still skipping....

First off, I've read all the topics with my same problem and I have still  been unable to fix this.  When playing back both pit and battery sounds I get random skips and jumps.  I've tried every setting (DS, MME, and ASIO), changed the latency rates, and also have played around with the DFD settings.  I've also tried just playing full pit and still it skips in some areas.

Here are my system specs: AMD Athlon XP 2800,  2.09GHz, 1GB RAM, sound card: Creative SB X-FI.

I read that the ASIO driver works best for some, but when I select it I get the ";physical memory is too low"; message.  Direct Sound is a little better (don't get the memory message).  I'm using Finale 2005, but just recently it started not responing.  I also have 2002 and that started giving me trouble.  Also, sometimes I get a message that reads ";The ouputs configured in the loaded Multi differ from the current output configuration";  What?! 
One of my computers has a very similar hardware setup and you are simply reaching the limits of the machine.  The older cpu along with only 1 GB of RAM is definitely not enough to playback pit + battery, or just pit if there are a lot of fast and/or sustained notes.  1 GB is enough RAM for virtually all types of programs [i]except[/i] playing back a lot of audio samples.  Performance will be better when using a DAW program like Cubase, but playback with Finale or Sibelius will probably never be perfectly smooth.

A few things you can do to help performance:

1. break your project into smaller sections- battery, woods, metals, cymbals, then combine them in another program like Audacity which is free.
2. use only one marimba, vibes, xylo etc. VDL2 instrument even if your score has more
3. set latency no lower than 40.
4. buy another 1 GB of RAM- it's very cheap at (around $60 with shipping)
Thanks for the feedback.  I'll try out some of the solutions and get some more RAM, which I figured I might have to do anyway.  Other than maybe buying a whole new computer, got any other solutions for updated my cpu?
Look into a DAW that has the ability to freeze tracks.  I think Cubase and Sonor have these features (I use Logic, but Mac only..) The software will ";render"; the audio instrument track as an audio file, freeing up some CPU power.�� If you need to change something, just unfreeze it.
For PCs, both the AMD X2 and the Pentium D make dual processors affordable.  This will help a lot with a multi-tasking environment like running Notation Software + VDL2.
Also check the speed of your frontside bus.  If it is slow, upgrading RAM really won't help you much since the information is bottlenecking at your FSB.
If you haven't done so already, it's worth ";tuning up"; your system (for audio) by following some or all of the steps at:

In addition to good advice offered by jmattson and tylerdurden, I'd recommend you try lowering the release time on instruments that have a long decay time (such as vibes, chimes, gongs, etc). Doing so will allow for polyphony to become available more quickly rather than being consumed by sustaining notes. Granted, when you play these instruments alone, they'll have a less natural ";fade out"; sound, but in an ensemble playback setting it wil be less noticeable.

ASIO is definitely what you should use for best performance. The memory message may simply be appearing due to many instruments being loaded.

Use the LITE versions of VDL2 instruments (if you aren't already). They're mapped the same as the FULL versions, but are a bit less system intensive.

If you ARE using DFD, ensure the ";reseved voices"; setting is maxed out at 256. Not doing so will almost guarantee drops outs when playing back dense scores.

Let us know how you are progressing.
[quote author=tylerdurden link=topic=995.msg4102#msg4102 date=1139770911]
Also check the speed of your frontside bus.  If it is slow, upgrading RAM really won't help you much since the information is bottlenecking at your FSB.

Not exactly.  Samples take up a lot of RAM and adding more [i]will[/i] help regardless of your FSB speed.  FSB is not really an issue when comparing modern machines- the Pentium 4 series has a much faster FSB than an Athlon 64, yet a 3 GHz P4 will perform slower than a 2 GHz AMD 64.  A Mac G4 has a FSB only about 1/4th of the PCs but still performs well.  When it comes to loading a large amount of Samples, the total amount of RAM is very important.  That's why a G4 with 1 GB RAM will be able to play back more intruments than a G5 with 256 MB of RAM, even if the FSB is 5X faster.

On a PC you can ctrl+alt+del to bring up Windows Task Manager and see how much memory a program is eating up.  For example, a pit + battery can easily take up 1 GB of RAM, add in the memory needed to run Sibelius, maybe a web browser, and Windows itself... you can see how adding more RAM will definitely help.  When you exceed your RAM, Windows starts swapping to the hard drive which is a lot slower.
Yep -- all FSB > hard disk throughput.  :)
Wow! This is great help, thanks a lot for the input.  I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I need a faster computer.  I really don't know too much about computers, so clue what that is, but I do now have 2GB which seems to be other programs.  Still skips but it's not as bad.  ASIO is still the worst setting, so for now I'm using MME.  VDL 2 works better on my laptop, so until I get a better pc (or mac) I have to do all my full ensemble work on that.  Thanks for the help all.
Are you using the DFD extension (direct from disk)?
I might also suggest checking to see that you have the most current ASIO driver for your soundcard. You should be able to find this information on the Creative Labs website.
Yep...I'm using DFD and I just bought the hardware (SB X-Fi Audio) which came with a bunch of updates and extra power. 
[quote author=iAmFarScape link=topic=995.msg4121#msg4121 date=1139899055]
Yep...I'm using DFD and I just bought the hardware (SB X-Fi Audio) which came with a bunch of updates and extra power. 

Often, hardware devices like this ship with old driver versions. It would be worth verifying that you are using the current versions available directly from Creative Labs. What do you mean when you say it came with a bunch of updates and extra power?

SB driver updates can be found at:
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