Cracks and pops - PreSonus 1818VSL
jesper318
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18th July 2012
Old 18th July 2012
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Cracks and pops - PreSonus 1818VSL

I bought a PreSonus 1818VSL USB 2.0 interface yesterday to use with Pro Tools 10. I wanted a Firewire interface but since my FW port on my Macbook Pro is burned I'm stuck with USB.

I have been using an Mbox 2 Mini for a year and it has been doing great though I've always been sceptical when it comes to USB and audio.

My problem with the 1818VSL is that I get a lot of cracks and pops when recording. My first thoughts was that the built in clock in 1818VSL is interfearing with the clock in my MacBook Pro. But the 1818VSL is the master and running 44,1. I have also tried 96 KHz but it does no matter. I have made sure that I have the latest drivers and firmware installed for the interface.

Where do you think the problem is? I have tried several mics and cables in all 8 XLR inputs. Still same problem with pops and cracks. The cracks increase when I lower the buffersize but even if I'm on 1024 I get some cracks and pops.


Please help me find a solution for this problem.

Best,
jesper318
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18th July 2012
Old 18th July 2012
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what is your computer? specs?

what other USB devices do you have? USB drive?

matt
jesper318
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19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt thomas View Post
what is your computer? specs?

what other USB devices do you have? USB drive?

matt

MacBook Pro 13" (7,1- Mid 2010)

No other USB devices than 1818 VSL and iLok 2.0.

Tested the 1818VSL on my old desktop running Windows 7 and that worked like a charm. I noticed the different in the VSL driversoftware between Mac and Windows. In win7 I was able to lock the sample rate / clock. The Mac VSL driver doesn't have those options. Only Sample rate and bit depth (bit depth cannot be changed).
#4
19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesper318 View Post
MacBook Pro 13" (7,1- Mid 2010)

No other USB devices than 1818 VSL and iLok 2.0.

Tested the 1818VSL on my old desktop running Windows 7 and that worked like a charm. I noticed the different in the VSL driversoftware between Mac and Windows. In win7 I was able to lock the sample rate / clock. The Mac VSL driver doesn't have those options. Only Sample rate and bit depth (bit depth cannot be changed).
hmm, I'm not sure then. It should work fine. Might be a case of needing to email the manufacturer.

matt
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19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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This sounds like a DAW buffer size issue... Buffers are used by your computer to pre read audio from your DAW (in RAM) - if it's too small and your computer can't handle it, then it'll try to send info too quickly (before it can write read and process the audio)... This results in cracking and popping as the digital audio is not sent fadt enough... Increasing your buffer size should fix this, but it'll increase latency...

Go into your DAW audio settings and change the buffer to maximum size... Foes this fix it? If so... Lower the buffer to as low as u can without hearing the cracks and pops - done that the fastest it can go and the lowest latency your comp can handle with that card...
jesper318
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19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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Originally Posted by jBam View Post
This sounds like a DAW buffer size issue... Buffers are used by your computer to pre read audio from your DAW (in RAM) - if it's too small and your computer can't handle it, then it'll try to send info too quickly (before it can write read and process the audio)... This results in cracking and popping as the digital audio is not sent fadt enough... Increasing your buffer size should fix this, but it'll increase latency...

Go into your DAW audio settings and change the buffer to maximum size... Foes this fix it? If so... Lower the buffer to as low as u can without hearing the cracks and pops - done that the fastest it can go and the lowest latency your comp can handle with that card...

Thank you for your answer. I'v been testing all buffersizes avalible in Pro Tools and Studio One. I recorded some samples to show you the occuring problem. I removed the drivers including the .kext files and reinstalled them. Still the same problem.

Please listen to my recorded samples in the link below:

Cracks / Pops samples
#7
19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesper318 View Post
The cracks increase when I lower the buffersize but even if I'm on 1024 I get some cracks and pops.

Please help me find a solution for this problem.

Best,
jesper318
JTH Prod
Quote:
Originally Posted by jBam View Post
This sounds like a DAW buffer size issue...

Go into your DAW audio settings and change the buffer to maximum size... Foes this fix it? If so... Lower the buffer to as low as u can without hearing the cracks and pops - done that the fastest it can go and the lowest latency your comp can handle with that card...


matt
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19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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Hi again... Hmm - had a listen, and the smallest buffer size is the worst, but then it's starts to be kinda similar (only listened on phone sorry)...

Is it ONLY on the way in, or playback as well?

