Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds

Posted by: Del

Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 11:20 AM

I have had this issue for some time now and cannot figure out what the problem is. I run Realband 2021 [5] with Admin privileges on my 240 GB SSD C: drive and save the rendered file to my F: drive which is a Western Digital 2TB USB drive . I have the USB connected to my PC's USB 3 port.

The issue happens when render the file using 'Merge Audio and VSTi/DXi tracks to stereo wav file'. Sometimes the file renders properly and is completed in a few seconds. I might then change volume on one track and render the file again, now the popup window says it is merging the tracks but minutes go with the cpu around 2% while the file is slowly created. If I cancel the process it brings up a window saying the file was rendered successfully but that is a lie.

Now if I don't change anything else and simply click on file/save in Realband. The save process takes only a few seconds and completes (the save goes to the F: USB drive). If I then click on Render and Merge Audio and VSTi/DXi tracks to stereo wav file, the rendering process takes less than 10 seconds and completes successfully to the F: drive.

In other words, if I click file save in Realband and then render, everything works fine. I used to run Realband from the USB drive but moved it to my C: drive to see if it would fix this issue but no joy. I still run Band In a Box from the F: usb drive with no problems.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue or has any idea what could be causing it. Thank you in advance!
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 11:41 AM

Del,

Your problem reads like your computer is having trouble accessing the external USB (F) drive in a timely manner. This can be caused by your computer settings or by where Band-in-a-Box (BiaB) content is located.

You may want to check your computer settings to make sure the USB ports receive power all the time and are not placed into sleep mode after a period of inactivity.

On the BiaB side, you may want to create a storage folder on your primary, "C", drive and copy whatever RealTracks, MIDI patches (VSTi for example) and MIDI player (Kontakt, Halion or SampleTank for example) that in your song file to the primary drive. The goal is to reduce external drive activity.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 11:52 AM

Many thanks Jim, I'll check to see if the USB ports go to sleep. I'm trying to keep my C: drive from getting cluttered up but I understand what you are saying about those files.
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 11:57 AM

I totally understand. My super duper desktop has a small primary drive so that's something I also worry over.

Just one additional thought. The USB settings I mentioned maybe handled in the motherboard BIOS or UEFI settings.
Posted by: rharv

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 02:30 PM

Are any plugins in play that may not releasing correctly when you render?
Have you added any new plugins around the time the issue started?

Also, on initial Render do you see the popup afterwards that asks to test the file?
Just wondering if that is hiding somewhere and causing the second render issue .. a long shot, I know

And lastly, where is your Temp Audio Directory located?
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 05:45 PM

I'm only using PG reverb on two of the audio tracks and PG peak limit on one track and on the overall output in the mixer. I don't believe I have added any plugins recently but that is a good point to check. If I let the initial slow render go until completion, then yes, the dialog box pops up asking if I want to test the file. I've let it go to completion a couple of times on different files just to see if it ever completes and it does finally finish and the file is as it should be.

I'll go back and look at my plugins to see if there is anything new that I forgot about. It really puzzles me that everything works fine if I do a save first. I changed settings on my USB drive too but that didn't seem to make a difference.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 06:08 PM

My temp audio directory is F:\Temp on the USB drive
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 06:21 PM

I'm going to reboot to make sure the USB setting changes I made stick and then create a simple song with no plugins at all to see if the problem still occurs.

Thank you Jim and Rharv for giving me some ideas. I may try moving everything to the C: drive just to see if that cures things also. It may point me in the right direction anyway. More testing is needed to beat this into the ground.
Posted by: Don Gaynor

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 07:11 PM

Del,

How many USB drives are connected? I had several connected and they bogged my entire system down. Try disconnecting any unnecessary external drives and see if that helps.


