***The Sonar x64/Windows 7 x64 Install, Tweaks & Compatibility Thread***
The following tweaks are used on my system and may not apply to yours do to software/hardware/workflow differences. Most of these tweaks are harmless and can be reverted back to their original state at any time. However, you assume all risks involved in performing them, as I will not be held responsible for any harm they may cause. Hope this is not the case though, so good luck!
Before we begin though, I want to clarify that these tweaks are not limited to the 64 bit version of either Sonar nor Windows 7. The purpose of this thread is mainly to aid those of you who want/plan to make the transition to a 64 bit system on Windows 7 in the near future, as well as to make this transition as painless as possible. At the very least, it should serve to warn you about possible plugin incompatibility issues that you may encounter along the way. Additionally, I wanted to conglomerate all of the tweaks that apply to the way we work in a DAW environment into one thread. That way you get the whole story instead of just bits & pieces here and there. Just skip to the end of this thread for a list of incompatible plugins in case the tweaks don't interest you. Anyways, let's get started, shall we? 1- Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor:
Please, make sure you have the appropriate drivers for all you hardware before venturing into the 64 bit world. Otherwise, your hardware will NOT work, and this includes everything from your audio interface all the way to your integrated network card. This is why the best place to start is by installing the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor found here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx
With this tool, you'll find out if your PC is ready for Windows 7 or not. It does this by pointing out which drivers are compatible with Windows 7 and which ones need to be upgraded. Sometimes it may even tell you that Windows 7 drivers are available at the hardware manufacture's website if they're not already installed in your system. In the cases where it does not find a compatible driver, you may have to either find them yourself by visiting the appropriate website to get them, or use Vista drivers for your hardware. Usually, the latter case should work without any issues. But, in cases where the Vista driver doesn't install properly, you'll need to install them in Vista compatibility mode by right-clicking on the driver's installer file and selecting "Properties". In the "Compatibility" tab, put a check mark on "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and choose "Windows Vista". Click "OK" and run the installer. Also, it is a good idea to save all of your system drivers in either a thumb drive or an external HDD (Hard Disk Drive) before installing the OS. That way you'll have everything needed in case you are later not able to log online to find them. 2- Backup All Your Data:
This should be a given by now, but always back-up all of your data before installing an OS. This includes Project Files, Audio files, Plugins presets, Color presets, MIDI Tool presets, Key Bindings, Track Templates, Project Templates and anything that applies. In these cases is good to have an imaging tool like Acronis True Image so you can always go back to a previous state or even a previous OS in a flash. By the way, you should ALWAYS do a fresh Operating Systems install, no upgrades. This prevents having to reinstall the OS in case of file or system corruption. A good reason why an imaging software is your friend :-) 3- System Reserved Partition:
Windows 7 creates a 100MB System Reserved partition on the main drive when it installs. It does this whenever you're installing the OS into an unallocated disk space, or when you create a new partition out of an empty HDD. You probably don't have this System Reserved partition if you already had partitions in your main drive, or if you formated the HDD before installing Windows 7. Just go to Disk Management (Right-click "My Computer" and select "Manage") to verify if you have it. Don't get me wrong though, this is actually a nice feature since it lets you troubleshoot the OS using a recovery environment called (WinRE) in case there is no OS disk available. But some people may not want/need it. If you already have Windows 7 installed in your system and didn't notice anything wrong, then don't worry about this. I'm a very, VERY picky guy, which is why I insisted on getting rid of this System Reserved partition. However, if you are about to install Windows 7 and don't want this partition to show up on your system drive then here's what to do: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/08/20/hack-to-remove-100-mb-system-reserved-partition-when-installing-windows-7/
There are a few methods outlined in that link that can get rid of it after installation, but the easiest and most reliable way is the 3rd method before installing Windows 7. Selecting "Cancel" when asked if you want to create a System Reserved partition does NOT avoid it. Windows 7 still creates the System Reserved partition anyways. The only way to avoid it is as outlines in the above link. My advice is to do it before installing Windows 7. I personally wouldn't try it after the fact.
Warning: It has been reported that the System Partition will install on another of your drives if the main HDD is already partitioned. You can avoid this by disabling all other drives from the BIOS before installing Windows 7. Also, if you have a HDD docking station, the "System Reserved" partition will steal the drive letter normally associated with the docking station and move the partition with the content on it out to the next drive letter! So be aware of that.
[Thanks to Fret Wiz for providing this info!]
