"Scratchy" Playback


I've been plugging away on VDL2 for a while now, but occassionally run into this reoccuring problem with my plackback sounding scratchy. When this happens, at best, I can hear all of the staves, but everything is scratchy. At worst, some staves won't playback and everything else is scratchy.

Here's the technical stuff:
1.50 ghz
1 gig ram
Pentium 4
Sibelius 3 (4's on it's way!)
VDL2 (usually running two instances)

Other related questions:
1. Given my technical specs, should I be using DFD? And just for kicks, could someone offer me some guidance on what my settings should be?
2. Would purchasing Kontakt 2 and loading everything in to that solve this problem?
3. A little off topic -- shouldn't Sibelius being saving the changes I make in the mixer when I save the file? For some reason, I'm having to completely redo the mixer back to the way I had it working the time before.

Thanks a lot!
Your system is on the low end- especially if using multiple instances of VDL2, so try using DFD with ";small instruments"; and it should be OK.
Ditto that. Also, you may want to check your settings in VDL2>Setup>Soundcard. What does it say for ";Interface?"; Windows audio interface drivers can be the culprit of problems when running more heavy duty requirements like sample streaming. Typically, ASIO drivers work best.

Also, the latency slider can affect sound quality. If it's too low, you may tax your CPU and get the scratchies. If it's too high, you may find that rhythms can get a little clunky/swingy, especially on faster drumline rhythms. This setting varies from computer to computer, but you may want to sniff around in the ballpark of 30 to 44 milliseconds. Especially since your CPU is on the slow side, raising latency may help.

I like working with Kontakt 2, but I don't think it will necessarily solve these problems. I think they may be more the result of pushing a little too much info with a slower machine.

Sibelius should be saving mixer settings. However, if for some reason your midi setup has changed, and it asks you if you want to ";reset sounds";, doing so will revert your mixer settings, and you'll have to re-enter all the device/channel information as before.
Scratchy can be a lot of things, too...  sound card driver is one cause...  onboard soundcard noise...  hd drops, interference, fan noise...

Are you getting scratchy audio on any other application?  How about if you only have one instance?  I noticed you didn't name your soundcard in your specs...  that usually means it's the onboard rubbish.

Can you offer any reproduction steps to get to the scratchy audio?  Is it ";random"; or when you do something specific?

Thanks everyone for the tips. There's a lot there to digest!

By the way, my sound card is a Sound Blaster Audigy 2. Doesn't suck. But other things on my computer do.

I'll post an update when I have a chance to try everything out. Thanks again, everyone, for all the help!

Jim- Good to meet you at TBA. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and the time to post answers to my plethora of questions!
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