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Author Topic: double dawg - audio interface debugging?  (Read 2093 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
    • | vintage audio production software + hardware info
double dawg - audio interface debugging?
« on: October 09, 2016, 03:57:00 PM »

find the cause of pops + clicks on audio interfaces

Snap, crackle, pop: The bane of the computer musician

I struggled for a few years with gapping problems on my music computer. There are many words for this phenomenon: clicking, snapping, dropouts and so on. The cause is your computer not being able to keep up with the soundcard or music software, and the result is buffer underruns leading to digital zeroes where the music is supposed to be.

I solved my problems and achieved reliable music recording and production in two stages. First, I bought hardware that was a few times more powerful than my system really required. This did not solve the problem. Second, I reduced the PCI latency of my video card, and my system went from flakey to rock-solid.

As a computer programmer, it struck me that my hardware upgrading had been impulsive, undisciplined, and expensive. I was upgrading various components of my system without knowing whether they were in fact running close to their design limits. I began thinking about a more disciplined approach to hardware upgrading. One which would be facilitated by software to monitor hardware utilization and help identify the best upgrade candidates. This lead to the development of the Ulysses performance monitor.

One Ulysses success story involved my laptop that I was using to record with an MBOX and Pro Tools LE. It had occasional gapping problems, and I was convinced I needed a hard drive upgrade. Ulysses indicated that while recording, the laptop hard drive was only 2% utilized. Some analysis time saved me money. Once I reduced the PCI latency in the laptop to 128, it became a reliable recording setup. I will also note that my laptop will not record music reliably with a wireless network card plugged in.

While I had performed all kinds of Windows "Tuning" tricks to eliminate gapping, such as stopping unnecessary services, getting the sound card into a slot that did not share interrupts, and so forth, I did not eliminate my gapping problems until I started managing the PCI latency settings of my video cards. This lead to my developing the DoubleDawg PCI latency management tool.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 04:27:04 PM by chrisNova777 »