Drop-outs and trouble with recording.

I now need to write a seperate file for Battery, Percussion and Mallets because when they are all played together I get a ridiculous amount of drop-outs.  I'm ok with this, but when I go to record the files with Audacity I run into another problem.  The only way to get all the sounds recorded as a full ensembleis to record each on to a seperate track.  The notation programs are playing each file back differently (glitches, hesitations) so it never lines up in Audacity.  I even recorded a short clip of just battery (lite versions) twice and was unable to align the audio files.

I'm running:

Finale 2005, Sibelius 4
Windows XP, 1.60 Ghz processor, 992 meg of RAM

DFD settings on VDL:2 are:
192kb preload buffer
384 voice buffer
64 reserved voices
24 mb total memory

I've visited the ";tune up"; site for XP from another post.

I've spent the money on this program, Sibelius, and a midi keyboard so there's no more bills in my wallet.  Is there a solution to playback and record better without spending more money? 
For starters, you definitely want to set your ";reserved voices"; in DFD all the way up to 256. That's a big reason you're hearing dropouts. Basically, this will increase the amount of voices that are capable of being played back from the VDL2 player. Be sure so click ";apply"; after you've changed that setting. I do believe it will be stored in preferences so you won't have to set that all the time.

I'm not very familiar with Audacity, but I do believe you can place multiple audio tracks. This is called a [b]multi-track recording. [/b]This is pretty common to do a few passes when recording larger scores. So for example, try recording ONLY battery, then mute that track, then recored only your first 3 or 4 pit staves, then mute that track,  then your next 3 or 4 pit staves, etc. Each pass will be on it's own audio track. To get them to line up together, it's usually a matter of simply dragging the audio right or left within its track until they're placed just right.

You mention using Finale and Sibelius. Be careful. If you're creating a single piece of music from TWO separate files, you can run the risk of tempo changes being placed slightly differently. If so, you'll have a heck of a time getting the midi playback from each separate file to line up perfectly. You may have written ";QN (quarter note) = 160"; at a certain point in your score, but the actual time in which that tempo change occurs can differ depending on where it's placed. So if you're in a situation where you MUST use two notation programs to create one piece of music, just be sure you know exactly where those tempo changes are occuring. This can get even stickier when interpreting things like accel/rit.

In case you haven't checked it out yet, there's some good Audacity help/FAQs/manual/forum here:

Pretty darn cool for a free multi-track recorder.
Everything is working out great.  You're the man.
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