Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

I just bought a brand new HP computer running DDR3 RAM and I am having a reoccurring problem. The problem is that I am getting pops, buzzing, and clicks in the playback and in the mixdown. They seem to get progressively worse with each time I play a track. I am using VST plugin instruments, so I know the interfering sounds are not being recorded externally. At first I thought it was a problem with my external sound card, so I took it to guitar center and we tried out multiple sound cards. I tried an M Audio Firewire Solo, an M Audio Pro, a Lexicon, and the Steinberg CI2. It still happened with all sound cards. So then I tried different software (Cubase 5, Cubase 4, and now since I have purchased this sounds card I tried Cubase AI5). I have not been able to solve the problem with any of these methods. The only time this doesn't happen is if I am playing a single, individual track rather than the whole song. However, the entire piece only contains 7 VST midi tracks total. Anybody have any suggestions as to what may be wrong here? Thanks in advance for your help!

Views: 281

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Jonathan,

There could be a lot of potential problems here.

Firstly you need to ensure you have a pro audio interface (not a soundcard) and then use the ASIO drivers to connect to Cubase. Using software emulation or default drivers just won't cut it. If there aren't any ASIO drivers readily available then chances are you're using the wrong kind of audio interface. M-Audio definitely make some decent ones.

Once you have that running then you need to check what latency the buffer is set to. If you're still get pops and clicks at a setting of '512 samples' then there is a problem elsewhere.

If you're using very heavy VST instruments that stream from disk, have you set the streaming buffer too low? Are you using the same hard drive for running Cubase, streaming the VST instrument data AND recording your track? Ideally these should be three entirely separate physical disks.

Are you making sure that you're not overloading the output bus?

Did this project work in a previous DAW or on someone else's DAW?
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am using an ASIO pro audio device. It is the Steinberg CI2, and yes - this composition does play on my older computer ( a Dell Pentium 4 desktop running Windows XP and 3.5 GB of RAM). On the older computer it does have issues as far as processing if I am moving in and out of windows, because it is an older computer with a slower processor (and a single core), but the new computer is a quad core phenom processor running 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. As far as I can tell there is no reason this computer should be doing this - I can't figure it out. It also has a 750 GB SATA drive that isn't even half-full. I have been on some other boards and they suggested taking out or turning off the wireless card. I took it out of the tower completely and it had no effect. If anyone has experienced this problem or know someone who has a potential solution, please reply. Thank you.

James Semple said:
Hi Jonathan,

There could be a lot of potential problems here.

Firstly you need to ensure you have a pro audio interface (not a soundcard) and then use the ASIO drivers to connect to Cubase. Using software emulation or default drivers just won't cut it. If there aren't any ASIO drivers readily available then chances are you're using the wrong kind of audio interface. M-Audio definitely make some decent ones.

Once you have that running then you need to check what latency the buffer is set to. If you're still get pops and clicks at a setting of '512 samples' then there is a problem elsewhere.

If you're using very heavy VST instruments that stream from disk, have you set the streaming buffer too low? Are you using the same hard drive for running Cubase, streaming the VST instrument data AND recording your track? Ideally these should be three entirely separate physical disks.

Are you making sure that you're not overloading the output bus?

Did this project work in a previous DAW or on someone else's DAW?
So Jonathan, are you only using one drive? That could be the problem.

What is the audio buffer set to? Do you still get pops and crackles if you set it really high (like 2048 samples)? Are you also running video at the same time?

regards

James
This is one of those problems that all composers with computer rigs deal with. Cracks and pops can be from a myriad of issues. Here is my list of thing to check
- try different buffer settings and see if it changes
- make sure ALL your devices are using the same buffer (i.e. if your DAW is 256, make sure your VI's are also)
- make sure all devices are clocked to the same frequency (i.e. 44.1k or 48k, etc)
- if you have farm computers make sure they are also using the same frequency / buffer
- you also want to have your DAW running on one hard disc and your samples pulling from another or at least another partition, minimally. There is a whole lot more to deal with about multiple drives/partitions/sizes, so make sure you read up about the best way to streamline your samples
Hi Everyone -
Thanks for the responses. I have taken everybody's suggestions and tried them. I moved my entire sound library to a separate drive, set the ASIO pro sound device at every buffer size, removed the wireless internet device from the tower - and nothing has worked. At this point I am convinced there is some kind of interference somehow coming from the operating system (windows vista 64 ultimate), or something else that is on the motherboard itself. For anyone new to this post, the computer specs are HP running a Phenom Quad Core 810 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM - expandable to 16 GB. If you have any suggestions other than what has already been discussed, please let me know. Thank you all for your suggestions and advice.

Ray Kemp said:
My first thought would be the same as James.

Sample libraries should be streaming from separate physical drives than the one your apps are on.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2021   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service