If you are rendering to .wav format it will take several times that of .mp3.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/27/21 07:23 PM

Don, I have two USB drives connected, one I use for working files and the other for backup only. I always render to wav and never directly to mp3. The render to wav process takes around 10 seconds for a song that is around 3 1/2 minutes. Thanks for the heads up about the usb drives. I'll try disconnecting the backup as part of the testing process.
Posted by: rharv

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/28/21 04:51 AM

It probably works faster after saving because the file is interwoven in one contiguous piece when saved.
Edits cause it to start working from 'chunks'.
If those chunks reside on slower drives it would compound things.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/28/21 09:04 PM

After much testing, I've decided to move most everything to my C: drive. It seems if I have the working song file on my C: drive when I load it into Realband and render it to a directory also on the C: drive, then I don't experience the long rendering time problem. (8 minutes to render a 3 1/2 minute song when the problem occurs, about 10 seconds to render the same song when it is acting normally)

I would like to at least save the backup files to my USB drive but cannot find where in the heck the setting for this is. I've checked preferences, looked in the manual, looked at .ini files, searched the forums and cannot find where to change the directory where the song backup files are stored. Normally they are in C:\Realband\RBBackup and I would like to change this to F:\RBBackup

If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be most grateful! I am giving up on running Realband from the USB drive.
Posted by: rharv

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 04:58 AM

It is a fixed location.
I've asked many times if it can be made assignable but nothing so far.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 07:09 AM

I see, thank you for checking anyway.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 09:23 AM

I got an email about a post from JustanoldMuso but when I click on the link to view the post, it says 'There was a problem looking up this post in our database' Anyway, I'll add it here:

justanoldmuso: Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds
DEL.
YMMV TRY THIS TEST SOMETIME AND PLEASE DONT BLAME ME IF IT DOESNT WORK WITH YOUR PC !
1. dont use gigundous multi terabyte drives. cos win as far as i understand has to maintain lots of pointers. use smaller drives. read on.
2. get yourself a cheap startech.com ssd usb dock which takes 2 removeable ssd drives. eg try 60 buck 256 gb's ssd's. hook up the startech dock via usb to your pc.
3. install realband on one of the ssd's. the second ssd use to record your traks//songs.
4. on the ssd your recording to in rb before starting a song create a new folder with the song name. this is the folder where all your traks recorded will be saved. eg lets say the song is called "DELL ROCKS OUT" then the folder will be called the same or an abbrvn.
THUS USE A DIFFERENT FOLDER WITH A UNIQUE SONG NAME FOR EACH SONG YOU DO IN RB.
5. regularly do copies (for back up purposes) of the "DELL ROCKS OUT" song folder with its seq to the ssd with realband on ; as well as any other drives you can hook up over other usb ports. also do copies of the temp for back up purposes.
this way your covered in case of a major ssd drive or other crash/loss.
ive never had a ssd crash over many years of use , but knowing my luck lol suggesting this idea to you; maybe you might. for example you could save (like i do) as further back up and off site storage (eg security box at a bank) to fast 16 gb usb pen drives<<<really cheap and fast these days. i use multiples for back up just in case.
6. run tests now mixing down your song in realband to stereo. stopwatching the time the mixdown takes.
(dont use resource hungry plug ins. pg ones are fine.
others always run tests useing task mgr to monitor OR
reaper will tell you resource useage of a plug in.)
7. NOTE you could do YOUR OWN REGULAR SAVE AS SEQ to various drives WITHOUT WORRYING BOUT THE REALBAND BACK UP.
just do folder copies. on ssd should be fast.

as i said YMMV. but small ssd's in my startech dock are very very fast.
when i copy from one ssd in the dock to another its like the copy line goes zoom.

hope this helps del.
question. this 2 tb drive of yours is it ssd ?
lol please dont hit me if above dont work.

best
oldmuso.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 09:26 AM

Many thanks for the hints about things to try OldMuso! 

To answer your last question, no the 2TB drive is not an SSD.  
4.)  I make a separate directory for each song I'm working on and make a new directory for each album I've produced.  I put all of these directories in a BB Music folder on the F: drive. F:\BB Music\

5.) I run backups of my music folders to another drive every week but I don't have any off-site storage like you mention, which is a very good idea.