. 4- Driver Installation:
Now that Windows 7 has been installed in your system, we proceed to install all the drivers. Remember to always start with the chipset drivers first before installing the rest. After the chipset is installed, I personally follow with the video drivers, and go from there in no particular order. However, and this is very important for those of you using FireWire interfaces. If you're experiencing any performance issues with your FireWire interface after installing Windows 7, then the following tweak may help you. Before installing your interface's driver though, you'll need to enable the Windows Legacy FW driver first. To do this, follow these steps (paraphrased from the RME website):
* In Device Manager, double-click the 'IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers'
* Right-click your FW 1394 controller and select 'Update Driver Software...'
* Choose "Browse my Computer for driver software"
* Choose "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer". A list pops up that shows three entries:
............OHCI-compliant 1394 Host controller
............OHCI-compliant 1394 Host controller (legacy)
............OHCI-compliant Texas Instruments 1394-Host controller
* From these three select: 'OHCI-compliant 1394 Host controller (legacy)'
* Proceed to install the latest FW drivers for your audio interface
In some cases, there are performance issues when using the new Windows 7 native FW driver, which is why it is recommened to use the old (legacy) one. This issue is NOT present in any flavor of Windows Vista.
Note to FireFace 400/800 users: This tweak is no longer necessary with the latest FireFace drivers v.2.998. You'll also need the latest firmware for your device. For more information, please go to the RME website and read post #26 of this thread: http://www.rme-audio.de/f...lt;/a></font>
. 5- Black Viper's Windows 7 Super Tweaks:
This is one of the best website for Windows tweaks on the net. However, being that it is a general tweak site, there are some tweaks that don't apply to our way of working. For example, I find that most of the Service Configuration tweaks don't apply to modern DAWs. If you want to go for it, that's cool. There is a comprehensive list of all the Windows Services that can be shut down, including profiles for "Safe", Tweaked and Bare-bones service tweaks here: www.blackviper.com/Windows_7/servicecfg.htm%3C/a%3E
But, again, I really didn't notice any difference in performance when I tried them. On the contrary, I thought it made the system unstable (at least in my experience). Plus, sometimes there's an application that you may use which may need a specific service (or services) to be ON. Then you have to go back to enable it (them) again.
However, the ones that I do recommend are the following tweaks, with the exceptions of turning off the Aero Themes. Number Five is basically covered above and Number Eight is a "do at your own risk" type of deal. Here are the tweaks: http://www.blackviper.com/Windows_7/supertweaks.htm
UAC or User Account Control is an optional tweak. Actually, all of these tweaks are optional. But some people find UAC useful. I personally don't. I don't put my DAW at risk and only go online to places I know such as the Cakewalk forum or to update my drivers and register software. I've never had any problems having this feature OFF the entire year I was using Vista, so I just turn it OFF. Just read what Viper says about what you're actually doing to your system and then make a decision based on that. You may actually want to keep some of these features. 6- Other tweaks:
Besides the tweaks outlined in the Viper site, I also perform some extra ones and I'll go through them one by one:
- Disk Write-Caching: You can improve disk write speeds by enabling the write-caching policy in Windows. This is actually already enabled by default, but I suggest disabling it unless you have proper battery back-up, a.k.a. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The reason is you may lose data or get data corruption if you lose power while information is being written to the disk (i.e. during tracking/recording).
To enable/disable write-caching, right-click "My Computer" and select "Manage". Click on "Device Manager" on the left. Now double-click where it says "Disk drives". Right-click the first drive and choose "Properties". You'll see the option to enable/disable write caching under the "Policies" tab. Notice there's another option below to "Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device". This will further improve disk write speeds at the cost of further data loss. This is why it is very important to use a UPS if you want to use this feature. A UPS is a required device if you use computers for serious work. Repeat the above steps for all other disk drives in the system.
- Disk Allocation Unit Size
: I set this to 64K for my Audio/Video/Sample drives while the system drive is left at the default setting of 4K. Note that you only do this before putting any data in the HDD since this usually requires reformatting the disk, thus you will lose all your data. This tweak is used to minimize disk head movements on your HDD, which improves performance. This tweak obviously does not apply to Solid State drives.
- Disk Indexing
: This feature slows down disk performance since it runs continuously in the background, degrading disk speeds. The Viper site showed you how to remove it from the Add/Remove Windows Component Panel applet, but you'll still need to disable it directly from the HDD by clicking on "My Computer" and going to Disk Properties. Uncheck "Allow files on this device to have contents indexed in addition to file properties". Click "OK" and then click on "Ignore All". Repeat for all HDD in the system.
- Power Schemes
: Windows 7 is set to default to a Balanced power setting that automatically manages power consumption on your PC. However, this detriments performance by shutting down system components when idle in order to save power. To disable this, you'll need to go to the Control Panel and click on "System and Security". Then go to "Power Options" and select "High Performance" (you may need to unhide additional plans to see it).
