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Unexpected Results - Please Help!
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
Unexpected Audio Glitches - Please Help!

I recently downloaded Mixcraft 4 to give it a whirl on my fairly low-powered laptop (1.7GHz, 1.37 GB RAM). Using my Mackie Satellite firewire interface I laid down a clean direct-in bass line, added a drum loop and then added a guitar riff using plug-ins supplied within Mixcraft.

I noticed that the bass and drums played fine without any audio glitches, and when I added the guitar line I found that there were minimal glitches. It didn't really affect playback, it just sounded a little worse than normal due to the glitches.

I was excited that I was able to achieve this (I haven't had much luck with PC recording) and thought that if I re-recorded the guitar line using a DI from my guitar amp attenuator (Koch Loadbox) then I could record with no glitches.

The tone was good while I played along with the recorded tracks without actually recording the guitar.
Unfortunately when I hit record and played along, the recorded track sounded terrible due to the severity and frequency of audio glitches present in the track. I also triple-checked that the FX were turned off.

Why could this be?

My understanding was that plug-ins use PC power, hence my expectation that using a direct-input source would reduce the audio glitches.

Why would using a direct source create more audio glitches than using plug-ins?
Why did this not happen with the bass line?
As I deleted the previous guitar track I did not add to the number of tracks so I really don't understand!

Perhaps someone here could suggest some reasons or help me out!

I know I'm new here so I don't mean to come off as a pain in the butt, I really am just genuinely confused about the whole thing!
Old 20th November 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Welcome funkywrench!

To increase the likelyhood of getting replies, a more meaningful subject ("audio glitches in Mixcraft 4") might help.

To me, this sounds like a latency issue. Latency is caused by the buffering of audio samples in the computer after reading from/before writing to the audio interface. On the bad side, this adds delay, while on the good side, it helps the stream of samples communicated over the audio interface to remain continuous, even if the CPU is under load so it starts calculating the samples irregularly.

So the idea is: Try to increase the delay in your audio driver. Maybe your plugins just added the little bit of CPU load that makes this necessary.

Just a guess, it may or may not help. Good luck!

Thomas
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
Thanks for the reply and the welcome waltermusik! Perhaps I will re-word my subject.

Now to the subject matter...

I understand the concept of latency and also that increasing the latency will reduce clicks/pops. I have also been led to believe that using plug-ins increases the use of CPU power.

The problem for me is that when I recorded a guitar track using plug-ins I had a small amount of clicks and pops. I then attempted to re-record the track, only this time recording the output of my guitar amp attenuator (it has a DI built-in) without any plug-ins, and strangely the audio glitches got worse! That is basically doing the reverse of what I thought would happen.

I guess I'm trying to see if its anything I could be doing that would cause this.

Also since I'm fairly new to DAWs and my laptop is underpowered, are there any DAWs that are less computer-intensive than others? Do some DAWs use less resources to run themselves?
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
Gear Addict
 

OK now I think I am with you, thanks for clarifying. You understood things right: the use of Plugins increases CPU Load. A plugin, simply spoken, takes a sample, does some calculation with it (and thus, uses the CPU) and returns it to the host application.

What happens if you record absolutely dry? No external amp, no plugins?

Have you checked the peaks of the signal recorded from your amp? Maybe it is just digital "overs"?
Old 20th November 2009
  #5
Funnily enough I didn't think to record dry. I recorded the bass dry and it was fine.

I checked the level on the audio interface and ensured that the red led didn't light up (or lit up very rarely) and the level on Mixcraft was the similar to the bass and drum track levels.

Just thinking back, I also remember that once when I played it back the audio sounded like it had a strange flange effect combined with the glitches.

I'll try record it dry and see what happens. I just can't think what the DI input would be introducing to cause problems. Thank you for your help thus far waltermusik!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #6
Can anyone else weigh in? I really want to try and make PC recording work for me but I need to solve this problem in order to do so.
Old 25th November 2009
  #7
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