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audio card nightmare !!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by audiocurry, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    Hi folks! I have a tough, intriguing one for you:
    P4 3.0 GHz HT
    Intel 915GAV motherboard
    1 GB RAM
    200 GB SATA
    250 GB NCQ SATA
    Win XP SP2

    I'm basically doing audio and video editing, using apps like Pinnacle, Sonar, etc., using DXi and VSTi softsynths. I have 2 professional multi I/O soundcards, one is Gina (20 bit) by Echo Audio, and the other is a USB-based MIDI controller plus audio interface (24-bit) called Neon.
    I recently got the above system, and when I tried to use my USB interface (Neon) in Sonar, I started getting a very loud crackling noise. I checked the audio buffer settings in Sonar, which can sometimes cause such problems, but I was using ASIO drivers for the Neon, which shouldn't cause these problems normally. I tried the Gina, but the card wouldn't work at all. I downloaded the latest drivers in each case, and still it wouldn't go away.
    Then I took the Gina out of my system and removed all the drivers and tried again. The crackling sound continued.
    I tried rebooting a few times and running audio through the Neon. What I noticed is - for about 8-10 secs the audio would play fine, and then it would disintegrate again into the crackling sound. I became convinced it was a driver problem.
    I still feel it's a software problem - something to do with drivers and/or Windows itself. Then I thought that perhaps the problem is with the SP2, but I couldn't remove it, since my legal copy of Win XP Pro came bundled with SP2. (My laptop doesn't have the SP2 installed). So I contacted MS support, and they sent me a way to uninstall by removing "spuninst.exe" from the "Run" command. I tried that, and something got removed, but SP2 still remains.
    Then one of my friends (an audio engineer) told me that the Intel 915 motherboard has some audio issues. So I contacted Intel and they suggested I download the latest audio drivers for the onboard Realtek High Definition soundcard, as well as the latest BIOS. I did that, and hoped the problem would go away, but the problem continues to haunt me.
    I realise I have the option to use another drive and reload Windows XP on it without SP2. The only thing is: I'm in the middle of a tight deadline project, so I decided to go with the onboard Realtek (lower quality) soundcard for now and just do my work till I absolutely have to stop and fix the problems. I do want to try this option, however, because I have a sneaking feeling that SP2 is messing things up.
    Is this a problem with the 915 motherboard? Echo support told me that audio cards can have problems with HT. I don't know much about this, but I've tried disabling it and still there's no difference. The ESI support said that the 915 causes problems for USB audio interfaces, so suggested a PCI USB2.0 card and use that instead of the onboard USB slots.

    What I want to be able to do is:
    1. Use the Neon (USB interface and MIDI controller) without any noises.
    2. Use the Gina in the system too. I have used multiple sound cards before. I realise you can't do that yet if you're using ASIO drivers in an application, but other than that, I want to have that option available to me.
    3. Stop losing hair and not grow old so quickly.
    4. Have good sleep at night and not have so many computer-related nightmares.

    So if anyone out there has the solutions I would be EXTREMELY GRATEFUL for your help. Thanks so much!
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Typically Intel chipsets aren't the cause for the audio problems..it's the overall operating system and how it's working with the motherboard architecture. Have you done any XP tweaks? If not you should look into optimizing your system for audio useage.

    There are several places to go for tweaks...do a search on here for it and you'll come up with several.

    Indeed you are correct about ASIO drivers and multiple sound cards within an application..unless it's the same manufacturer you can't. Also remember that USB based audio devices are pretty CPU intensive and can and will cause problems if there are conflicts.

    Have you disabled HT in the BIOS yet? Also disable the onboard sound card within the BIOS as well as any other peripherals you are not using(Parrallel, serial, LAN, Modem, and sound) to give you more system resources for the operating system and IRQ's.

    Typically SP2 does have some issues with drivers and or plug ins..see if you have a friend that has XP bare and only add SP1. One thing I do like to do is get the plain OS and not the CD's with the SP's built in. This way you can start from beginning and go from there.

    What video card are you using and is it PCI Express that you have on your system. You'll find that most people are staying away from PCI express for audio systems at the present moment since it seems to cause more problems than anything.

    Let us know if you have tried any tweaking.

  3. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    USB fixed, but Gina still weeps

    Hi! Thanks! The ESI folks suggested there was a problem with the USB ports on the Intel 915 motherboard, so to use an addon PCI card instead. I did, and the thing worked right away.
    However, my Gina absolutely freezes up. I've taken it out, but the drivers won't uninstall now, because I had to do a convert.exe on my hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS. I've tried disabling hyperthreading.

