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Windows 7: Cant allocate sound buffer error message when bouncing down soundfile.

26 May 2015   #1
ulrichburke

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Cant allocate sound buffer error message when bouncing down soundfile.

Dear Anyone.

I like writing music, was usingXP where everything worked fine, then got told to update to 7 as XP wasn't supported any more. So I did. Now, about 8 times out of 10 when I try to save one of my creations as a soundfile, I get "Can't allocate audio buffer" and that's a whole day's work up the Swanee!

Please, where are audio buffers on 7 and why can't one be allocated? Are there not many of them? More info the better, please, I'm not bad at comps. but I never had this prob. in XP.

I'm using Quick Score Elite Level 2 Music Software and a lot of plugins. Sometimes I have Spotify going at the same time so I can listen to music for reference purposes, but I seem to get the error message with/without Spotify in action so that could be a red herring. Sometimes I get it when using YoUTube as well but again that's not guaranteed, I can get it when using nothing else save for my music software, it seems to be pretty random.

I don't have a soundcard. I'm using a Foxpro 1 with Beats Audio on it. I don't have a soundcard because this mobo's only got PCI Express sockets and when I bought it I just thought they were faster PCI sockets, I didnt realise they were a whole different shape and none of my soundcards would FIT!! (And you can't get external soundcard caddies, can you!) And new PCIe soundcards are hundreds, or all seem to be.

If it's any help, this Beats Audio setup can't record external sounds. If you're playing a track in YouTube say and try recording it with Audacity, which I did all the time in XP, it sounds distorted and twisted, like it's on an ancient cassette tape. Again, no idea why, tried all settings, might be a clue for you brainiacs though!

Don't really know what else to tell you, save that I will try anything anyone says. Wish I could make this happen to order but I can't. It just happens, and when it does you can't save anything! So final bit.

Do you think there's a cure, or should I go back to nice reliable XP, unsupported or not (I can live with that!)

Yours respectfully

Chris.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
26 May 2015   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I have a Recording Studio (I use Sonar Platinum and a Roland Studio-Capture).

XP software may or may not work or work correctly in Win 7. Vista/Win 7/Win8.1 handle some audio functions differently. There is a lot of older audio recording interface units that do not work with Win 7.

You need the "Stereo Mix" to record audio from the Internet (may be called "System Mixer" on older sound hardware and SounBlaster calls it "What You Hear").

What exactly is the "Fox Pro 1" that you have? Beats Audio, in HP PC's that have it, is just a software enhancement to whatever sound is on the PC, such as Realtek, Conexant, etc.

I think you will be better off with a USB connected recording interface unit. You can get a basic two channel unit for under $100 and probably less on e-bay. A recording interface unit will give you better latency and probably even better sound fidelity than whatever sound "card" you have and Beats Audio. If you are using Audacity, it has sound "enhancements" available to use.

Although you need to spend some $$, you are better off staying with Win 7. Some of the recording interfaces even come with a lite version of a recording program (e.g. Cubase, Studio One, etc which are better than Audacity).

Here is under $100 units listed at Sweetwater Music, including a Focusrite unit (Focusrite is a UK company).
USB Audio Interfaces | Sweetwater.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2015   #3
ulrichburke

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Please bear with my stupidity for a few questions!

eDear Fireberd.

OK. SO I used "Stereo Mix" to record stuff, first of all a junk test file in Quick Score Elite, by which I mean I just chose a reandom instrument, chucked a few notes around and recorded it using Audacity. It actually came up with a soundfile - a screen full of wiggles - but you don't get to hear it BACK in Audacity. There's a sound file there. It's got wiggles. You can see the green lines flashing in the playback bar when you try to play it back - but no sound. Exactly the same when I recorded a random track from YouTube.

Windows Media Player WILL play them back if you save them as .WAVs or . MPs but because you can't hear them in Audacity, you have no idea what quality of recording you're going to get. You can't tweak the files at all cos you don't know what you're doing cos you can't hear anything. BUT.... jJust once in a while, for no apparent reason, you actually DO get to hear playback and it always sounds absolutely awful. I havent' had a random playback moment since using Stereo Mix, but the output, when played in Windows Media Player, has indeed been vastly improved. Thankyou very much for that.

So is it possible, just for a couple of weeks till I've saved up the dough, to bounce down MIDI output as a soundfile from Quick Score Elite Level 2 (I know MIDI isn't sound, I mean the output from the VSTs that are making the sound... You know what I mean!) If YES...

Under INPUT, In QSE, I have Primary Sound Capture Driver, Stereo Mix High Definition Audio CODEC and Line In High Definition Audio CODEC. Under Output there's Primary Sound Driver, Speakers/Headphones IDT Audio High definition Audio CODEC, Communications Headphones IDT High definition Audio CODEC. Which combination would save stuff WITHOUT the dreaded 'Cant allocate audio buffer' message. That message only tends to happen on bigger files I've been working on, NOT on test files only containing one or two instruments and no effect plugins. Have zero idea why. And if you get the combination wrong, you get feedback loops that kill the computer till you've managed to close it down and restart it, I've had a few of those now! Again no idea at all why, never had one of those in XP once.

Thankyo u for showing me the external ones, one more ghastly question for you on that subject. If I get one of those external boxes, will it pick up output from the music software automatically or will it be expecting some sort of magical re-routing setup? I ask because Quick Score Elite, though a magnificent notation package to use for music (especially when one's a little disabled like myself) isn't the most sophisticated of packages when it comes to re-routing sound - it kinda sends it out to Windows and expects Windows to do the rest! It will list the ouptput options like the ones I listed above, but things like Cubase etc. seemed to have a TON of different output options, none of which I understood, that's why I stuck with QSE.

