Old 10-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #1
Matthew Ruggiero
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Default Crackling Audio in Reaper

I have the following system:
MSI P6N SLI Platinum mobo
8GB DDR2 800 memory
eVGA Geforce 8800GTS video card
Line 6 UX1 audio interface

Everything was working fine on WindowXP.
When I upgraded to Windows 7, all I get is crackling audio.

1. I thought it was Line 6 drivers, but I installed a Stealh Pedal and had the same issue.
2. I thought it may be a memory issue since I upgraded the memory when I upgraded to Windows 7. I reinstalled the old memory and the problem remained.
3. Now I am thinking it may be the video card since when I minimize Reaper, the problem seems to go away.
I uninstalled all drivers using Driver Sweeper, then reinstalled them all but I am still having audio problems.

I tried to use LatencyMon to check for problems but it just told me there were hard page faults.

This problem has been going on for a year and it is preventing me from recording anything.
Please help!
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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I have a similar problem:
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=66692

Too bad I can't offer you a solution.
Hopefully somebody knowledgeable will notice and reply.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
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I noticed your thread as well, carbon.
I have posted this problem at another forum and, so far, no one has been able to shed light on what is actually causing the problem.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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try going into your audio device properties, advanced tab, and make sure "exclusive mode - allow applications to take exclusive control of this device" is unchecked.

Also in your power/efficiency settings, make sure the USB idling (something like that) setting is off.

I had a bunch of audio problems with my interface/Windows 7, and after getting frustrated looking for answers on forums I just changed a ton of different settings everywhere which I THINK fixed it, and I believe the "exclusive mode" option did the trick but I'm not 100% sure.

Last edited by MatticusFinch; 10-14-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:31 AM   #5
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Thanks, Matticus.

I tried changing those settings and it seemed to be a little better but I am still getting static in my audio stream.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:43 AM   #6
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I had success in significally reducing DPC and ISR times by disabling NVIDIA graphics drivers and ACPI battery control drivers.

This is less than ideal solution though.
Also the hard page fault times skyrocketed.

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...59&postcount=4
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:16 AM   #7
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Nvidia Powermizer is famous for introducing crackling. I disabled it on my W7x64 laptop.

That said, when I switched the HD on the laptop and made a fresh W7x64 install, the laptop was unusable because of the crackling, and bad latency. No fiddling with driver upgrades/downgrades, installing in different order, turning wi-fi and battery control off, tweaking W7 etc, helped. Latency remained bad and the laptop was unusable for recording. I had to revert back to the factory (Dell) installed W7x64 to be able to record on the laptop (and even then it's not very great).

I never got it sorted out what the problem with my fresh install was, it just didn't want to work. And why the factory install, with all its bloatware, was much better, I have no idea.

Matthew, I'd stick with XP if I was you. W7 works very well on many computers (and I have home-built desktop that's doing splendidly with W7x64), but on some computers it seems impossible to get W7 working satisfactorily.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:02 AM   #8
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The only reason I upgraded was for the 64-bit support.

I had a feeling when this all began that to solve this I am going to need to upgrade my hardware.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:37 PM   #9
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Today, I got my new video card from Newegg.
Unfortunately, it didn't solve the problem.
So, now I am sure this is a motherboard incompatibility.
This really sucks!
Now I need to drop some serious cash into a new mobo, processor and memory.
I'll tell you one thing, I'll never buy another MSI motherboard!
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:39 PM   #10
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Did you try the beta drivers from NVIDIA?

They helped my situation quite a bit.
Although at the moment I settled to disable the NVIDIA graphic drivers completely - now I can run the StealthPedal at the lowest buffer size (96).
Crackling only when I open FX window, otherwise OK.

CPU usage is higher though, especially when moving windows vigorously.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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I would strongly suggest a few things, which I'll explain briefly as I go along...

1) On the fly power optimization software, such as Gigabyte Easytune, nVidia PowerMizer, and other software actually cause glitches with any interface, on any current computer. After the Pentium 4 era (we'll say, S478 era), Intel introduced Speedstep technology which would downclock your CPU to save power, and produce less heat. However, this also changes how audio is processed by your computer.

2) In your computers BIOS, you should disable the following features:

Intel Speedstep
Intel EIST
C1E
HPET

There are other features as well, however that is the general idea of what you need to look for. All of those BIOS features will have an effect on your CPU clock rate. While yes, DAWs need to keep quiet in the studio, these features will have their effects.

In general, disabling these options can prevent clicks/pops/crackles from audio in your recordings.


The process of digitizing audio is how the audio is actually broken into pieces, and then pieced back together later, so when your processor throttles down, it changes the way the audio is processed. If bits or bytes are missing during the clock rate change, then that's where you'll find clicks/pops/crackles in the audio.

