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bobernaut

Popping and crackling on kick, bass and guitars?

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Hello again everyone, and thanks for reading this.

Don't want to waste your time so I will get right to the question...

I get irritating popping and crackling sounds with primarily kick, bass guitar, guitars on some of my projects and not on others. I follow pretty much the exact same way of recording and mixing on all songs but have noticed that I have this problem sometimes. With the kick, it isn't even a real kick but the Session Drummer kick. The bass and guitars are real in the sense that I go through an interface and use amp sims and/or DI box.

I am not clipping on any tracks and I do use gain staging and a variety of plug ins. I have even turned the kick almost all the way down, in solo, and the pop/crackle is still there--same with the bass and guitars.

I have 16 GB for processing and rarely have audio dropouts.

I am curious if anyone else has had this same problem in the past and if so, how did you overcome this pop/crackle thing or does it still linger for you?

I welcome any suggestions that you might have about this and hope that someone knows the answer.

Thanks,

Bob

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You need to trouble shoot the issue by the process of elimination. In other words you swap out components until the issue goes away. It might be a hardware issue like a loose wire. To test plug in a set of headphones. If the problem is gone then it's in your monitoring system. If it's still there then work backwards starting with your USB cables etc. 

If you end up back at the DAW then try a multiband limiter on the master. If you have it try the LP 64  and see if your low end is hitting it too hard. 

 

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Posted (edited)

2 of a lot possibilities för the issues:

Buffersize is to small  or

unsymmetric cables.

Can you give more system specs aso ?

 

 

 

Edited by Pragi

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Thanks John and Pragi, for our replies and suggestions. I should have mentioned already that I am hearing the popping and crackling in m headphones. I do have old and probably beat up cables that I have stepped on over the years. I hear these sounds over monitors and through headphones.

Now, about the specs, I have the buffer set all the way to the left (extra small) and the default buffer size is set to 512 with 16 bit depth. I have played around with these settings and the noises did not go away.  Driver operating at 44100 hz; 16 bit.

One of my thoughts on this is that I may have overloaded the guitars and bass at time of recording (not according to my inputs though) but even if they were true, why is the kick also popping? The kick is just a sample from Session Drummer. As I have said earlier, even when I take off any plugs and also reduce the kick volume to almost nonexistent, the crackle and pop is still present. I don't understand this. I am not overloading the kick--it sits at -18 currently and the gain is set to -6 and this is still plenty loud enough like this.

Even with all plugs bypassed on Master Bus as well as individual channels, the pop and crackle is still there.

Okay, I hope this helps. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this as I continue to try to hunt this down.

thanks again

bob

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As I said you have to go through the process of elimination. 

You say the kick is clipping even when the track meters and all else show safe levels??

What happens if you try a different kick?

I can think of hundreds of ways to try different things. 

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Need the system specs as Pragi has said, why are you at 16bit sounds like a laptop with internal sound card?

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Ya I noticed your using 16 bit as well THat's not a normal default Here's a screenshot of a common default ASIO interface settings. 

2020-05-16.png

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Okay, thanks tez and John for checking this out. The screen shot was helpful, too. I have switched out many kicks and still no change.  Nothing I do changes the crackling on guitars or bass either.

It said 16 bits because I forgot that I had changed it in an attempt to learn anything about the crackle--it is not at 16 normally. I am not using an internal card nor a laptop but I have long suspected that maybe my interface is old and maybe nothing special to begin with. I have been using the UX1 from Line 6 for about 10 years.

I don't know what else you would like to see but I will try to get you whatever specs you would like to see if it will help. Hopefully, you have a screen cap to look at here. Please let me know what you think after checking the cap.

Thanks, guys

bob80813964_specs1.JPG.d156b37941fdf98f6efb9ee9871934c1.JPG

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Hey Bob, try this, go edit - preferences - configuration file and then thread scheduling model, I simply changed this value to 2 and I now have no pops and crackles. Let me know if you have any joy!

