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Lachdanan0121

I need some help popping and crackling.

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I am getting a lot of pops and cracking while trying to ReAmp with the Helix Rack.  I've updgraded to FW2.00, I have downloaded new USB drivers, I have checked ASIO. I have tried 2 different cables, different ports.  I also have a Furman Power Conditioner (and not one of the cheap ones)

 

I have an audio file of the pops and crackles.

 

I got the Helix Rack for studio use, and a ReAmping unit...  However its not cutting it. 

 

I have had trouble with pops and crackles since I got it, for a while they seem to go away.  Now they are back and are worse. I have another thread where I posted some of my trouble shooting steps. http://line6.com/support/topic/21369-helix-common-troubleshooting-steps/

 

If I try to ReAmp through usb, I get pops and crackles, especially if I try to use USB 3/4. Its constant popping and crackling. Even when there is nothing playing through it. Which is what I have in the audio file. Also the audio file is in a project that has nothing but the pre-recorded guitar in it. (which doesn't have the popping and cracking when just playing them without ReAmping)

 

If I try to ReAmp Left guitar, and right guitar (2 separate signal chains, choosing 2 different USB inputs on the input blocks) the problem is immediate.

 

It isn't my pc, as this does not happen with my eleven rack. Only the Helix. 

 

I love the sound/routing capabilities, but if I can't get this basic function working then the entire Helix purchase is useless to me.   I am at the point where I am wanting to return the product for a replacement because I think there is a defect in the unit I have with the USB routing.  Thus makes the unit void for ReAmping for me. 

 

However, if I get it back and the pops and crackles are gone, good then I will keep it. If not, then I will just have to stick with my eleven rack, and plugins, and spend that money elsewhere.

 

Is anyone else getting this problem?

Only thing I haven't done is upgrade to Win10.  Because if I do, then I cannot use my ElevenRack anymore, not compatible with Win10.   The DAW I use is FL Studio 12. (newest non-beta release) 

 

I really would like to get this resolved, I love the idea of the Helix, but in the real world senario for me personally it is unsatisfactory. 

 

Would Re-Installing the new FW be worth trying? I have already tried factory reset. 

 

This is a very bad day for me. How do I upload an audio file to this site?> The attachment in the post didn't work....

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Ok, I just did a good bit of troubleshooting with Sweetwater (where I ordered it from)

And they are sending me a replacement to A/B with this unit to see if it is a defect.

 

The tech said it was either a driver issue, (which we troubleshot a decent amount) or it was a hardware malfunction on the Helix itself. We will go more from there. 

 

I should know more this weekend. I really hope we can get this resolved, because other than the popping/cracking when trying to ReAmp over USB, the Helix Rack w/control is exactly what I want...  :(

 

Would upgrading to Windows 10 possibly fix any of the USB problems if it isn't a hardware problem within the Helix? I just saw that Avid released drivers for the Eleven Rack for Windows 10 less than 2 months ago. So I could upgrade to Win-10, and in worst case scenario.. still be able to use my Eleven Rack, but lose the Eleven Rack editor on PC. (which isn't ideal, but it also isn't that tragic of a loss either)

 

Sorry if I am being annoying with this. I am not trying to bash Helix at all, matter of fact, other than this problem I freaking love the thing.

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Windows 10 provides built-in drivers for USB, in particular USB3, which Windows 7 does not have. So I suppose it's possible that upgrading the OS could change things. I recently upgraded (clean install) to 10 and haven't really come across any problems, but I never had problems with 7 either.

 

It could also be that Helix Rack is stressing the USB in your system to a point that the Eleven Rack can't, exposing a weakness with the USB in your computer, but that doesn't mean it can't be a defective Helix Rack either.

 

One thing you might try is Reaper (do a portable install). There's a lot of caching, performance, and memory options you can change in there. Maybe you can change stuff like that in FL Studio too?

 

Good luck. Hope you get it sorted.

