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Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

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Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby jcashtribute » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:16 am

This is a question that I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out.

We do a live music performance with tracks...some tracks recorded in the studio with our band and some purchased.

Every laptop I have tried to run our tracks through our soundboard (eventually during every show) the tracks will start to crack and pop and crackle.

When we run the tracks with our desktop it works flawlessly.... yep :( I drag this thing around to ensure we don't have any more hiccups in the show until I can figure out what laptop is going to work....

I bought a laptop with the exact (if not better) specs than my desktop and BAM...right in the middle of the show...CRACKLE :/

I am going batty trying to figure out what I am supposed to be looking for to run "live music"
I thought I had..but
This was the last laptop I thought would be the final purchase..but didn't make it through one show..and it crackled.
I have already returned this one so I am starting fresh again*
Legion by Lenovo Y540 17.3" Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-9750H Hexa-Core Processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB Graphics Card, 16GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive + 256GB PCIe SSD Storage - 81Q4004XUS


What laptop do you use or suggest??

I thank you all for any advice.
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:21 am

It's a very powerful laptop with lots of RAM and fast SSD, so it should be possible to achieve a perfect playback.

A recording of the 'crackles' you're getting would be helpful as there are lots of possible causes and the effects are subtly different.

Two questions:

1. Have you disabled the wifi on the laptop?

and 2: How is the laptop connected to the sound desk?
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby jcashtribute » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:52 am

I will be setting up the system for a show tomorrow and will record the crackle with a laptop we have here( this is a cheapie laptop that we use "on the run" for lightweight duties... but the crackle is the same on all the laptops we've tried -so it will work to record the crackle sound )

I do not recall if I disabled the wifi on all occasions but will if you think it may be an issue.

Second question you had: I have it hooked up to our Yamaha MG12XU 12-Input 4-Bus Mixer with a USB 2.0 (of which I have bought a few different brands and prices to see if that was the issue)
and we have tried to run it with a speaker cord to see if that worked...same result with the crackle but as you know....way less quality overall sound so I was hoping that wasn't going to be the fix :)

Thank you for the quick reply,

Dawn
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby Rich Hanson » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:57 am

One thought that occurs is that it might be heat related, and in a venue it's perhaps heating up to a point where the CPU clock is throttled back which could well lead to such a situation.
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:22 pm

And maybe a USB audio interface would help?
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:36 pm

The desk incorporates a USB interface, Sam.

For the OP, is it safe to assume you are running the latest Yamaha USB driver on the laptop, and have it selected in the Windows sound panel?

https://uk.yamaha.com/en/support/updates/yamaha_steinberg_usb_driver_for_win.html
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:07 pm

Ah, sorry somehow I missed that post. :blush:
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:42 pm

The two most important things that I've found with modern laptops is to increase the ASIO buffer size and switch off Wifi. If you are just playing backing tracks from the laptop you can use the maximum buffer size offered by your interface. For critical work I'll often use 1024 bytes or higher - just to be absolutely sure of avoiding any glitches.
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Re: Laptop for "live" music thru soundboard troubles

Postby AlecSp » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:46 am

Sam Spoons wrote:And maybe a USB audio interface would help?
Actually, not so daft. A simple external USB audio interface like the cheapo Behringer UCA202 will cost you buttons, need no drivers, and just work on pretty much any PC with no configuration required.

If you want to get the USB interface working to your mixer, it'll either be buffer size, or a power saving mode on the PC.

All this assumes that the noise isn't actually in the recordings you're playing back...
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