If u have enough ram, then it's sound like clocking (or digital locking) issue as u said... Having it as the master should be right... Clocking (and buffers etc) would affect playback though too, so the above question counts...

Hmmm was hoping the buffer was the issue - not sure if I can help!

It might be time to send presonus a tech support email!

[edit: yes Matt - I see -- my bad, but just trying to help ]

double edit: actually - so your FireWire port is fried?? Hmm... Do u have any other reasonably intense units u can test your USB port on? Maybe it's dead / dying too (USB keyboard perhaps)..... If your FireWire died, maybe your whole computer is on the way out??!! :-O
jesper318
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19th July 2012
Old 19th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jBam View Post
Hi again... Hmm - had a listen, and the smallest buffer size is the worst, but then it's starts to be kinda similar (only listened on phone sorry)...

Is it ONLY on the way in, or playback as well?

If u have enough ram, then it's sound like clocking (or digital locking) issue as u said... Having it as the master should be right... Clocking (and buffers etc) would affect playback though too, so the above question counts...

Hmmm was hoping the buffer was the issue - not sure if I can help!

It might be time to send presonus a tech support email!

[edit: yes Matt - I see -- my bad, but just trying to help ]

double edit: actually - so your FireWire port is fried?? Hmm... Do u have any other reasonably intense units u can test your USB port on? Maybe it's dead / dying too (USB keyboard perhaps)..... If your FireWire died, maybe your whole computer is on the way out??!! :-O

I'm also thinking of clocking problem. I read somewhere that the 1818VSL cannot be set as slave so its always the master. The cracks are only during recording. playback is great. As soon as I start my DAW and press rec I'm screwed... If I dont use any DAW and only listen to the direct input signal in the VSL Client the signal is perfect and free from cracks and pops.
I emailed presonus a few moments ago.

Another thing that i dont get is that if i turn up / down the volume on the built on the built in keyboad of my MBP, the dbfs bars goes up and down one the 1818VSL . I shouldnt be able to control the signal using the keyboard keys? If I use my Mbox 2 mini the volume is locked snd cannot be changed using the built in volume keys wih seems correct.
#10
20th July 2012
Old 20th July 2012
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Man - it seems really tricky... Just on the way in.. ?! Yikes... I don't know what goes on there - it clocks / locks fine on the way out, but not the way in...

Very strange... stranger that it's only on your macbook too :(

I guess you can try again with tech support (give a little friendly "I'm slightly dissapointed because I requested this a month ago and have heard that presonus are REALLY good with customer service" line in there too :-P)...

Also - keep trouble shooting - do you have any friends with similar laptops....? Could you actually take it into a mac shop and test it on a new macbook - just to see if it's YOUR computer, or macs in general?!

Is it maybe - Hmmm... Is it "Bus Powered"?? (no external power supply plugged in)... Sorry if you mentioned this before - I don't have time on my lunch break to read through it all... It may be this? Enough power to run, but not enough power from you macbook to run AND get the preamps and AD's all going at once?! Try plugging in the external power supply if you haven't already? (I only say this cause a dexktop will be able to supply more USB power than a laptop generally)...

Not sure... hope these can help...
zzz
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20th July 2012
Old 20th July 2012
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zzz
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i thought pop and click noize are pop up electric power switch noize issue...

you can hear some pop and click noize when you turn your power switch on/off right ?

maybe check your device manager then check your device.

you can find something like sharering each IRQ switch. thats the sounds maybe ?

directX was nice adds for me. ask your manufacture.

then if you could not solve that issue..maybe somthing wrong.
jesper318
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29th July 2012
Old 29th July 2012
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I went back to the store where I bought the 1818VSL for troubleshooting. We tested it on a brand new iMac 27" and guess what, the same problem occurred. We then replaced the 1818VSL with a new one. Still the same problem occurs with clicks and pops when recording in 1024 samples or lower using studio one or pro rools. It seems like a driver problem to me if it doesnt help changing computer or hardware? We tried several driver versions but no differens. The clicks and pops decrease a bit if the AudioBox VSL driver isn't running. So strange...I would't recommend buying the 1818VSL if you are using mac... At least not for a while until this is fixed.
zzz
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29th July 2012
Old 29th July 2012
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zzz
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word, sorry to hear that.

did you connected to there manufacture ?

click and pop noizes are usually power switch noize of your drivers.

are you sharing some DMA number in you device manager ?

maybe that is a ploblem.

you need something like clean install something or whatever software...somthing..
#14
30th November 2012
Old 30th November 2012
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I just got the 1818vsl today, and at first, using a song previously saved with Studio One 2, I had all sorts of clicks and pops (using driver 1.2, MacBookPro unibody 2009, OSX 10.8.2) on a mic input I was trying... I had to go all the way to 2048 samples to clean it up.