Thanks again for the pointers and I may try loading Realband on a SSD USB drive just to see if that makes a difference. I'll have to buy a suitable SSD USB next time I go to town, the ones I have laying around are all old, low speed dogs.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 09:32 AM

DEL.
i dont know how you got a deleted post of mine lol.
i deleted it cos on reflection i didnt want people angry at
me if the ideas didnt work.

best
oldmuso.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 12:03 PM

Don't worry about that OldMuso, I was the one asking for advice and I respect those that take the time to give me some ideas. I've had many good experiences with the folks on this forum and I usually learn something from them. Experience counts in my book!
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 04:34 PM

DEL.
as i have some time now; and your nice and open minded.
let me share some deep thoughts with you regarding running a computer based recording studio. which you might wish to ponder and might help you the next time you upgrade/buy a pc.(ymmv)
1. yes a ton of people these days use laptops as a daw.
BUT the downside is that laptops are not as expandeable as desktops. the latter can be stuffed internally with many fast ssd's with the right desktop.
eg win os on one ssd ; and ones songs/projects on a second ssd.
maybe a third ssd for added backups. thus one can cross back up between the 3 ssd's and useing externals too.
also if one selects the right desktop; some come with a slew of ports.
2. interesting to note is a few months back i posted on these forums a treatise from a microsoft product mgr who also runs a sophisticated recording daw rig. and he too prefers desktops.
3. now some people will say BUT laptops are portable.
very true. however a user can loose flexibility unlike a desktop.
in summary each (desktop and laptop) has plusses and minuses.
i lament the fact that common retail laptops dont come with the ability to have at least 2 internal drives.
OR DO THEY ? read on.
4. well yes you can buy special laptops for recording studios with more than one drive inside. built by custom builders and often purchased by the big boy recording studios. these custom builders also build not only high dsp powerhouse laptops but also powerhouse desktops.
the advantage of these pc's is everything is optimised
down to installation of ones chosen interface/daw software.
so the big recording studio just "turns the key".
frankly i'm thinking of one for myself. but the problem is they are expensive starting around 2k in dollars.
also the other downside is tech gets obsolete so quickly. this is my main concern.
but these powerhouses are dsp beasts of a pc ; and boast huge track and plug in counts. thats why big studios use them.
for further info if interested/for user references go to gearspace.com and other forums on the net/google and check out companies such as adkproaudio,scan co uk, pcaudiolabs,silentpc, purrfect audio and many others. the sites are an interesting source just for getting pc config ideas and other ideas for ones studio if nothing else.
some of them have interesting articles on daw's and digital audio.

BUT WHAT TO DO IF ONE HAS OTHER OBLIGATIONS WITH FAMILY ETC like me.
read on there is another nice lower cost option DEL.
5. I LOVE REFURB PC's WITH WARRANTIES. let me explain a nice low cost daw solution del. for about 900 dollars.
TWO REFURB SYSTEMS. one a refurb HP Z or LENOVO workstaion class pc desktop with XEON processors and stuffed with lots of memory and ssd's.(replace the old drive with an ssd if it has an old drive for win os). plus a portable refurb i5/i7 laptop with an ssd.
so this is how this idea works.
.the desktop (not on the net)is static as the main in studio pc.
all important song projects are done on this xeon beast of a powerhouse. some refurbs come with huge amounts of ram memory eg 64 gigs.
.the laptop is used while away on holiday for jotting down song ideas. its also used for net surfing ; testing out new software releases etc and thus sandboxing and keeping the main desktop safe and out of danger.
this is the approach i'm probably heading towards.
also i have a fire tablet thats just great for quick net surfing.

in SUMMARY DEL for 900 buks (the retail price of ONE new laptop normally at a usual retail store) i feel my refurb approach offers both more daw power //flexibility//as well as value for money.
also if one machine goes down there is a second machine to carry on doing work on till the machine that went down hard gets fixed by a local pc store.

