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Windows 7: 6 months now and still no solution to audio Crackling/Popping/Dropouts

27 Mar 2013   #31
thedoc735

windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Well Doc what makes you think I haven't already helped anyone out?

Not blowing my own trumpet mate but I have been on here for some time and while I am no expert I think I have done a few things right from time to time.

Anyway you seem to have it under control you can take point.
I'm sure you must have helped many people, sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm sure you have been doing a good job for quite some time and will continue to do so in the future. I apologise, I'm sorry!

I don't want to take over, I have similar problem to kwitel and now I have eliminated a memory and cpu problem, and discovered a high latency problem when the network card is running - what next?
Do you have any ideas please?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Mar 2013   #32
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Apology accepted Doc as I am not really in the habit of getting caught up in "jousting" for any reason. Personally I do this because I have always enjoyed electronics and and the fact I have had to give away my biking and woodworking days because of a bad shoulder fracture (gold prospecting) plus for my upcoming retirement. I am certainly not into the reputation side of being here and frankly do not like those who put "rep me if you... etc etc " on their posts.

Having said that I have been searching for anything to do with the Intel chipset to see if there is any bearing with it in relation to this problem. What is causing that latency could be a multitude of things from even something as simple as a faulty capacitor to a dry joint - whatever - hence why I try to work through the really basic stuff first.

As I replied to kwitel I think maybe the machine in his case is probably in need of replacement with yours if it is the same vintage and has the same specs then maybe ditto.

Now I di find this but it is an old quote from another forum but it seems to me to be the gist of what is going on. Have a look and see what you think.
In order to lower your soundcard latency, you must first understand what latency is and why it occurs...

Latency is the product of several system variables which occur in this order:

1. The A/D (Analogue to Digital) conversion necessary to get the audio into the soundcard takes time...it can't be done instantly...

2. The audio must be 'buffered' to ensure consistant timing. This involves reading a short time ahead of the current audble position and storing this 'advanced' audio in memory. This is the main cause of latency.

3. The audio must be routed inside the PC to the relevant application e.g. Cubase.

4. The audio application must apply it's effects to the audio stream.

5. The audio must then be routed back out to the soundcard.

6. The D/A (Digital to Analogue) conversion necessary to output the audio from the soundcard takes time though not as much time as A/D conversion.



As stated above, the buffer time is the prime component of soundcard latency...most soundcard drivers allow the user to configure the number and size of the buffers...the better the design of your soundcard, the lower your buffer number and size can be and thus the lower the latency you can achieve. In Cubase, the menu item 'Options' has a sub-menu called 'Audio Options' from which you can select 'System'. This will lead to the driver configuration dialogue which in turn has an 'ASIO Control Panel'. In this dialogue, you can set the number and size of the buffers which is basically control over the latency of your soundcard. Some soundcards may have configuration utilities which are installed along with their drivers (e.g. RME Hammerfall) or software.

I must state at this point that latency has basically nothing to do with your CPU speed, amount of RAM or Hard-Disk speed. It is almost entirely a function of the number and size of buffers your soundcard uses. So, in order to lower your latency, you must experiment with the number and size of these buffers...some soundcards do not allow this with certain drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #33
thedoc735

windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Apology accepted Doc as I am not really in the habit of getting caught up in "jousting" for any reason.

me too! no time for jousting, like kwitel, I simply want a fix/solution; if there is one?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Personally I do this because I have always enjoyed electronics and and the fact I have had to give away my biking and woodworking days because of a bad shoulder fracture (gold prospecting) plus for my upcoming retirement.

My retirement is not too far behind yours then - haha! A year ago I lost 75% use of my legs due to peripheral neuropathy, became dual incontinent and due to an agonising slip disc can only shuffle around my home a few yards at a time causing me to be virtually housebound! Was car (maintaining/driving) and computer nut, now-a-days it's mainly computer & networking! Can't drive due to the fact that I can't find the pedals anymore with my numb feet!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
I am certainly not into the reputation side of being here and frankly do not like those who put "rep me if you... etc etc " on their posts.

Me neither!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Having said that I have been searching for anything to do with the Intel chipset to see if there is any bearing with it in relation to this problem. What is causing that latency could be a multitude of things from even something as simple as a faulty capacitor to a dry joint - whatever - hence why I try to work through the really basic stuff first.

OK – finding/tracking down capacitors & dry joints?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
As I replied to kwitel I think maybe the machine in his case is probably in need of replacement with yours if it is the same vintage and has the same specs then maybe ditto.

