Old 06-24-2019, 09:21 AM   #1
kgbeat
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Default Crackling Noise on Playback

So I am at the start of a new song with just the a basic drum track down (easydrummer2)and the lead vocal. But on playback and record I get this intermittent 'interference type' crackling noise - sounds a bit like a bad connection.

Now I have had this before and on that occasion I eventually re-downloaded Reaper and strangely it disappeared. I've tried that again this time but it hasn't worked.

I've tried different settings on the buffer in Asio and Reaper and I've re download the Asio4all drivers. The CPU is only showing around 12% usage.

If I take the just the vocal track and put it into a virgin project it still does it. But if I import the track into Audacity or media player, then it plays absolutely fine - which really confirms that it must be a Reaper issue. I have two sets of monitors and it does it through both so it can't be coming from my speaker connections etc .

It is obviously very difficult to work with this disturbance and so any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Last edited by kgbeat; 06-24-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:43 AM   #2
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I just read some of your other posts about "popping noises". I notice you're not giving much info about your system but you did say at one point you recorded at 96 KHz. In this post you say you're using ASIO4ALL. I suspect your hardware might not like recording at 96 KHz especially with that particular driver. (Also if the recording is at a different sample rate from the project, that means the project is resampling the audio "on the fly" and that might not work well depending on your available CPU and latency settings.)

What is your audio hardware, and have you tried other drivers (manufacturer-supplied ASIO driver, WASAPI)?
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:26 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=JamesPeters;2150395]I just read some of your other posts about "popping noises". I notice you're not giving much info about your system but you did say at one point you recorded at 96 KHz. In this post you say you're using ASIO4ALL. I suspect your hardware might not like recording at 96 KHz especially with that particular driver. (Also if the recording is at a different sample rate from the project, that means the project is resampling the audio "on the fly" and that might not work well depending on your available CPU and latency settings.)

What is your audio hardware, and have you tried other drivers (manufacturer-supplied ASIO driver, WASAPI)?[/QUOTE

Hi James, so I'm running Windows 10 (64 bit) on a i5 3.20 GHz PC with 16g of Ram. My Interface is a PreSonus Audiobox USB96 and as I recall this was a 'plug and play' unit as I don't recall any driver instruction or recommendation. I think I just picked up that this was the best driver option to use.

Unfortunately I understand much more about music that I do about the computer techy things and drivers continue to be a bit of a mystery to me!

Sample rates are also rather a mystery but as the the Presonus interface claimed to use 96 khz and I have only used the basic presets in Reaper, that has been the default.

There was no problem at all when I was recording the vocal a few weeks ago and so as this issue is intermittent, I am definitely at a lost as to know what to do.

I will certainly research to see if there are any recommended or specific drivers for this box.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:30 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=kgbeat;2150695]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
I just read some of your other posts about "popping noises". I notice you're not giving much info about your system but you did say at one point you recorded at 96 KHz. In this post you say you're using ASIO4ALL. I suspect your hardware might not like recording at 96 KHz especially with that particular driver. (Also if the recording is at a different sample rate from the project, that means the project is resampling the audio "on the fly" and that might not work well depending on your available CPU and latency settings.)

What is your audio hardware, and have you tried other drivers (manufacturer-supplied ASIO driver, WASAPI)?[/QUOTE

Hi James, so I'm running Windows 10 (64 bit) on a i5 3.20 GHz PC with 16g of Ram. My Interface is a PreSonus Audiobox USB96 and as I recall this was a 'plug and play' unit as I don't recall any driver instruction or recommendation. I think I just picked up that this was the best driver option to use.

Unfortunately I understand much more about music that I do about the computer techy things and drivers continue to be a bit of a mystery to me!

Sample rates are also rather a mystery but as the the Presonus interface claimed to use 96 khz and I have only used the basic presets in Reaper, that has been the default.

There was no problem at all when I was recording the vocal a few weeks ago and so as this issue is intermittent, I am definitely at a lost as to know what to do.

I will certainly research to see if there are any recommended or specific drivers for this box.
So...I have now downloaded the Presonus Asio controller and drivers for this particular audio device and at the moment...all is well - no cracking at all.

But this has created more questions I'm afraid. On opening this new Presonus 'Controller' it shows the sample rate to be 44100 and block size of 128 - which is reflecting what it says in the Reaper device preferences. So what device is controlling what when it comes to sample rate? Should I be using 44 or 96 for best sound quality? And if 96 do I just change it in both places? Is 96 more demanding on the system than 44100?

