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Michael Fogarty

Laptop Question XPS 9350 Zipper Sound Playing VST's Intermittent/Random

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Yes, that's it. I am afraid to go try it out again because its so discouraging when you have such an expensive laptop, using it with a new Yamaha keyboard or even another interface and you are super into your rehearsal for live gig and damn - the sound comes. You've been doing this a long time, have no problems on your desktop for years or your other laptops. Is it the VST's?. I tried a bunch of tweaks, getting rid of many startup programs, background services, made sure the Realtek Onboard card is disables, etc. I will pay somebody for services online video chat, or trade some of the time by  mixing, adding keys, (I even have a Hammond with Leslie - yum) backing vocals, etc. Let me know if you want samples. I am pro, but I was never a geek (I say this in great respect). I haven't run into any computer problems (software) that I couldn't handle - you can look in the signature at some of my gear. 

My desktop as well I can only get down to 128 samples 2.9ms (not roundtrip).  For Omnisphere, Ravenscroft Piano, Scarbee, etc I can feel the latencyI have an i5-3570k CPU @3.40Ghz 16gb RAM 64bit Windows 10Pro. I was told at the time I had this computer built (not a professionally built machine - a friend) that this particular i5 model is basically as good as getting an i7. 2 Years ago close close friend of mine Laz Harris, Presonus Asian Main Guy -  said it's not just the speed difference - that's where the guy who built my computer for audio made a mistake , the i7 actually does something an i5 won't do - was it multi-threading or something? I wished I could tell you by I'm a bit inept at this subject(but I can listen to your mix and tell you without a chart which frequencies to raise or lower in the spectrum or how to tweak your Ravenscroft Digital piano to sound like if you are seriously in a concert hall (not just reverb and mic placement but how to add wood sound, sneezes in the audience. (the last part was a joke sorry. I figure if you made it this far you must be drinking, blazed, or just a nice person.).  

Do I need an i7? How do I get the latency down. I have one of the new MOTU AVB types abd Jim said they should be able to go way down. I have a Presonus DP88/Studio 192 I will sell for beans because Laz warned me it was great with Studio One but the latency was bad with other DAW - boy is it ever. They made their DAW similar to Pro Tools in the fact that it runs miraculously better with the companies own hardware or vice versa. Seems they have fixed that with the Quantum, but I am not in the market for a new interface at this point. I just got Dynaudio BM6, a new CLP545, and other enhancements. My Dell blew its motherboard and they wanted $700 to fix that (it was 3 years old - warranty had just run out.) Anyway, all that to say, especially with the Ravenscroft which for me is way ahead of the competition (I own every digital piano except keyscape. I would love the Keyscape Rhodes, but that is a lot of money for another Rhodes. I have Scarbee EP88 - pretty amazing. Anyway, if anybody wants to talk keyboards or what it's like on the road, or studio stories, songwriting, how to make a Wurlitzer sound like a Wurlitzer or a Rhodes like a Rhodes,  ADHD, give me a shout either here or PM or FB Messenger  I am here/there. 

But yes, how to bring my computer level up to bring my latency down.
 Will an i7 do it. My MOBO is 7 years old. Do I need a new computer (please say no). Is an i7 chip the answer? Do I need an Apogee, RME, or UAD Unit (please say no)
Thanks everyone. This is the only forum I really frequent. Appreciate all of you.

I won't proofread this - time to play. Hope it is clear what I need in the midst of all the chat.

Edited by Michael Fogarty

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Firt step is to check Deferred Procedure Call (DPC Latency). This is a measure of how quickly the system can respond to a request from the audio driver to process a buffer of audio. It's typically measured in microseconds, and should ideally stay under 200us (1/5 of a millisecond) to allow running small ASIO buffers for low latency. It's very common on laptops that Bluetooth and WiFi drivers play hell with DPC latency, occasional crackles/pops in mild cases or severe distortion. 'Zipper' noise is usually associated with changing volume, but I don't think this is what you're referring to...?