Mine’s an old Pentium 4 with DDR2. Just to get it to work at all with windows 7 I had to change the GPU, increase the memory & change the network card; now the audio has gone potty!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
Now I did find this but it is an old quote from another forum but it seems to me to be the gist of what is going on. Have a look and see what you think.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
“In order to lower your soundcard latency, you must first understand what latency is and why it occurs...
Latency is the product of several system variables which occur in this order:
1. The A/D (Analogue to Digital) conversion necessary to get the audio into the soundcard takes time...it can't be done instantly...
2. The audio must be 'buffered' to ensure consistant timing. This involves reading a short time ahead of the current audble position and storing this 'advanced' audio in memory. This is the main cause of latency.
3. The audio must be routed inside the PC to the relevant application e.g. Cubase.
4. The audio application must apply it's effects to the audio stream.
5. The audio must then be routed back out to the soundcard.
6. The D/A (Digital to Analogue) conversion necessary to output the audio from the soundcard takes time though not as much time as A/D conversion”.
Yes, I see (basically).
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
As stated above, the buffer time is the prime component of soundcard latency...most soundcard drivers allow the user to configure the number and size of the buffers...the better the design of your soundcard, the lower your buffer number and size can be and thus the lower the latency you can achieve. In Cubase, the menu item 'Options' has a sub-menu called 'Audio Options' from which you can select 'System'. This will lead to the driver configuration dialogue which in turn has an 'ASIO Control Panel'. In this dialogue, you can set the number and size of the buffers which is basically control over the latency of your soundcard. Some soundcards may have configuration utilities which are installed along with their drivers (e.g. RME Hammerfall) or software.

My “Creative SB X-FI extreme audio” DOES NOT have the ASIO; I checked the spec and it’s the only one (X-FI) that doesn’t have this, probably because it was the budget/base model? It does have the creative audio control panel though. However the same problem manifests with the built in (integrated) motherboard’s audio device too!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
I must state at this point that latency has basically nothing to do with your CPU speed, amount of RAM or Hard-Disk speed. It is almost entirely a function of the number and size of buffers your soundcard uses. So, in order to lower your latency, you must experiment with the number and size of these buffers...some soundcards do not allow this with certain drivers.

I don’t think mine allows this? No ‘ASIO’, only the ‘creative audio control panel’ alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Mar 2013   #34
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 


I am really sorry to hear about your own problems and Ithink stuff like this really puts life into some sort of perspective and in away what the problem is with kwitel and your machine.

To be brutally honest in my mind the machines are in need ofreplacement and I ma not just blithely saying that because I know everyone hasfinancial and other problems ands it is probably the last thing either of youwant to hear. However my point is this could be resolved after a long period ofgrief tracking it down only to find that something is on it's last legs.

I don't know if either of you have had much to do with basicelectronics but as I think I mentioned the problem could be as simple as one ortwo faulty very simple components and without disassembling the machines andhave a look inside you are never going to find that out.

Having said all that we could carry on and try track thisdown and for that it is going to have to have someone a bit more cluey than meto do this remotely (like as we are doing right now) .

Now that latency I do have a gut feeling that it is whatfireberd said earlier on in the post just because you have tried the driversonce doesn't necessarily mean installed properly.

Now to do this it need s the exact model of your machines kwitel I find tow refs to your machine for drivers - 6400 XFR and 6400 ATG do you know which one? Doc same for you the exact model number.
These should be on a sticker on the bottom of the machine if not then you need to run that Speccy and find it as in my pic of mine. Speccy - Download < from piriform and screen shots would be real handy.

This is good for that How to Use the Snipping Tool in Vista

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #35
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Stuttering, as you note, is not really a latency problem as such. I have a home recording studio and very attuned to latency and its problems.

As you have both integrated and the separate Xfi card, make sure the integrated is disabled in the BIOS so it does not cause conflicts.

The DPC Latency checker (free download) DPC Latency Checker will look at PC System latency (not audio latency). That may help in problem determination.

Audio is always on a shared IRQ with a higher priority device and thus is also at the mercy of the higher priority device. Depending on what the higher priority device is can cause the problem.

The older hardware, trying to run all the Win 7 OS modules isn't going to be a good scenario either.

I too have peripheral nerve neuropathy due to Chemo (for colon cancer). We all are fighting old age. I'm a 75 year old "Florida Retiree".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #36
thedoc735

windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

I am really sorry to hear about your own problems and I think stuff like this really puts life into some sort of perspective and in away what the problem is with kwitel and your machine.
I agree with you!

