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scott sonderman

Pop/crackle on MIDI clip playback

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Hi folks, first-time poster here. I'm having a problem with MIDI clip playback. I've tried searching the forum for this, and while there is a lot of info on pop/crackle, I wasn't able to find an answer to this one.

The setup is very simple: Empty project with a single-measure 4-beat MIDI clip linked to a 3rd-party VST drumkit. If I put the playhead at the beginning of the clip and play it I get pop/crackle, but only on the first beat. If I start playback in the middle of the clip there is no pop/crackle. If I put the clip on Measure 2 and start playback from Measure 1 there is no pop/crackle. So, this seems to happen only at the beginning of the MIDI clip.

This happens with multiple third-party VSTs but I have not been able to duplicate it with the instruments that come with Cakewalk. I should also mention that this happens intermittently, but once it begins to happen I can't get rid of it without exiting Cakewalk and re-starting. If I save the project once the problem begins, the pop/crackle will be present when I reload the project, even after restarting Cakewalk.

When I try the same thing in my other DAW (Reaper) I don't get any pop/crackle. I much prefer using Cakewalk over Reaper, but I really need to nail down this weird problem.

I've tried checking things like making sure my Windows10 is set the same as the project (both 48K). I'm using a vanilla Behringer 2x2 audio interface with their ASIO driver. The samples in the ASIO panel are set to 1024 while I'm doing this. Not sure what other specs to list, will give if needed.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for any assistance.

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What are your machine specs?  CPU, ram

You might want to just move the start of the entire project to measure 2.

Setting clips to start on measure 1 does not give the synth much time to initialise...

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I have Win10 i7 with 32GB of RAM. The popping occurs at the beginning of the MIDI clip regardless of where it is in the project, so I get it a lot when I am editing. Whenever I start playback at the beginning of the clip it pops, and it sounds like the same pop/crackle I get if the ASIO samples are too low. But it only happens on the first beat. Weird, eh? I can't find any mention of this problem anywhere else online either.

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Here is an out there thing to try.  See if you go into your PC BIOS and disable C-States and EIST (Enhanced intel speed states)

Also, go start+run and "control powercfg.cpl,,1" (without quotes) and set Minimum and Maximum processor state to 100% (This effectively disables core parking.

I had this issue with particularly CPU hungry VSTi plugins (Meldaproduction Mpowersynth for example) and doing the above solved the issue for me.

Also, what graphic cad do you have.  You might want to disable your high definition audio that is on your graphic card.  Make sure you're ussng the latest drivers there.  The latest Nvidia drivers are 451.67

I have an i5 4670 CPU and 16gig ram with a Focusrite 2i2 2nd gen set to 256 samples and I do not have crackles and pops with playback.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the BIOS stuff, I will take a look at them and see how they are set. This has been happening with Virtual Drummer PHAT, I don't know if that is CPU-intensive. It's also happened with Addictive Drums 2, and others. Since it only happens at the beginning of the clip and only on the first beat it seems like something is out-of-sync and then gets in sync, or something. I'm no audio expert, just an enthusiast.

Edited by scott sonderman

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None of those fixes has done anything to change this problem. Does anyone else have a guess? It's hard to imagine this doesn't happen to other people too, but like I said, I've found nothing online about it.

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1 hour ago, Nigel Mackay said:

Just to make sure, did you move the clip to start at measure 1? And start playback from time zero?

As quoted by the OP "The popping occurs at the beginning of the MIDI clip regardless of where it is in the project"

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Posted (edited)

It's a pity you cannot try a different brand audio interface - just to rule it out.

Another thing to try.  Adjusting your AUD.ini file.

This file is located here:  (copy and paste into Windows explorer)

%appdata%\Cakewalk\Cakewalk Core

You might need to make extensions visible. Start + Run "control folders" > view tab, deselect "Hide Extensions for known file types"

Make a backup before editing this file.

The first thing to try is, with Cakewalk confirmed as exited, rename the AUD.INI file.  restart Cakewalk This will rebuild the AUD.INI

Failing that, in Cakewalk, head to Preferences | Audio | Configuration file and make the following changes.  Might have to add some entries.  Some might already exist.

