[Ardour-Users] Subject: Re: disk not able to keep up with ardour...

Martin Lynch martin.lynch at shaw.ca
Fri Dec 7 08:58:20 PST 2007

I'm having trouble with my disks keeping up with Ardour. I remembered
reading this thread a while back and I've searched through some of the other
FAQs and mailing lists, but can't seem to come to any particular conclusion.

I have a 3GHz HT Intel system (Dell) with a set of mirrored Seagate SATA

Unlike the previous discussion, though, I am having trouble just getting 3-4
minutes of 3 mono tracks to record at 44.1KHz from a Delta 1010. I've run
Bonnie to test performance (approx. 4MB/sec if I remember correctly) and I
believe it should be more than sufficient, though not optimal. I've been
focusing on the IO scheduler as a possible culprit, but none of the FAQs and
other info that I've found can seem to come to any consensus whether to use
the AS, CFQ, or Deadline schedulers. My default is the AS.

Does anyone have a recommendation?


I had the very same problem trying to record a few simple tracks and it was driving me nuts. In my case I had ardour on one drive and songs on a pair of drives in a RAID 0 (striping) array and couldn't get 20 secs into the song without the error message about drive not being unable to keep up. The drives in question are all SATA 2.

Strangely, I moved the song to the same drive as ardour and it worked for a while. Then that started having problems. What I finally figured out was that, altho it was a pretty simple song at that point (maybe 2 tracks if I recall), I'd recorded many many takes of the bass guitar trying to get it spot on, and it seems ardour processes ALL the takes each time you hit play, whether you're using a particular take or not. I ended up deleting all the takes except the most recent one (by going to the right side of ardour, clicking on "regions" and then deleting takes one by one) and it's worked fine ever since, but I'm careful to immediately delete any take that I don't like so I don't run into this problem again. It's annoying, and would be problem if say you wanted to record 20 off the cuff guitar solos and then splice together the best parts from each.

Do you have a ton of regions/takes?

Also, why use a mirrored array? It adds overhead. You could backup on a fairly regular basis (ie after or even during each session) and either stripe the drives or use one and keep the other for backing up (altho I've also heard comments that any journalled filesystem isn't ideal for ardour - not sure if that's true but it sure seems goofy to me that my single drive performs better than my striped drives which have double the throughput...).

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