heres an example of a powerhouse refurb beast of a pc (that many people dont often know exists. but be advised they can go fast as some studios in the know; know their value. the prices i notice have gone up recently unfortunately.)
https://www.staples.ca/products/2980177-en-hp-refurbished-z440-workstation-gaming-desktop-35-ghz-intel-xeon-1630-v3-500-gb-hdd-256-gb-ssd-16-gb-ddr3-windows-10-pro
the above is but an example. (replace the OS HD with a ssd.)

NOTE ; the above type of system can take multiple
internal ssd's. also notice the no of external ports.

DEL ; the above are some thoughts/info i hope you find usefull.
gotta go now ; my lovely wife just made me a nice cup of tea lol.
best
oldmuso
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 06:26 PM

OldMuso, Thank you for sharing your ideas with me!

I was forced to upgrade recently when my old desktop system bit the dust. I pondered buying a laptop to use but felt the desktop would work best for my situation as I don't take the DAW on the road. The added slots and ports are definitely a bonus in my opinion also for future expansion. I don't have it isolated from the network but I do most of my web surfing on a different machine.

Your idea of using a refurbished gaming PC would seem to have merit as those babies are usually well supplied with RAM, expansion ports, and powerful processors. Especially if you can get it with a warranty. I have to say that even my middle of the road HP desktop that I purchased does a good job for me. I only use BB and Realband for my song creations and both of those programs don't seem to require much for a CPU so it has a pretty light load.

My studio is pretty basic, I use a mixer with a USB output to the DAW as my audio interface and it works well for what I need. I like the mixer as I can have all my guitars and microphones connected and just have to push up the appropriate faders to start recording. That way I keep it simple so I don't get confused!
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 06:47 PM

DEL.
your post is very interesting.
an hp desktop huh ?
if were me and it only had one internal c drive.
i would look at its specs and see if you can add a couple of cheap ssd internal drives. that way you have all sorts of backup flexibility. what model is your HP ?
is cpu i5 8400 or 9400 ?
in RB what does action..audio performance report for no of traks ?

in addition ive been looking at usb audio mixers with lots of inputs funnily enough.
what do you have ?
my top contender so far seems to be the zed series as its 4x4 usb. and people say nice mic pre's.
would appreciate your input.

best
oldmuso
ps sorry i assumed you were running a laptop from your previous posts.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 07:12 PM

HP Slim S01-pF1036 Desktop Computer, Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

Device name DESKTOP-Studio
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-10400 CPU @ 2.90GHz 2.90 GHz
Installed RAM 8.00 GB (7.84 GB usable)
System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
Pen and touch No pen or touch input is available for this display

I don't have much info on this, I believe it has at least 1 internal slot free for adding another drive but I haven't popped the cover on it to look. The HP site has a broken link to the motherboard specs and I haven't found out anything else about it yet. It came with the internal 256GB SSD

Here is what it has for expansion slots:
2 M.2; 1 PCIe x16; 1 PCIe x1

I have a i5 laptop but don't use it for my DAW.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 07:23 PM

I use a Behringer Xenyx 1204 mixer right now. I only record one track at a time but I think you could record two tracks simultaneously by panning one full right and the other track full left. Then separate the tracks in Realband. I've never tried it though since I don't need it.

The 1204USB mixer has 4 mic preamps on the first 4 channels. They call it 12 channels but to my mind it is 6 channels, 4 mic imputs and two stereo inputs. I tried a Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD but I didn't like it so I went back to my mixer instead.