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Maybe I could try moving all my peripherals to USB 3.0, and keep the usb 2.0 clear for this purpose. Although this happens even when I am only ReAmping one channel, like I would with my Eleven Rack.  Also after further review it even does it with playing audio thru only the usb 1&2 channels directly to the studio monitors (with no other usb inputs activated), although its much more rare in this case. I had to listen to some of my tracks all the way through muting the drums to hear it only a few times through the usb 1&2.

 

ASIO, and internal ASIO/cpu meter in FLS was still between the 20, and 30% range no where near maxing out.  The task manager will have my cpu using much lower, as that is the way things usually work. The ASIO buffer length is even maxed out for troubleshooting reasons.

 

BTW I am running on Windows 8.1, and my PC is a self built custom tower.  I am running an Asus Motherboard X99a. Its a Haswell I-7 6 core setup.  Asus usually has decent USB stuff.

 

I will try moving everything I can to a USB 3.0 slot, and using 2.0 exclusively for the Helix, and if that doesn't work, I could try it the other way around.

 

 I will try to see if I can replicate the issue completely outside of FL Studio. Like streaming audio from Youtube, a videogame, or spotify.

 

Thanks for the steps to try on both this unit, and the new one that comes in a few days. 

I will report back once I have either exhausted all these steps, or have solved the issue. 

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I have the same issue after the update to 2.0 with my Helix 

Lot of popping and crackling in some patches and not in others 

I have also checked the cables and speakers - but it must come from the Helix itself 

So in the moment I don't know what to do - first I was thinking it has to do with the 96 sample rate instead of the 48 one 

 

So If someone has the same issues and find a solution to solve it - that would be great.

 

thanks 

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Have you tried Helix just as a guitar interface, and used another Audio Interface like UAD's Apollo, or similar ?

I never did like USB audio interfaces compared to firewire or thunderbolt devices. 

And I would lower that 96k down to 48k and see if the pops stop.

Most can't hear the difference anyway, and it just takes up more space on the hard drive.

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Mine happens with it set to 44.1 and at 48. Mine also did this before the new firmware. If I have to use a separate interface, then the Helix isnt gonna work for me. I want an all in one unit with it as my interface just as the helix is advertised.

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Popping and crackling are a well known issue in home recording situations and is almost always related to the computer being overtasked in some way.  Many times you can get rid of it by increasing the buffer space.  But it almost always relates back in one way or another to the computer not being able to keep up with the input stream .

 

A simple thing you can try is mute playback on any tracks not needed while recording, and monitor the input stream rather than the recorded capture from the DAW on the tracks you're recording.  Beyond that look at disabling any unused devices in the dev manager (like the internal sound card) or any unnecessary background tasks.  Even defragging the disk can fix this sometimes.

 

What are the specs on your computer (processor/memory/drive speed)?  It may simply be you're computers just too slow.

 

If you A/B the units and it's still there, it's likely not the Helix.

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Too slow? Nope that is not it. I run a 5820k 6-core I7 overclocked at 3.75

Ghz. 16 gigs of RAM. SSD samsung 850 pro 1 tb. My ASIO buffer is increased as far as it will go. This happens with just a few short audio clips\samples of already recorded guitar. With nothing else even loaded in the project.

 

My rig is no where near too slow. Not to sound arrogant, but im not completely ignorant on this kind of stuff. I mean I did build the rig myself using quality parts. And I have done most of those steps so far. I have a few more on my list I wil try before giving up on the Helix for now.

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Good choice of components. I use Asus as well and have for a long time. But you better hope it works and keeps working, because there's enough horror stories about their support system that can make one dubious about Asus.

 

One other idea is to run the processor/memory at its default speed, unless you've previously, and successfully, run a bunch of stress tests on all subsystems at the overclocked speed. Or try mucking about with some of the power/power-saving/speed-step/cpu options in the bios. Sometimes those things can be problematic, but that's a long shot and doubtful.