But, we're not done yet. Now you need to click on "Change plan settings", make sure everything is set to "Never", and then click on "Change advanced power settings". In here you'll see all the options included in this plan. However, notice that under "Hard disk" it is still programmed to shut down after some time. You'll want to set this to "0", which turns to "Never" when you click on an empty space. Make sure everything else is set the way you want it to be. I believe the "Display" is the other thing that's set to turn off after a while. When you're done, click the "Save Changes" button.
- Core Parking
: Is a new features in Windows 7 that may be very handy for laptop computers, but not very convenient for systems where high performance is needed at all times. You can google it if you want to learn more about it. But, to disable it, you'll need to do the following (skip this if you're not comfortable editing the Registry):
Go to Regedit and find the following key (use the "Find..." command under "Edit" to make this easier):
Within this key, change the values called "Value Min" and "ValueMax" to 0. You'll have to find the key a few times (press F3) and adjust the values each time. The number of instances depends on the number of power profiles in your system. When you're done, do a cold shutdown/power on. [Thanks to TomG and sky60234 for providing this awesome tweak]
- Windows Fault Tolerant Heap
This is another new feature in Windows 7. More information can be found in Post #37 of this thread: http://forum.cakewalk.com/fb.ashx?m=1878539
These are the steps to turn it OFF:
* Set the registry key value HKLM\Software\Microsoft\FTH\Enabled to 0
* After changing this value, restart the system. [Big thanks to jamescarter for this tip!]
- Custome Page File Size
: I don't like Windows managing this dynamically by allocating HDD space for the Page File as it pleases, so I just set this to a custome size. You do this by right-clicking on "My Computer" and choosing "Properties". Click the "Advanced system settings" option on the left. In the "Advanced" tab, click the "Settings" button under "Performance". Now go to the "Advanced" tab and click "Change..." under "Virtual memory". Uncheck "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives". Select the "No paging file" on all drives except the main drive where the OS is installed. You want to set the OS drive to a "Custome size" and enter the value shown below under "Recommended". Click the "Set" button and then click "OK". You'll be required to restart the computer for the changes to take effect. If you're not asked to restart the computer, then the changes were not applied, so go back to make sure.
- Remote Assistance
: I never ever use this, so I disable it completely (including the services which I'll get to later). Again, go to "My Computer", "Properties" and click the "Advanced system settings" option on the left. This time, click on the "Remote" tab and uncheck "Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer". Also make sure that "Don't allow connections to this computer" is selected, and then click "OK".
- No Sounds
: This one is probably one of the most important tweaks for an audio recording workstation. What makes it so important is that Windows' sounds may interfere with the sample rate of your audio interface by changing at will whenever it plays a windows sound. This is because Windows' sounds playback at a lower sample rate (around 11KHz), so it is important to change this setting. To do this, go to the Control Panel and click on "Hardware and Sound". Go to "Sound" and then the "Sound" tab. Here, change the "Sound Scheme:" to "No Sounds" and click "OK". You'll get a warning about saving the previous sound scheme, just continue without saving it. Now go to the "Communications" tab and select the "Do nothing" radio button. While in here, might as well make sure that you have the correct playback device by going into the "Playback" tab, selecting the device you Windows to use with Windows Media Player (or other player) and then selecting the "Set Default" button below. Now click "OK".
- Video Card
: Although this is NVIDIA based, it goes without saying that you can do the same for ATI based cards also:
1. Right-Click on the desktop > NVIDIA Control Panel > Manage 3D settings > program settings
2. Add sonar if it's not already in the list.
3. basically set everything to off and these are the important ones...
Threaded optimization = on
texture filtering quality = high performance
vertical sync = force off [Tweak provided by Buddy110, thanks!]
. 7- Turning OFF Windows Services:
I only shut down the services I know I will never use, so make sure you know what you're turning OFF before attempting this. Please keep in mind that the following method completely shuts down a service. Though it can be turned back on, doing this may prevent you from performing some tasks. Usually Windows lets you know which service(s) you need to turn back on, but sometimes it doesn't (i.e. if it's a 3rd party application that needs such service). You may also skip this step if you don't feel comfortable doing this.
