Jump to content
  • 0
johnchowseymour

Pop and Crackle with new ASIO interface, latency apparently not the problem?

Question

     Recently bought a TASCAM US-HD 4x4, and using the custom ASIO drivers it comes with, it can't record or play back without pops/crackles/dropouts.  I've read all the other threads about optimizing latency and system settings to reduce this, nothing works.

More Details:

     For years I've used a TASCAM US-122; it's too old to support ASIO but it ran well with ASIO4ALL.  I could record on its L and R inputs flawlessly, and I had no trouble with playback even with 20+ tracks of multiple VSTi synths.

     But, I wanted to record on three channels at once (vocals + stereo hardware synth), so I 'upgraded' to the US-HD 4x4, which has its own custom ASIO driver.  I keep hearing that a good interface with a custom ASIO driver is the best solution... but in this case, even with just a single, mono audio track, the playback through the US-HD4x4 has lots of little pops and crackles.  And while the system recognizes all four inputs, I can't record on even one at a time without the same pops and crackles ending up in the recording.

     I have tried all the usual performance-optimization things that get suggested: tried a variety of buffer sizes in the 4x4's custom panel, from 128 to 2048 (the largest possible setting).  I did all the Windows system performance optimization stuff in the system control panel ("Visual Effects" and so on).  Turned off WLAN and Bluetooth.  Basically, everything in the TASCAM manual's "troubleshooting" page AND everything I could find in other threads on the Cakewalk support forums.  None of this helps; it's still unable to handle even a single mono audio track without crackle.

     I honestly don't think system resources are the issue.  I have a Win10 64-bit Dell, with a 3.40GHz i7 and 16GB RAM, with about 120GB free on the main SDD.  The CPU usage monitor in Cakewalk never gets above 28% (in my single mono audio track tests).

     Instead of system resources, I feel like there must be something to configure that I haven't configured properly.  I'm at my wit's end trying to figure out what I missed, though.  

Some other things I tried:

     If I restart the system and go back to the older US-122 and ASIO4ALL it runs well again (so, it's not the mic or mic cable!), but of course I'd be limited to two channels again.

     I'm using the USB cable that came with it (type A on the computer end, type C on the TASCAM end), and I made sure it's in one of the "SS" USB 3.0 slots.  The AC power for the TASCAM is also plugged in.

     The TASCAM ships with a download code for Cubase LE, so I tried that, just to make sure Cakewalk wasn't the problem.  Nope, same popping/crackling issues in Cubase, on both record and playback. 

     If anyone has any further suggestions, that'd be great.  Otherwise, I guess I give up and return it.  Is my computer (stats listed above) really not good enough to run an audio interface with a dedicated ASIO driver?  Maybe I'll have to go the route of a 4-channel mixer into a single stereo audio-in.  Shame not to have the tracks separate in the DAW though.

     Thanks in advance. I'm hoping there's some obvious thing to try that I just didn't think of.  Let me know if there's any additional info that would be useful to provide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 1

Is “Dell SupportAssist Remediation” service running?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

Try disabling C-states and Intel Speedsteep (This is done in the PC's BIOS and the method varies between PCs)

Try Start + run "control powercfg.cpl,,1" (without quotes) and set CPU Min and Max to 100%

In preferences | Audio | Configuration File try adjusting the following:
EnableSetThreadIdealProcessor = False
MixThreadCount = {number of cores minus 1}

You might like to exit Cakewalk by Bandlab, go to the following folder and make a copy of the AUD.INI file before doing this:

%appdata%\Cakewalk\Cakewalk Core

Also, did you completely uninstall ASIO4ALL?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

Before you go down a rabbit hole of tweaks, is it worth reinstalling the ASIO drivers or even contemplating if it is the actual interface or the cable itself that is the problem?