So to summarise, from the info. I've given you, can you suggest a combination that wont give "Cant Allocate Audio Buffer" when used with a music file containing (say!) 6 different VSTs? And (B), can you think of any reason - I mean they must have made Audacity work for Windows 7, right? - why Audacity can record but can't play back? If you can ffix Audacity, then I can just record the output from QSE with Audacity like I had been doing for awhile anyway because the output's clearer that way (or was in XP!)

End of post. I really hope you or someone else decides to read and help me with this. And I hope if we get Audacity working the sound won't be as distorted as it was before you told me about Stereo Mix.

Yours respectfully

Chris.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 May 2015   #4
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

The first thing to do, from your post, is to get the sound driver settled. I see you refer to "High Definition Audio CODEC and to IDT High Definition Audio Codec. From this I assume your sound card is IDT. "High Definition Audio CODEC" sounds like the generic, basic function, Windows installed sound driver. You can only have one default audio playback device in Windows 7 (I think XP would allow more than one). Thus you should get rid of (at least disable) every sound driver except IDT and see what happens. More than one can cause conflicts, no playback, intermittent playback, etc.

As far as Audacity, is its playback set to the correct device?

If you "convert" a MIDI file to an audio file, you can then import it into a track on Audacity and use it.

My recording interface unit will allow routing a Windows played sound file to be routed back to my recording program (Sonar) but I'm not sure your setup with Audacity will do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2015   #5
ulrichburke

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Dear Fireberd.

Again, thankyou for your help with this, I'm HOPING I can make QSE work with 7, or else it's back to XP!!

For starters, going from a setup that allows multiple sounds at once (XP) to one that only allows ONE playback at a time (Win7)!?! What. A. Piece. Of. (CENSORED!) Desigh!!

Secondly, Audacity. If you close it down and restart it, THEN it plays back. If you record a file and try to play it back straightaway, no sound. You have to close Audacity and restart it to get sound. I've only just discovered that one. That WOULD fit in with the only one playback buffer scenario.

Secondly, I don't have a soundcard per se, it's whatever's on the motherboard already that's being used as a soundcard because I didn't realise that yo can't plug PCI soundcards into PCI Express slots when I bought it. Went to plug my lovely M Audio Audiophile 2496 in and wouldn't fit, neither does my Soundblaster Live or Yamaha soundcards. And new PCI Express soundcards seem to be all Rolls Royce prices.

So to clarify, I take off Asio and Beats Express and just leave the Windows Primary Sound Capture driver on, and only use the Primary Sounds Capture Driver when trying to bounce tracks down? Do I remove the IDT stuff as well (I can always reinstall it later, I would imagine!)

I'm going off Windows 7 very fast, it's taken a whole bunch of my fave. plugins from me as well cos they flat won't even work in XP emulation mode. As it's Home Premium, I can't run XP in a virtual machine can I? I have to have the big version of 7 for that.

Sonar, don't know much about that but its name sounds a bit Linux-y to me and the problem with Linux is there's about 50 different flavours of it out there and you have to have the right flavour for the right program or you're royally screwed b4 you start. Been there, got the T_shirt on Linux and repositories...

So OK, I'll strip down to Windows Primary Capture only and see what happens and report back. If I've misread you or anything, feel free to yell at me, it works for everyone else!

Thanks for your help again

Chris.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2015   #6
ulrichburke

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Just an update for Fireberd and others...

Dear Fireberd.

I've uninstalled Beats and anything else I can think of that is using onboard sound system and everything's find UNTIL I get all the instruments loaded. 7 of them, including 3 instances of Edirol Orchestral because you only get one "out" per instance so if you want 3 Edirol sounds you have to have 3 instances of it.

THEN, instantly, Cant Allocate Audio Buffer" and nothing records. WHY did Microsoft do this, surely they can't expect nobody to want to write music using Windows any more? If XP's setup was better, why didn't they stick with it??

Sheesh, what a crock of....!! Do you think I ought to go back to XP for writing music, Wiin 7 for anything else (dual boot, maybe?)

Yours puzzledly

Chris.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2015   #7
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I suspect its the software and setup for Windows XP and the multiple audio devices. It looks like back to XP, in your case, is the best option. When you get financially able to update the software then consider Win 7/8.1 or even 10 which is supposed to be better for audio.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2015   #8
ulrichburke

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Thank you very much for all your help, Fireberd.

Dear Fireberd.

Thank you very much for all your help - I was suspecting that to be the option myself but wanted to see things through with you first!

Looks like a lovely day spent reinstalling operating systems and software and soundcards and..... aargh!! Just rememberred, the soundcard wion't fit in this motherboard cos this board's exclusively PCI Express, which means digging out an old motherboard and hoping the PSU's compatible....

All helps to pass the time, no?

Yours respectfully - BTW, I love some country girls, had a crush on Billie-Jo Spears for AGES, to me she's the female answer to Kenny Rogers with the quality of her voice and lyrics. Love Rednex too, that always seems to annoy the purists, sorry! Do bands like the Cramps count as country or not, never been sure about psychobilly, but they're fun.

Yours respectfully

Chris.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2015   #9
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Sorry for the hassle of having to reuse old hardware and reinstall. But it appears, currently, the best alternative.

I'm in to "old" traditional country music, not the current country that is more rock than country.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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