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Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

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Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby manuel-TRND » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:45 pm

Hi there,

Setup:
-TASCAM 16x08 Interface
-Laptop: Acer Aspire 3 a315 53 35 fq, 4GB RAM, dual core

I recently had a problem with cracks and pops in my audio during recording and playing back. What I did according do help from friends and forums :

-Used the TASCAM dsp mixer for monitoring instead of cubase to save processing power

-that allowed me to increase buffer size to the Maximum, because the dsp desktop mixer is monitoring without latency (I just cant monitor with cubase, then theres latency of course.) Pretty much iam using cubase as a Recorder and Playback for overdubs.

- The other basic optimizing stuff( turned off AVIRA, Firewall, put on performance mode)
But still, sometimes there's crackles and pops, that also are recorded into the audio.

FIRST question:

Since iam not depending on small buffer sizes, I could theoretically just turn it to 6000. But the tascam mixer only allows a maximum value of 2048 or so.
(The problem definetly was laying in the small buffer size I had selected)

Does anyone have an idea on how to even set the buffer size to a higher value? Maybe another Desktop mixer from tascam ?...

SECOND question:

What are the best values to set in the VST Settings (pic below!) in cubase for high performance and low chance of pops and crackles ? (Multicore processing ON OFF? Activate Steinbergs Mode for optimized audio On Off?... etc

Additional I also added a screenshot of my CPU / RAM performance during recording 8 and playing back 7 tracks in cubase.

Maybe someone might have some words of wisdom for me :) would be more than happy to hear.

Screenshots:
https://app.box.com/s/bff2dcrfjea7k21e2mustymu7hceocvt

Greets from Hamburg!
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:28 pm

manuel-TRND wrote:Since iam not depending on small buffer sizes, I could theoretically just turn it to 6000. But the tascam mixer only allows a maximum value of 2048 or so.
(The problem definetly was laying in the small buffer size I had selected)

Hi

I'm not the expert in this area but here are my thoughts and maybe someone with more in depth knowledge will be along soon.

I'm not sure that the 2048 is down to the Tascam. I also have a Tascam 16x08 for field work and a Steinberg UR824 at home. I'm pretty sure that max buffer for each is 2048.

Next I think that the critical parameter when talking about pops and cracks is disk write speed rather than RAM. When I record using the Tascam I use a cheap laptop with either 2 or 4GB RAM (I'm at work so can't check). I can record more than 8 tracks (I think that the most that I needed was 12?) simultaneously without problems monitoring using the dsp mixer as you do.
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:50 pm

Do us a system latency test please.

Client info page: https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
Direct download of client: https://www.resplendence.com/download/LatencyMon.exe

Install and, run for 10 - 15 mins.

At the end of the test screen shot the following.

Main tab
Drivers tab - sort these results by "Highest execution"

From the drop down menu there is an option to "copy results to clipboard". Can you do that and paste them into a notepad.

Upload the result screenshots + notepad file with test info and make them available to us. The "appbox" link you've included with your current screenshots are fine and I can access those without problem.

What I think is happening - it shouldn't be crackling with it set that high and I strongly suspect that you have a broken driver... this, i hope, will tell us what that is.

If this test comes back clean, then I can find you some further optimizations to try out, but it's a rather brute force solution for what might othewise be solvable by just doing a driver change.
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:17 pm

The other possible reason for cracks and pops might be that you've got a floating earth - depending on what else is plugged in you might not have an earth in the system and that can lead to weird pops and crackles.
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby manuel-TRND » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:02 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Do us a system latency test please.

Client info page: https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
Direct download of client: https://www.resplendence.com/download/LatencyMon.exe

Install and, run for 10 - 15 mins.

At the end of the test screen shot the following.

Main tab
Drivers tab - sort these results by "Highest execution"

From the drop down menu there is an option to "copy results to clipboard". Can you do that and paste them into a notepad.

Upload the result screenshots + notepad file with test info and make them available to us. The "appbox" link you've included with your current screenshots are fine and I can access those without problem.

What I think is happening - it shouldn't be crackling with it set that high and I strongly suspect that you have a broken driver... this, i hope, will tell us what that is.

If this test comes back clean, then I can find you some further optimizations to try out, but it's a rather brute force solution for what might othewise be solvable by just doing a driver change.
Hey Pete,

Thanks a lot for your help, will do all the latency monitor checks and share the details in a few days when iam back in the recording room!
Greets
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby CS70 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:20 pm

It's really the entire chain, not only disk, ram, cpu or anything..