Download LatencyMon (https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon) to measure DPC latency, and if it's running over 300-400us all the time and/or spiking over 1000 intermittently, go into BIOS at startup, disable onboard Buetooth and WiFi  systems, and see what how it looks. Sometimes just one or the other is the main culprit.

 

 

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Thanks David. I’ll try that. If it is the Bluetooth or WiFi, could /should I just try disabling them? 

One interesting fact is that with this laptop for the first time I am using a Bluetooth mouse. Maybe thats the culprit. Gswitz thanks for the thought. None of my VST instruments even have a demo version. The higher end ones don’t seem to let you demo their products before buying.

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I concur on the thought that some plugin is in Demo mode, and adding some noise to prompt you to buy it.

You might also want to make sure you don't have plugins loaded into the project that are meant for mixing/mastering, and not during recording or playing live.  Effects, such as convolution reverb or those that use linear-phase processing need big giant ASIO Buffer Size settings (like 1024 or 2048 samples) to have enough room to do their thing.

You might also try turning off your WiFi transmitter, or disabling the WiFi drivers, just before you launch Cakewalk, and then you can turn WiFi back on or enable its drivers, once you finish your Cakewalk session.  On some laptops, the WiFi drivers can cause issues when using Cakewalk, and other laptops don't have the issue.

Bob Bone

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53 minutes ago, Robert Bone said:

I concur on the thought that some plugin is in Demo mode, and adding some noise to prompt you to buy it.

You might also want to make sure you don't have plugins loaded into the project that are meant for mixing/mastering, and not during recording or playing live.  Effects, such as convolution reverb or those that use linear-phase processing need big giant ASIO Buffer Size settings (like 1024 or 2048 samples) to have enough room to do their thing.

You might also try turning off your WiFi transmitter, or disabling the WiFi drivers, just before you launch Cakewalk, and then you can turn WiFi back on or enable its drivers, once you finish your Cakewalk session.  On some laptops, the WiFi drivers can cause issues when using Cakewalk, and other laptops don't have the issue.

Bob Bone

Hi Bob. Am thinking it is wifi or bluetooth. I have no plug-ins in Demo Mode. No effects plug-ins.

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2 minutes ago, Michael Fogarty said:

Hi Bob. Am thinking it is wifi or bluetooth. I have no plug-ins in Demo Mode. No effects plug-ins.

So - try temporarily disabling the WiFi drivers in Device Manager, and see if that makes the issue go away.  Then you would enable it again once finished in Cakewalk.  Quick and easy to test out.

Bob Bone

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Sorry, English is not my primary language.

Is your question about Dell XPS? All XPS (independent from version) and most Latitudes have latency problems. DELL has messed something in hardware and/or BIOS, they periodically release "BIOS updates" which should improve latency. But all tests in the Internet confirm opposite. Last BIOS update prevent Linux to run normally, at least in my case... Linux developers write that Dell BIOS export buggy information. That can be the reason why MS ACPI driver periodically spike up to 3-5ms. Some people disable devices assigned to ACPI, some of them claim improvements...

Can audio interface influence the result? A kind of. Roland VS-20 is just dead freezing on my XPS (re-connecting does not help to get the sound back). RME BF-Pro has no problems in 64 samples / 48kHz, at least under light load. That does not mean there is no glitches at all, but resulting sound is acceptable for me.

Important to have absolutely no background activity. So all MS tasks should be finished, network disconnected, no extra USB devices.

Completely different point. How you connect your keyboard?  F.e. I periodically get strange latency from my DP (Kawai) and E-Drums (Roland), both connected with USB. I know it is strange because 2 other MIDI keyboards connected in parallel have no such key to sound delay. I still do not understand under which conditions that happens. Try connect by MIDI to the audio interface (or USB in case you always use MIDI) to check there is (no) difference. 5-7ms soft synth output latency (128 samples buffer) should not be significantly inconvenient if the rest is ok (transferring 10 finger chord throw MIDI cable takes 6-10ms, I have seen people playing MIDI keyboards on stage 😉 )

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5 hours ago, azslow3 said:

Sorry, English is not my primary language.