Also, when using the Asio4all driver, when I clicked on 'Asio configuration' in Reaper preferences, it gave me slider to control the buffering (?) and latency. Low setting for minimum latency when recording and high setting for max CPU efficiency when mixing. But now I don't appear to have that control anymore...?? Helpppp...

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Old 06-25-2019, 11:12 AM   #5
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Your computer isn't just an "i5 3.20 GHz PC". Your specific CPU, mainboard, etc.--these can be important when troubleshooting. (That CPU for instance could be something less than half the power of mine, or significantly more powerful than mine, depending on which CPU model it is.) Thankfully however your problem is solved by choosing the Presonus ASIO driver, so I don't need that information.

ASIO4ALL isn't optimal; it's only useful in some specific cases and usually not if you have a proper ASIO driver from the manufacturer. Don't use it anymore. I read the "quick startup" info for your audio device and I'm surprised that they don't mention getting the proper ASIO setup for it in that guide. I know that it's class compliant so it doesn't need any different driver "to work", but they sell the device knowing people will want to use it at low latency in DAWs so they should mention in the quick setup guide that the proper Presonus ASIO driver is highly recommended. That's probably the cause of your confusion.

Your Presonus ASIO "controller" sets the buffer and block size. This can probably be called up from Reaper's audio settings when you click on the "ASIO configuration..." button. (I assume you've chosen "Presonus ASIO" as the driver in Reaper itself.)

128 is fine. You'll probably notice the latency (top right in Reaper's main window, in ms) is shown as maybe 5ms/5ms at 44.1 KHz (possibly lower). That's good for most things, and for most people. If you have dropouts in your audio when running lots of plugins in the future, you can increase that buffer size from 128 to something higher (256 or 512 for example), which will also increase latency but that's par for the course.

The fact ASIO4ALL had more possible settings with a slider doesn't mean all those settings were good for your device. For instance my device works best at either 5 blocks of 64 samples or 4 blocks of 128 samples or some higher multiples of those numbers (I have to set the number of blocks since I'm using ALSA in Linux). ASIO4ALL is trying to work with any possible audio device, so it presents options which aren't necessarily well suited to your specific device. (I'm guessing this information is mentioned in the documentation for ASIO4ALL, and if not, it should be.)

Your sound quality is equivalent at 44.1 KHz and 96 KHz, for most things. You can try recording at both and see if you hear a difference. An honest blind test, with repeatable results, will be the only way to know the difference you can hear (if there is one).

It's more likely that when running a project at 96 KHz you can deal with a couple things more effectively in a mix: anything that creates distortion in the mix (which might involve aliasing that's possible to notice, even if slight, if you're using 44.1 KHz), and the effectiveness of some EQs in the high frequency bands (so that the bands are more uniform, less "cramped" as they approach the highest possible frequency you can hear). These things don't actually affect most people's mixes though. Some people do obsess over them irrespective of that. And some people do have legitimate complaints with aliasing of some distortion plugins (especially when distorting high frequencies) or synth plugins when using 44.1 KHz. So it might affect you, but I'd say probably not. Generally, you can record and mix at 44.1 KHz and I'd be surprised if you'd notice a difference. It'll save on CPU and disk space, so that's what I'd recommend unless you end up using a lot of virtual synths that use some distortion in the sound, or like using distortion plugins a lot, etc.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
Your computer isn't just an "i5 3.20 GHz PC". Your specific CPU, mainboard, etc.--these can be important when troubleshooting. (That CPU for instance could be something less than half the power of mine, or significantly more powerful than mine, depending on which CPU model it is.) Thankfully however your problem is solved by choosing the Presonus ASIO driver, so I don't need that information.

ASIO4ALL isn't optimal; it's only useful in some specific cases and usually not if you have a proper ASIO driver from the manufacturer. Don't use it anymore. I read the "quick startup" info for your audio device and I'm surprised that they don't mention getting the proper ASIO setup for it in that guide. I know that it's class compliant so it doesn't need any different driver "to work", but they sell the device knowing people will want to use it at low latency in DAWs so they should mention in the quick setup guide that the proper Presonus ASIO driver is highly recommended. That's probably the cause of your confusion.

Your Presonus ASIO "controller" sets the buffer and block size. This can probably be called up from Reaper's audio settings when you click on the "ASIO configuration..." button. (I assume you've chosen "Presonus ASIO" as the driver in Reaper itself.)

128 is fine. You'll probably notice the latency (top right in Reaper's main window, in ms) is shown as maybe 5ms/5ms at 44.1 KHz (possibly lower). That's good for most things, and for most people. If you have dropouts in your audio when running lots of plugins in the future, you can increase that buffer size from 128 to something higher (256 or 512 for example), which will also increase latency but that's par for the course.

