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Lee D

Periodic Audio Dropouts / Static

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I have a Focusrite 18i8 first generation that I'm using with ASIO drivers.  It works fine 90% of the time but I've noticed that when I do a lot of playing and stopping quickly (which I do frequently because I'm editing small sections of MIDI), it will occassionally either:

1) Play no audio when I hit play (the transport moves but no audio).  If I stop and start again then the audio comes back.

or 2) Continuously play a static / humming sound through the speakers when the playhead is stopped.  This goes away if I hit "play" again or if I reset the audio interface using the button in the control bar.

Anyone have similar behavior?  It's not a huge deal but it gets a little bit annoying over a long session when one out of every 5-10 "plays" has a problem.

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I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2nd Gen 2i2 with the latest drivers and I am also very intermittently experiencing the second issue.

Unfortunately , I have not really done any troubleshooting of the issue.  Stopping and starting the audio engine always gets me back up and running.

If I were to ever troubleshoot this issue, the first thing I would be trying is to increase your buffer size using whatever tool Focusrite gives you for that.  I have mine set to 256 samples.

Sorry I could not be of more help.  (as least you know the second issue is not just you)

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2 hours ago, Promidi said:

If I were to ever troubleshoot this issue, the first thing I would be trying is to increase your buffer size

I would also do the same. Good advise.

But before any of that though, I would list my OS. Im using a Focusrite 18I8 first gen and have no issues here. But im using Windows 8.1.

- I would also take note of the problem project and all of its plug ins.

- Start a brand new project, Add in only tracks with no plug ins, test.

- Add one plug in at a time, test.

 

 

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Sounds like an unauthorized plug to me. Have you updated anything lately? As Chuck said add plugs one at a time, or bypass all plugs, and turn them on one at a time. Tedious but...

T

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What is your current ASIO Buffer Size?

Also, does the issue go away if you temporarily bypass all effects?  To check, hit the letter 'E' on your computer keyboard, and then start and stop your playback as you had been doing, to cause the issue to pop up.  (The letter 'E' is a keyboard binding shortcut in Sonar/Cakewalk that toggles On/Off the Bypass of all Effects).  If your issue goes away when all the effects are bypassed, then you likely have plugins loaded - effects - that require a large ASIO Buffer Size to properly process.  Typically, Convolution Reverb and Linear Phase types of effects are meant to used during mixing, and not during recording, due to their need for large buffers. 

For the rest of time, if you are recording, you will need to make sure your ASIO Buffer Size is small enough to keep latency lower then can be detected by human ears.  I suggest 128 samples as a reasonable starting point, and if your system can go lower and still process properly then you could go down to 64 or possibly 32, but 128 is a good place to start.

On the other hand, once you move on to mixing, you will need to make sure your ASIO Buffer Size is HUGE - to give the more robust effects room to do their thing - I suggest either 1024 or 2048 samples.  Once your ASIO Buffer is set this large, your playback will be fine, however there will be too much latency to record while using that large a buffer, due to the lag between hitting a note and hearing it play, and you won't be able to properly sync with what you are trying to record to.

SO - Recording = Small ASIO Buffer Size, and Mixing = Giant ASIO Buffer Size - forever.

All of the above is possibly what is happening, or as others have noted, you may have one or more unauthorized plugins, etc...  Either way, the above guidance is valid, and I hope it helps you....

Bob Bone

 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I'm running Windows 10.  My buffer size is at 96 samples.  I will try bumping it up to 128 samples and see if that fixes the issue.    I didn't even think about the ASIO buffer size being the culprit because there's no crackling during playback.

Robert Bone I hear what you're saying but I am frequently jumping back and forth between MIDI editing with VST synths and mixing, so I'd really like to get a buffer setting that will work for 95% of the time.   

Will report back after some research!

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The motorboating sound (constant hum) is a common issue with Focusrite drivers.

I get this intermittently too with my 2i2, 6i6 and 18i20 - all on different machines.

I found that a higher ASIO buffer does reduce the frequency of this happening.

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On 8/15/2019 at 8:03 AM, rlared said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I'm running Windows 10.  My buffer size is at 96 samples.  I will try bumping it up to 128 samples and see if that fixes the issue.    I didn't even think about the ASIO buffer size being the culprit because there's no crackling during playback.

Robert Bone I hear what you're saying but I am frequently jumping back and forth between MIDI editing with VST synths and mixing, so I'd really like to get a buffer setting that will work for 95% of the time.   

Will report back after some research!

I have never heard of an ASIO Buffer Size of 96 samples - could that be the sample rate at 96k?

Also, unless you use pretty much no effects - certainly not any convolution reverb or those that use linear phase processing, you will never have a single buffer size setting that works for mixing and recording - just does not work that way.

Bob Bone

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4 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

I have never heard of an ASIO Buffer Size of 96 samples - could that be the sample rate at 96k?

Also, unless you use pretty much no effects - certainly not any convolution reverb or those that use linear phase processing, you will never have a single buffer size setting that works for mixing and recording - just does not work that way.

Bob Bone

Nah it's 96 samples.  I agree, it's unusual.  It appeared recently in the newer Focusrite Scarlett utility, previously it just went form 64 to 128 samples.

Well I use algorithmic reverb and don't use linear phase EQ's.  But I know what you're saying, when it comes to doing the final mixing then the buffer size will have to go up probably.

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