 

And you know, as long as Sweetwater is shipping you a new Helix Rack, which is mighty nice of them (did you have to pay shipping?), it might actually be better if it's a hardware problem with your Helix Rack. It would be a much easier solution to the problem, rather than searching among dozens of possibilities with a computer system.

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Yeah, default clocks is one of the steps I still have on my list to do. Its a slow process as I also have a normal job to work around. I will even update network drivers, virus scan, temporary disable it to test as well. Backup and upgrade to win10. Last night I tried everthing in usb3.0 and have the helix the only thing in usb2.0 tested on a minimal project, and I still had the issue.

 

Yeah I have dealt with Asus support before. Sometimes its a breeze, and sometimes they can be an absolute headache to deal with. Lol kinda like Comcast.

 

Also I didnt have to pay for shipping, which is nice of them. Lol Although over the last several years I have spent a lot of money with them, so we have an invested relationship with each other.

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Clearly your system should have the horsepower to keep up.  The only question I would have is have you examined your event viewer for any oddball notices (warnings, errors) in or around the time you're using the DAW?  I'm wondering if something is throwing an unhandled exception messing up your input stream.  It might at least point you in the right direction of where the issue is coming from.

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I will give that a go, wont hurt. Although it should also be present when using the eleven rack if that was the case.

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I will give that a go, wont hurt. Although it should also be present when using the eleven rack if that was the case.

 

Yeah...unless it's an exception coming from the Helix driver...

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Mine happens with it set to 44.1 and at 48. Mine also did this before the new firmware. If I have to use a separate interface, then the Helix isnt gonna work for me. I want an all in one unit with it as my interface just as the helix is advertised.

 

Well Im not saying the USB audio interface won't work. Im just saying that I prefer the Apollo. That said, Helix is one helluva guitar processor to just toss by the wayside just because the audio interface may not work to a certain standard if the computer isn't setup for being a DAW. Im thinking now that you have TSR's running in the background effecting your audio monitoring on record. Did you set your computer up like many sites say to,  regarding PC DAW setup? The speed of the PC does nothing special when its not (tweaked) set for a DAW audio wise.  :D

 

ps- you may already know this, but don't use that same PC for audio and playing games too. They are set up differently for each process and one setup will not work well with the other. Also, (as I stated earlier) once you learn a bit more about how to get that sweet tone from Helix, Im betting the less you will worry less about it also being an audio interface, not that it won't work for that too. I just hate it when they try and make one trick ponies like that,  because Ive always felt that it was kinda like robbing peter to pay paul. Or using the back of your Les Paul for an ironing board... Sure it might work well but, ... ;)

 

As always, YMMV as mine does.

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Gaming rig and a modest DAw rig is plenty doable on the same system. It hasnt failed me before on 3 separate rigs, multiple interfaces, multiple years... So obviously milage does vary. I do a decent amount of self tuning in the rigs. However, I will still go over the setting it up for DAW use just to see if there was something I missed somewhere. Wont hurt anyway. I will also double check for any TSR.

 

I dont mean to sound like a turd. I appreciate all the advice, and recommended steps.

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Read though this thread. Just a couple of other ideas.

 

Is your motherboard BIOS current?

Is your RAM all the same type and speed?

+1 to setting the i7 clock to auto and not running OC for DAW apps.

 

Also I know you said you tried different usb cables. But I had problems with popping and crackling when using a usb cable with ferrite choke (magnet ring). I had to switch to a plain cheap one.

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I will try with a few different cables, just to eliminate that possibility. I have not thought of updating the BIOS. I did this only once for this rig, but that was well over a year ago. So I will add that to the list. All my dimms/sticks are all the same amount, and same speed.

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I would be careful about the stuff they have listed on their site. For my z97 board, if I use the listed asmedia usb drivers in windows 7, it will cause a blue screen, with the only recovery options being last known good or restoring an imaged backup. It might be better to find out the actual hardware id of the device in question and search for drivers directly from whomever makes the device if you don't want to use the built-in os drivers.

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Gaming rig and a modest DAw rig is plenty doable on the same system. 

