Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

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lord_galathon
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:09 pm

Hi guys, been using Mixcraft since V4.x and am now up to 6 Pro Studio.

I need a recommendation for an audio adapter of fix. First some background from when it worked properly.

Used to run on AMD FX-63xx series CPU with 16Gb RAM and SSD, M-Audio Audiophile 96 and Win 7.

That worked well for a while then suddenly, probably after a Windows update I started getting crackling, popping, snapping in the playback. These sounds did not translate into the "mixed down to" track. Only the monitor playback like when recording, adjusting and so on.

They seemed random, not related to how many tracks I used, whether or not I'd freeze tracks, VST used or effects. No idea why, I work in IT (real actual job that pays the mortgage and credit card) and all my troubleshooting steps led nowhere.

Soooo. I installed Mixcraft on one of my office PCs (spare PCs) to test it out on a generic HP branded desktop computer with a generic embedded audio chipset, nothing fancy, i7 class processor @ 2.8Ghz, regular 1Tb HDD. Two monitors.

That worked well but of course I can't record at work.

I went out and spent 1000$+ on some new hardware - which reminds me I should edit my signature:

i7 Class processor @ 4ghz, 16Gb DDR4 on a new motherboard, 480Gb SSD drive, Dual GeForce 1060GTX, but kept the M-Audio.

Installed Windows 10.

Still getting snap crackle and pop.

What am I doing wrong?

I have on a shelf at home unused:

Behringer USB interface - UCA-202
Asus Xonar DX

Would any of those two help?

If I wanted to get a new audio adapter to use with Mixcraft with low latency and high quality what should I get within a reasonable price (like < the price of an XBox One...)

What do the devs reccomend?
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

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Rolling Estonian
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Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by Rolling Estonian » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:52 pm

Look into getting an audio interface. A bunch out there and everyone will give you an opinion of which one is right for you, Focusrite is very popular and has a great track record. You need to figure out your needs, inputs/outputs, cost, etc. A computer that powerful should have an I/O that will help it record with the most efficiency.

M

lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:58 pm

I'm about to take out the M-Audio card. It's as well as unusable right now with no Windows 10 drivers available.

The onboard works well for playback. Not sure about recording but I'll test for lag.

I just tested the Behringer UCA202 USB audio interface and Mixcraft doesn't pick it up.

I'll keep everyone posted.

Just so you know my system load right now with Mixcraft playing about 20 tracks (8 groups) no frozen tracks, plenty of VSTs is 11% CPU and 13% system with a browser open and me typing.
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by Mark Bliss » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:21 pm

You seem to have bombed the area of concern and reused the likely suspect maybe?
While the interface seems suspect, (since everything else seems to have been changed?) you haven't really mentioned trying different buffer settings to test performance change.
Stay in tune, Mark

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lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:27 pm

I've been playing with the buffers even since before changing PCs. It has brought nothing good, more crackling and latency. However I've just tested it with the onboard card using ASIO4ALL drivers and it's "decent" although still not perfect I have the popping down to a minimum that might allow me to record some decent audio.

No lag either.

Next step will be disabling onboard audio through the BIOS and testing with the Behringer to see if I can "force" Mixcraft to detect it. So far it's been no luck with that.

Last resort might well be a new audio interface.
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:30 pm

I almost always record alone, and have an external mixer + POD2.0 for guitar/bass effects: Would this be suitable?

https://www.amazon.ca/Focusrite-Scarlet ... +interface

I mean in terms of latency and performance.

Oops I just saw it's out of stock. How about this one:

https://www.amazon.ca/Behringer-302USB- ... +interface
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

JonInc
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Location: East of Santa Monica

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by JonInc » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:34 pm

lord_galathon wrote:I

https://www.amazon.ca/Focusrite-Scarlet ... +interface

I mean in terms of latency and performance.

Oops I just saw it's out of stock...
It wouldn't hurt to try your Xonar DX card. Win 10 drivers here:

https://www.asus.com/us/Sound-Cards/Xon ... _Download/

Failing that, Focusrite is a solid choice.

I don't know which Focusrite Scarlett you were looking at, but it's unlikely all of the models were out of stock (FYI, the models in the Scarlett series at your price point are the Solo, 2i2, 2i4 and 6i6 -- all of which are at or under $250 USD).

I can also personally recommend the Steinberg UR22, UR242, and UR44 -- solid build and drivers (and in a same price range).

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chibear
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Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by chibear » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:57 pm

I had an Audiophile 192 installed awhile ago and had lots of artifacts. My Asus is very clean by comparison.

