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Windows 7 High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by zaquria on 2011-10-19 00:33:04

Hi There,

For the last three weeks I have been trying to fix 'High latency, popping and cracking' issues I have with a UX2 Toneport and I have come to the conclusion that there is an issue with the Toneport (unlikely) or basically the drivers are the worst I have ever come across in my twenty odd years of using computers.

I have done everything I know to optimize my system for Music and DAW use and I cannot get rid of issues. So, please before you ask me to do anything on your  'How to optimise Windows for....', I have done everything on that and much more.

1. Latency. 

     Asio Settings:

     Default Buffer Size: 512

     Default Bit Depth: 16 Bit

     ToneDirect & USB: Second Setting from extra small

     Overall latency in Daw:

     Input 14.8 Msec

     Output 29.7 Msecs

     Sampling rate is 44100

Using these settings (which are the defaults) I get popping and crackling while

     1. Playing music in the DAW and Music Media players,

     2. Moving, resizing Windows around ( within the DAW, Sonar X1 ) and Windows,

     3. Clicking button while editing music Projects,

     4. Using a browser ( Firefox, this was done for testing purposes ),

     5. Copying files or having little to non disk activity.

These are with projects that use any amount of CPU from 30-60 Percent. Over 80 CPU I would expect some issues and freeze tracks to compensate for this, but this happens no matter what I am doing.

Other issues I have are the following,

     1. Sound dropping out and having to reboot. This happens a lot, at first I thought this was due to Windows dropping power to the USB device, but it's not          the case.

     2. BSOD, Sometimes after the sound would drop, I would unplug the tone port from the back and plug the usb wire back in and BSOD.

Ironically, If I use my Soundblaster Audigy with Asio4All, I can get Latency down to 1.5 Msecs, no popping or crackling and at a reduced CPU usage, but I really didn't buy a Toneport UX2 to play second fiddle to my Soundblaster Card.

I have waited for nearly two years for your Development Team to get around to releasing viable working Windows 7 (32/64 bit) drivers and I cannot see that happening any time soon. (It takes roughly 6 months between each release).

So many people have reported issues with Athlon based computers and the reply is that your product doesn't work well with them. In all honesty, you guys should be looking for a fix for this and not throwing the blame elsewhere. 

In all honesty, I might just chuck in the towel and buy something else, put this down to experience and leave line 6 well alone (I have had issues with other hardware from line 6). But, I would like to work with you guys first to see if we can resolve this issue first

Cheers,

John



RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by Line6Tony on 2011-10-21 11:02:50

We’re sorry to see that you’ve experienced undesired audio performance from your computer system, even while using the improved driver that has worked on numerous Windows systems, including my own Windows 7 64-bit Latitude laptop. Can you reproduce this behavior on another computer?

As you may know, almost every personal computer is a unique hardware and software environment. If one or more variables in the system don’t interact well with the rest of the system, the result can be undesired performance. Thus, we have provided a USB Audio Issues FAQ that describes what configuration variables numerous users have identified as the root cause of their audio issues. http://line6.com/community/docs/DOC-4282

We strongly suggest that you try all of the suggestions in the FAQ, including BIOS changes and/or a hard drive reformat. As drastic as those procedures may be, they are among the methods that have proven to help many other users correct their system problems. Until you do so, the possibility of your system’s configuration being the root cause of the issue exists.



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by zaquria on 2011-10-24 08:40:09

Hi Tony,

Well, after three full weeks of installing, uninstalling, changing configurations, optimising, tracing debuggers and using every latency tool I could get my hands on... I nearly gave up last night and decided to buy another motherboard and toneport. Until this morning, and I finally nailed the reason for the latency issues. This might also help other with the same problem and fix their clipping, popping and high latency issues as well.

The issues was ACPI related or I should say the lack of it. It was disabled in BIOS (By Default) and after I enabled it the latency, clipping, popping stopped and this was before I even had optimised the system (I even knew as soon as I booted into windows that it had fixed the latency issue, don't ask why, I just did lol). I Am going to read up on why ACPI has had a dramatic difference to the system later andhopefully get a better understanding.

DCP Latency Checker states the latency is around 18-20 us, compared to over 100 and latency monitor shows that the system can handle audio. I found Latency Monitor helped a lot in finding out this problem.

Apology due to the line 6 development team. Now that I corrected this issue the 64 bit drivers seem to work as expected.

Hope this helps other people out there.

