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Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

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Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:47 pm

Hey there!

I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 1st generation connected to my computer (an midrange HP Laptop with a 120GB SSD, 8gb RAM, and an Intel i3 processor [2.4ghz] running Windows 10) and I am getting some pretty bad noise that gradually worsens as the audio device is running. I am using the ASIO4ALL driver with it, and my buffer size is usually set around 1024 samples. I have the device set to 96khz via ASIO4ALL. I am using REAPER, but I do notice this happens in audacity too, and it would likely do the same in any other program I'm guessing.

I'll have my microphone (a Samson C01 condenser mic) plugged in, on the stand, phantom power on and ready to go, and it sounds OK at first. Then, gradually, it starts to sound pretty nasty. If I leave the room for a while and come back, I'm greeted with so much noise it would give a deaf person a headache.

Not sure what could be causing this. I closed out all other running programs on my computer, the CPU seemed to be running fine (though I do need to double check usage and will get back to this post about that), and I've changed the buffer size to a bunch of different things (which helps temporarily, but then it reverts back to gradually getting noisier).

Some forums said it could be an issue where one device has to be a slave and the other master, but I only have that one device? The Focusrite is the only device I use to record.

Not sure what it could be at this point! The answer may be crappy hardware, painfully obvious, or simply too obscure for a noob like me to grasp, but I haven't gotten anywhere with it... I'll have to try recording on a different computer too, I'll also get back to this post with that.

Thanks for reading all that, if you can help me out, let me know!
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Wonks » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:33 pm

I have to ask why you aren't using the Focusrte ASIO driver? You are going to get better performance and lower latency from it than ASIO4ALL.

I'd also ask why you feel it necessary to use 96kHz. Most everyone here works with 44.1kHz or 48khz. Any benefits are marginal at best, and on a relatively slow laptop you really aren't helping it to make the most of its processing power.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:38 pm

Hi Steve, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

I have to agree with Wonks - using the official ASIO driver ALWAYS tends to provide better performance than the somewhat generic ASIO4ALL (a clever utility, but not one that beats the manufacturer's own driver).

I also agree about using 44.1 or 48kHz rather than 96kHz - unless you can really hear an audible improvement (and nowadays that seems unlikely in the majority of cases) , you may simply be throwing away 50% of your processing power that could better be used running more tracks and plug-ins.


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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:05 am

If all you have plugged in are your laptop, your interface and the mic, there's a good chance your system could be ungrounded. This can lead to all sorts or weird pops and clicks - but it's not normally something that would escalate as you've described.
As suggested above, I'd start with the drivers.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:15 am

Head here and grab latency monitor http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
(application direct link http://www.resplendence.com/download/LatencyMon.exe )

Open it (without your recording software running) and hit the start button, let it run for 10 - 15 mins and then it'll tell you pass or fail.

If it fails screenshot the main page, the driver's page (sorted by highest execution) and export the results to clipboard from the drop-down menu. Then put them somewhere for us to see online and I can check the results.

This will show us any driver conflicts and highlight possible overloads of the CPU in use.

it's possible here that your i3 is just being run too hard, it's worth checking your ASIO meter and the Windows CPU meters whilst your working to see if anything is overloading.

Also, to also echo the other posters, why are you using a 96K rate? If you haven't got a very specific reason for doing so, you may as well drop it to 48K as it'll double your available overhead.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby ef37a » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:40 am

FWIIW I have had this i3 HP g6 laptop for over 5 years it has a 620G spinner (about 1/2 full now) and for most of its life 4G ram*.

Over the years it has run a variety of AIs, mainly a Native Instruments KA6 but also a F'rite 8i6, an A&H ZED10 and a Behringer UCA202 (don't laugh! Very handy wee thing for tape dubbing and WAY better than most OBSoundcards!)

Never been any bother with Samplitudes, various marks but now ProX3, Adobe Audition 1.5, Reaper, 20 odd tracks of Cubase Ess6 and all the multitrack demos in those DAWs. IIRC at max thrash the cores maxed out at about 55-60%. 24 bits at 44.1kHz always!