It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 07:49 PM

DEL.
after this post my wife and i are retiring for the night.
thanks for the info.
my comments follow.
1. nice processor . rateing on cpubenchmark.net of over 12000. nice !
i normally like 10000 for audio daw work.
so 12000 is good.
what does RB say for action>>test audio performance ?
no of traks ? you should get a LOT OF TRAKS.
2. difficult to find specs on the hp , but looks like you have the new slotted ssd tech internally. i "think" but not sure ; you might be able to add a second internal ssd. get a pc tech to check as this would be advantageous. ie win on one internal ssd. your songs on other internal ssd.
so you can do cross back ups as well as also backing up to external high speed usb ssd drives and pen drives. also get tech to check if you can expand the memory to 16 gigabytes ddr4 ram.
ram is cheap.
3. thanks for the usb mixer info.

best
old muso.
ps please could you add the fact your usb mixer works with pg products in the thread i started in realband forum
"post your interfaces that work". other users might find it usefull. cheers.

Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/29/21 09:57 PM

Estimated number of playback tracks is 167. Yes, I'll add my mixer to your 'post your interfaces that work'

It looks like I can add another SSD internally but will have to take it apart to make sure.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/30/21 09:42 AM

Del.
thanks for adding your mixer.
from what your saying am i correct ? your hp is new ?.
just be aware that sometimes new pc's come with some "bloat". ie stuff youll never use. thus its a good
idea to get a pc tech to get rid of stuff youll never use.
for example some manufacturers include software "trials" .

i would also check into google and these forums ..
"how to optimise a pc for a recording studio".
most manufacturers of audio usb interfaces have support sections on this subject.

finally there might be an outside chance you might be able to add 2 more ssd's in that hp pc. but i just dont know as i cant get to the mainboard details.
so have a tech check inside.

every happiness del.
oldmuso
ps your rb traks report is respectable.
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/30/21 11:13 AM

Yes, it is new. There wasn't too much bloatware and I uninstalled most of it. I'll do some more research on it. May have to splurge for another SSD internal hard drive.

Thank you for your advice!
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/31/21 05:25 AM

DEL.
fyi heres some very good links re optimising a pc for daw work.
BUT if everything is fine i would tread carefully.
one step at a time. latency mon mentioned in the first link is one to try possibly. if your not sure show a well qualified pc tech the links below,

https://audient.com/tutorial/optimise-your-windows-pc-for-audio/
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207355205-Optimising-your-PC-for-Audio-on-Windows-10
https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=654005

in addition del if you CAN put in a couple of ssd's inside the hp dont go for huge ones. maybe a couple of 256 or 512 giggers.
remember heat can build up inside a pc.
heres an idea also. i only use small ssd's. BUT what i do is once ive finished a major song project i free up space on the small internal pc ssd's (ready for the next song project) by offloading them to multiple external back up drives and fast pen drives. i'm nutty on back ups lol. another idea is to store also your critical songs on another machine as further back up.
ALSO MAKE SURE YOU TEST YOUR BACK UPS OCCASIONALLY TO SEE THEY WORK. in summary each song folder that contains all biab and rb files (imcludeing saved *seq's) is backed
up multiple times. ie anything related to the song.

gonna take a break now. my wife just gave me a nice cup of tea.
for more info on how to's with a pc. you tube has loads of info.

hth and happy song creation.
best
oldmuso
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 05/31/21 08:58 AM

Thank you very much for the links and for your pointers, I appreciate them! I have a pretty good back up routine that I follow to minimize any catastrophes, and get things back up and running. I'll check out the links you sent, many thanks!
Posted by: Del

Re: Rendering song takes minutes instead of seconds - 06/08/21 08:44 AM

I want to update this thread to explain what I've done to eliminate the issue I was having.

I wasn't able to add another internal SSD hard drive as the expansion slot was already in use so I purchased a SATA Seagate 2GB hard drive and mounted that in the PC. I installed all my BB and Realband programs on the internal SATA drive and run them from there. Now everything works fine with no issues on rendering files and I've eliminated some external clutter around my DAW.

Rendering times are now consistent and take around 10-15 seconds running the programs from the internal SATA drive.

Thanks to all of you who gave me some ideas to work through this!