    I'm not using any PCI Express cards, but it's good to know that.
    Such chaos reigns in the world of computers!
  4. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001

    1) onbord video this is a major no no for Audio
    2) onboard video for video editing? this is almost worse than it is for audio. and if your trying to use any 3D effect from Pinnacle no way jose.
    Pinnacle renders using both CPU and GPU you onboard video woundnt render squat.
    never mind you will not be able to do HDV.

    with Intel at this time the only way to have a "Pro" Audio and Video box, single CPU is with Dual Core.

  5. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Scott, can you expand on this? I just took OUT my PCI based video card, as I am needing PCI room...haven't noticed any playback or stability issues at all...how would relying on the video elements of the motherboard effect audio production?

  6. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    please clarify, thanks!

    hi ADK!
    Thanks for your response. I guess I'm a little new to video editing (been in audio for years), so am not quite aware of all the problems by the 2 co-existing within the same system. By dual core do you mean something like the Xeon, or the Extreme chip? Just asking. But my rendering in Pinnacle goes pretty fast, even in After Effects / Premiere quite decent. Only 3D animation takes a bit of time, but nothing that can't be worked around too much.
    What I would like is some advice on how to make the Gina work - any takers?

    BTW, Opus, would like some tips and tweaks (pun intended) on XP. Thanks.
  7. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001

    the problems you experiancing is most likely due to the onboard video. you need a new system or new motherboard.

    onboard video takes both memory resources (shared memory) and poles the PCI bus far too much as well as taking bandwidth.

    this is why you have issues most likely with the Gina.

  8. axel

    axel Guest

    hmm... i am really sorry guys, no offend!! and it might be a little off-topic, but ever seen threads like that about a mac?? at RO --- cards, compability, IT, fideling about, fixing the comp hardware???

    just a bit salt into the wound... :D
  9. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    ask that to the mac guys trying to use UADs or even find a video card replacement that they pay $100+ more than pc guys...

    or better yet ask Steve Jobs why he had to go to Intel Porcessors
    or use AMD architecture in the G5s

    typical Apple bonehead.....

  10. axel

    axel Guest

    he he, got you there, nice and angry, i just see what i see, and that is far less problem threads regarding mac problems than pc problems at RO (probably because RO is about or should be about recording not IT), i don't say macs are without issues, just less...

    but hey, i jumped into that thread (apologies, here) and don't wan't to spam it with something that will probably never change...

    getting a MAC user into PCs


    p.s. hughh... and also very sorry me that is for stretching humor someone elses...
  11. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    Sorry guys, this was supposed to be about the audio cards, not Mac vs PC....
    but thanks again. So that's some news - HA! Well, okay, so if I get a new motherboard, which one do I go for? there's the Intel 865, the 945,...
    Do I ask for a motherboard without onboard video, and then have a separate graphics card? I'd really appreciate any further advice you might have. Would it help to get a separate graphics card onto the existing system, while disabling the onboard one? Would that work? Thanks so much! It's important I know about this, because I'm planning to get a new 24-bit multi-in soundcard soon, and would like to do a bit of research on that as well, but my system has to be compatible too.
  12. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    if you have a PCIe video slot you can add a video card such as the ATI x300.

    if you dont have an available PCIe slot to upgrade with then a new mobo is needed.

    if you need to go that route then you would be wise to get Asus or GIgabyte with the 955 chipset.
    that way you can upgrade to dual core later

  13. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    thanks ... by PCIe, you mean PCI Express, right? But I thought that PCI Express is causing a lot of problems for audio (See post by Opus in this thread)....
    BTW, I got an email from Echo Audio Support for the Gina, and they said they are using a 915 board with the Gina without problem. What do you think?
  14. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    The PCI card Scott is recommending uses far less of the bus bandwidth than higher end models hence better audio performance. That's the problem with PCI-E, it seems to hog bus resources so by using a GPU which places less demand on the resources your audio performance should improve.

    BTW, it was Scott who reported this issue to us months ago and these are workarounds he has found to help.
  15. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    thanks again! all this is very helpful! So, if I get an ATI x300, disable onboard video from the BIOS, things will work better for me? Does this mean I still need to change my motherboard? Sorry for the dumb question...
  16. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    HEy Big D~ :D


    ok here is the deal you have a 915 chipset motherboard.
    even with onboard video you are still using the PCIe bus.
    so onboard video is bad on top of being PCIe.
    best solution is to buy the X300. hopefully that will solve you issue.

    in the future do not buy anything with onboard video, its generally a sign of " not the best" motherboard.

  17. audiocurry

    audiocurry Guest

    Thanks so much! Is the ATI X300 a PCI or PCIe card? If I get this, I assume I would disable the onboard video, right? So is it okay to go with the915, or should I switch that as well? Thanks so much, Scott!

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