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Audio Issues Windows 10

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

Audio Issues Windows 10

Postby Warhen » Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:41 pm

Hello fellow recordists! I recently had victory over frustratingly intermittent audio drops with a Windows 10 64-bit PC (Dell 8930). Thanks to the kind and knowledgeable folks on the SOS forum, and others, I compiled a list of possible conflicts that I thought might be helpful to those experiencing similar issues. In my case, I was using a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and Mixcraft Pro Studio 9. In the end, however, the problems lay squarely with Windows settings and Dell's contributions. Unfortunately, I can't say exactly what finally fixed it, but there were cumulative improvements along the way. Here then, is my list of suggestions.

• Be sure that you PC’s BIOS and OS are up to date

• Check in Device Manager, that devices have current drivers. You may find System Firmware, Network Adapters, etc. could be updated

• Windows’ generic HD audio driver is superior to the Realtek driver for WAVE or WaveRT

• For ASIO audio interfaces, plug directly into a USB port, not a powered hub. If a USB 2.0 device, plug it into a 2.0 port (best to avoid 3.0). Be sure your USB cable is healthy

• Set audio to 44.1K 24-bit

• A 256 samples buffer size should suffice on modern PCs for recording and initial mixing. Increase to 512 MB towards mixdown if needed

• Be sure your DAW settings match your interface’s and Windows’ settings

• Use a High-Performance power scheme, being sure that no drive(s) in use can sleep or compress

• In Device Manager, be sure that no USB port can sleep

• Uncheck ‘Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device’ anywhere it appears (Properties)

• Consider disabling unused audio devices (i.e. audio on graphics cards [NVIDIA, Intel])

• Consider disabling any used GPUs (graphics cards [e.g. if you have more than one card for gaming])

• Remove or disable your PC manufacturer’s ‘bloatware.’ While a diagnostic might be useful at times, they can negatively impact a recordist. Classic suspects are Dell’s SupportAssist and SupportAssist Remediation services, which can be disabled in the Task Manager

• In Task Manager, limit the apps that start up automatically. If you don’t need them at startup/reboot, set them so that they must be opened manually when needed

• Known resource ‘hogs’ include Skype, and NVIDIA GPUs

• Many recordists will disable their network adapter and antivirus while recording/mixing

• Install LatencyMon (LatMon) from Resplendence to check your system’s latency: dxgkrnl.sys, Wdf01000.sys, msmpeng.exe, and nvlddmkm.sys are drivers commonly called-out by LatMon as problematic
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Warhen
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Best, Warren

Warren A. Keller - woodwindist/composer/producer
Spontaneous Groovin' Combustion™

Re: Audio Issues Windows 10

Postby zenguitar » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:29 pm

I've moved this helpful post to the Windows Music forum.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Audio Issues Windows 10

Postby Rich Hanson » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:29 pm

I always argue the point about USB hubs, I have had a number of different interfaces over the years and have never had any issues even with cheap hubs.

I think this advice stems from USB 1.1 days when even a modest amount of audio could be disrupted by something else going through the same hub - some cheap hubs would run at the speed of the slowest device connected to them, but I hope they've been consigned to the rubbish heap of computer history!

This isn't to say that problems with hubs aren't possible, but I (and others I know) have never encountered any.
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