One thing that hasn't been touched on is that it appears you're running everything off one drive, so you have Windows, Mixcraft, any VSTis, and any fx all accessing that one drive at the same time. Even for a SSD that's asking a lot. You might want to split the load over 3 drives: OS, Apps & Data, and Libraries so your single drive doesn't start smoking before its time.
Win 7 Pro, 3930K, Gigabyte Ga-X79-UP4, Corsair AX860i, 64GB gSkill 1600 RAM, 5 X 120 GB Intel 520 SSD, 1T & 2T WD caviar black, EVGA nVidea 560, Asus Xonar Essence STX EWQL CCC, Kirk Hunter, Chris Hein, Omnisphere
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lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:32 am

Drives... I don't mention all the drives in my system because there's a limit to the signature characters but at this time I have four drives. Three internal and one USB3 drive.

In the last year or so I tried all kinds of combos with drives.

-Everything on the main SSD drive, including OS, Mixcraft and all the tracks and related project files.
-Spread across two drives, OS on SSD drive, Mixcraft installed on a second SSD drive along with all the project files there.
-OS and Mixcraft on main SSD, project files on normal HDD.
-OS and Mixcraft on main SSD, project files on USB3.0 drive. <- this one works just fine on a generic HP Desktop PC I have at work but I can't record audio there. It's my office PC.

No crackling WHATSOEVER there without even tweaking anything. I had also tested to see if it was related to Windows 10 so I installed it on a fairly old laptop I don't use at home and it worked just fine, no artifacts nothing. But the laptop has no second video port so I can't work with it - call me spoiled, I need my three monitors to be comfortable.

I've ordered the Behringer I listed above, should have it here tomorrow, we'll see then.
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:35 pm

Well then... that was a waste of time - and probably of 70$ I'll never see again:

The Behringer 302USB is provided with no "real" Windows drivers. Instead the company relies on ASIO4ALL to support it with ASIO drivers that don't really work that well.

This is the exact opposite of what is said on the Amazon page: "ultra-low latency driver downloadable"

The Behringer support page offers no Windows drivers - but their forums say to install the 64 bit version of their driver, which is nowhere to be found.

I'm thinking of just going back to Windows 7 at this point.

Oh and in case you're wondering: there still is some snap/crackle/popping. Not as much as with the M-Audio card but there is some, and this is with the headphones plugged directly into the interface. And yes, I've tried different headphones, besides, I play videogames regularly on this machine with no sound artifacts, if it were a wiring, headphones or amp issue I'd have figured it out by now.

This is definitely something to do with the software and/or drivers.
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

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Rolling Estonian
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Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by Rolling Estonian » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:38 pm

The only thing I can add, other than your situation stinks, is that there's some some driver conflict or one of those weird computer things (hardware) that does happen, seems the common denominator is the Maudio. I would still suggest going with a bit better of an I/O, not that much more than the $70 Behringer (which, if you bought from Amazon is easy to return). If you're planning on doing decent recordings you really should have a decent I/O.

M

Torton5
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Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by Torton5 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:05 pm

Your audio interface, the operating system, the software and the VST's/effects you use all have to be on the same page. In addition, your operating system must be in harmony with your computer hardware. To run windows 10 for example, Your computer hardware must be compatible with windows 10, as should be your audio interface hardware and drivers, your music software and your VST's/effects.

It sounds like you are trying to run windows 10 without compatible components. Do you need to run windows 10? The main problem though is the interplay between USB 3.0 drivers and audio hardware drivers because upgrades to windows 7 sp1 change the way the usb 3.0 drivers work. If you stick to windows 7sp1 (64 bit) and usb 2.0, you cant go wrong.

If you must use windows 10 and have only usb 3.0 drivers on your motherboard then they may well be problems of the type you are describing because audio hardware and usb 3.0 can be finnicky. You will have to work through this with the audio hardware forum to which you belong if there are problems.

The only way this could be a Mixcraft problem is if you are running an old or cracked version of Mixcraft, not setting the buffers correctly for the type of work you are doing, or choosing the wrong type of drivers for the interface.

lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:23 am

Rolling Estonian wrote:The only thing I can add, other than your situation stinks, is that there's some some driver conflict or one of those weird computer things (hardware) that does happen, seems the common denominator is the Maudio. I would still suggest going with a bit better of an I/O, not that much more than the $70 Behringer (which, if you bought from Amazon is easy to return). If you're planning on doing decent recordings you really should have a decent I/O.

M
Well the M-Audio is sitting on a shelf, drivers uninstalled for good measure. Right now I've setup a remote desktop access to my studio PC from work. When I have a few minutes I can test it out from here under different conditions but it occurred to me that it all runs properly on my old 2nd gen i5 laptop. After looking at this laptop more attentively I realized it does in fact have a display-port interface which should allow me to use it with two monitors.

I also want to test the Behringer interface with the laptop.
Torton5 wrote:Your audio interface, the operating system, the software and the VST's/effects you use all have to be on the same page. In addition, your operating system must be in harmony with your computer hardware. To run windows 10 for example, Your computer hardware must be compatible with windows 10, as should be your audio interface hardware and drivers, your music software and your VST's/effects.