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Many thanks Matt! However, as per my luck with all this, it did not stop the crackle and pop. I really appreciate you giving it a try and I am delighted that it worked for you--you must be a happy person! Now, why couldn't it have been that easy for me, too (darn it)

thanks for trying,

bob

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Posted (edited)

The sorts of things we need to know are the specifications of your system. CPU, RAM, number and types of hard drive, operating system, audio interface (UX1) also, what you call a project, ie how many tracks/plugins etc. These things really need to be known before discussing anything about Cakewalk. If you don't know them then just the make and model of your computer will do. For example, if your UX1 interface is more than 10 years old, what operating system are you using it with, are you using drivers suitable for the operating system. It's best to check all this stuff out first before you go down the road of looking at software problems.

With things like pop and crackle, you have to look at things like the audio interface/drivers/operating system first. 512 samples on fastest buffer doesn't look right.

Edited by Tezza

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Hey all you guys, thanks so much for our help. Here's the funny thing--after reading tezza's reply, I suddenly remembered having this same problem about 5 years ago maybe. It's funny how we forget, but I am nearly 100% sure that I remember asking this same thing about the popping and crackle. What I determined last time this happened was that my system just couldn't keep up with all the demands that I placed on it. After I got a new pc last time, sure enough, no more pop, crackle and drop...up until now and here it is again. I have been putting off getting a new computer for too long now and that was mostly due to the hell of transferring everything over to the new pc. I was even on here awhile back asking you guys what you recommended for a new pc.

I'm still on Dell Inspiron 3847 i5-4440 CPU @ 3.1 ghz with 16 GB mem and 64 bit os with windows 7. It's from around 2009 although I haven't had it that long; maybe more like 5 years.  Also, service pack 1. and using that older interface as I mentioned. I'm real flippy about messing around with a pc that is working so I don't usually do much of anything extra (which is probably art of the problem). 

Tezza, I do have many plugs and about 30 to 40 tracks per projects; maybe 2 to 3 plug ins per track  and then there is all the buses and their plugs. In short, I think that I am right back where I was before...needing to upgrade once again. I don't want to waste everyone's time but man, as usual, you guys are by far the best at helping someone out with tech stuff.

Hey, Mark, thanks for that link. That was an amazing little gem and it basically told me what I just said above. It said, in part, that I was experiencing buffer underruns and potentially power management problems. It said to disable CPU throttling settings in the control panel and BIOS setup, but I am not exactly sure what they mean by this and I don't want to make things worse for sure, if you guys know what this means and how to do it correctly then please advise if it is not overly difficult to do.

So, what do you think? Is there hope for this machine for this application or is it time to send her on out to pasture...sniff, sniff. Thanks again to all of you folks for helping it is greatly appreciated. I'll stand by and wait to see what you might have to say now that you have some specs and stuff.

thanks,

bob

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Posted (edited)

That is a similar spec machine to mine, 4th generation i5 only I have 8gb ram, half as much as you. My projects are about the same size, 30 - 50 and with about 3 plugs per track, Instrument and audio tracks. I am on windows 10 but ran the machine on windows 7 for a long time. The only thing I see missing from your specs, probably one of the most important things, is type and number of hard drives. I have 3 SSD's, one for OS, one for recording/projects and one for samples/loops etc. I don't get any problems with my system currently with DAW work but am in the process of upgrading it, mainly for video editing work, looking for a better CPU. There is some information on this recent thread if you are considering upgrading:

 

 

I know from past experience that running  the types of projects I have described above with just one HDD for example, didn't work well for me.  There would be some spluttering. What hard drive(s) are you running?

 

 

Edited by Tezza

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Thanks for the follow up, Tezza. I remember (now), that I almost got the SSD when I got this computer but thought, "Naw, I'm not gonna need that for awhile..." Yep, here I am. I have only 1 HDD (SSCI disk drive, WDC., and no Solid. I am running any and all music programs (Sonar, Reason, Serato) through this 1 pc but never use this one for anything else, such as internet (updates only and buying plugs), or games and so on. I thought that by doing this, I would be alright since no other unnecessary clutter would be on the computer. I bet that is a smart and good idea to do what you are doing but I really don't know how to accomplish this and am always terrified of ruining everything by trying. How hard is it to do what you've done with the 3 different HDs? Is it possible to perform some variant of the different drives but just sort of by adding on maybe? I don't really know what I am talking about here, but it certainly makes sense to split the work up like you are doing.