  • Like 1
  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

I totally agree with @Hatstand

It won’t be a setting or tweak at this point. 
Tascam drivers are top notch but you do need to closely follow instructions as you install. If it’s like mine you need to turn on the interface when asked. 
And there is the possibility that the unit is defective that happens. 
It could even be the cable 

I just bought a Motu M4 and had same issues as you and it was because it is only buss powered and needs a USB 3 port with lots of juice. Stupid design. If I’d known this I would have bought the Tascam   4x4   
Right away I thought this might be your issue but I see you are smart enough to use the power supply 

You could try another USB port and cable but try installing the ASIO driver first 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

I had a very simlar thing happening with my Focusrite 18i8. Their support team were very good and connected in remotely to diagnose the issue. Sadly they couldn't and replaced the unit. However that didn't cure a thing. So not wishing to be beaten by this I went to basics. Removed the device from Windows. Then uninstalled the USB drivers from the USB cards/ports . Rebooted. Windows found the USB card again installed an appropriate driver. I connected everything up again and all worked just fine. So it was something with the USB ports and drivers in my case. These kind of glitches can be frustrating so I wish you well with finding a solution.

Simple things to try:-

Windows Power settings - should be "performance".
Make sure your USB ports are NOT set to "let windows manage power"
Make sure their are no other windows apps trying to take control of your audio devices.
Make sure that your windows audio bit depth and sample rate match your DAW ASIO settings to avoid any conflict. So for example 24bit "Studio Quality" for Windows and 24bit 48Khz for your CbB DAW ASIO setting.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

as a simple principle - whenever Microsoft does a large update on Windows, or i get issues like this after install some software, i just re-install my drivers and reboot. fairly painless (10 mins or so) but seems that the "stacking order" of runtime libraries gets confused somehow, so i make sure my drivers are "last in - wins"... and so far for the past 2 years it's been a reliable strategy...

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1
42 minutes ago, Glenn Stanton said:

as a simple principle - whenever Microsoft does a large update on Windows, or i get issues like this after install some software, i just re-install my drivers and reboot. fairly painless (10 mins or so) but seems that the "stacking order" of runtime libraries gets confused somehow, so i make sure my drivers are "last in - wins"... and so far for the past 2 years it's been a reliable strategy...

What I have done is told Windows never to update drivers using Windows quality updates.

This is done by following the instructions found here:

https://www.techilife.com/exclude-drivers-from-windows-quality-updates/
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1
Posted (edited)

I, too, just got the US HR 4X4 from Tascam and am very happy with it so far.

I've tested it out on two machines both running Cakewalk by Bandlab, one still on Win 7 and the other Win 10. I have no performance issues with it, certainly nothing like what you describe, @johnchowseymour. (unless I try and use it with its buffer size set down at it's lower end, like 4 samples!)  I do, however, sometimes notice one single little (sometimes not so little) pop or crackle whenever the device is first accessed, like when just starting CW or whatever other audio program set to use the device.  This crackle/pop can be  replicated in CW, for example, by simply toggling the audio engine button on and off in the control bar.

It seems that if I reset the buffer setting in the US-HR settings panel, even back to the same setting, this will clear the issue.

I know this doesn't help for the original post issue. I would definitely follow the Tascam install instructions to the letter, and follow the advice of others above here. The unit definitely works very well for me and my CW setup. Very happy I got it!

Edited by winkpain
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, scook said:

Is “Dell SupportAssist Remediation” service running?

Good catch, I hadn't come across that post before.

Turns out, in my case, it's not running.  Alas, that wasn't the problem. (And, my pops come substantially more often than the "every 20-ish minutes" that poster reported).

Thank you though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

So many great suggestions here!  I really love the Cakewalk community; everyone's so polite and helpful. I tried (almost) all of them and here's how it worked out:

 

On 3/1/2021 at 4:51 AM, Hatstand said:

Before you go down a rabbit hole of tweaks, is it worth reinstalling the ASIO drivers or even contemplating if it is the actual interface or the cable itself that is the problem?

Reinstalling the ASIO drivers seemed worth a shot, and it doesn't take long.   Alas, it didn't help in this case.  (Both times, I was very careful to plug things in exactly when directed by the instructions). 

As for the cable, the one that came with it is the only USB A -> USB C cable I have, although I'll be sure to invest in some more so I have backups if I go forward with the TASCAM.

 

6 hours ago, NealClark said:

Simple things to try:-

Windows Power settings - should be "performance".
Make sure your USB ports are NOT set to "let windows manage power"
Make sure their are no other windows apps trying to take control of your audio devices.

yes, yes and yes.

6 hours ago, NealClark said:

Make sure that your windows audio bit depth and sample rate match your DAW ASIO settings to avoid any conflict. So for example 24bit "Studio Quality" for Windows and 24bit 48Khz for your CbB DAW ASIO setting.

