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WifiAdapter causing crackles/pops Condenser Microphones
Old 12th October 2015
Gear Head

WifiAdapter causing crackles/pops


I've been noticing increasing pops and crackles when playing music on my keyboard (M-Audio Keystation 88). This issue was not present until recently, but it seems to be getting worst and worst. I honestly do not recall installing or changing anything to my setup, but after hours of fiddling, the ONLY thing that seems to immediately stop the problem is disabling my Wifi driver in the device manager. As soon as I turn it back on, the problem is back.

When playing audio of any kind, there are intermittent cracks and pops - they last 5-10 seconds and recur every 90-120 seconds approximately.

Intel i74700k
1x240GB SSD
32 GB Ram
Window 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Brand new !

M-Audio Firewire Solo interface
Mackie monitors
TP Link 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Adapter (TL-WN851ND)

What I tried:
-Updated the wifi adpater driver to 4-5 different versions - no fix, if anything some of them prevented my system from loading (would freeze on the Windows login screen)
-Disabled a bunch of different things in the device manager - disabling the wifi adapter is the only one that has an effect, but this leaves me with an offline system.
-Issue is present whether I play music
-Issue is not present when using earphones and the onboard Xonar DG soundcard.
-In Cubase, I tried using different audio drivers (the ASIO4all, MAUDIO Firewire, Generic ASIO) issue is consistent.

Any clues?!
Old 12th October 2015
Lives for gear
Try performing some Operating System tweaks and optimizations for DAW use. Those will help prevent some of clicks and pops that come from power settings and unneeded services running, disk indexing, last file access time logging, etc.

Also, it's normal for some wifi hardware to cause clicks and pops. That's why some people keep their DAWs offline. And don't use your browser while you are working. They could start downloading updates in the background.
Old 13th October 2015
Gear Head

Thanks for your suggestions!

I've tried shutting down every single process on the computer while working, but it made no difference. Power settings, indexing, all of the usual tweaks have been done afaik, but I could take another look tonight.
However, I sometimes need to browse the web during a song - it may be to answer to collaborators, upload files, or in some other cases I'm simply taking a break and listening to some songs on youtube - the crackle is present there as well. Staying offline is a temporary fix to the production side, but definitely not a viable solution!

I'm going to try and plug in an ethernet cable tonight, I'm hoping that'll fix it. It's still very frustrating not to know where this issue came from, why it started randomly last week and why on earth it is considered "normal" for wifi hardware to cause such clicks. I've never had this problem before, used to work off of a laptop for years and never faced something like this!

Any other ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Old 14th October 2015
Lives for gear

Had a TP link card, caused issues. Solution? Look into a linksys usb solution instead. Cured all my woes and I have a very similar computer to yours.
Old 14th October 2015
Gear Head

Thanks mate, I think that will be my solution as well. At this point the question is what's more time and cost effective between switching cards or simply going ethernet. Luckily, I had a 50ft cable laying around at work that I plugged in, disabled the wifi, problem "solved". Now it's just a matter of piercing holes in my walls and hiding that ugly cable properly or getting a USB solution.

Which one did you get if I might ask?
Old 15th October 2015
Lives for gear

They don't make it anymore, it was the AE3000.

Here's the one that ADK is using (that is what I used as a reference when I was having the issues)

Linksys WUSB6300 AC1200 Wireless-AC USB Adapter
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