Drive speeds

Vista Business x86
Audacity 2.1.1
Intel Core 2 4-core
SATA interface

I get noise now and again when I record MIDI from Anvil onto Audacity as audio. Would a 10,000rpm hdd or an ssd be any better than my 7,200rpm hdd?

Sample is at

The noise is four seconds in.

The glitch certainly does sound like dropped data, though I’d be surprised if it is due to, or entirely due to disk speed.
SSD’s are certainly MUCH faster than any spinning disk drive. Using an SSD would ensure that there is no data bottleneck at that point, though it is not guaranteed to solve the problem. The first thing to look at (and look closely) is what else is running in the background. I’m rather out of date on Windows as I’ve rarely used it over the last few years, but I’d guess that the Task Manager is still a good place to start. Open the task manager and attempt to identify all of the applications and processes that are running. See which ones are eating up CPU and RAM. Check which ones may be safely shut down.

For testing purposes, I mostly use a cheap laptop with a 5400 rpm hard drive, (Debian Linux OS) and I don’t get audio drop-out unless I’m pushing the system really hard. This shows that even a slow hard drive can perform well enough if the recording task is not too demanding.

I have thought of going Linux but the VSTs I use aren’t written for it.

Also see


Thank you Gale.

Downloading the software talked about in there.

I’ll summarise what I took from the handbook:

Kill unneeded processes
Minimise all windows that show movement
Work from a fresh reboot
Record in mono when you can
Make a RAMdisk

My own finding is not to use sound activation.

If all else fails, make two recordings of the MIDI and edit them together.

I’m not sure why Sound Activated Recording might be more prone to dropouts, given the Sound Activation Level was set correctly.

If turning Sound Activated Recording off reliably prevents dropouts that would otherwise occur, perhaps we should investigate that.


It might be coincidence, but switching sound activation off stopped the problem the other day.

I reinstalled Windows for another reason. I installed a RAM disc and left out TuneUp Utilities. Glitches gone. The problem I had with Control Panel not opening has gone, too.

I have never had a system tune up app that did any good, Windows nor Android. I’ve had battery-saving ones that drained the battery quicker.

The crackles came back. Upgrading to 7 64bit has, for now, got rid of them.