they finally gave me all the features and stability I need. I can work with the UAD-1 problems (but how about fixing them completely, dammit!) S8 will have to be a pretty amazing upgrade to get me to buy it.
Old 11th August 2008
  #197
Gear Nut
 

Sonar 7 PE. Love it...
Bit annoyed that some of the things that they gave away in the upgrade to 7 I had just bought (Z3ta for instance) about a month before.

If only I was as good as SOnar 7........

Mihaly.
Old 11th August 2008
  #198
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S7 here. I hope they fix hardware inserts as well, but unless enough people complain on their forum, I doubt they'll do anything about it.
Old 11th August 2008
  #199
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S6 here, debating S7 for the outboard latency compensation.
Old 11th August 2008
  #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dambro2 View Post
S6 here, debating S7 for the outboard latency compensation.
If you plan on getting S7 for the outboard delay compensation, I would wait... The follow post I placed in another Sonar-related thread will give you a small sample of the frustration I feel towards the sitiuation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by B-San View Post
I use it everyday and it is very frustrating to say the least...

Due to the fact that I have 3 channels of outboard eqs, eight channels of compression and two reverb/delay units, I will continue to use it... but best believe that when I see a thread or anything remotely close to this subject being brought up, I will vent my frustration...

Please refer to these following threads from Cakewalk's very own forum in which my fellow users have expressed theirs:

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1435694&mpage=1&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1349552&mpage=1&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1278422&mpage=2&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1346282&mpage=1&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1193142&mpage=1&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1169036&mpage=2&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1264532&mpage=1&key=?

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=1263984&mpage=3&key=?

How can your DAW app be respected by professionals in the audio community when your external delay compensation is unable to work?

When I saw the ads Cakewalk had littered all over the place trying to tout their superiority to Pro Tools I felt genuinely embarrassed for them... I mean 64 bit processing is great and all... but we don't even have the basics of a professional app covered yet, and you want to go after the big dog???

It's almost as if Sonar is the cocky semi-pro martial arts enthusiast... boasting on you-tube about how he's ready for the MMA title... although he hasn't yet mastered a proper striking technique, he sure knows how to do some mean spinning backflips! Watchout! lol

Seriously though, I really hope they get this situated soon cuz I already know of users flocking to other apps to test the waters...

My recording partner uses Nuendo and is able to use their external delay comp so seemlessly that in contrast, it makes Sonar's look like a toy created for novelty purposes...

Before anybody attempts to flame, I'll let it be know that I've been a loyal user since Pro Audio 6... but with Cakewalk completely ignoring this issue all the while in their advertisements implying that it works just as good as Pro Tools' - I feel like they're direspecting the professional audio community!

Is Sonar trying to be a program for professional mixing engineers or hobbyists only?

Since Roland is a 'majority shareholder' now... is Cakewalk going the way of Steinberg, making the user pay for the 'bug fix' by holding out on the fix until Sonar 8 arrives?

Hmmmmmmmmm
To be continued...
Old 18th November 2008
  #202
Gear Head
 

I just got Sonar 8 Pro. This is the first time I'm using a Daw, all new to me. I'm loving it so far.
Old 19th November 2008
  #203
I've got Logic 8 and ProTools 7LE 003R on the Intel Mac Pro in my studio, but usually do the heavy lifting in Sonar 6 (6.2.1). I just work faster in Sonar.

I have ProTools and Logic linked via Lightpipe and Midi, so I've started off loading some effects via sends in Sonar and then Buss the returns back in.

Running an RME 96/52 and an Apogee 800 so the two way 8ch light pipe is no problem direct from the RME to the 003R.

I'm also starting to sync processed loops created in Logic to Sonar, also bussing the audio back in via Lightpipe.

Love Sonar.
Old 19th November 2008
  #204
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Cool

So what are you guys thinking about Sonar 8? I am still in 7.0.2 but i am very curious to upgrade...
Old 19th November 2008
  #205
D K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana View Post
So what are you guys thinking about Sonar 8? I am still in 7.0.2 but i am very curious to upgrade...
I am about to load up 8.02 - If it fixes the "motorboating" issue that has plagued some (me included) then I will be very happy with this release

Some serious improvements under the hood for S8 - Much lower latency under load.

It's not perfect but it's pretty darn good... The forum has it's share of ups and downs like most but there are some real good people over there who are willing to help.

I find S8 much, much better (even with it's current annoyances)then S7 which I was very underwhelmed with .....

Sonar user since PA9 here - was seriously thinking about Reaper until this release - if it pans out like I think it will I am definitely staying put...
Old 19th November 2008
  #206
Here for the gear
 

Smile

Another satisfied SONAR user here
Old 19th November 2008
  #207
hv_
Gear Nut
 

Me too. I think it was Cakewalk 3 or so got me into Windows. Going to xp64 with Sonar 5 was another fun trip. Using S8 on xp64 these days.

Howard
Old 20th November 2008
  #208
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Hello, I'm a Sonar user. Currently on 8.0.1. The platform has been good for my work with bands, and MIDI production. I'm looking forward to getting the ADC for external effert inserts worked out, and then I will be truly happy. The work arounds are painful, but, my overall workflow is smooth.

As for the forums, I can't possibly imagine that a forum would be a reason to stop a business from using a product in a professional situation. The products features and reliability should determine whether it is worthy.

So far, I plan to build my business upon the platform as it quickly delivers what I require: quality and fast tracking, with enough tools to shape audio to my ( and my client's) satisfaction.

regards,
Old 20th November 2008
  #209
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Greetings - Sonar 7 PE user here, been using Cakewalk since version 2,
which I used to synch to Turtle Beach Quad! thumbsup Doh! (anybody remember that)?

----------
Brad Craig and Fretman Studios
Brad Craig - ReverbNation
Old 4th January 2009
  #210
JSG
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Another happy Sonar 8.02 use here. Runs very stable on my Q6600.
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