Thanks again and please reply when you can. I'll check out our post in a bit.

thanks,

bob

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One more thought: try turning off your anti virus software and also wifi .  They can  mess your audio stream if not compatible with your sound drivers etc.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2020 at 2:17 PM, bobernaut said:

Thanks for the follow up, Tezza. I remember (now), that I almost got the SSD when I got this computer but thought, "Naw, I'm not gonna need that for awhile..." Yep, here I am. I have only 1 HDD (SSCI disk drive, WDC., and no Solid. I am running any and all music programs (Sonar, Reason, Serato) through this 1 pc but never use this one for anything else, such as internet (updates only and buying plugs), or games and so on. I thought that by doing this, I would be alright since no other unnecessary clutter would be on the computer. I bet that is a smart and good idea to do what you are doing but I really don't know how to accomplish this and am always terrified of ruining everything by trying. How hard is it to do what you've done with the 3 different HDs? Is it possible to perform some variant of the different drives but just sort of by adding on maybe? I don't really know what I am talking about here, but it certainly makes sense to split the work up like you are doing.

Thanks again and please reply when you can. I'll check out our post in a bit.

thanks,

bob

I just do it as a matter of habit these days, I've been using the 3 hard drive approach for about 25 years, i used it for video editing initially. When I install, I just put the one C drive in to install windows, then once windows is on, I wire up the other two hard drives and start installing the programs and samples etc. If you've got a heavily cluttered system on one drive and want to move to this type of system, then a reinstall from scratch would be the best way.  it's not that hard, once the drives are on then you install all applications to "C" drive and if they have any sample libraries, you direct those to the "D" drive when you install and they load there (or whatever drive you have named samples). Any loops can also go on the sample drive which is essentially a read only drive, I have sample libraries, loops, sound effects etc on mine. Then you designate your third drive to audio recording/projects only. All your recordings go to this drive which you set up in your DAW as to where the recordings and projects go, into the project folder.

Some do it differently but that's how I do it. You don't have to use 3 drives, it's just easier if you have large sample libraries, some use 6 or more. You might benefit from putting in just one more drive to put all future recordings/projects on.  Then you don't have to worry about reinstalling anything at this point. The good thing is, if you get a new drive, it can always be used in any future upgrade. How old is your current HDD, it might be struggling a bit. Also, the speed of your HDD is important, it might be a 5400rpm drive in there which is a bit slow for DAW work.

It's probably worth trying a few things as stated above before getting another hard drive, especially disabling CPU throttling if there is a BIOS setting for it. That's the other thing I do, about 10 things to the BIOS and some things to windows performance, especially on windows 7. Not worth going into now.  Tuning the system to perform best requires a number of steps. I don't know your specific problem is related to having one hard drive, it sounds like audio drivers to me. As a rule of thumb, I would not even attempt to run a DAW or NLE on one hard drive, especially if you are recording a lot of audio, electronic music, you might get away with it. It sounds as though your situation is a bit more dire and obvious so there must be something more serious going on. You can google how to do this stuff, things like "how to set up windows for audio production" and "how to disable CPU throttling on Dell inspiron 3847" etc I don't think Dell has settings for that though.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tezza

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I tried to skim this thread well but hey? Just my two cents to clarify already suggested things.

1. I didn't see that you had tried to swap out your USB cable to your interface as John suggested above.  This has literally happened to me twice this past year - once on my system and once with my son trying to set up his system.  Cables I had used for years , all of a sudden bad - the culprit!

2. I do see you have tried adjusting volumes BUT, have you lowered the volume at the source i.e. the VSTi itself?  It drives me nuts when certain instruments are overdriven in there default settings - even presets.

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I would also find the current version of the UX1 driver and see if you can find the older version online, if it's indeed up to date. I used to have the UX2 and that gave me no end of problems, switched it out for a Scarlett and seems fine now after changing a few settings.

Sounds like it must be the driver or the way cakewalk is using the driver, any pops, glitches or gaps in audio if you're just say watching Youtube or listening to music on the same setup?

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