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Help me figure out what's wrong with my computer. Audio Interfaces
Old 11th September 2007
  #1
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Chris's Avatar
Help me figure out what's wrong with my computer.

I posted a while back and didn't get many replies. I did some troubleshooting to get a firmer grasp of what's going on.

Okay, so it would be awesome to get some help and advice about my computer. First off listen to the attached clips below. This is the strange pulsing distortion that I am getting occasionally when I record. It's odd.

www.ffaudio.com/distort1.mp3
www.ffaudio.com/distort2.mp3


Here is my set up currently:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13Ghz
ASUS DP965LT mobo
two sticks of 1g mushkin ram
600 watt power supply

320gb maxtor hd 7200rpm
40gb seagate hd (I think 7200 not sure)

2 delta 1010 pci interfaces
(1 w/ black lion audio analog and clock mod)
uad-1 pci card


Problems I'm having: Okay, so it's a hard to recreate problem. I have it occasionally, and I cannot recreate it on command. It just will happen or it will not happen. I only know when I stop recording and play back the files.

What happens is I get that pulsing distortion like you can hear in the clips. It has happened while recording one track, as well as 8+. If 8+ are effected then all of the tracks have the buzz.


Things it isn't: It's not the delta mods. I have done this first with the clock and analog mod, then took out the clock pci card and had it happen with the stock pci card, then moved out the analog modded breakout box for the normal one and still had the issue.

It's also not the 1010 drivers. I reinstalled them twice so far. Also it's probably not an issue with a new install anything. I had to reformat my HD's a couple months back because my old HD crashed and I bought a new one (the maxtor). All the installs are relatively new.

I don't think it's a hard drive issue. I have recorded to both of them to see if I would still have the issue and it happened while recording to each of them in turn.


Things I think it has to do with: I think there may be a heat issue with my computer. If I take off the side and blow a fan on my mobo and pci cards it doesn't happen. While I was in the middle of doing this I had to turn the fan off for a few minutes and forgot to turn it back on. It happened immediately in the next take. I noticed that the fan was off and turned it on and it stopped.

My case is cooled a lot. I have a fan on the processor and there is an air canal to outside the case. There is a fan on the back of my case. There are two fans blowing on the hard drives. There's even a PCI fan is a slot shipping hot air out.


So my questions: How would a heating issue cause this issue? What exactly would be overheating to make this happen?

My room is room temperature. I don't see how this could cause this big of an issue with a PCI card or else everybody would be having it.


Anyway, here are some pictures of my case just for thought.



Note that for most of the time this has been happening, the UAD-1 and 1010 have been switched in where they're at. I just moved it during my last session to see if being away from the video card's fan would change things. It didn't.

Old 11th September 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Lexicondonn's Avatar
 

Replace Your RAM!
Old 11th September 2007
  #3
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Chris's Avatar
The ram is less than 4 months old...

Oh yeah. My mobo, processor and ram are all new as of about 4 months ago when I upgraded.

Did you listen to the samples? Would RAM really cause that?
Old 11th September 2007
  #4
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Tibbon's Avatar
Dear god, why so many fans (with lights?!?!) in a studio?

I must admit, I've had some odd crackles and pops occur, but they were normally the fault of poor driver design (Digi002R...)
Old 11th September 2007
  #5
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Chris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
Dear god, why so many fans (with lights?!?!) in a studio?

I must admit, I've had some odd crackles and pops occur, but they were normally the fault of poor driver design (Digi002R...)
HOME studio. Maybe we're allowed to get away with them.

And only one of them has lights, and that's the PSU fan.
Old 11th September 2007
  #6
Although you don't think it's a hard disk issue, the crackling does sound like it could occur to coincide with periodic disc read/writing - does the HD light pulse at the same time? Could be you motherboard drivers/disk controller driver? Tried updating to the latest chipset drivers?

Other things to try would be to put the sound card in another PCI slot, same with the UAD-1 (and try without it installed at all).

The CPU might the throttling its speed down if it's overheating, so keep an eye on the temps using something like Speedfan (search for it).

The 40GB drive must be quite old - if you go into device manager in Windows and double click on the disk controllers, are they both running in their respective supported DMA modes? Make sure neither of them are running in PIO mode - that's bad news, but if so there's plenty of info on the net on how to force the mode back to DMA.

I'd ditch the slot cooler - seems redundant with the PSU fan and the case fan - that ought to be enough. I'm running three UAD-1s, three HDs, graphics and firewire card in my PC, but still the 5V case fan cools them down enough combined with the PSU fan, so I'd be surprised if heat was causing this (unless the heatsink isn't seated properly, but check with Speedfan first before faffing about with heatsink reapplication, as it's a mess).

Good luck.
Old 11th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 

chris./
ive posted loads of times in the past why anomolies occur.
so go back a year n read my posts.
cos i'm not typing it all for a zillionth time.
drivers/dma/try pulling uad n see if it cures prob etc etc
could be a myriad of things.
also read about the beleagured pci bus n what happens when its overloaded.

bus poem.

it creates a lot of fuss,
if u overload a bus,
much like an LA freeway,
things slow to a crawl,
in the worst way.

filling slots seems lots of fun,
but without lotsa thought,
u might not get audio done.
Old 12th September 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Chris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by csl View Post
Although you don't think it's a hard disk issue, the crackling does sound like it could occur to coincide with periodic disc read/writing - does the HD light pulse at the same time? Could be you motherboard drivers/disk controller driver? Tried updating to the latest chipset drivers?

Other things to try would be to put the sound card in another PCI slot, same with the UAD-1 (and try without it installed at all).

The CPU might the throttling its speed down if it's overheating, so keep an eye on the temps using something like Speedfan (search for it).

The 40GB drive must be quite old - if you go into device manager in Windows and double click on the disk controllers, are they both running in their respective supported DMA modes? Make sure neither of them are running in PIO mode - that's bad news, but if so there's plenty of info on the net on how to force the mode back to DMA.

I'd ditch the slot cooler - seems redundant with the PSU fan and the case fan - that ought to be enough. I'm running three UAD-1s, three HDs, graphics and firewire card in my PC, but still the 5V case fan cools them down enough combined with the PSU fan, so I'd be surprised if heat was causing this (unless the heatsink isn't seated properly, but check with Speedfan first before faffing about with heatsink reapplication, as it's a mess).

Good luck.
I downloaded speedfan.

HD0: 36C
HD1: 34C
Core 0: 36C
Core 1: 32C

I'll try finding bios updates for my mobo.

And yeah. Like I was saying I don't know why the heat would cause this, but it stops when I put a giant fan on everything... So yeah. I have no clue.
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