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Still got some pops....

Discussion in 'Technical Issues' started by SoulLifter, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    Hey all,

    I posted earlier this year about a serious issue affecting my playback in TS causing 3 second dropouts in sound output. That was resolved by disabling my Wi-Fi card.

    My only issue now is lingering pops/tiny stutters happening every so often. It's noticeable enough to not be acceptable to the dancefloor.

    I've been running DPC latency checker (http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml) and every 3 seconds I get a spike from some driver or process. I can't seem to get it to stop. I've been disabling and enabling pretty much every device under device manager but that spike continues. I sense there's a connection between that spike and the popping issues I have on TS.

    I'm running a Intel Core Duo 2.1 GHZ with 4 gigs of ram (bought specifically and only for using Traktor Scratch.) I partitioned my hard drive with a clean install of Vista and Traktor Scratch only: the latency spike continues to occur. More importantly, the popping sounds continue to occur.

    I've, of course, made all the Vista tweaks NI recommended. In my Audio 8 DJ control panel settings I have it set as 2 ms for USB buffer size and 7 ms for audio buffersize after talking with NI tech support. I originally was using 4 ms for USB buffer size coupled with 16 ms for the audio buffersize. The tech guy, Gabriel (who is amazingly knowledgeable and helpful!), told me my settings were way too high and recommended I reset them back to 2 and 7 ms respectively (nothing over 10 ms total between the two.)

    Anyway, I've got this popping sound occurring still. I have a laptop that EXCEEDS the requirements for TS. It has to be a driver issue or conflict issue causing it.

    I've already tried:

    1) Plugging the Audio 8 DJ in different USB ports -- no effect.
    2) Uninstalling the sound card in my laptop -- no effect.
    3) Uninstalling the video driver in my laptop -- no effect (the video driver DOES NOT share the IRQ of the enhanced root rub where my Audio 8 is.)
    4) Disabling most things in device manager (to see if the latency spike ceased) -- no effect so far.
    5)I've upped the cache setting from 8 MB up to 128 MB -- no effect.
    6) Updating the device drivers for both the audio and video card.

    How can I figure out what is causing these occasional pops and eliminate them? What is causing my latency to spike every 3 seconds or so?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DJ_AS

    DJ_AS NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    452
    I could never get the DPC performance in Vista anywhere near as good as in XP. Is going back to XP an option for you?
     
  3. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    I don't have a copy of XP but could get one....I think.

    I know Microsoft is about to begin phasing it out.

    I'm just really bugged by this latency spike I keep getting. It's such a mystery! But, as I said, my popping sounds and the spike may not be related...
     
  4. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    UPDATE

    I've determined that the sound pops/click occur in TS when the latency spikes. I'm sure that whatever is spiking the latency is causing my TS issue.

    I can't seem to figure out what it is though...
     
  5. DJ_AS

    DJ_AS NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    452
    Can you try a little experiment - measure the latency with the Audio 8 unplugged. See if that makes the spike go away (I have a theory that the Audio 8 driver and Vista don't always play nice).
     
  6. lethal_pizzle

    lethal_pizzle NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    10,601
    Assuming it is a laptop, have you tried physically removing the battery and running off mains?
     
  7. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,129
    Turn off Key Lock

    Test

    Post results.
     
  8. Jap_

    Jap_ New Member

    Messages:
    23
    the problem isn't keylock.

    Hey SoulLifter,

    I am quite sure that your main issue here is VISTA. I've got a laptop with Intel T7800 2.6GHz and 4GB of system memory and have been fighting this crackle and pop BS forever with TS and now TSPro on and off and there is NO WAY my system isn't capable of handling Traktor.

    I've used both XP and VISTA and the later is much worse and there does not seem to be any way to improve the DPC latency. Perhaps as DJ_AS suggested it is the Audio8 causing the spikes which makes it useless in VISTA....

    In XP I have had many troubles as well but, I just installed a new SATA2 HDD running at full 3Gb/s and 7200RPM and with NO partitions (this seems to be important as well).

    I've only installed the necessary drivers to run this system Ie. Chipset, Wireless, Video and Audio8 and disabled many other things like Firewire, ethernet, integrated audio, card reader etc.. I've limited my running applications to only Traktor Scratch Pro and system services with some other OS tweaks. If your system is only going to be dedicated to running TS then eliminating all these other components shouldn't be a problem for you.

    Now when I check the DPC latency I am only seeing it creep up to about 500-700µs every ~10 seconds and that is because my wireless is enabled. Once I disable wireless and launch TSPro it stays consistently between ~150-250µs and I am not hearing ANY pops or crackles!

    I think you need to first get your system running XP and then start tweaking.

    Good luck!

    Jap_
     
  9. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,129
    Really? How are you drawing this conclusion?

    Be careful with this post. There are MANY people who are using Vista with no issues.

    On the other hand, everyone using Key Lock has an issue.
     
  10. Jap_

    Jap_ New Member

    Messages:
    23
    I've come to that conclusion based on my months of struggle with the application on multiple systems and OS and the several friends which are also struggling with some sort of issue (either audio dropouts or random pops among the most popular...) and Key Lock is not enabled in any case.