Professional DAW systems are built using specific hardware that is tested over and over, and configured very specifically, with custom BIOS options. Home built systems usually don't get to this point, because many people don't focus on that part of the system. I'm not saying that anyone who builds their computer for DAW purposes aren't smart, I did it myself, but the research doesn't happen until the problems arise.

I'm not all knowing, but I have a pretty solid background with computer hardware by now. I hope this helps out lots of users. I don't go through these forums too much, but when I do see things, I'll try to address questions as best I can.
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGrabowMST View Post
2) In your computers BIOS, you should disable the following features:

Intel Speedstep
Intel EIST
C1E
HPET
Unfortunately I don't have that option with Mac - good advice for OP though.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:28 AM   #13
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For Intel Macs, I'm still looking for what could be the fix. I know my early MacBook Pro doesn't give me issues, but I have seen issues with it before.

I do know of some overclocking software for mac, but due to the design of the computer, I'm very hesitant to say it's a good idea, because while they do cool well, over time, with the fans running faster, it will fill with dust, and eventually start to get hotter and hotter.

Macs have begun to use the Intel Speedstep technologies, but only because the new CPUs are just insanely hot for stock speeds. Getting around that is going to be harder and harder because Macs are less mainstream than PCs when it comes to modding and overclocking.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:14 AM   #14
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LatencyMon is telling me that Reaper is experiencing hard page faults.
I am unable to find the cause though.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:54 PM   #15
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You probably have IRQ sharing going on between the IRQ your graphics card with your audio interface.

You can either try a different USB port, or try to see if you can get a quality USB card for your computer.

I would suggest trying back USB ports instead of front USB ports first, to see if there's a change.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:50 AM   #16
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How do I get a list of what devices are using what IRQ?
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:07 AM   #17
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You need to open the Run prompt and type in "msinfo32" and look in the IRQ dropdown menu.

I think it's really important to keep in mind that there's a huge difference between IRQ Conflicts and IRQ Sharing. Both are bad, but one prevents devices from starting/working, the other causes strange problems with hardware.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:06 PM   #18
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For IRQ 16, I have two entries:
IRQ 16 VIA 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller OK
IRQ 16 Silicon Image SiI 3531 SATA Controller OK

For IRQ 21, I have 2 entries:
IRQ 21 NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller OK
IRQ 21 Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller OK

For IRQ 22, I also have 2 entries:
IRQ 22 NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller OK
IRQ 22 Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller OK

Why are these IRQs being shared?

This is interesting.
I believe 21 or 22 is causing the problem.
So as Reaper is streaming the audio files from disk, it is trying to send it to the UX1 via USB over the same port.
Yeah, I could see how this would cause audio problems!

I really appreciate the help JGrabowMST.
Do you know how I can fix this issue?
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:32 PM   #19
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All IRQ's above IRQ 15 are what are called Virtual IRQs. They don't really exist, but they're allocated to resources differently to avoid piling on IRQs 1-15.

You said two things that really point to the problem, first that your interface is USB, and second that it stops when you minimize Reaper.

1) Reaper itself uses waveform rendering. Almost all audio apps do this, the only one I've seen that's different is SoundTrack Pro for Mac, where you can turn off the waveform rendering while recording.

When you're recording, you're using the USB bus, where it needs as much bandwidth as possible.

2) When you render waveforms during recording, it needs to be processed by your graphics card, which requires it to take some bandwidth.

The fact that both USB and the graphics card use the same IRQ means that they share the same resources when they're working.

You might be SOL depending on what your computer is, because Windows 7 handles hardware resources and allocation completely differently from Windows XP, and After Windows XP, the ability to manually set IRQ lists were dropped.

I had my own problems with Windows 7, but worked through it, but the fixes are always complicated. I would have to know more about what your computer hardware is before I could give you a better answer about it.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:40 PM   #20
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My system specs are as follows:
motherboard: MSI P6N SLI Platinum
processor: core 2 duo 6400 2.13GHz
ram: 8 GB
video card: evga geforce 8800 gts
audio device: line 6 ux1 usb
i am also using a logitech usb web cam
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:28 PM   #21
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Which PCI-Express slot is your graphics card in? Can you change the slot and see if there's a change in performance?
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #22
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No, the second PCIE port is for SLI use only according to the motherboard documentation.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:01 AM   #23
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815166017

That type of thing might be your best option, but I still can't guarantee that it's going to change the IRQ that you're using.

No matter what, the hard fact is, something is going to have to be changed, and it's just down to you to decide what you're going to try. I can give you suggestions, but since I don't have the same hardware you have, I can't really say what will solve your problem at all.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:17 PM   #24
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Well, I just went to Best Buy and bought a Dynex 4 port USB PCI card.
First, when I installed it, it installed to IRQ 16 like the other USB, however, once I rebooted, it was on its own IRQ.
I just did some playback and recording testing with Reaper and it seems my problem is fixed...by a $35 part.
To think, I almost bought a new machine over this.

