Old 10-11-2020, 12:48 AM   #1
eq1
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Default Crackle n' pop w/ Dragon Fly Hall reverb plug-in

I have Dragon Fly Hall reverb VST on a midi track - as well as on a guitar track. I get a crackly pop noise in the same locations in the song, over and over. I've narrowed it down to Dragon Fly on the midi track - when I disable it the crackle goes away. The weird thing is, the midi part isn't even playing when the crackle happens, it's like just some random noise that's getting injected into the mix, only it's not 'random', it happens in the same places, or at least in one place over and over. Not sure about the other places...

I have no problem with it on the guitar track, works fine. The midi track has a Korg M1 VST plug-in on it.

Anyone have ideas as to why this is happening? It's not a very big project, CPU overhead is only about 5-6% max...
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Old 10-11-2020, 01:25 AM   #2
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Are you using a "proper" Audio/MIDI interface or the built-in soundcard in your computer?

If you have an interface, are you using its ASIO driver within Reaper?
If you are using an ASIO driver, what ASIO buffer size are you using?

Say for arguments sake you have the ASIO buffer set at 64, try raising it to 128 ^ see if that helps.

Moving on, another thing worth trying is to download and run resplendence.com`s latency checker which will tell you if your computer setup has any issues affecting latency, which is generally the root cause of snap crackle `n pop.
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Old 10-11-2020, 05:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Are you using a "proper" Audio/MIDI interface or the built-in soundcard in your computer?
Proper interface, an E-MU 1616m (PCIe card with a breakout audio box).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
If you have an interface, are you using its ASIO driver within Reaper?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
If you are using an ASIO driver, what ASIO buffer size are you using? Say for arguments sake you have the ASIO buffer set at 64, try raising it to 128 ^ see if that helps.
Not sure about the "size" in (bytes? samples? - 64, 128). Where would I find that setting?

When I go into audio device settings, ASIO configuration, the "ASIO buffer latency" - the only setting in the pop-up window - is set to 5ms. I had tried bumping that up to 10ms but still got the crackle n' pop noise.

In the "audio buffering" settings, media buffer size is set to 1200ms...

Below that setting there's an "anticipative effects" setting, that's checked, I had tried unchecking that and the noise remained...


Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Moving on, another thing worth trying is to download and run resplendence.com`s latency checker which will tell you if your computer setup has any issues affecting latency, which is generally the root cause of snap crackle `n pop.
Thanks for the tip, I'll try that out...
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:08 AM   #4
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A few updates:

-Apparently it isn't Dragon Fly reverb - I experimented some more, enabling and disabling that, and I still got the crackle with it disabled.

-The crackle doesn't always happen. It seems to happen in the same locations of the song, but it doesn't happen every time (play) in every location.

-I experimented with the 'media buffer' setting. I increased it from 1200ms to 2000ms and the crackle seemed to happen more. I decreased it to 1000ms and now I don't hear the crackle (??).

With this last setting I've gone over the spot that's most prone to crackle consistently and after a dozen or more passes I haven't heard it...


-I downloaded that LatencyMonitor tool. This is the conclusion it provided, me running the tool while having only Reaper open and playing this song:

"Your system seems to be having difficulty handling real-time audio and other tasks. You may experience drop outs, clicks or pops due to buffer underruns. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates."

These are the DPC routines and stats LatencyMonitor tagged:

"Highest DPC routine execution time (µs): 1169.696241
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: storport.sys - Microsoft Storage Port Driver, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.367161
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: ctoss2k.sys - Creative OS Services Driver (WDM), Creative Technology Ltd."


I know there are no updates for my BIOS. I'll look into that 'CPU throttling setting' thing...


Here's a link to a post that questions the validity of the 'storport.sys' weakness, don't fully understand it but thought I'd post for reference, if I get a chance to look into it deeper. It basically seems to be saying the app itself is what's causing the high DPC execution time:
https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthrea...e2&#post669746

Last edited by eq1; 10-12-2020 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 10-13-2020, 04:04 PM   #5
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OK, maybe I'm back to Dragonfly Hall reverb...

I worked all day yesterday with this mix and never heard the crackle. I was thinking, 'OK, that reduction of the media buffer from 1200ms to 1000ms must've done it - Why? I don't know.'

So to confirm today I switched back to 1200 - and the crackle came back. I switched back to 1000 - and the crackle... was still there. Huh? I did this a number of times and even with media buffer set to 1000ms I hear the crackle. Maybe it's slightly less, or doesn't do it every time, but sometimes it's still there.


So, I noticed what seems like some strange things with CPU usage. When I'm playing this mix, or was, for the first time through for the day and probably several more times, CPU usage was only about 3%, maybe occasionally bumping up to 4, 5%. I had taskmanager open and was keeping an eye on the various processes running, with 'CPU' sorted descending, so whatever's using the most CPU stays on top, and it was always Reaper (not running any other major programs). Then, I noticed that when I stopped playing the mix, CPU jumped up to about 8-12% and stayed there. Why would CPU usage be much higher when not even playing anything?

And then, I minimized Reaper - and CPU was still high.

And then, I went back to the project and found that it was Dragonfly reverb - I disabled it and CPU usage fell to nothing. Re-enabled it and it went up to about 9% (CPU in the FX window says about 7%)... What's odd is that I have another instance of it on another track, and disabling and re-enabling that doesn't have the same impact...

On the offensive track, I have the "High multiplier" for Dragonfly set to 1.2X - when I dropped that to 0.2X, the minimum, CPU usage dropped to near nothing. So I'm thinking that this effect and the high multiplier must be doing some intensive calculation in the background in order to be sucking-up ~8% of CPU - Does that sound plausible/right?? Or maybe there's something going haywire - like a recursive-feedback-loop-kind of calculation that doesn't make sense so the effect just keeps churning and burning? Is that possible? **

The corollary to all this is that maybe this weirdness is messing with Reaper processing/sound processing and it's at least related to why I'm getting the crackle? I don't know, I don't get it - the CPU usage isn't consistently high, it's not always high ~10%, and the crackle is still there when it's low.

For example, I just flipped back to the project, started playing a few bars before a spot where there's most often a crackle, Dragonfly enabled. CPU usage for DF alone was only about 1% - but I hear the crackle. Replay again, hear the crackle. I disable DF, play again - no crackle. And again, no crackle. Re-enable DF - and the crackle comes back...


Well, I know this is a long-winded, pain-in-the-ass kind of thing to read and think about. But if anyone has ideas as to what's going on here, I'd sure appreciate input...


** I experiment more with this: DF is churning at around 10% CPU, nothing playing, and the drop from 10% CPU to near nothing happens if I change any of the controls/settings, not just the 'High Mult' one. So this behavior doesn't seem related to the high multiplier per se. DF is doing something - and changing a control seems to jar it out of its 'catontonic recursive musing state'...

The above also seems to have something to do with Record/Arm: If I disable the track's Record/Arm, the high CPU at idle disappears, just like it does if I disable DF or touch one of its controls...

Last edited by eq1; 10-13-2020 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:47 PM   #6
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Never really figured out any answers to the questions posed above. I simply ended up removing Dragonfly reverb from that track - and I haven't heard the crackle since, over a couple solid days of repeated usage.

Since I don't get the crackle in another track that's still running an instance of DF, I guess it might be some interaction among record monitoring, the M1 VST on the offensive track, plus Dragonfly.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:27 AM   #7
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Developer is an active member on here - ask him for suggestions as to why
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