    Now this is only my experience (and the several friends that I work with) and it seems that the pops I'm experiencing are definitely related to DPC latency and VISTA is definitely much more difficult to work with in terms of improving the latency. Don't really care who it is working for since it didn't work well for me and clearly isn't here either.

    I've had more success on XP but, things always seem to go to S$@t after some time. However, with the current config I'm working with it is the most stable I've ever seen TS run.

    Anyways... SoulLifter, I am only explaining my situation to you because your problems sound very similar to mine and your system hardware is also similar.

    Here is an image of the DPC results. The left half is with wireless enabled, the red spike is disabling wireless and the right half is with TSPro running.

    http://www.component-music.ca/DPC.JPG

    Best,

    Jap_
     
  11. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,129
    Well a few things...

    Your points are valid. What worked for you could work for someone else.

    Key Lock causes random pops and clicks in Scratch, T3, and TPro. That's a fact and it seems like almost everyone in the forums experiences it.

    Also...you mention TPro as your software, but this guy is using Scratch...
     
  12. lethal_pizzle

    lethal_pizzle NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    10,601
    I am running Vista on Scratch without any problems. It is rock solid. Wish I could say the same for Traktor Scratch Pro!

    I did have latency spikes with associated audio pops, which I eventually tracked down to an SD card that I had running with Readyboost enabled.
     
  13. Jap_

    Jap_ New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Chilly - Good point I am no longer using traktor scratch, although I had crackles and pops with it and it always seemed to correlate with DPC latency.

    I actually haven't had any problems with key lock when these DPC latency issues were fixed although I really don't use the feature all that much...

    With a PC there are an infinite number of configurations in terms of hardware/drivers and software that it seems the best way to run traktor (any flavor) consitently is to have a dedicated system with only the bare essentials. This has worked for me many times but, I am not consistent with how I maintain the system and this always leads back to the same DPC issues with associated pops.

    I am now dedicated to properly maintain my dedicated system in hopes that it will remain consistent.;)

    Jap_
     
  14. chilly

    chilly Returning Customer

    Messages:
    3,129
    As should everyone else! Good stuff finding out what your issues were too.
     
  15. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    Hey guys -- you've made this all an exciting thread! Thanks for all the feedback.

    1) Here's a pic of my DPC Latency readout. It's pretty obvious that something is running some kind of a cycle over and over again at the same interval. Check it out!

    2) I've tried unplugging the Audio 8 DJ but the spike continues.

    3) I got an extended battery with the laptop: a 85 WHR 9-cell Lithium Ion -- not sure if that matters. I do have all the power management features disabled, of course. I will try to disconnect it and see what happens. I thought the battery wasn't used if I had it plugged into an outlet? I'm new to using laptops...

    4) I'm using an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 if that matters. (Updated drivers.) It's using IRQ -2 somehow. The NI tech said sometimes TS has an issue if the Audio 8 is on a shared USB hub with the video card -- not in my case, thankfully.

    5) I was debating trying a demo of TS Pro but -- I know that this spike is a performance issue and need to get this fixed first. I think that will solve my only issue.

    6) Is disabling something in the device manager the same as uninstalling it? I have some kind of a Ricoh SD/MMC Host Controller, Ricoh Memory Stick Controller & Ricoh x-D Picture Card Controller. I don't even know what those are! I have them disabled, however, in my boot partition which only has a clean install of Vista and Traktor on it with pretty much nothing else.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

    -Peter
     

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  16. Chopenko

    Chopenko Forum Member

    Messages:
    40
    What worked for me apparently was disabling the external display (VGA function 1) and leaving only 1 IRQ to the USB2 port that I connect Audio8DJ in.

    But I have integrated video.

    Uninstalling the video driver will actually make your PC runs slower.
     
  17. SoulLifter

    SoulLifter Forum Member

    Messages:
    77
    Well it's not my battery. I disconnected it and tried running on the outlet alone. Same issue occurs. Drat.

    How do I know if I have an integrated video card? I think I have an integrated audio card...but I'm not sure. I've disabled that to no effect.
     
  18. Jap_

    Jap_ New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Hey Peter

    I wish I had taken a capture of the DPC latency with my VISTA install. It looks pretty much the same with some high spikes, a lot of yellow and a some green.

    As for disabling in DevMan, that is fine as the devices aren't assigned any system resources. I have disabled all the RICOH devices in my system.

    Have you tried disabling your Ethernet, Wireles and Firewire? Integrated sound card?

    Something else you could try is find which USB2 controller the Audio8 is on and disable all the other controllers.

    If you are using a laptop then you have an integrated video card which is your ATI Radeon HD and this can't be disabled.

    Jap_
     
  19. Chopenko

    Chopenko Forum Member

    Messages:
    40
    No, it's not the same, Windows will try to install again your Plug n Play hardware (at that moment or at reboot).

    All of the Ricoh devices are the Slots in your laptop for memory cards.

    O.k, I know this is a bad moment for joking :lol: ... :p but you can try to disable your whole laptop ! :lol:

    Or maybe disabling yourself ! :lol:
     
  20. Jap_

    Jap_ New Member

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    23
    Disabling is not the same as uninstalling so, the device will not be redetected as it is still installed... just disabled.;)
     
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