Oh, that's a new one on me.  It happened that my settings did match, but I'm glad you made me aware that this was even something to check. Thanks.

In case anyone else is looking for it, in Windows 10, it's Settings > Sound > [select the interface from the dropdown]   Device properties > Additional Device Properties (way over on the righthand side of the screen) > 'Advanced' tab.

 

On 3/1/2021 at 3:10 AM, Promidi said:

Try disabling C-states and Intel Speedsteep (This is done in the PC's BIOS and the method varies between PCs)

Try Start + run "control powercfg.cpl,,1" (without quotes) and set CPU Min and Max to 100%

In preferences | Audio | Configuration File try adjusting the following:
EnableSetThreadIdealProcessor = False
MixThreadCount = {number of cores minus 1}

You might like to exit Cakewalk by Bandlab, go to the following folder and make a copy of the AUD.INI file before doing this:

%appdata%\Cakewalk\Cakewalk Core

I will keep this list of additional tweaks handy if I ever run into performance issues.  Thank you so much for taking the time to write them out.

 

On 3/1/2021 at 3:10 AM, Promidi said:

Also, did you completely uninstall ASIO4ALL?

Well, it comes with its own 'uninstall' program, which I ran.  It seems to have 'cleaned up' after itself, even deleting its files.  If you know of any way to more thoroughly uninstall it, please share!

 

On 3/1/2021 at 6:41 AM, Matthew Sorrels said:

Try a USB 2 port.  Not all USB 3 ports work right with USB 2 devices (like the TASCAM).

This is what did it!

And here I assumed newer was just better, but no - apparently the US-HD 4x4 works unreliably with a USB 3.0 port, or at least the USB 3.0 ports on my computer.  Moving it to a USB 2.0 port made the near-constant popping go away.

 

Thank you so much, everyone! 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)

Glad you got it working and that out of the multitude of suggestions one of them worked. So it was very similar to my issue. I would have never guessed USB 3 would not work with a new interface. 
And thanks for the update it is very useful to all to know what the solution was   
 

Edited by John Vere
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Wow, that's great ! I'm glad you got that worked out!

My own pop/crackle situation remains. However it's just an annoyance, not a show stopper as it doesn't happen when playing back or recording. It is strange, though. I've never really had this issue before. I can now say it's pretty consistent, whenever first accessing the audio device, or whenever rendering a track or clip (at beginning and end), or as I said just toggling the audio engine on and off. And the previous "fix" I mentioned was just wishful thinking.

Unfortunately, plugging the device into a USB 2 only port is not an option as my machine has only USB 3 ports. Strange, but not the worst....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
5 hours ago, Promidi said:

What I have done is told Windows never to update drivers using Windows quality updates.
This is done by following the instructions found here:
https://www.techilife.com/exclude-drivers-from-windows-quality-updates/
 

thanks! i don't usually have problems except for the 2x per year for massive updates 🙂 more likely it's when i have other software products which have 2 or more runtime libraries to install that somehow squash my drivers. this is good info though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Glad to hear you got it sorted.

@winkpain are you still using the 404HD? I have no problems with the one I am using although like any interface it has its limits.

Funnily enough I have it plugged into a USB 3 port mainly because USB 3 supplies more power so I have less reason to use the power adapter  and secondly because my USB 2 bus is running an external hard drive, Novation keyboard, Vinyl deck plus the keyboard and mouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
12 hours ago, johnchowseymour said:

So many great suggestions here!  I really love the Cakewalk community; everyone's so polite and helpful. I tried (almost) all of them and here's how it worked out:

 

Reinstalling the ASIO drivers seemed worth a shot, and it doesn't take long.   Alas, it didn't help in this case.  (Both times, I was very careful to plug things in exactly when directed by the instructions). 

As for the cable, the one that came with it is the only USB A -> USB C cable I have, although I'll be sure to invest in some more so I have backups if I go forward with the TASCAM.

 

yes, yes and yes.

Oh, that's a new one on me.  It happened that my settings did match, but I'm glad you made me aware that this was even something to check. Thanks.

In case anyone else is looking for it, in Windows 10, it's Settings > Sound > [select the interface from the dropdown]   Device properties > Additional Device Properties (way over on the righthand side of the screen) > 'Advanced' tab.