 

Yea if you partition the drive and set both OS'es up for each. Otherwise and of course "In My Opinion", you are begging for trouble.

In any case Ive rubbed you the wrong way and that was unintended. Im just blunt like that. Good luck with your setup however you decide to use it.  :)

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Update. 

To keep things short, I have completely updated my pc, even to windows 10. I have tried the newest FW. I have upgraded all drivers in my pc, including the USB and network. Adjusted all power options.  This is also the second Helix unit I have tried, the third usb cable, and have tried multiple ports on the motherboard. 


I have not opened a support ticket with Line 6 yet, because honestly I don't think they could really do anything to help me out. So many steps have already been taken there isn't much they could cover, even sending it in won't help because this is the second unit that has done this to me. 

 

I have done a lot of trouble shooting on this. The problem persists.  The problem seems to get worse as soon as I start trying to do anything midi over usb within the Helix. However, with all of that turned off, I still get the issue, even though it is quieter than before.  I would still be satisfied if I could get the unit to consistently work, and not have midi capabilities. I could live with that, as I can just ReAmp while physically using the expression pedal that I can have something assigned to, or use the snapshot function to compensate. But I can't even get it to do play back audio without ReAmping consistently. 

 

After further trouble shooting I tried FL ASIO driver (built in to the DAW I use) which basically just utilizes USB 1&2, the playback is buttery smooth. But with this route I lose the main function I got the Helix for (ReAmping). However when I switch back to Helix ASIO drivers still utilizing only USB 1&2 for strictly playback, the problem returns.

 

Which leads me to the conclusion that it is not a hardware malfunction with the Helix, but a problem with the HELIX ASIO drivers themselves. So hopefully Line 6 can get some new Windows drivers for the Helix in the next week, or so, before my return policy is expired. Shame really, cause I like the tone from Helix, and the ease of use with the interface. 

 

:huh: Well, perhaps I can connect the Helix to the 11r digitally. Use the 11r as the interface, and use Helix for ReAmping, and Wet Monitoring. I will explore this option actually before I decide to return it. A glimmer of hope here. I will try it and report back, first I have to go hunting at Walmart nearby for the s/pdif cables.  <_< That is if they even carry them. 

 

 

Yea if you partition the drive and set both OS'es up for each. Otherwise and of course "In My Opinion", you are begging for trouble.

In any case Ive rubbed you the wrong way and that was unintended. Im just blunt like that. Good luck with your setup however you decide to use it.  :)

No not rubbed the wrong way, I just disagree with your notion.  ;)

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After further trouble shooting I tried FL ASIO driver (built in to the DAW I use) which basically just utilizes USB 1&2, the playback is buttery smooth. But with this route I lose the main function I got the Helix for (ReAmping). However when I switch back to Helix ASIO drivers still utilizing only USB 1&2 for strictly playback, the problem returns.

 

Which leads me to the conclusion that it is not a hardware malfunction with the Helix, but a problem with the HELIX ASIO drivers themselves. So hopefully Line 6 can get some new Windows drivers for the Helix in the next week, or so, before my return policy is expired. Shame really, cause I like the tone from Helix, and the ease of use with the interface. 

 

 

Impressive troubleshooting on the ASIO generic vs Helix drivers.  I use mainly Sonar and Pro Tools, but I have FL Studio 12. I'm using Win10 on an Alienware x51 R2.  I'll check it out on mine in the next couple of days.  This may be a good one for the Helix Forum bug report thread.

 

What version FL Studio are you running?

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Impressive troubleshooting on the ASIO generic vs Helix drivers.  I use mainly Sonar and Pro Tools, but I have FL Studio 12. I'm using Win10 on an Alienware x51 R2.  I'll check it out on mine in the next couple of days.  This may be a good one for the Helix Forum bug report thread.

 

What version FL Studio are you running?

Thanks, like I said I wanted to go through extensive troubleshooting before I gave up on the Helix.  Its so impressive in literally every other area.