*Fitted 8G a few years ago, bit flush, but I cannot say it has made much difference except it seem to run a bit hotter! BTW. I am told the HP g6 marks can "fluff up" and then the processor dies? Might be an idea to get a tech to clean it out every few years? I just jam the Dyson against the fan port now and again. I am also on my second keyboard and that is now 10% Dymo!

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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:49 pm

Wonks wrote:I have to ask why you aren't using the Focusrte ASIO driver? You are going to get better performance and lower latency from it than ASIO4ALL.

I'd also ask why you feel it necessary to use 96kHz. Most everyone here works with 44.1kHz or 48khz. Any benefits are marginal at best, and on a relatively slow laptop you really aren't helping it to make the most of its processing power.

I figured it would be drastically better to use the Focusrite driver, but I cannot figure out how to set up my output device with that driver. Nothing comes up. I can't hear anything from my headphones and get input from the interface at the same time. ASIO4ALL let me do that, so that's what I went with.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:52 pm

Wonks wrote:I have to ask why you aren't using the Focusrte ASIO driver? You are going to get better performance and lower latency from it than ASIO4ALL.

I'd also ask why you feel it necessary to use 96kHz. Most everyone here works with 44.1kHz or 48khz. Any benefits are marginal at best, and on a relatively slow laptop you really aren't helping it to make the most of its processing power.

Also, the reason I use 96khz is I saw a YouTube video where a guy reviewed the interface and got really excited that it could use 96khz. I figured it was the best thing to use... I'm not sure if I mentioned above but I had a Behringer interface that did the same thing and was compatible with 48khz max so I figured that wasn't the problem.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:58 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Head here and grab latency monitor http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
(application direct link http://www.resplendence.com/download/LatencyMon.exe )

Open it (without your recording software running) and hit the start button, let it run for 10 - 15 mins and then it'll tell you pass or fail.

If it fails screenshot the main page, the driver's page (sorted by highest execution) and export the results to clipboard from the drop-down menu. Then put them somewhere for us to see online and I can check the results.

This will show us any driver conflicts and highlight possible overloads of the CPU in use.

it's possible here that your i3 is just being run too hard, it's worth checking your ASIO meter and the Windows CPU meters whilst your working to see if anything is overloading.

Also, to also echo the other posters, why are you using a 96K rate? If you haven't got a very specific reason for doing so, you may as well drop it to 48K as it'll double your available overhead.

Thanks, I'll definitely be running this! How do I check the ASIO meter though? I've never seen anything for that.

I used 96khz because I saw a Focusrite review video where a guy got really excited that it used 96khz, so I figured it was the best thing to use. That's the noob in me coming out I guess. :?
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:04 pm

blinddrew wrote:If all you have plugged in are your laptop, your interface and the mic, there's a good chance your system could be ungrounded. This can lead to all sorts or weird pops and clicks - but it's not normally something that would escalate as you've described.
As suggested above, I'd start with the drivers.

Hm, anything I can do to fix that if it by chance is causing noise?
From what I'm reading it comes from different things being plugged in to different outlets... The only thing I have plugged in is my laptop. The interface plugs into the laptop and runs of USB power, and then the mic connects to the interface via XLR.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:36 pm

Piskeh wrote:I figured it would be drastically better to use the Focusrite driver, but I cannot figure out how to set up my output device with that driver. Nothing comes up. I can't hear anything from my headphones and get input from the interface at the same time. ASIO4ALL let me do that, so that's what I went with.

Did you get the right driver version? Gen 2 won't work with gen 1 and vice versa, it sounds like it might be the case here?

Piskeh wrote:Also, the reason I use 96khz is I saw a YouTube video where a guy reviewed the interface and got really excited that it could use 96khz. I figured it was the best thing to use...

Ahh, don't bother then, it'll just eat your CPU.

Piskeh wrote:Thanks, I'll definitely be running this! How do I check the ASIO meter though? I've never seen anything for that.