DropoutMsec= -8 (yes that's minus 8 )
EnableSetThreadIdealProcessor=0
MixThreadCount={The number of cores your CPU has minus 1)

ThreadSchedulingModel=2 (You may try 3, if you have other issues, set to 2)

I notice the Behringer 2x2 uses the ASIO4ALL driver.  This is simply a wrapper that causes a WDM/WKS or WASPI audio interface appear to Windows to look like an ASIO device when strictly speaking, it really isn't.

There are many posts on here that indicate that ASIO4ALL causes many issues.  (or course you will also find people who have zero issues with ASIO4ALL - YMMV)

Personally, and you're not going to like this, but I would ditch the Behringer audio interface and see about getting yourself an audio interface that comes with its own native ASIO drivers rather than ASIO4ALL(The Focusrite series is an example of such an audio interface)

 

Edited by Promidi

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@Promidi Actually this is what the OP said: "If I put the clip on Measure 2 and start playback from Measure 1 there is no pop/crackle."

So starting at measure 2 is the solution.

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10 minutes ago, Nigel Mackay said:

@Promidi Actually this is what the OP said: "If I put the clip on Measure 2 and start playback from Measure 1 there is no pop/crackle."

So starting at measure 2 is the solution.

The OP stated "The popping occurs at the beginning of the MIDI clip regardless of where it is in the project"

He also started what you quoted above.

Now I'm confused.....

Maybe he means that when NOW is at the start of the clip (regardless of its position) and he commences playback from there, that's when the clicks and pops happen.

That being said, you're right, it's best never to start a project on measure 1.  I also, always start on measure 2 (or even 3)

Anyway , I don't have this issue, I am only guessing at this stage. Hopefully someone else can chime in.  Personally, I think ha needs a different Audio face....

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If you read the post often enough the problem is only the first note and only if at measure 1. Synth needs time to get going. In the early days with only TTS-1 I used to have many measures available at the start to sun all the SYSXs and initialise all the controllers.

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I only used Measure 1/Measure 2 to indicate that if I begin playback before the start of the clip there is no popping.  Sorry for the confusion. I don't start projects on Measure 1, like everyone says the synths need time to initialize.

The popping occurs at any location in the project if I begin playback at the start of the MIDI clip. This whole thing seems tied to the start of the clip (and only on the first beat of the clip), whatever that might indicate.

@Promidi, thanks for your posts, I will go through that info and try to see what's what. I have the Behringer UMC202HD audio interface and I am using the Behringer ASIO drivers from their website, fully up to date. Everything else has been disabled/deleted, including ASIO4ALL. After all that, if someone tells me that the driver is still ASIO4ALL hidden in there I will laugh hard and yes, get another interface, so a definitive answer on that particular question would be nice. As near as I can tell it's ASIO. I explicitly deleted ASIO4ALL from my system based on other advice I've seen around the forum. But if I'm mistaken then, yes, I need to know that.

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If ASIO4All is not referenced in

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ASIO

then the software does not exists as far as Cakewalk is concerned.

 

 

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It mean that is the only driver available to CbB when running is ASIO driver mode.

 

 

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I do not know anything about the driver other than its name.

It could be a re-badged ASIO4All driver. It could be a manufacturer or 3rd developed ASIO driver. It may be a good driver. It may be a bad driver.

In some cases even though an interface comes with a custom written ASIO drivers performance is better using a different driver mode or even ASIO4All.

 

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That sounds like I can't be sure what I've got. I guess if there was a way to tell for sure someone would have mentioned it by now? Behringer lists multiple 2x2 interfaces that they specify are ASIO4ALL but mines not one of them. I got steered towards what looked like the same driver their more expensive equipment uses, but I can't tell for sure.

So my only real option is to replace my interface. How do I know for sure the next one is ASIO and not some re-wrapped thing?

 

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The ASIO4All driver however it is packages still looks like the ASIO4All driver when running its config.

Custom ASIO drivers setup screen look nothing like ASIO4All.

Still, I have not read about any attempt to use a different driver mode.

I have no experience with Behringer gear but did have an M-Audio inteface years ago. M-Audio wrote their own drivers but it turned out there was no advantage to using their ASIO driver. The interface performance was the same whether using WDM or ASIO.

The point is not to get hung up on one driver or another when using prosumer grade gear. Try them all.

Then again, the problem may not be driver related at all.

 

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