Is your question about Dell XPS? All XPS (independent from version) and most Latitudes have latency problems. DELL has messed something in hardware and/or BIOS, they periodically release "BIOS updates" which should improve latency. But all tests in the Internet confirm opposite. Last BIOS update prevent Linux to run normally, at least in my case... Linux developers write that Dell BIOS export buggy information. That can be the reason why MS ACPI driver periodically spike up to 3-5ms. Some people disable devices assigned to ACPI, some of them claim improvements...

Can audio interface influence the result? A kind of. Roland VS-20 is just dead freezing on my XPS (re-connecting does not help to get the sound back). RME BF-Pro has no problems in 64 samples / 48kHz, at least under light load. That does not mean there is no glitches at all, but resulting sound is acceptable for me.

Important to have absolutely no background activity. So all MS tasks should be finished, network disconnected, no extra USB devices.

Completely different point. How you connect your keyboard?  F.e. I periodically get strange latency from my DP (Kawai) and E-Drums (Roland), both connected with USB. I know it is strange because 2 other MIDI keyboards connected in parallel have no such key to sound delay. I still do not understand under which conditions that happens. Try connect by MIDI to the audio interface (or USB in case you always use MIDI) to check there is (no) difference. 5-7ms soft synth output latency (128 samples buffer) should not be significantly inconvenient if the rest is ok (transferring 10 finger chord throw MIDI cable takes 6-10ms, I have seen people playing MIDI keyboards on stage 😉 )

thank you. I had done gigs in the past and not noticed this. I have tried various interfaces recently and they all 3 seem to have the intermittent problem. I have not tried my higher end interfaces because I would not be using them live anyway. I have also not tried with midi, only usb, because hey it should work! 

  Will turn off wifi and get a usb mouse not a wifi one.

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2 hours ago, StarTekh said:

Michael ; Tell me the os Build and have you been to : https://www.dell.com/support/home/ca/en/cabsdt1/product-support/product/xps-13-9350-laptop/drivers

and looked at updates ?

feel free to ask for support options ..

Dell XPS 13 9350 System BIOS Urgent

BIOS04 Oct 2019

 

thank you. So, flashing the bios now with the update. I don't know what OS build means - you mean Windows 10 Home Edition? (I think it's home. On my desktop its pro.) When you say feel free to ask support questions are you saying to you Capt. Kirk or to Dell (no disrespect just complying with your avatar name.)

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47 minutes ago, Michael Fogarty said:

thank you. So, flashing the bios now with the update. I don't know what OS build means - you mean Windows 10 Home Edition? (I think it's home. On my desktop its pro.) When you say feel free to ask support questions are you saying to you Capt. Kirk or to Dell (no disrespect just complying with your avatar name.)

There is the OS Edition, (Windows 10 Home Edition) - the Version would be the major maintenance identifier, for me it is 1903, and the Build refers to the maintenance level, and can be viewed if you right-click on your Windows Start Button, then click on System.  That information will be about at the bottom of screen.  For me, my maintenance 'Build' is currently: 18362.418 which means nothing to me, other than it is up to date through Windows Update.

Your supplying that build info, will give us an idea of where your Windows environment stands on maintenance.  Please note that you have a different Edition than I do (I have Windows 10 Pro), so I imagine the Build info will be different - not to worry if indeed it is.

Hope the above helps you understand what is being asked for :)

Bob Bone

Edited by Robert Bone
Capitalized a couple of words.

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Michale : I should be able to fix your issues  !  free.... Seems your OS is ok but you lack drivers.. but you do need to update the bios  and chipset drivers... and video drivers ..to start...also note that your system has Thunder Bolt  and can run these interfaces :https://www.uaudio.com/

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28425/Intel-Driver-Support-Assistant   see usb 2and3 drivers are up to date 

Edited by StarTekh
additional info

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1 hour ago, Robert Bone said:

There is the OS Edition, (Windows 10 Home Edition) - the Version would be the major maintenance identifier, for me it is 1903, and the Build refers to the maintenance level, and can be viewed if you right-click on your Windows Start Button, then click on System.  That information will be about at the bottom of screen.  For me, my maintenance 'Build' is currently: 18362.418 which means nothing to me, other than it is up to date through Windows Update.