To be brutally honest in my mind the machines are in need of replacement and I am not just blithely saying that because I know everyone has financial and other problems and it is probably the last thing either of you want to hear. However my point is this could be resolved after a long period of grief tracking it down only to find that something is on it's last legs.

Again, I tend to agree! ….but on the other hand I don’t like to be beaten by this thing!

I don't know if either of you have had much to do with basic electronics but as I think I mentioned the problem could be as simple as one or two faulty very simple components and without disassembling the machines and have a look inside you are never going to find that out.

I built the PC myself so I don’t mind taking it to bits. I can use a soldering iron. But no expert!

Having said all that we could carry on and try track this down and for that it is going to have to have someone a bit more cluey than me to do this remotely (like as we are doing right now) .

OK. You’ve done your best for which I am most grateful. No one can do more than their best. At least you are someone who is prepared to help others and sacrifice your time; very commendable!

Now that latency I do have a gut feeling that it is what fireberd said earlier on in the post just because you have tried the drivers once doesn't necessarily mean installed properly.

I agree. In my case I have tried a clean install of windows 7 on a new HDD and it made no difference to the problem.

Now to do this it need s the exact model of your machines kwitel I find tow refs to your machine for drivers - 6400 XFR and 6400 ATG do you know which one? Doc same for you the exact model number.

My PC has no number model number as I built it myself. It does have an Asus P4C8000 mainboard with intel Pentium 4 CPU & 3GB DDR2 memory. ATI GPU (AGP), creative sound card, Tenda W322P network card, HDD, Optical drive. This problem only became apparent when I swapped out the network card a few weeks ago, before that it was fine i.e. no audio problems! My old network card was a texas instruments 802.11 b/g.

These should be on a sticker on the bottom of the machine if not then you need to run that Speccy and find it as in my pic of mine. Speccy - Download < from piriform and screen shots would be real handy.

I’ll do the speccy thing as well, real soon!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #37
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Now the thing beating you I can understand but it is quite an old board mate and I am presuming so is the PSU.

Have you tested it out at all? could be down to it not being up to the task.

One of my testers was slowing and freezing then slowing down again to the point where I had done everything except look at the PSU flipped i a spare recycled Coolermaster and away went the problem and it has been fine ever since. So you might try this as well.

http://www.sevenforums.com/vip/257690-psu-how-test.html#post2130086 if you do go check this out PLEASE be very careful follow the instructions to the letter and don't open it up unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing, in fact just do the check and post back what you find. Now keep in mind that because the volts are ok does not mean the current being supplied id.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #38
thedoc735

windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

attachment


Attached Files
File Type: pdf Speccy report - 1.pdf (138.4 KB, 10 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #39
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thedoc735 View Post
attachment
Ok looks very much like my tester 2 only I have an Intel board that PSU is next up and without going all the way back the drivers for the sound card have all been updated.

As a matter of interest I haven't heard that many good comments about Creative but it is worth keeping in mind another sound card the brand I have (Asus Xonar DG's) in my machines nice cards and not expensive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #40
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thedoc735 View Post

I only have 3GB memory and my PC never uses more than about 34%, I have almost 2GB spare most of the time. I can't see why anyone's 4GB is not sufficient?

I have also swapped out my memory sticks/CPU temporarily which made no difference to the audio problems? I have also done the memtest thing anyway and used extensive testing with post probe/micro-scope (micro 2000) which revealed no issues. I also dismantled it and gave it a thorough dusting and 'contact' clean, non of which has made any difference at all?
Tthe problem goes away when the network is disabled. I don't want to have to disable the network connection every time I listen to music! All my drivers are up to date on windows 7. Also using pentium 4 CPU/DDR2 3Gb. All other functions work perfectly. The network card is a tenda W322p/PCI.
The same problem exists with either the motherboard on-board sound, or seperate sound card.
It sounds like a fast repetitive stutter similar to a vinyl LP styli that has got stuck in one groove over and over again; e.g. "gra-gra-gra-gra-grateful".
It's definitely a high dpc latency thing, but what to do?

@ ICit2lol = hey man! ~ let's all work together on this thing. I think I have now eliminated those physical possibilities though? Keep up the good work/suggestions, you never know, you might just end up being someones saviour
You are fairly rude for a person highjacking someone else's thread mate. You should start your own thread for your specific problem and not post to say you have the same issue but don't know how to fix it, that helps no one.
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 6 months now and still no solution to audio Crackling/Popping/Dropouts




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