At 44.1KHz, you have 41100 samples per second.
Each sample is 1/44110 sec, that is about 0,22670 ms, so with a 64 samples buffer, the CPU has about 1.45 ms to process it, vs about 23ms with a 1024 samples buffer or 46ms with a 2048 samples buffer.

That means that the whole throughput chain (bus, CPU, application, disk read/write) must be about 16 times faster with a 64 samples buffer than a 1024, and a whopping 32 times faster than with a 2048 samples buffer. Gets worse with higher sample rates of course.
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby manuel-TRND » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:25 am

Pete Kaine wrote:Do us a system latency test please.

Client info page: https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
Direct download of client: https://www.resplendence.com/download/LatencyMon.exe

Install and, run for 10 - 15 mins.

At the end of the test screen shot the following.

Main tab
Drivers tab - sort these results by "Highest execution"

From the drop down menu there is an option to "copy results to clipboard". Can you do that and paste them into a notepad.

Upload the result screenshots + notepad file with test info and make them available to us. The "appbox" link you've included with your current screenshots are fine and I can access those without problem.

What I think is happening - it shouldn't be crackling with it set that high and I strongly suspect that you have a broken driver... this, i hope, will tell us what that is.

If this test comes back clean, then I can find you some further optimizations to try out, but it's a rather brute force solution for what might othewise be solvable by just doing a driver change.

Hey Pete,

So i did the Latencymon checks.
Uploaded all the screenshots and NotePad Files into the Box Again.
Nr.1 Is Lantencymon running during Airplane Mode and not using the Machine,
And Nr.2 is using my DAW for mixing 8 Tracks in Offline mode.
Nr.3 Is latency Mon running while using Cubase while I'm connected to my WIFI.

https://app.box.com/s/bff2dcrfjea7k21e2mustymu7hceocvt

As you can see, while not using my system latency mon says my system works just fine for real time Audio. As soon as I clicked on my task- manager to open a program( cubase), latency Mon said said my system is having trouble. (As you can see in the screenshots and report in the box).

It gets really bad as soon as airplane mode is not activated anymore.
I Also applied a screenshot and the report to the BOX link.

What would you recommend doing next ?? Lanrency mon suggested to check my BIOS setup which I have never worked on before..

Hope you can help me out a little.
Greets, Manuel
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Re: Optimize Cubase (avoid Cracks and Pops) / increasing buffer?

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:51 am

manuel-TRND wrote:So i did the Latencymon checks.
Uploaded all the screenshots and NotePad Files into the Box Again.
Nr.1 Is Lantencymon running during Airplane Mode and not using the Machine,
And Nr.2 is using my DAW for mixing 8 Tracks in Offline mode.
Nr.3 Is latency Mon running while using Cubase while I'm connected to my WIFI.

https://app.box.com/s/bff2dcrfjea7k21e2mustymu7hceocvt

As you can see, while not using my system latency mon says my system works just fine for real time Audio. As soon as I clicked on my task- manager to open a program( cubase), latency Mon said said my system is having trouble. (As you can see in the screenshots and report in the box).


Yes, but you wouldn't be doing that whilst recording, so that's a false negative.

Ok, to explain this test so you understand what I mean by that.

DPC is a timer that indicates how long it takes for a program in the current "waiting to be processed" stack to be able to access the CPU and do what it needs to do.

Audio and specifically the ASIO buffer needs to be able to access the CPU and carry out it's workload within a given window, otherwise it gives up and throws away the remaining data, this is where your audio crackles come from.

In this instance, when you open Cubase it calls the drive and dumps all sorts of data into the memory and CPU in order to open the program. It also fires up ASIO and grabs the audio subsystem, causing the system to hang briefly.

This doesn't matter however, as you wouldn't be doing it in the middle of the recording session as it would be already open.

manuel-TRND wrote:It gets really bad as soon as airplane mode is not activated anymore.
I Also applied a screenshot and the report to the BOX link.

The test results point at networking "NDIS" and airplane mode would indeed disable all networking.

Do you have a third party antivirus program installed?

Next test I would do is to go into device manager and disable both the wired network and the ifi connections. Rerun the test, it should now be flatter and I would hope for a pass.

If it does, turn them back on one at a time and retest the wifi and wired network seperately, I suspect the Wifi is going to be tripping it up here, but it's best to check both for issues whilst we're doing it.
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