Thanks so much JGrabowMST!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:18 PM   #25
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Just make sure you keep testing it, and also try testing Reaper above and beyond what you will normally use it for.

Those problems are weird, but as you saw, the fix isn't always as expensive as it comes off as.

Now, to just clarify one thing, as I had been reading into USB interfaces more, I never found a "recommended" chipset maker for USB cards for audio work, but I did read that NEC was not one to opt for. I'm not saying that you should worry about your now working setup, but I want to get that fact out in the open.

Cheers on a working setup
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #26
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I have terrible crackling/popping during my playbacks but it only starts about half way through the recording. It recently started after i began using ddrum triggers.
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:03 AM   #27
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FWIW I had all kinds of troubles with USB interfaces on an Intel i5 lappy. Stuff that worked in XP AND Win7 64bit previously on my old dual core fell over completely on the i5.
My impression is that there are a lot of subtle (and some not so subtle) issues with USB1, 1.2 and even USB2 to a lesser extent.
Seems to hinge on what USB drivers your interface manager decided to use, BUT I still have a UX1 - I will try installing it on my i5 lappy and see what it does. May take a day or two before I have time.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:06 PM   #28
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Default I too had a crackling audio problem ...

... And it drove me nuts. I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked. Almost at the point of giving up and resigning myself to living with it, I found a post on a forum somewhere that suggested disabling MalwareBytes website monitoring and protection feature. Seemed like a long shot but I gave it try and amazingly enough that was the magic ... it solved my problem completely.

Of course maybe none of this is helpful to you because each set of circumstances is different but I figured I'd share this anyway on the chance that it might help someone.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:56 AM   #29
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some of my fixes... (on ubuntu linux v1404 via wine and pulseaudio, but some settings might help you too).... Ok i set media buffering to 0 for off and this helped reduce a lot of stuttering. At 2 and 4 times the default value it was good to, but only temporarily. I dont have a slow hard drive but i am using ext4fs which is journaled. But so is ntfs anyways... I set the master meter rms window to it's highest and slowest setting--less screen activity. Also disabled unneeded vst meters. Also to prevent lockups i disabled anticipative fx processing for rendering. I gave up on windows 7... It was too buggy for me. It's almost as bad as vista so u might as well look up vista tweeks and optimizations too. Best stability i ever had was on windows xp sp2 home oem 32-bit. But ubuntu is useable for me. Also, dont use any graphics card that steals system ram. A good 8MB pci card for 10 bucks can be better. Theres lots more tips but cant list them all so... Http://blackviper.com
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:33 PM   #30
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may be this will helpful for someone , my system is vista mbox2 and reaper 4.22.
here is how I solved my problem entirely in reaper ,
in preferences first you have to check "request sample rate" to 48000 and this is not gonna work but when you return preferences and uncheck this setting "request sample rate", somehow audio settings remain in 48000 sample rate and bingo !!! all crackling sound when recording gone.I'm happy with it now.
regards
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:15 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwfllp1234 View Post
I have terrible crackling/popping during my playbacks but it only starts about half way through the recording. It recently started after i began using ddrum triggers.
What audio card and buffer settings, what have you done to optimize your computer for realtime audio?

-This is the guy that bumped the thread, the rest are from 2010
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:52 AM   #32
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Default Years later

Geez, I know this is an older thread but I was pulling my hair out with crackle. In reading the above thread it got me thinking that I moved my Steinberg UR22 interface to a different location on my desktop and in so doing moved the USB port on the PC from a USB 2 to a USB 3 port. Did that cause the crackling? So I plugged the cable back into the USB 2 port and (fingers crossed) it seems to have stopped the crackling. Thanks to the folks above for coming up with so many possibilities....
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:01 PM   #33
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What I'm going to say may be completely off the mark (i.e. may not apply to your situation), but I once had a crackling problem, no wait three times I had the problem, and here is how I fixed them:

1) The first time was solved by removing a VST plugin (I think it was Barricade Limiter) on the Master track. That was it! One single plugin can do you in... On a side note, I read somewhere that some plugins on the Master track can cause problems, as well as use more CPU, but not cause problems on regular tracks. And therefore, I now always mix my song on a normal track I call 'Premix'. Then I route that 'Premix' track to the Master. It's useful for many other reasons. Do you have crackling with no FX on anything?

2) Crackling occurs if you chose the wrong setting in ReaTune. Just saying, in case you have that VST running?

3) Crackling occurs if I choose a small block size in the Audio Media interface (cntl+P). Asio calls it block size, others may have different names, but that setting is related to Latency. Smaller settings are good for recording, BUT you may need to put in bigger value when mixing. I got into the habit of changing that value, back and forth, depending on the task.

Well. That's all I got. I sure hope you can fix that problem. I know how terrible the feeling is when you are stuck with it.
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