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Cakewalk (Sonar) experts: please help!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Here's a couple of question about Sonar settings:

    In the Options->Audio settings, there's a check box that says "apply dither". What does that mean, and should I check it or not?

    My buffer size is set to 64k, and currently I'm using 6 buffers. Is this a reasonable setting with a fast CPU and a gig of RAM?

    In the Options->Project, there's a checkbox that says "Patch/Controller Searchback Before Play Starts". What does "searchback" mean, does that mean it's going to look backwards in the track for any patch/controller changes and try to apply them before resuming playback?
  2. Dithering provides a conversion (smoothing if you like) of floating point numbers in the audio data to integer which your sound card can process. The dithered audio sounds a little better but it steals a small amount of horsepower from your system.

    Patch/controller searchback applies to MIDI tracks, and you've got the right idea there. If you start playing a sequence part way through, searchback picks up any patch and controller changes that might have been set previously. This is very useful if you routinely zero all your controllers at the end of a track or use multiple patches within a single track, etc.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Dither is for mastering/mixdown.
  4. From the Sonar Help File... "Apply Dither--SONAR uses this kind of dithering to slightly improve the sound after SONAR converts the floating point numbers in the audio data to integers that the sound card can process.This effect is not usually heard by most people, and it adds processing time."

    It does go on to say that:

    "You can disable it during mixing and enable it during mastering. Disabling this option may provide a slight improvement in real-time effects performance."

    Any questions?
  5. Dithering is when you record audio on a soundcard that supports higher than 16-bit, 44.1khz recording rate, but need to mix it down to 16/44.1 for CD-burning purposes.

    If you got any Sonar related issues, I strongly recommend going to the Cakewalk forums.
  6. That's certainly one use. Actually any A/D or D/A process involves some dithering (as you may know).

    Good rec on the Cakewalk forum for Sonar info.

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