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Getting Distorted Audio Output in SONAR

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Hoping someone in this forum recognizes this problem and can help me with more info.   The issue is that when working with SONAR, at seemingly random times, the audio output becomes distorted.  The only remedy is to close and restart SONAR.  Once in a blue moon, if I continue using SONAR while the output is distorted, it will pop out of the distortion and recover itself.

There have been other SONAR users in the past couple of years in other forums that have described the same behavior and have called it "frying bacon" sound or "hissing distortion sound.    But as far as I know, no one has identified the cause of the problem or offered a solution. 

I am running the latest version of SONAR 64-bit mode,  on WIndows 7 64-bit.  My audio interface is a MOTU Traveller using firewire.  I'm using ASIO, and as far as I know am not setting any unusual parameters for I/O buffers or other relevant objects.  Other than the random distortion, I am not experiencing any other audio problems.  I believe my computer is powerful enough - I am able to record dozens of tracks, each with multiple effects, and not experience any other drop-outs or clicking sounds.

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Posted (edited)

Are you using a TI chipset (Texas Instrument) Firewire controller?

 

In almost every case regarding a problem with a Firewire audio interface, the end-user isn't using a TI chipset Firewire controller.

Edited by Jim Roseberry

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In the meantime, if you go to Preferences>Audio Driver>ASIO Panel... and change the ASIO buffer size (to another value and then back to what it was), this may clear the distortion without having to close CbB (Sonar).

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This started for me with the last update.  I have all the right chipsets.  Suddenly I get a bump/bump/sizzle one I open Cakewalk.  This then continues no matter what.  Even after I close it.  Cakewalk is doing something to the firewire port.

I have a Allen  Heath Zed R16.   Has worked great for over a year.  Now once the upgrade ran, my DAW is useless.  Have reinstalled drivers.  I am going to purchase a new Firewire cable but all of this is not really the problem.  When Cakewalk opens the midi device on the system, it is hosing something up.

 

Click/Click/Sizzle.  Frying bacon is very minimal compared to this sound.

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Thanks Jim (Roseberry).  Right, when I reset the buffer size through the ASIO panel, the distortion goes away every time.  Still don't know what is causing the problem.   I believe the ASIO panel window is actually my sound interface (MOTU Traveller) configuration window launched from within SONAR.  So the problem could still be in SONAR which might be receiving new data from the interface and resetting itself.  But the problem may still be with the interface's settings , or even Windows 7.  I heard in a previous SONAR thread that there were difficulties with the audio paths in Windows 7 that could potentially cause audio problems like this one.   Seems like the next step would be to narrow the problem down to one of these areas.  

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FWIW, The issue is the chipset on the Firewire controller.

Over the past 25-30 years, I've seen many similar cases... and in almost all... the Firewire controller wasn't using a TI chipset.

With a desktop, the solution would be to swap the Firewire controller for one that has a Texas Instruments chipset.

With a laptop, you live with what it is (can't be swapped out).

 

The issue has nothing to do with the MOTU or Sonar.

 

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I've been fortunate in the past to run FW on Via chipsets, but it was an M-Audio unit.   That was always the drawback of running AMD systems since the boards mostly had VIA.

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