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DESPERATE!! Increasing Audio Dropouts

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Re: DESPERATE!! Increasing Audio Dropouts

Postby andy@york » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:06 am


I've just found all this advice after struggling (unsuccessfuly) with the same dropout problem for nearly 2 years. Just wanted to say how brilliant it is that you're all willing to put so much effort into helping.

Now I'll start the tedious & confusing job of following your advice. (btw the PC has been returned to Scan for this problem without success (it's a specialist audio machine) & Cubase Support has dug around in my system remotely - again no joy).
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Re: DESPERATE!! Increasing Audio Dropouts

Postby CS70 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:05 pm

Hi Andy,

if everything is set up properly (bios, power management, etc) and the interface drivers are half decent, the only thing that can produce dropouts is the fact that for some reason the CPU and I/O subsystem can't process data in the audio buffer fast enough, and so it is still full when new data arrives.

If the PC is specced in a way that it should handle the task, the only conclusion is that something is stealing CPU cycles or, more rarely, I/O bandwidth.

For a system that "used to work" and then doesn't, this is most due to some application which uses a lot of CPU cycles, some driver which has been updated and generates lots of DPC or even some hardware malfunction, which makes so that devices generates many more interrupts that it should. A system corruption can also be an issue, as occasionally drivers may perform operations, like reading the registry, that can quickly become very expensive if the registry is corrupted etc.

That's why a system reinstall sometimes helps.

So when investigating these things, you need to have a look if there's any user level process that uses CPU, then disable methodically all drivers but the minimal ones to see if there's a runaway driver, check for system corruptions and the likes.

Best of luck!
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