DROPOUTS!!! - My experience with Lynx AES16, PT10 and Windows 7
After 2 days of frustration, I have managed to overcome an issue I had with my Lynx AES16 not wanting to play nice in my PC running Win7 x64, and PT10.
Reason I am mentioning this, is that it may help others that come up against similar issues down the track, and save them from loosing as much hair over it as I did.
Anyway, with the Lynx installed and appropriate latest driver / firmware, I would open a PT session, and notice it would not take long to start seeing some significant dropouts on the Lynx playback mixer, as well as awful distortion in the audio. I trawled all over the Lynx Support forum, looking at similar situations of people reporting large "dropout" counts, and distorted audio. It seemed like this was not an uncommon thing. I started to wonder if I had made the right decision on the Lynx. I tried everything that I saw suggested. Swapped PCI slots, updated all my drivers for every single piece of hardware and chipset device in my computer, updated the BIOS on the computer, disabled other hardware items...you get the idea.
I was trying to playback a session with my buffer settings at 512, and it was pretty horrible. A buddy of mine suggested, why not try it at 1024 and see if it makes any difference. Well, it did..but now I needed to find what it was that was causing it to happen. (I wasn't satisfied with a band aid...needed to find the source of the issue).
I saw on the Avid forum where other people had complained about Pro Tools and its asio drivers, that people were suggesting things like ASIO 4 ALL etc, but I still didn't believe that it just "wouldn't work".
In my Windows volume configuration I was running my device in "exclusive mode" which to me seemed like it should be doing what it says it does. However here's something a little quirky. Even though I had Windows sounds disabled (I had pretty much everything disabled by this point), in the volume properties, it still had the default option when playing back in shared mode at 44.1kHz, 16 bit. I thought, "Even though I have all that disabled, and I should be running in exclusive mode, I might try flicking that over to 48kHz 24 bit. Did that for all 16 ins and all 16 outs. While I was there I thought, hang on a moment, why not just re-enable the motherboard onboard sound device, and point every single Windows option to that as the default option, just in case something is trying to talk to my Lynx in the background with it being the current default. So I went through and did both.
After going back into Pro Tools, I loaded a session with the buffer set to 512, and had not a single dropout.....great....thats addressed it. Prior to this, I could count thousands of dropouts as it would continue to climb. I could get the buffer down to 128 with probably less than 6 dropouts over a 30 minute playback period (which I am told is pretty normal and probably a Pro Tools thing more than anything.) The Lynx has direct monitoring, so the buffer size isn't as critical to me at this point.
I am not too sure if it was the "pointing everything at the onboard soundcard" which resolved my issue, or going through the changing of the "default format when running in shared mode" which resolved it, but hopefully my experience will help someone next time they are finding themselves frustrated trying to get an ASIO device to work in Pro Tools under Windows 7.
Now to get back to that project I was working on.....