It sounds like you are trying to run windows 10 without compatible components. Do you need to run windows 10? The main problem though is the interplay between USB 3.0 drivers and audio hardware drivers because upgrades to windows 7 sp1 change the way the usb 3.0 drivers work. If you stick to windows 7sp1 (64 bit) and usb 2.0, you cant go wrong.

If you must use windows 10 and have only usb 3.0 drivers on your motherboard then they may well be problems of the type you are describing because audio hardware and usb 3.0 can be finnicky. You will have to work through this with the audio hardware forum to which you belong if there are problems.

The only way this could be a Mixcraft problem is if you are running an old or cracked version of Mixcraft, not setting the buffers correctly for the type of work you are doing, or choosing the wrong type of drivers for the interface.
The first and only reason for me to run Windows 10 are updates. When installing Windows 7 the update process that follows is mortifying. The first round of updates typically takes in excess of 5 hours to complete on a 100/100 fiber connection, but then there are other updates, I usually start the updates and go to bed and the next day come back to see it's still updating...

Microsoft should, but never did, release a SP2 to expedite all of this.

Windows 10 updates take 20 minutes from scratch.

New system is now all brand new from CPU to motherboard, graphics adapter, and now even the I/O Interface. Everything in there is made for Windows 10.

System load on this new system, as monitored in the lower right hand corner of Mixcraft, is quite low. It did clip to 100% on my old system so that's why I got the new PC in the first place.

To put your mind at ease about Mixcraft no, I'm a registered user, bought the first copy v4 around 2010, then upgraded it until 6Pro. Am looking at upgrading to 7Pro but I want to make sure it's necessary and would solve my popping issues.

The one thing I've not tried is to remove all the VST effects from the tracks to see if that changes anything at all. I'm on that now - remotely. If it does remove the popping I will then add them one by one until I get popping and revise from there.

Thanks everyone BTW for the help.
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

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Mark Bliss
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Location: Out there

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by Mark Bliss » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:53 am

I cant address the problem directly, as its hard to guess just what is going on there. But I do have some input, even if it is nothing more than opinion.....

First, I recently migrated to a Win10 system and can tell you this: The stock, OE audio drivers are the worst I have ever had in a PC. Almost useless for anything other than low end consumer use. And furthermore, all the add-on stuff that worked smoothly in Vista and Win7 is sketchy at best in Win10. Its been a struggle and I haven't found a great solution yet.
Example. My old interface and its old drivers works. But if I disconnect it and try to revert back to the computers sound card and OE drivers, things go haywire. Trying to use Mixcraft with the on board soundcard will often fail. I have to save, close and often reboot the computer to get it to function at all. I used a Bluetooth speaker system, and after installing and running that, everything seemed better for a while, I could switch between and use Core Audio, ASIO, use the headphone out or switch to the Bluetooth out in Mixcraft, everything seemed much more normal. Then suddenly for no apparent reason NOTHING worked again. Re-boot and back to funky and erratic. Getting further off on this tangient, I tried a set of Bluetooth earbuds, for untethered and private mobile monitoring. Love the things. Tried using them as a Mixcraft output. Lock up and crash. Took a few tries but I discovered the driver was selecting 8000/16 in preferences. Yes that is not a typo. No worky.

Anyway, my overall point is that Win10 has not been smooth sailing for me....... The rest is just sharing the humor of the situation.

As far as the interface goes, it looks like you have determined it may not be the root cause of your issues. Still unclear. But that said, and just another opinion: Having that much horsepower and choosing a $70 low end interface that uses ASIO4All for a driver, would feel to me like putting a set of wheels and tires from a '67 Beetle on a Porsche GT3 and trying to cut a good lap. You may not need the additional channels of a higher end interface, but you should could use the other features and a better dedicated driver, even if it has nothing to do with your symptom. Again, JMO.

I don't know if it would help, but maybe you could submit a log file captured when the problem is occurring, send it to support for eval and see if they see any clues.
Stay in tune, Mark

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lord_galathon
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Montreal, Canada.

Re: Snap Crackle Popping on (very) high end PC. Please help.

Post by lord_galathon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:10 am

Removing all VST effects also removes the popping sounds. I am re-adding them one by one to see which one it is. There aren't that many.

[edit] trying to close Mixcraft now went to "not responding" after saving the temp project with no VST effects. I had to end-task it. This seemed to be caused by the ASIO4ALL driver.

Also, you are absolutely correct in stating that the Behringer USB interface seems under-powered compared to my system because of its low cost, however other users have reported it working very well for them.
i7 6700K 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI motherboard
16Gb DDR4 RAM
ASUS Dual GeForce 1060GTX 3Gb
480Gb aData SSD SATA3
28" 4K Samsung monitor
Casio USB keyboard
Behringer B-1
Steinberger Scorpion ST
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Ibanez BX Bass

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