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intermittent crackle / interference when using computer
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

intermittent crackle / interference when using computer

Hi all, I wonder if anyone can help me with an interference issue that I seem to be having with my computer at the moment. Basically I'm getting intermittent crackle through both my monitors and headphones and to date, everything I've tried to fix it hasn't worked.

I've got an iMac running OS High Sierra 10.13.6, connected via USB to an Audient ID22 interface. The Audient is connected to a pair of ADAM A7X monitors. I have nothing else connected to the Audient.

The crackle doesn't seem to follow any particular pattern, it is random.

The crackle doesn't change in volume even if I adjust the volume on the Audient, and it can be heard in both the headphones and the monitors.

I've tried disconnecting the monitors (unplugging them and removing the jack cables from the Audient, but still I can hear the crackle through the headphones. On that basis I assume I can rule out an issue with the monitors?

I've also tried unplugging the USB lead for the Audient (but leaving it plugged in at the mains) so audio playback comes through the iMac internal speakers, but still I can hear the crackle!

I've attached a clip of the sound I'm hearing which may be a bit of help trying to solve this.http://soundcloud.com/paul-chapman/2...00329a/s-hNXPs

I'm a bit of a novice with this sort of thing and feel like I'm at my wits end trying to solve it... can anyone help at all or advise on what might be causing this?! Any help would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Here for the gear
 

could be wrong, but first thought is sounds like your cpu overloading. Does this happen with a 'filled up' project open in your daw? Does it happen from a fresh, clean, nothing on it project open in your daw? Are your drivers up to date? Tried a new usb cable? Correct power supply for the interface?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Hello mate, I don't think its the CPU as I can still hear it through the headphones even when the Audient is unplugged - i.e when the headphones are plugged into the outfit of the interface as opposed to the computer. I've tried updating the firmware as well but that doesn't seem to have helped; i've tried switching out the USB cable too, but no joy. I really have no idea what's causing it, I can only assume that it is interference coming from somewhere (although I have no idea what) or the interface hardware is damaged in some way.

Has anyone got any other suggestions as to what may be causing this at all?!

Thanks a lot!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I'd agree with the others. Your latency is either too low or the buffers are too small.
Back in the day I used to crank the latency up on old singer core, 1/2 gig processor computers to something like 1792 or 2560 to prevent dropouts recording 8 tracks at a time. The meters were pretty useless with latency set that high but with zero latency monitoring that didn't matter much so long as the tracks wound aligning properly in the end.

I'm not familiar with Mac computers so I couldn't tell you specifics on how you can increase the buffers to prevent data loss when streaming audio too and from the sound card which winds up causing a crackle (which sounds like distortion but it isn't) I suggest you google up - optimizing audio for a Mac and follow their suggestions. I'd also go to the interface site and see if they have a a tech support forum, Q/A or someone you can contact there for suggestions. When I first got some M-Audio PCI interfaces and had issues they helped me out with some spot on suggestions which got rid of my issues. You have to figure they get the questions all the time and have the solutions narrowed down.

Oh, and check and make sure the specs for your computer are correct for running that interface. Having it work and having it work properly can be two totally different things. The interface manufacturer lists the minimum amount CPU speed, Memory, Operating system you need to run with that interface. So does the DAW Program. If either are too close to the limits its a good reason why the recording is crackly. Beyond that having a second internal drive for recording audio files only can make a computer handle the loads much better then a single drive where all your audio files get fragmented. If you're trying to play files that are spread out all over the place from one end of the drive to the other, you're bound to have clicks and pops as the drive head jumps all over the disks trying to find all that data. With a second drive you have two sets of drive heads working independently and the files don't get fragmented because the only thing on that drive is wave files. partitions of a single drive don't work by the way. A single drive head can only read from one partition at a time.

There are dozens of other tweaks that may give you enough CPU back to get rid of the clicks. Each along may not do much but combined they can up.
Getting rid of unused programs, widgets, spamware, adware and simply junk accumulated will impact audio recording too. If you are using a laptop with a singe drive, partition it then stick all that junk if you need it on the backup partition or get an external drive and unload that thing. If you don't use it once a month it probably shouldn't be on that computer in the first place. Shrink the used space of that drive down to the essentials, the operating system and your audio programs and get that thing flying and your audio problems should improve. Again, this is all common stuff you can find by googling.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 
ventil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motiontracker View Post
I've tried disconnecting the monitors (unplugging them and removing the jack cables from the Audient, but still I can hear the crackle through the headphones. On that basis I assume I can rule out an issue with the monitors?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motiontracker View Post
I've also tried unplugging the USB lead for the Audient (but leaving it plugged in at the mains) so audio playback comes through the iMac internal speakers, but still I can hear the crackle!
I'm not clear: you hear the crackle through the PC speaker or still through the Audient?

If the latter, then it's time to contact Audient customer support.

If through the PC speaker during playback, then it very well might be buffers too short. If you hear it even when the transport is parked, then it's something else - CPU overload, or some sort of disruption caused by other processes.
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