Audiowerks News Issue 5

tripleDAT Welcome to the Audiowerks Newsletter pages. These articles address the operation and functionalily of the tripleDAT audio recording system. Advise for computer optimization and support as it appies to the PC and the Windows Operating system

TRUE Stories "The Crash!"

Tips and tricks for September

CD Burning things to check

True Stories "The Crash!"


I had not been doing anything unusual. I was not running tripleDAT at the time. I was merely trying to copy some files from one drive to another to make some space to burn a CD. I needed 600 meg so I deleted a number of files, moved some to another driver, and did a disk defragmentation and space consolidation. I then put in the CD and began copying from CD to Drive H:\CDMASTER. About half way through it happened......

The Crash

The big blue screen of death!!!! AHHHHHHHH! I restarted the computer as I have many time before with a similar crash. The good old Scandisk came up and started doing its stuff. Agh! Directory errors and cross-linked files Scan disk will attempt to fix it .... Yeah like it knows what I really need to recover! Scan disk ran three times before it finally fixed the directories and files.

The Recovery

There were 2 thousand lost cluster files. 26 directories were repaired and named C:\DIR00001 through C:\DIR00026. Windows was one of those directories. OK I said. I'll re-install WIN95 and start over. I copied my sensitive data to my other drive and reformatted the drive. Agh!!! Windows cannot format this driver because of errors run scan disk!!!!!!!!! What the....????! I ran scan disk and found a problem that scandisk could not fix. I removed the partition, ok, but could not create a new partition because there was a problem with the drive. This drove me absolutely nuts! It was not until I used Norton Disk Doctor to find and correct the problem that I made some headway. It marked some of my disk as unusable and this fixed the problem. I created the partition and was then able to reformat the drive. I could then re-install all my "stuff" and get back to work.

However........ The same thing happened on my home system. (I did check both for viruses and none found). This time I did not let Scandisk fix any errors. I ran Disk Doctor which found a few errors, and marked them. It also fixed a cross-referenced file. I was not able to start Windows, however I was able to re-install Win95 and the scandisk did not find any problems. Go figure.

The Moral

Don't give your computer the opportunity to get the better of you. "Regular Maintenance" of your system will help to minimize these potential disasters from taking too big a bite out of your life and pocketbook. In my case both problems were the direct result of hard disk sector failure. This could have been easily identified and fixed "before" data in the sector went sideways. Running ScanDisk with the "Thorough" option enabled, will scan the entire disk surface and mark any "bad" sectors and clusters as "BAD" thus preventing anything from being written at the bad location. Hard disks are not infallible. Do yourself a favor and do the maintenance. You will not be sorry you took the time.

Back to top

Tips and tricks

Restarting your computer after changing drivers can be a painfully slow process. Whenever you restart your computer, you have to wait for the CMOS, BIOS, PnP, SCSI controller and other stuff before it starts Windows. There is a shortcut to add "years" to your working life. When you are prompted to restart before any changes can take effect, answer "NO". Then go to the "START" button and choose "Shut Down". From the list choose "Restart the computer". Here is the trick - "Hold the SHIFT key while you click "OK" and Windows will restart, not your whole computer.

You can quickly set a start time for your samples in the Arranger via the "Sample Settings" dialog. Simply enter the new starting time in the start panel provided. You may have to "melt" the sample first.

You can quickly reset your track pan by double clicking on the pan "control lever". This will work for a number of other knobs and dials in tripleDAT.

If you are running on a "slower" system (by today's standards) with 32 meg of RAM, you can speed up tripleDAT's opening sequence, and make more RAM available to the system, by not loading "all" the DSP modules at startup. Using the "Effects Studio" under options, you can manipulate the way tripleDAT loads DSPs on startup. Under "effects loaded" add only the effects you are going to need every time. Save as the default and whenever tripleDAT opens, it will only load those effects. You can add any effect that you have on disk to the effect loaded section during any session without having to reboot.

Back to top

CD Burning Things to Check

Here are some things to check whether you are having problems writing to your CD-R or not. These simple checks will ensure that your system is running up to an acceptable standard.

SCSI Hardware

Your SCSI bus must have two and only two termination points (resistance used to maintain impedance and reduce "reflection" of the SCSI signal). These can be located on the external and/or internal bus cables, and/or the SCSI host card. If you are just running internal, or just external SCSI devices, then the SCSI controller card termination should be set to "on" (or "automatic" if supported). If your system includes both internal and external devices, set the SCSI host termination to "off" (or automatic). These parameters can be accessed via the SCSI BIOS, which is normally accessed by hitting a key or sequence during the boot - up. Check your SCSI manual or watch the boot-up screen for prompts to enter the SCSI BIOS. If you use any external SCSI devices, the last device should be terminated, (most external devices have a switch on the back of the case to set the IDs and termination or a block terminator that you connect to the SCSI connector). With internal devices, it is highly recommended that one of these be connected to the very last connector to reduce reflection from the wiretaps. Only one internal device should have its termination set. (Internal devices use either a jumper or resistor block)

Windows ASPI

The most current ASPI (advanced SCSI programming interface) 32-bit drivers should be installed on your Windows system. SCSI host manufacturers generally make their ASPI available through their web, mail or electronic bulletin board service (Adaptec has these available on its web pages as well as its distributed software)

Software Conflicts

If you have previously installed another CD-R software product, you may have a driver conflict. It would be best to remove the previous software. You should also run your system very "clean". Check to ensure that no programs are loading and running in the background when you start Windows. Ctrl-Alt-Del in Win95 immediately after a start-up, will show you a list of what is currently running and active in Windows. There is potential for other processes to interfere with the writing process. Some processes are vital for Windows to continue functioning properly, such as Explorer, Systray, and Sage. If you are unsure what something is, it is advisable not to end that task, as it may be necessary for your system.


Seek time and thermal recalibration can cause performance bottlenecks and latency, so it's highly recommended you defragment your drive(s) and create images (not on-the-fly) to be burned to the CD-R drive. Streaming data from your Hard Drive to the Burner will provide better throughput than processing files as you go (on the fly). SCSI drives do provide high data rates and most current SCSI drives do not have any thermal recalibration problems.


Network cards have the potential to create hardware interrupts, which halt operation of the software until such interrupts have been handled. This can cause a number of problems. A non-networked machine is more stable than a networked one when it comes to writing CD-Rs. A system that is networked may provide more stability if you do not load the network card drivers for the session you run to write CDs.

Fine Tuning tripleDAT for CDR Burning

If possible, always choose your fastest drive for temporary image space You will find the option to set any drive as your image drive from the Disk Setup/advanced disk setup, image drive(s)dialog under both DAO and TAO. It is further advised that you set your playback buffers to <>3 meg if you are planning to use "Write on the fly".

Following these simple guide lines will ensure that you have a successful CD write every time.

Back to top

Back to the Audiowerks Libraryy

Written by Anton Bernhardt September 6, 1998
© Copyright Anton Bernhardt - All rights reserved 1998

ICMedia XLR About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©1998 Audiowerks, Vancouver BC Canada, New York, New York, Portland, OR