Got on the net to try to figure it out. No real answer how to fix that yet.

Decided to scrap it and start fresh, clicked "New Song", in the drop menu, There's "empty", AudioBox 1818vsl, ...

I usually start empty, but this time, I choose the AudioBox1818vsl for kicks. I comes up with 8 inputs already setup, and 256 samples. Turn up the mic and... NO POPS!

Tried all the way to 64 samples, NO POPS, NO CLICKS.

Obviously, I'm going to try different setups, but this made me happier!
jesper318
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30th November 2012
Old 30th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perceval2000 View Post
I just got the 1818vsl today, and at first, using a song previously saved with Studio One 2, I had all sorts of clicks and pops (using driver 1.2, MacBookPro unibody 2009, OSX 10.8.2) on a mic input I was trying... I had to go all the way to 2048 samples to clean it up.

Got on the net to try to figure it out. No real answer how to fix that yet.

Decided to scrap it and start fresh, clicked "New Song", in the drop menu, There's "empty", AudioBox 1818vsl, ...

I usually start empty, but this time, I choose the AudioBox1818vsl for kicks. I comes up with 8 inputs already setup, and 256 samples. Turn up the mic and... NO POPS!

Tried all the way to 64 samples, NO POPS, NO CLICKS.

Obviously, I'm going to try different setups, but this made me happier!
That's nice that you have found a solution that may work. I have given up all hope to get rid of all cracks and pops. It comes and goes as it pleases. The best way I found to eliminate the risk of getting cracks and pops on the printed audio is to NOT run AudioBox VSL software at all. Then record in 1024 buffer size, Quit all applications, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Before every recording I make sure there is no clicks, if there are, I simply flip the buffer size back and fourth a few times til the cicks disappears.

It's impossible to notice the problem when monitoring directly through the VSL mixer. That signal is always pure and click-free. But as soon as you go into your DAW the devil comes to life every now and then...
#16
6th December 2012
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Ok, I have to take back what I said in my previous post... too excited I guess thinking I had a simple fix for that.

Nope.

I tried 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 .... all exhibit the same problems.
Need to find a friend with a PC... will see....

Been to Presonus' forum, no help.. everybody there has the same problems, from Windows to Macs. I can't record unless using 2048 samples. Plus, trying to use the VSL as a standalone for live mixing, the 1818vsl output dies for no reason after 10 minutes. I have to shut down and start up again to get it running.... now that's a fun thing to happen in a live situation... NOT!

But I bought this box according to the hype of a no-latency live mixer with DSP effects, controlled by an iPad on the fly!

Now, I am stuck with a regular interface, with no bells nor whistles! None of the advantages this thing is supposed to have... could have done that for far less money.

The fallback is to clean my HD free of all Presonus stuff and use regular Mac Core Audio drivers. I can record at low latency in Logic and no pops/clicks.

So, since I CAN record with Macs drivers, I guess the culprit are Presonus' own drivers... and the 1818vsl has been out for over a year... still not fixed? Geez!
#17
6th December 2012
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I had my 3-4 month fight with this interface. With 2 different PC-computers.

Finally I decided it's not supposed to be this difficult and sold it. At least 30-40 hours spent on diagnosing which USB-device etc was causing the pops this time. We went through all possible combinations of settings and firmware-/softwareversions.

I, personally, will never buy a USB-audiointerface again haha

Now 1 month with a PCI-E interface. Nothing to complain since day 1.
#18
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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Same Cracks and pops problems - PreSonus 1818VSL

Hi, I should have read this forum lines before buying the 1818VSL !
I have exactly the same problem than jesper318 using ProTools 10.
I'm really disapointed about the Presonus 1818VSL
#19
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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AudioBox VSL 1818

I had the 16.0.2 for a couple of weeks before I returned it. During that time, I spent a lot of time reading posts on the Presonus forums about the SL series and the 1818vsl as a potentially cheaper interface. Presonus should be given credit for allowing some pretty candid posts over there, especially about the 1818vsl.

Go over there and read my friends.
#20
30th December 2012
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The reason why some of those candid posts are still there is probably because they don't have an active presence there. Only a couple of mods that are not Presonus staff try to cover some fires, otherwise, there's no feedback from the company.

I've had an opened ticket for close to a month now and no reply from customer service besides stating that they were 3 people on my case and that they wanted to help me.

