[ardour-users] Here's the setup, more questions...

Jason Jones j at poeticintensity.com
Sun Sep 5 10:49:06 PDT 2004

Doug McLain wrote:

> Jason Jones wrote:
>> I'm a newbie to ardour, but have been using Linux for about 1.5 years.
>> I've got a new ardour system (using the latest version) and it works 
>> perfectly.  I'm using it right now with the following system:
>> AMD 2500+ Barton
>> 512 M 333MHZ DDR RAM
>> 80gig Western Digital 7200RPM HD
>> ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
>> NVIDIA Geforce 4MX 8X video.
>> NVIDIA Geforce 4MX PCI video (dual monitors using xinerama)
>> M-Audio Delta 1010LT audio
>> Gentoo Linux - kernel
>> Gnome-light.
>> Nothing is installed but the base system and enough packages to get 
>> ardour, muse and qjackctl to run.
>> I'm recording a band I'm with and using this computer to do the 
>> recording.
>> I'm getting about 2 xruns per every 5 minute recording.  I'm at 1024 
>> Periods, 2 Frames at 96000K.  Getting around 23ms latency.
>> Of course, on a professional recording, *any* xruns is unacceptable.
>> I'm just wondering what I need to do to tune my system for better 
>> performance...?
>> Also...  Just out of curiosity, I've recorded 20 tracks of audio, and 
>> am now getting "disk stream underrun" errors while playing back.  I'm 
>> assuming this could be because I don't have enough RAM?  Or is it a 
>> disk error of some sort?  Is getting it to play 20 tracks (about 4 
>> minutes long) a good reason to have these errors?
>> I've never used ardour before, so...  I'm kind of just fishing around 
>> to see if these results are normal..
>> Thanks for any info provided...  If you need more info on my system, 
>> please ask.  I've really got to learn this stuff fast, and get rid of 
>> these xruns while keeping latency manageable.
>> --Jason
>> _______________________________________________
>> ardour-users-ardour.org mailing list
>> ardour-users at lists.ardour.org
>> http://lists.ardour.org/listinfo.cgi/ardour-users-ardour.org
> I run the same soundcard, similar hardware.  Disk performance is your 
> weakest link here.  A seperate data drive on a seperate IDE channel 
> could help a bit, a hi end SCSI data drive could help lots more :)
> Lets hear more information like recording specifics:  How many inital 
> tracks are you recording simultaneously? All analog? What instruments?
> Since you are currently at -p1024 its probably safe to assume you 
> don't have any low latency requirements during initial recording, so 
> bump it up to -p2048, or *gasp* even higher.  Try it...
> How dead set on using -r96000 are you?  I use -r48000 and I am getting 
> stellar results.  That will cut your disk throughput in half.  This 
> alone would probably cure the xruns, and save lots of disk space, and 
> probably cure your playback problems, and give you more resources 
> available when you start getting plugin happy :)
> P.S.  Naturally another half meg of ram couldn't hurt
Wow, thanks for all your responses.  This is gonna help tremendously.  

I don't have the money to drop into a SCSI drive, so...  That's probably 
not gonna work.  Another IDE drive could be an option, and we'll see if 
we can get one.  I initally tried using my SATA drives to record with 
and ACK.  I couldn't get *anything* but xruns.  If there's a way to use 
SATA, I'd love to - but I don't have enough experience to have a clue.

Recording specifics:  Yesterday we recorded 3 tracks at a time 
simultaneously (all analog) most of the day using a click-track and then 
listening to the previous tracks recorded while recording 3 new tracks 
until we had 15 tracks going.  Then came the drums (ack...).  We then 
recorded 7 tracks at once while listening to the previous 15 tracks (all 
analog).  It did this fine (barring one xrun in the middle of it).  When 
we tried to play back the final resulting 22 tracks, it got about 
half-way through the song before it would have the "disk stream 
under-run" error and stop the whole thing.

We're listening to the track playback through analog outs 1 and 2 merged 
to stereo headphones.

About the -p option and latency.  I'm not exactly sure what will happen 
if I turn that up, but I have a feeling the latency will be quite a bit 
more.  And about hardware monitoring?  I'm not sure what that is, but I 
think it's supposed to let me listen to the recording as it's coming 
directly into the delta1010?  How to I tap into that?  Does it just come 
out the headphone mix as I've got it set up now?  What about the latency 
with the playback of previous tracks?

As far as recording at 96K - I definitely can turn that down - and I 
will.  In my magically perfect world, I'd love to record at 96K, but 
44.1K will do fine.  Then I don't have to dither it down for CD.

What about frames?  Should I mess with that, or should I leave it at 2?

I apologize for all of the questions, but I've got to get this thing 
running smoothly by Monday.

Thanks again for your help.


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