John,



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by Tutatsuta on 2012-01-29 13:41:39

Hi zaquria,

I am not sure about which type of processor you use because you haven't written about it. If you have an AMD x64 type of processor in your computer it is most likely that there will be some popping and cracking issues as well as unexpected gain peaks even when you put the volume down to minimum from the source no matter what it is(guitar, line-level instruments, microphone etc.).

However, if you have an AMD processor, try installing "AMD USB Audio Filter Driver" in your OS - whatever it be; Windows 7 or Windows Vista for both x86 and x64 versions, which seems to solve these issues.

There are no ways of getting an ASIO protocol sound card working in Vista running on x64 AMD based PCs, by the way.

Love & Peace from Turkey,

Salih



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by Triryche on 2012-02-12 00:52:09

There are no ways of getting an ASIO protocol sound card working in Vista running on x64 AMD based PCs, by the way.

FYI...

This is simply not true.



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by Tutatsuta on 2012-02-16 13:33:53

Well,

I had a HP branded laptop three years ago which had the exactly same problem with this thread's topic - on which I was using a different manufacturer's external ASIO sound card. For a way way long time, I tried to figure out a way to solve these popping, crackling issues on this AMD x64 based laptop PC. By writing "popping and crackling issues" I am trying to tell that it not only pops and cracks while recording but also while monitoring and playing back the exported track. Interestingly, the DAW (Cubase) added some sort of "unexpected" delay to the exported sound files although we didn't add any delays or any delay-based effects to the track. Many people over the world reported the same issues (not only for that brand and model but also for many others), for which the resolution seemed to be installing "AMD USB Sound Filter Driver" (or it should be something like this, I can't remember the exact name now, I'm sorry). However, when you installed it, you didn't get those "pops and cracks" for a few minutes, but the sound card printed those "pops and cracks" at an unexpected time, in a way that it could cause damage to your ears. I struggled with this issue practically for a month and sold the sound card, getting totally "annoyed". (I was going to use a word beginning with "p" but I didn't want to get rude)

(These problems were experienced on my active jazz bass, on my Telecaster and many other active or passive bass guitars and many electric guitars with active and passive pick-ups, by the way.)

I tried every single solution - even it is a workaround or complete solution - people recommended to me, I adjusted the buffer size and the bit depth, I put the gain down nearly to the minimum level etc, etc... Nothing worked at all. I wrote what happened finally above.

But one thing catches my attention. I experienced the problems and issues I wrote above only on my dual-core AMD x64-based laptop which ran Windows Vista, at that time. The same machine and the same sound card had no such problems when I installed Windows XP; or the same sound card worked "insanely great" on another single-core x86 based laptop (with AMD processor of course) which naturally ran Windows XP. Because of this, I guessed at that time (now as well) that the problems were caused by the OS.

Edit: Many of my friends use AMD based desktop PCs with no problems at all; there may be a problem with x64 mobile proecssors.

Having said all above yet, I have to admit that, maybe, there arouse a solution to these issues with new drivers or fixes. I am not sure.

Love and Peace from Turkey,

Salih



Re: Windows 7 High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by Atheist-666 on 2012-08-26 13:16:09

I solved it !!!!


I resetted the BIOS (not like tried before with setting it to defaults in the BIOS itself of my computer, i made it with the jumper on the mainboard), because of another problem with temperatures in my new  flat. After that it worked perfectly, and so it does at the moment. I configured the BIOS the same way it was before, but it works!!! I think it might be something wit USB ID's or something like this, what must have changed....



Re: Windows 7 High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by thraagh on 2012-08-27 01:16:37

I had a very similar problem (which was solved)

Symptoms: A periodic loud crackle noise every 3-4 seconds which lasted about 0.5 seconds, highlighted mainly when the guitar port was plugged and was processing an input (i.e being played). However the noise persisted slightly, even with just the background noise, just having the guitar plugged in.

Line6 hardware: Guitar Port

Driver: 4.0.2.3

PC Spec:

Windows 7 SP1 x64

Athlon FX-4100 Zambezi Quad core 3.1MHz

8Gb 1600MHz DDR3 500Gb HDD

Mainboard:

Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P

Bios: FDa (beta)

Summary: it turned out to be badly written Mainboard window applications that were causing the high latency on the system... the steps below allowed me to track down the cause and fix the issue.

I had just upgraded my PC from x86 (32 bit) with a new Mainboard and new version of Windows 7. Prior to this i had no issues with the Guitar Port.

Firstly i made sure I was running the PC with the latest drivers. I also let windows update to the latest service pack & auto updates. I was virtually running from a clean install so I figured it had to be a driver or bios issue. But still after installing the latest drivers and updating windows the issue carried on.