 

I am running on the latest official release of FL 12.  I could try the new beta that they have.  Someone on another forum suggested reducing the ASIO buffer.  As well as trying the front usb ports on the pc, and view USB device tree or something like that.  I will give these a go tonight.

 

They also mentioned fresh install of Win10, but that is just out of the question. I will try just about every option, but that is just too far. 

 

I will post in that bug report thread, and I will link this thread in that post. 

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Ah ha, I noticed cracking and popping in FL Studio as well. I don't have that in Sonar. Well done sir.

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Ah ha, I noticed cracking and popping in FL Studio as well. I don't have that in Sonar. Well done sir.

Ah, so it may be a problem between the Helix ASIO drivers and FL Studio.  I hope you don't mind but I also edited my post in the bug report thread to include your findings as well. 

 

I am trying to find my copy of Studio One so I can use that temporarily for my audio recordings, until this gets fixed. 

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Ah, so it may be a problem between the Helix ASIO drivers and FL Studio.  I hope you don't mind but I also edited my post in the bug report thread to include your findings as well. 

 

I am trying to find my copy of Studio One so I can use that temporarily for my audio recordings, until this gets fixed. 

 

I suspect you may find it's not a Helix driver issue at all.  If Sonar works with it then the USB driver probably meets specs.  It may be some shortcuts they took in USB interfaces on FL Studio just like they did with hard-coding the interface for USB 1 & 2..

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Try downloading Reaper. It even has an option for a portable install, not mucking up your system config in any way.

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Hi guys, will using an audio interface help my crackling problem as my computer isn't the worst. I have 10gb RAM with a Pentium Dual-Core CPU

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My CPU is a Pentium Dual-Core CPU E5800 3.20GHz with 10GB RAM. My FL Studio is still crackling, will buying an audio interface help with the crackling? 

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I had nothing but headaches with almost every piece of hardware I connected when I was trying to use FLStudio for recording a few years ago. HD500, HD500X, Presonus 1818, some cheap Edirol interface I got for free from a friend. Now I just do my sequencing in there and export audio out to Reaper for everything else if I need FLStudio for anything. Its a cool DAW, but everything after 10 seems to be buggy as f&%k with most USB hardware that has dedicated drivers. 

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OK. Lots of trouble shooting behind me...

 

Not to necro a thread here, but I felt I needed to have it end with some positive closure, now that I have had more time with it, in my environment.

 

After receiving a couple updates for FL Studio: (they have been working hard on improvements, one of which was implementation of hardware such as midi, and audio loop recording)  I get the issues much less now.  Now I just get the audio massive glitch out which I can resolve by the following steps:

 

1. Open the ASIO settings in FL STudio.

2. Change the ASIO driver to FL ASIO, or ASIO4All.

3. Wait 10 seconds, then I change it back to the Helix ASIO drivers. And Boom all cracking/popping is gone.

 

Now the problems I get with the midi (which was controlling the Helix parameters with automation from FL STudio) is improved noticeably as well. Only sometimes do I get a full DAW crash (doesn't crash my pc though) and I have to restart the program.  This is really only a nuisance, as I am quite OCD about some things, and I usually save every handful of edits. So, that doesn't really set me back more than about 5-10 minutes at the most.  The issue with the crackling when automating over usb to parameters inside Helix is still there, but reduced a good bit.  Now if I ReAmp and put this all in smaller segments I can usually get it within a couple of takes (sometimes I can record a few different segments in a row on the first take) without any popping or crackling. 

 

As of now I think I can get done anything I would like with my setup, and I grow more impressed with the Helix almost every time I use it. I know with more updates to FW, drivers, the work Image Line is doing to FL Studio... these issues I feel will just fade into an every-now-and-then annoyance, maybe even be eliminated completely.

 

Felt I should update this for anyone that might be reading this who is on the fence about Helix. Once you can work past any technical issues, you will discover that it really is a fantastic piece of kit.

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So it looks as if the DAW software and ASIO drivers were fighting, and Helix was NOT the issue. Good read.

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