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Distortion from MK3 sounds

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by adammaschine, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    Hello, I am setting up my MK3 for the first time.

    I am running the software on a mid-2010 Mac, with
    - 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5
    - 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    - internal soundcard

    I am getting extreme distortion coming out of the MK3, both on the headphones and monitors. I have played with both the sample rate and buffer size.

    I know I run an older Mac, but I would imagine 8GB should be enough speed - though, for what it's worth, running the maschine sofware does slow it down a LOT. Should I assume that's why I am getting the distortion from all sound libraries? Or should I be focused on something else?
     
  2. StarSMASH

    StarSMASH NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    851
    Like a consistent distortion just when it’s on?

    If so, I and many others have this issue. It’s a grounding issue. I think there are this called grounding cables you can look up and attach to the USB
     
  3. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    No, not a consistent distortion. Just when I play the sounds on the drum pad or play a sound from the software.
     
  4. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,204
    Is it a Laptop or iMac? What version of MacOS?
    My MBP 2015 i5 struggles with Maschine and only 4 kits loaded... I can't even imagine how it is on a 2010 model.
    I think my older MacBook is from 2010, I gave it to my mom, i can install maschine on it to see how it behaves.

    8Gb is OK for most people.
    If you could put 64GB of ram on that computer the result would be the same. Your CPU affects "speed", ram not so much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  5. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
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    I shouldve clarified - it's a macbook running High Sierra 10.13

    Yes I can see what you're saying that CPU matters more than ram for speed - but do you think that the i5 processor is that bad? I understand it's age - but that would mean that the MK3 is literally unusable for me unless I upgrade my specs?
     
  6. Blindeddie

    Blindeddie NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    1,655
    Well being that describing a sound as “distorted” does not really give a good indicator of what the actual distortion is, maybe posting a video would give a clearer picture of the type of distortion (there are many)

    Peace,

    Blindeddie
     
  7. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    I'll try to post a video of this - but it basically sounds likes like your speakers have blown and can't handle the sound being processed. And yes, I know my speakers are fine, as I use them for all other audio functions. Hopefully that makes sense
     
  8. Blindeddie

    Blindeddie NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    1,655
    Makes sense, that narrows it down possibly being a gain issue. Also describe exactly how you have the speakers hooked up. What speakers they are etc...

    Peace,

    Blindeddie
     
  9. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    For the MK3, I have Rokit 5's hooked up to the MK3 line outs via 1/4" cables. I was also getting the same sound through the headphone outs with my regular headphones
     
  10. Blindeddie

    Blindeddie NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    1,655
    Well that’s not part of the issue as that’s the way it’s supposed to be...
     
  11. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,204
    High Sierra? is that supported or did you use any trickery to install it?
    It shouldn't be horrible but its definitively not good in my personal experience, you should be fine with a high buffer like 256 for example.

    I installed Maschine on my moms old 2009 Macbook, it was a pita, everything about NA and Service Center is buggy in those old versions.
    Anyway, Maschine itself behaves OK, actually, it seems better than in my newer 2015 MBP, I can't directly compare because Service center won't let me install expansions since it thinks I am transferring their licenses in the old laptop and I can't install the library on the newer one because it claims there is not enough space even though I have 25GB free and the lib is 6Gb. -.-

    Listen to the audio attached, check if it sounds like that, I record it with my phone, there's distortion at the start and thru the mid is plays normally.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  12. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    Yes - Just like that I'd say
     
  13. sqtk

    sqtk New Member

    Messages:
    8
    What happens if you run Maschine software without hardware plugged in? Is sound distorted when using just software and internal sound device?
     
  14. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,204
    That digital distortion is indeed the computer not keeping up at an extreme.

    It should go away with a bigger buffer or at least diminish to occasional spikes, what are current buffer settings? Does the laptop run hot?
     
  15. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    sqtk - good call on that. I tried playing a few sounds without the hardware plugged in - same effect.

    D-One - I've been running buffering at 512. I just upped it to 2016, but no change. Laptop doesn't seem to be running hot. And - if this matters - on the mac Activity monitor - not sure how to interpret this, but it says that Maschine 2 is taking up > 130% of the CPU (not sure how it's > 100%).
     
  16. adammaschine

    adammaschine NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8
    Correction. Have been running the software for a few minutes and I'd say it is indeed running hot.
     
  17. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8,220
    That might just be why you're getting the grotesque distortion. Your system just can't handle processing audio in realtime. Sorry.

    And the >100% thing is the processing taking longer than playing the contents of your buffer (hence the dropouts/distortion).
     
  18. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    8,204
    I would try downgrading the maschine a version, just to check. The version native access tells me to install doesn't work my moms laptops, it crashes, i downgraded and it worked fine.

    That's not it, for both things.
    My mom's laptop is even older than his, has less ram and works, much better than I expected actually... I loaded like 6 kits at 128 buffer and had no audio issues.
    (of course, it runs a much older Maschine version, which seems oddly more efficient than the current one)

    >100% doesn't mean anything. I think Activity Monitor accounts 100% per CPU core, since he has a dual-core it can go to 200%. Many apps on my desktop reach 500%+ CPU (6 Cores).
    Maybe in windows, 100% really means 100%, in a mac, not really.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    8,220
    Ah, fair enough. Faulty assumption that it worked like Live's CPU meter (was thinking Ableton had taken their implementation from Apple).

    By your own admission and definition, though, >100% does have a meaning on Mac. ;)

    And fair enough that your mum's old MacBook runs MASCHINE (I have a similarly old MacBook Air that can too), but the evidence here for the OP's Mac is that it can't. Whether there's a software optimization (e.g., power settings*), some incompatibility (e.g., having wireless network enabled*), or something broken that can be fixed that's causing it, I can't say.

    Downgrading MASCHINE is a good shout though. Definitely worth a try. Good luck!


    * Typically more related to Windows, I know, but just examples.