 

I will keep this list of additional tweaks handy if I ever run into performance issues.  Thank you so much for taking the time to write them out.

 

Well, it comes with its own 'uninstall' program, which I ran.  It seems to have 'cleaned up' after itself, even deleting its files.  If you know of any way to more thoroughly uninstall it, please share!

 

This is what did it!

And here I assumed newer was just better, but no - apparently the US-HD 4x4 works unreliably with a USB 3.0 port, or at least the USB 3.0 ports on my computer.  Moving it to a USB 2.0 port made the near-constant popping go away.

 

Thank you so much, everyone! 

Glad you got things sorted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Hatstand said:

 

@winkpain are you still using the 404HD? I have no problems with the one I am using although like any interface it has its limits.

Funnily enough I have it plugged into a USB 3 port mainly because USB 3 supplies more power so I have less reason to use the power adapter  and secondly because my USB 2 bus is running an external hard drive, Novation keyboard, Vinyl deck plus the keyboard and mouse

Still using it? The Tascam US 4X4HR, you mean?

Yes. I only just got it, and except for the odd issue I mention above, I'm pretty pleased with it!

Edited by winkpain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

...Actually, this crackle/pop situation, although not affecting playback or recording, is really becoming quite nerve-wracking. It was just wishful thinking that had me feeling it was manageable.

So again, like the OP, brand new Tascam US-4X4HR. At this point I've:

  • installed, uninstalled, re-installed the Tascam ASIO drivers
  • changed out USB cables
  • moved the device to every USB port on the computer (all ports are USB 3)

The pops only happen whenever the application (CW) is, so to say, "grabbing" or "letting go" of the audio engine and at whatever buffer setting. So, for examples:

  • whenever first starting CW, or
  • accessing the Preferences page and making a change to the audio settings
  • whenever toggling the state of the audio engine
  • whenever adding a VST instrument (if I add 16 instances of the instrument with the "Track per output" setting, it  pops 16 times)
  • whenever adding an audio track template with a VST effect on in its bin
  • whenever toggling the Record Enable button on audio tracks

When I'm all loaded and up and running, recording or playing back, as I say, no issues. But it is pretty startling whenever casually adding something or toggling an instrument or effect and to be POPped out of my chair almost. It is like turning on an amp and powered speakers straight on with all the volume turned up. It is, randomly, not always that loud, but sometimes is.

I cannot choose to plug into a non-USB 3 type port like to OP did to solve his issue, but I have a hard time imagining a brand new, just manufactured and upgraded audio device, albeit USB 2, would not be compatible with modern, backwards compatible, USB 3 ports!

I have never had this issue with any of my previous audio interfaces and this same system. If I hook my Steinberg UR22 back up, there is not this issue, but then I don't have the 4 inputs which is why I bought the Tascam to begin with.

Does this particular type of "popping when accessing" shine a light on any bright ideas??

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

hmmmm. is the networking off or disabled? including bluetooth etc? this tends to be the biggest offender when there are audio system interrupts involved. in most cases i leave my networking on but turn off or pause my OneDrive and Google Drive apps. i don't use bluetooth so that's disabled, as we ll as my other audio sources like webcam and internal audio. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
4 minutes ago, Glenn Stanton said:

hmmmm. is the networking off or disabled? including bluetooth etc? this tends to be the biggest offender when there are audio system interrupts involved. in most cases i leave my networking on but turn off or pause my OneDrive and Google Drive apps. i don't use bluetooth so that's disabled, as we ll as my other audio sources like webcam and internal audio. 

Don't use bluetooth and yes, whether network is on or off. Although, I've been running my system with various interfaces while being connected online without issues for years.

In fact in troubleshooting this issue I've now (sorry for the repeat):

  • tried multiple USB cables, including USB C to A and USB C to C
  • tried the cables in all the available USB ports on my machines
  • installed, uninstalled, re-installed the Tascam ASIO drivers
  • tried with power adapter plugged in and with Buss power while on USB C - C connection

I have done all the above on two separate systems, one a Windows 7, one Windows 10. I have tried all available DAWs and VST instruments on both systems. The problem persists in all scenarios.

I am assuming there is something wrong with the unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...