I watched the line6 videos about vista/ windows 7 tweaks to optimise the system for audio, which probably would help for a low end system, however in my case (I think) these were not going to help that much. But still applied some of them:

  1. disabled my onboard sound - so i just use  the guitar port as my primary sound card
  2. disabled any ATA/ IDE port not in use
  3. disabled my LAN port as i use a Wi-Fi dongle
  4. disabled in the Mainboard Bios any USB options such as Power On from USB, or other USB functions that could interfere with my USB audio device.
  5. also disabled anything that i thought wasn't in use on the Mainboard such as Serial ports, power events.

After reading other articles (not just on line6) about crackling and popping I was advised to check the latency, so I found/ downloaded a free app called DPC Latency checker this tests the system for latency issues, which show up in the audio. So I run this app, and as soon as it started testing I could see this same spike in latency I heard through the speakers. After this it was simply a case of trial and error identifying the issue that was causing this high latency spike.

So I then proceeded to remove all programs from windows one at a time until I found the issue.

For me the issue turned out to be badly written Gigabyte Mainboard programs that controlled the USB. Called Power ON/OFF, AutoGreen. And so as I had little faith in any other Gigabyte programs, I uninstalled any other mainboard supplied 'tweak' program.

So for anyone reading this, and if I had to do it all again it would probably be in this order*:



  1. Depending on your system, if its bit slow anyway you might be best following the line6 tips on optimising for audio first.
  2. Disable in the bios, any USB options that could interfere, such as power on etc. Or anything that could be periodically processing the USB signal on the mainboard.
  3. Disable the onboard sound card (if you don't want to do this try it without - or if you need 5.1 etc) but I just saw this as being a waste of resources as the guitar port can do all this as I only need 2.0 out.
  4. Open the DPC Latency Checker - as this is the feedback you need to test each change you make.
  5. Remove any programs in windows that may be 'tweaking' the system, especially mainboard optimisation programs (check the DPC LC each time you remove).
  6. Check devices which may be in conflict with the line6 hardware - LAN, and all other USB devices (check the DPC LC each time you remove). If there is no change in the DPC LC just reinstall the device.
  7. Disable in device manager any unused devices (check the DPC LC each time).
  8. Start --> Run --> msconfig this will launch the startup services. Uncheck any services & startup processes you can (rinse & repeat checking the DPC LC each time).
  9. If after all this its still not working then id proably resort to a format and reinstall windows.

*note: after I managed to reduce the latency spike I noticed certain applications have a latency effect that did interfere with my guitar port. This is Kaspersky and its quite irregular in frequency, but if compounded or you generally have high latency, it might be best either trying different antivirus, alter the settings within it or just disable it while your using the guitar port etc...

hope this helps.



Re: Windows 7 High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by DoctorWu on 2012-12-20 11:05:42

Wow!  These are the best answers I've seen so far relating to this topic.  Thanks!

I battled this issue for awhile myself.  I tried all the suggested OS tweaks that I'd seen thus far and finally got all the cracking and popping down to a minimum.  But it wasn't solved 100%  What finally solved it 100% was when I bought a new computer.  The one that I was previously using was kind of a dinosaur.

I really think that a lot of my problems, in particular, were caused by the fact that I was trying to use an under-powered PC as a DAW.  My new PC has much better specs than the old one.  So I didn't even have to tweak/change a single thing about it to get it working good with the software that I use.  Straight out of the box, all of my DAW related apps (Pod Farm, Sonar 8, Reason) worked great!

So, my suggestion for anyone that's still having this problem is to save your money, and then go out and purchase a system with much higher specs than what you're currently using.  If you've already done that, and your still having issues, then try all of thraagh's suggestions above. 



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by marcomonchi on 2012-12-20 16:43:04

try asio4all youll see input latency equal to output latency I think line 6 must look to these driver and try to undertand why the ux2 is goin better whit these the sound too is better good look to anyone by marco ravenna italy!!!!



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by marcomonchi on 2012-12-20 16:49:28

sometime a goods prodoct are fuked by poor drivers asio4all could be the solution!!!!!

don't be afraid of the dark sometime the solution is asio4all free and write very well try it to see!!!!



Re: RE: High Latency, Popping and Crackling......
by marcomonchi on 2012-12-20 16:54:45

if you try these driver do not  unistall the original ux2 driver just install asio4all and select asio for all in your sequenzer after

active inside asio4all pannell input and output for your audio ux2 and deselect other audio device that's all now you are ready

for the music becouse it's time to go!!!!




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