Your supplying that build info, will give us an idea of where your Windows environment stands on maintenance.  Please note that you have a different Edition than I do (I have Windows 10 Pro), so I imagine the Build info will be different - not to worry if indeed it is.

Hope the above helps you understand what is being asked for :)

Bob Bone

so, ony my desktop Windows pro10 I am 1903. Guess I haven't updated my laptop. Will do

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1 hour ago, StarTekh said:

Michale : I should be able to fix your issues  !  free.... Seems your OS is ok but you lack drivers.. but you do need to update the bios  and chipset drivers... and video drivers ..to start...also note that your system has Thunder Bolt  and can run these interfaces :https://www.uaudio.com/

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28425/Intel-Driver-Support-Assistant   see usb 2and3 drivers are up to date 

this is all just wonderful. So, I am not in the market for a new interface. I use the laptop only for live VST's and use it in tandem with two different 2017 and above Yamaha Keyboards (built in interfaces). It used to work fine. I will update my drivers. Greatly appreciated. I did the bios. As Bob suggested I will see about that update. I think it is there for me (1903) but didn't download properly and I was busy with clients (desktop -which I also had questions about. If you have  time to look at the other question later. (if swapping out my CPU to i7 is enough or is my 6 year old desktop needed a new MOBO. Whatever, I will have to have it done probably. I managed to switch my OS drive to a SSD but that is about where my technical talents stop possibly. I don't know. I seem to be getting better at this stuff -like fixing the gate in my yard that the recent typhoo blew out.

 

Don't know how to do the chipset - please instruct.

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Fogarty said:

so, ony my desktop Windows pro10 I am 1903. Guess I haven't updated my laptop. Will do

Well - that is your Edition, and your Version, but you did not list the 'Build' info - it is right in the same area as the info you did post - it will actually say OS Build and have a number after it - and it is THAT info that will tell us where your maintenance is currently at, within the 1903 Version.  Thanks, 

Here is my info from that section of System info displayed by right-clicking on the Windows Start Button and clicking on System:

Bob Bone

image.png.5946ef39a7d37943553f9ff1605f2f33.png

 

 

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So Bob my edition  which I can download is newer than what I have..but not 1903. I'm on it. Also Bob and StarTrek (sp) do you think I should update to Windows 10 Pro for $99 or Workstation for $205? WOuld rather not. Just upgraded speakers, keyboards, mic, etc.

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For the chipset and other drivers, you can usually go directly to the motherboard's manufacturer's web site, go to the support page, and they often have a mechanism to auto-detect your system info and provide a list of current driver versions.

I would suggest you look through the motherboard user manual for more info on updating drivers - or look for that info on their support pages for that model motherboard, 

Bob Bone

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2 minutes ago, Michael Fogarty said:

So Bob my edition  which I can download is newer than what I have..but not 1903. I'm on it. Also Bob and StarTrek (sp) do you think I should update to Windows 10 Pro for $99 or Workstation for $205? WOuld rather not. Just upgraded speakers, keyboards, mic, etc.

Thanks for posting the OS Build info - so I would start with getting all of the Windows Maintenance applied - just cycle through searching for available maintenance, applying it, and then searching again for any additional maintenance - even when it tells you that you are up to date - performing one last check for updates may find a bit more to apply.

I don't think there is a compelling need to shell out more money to upgrade your Windows version, at this point.  I suggest getting the maintenance up to speed, including chip set and other device drivers for that motherboard, as well as for your audio interface.  I will follow this thread, to make sure I can help you get any of that stuff reviewed prior to applying - as far as the device drivers and chip set drivers.  For the Windows 10 maintenance - just use the Windows Update process to get all maintenance applied.  By following this thread, I will get notifications when there are any additional posts, so I can hopefully help you through the process.  :)

Bob Bone

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