The fact ASIO4ALL had more possible settings with a slider doesn't mean all those settings were good for your device. For instance my device works best at either 5 blocks of 64 samples or 4 blocks of 128 samples or some higher multiples of those numbers (I have to set the number of blocks since I'm using ALSA in Linux). ASIO4ALL is trying to work with any possible audio device, so it presents options which aren't necessarily well suited to your specific device. (I'm guessing this information is mentioned in the documentation for ASIO4ALL, and if not, it should be.)

Your sound quality is equivalent at 44.1 KHz and 96 KHz, for most things. You can try recording at both and see if you hear a difference. An honest blind test, with repeatable results, will be the only way to know the difference you can hear (if there is one).

It's more likely that when running a project at 96 KHz you can deal with a couple things more effectively in a mix: anything that creates distortion in the mix (which might involve aliasing that's possible to notice, even if slight, if you're using 44.1 KHz), and the effectiveness of some EQs in the high frequency bands (so that the bands are more uniform, less "cramped" as they approach the highest possible frequency you can hear). These things don't actually affect most people's mixes though. Some people do obsess over them irrespective of that. And some people do have legitimate complaints with aliasing of some distortion plugins (especially when distorting high frequencies) or synth plugins when using 44.1 KHz. So it might affect you, but I'd say probably not. Generally, you can record and mix at 44.1 KHz and I'd be surprised if you'd notice a difference. It'll save on CPU and disk space, so that's what I'd recommend unless you end up using a lot of virtual synths that use some distortion in the sound, or like using distortion plugins a lot, etc.
James thank you for taking the time to give me all that info. I found it really useful and along with some research I've now done on sample rates, it is very helpful and increased my general understanding. I have selected the Presonus driver in Reaper - and just for the record...all I can see about my processor is that that it is an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3470 @3.20GHz - although that means nothing to me!

THanks again for your help.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:50 PM   #7
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Glad to help!

Ah good, that processor is somewhat more powerful than mine. It should be useful to you for mixes that involve a reasonable number of plugins (and if you use more CPU-efficient plugins, you can run oodles of them). So you can relax in knowing your system may not be the most powerful thing around, but it's more than sufficient for what most people would need from Reaper...unless you start trying to run multiple instances of Kontakt and/or multiple simultaneous guitar amp sims.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:21 AM   #8
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Glad to help!

Ah good, that processor is somewhat more powerful than mine. It should be useful to you for mixes that involve a reasonable number of plugins (and if you use more CPU-efficient plugins, you can run oodles of them). So you can relax in knowing your system may not be the most powerful thing around, but it's more than sufficient for what most people would need from Reaper...unless you start trying to run multiple instances of Kontakt and/or multiple simultaneous guitar amp sims.
Thanks James that's good to know - and I've just had the programme and project drives upgraded to solid state so I shouldn't have any problems really - and like me, my stuff is fairly simple! ( o :
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:41 AM   #9
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Default Same issue

I have the same issue. I'm on a powerful Windows 10 64bit machine with RMEs Babyface Pro (latest driver), i7-6700, 64 GB ram.

I've tried to swhitch off network, eliminate most processes etc.

The CPU and memory are barely used.

I've tried many different sample rates and buffer settings, but to no avail.

I love Reaper, but am seriously considering an alternative.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:32 AM   #10
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You're considering an alternative? So you know another DAW runs without the same problem on this sytem?
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reaper@395.dk View Post
I have the same issue. I'm on a powerful Windows 10 64bit machine with RMEs Babyface Pro (latest driver), i7-6700, 64 GB ram.

I've tried to swhitch off network, eliminate most processes etc.

The CPU and memory are barely used.

I've tried many different sample rates and buffer settings, but to no avail.

I love Reaper, but am seriously considering an alternative.
I've yet to find a single case where Reaper was the root cause of such crackling noises.

Are you sure the sample rates AND bit depth are exactly identical:
- in the project settings
- in the sound card settings
- in the windows settings for the sound ? What happens when you click the button "Test" ? Is the RME selected as default device ?
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Old 06-28-2019, 01:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolilol1975 View Post
I've yet to find a single case where Reaper was the root cause of such crackling noises.

Are you sure the sample rates AND bit depth are exactly identical:
- in the project settings
- in the sound card settings
- in the windows settings for the sound ? What happens when you click the button "Test" ? Is the RME selected as default device ?
I found the root cause. A Windows update must have reset the power setting to "balanced". I found others with the same observation. So even if you set up your computer to be optimised towards audio, I guess you have to re-check after every Windows update :-( Not good, Microsoft.
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