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Thread: CEP and GL 824 timing issues

  1. #1
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    Hi there,

    I am new to this BBS so I don't know if this question has been answered before.

    I am using CEP 1.1 and a GL 824 interface. Very cool interface BTW.

    In CEP, if I go to record 8 channels, sometimes one set of channels (usually 1&2) start out of time. How I have tested this is to send a click track to all 8 channels through my Mackie 1604 and then zoom in on a click to see if they all line up. Sometimes a pair of channels are a little ahead of the others. If I change the horizontal view to Sample instead of Decimal and highlight the amount the pair are ahead, it is 4096 or 2048 (these numbers ring any bells?) samples ahead. I don't have to be recording all eight for this to happen. It did it while only recording a single track while listening to 2 or 3. Also, when I start recording and CEP is allocating the tracks that are record enabled, it sometimes takes 2-3 seconds to go from one track to the next (I don't know if this last thing makes sense to anyone but I don't really know how to decribe it). Once it is recording and the counter is rolling, it doesn't pause or skip.

    Let me give you a bit more background. I was using a P-233 with a 4GB PIO mode 4 drive and, although I was close to the PCs limit while recording 8 at a time, I never had any problems like this. It was at least stable, although too slow to be workable for me.

    I am now using a P3-500 with 128MB PC-100 RAM, a 27GB Maxtor ATA66 drive with an AOpen B63 Pro Motherboard with the VIA 133 chipset and ATA66 onboard. I am using an ATI Xpert98 video card (although I have also tried a Creative Banshee and an old Diamond Stealth to no avail). I have the newest version of the GL 824 drivers and just did a fresh install of Win98 and CEP. I have fiddled with the buffer settings 'til I'm about to go mad. I also hear some stuttering/skipping when I start to play a track, but I don't know if this could be related. My frustration level is rising, but I'm trying to keep cool because I know my thinking becomes cloudy if I start kicking things.

    Is there any known bugs with using the VIA chipset and the GL 824? I thought it might be a bad hard drive but I'm not sure how to test it (I've done scandisk and defrag and all seems well). I even downloaded a diagnostic util from Maxstor's web site and it says the drive checked out OK.

    I apoligize for the quite long post but I wanted to give all of the seemingly important data in one spot. Any ideas?

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    Wink

    I would bet it is in the interface, but since you said you didn't have problems before I am not sure. I know that some interfaces cause weird timing problems, the Layla specifically. But, I don't know too much about your specific situation.... Can you just adjust it after recording? Iknow that is a pain. THen again, since the offset is a power of two, it could be directly related to internal hardware, so pretty much, I am of no help. Have you tried 1.2? That seems to be the real recomendation of everyone, including me. I like 1.2 much more than 1.1 and 1.0

    MIKE

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    My guess is the same as Mike's - it's probably the sound card. Reason I think so is because the card I use (Wave 8/24) has a feature called Sync Start to overcome the problem you've described. Here's why Gadgetlabs included this feature with their card:

    "Windows and software applications control all multichannel sound cards as multiple and distinct stereo pairs (Left + Right). This operating system limitation can cause a slight delay (between 10-100 milliseconds) between stereo pairs when playing or recording on 4 - 8 channels on a Wave/824 card.
    To work around this current Windows limitation, the SyncStart feature can be enabled to ensure that all the channels start playing or recording together. This setting will provide *very* tight sync. SyncStart has been tested and works great with the top multitrack audio applications, but it may not be supported by all applications."

    I find the last bit interesting, too - SyncStart may not work on all software. Is this just a disclaimer? Dunno, but it works on CEP for me.

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    Talking

    HOLY COW!!! I was looking at another post in the CEP forum and I think I have figured out the problem.

    I never went in and checked to see if the DMA box was checked under device manager | disk drives (I didn't even know the DMA box was there and I think of myself as one in the know - guess I'm not!). Before, when I played back about 16 tracks, the display would get kindof jerky and the system monitor would show 100% CPU utilization but the disk was only transfering about 4 MB per sec.

    Wow, how much difference one check box can make!!! I am now playing back 32 tracks without CEP doing the background mixing thing and it was steadily moving more than 7 MB per sec and was only using 70% or so CPU time. VERY COOL!! I feel a weight lifting from my shoulders!

    It's weird that I checked so many other things, like countless BIOS settings and new ATA66 cables, but I totally never knew to check to see if Win98 wasn't using DMA mode.

    I owe this forum a great thanks and will dedicate my life to serve the home recording community and to the priciples for which it stands, one music, underground, with bit depth and throughput for all Goodnight!

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    Lightbulb

    LOL - once again, someone stumbles across the answer in an apparently accidental fashion...

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