Old 02-01-2019, 02:32 PM   #1
babag
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Default basic question about xruns

trying to sort out xruns. never had issues with windows and am now reading up on configs and such to minimize xruns. i don't do much recording. 95% of what i do is import, edit, and mix existing audio files. i'm running ubuntu studio with the kx repositories added and have pretty much just added all of the kx stuff so, although i didn't install kx as a distro, that's more or less what i'm running.

all that said, cadence is currently showing me something like 30 xruns when i open reaper. if i open a project and hit play, i get one xrun when it starts but none after. is this a scenario that i should worry about or not? my buffer is 512 and period is 2 or 3. not at the daw at the moment.

thanks for any opinions,
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:23 AM   #2
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If it dont affect my workflow, I dont care.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:24 AM   #3
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A dropout when you start playback of a project shouldn't affect what you hear.

When loading a program, xruns can happen. Sometimes it happens when I load a plugin that has a large sample bank. During those times, your computer might be a bit overwhelmed but it's fine because you're just "setting up" to use the DAW. If xruns don't happen while you're working on the project, it's fine.

2-3 blocks of 512 samples is a bit high though. I'd expect you should be able to do better than that. I can run 3 blocks of 128 samples reliably with my Asus sound card.

Did you set your CPU governor to performance so that it doesn't throttle down to a lower speed? You may have to do that. (Look for cpufrequtils.)
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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thanks for the ideas, james, and sorry for the delay in responding. i do have the governor set to performance. in fact i have a pair of clickable scripts on my desktop so i can switch back and forth easily between 'performance' and 'powersave' modes. the 'performance' one also is set to run on boot. if i set the buffer to anything lower than 512, or the blocks lower than 3, i get xruns at a rate of about one per second. seems to me that i should be able to do better too but haven't figured it out yet.

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Old 02-10-2019, 03:14 PM   #5
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Yes something seems amiss. You can probably do better than that.

Post your relevant computer info and someone here can probably help guide you. The output of "inxi -Fxz" is a good place to start. If you run HardInfo (it's probably installed) you'll get all kinds of data but it's probably a bit much.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:32 PM   #6
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thanks, james. here's the output of "inxi -Fxz":
Code:
System:    Host: RackPC Kernel: 4.15.0-45-lowlatency x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
           Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.12.7 (Qt 5.9.5) Distro: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS
Machine:   Device: desktop System: Gigabyte product: N/A serial: N/A
           Mobo: Gigabyte model: X79-UP4 v: x.x serial: N/A BIOS: American Megatrends v: F7 date: 03/19/2014
CPU:       6 core Intel Core i7-4930K (-MT-MCP-) arch: Ivy Bridge rev.4 cache: 12288 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 40801
           clock speeds: max: 3900 MHz 1: 3259 MHz 2: 2639 MHz 3: 3301 MHz 4: 2911 MHz 5: 1961 MHz 6: 2006 MHz
           7: 3659 MHz 8: 3205 MHz 9: 1896 MHz 10: 2256 MHz 11: 3365 MHz 12: 1812 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GK104 [GeForce GTX 760] bus-ID: 02:00.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 ) drivers: nvidia (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
           Resolution: 1680x1050@59.95hz, 3840x2160@59.94hz, 1680x1050@59.95hz, 1680x1050@59.95hz
           OpenGL: renderer: GeForce GTX 760/PCIe/SSE2 version: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 390.77 Direct Render: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA GK104 HDMI Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 02:00.1
           Card-2 Intel C600/X79 series High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Card-3 KORG nanoKONTROL2 MIDI Controller driver: USB Audio usb-ID: 001-012
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.15.0-45-lowlatency
Network:   Card: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: f040 bus-ID: 00:19.0
           IF: eno1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 3072.6GB (5.3% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: Samsung_SSD_850 size: 2048.4GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: Samsung_SSD_850 size: 1024.2GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 938G used: 153G (18%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb1
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 36.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 0.0:56C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 287 Uptime: 3:21 Memory: 3119.2/32084.7MB Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 7.3.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.191) inxi: 2.3.56
not sure where to start with hardinfo but i did install it an run it.

thanks again,
babag

Last edited by babag; 02-10-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:00 PM   #7
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Ok I noticed a few things so far...

There have been 2 BIOS updates since the version of your mainboard, so you might want to do those.

You're using KDE and apparently that takes more resources than XFCE, so maybe that factors into this a bit (I have no idea but I did notice that it says KDE in your results).

Are you using the onboard audio (Realtek ALC892)? I see "snd_hda_intel" listed for what I presume is the audio device you're using and that board's audio device is the ALC892. I think focusing on this might be a good idea, seeing if it's the best driver and also if there's anything that needs to be done to configure it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:20 AM   #8
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thanks james.

i'll look into the bios updates. not sure i want to go there but will definitely check into it.

edit:
hmm. just checked the gigabyte website and they seem to show the latest bios as version f7, which is what's listed above by the output of "inxi -Fxz".
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard...upport-dl-bios
/edit


as for kde, yes, i'm using kde. i sort of have to. i tried just about every de out there and kde is the ONLY one that, out of the box, works properly with my four monitors. all of the others have some unfortunate structure that makes placing desktop icons pretty much unusable. xfce was my de of choice but the only way i could get icons where i want them was to create dozens of desktop panels and populate them. needless to say, that's a pretty cumbersome way to have to work if you might be adding or subtracting icons often. here's my layout:

Screenshot_2018-12-28_09-55-46 by BabaG01

xfce, and most of the others, would place icons in the empty area above the left edge of dp-0 making them impossible to grab and move. and, even if i moved the large samsung display over to the left to reveal the newly placed icon, it would always snap back to that top position. i had to give up and use kde which worked almost as easily as windows or osx for this kind of thing.

i'm not using the onboard audio atm. for now, all of my audio is routing through my focusrite saffire pro40 (a model of the vintage that works with linux). i believe that even my desktop audio, like firefox and such, is routed that way. i suppose i could try disabling the onboard audio if i knew how (and how to reenable it if something were to go wrong).

thanks again,
babag

Last edited by babag; 02-11-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:06 PM   #9
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Have you checked out rtirq?
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:24 PM   #10
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thanks, jack.

i'm using the low latency kernel right now. it looks like i'd want to change to a rt kernel for rtirq. is that correct? also, i'm being a bit conservative about making changes as i don't want to do anything that might mess up my davinci resolve installation. i'm running that along with reaper.

thanks again,
babag

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Old 02-11-2019, 03:23 PM   #11
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I thought I saw newer BIOS downloads for that MB. I must've entered the number incorrectly or something...

Your FW device isn't listed in that report info, so I assumed you were using the onboard audio. But yeah it's easy to disable the onboard audio. Just enter setup on reboot (in the BIOS), disable onboard audio, restart. I used to have to do this in Windows when using anything other than onboard audio, years ago. In Linux you can probably fix it less "hackey" (so you can still use both audio devices) but this is a good way of testing it anyway.

What's your FW card? Did you read this? I guess if your card worked in Windows then it's probably considered ok by Focusrite. But it's another thing to focus on, making sure the FW device is functioning correctly in your OS. I wonder if there's some "power" setting that is "throttling" the FW device. I don't use FW on my system so I wouldn't be able to test that sort of thing.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:46 PM   #12
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thanks, james.

yeah. i checked with focusrite a long time ago about my pro40's compatibility and they said it should be ok. there were, i think, two generations of these devices and the older ones were ok but the newer ones had issues that made them pretty much unusable. mine is the ok one. i'd have liked to have gone without fw but, at the point when i had to switch my system, there were older, ongoing projects i needed to maintain compatibility with and the system was dual boot between hackintosh and w7. still have that drive and my primary drive is in a swapable bay so i can easily switch back and forth between that and the ubuntu system. pretty much sticking with ubuntu now but would like to get the xrun thing minimized, if possible. will try turning system audio off at the bios level. that should be both easy and harmless, i hope.

thanks again,
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:51 PM   #13
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What I meant was: what is your firewire adapter/card? Not the audio interface, but the firewire device itself. That's probably where you'll have to do some digging (if disabling the onboard audio doesn't make your Focusrite behave properly).
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:57 PM   #14
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thanks, james.

turned off the onboard audio in the bios and am now getting maybe 3-4 xruns at start of playing but none after that. buffer size is now at 64 and periods/buffer is 2. should i worry about the xruns at play start?

also, i looked at hardinfo and found my firewire card but couldn't find a way to copy the info to paste it here. i could get the device name and such but any of the specifics, which appeared in a separate pane couldn't be copied, at lrast as far as i could find. generating a report did the same thing, device yes, specifics no.

thanks again,
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:59 PM   #15
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You're welcome!

About xruns at play start: I'll refer you back to my first post on this thread.

Also you can try adding another block, to see if those xruns go away (64 x3). Or try 128 x2 (or x3). You may find a setting that works with no xruns at all, at least unless you do something very CPU-intensive. I use 3 blocks of 128 samples and it's rock solid unless the CPU is just about 100%. Or when loading a large drum sample bank I might get a single xrun (it doesn't affect me while I'm working).

I guess your FW device is fine, after seeing this result. It might take a bit of balancing to get it "perfect", or if you don't mind the fact you get xruns on playback start it's probably ok. There still might be a setting for "power management" of the FW device, "throttling" it when you don't want it throttled. (If it has to "throttle up" when audio playback starts for instance, that could be why you still get xruns.) So that would be something to search for.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:51 PM   #16
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it doesn't really seem to get much better than this. i tried some different settings but there's always at least an xrun or two at the start. maybe that points at something like jack was suggesting? anyway, this is a definite improvement so i'm very appreciative of this!

thanks again,
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:11 AM   #17
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You might want to look at the IRQs for your various devices which might be shared with your FW (and audio) device. You can use HardInfo to see this. There isn't much you can do about the IRQs except swapping cards to different slots in the MB. It's possible you can can find a better configuration for your FW device (and therefore your audio device's) priority by doing this.

I'm not using a "realtime" or "low latency" kernel, nor any special settings. So I can't comment on what Jack said.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:37 PM   #18
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babag you can use VLC to take a screenshot-then upload that if need be.
under under 'reply to thread' additional options>manage attachment.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:12 AM   #19
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I still use KDE Neon (after KDE optimization & uninstall irqbalance) it is very fast & w/ the performance it comes very close to Xfce, KDE has many features that I would not want to miss.
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