Good question, I assumed it'd be visible in all sequencers, but I don't recall where it might be in Reaper. Anyone else reading recall where it might be?

Failing that, just monitor it off the Windows CPU meter. If it's topping out in use (whilst running Reaper) on any of the cores, then you may have your culprit.

Piskeh wrote:
Hm, anything I can do to fix that if it by chance is causing noise?
From what I'm reading it comes from different things being plugged in to different outlets... The only thing I have plugged in is my laptop. The interface plugs into the laptop and runs of USB power, and then the mic connects to the interface via XLR.

It can be due to that, but there are other scenarios where it might crop up.

If you're only on a laptop then you can test by pulling the main lead out and running it off the battery as that should isolate it. You need to monitor off headphones at this stage and you need to ensure that speakers/amps are not attached as a ground loop between speakers (powered) and interfaces are quite common.... unless that happens to be the probem here too, of course.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:08 pm

If you are unsure about how to select the Focusrite ASIO driver in Reaper, this video should tell you. If you cant see it listed, then something's gone wrong with the driver installation.

Drivers cab be downloaded from here: https://customer.focusrite.com/download ... +first+gen

The driver should be described as 'Focusrite USB2.0' according the 2i2 manual.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:16 pm

Wonks wrote:If you are unsure about how to select the Focusrite ASIO driver in Reaper, this video should tell you. If you cant see it listed, then something's gone wrong with the driver installation.

Drivers cab be downloaded from here: https://customer.focusrite.com/download ... +first+gen

The driver should be described as 'Focusrite USB2.0' according the 2i2 manual.

Thanks, I have the driver set up and working fine in REAPER. But apparently the driver controls both the input and output audio, and I can't find a way to set the output audio as my headphones... If that makes sense at all. Not sure if I'm talking nonsense.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:51 pm

Is this the headphone output on the 2i2 you're talking about?

What's sent to the monitors will also be sent to the headphones.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:52 pm

Wonks wrote:Is this the headphone output on the 2i2 you're talking about?

No, it's just plugged into my computer as a regular headphone jack.
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:52 pm

Wonks wrote:Is this the headphone output on the 2i2 you're talking about?

But I will try using that driver, I'd just hate not being able to monitor...
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:01 pm

Unfortunately Windows doesn't like having two different audio drivers running at the same time, so you can either use the internal sound card, or you can use the 2i2.

If your headphones only have a 3.5" mini jack, then you can get adapters for the 1/4" headphone socket on the 2i2, something like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3x-6-5mm-1-4 ... SwmoBZbX0-

Also available on Amazon but on there it's as cheap to buy 5 as one! https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss ... 49QETZSNSC
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:30 pm

Wonks wrote:Unfortunately Windows doesn't like having two different audio drivers running at the same time, so you can either use the internal sound card, or you can use the 2i2.

If your headphones only have a 3.5" mini jack, then you can get adapters for the 1/4" headphone socket on the 2i2, something like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3x-6-5mm-1-4 ... SwmoBZbX0-

Also available on Amazon but on there it's as cheap to buy 5 as one! https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss ... 49QETZSNSC

That sucks, but I guess that's what I'm going to have to do with that driver. I will try it. Luckily, I have an adapter thanks to my previous ownership of a pair of Behringer headphones which come with them.

Oh, will the output be from REAPER, or the clean signal from the microphone or can I switch them at will?

Thanks for all the help!
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:33 pm

Piskeh wrote:Oh, will the output be from REAPER, or the clean signal from the microphone or can I switch them at will?

Thanks for all the help!
You should be able to select what's going where using the Scarlett Mix Control software - assuming that came with your interface?
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Re: Pops and Clicks Gradually Getting Stronger - Can you help?

Postby Piskeh » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:35 pm

blinddrew wrote:
Piskeh wrote:Oh, will the output be from REAPER, or the clean signal from the microphone or can I switch them at will?

Thanks for all the help!
You should be able to select what's going where using the Scarlett Mix Control software - assuming that came with your interface?

I bought it used... :frown:
Luckily though, I believe Scarlett offers that software for free anyway.
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