Go to "Run..." and type "msconfig". There are some services you may wish to disable in the "Startup" tab, but I usually need all of them so I leave it alone. Now go to the "Services" tab and uncheck the following (notice some of these may not apply to the version of Windows 7 you have):
* Bluetooth Support Service
* Windows Media Center Receiver Service
* Windows Media Center Scheduler Service
* Windows CardSpace
* Peer Networking Identity Manager
* Peer Networking Grouping
* Remote access Auto Connection Manager
* Remote Access Connection Manager
* Remote Registry
* Smart Card
* Smart Card Removal Policy
* Remote Desktop Configuration
* Print Spooler
* Tablet PC Input Service
* Remote Desktop Services
* Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector
* Windows Defender
* Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)
* Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
* Parental Controls
. 8- HDD Assingments:
Preferably, you'll want to have separate HDD for different types of files (i.e. Audio, Video, etc). By doing this, you minimize disk head movements which prolongs HDD life and overall disk performance. For example, writing recorded audio to disk while the OS searches for files is one scenario that decreases disk performance. For this reason, I have set up my HDD the following way:
1- OS/Program Files
2- Sonar Projects (including respective Audio folder).
3- Sample Data Drive
4- Video Drive
You may have a different setup, but the idea still applies. Adding a RAID 0 array is a good idea if you were planning on playing back +100 tracks, or when working with HD video editing in the same system. Sometimes you can get away with storing your sample data in the OS/Program Files drive. But I wouldn't recommend doing this if you use big sample libraries such as PLAY, Kontakt/Kompakt based libraries or VSL where samples are being streamed through the hard drive. In this case, a dedicated HDD for samples is a must. Some people go as far as using multiple HDD, each for a section of the orchestra, to store their samples. Again, it just depends on your needs and your setup.
. 9- Sonar Tweaks:
* Improved Multi-Core load balancing [From Noel's SONAR 8.3 Log]
Since all systems are not made equal we decided to make this new scheduling mode configurable.
From the help file, the new aud.ini option to control this is:
ThreadSchedulingModel=<0 - 2>
This variable goes in the [Wave] section and controls the interaction of the main audio thread and worker threads on multiprocessor systems when the Use Multiprocessing Engine option is enabled. Depending on the system, a particular model may result in less glitching and better overall performance. The values are as follows:
............0 = Same as previous versions of SONAR.
............1 = (default) Better thread balance. Model is more efficient and can provide cycles for other tasks.
............2 = Additional worker thread is created. This may result in improvement with Quad processor systems or higher. Not recommended for Dual processor systems.
To change this go to Options::Audio::Advanced Tab in Sonar and click on the "Edit Config File" button. This opens up the AUD.INI file in NotePad where you'll find the above entry (ThreadSchedulingModel) under the [WAVE] section. Change it to a value of 2 (for Quad Core CPUs and higher only) and then Save the file. Now close it and click on the "Reload Config Settings" button, click "OK" and restart Sonar. Now enjoy even core loadings :-) NOTE:
Sometimes you may not find this variable even though you're using Sonar v.8.3 or higher. In this case, you'll need to manually delete the AUD.INI file so that Sonar can recreate it and include all the new entries. Just navigate to the Sonar folder (usually found under Program Files/Cakewalk/[inser your version of Sonar here] and you'll see a shortcut to the "Cakewalk User Data" folder. Double-click it and then go to the Sonar folder. There you will see the file named AUD, which you can delete. Obviously, you want to do this will Sonar is closed. The next time you open Sonar, all the new variables will now show up.
. 10- Incompatible Plugins in Sonar x64/Windows 7 x64:
This portion of the thread is dedicated to listing the plugins that are known to be incompatible in Sonar 8.5 under Windows 7 x64. This may include work-arounds that shall be pointed out when applicable. As a reminder, note that 32 bit DX and DXi plugins/synths are not supported in the 64 bit version of Sonar. Moreover, Rewire devices such as Reason and Project 5 are not capable of Rewiring to Sonar, or any other 64 bit software for that matter. MPEX timestretching and the native REX file support introduced in Sonar 8.5 are also not supported in the 64 bit version. Lastly, for those working with video, QuickTime formats such as .mov and H.264 cannot be imported into Sonar 64 bit.
Here are the one's we know about so far:
* Timeworks and old Cakewalk FX plugins with the exception of FX2 Tape Simulator and Amp Simulator plugs
* Cakewalk Studioverb 2.0
* Cakewalk Dreamstation
* Cakewalk Rapture Full/LE 64 bit (many crashes)
* FabFilter plugins/all (requires a special JBridge build)
* Arturia MiniMoog
* Tootrack Superior Drummer 2.2 (64 bit beta version available now)
* Toontrack EZDrummer (64 bit beta version available now)
* Garritan Jazz and Big Band
* Garritan Personal Orchestra
* Kontakt Player 2 (version 3 works)
* Korg Legacy Cell (various issues)
* Submersible Music KitCore (works w/JBridge)
[I will keep updating the list as we go]
post edited by Jose7822 - 2010/03/12 00:43:18