My solution: uninstall everything Presonus and only use Mac Core Audio.

Also, some have found out that the "will help you by looking at your system files" kind of answer is just smoke cover since they don't have any programmers in there, their drivers are outsourced from a generic driver software company... so don't expect any kind of help from Presonus if it is software related.

MOTU, Focusrite and many others have had their drivers updated for Win8 and OSX 10.8 already, but no news from Presonus as to when that might happen.... Their website states it is compatible ... another lie because that driver is in beta and not ready for any kind of real work.
#21
30th December 2012
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Would you suggest that potential buyers of the 1818vsl carefully read through the posts on the Presonus forums? The posts made me go with a Focusrite product over the 1818vsl.
#22
30th December 2012
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Did you get the Saffire 40? I was tempted to go with that one but the add-on "mixer" app that goes before the DAW looked like it was complicating things a bit too much.

How do you like your Focusrite?
#23
6th January 2013
Old 6th January 2013
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I just found this thread today... very upset. I'm going to start final tracking in a few days and over the past couple while recording scratch tracks I noticed quite a few random clicking and popping noises that sounded like static electricity.

I am also using a macbook pro.

However I never even installed the VSL software, which sounds like it has been the issue for most of you guys. I am simply using the 1818 as a recording interface straight into Pro Tools.

Has anyone figured out some sort of semblance of a way to make this stop?
#24
6th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenEdwardsAud View Post
I just found this thread today... very upset. I'm going to start final tracking in a few days and over the past couple while recording scratch tracks I noticed quite a few random clicking and popping noises that sounded like static electricity.

I am also using a macbook pro.

However I never even installed the VSL software, which sounds like it has been the issue for most of you guys. I am simply using the 1818 as a recording interface straight into Pro Tools.

Has anyone figured out some sort of semblance of a way to make this stop?
Wow! you get pops and clicks without the VSL drivers?
I can usually manage using the Mac Core Audio drivers ... I've recorded some stuff in Logic lately, and it was clean enough.

Come to think of it... recording some MIDI (I work with EZKeys and Superior Drummer), I noticed some "static discharge" sounds. Recording mics directly has been ok though...

Alas, Presonus finally acknowledged that there were some issues with the VSL line.... Presonus Statement regarding Audiobox VSL Issues

To AudioBox VSL Customers,

We have been made aware of several issues regarding noise and pops and clicks when using the AudioBox VSL with Mac and PC systems. We are actively investigating these reports to confirm the reported failures and look for possible solutions. As we are investigating this, we do not have an estimated time for solutions, we ask that you be patient knowing that we have made this a top priority with our development team.


I wouldn't hold my breath... It took them over a year to post that. Customer service was no help either...
#25
7th January 2013
Old 7th January 2013
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I had not seen that quote from customer service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by perceval2000 View Post
Did you get the Saffire 40? I was tempted to go with that one but the add-on "mixer" app that goes before the DAW looked like it was complicating things a bit too much.

How do you like your Focusrite?
It's been here a week, but I haven't used it yet. I'm waiting on delivery of a laptop with a FW port.
#26
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
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Interesting doc from Presonus here.
PreSonus | Learn - The Truth About Digital Audio Latency

Do these problems still occur when Vsl mixer performance is set to safe???

I've experienced several customers with the same problem.
the one 1818 was fixed by replacing the USB cable with one much shorter.
I have had the same issue with a couple of studio live mixers running on FireWire.
So I'm guessing it's something specific to the Vsl mixer software.
#27
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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I'm wondering if the variables involve more than just the VSL software. I.e., having the DSL inside the mixer v. being in the DAW, USB v. firewire, and maybe even PC v. Mac.

I thought the VSL software on the 16.0.2 was well thought out, but it seemed to put more of a load on the computer compared to the mixcontrol software on the Pro40 (which is, to me, harder to figure out), IMO.
#28
2nd February 2013
Old 2nd February 2013
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Im having the same issues using the Audiobox 1818vsl in Garageband. it cracks and pops in playback only. I have no problems with my old interface (Phonic Helix)
#29
4th February 2013
Old 4th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croweminator View Post
Im having the same issues using the Audiobox 1818vsl in Garageband. it cracks and pops in playback only. I have no problems with my old interface (Phonic Helix)
Did you try the new 1.2.2 beta drivers? They fixed the pops on my Mac. They still have some issues with ADAT but it is much better now.
#30
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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perceval2000--have you tried doing any Ipad remote control over your 1818vsl? Anything you can share about your opinion of the results?
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