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Skip, Pop, Stutter, Static: The Vista x64 DAW and You

Discussion in 'Recording' started by robbmatrix, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. robbmatrix

    robbmatrix Guest

    - you have random 'audible artifacts' while operating your DAW
    - artifacts include stuttering, static, popping, or white noise
    - intermittent noise from your gear seems unprofessional
    - interferes with your concentration

    - Vista x64-bit is the target OS for this thread
    - XP 32-bit is not afflicted by this condition in spite of being an inferior OS
    - QUICK CHECK: right-click your desktop; select Properties or Personalize; open Display Settings / Advanced Settings / Troubleshooting; choose one of the following options:
         - read below if you cannot modify the acceleration bar
         - chances are this thread won't interest you if the bar can be changed

    - let's assume that your computer isn't a pile
    - TEST: ensure that the noises do not affect the audio information actually recorded to your drive
    - TEST: attempt to trigger the noise -- run DAW and play a file with several tracks; make sure the window isn't 'maximized'; rapidly resize the window
    - the noises do not have a period; they are intermittent
    - tweaking your computer hasn't resolved the issue (at best, tweaking might reduce the amount of noise)

    - in Vx64, the stuttering only should intermittently affect PLAYBACK (including 'input echo')
    - the issue is broad, encompassing all forms of multimedia playback
    - audio multitracking is highly demanding of your CPU
    - you cannot 'kill' this issue in Vx64 simply by getting a honkin' CPU; at best, the reduction of 'those noises' would be minimal

    - DAWs have been around since the late-twentieth century
    - you have a supercomputer relative to anything from that time
    - your computer will be an amazing DAW (within reason)

    - why are these [expletive] noises interfering with my Art?

    - DirectX drivers (v10, currently) are used in the rendering of your Windows graphical user interface (GUI)
    - DirectDraw, the 2D graphic-rendering component of DirectX is (has been) emulated since DX8 via the Direct3D functions of DirectX
    - Microsoft incorporated this change to allow GPUs to speed up rendering of Windows 2D components, thus reducing the load placed on your CPU
    - Vista x64 is unable to utilize native GUI Hardware Acceleration
    - nVidia and ATi interfaces do not properly address acceleration; again, the core 2D issues are caused by DX 2D emulation in Vista (x64)

    The Vx64/DX/DirectDraw GPU utilization complication essentially dumps 2D GUI content processing (lines, fonts, etc.) on your CPU. Any increased activity while processing demanding multimedia content (e.g. - via DAW apps) can result in additional unpredictible, undesirable noise.

    - Windows 7 will include DirectX 11 at date of release
    - purchase Windows 7 (x64) the very day it hits store shelves
    - Windows 7/DX11 does not have the same DX8-10 restrictions

    - stick with Vista x64 and realize that only playback is affected
    - don't resize or swap windows unnecessarily while recording
    - tweak your Vista x64 (at least you'll learn about the world beyond)
    - go back to XP 32-bit and cry in your soup

    - improper frame rates (DVI/HDMI VSync) might increase your CPU load
    - mainboards with current Intel chipsets (e.g. - ICH10R) may be at risk (more research required to verify)
    - IRQ settings in general are not related to this issue
    - PCI latencies in general are not related to this issue

    - always purchase dedicated graphics and audio rendering devices
    - the graphics card for your DAW does not have to be be elite expense
    - CPU(s) should have a decent L2 cache size (divided over X number of cores)
    - make sure your mechanical drives have a decent integrated (hardware) cache (32+ MB)
    - do not run DAW in RAID0 (striping) mode (see responses for more info)
    - flash SSD drives should only be used for OS, not your audio data
    - flash SSD drives are evolving; get informed before diving in
    - flash SSD drives with at least 32-64MB of cache are SUPERIOR to 0MB (see responses for more info)
    - PCIe and PCI 2.0+: both are faster than Firewire and USB 2.0

    - the Windows GUI lives in the world of 2D line and font manipulation
    - Vista x64 rules but MS screwed up the implementation of their DirectDraw emulation via Direct3D; lack of planning resulted in millions waiting for the superior multimedia product drivers
    - buying the fastest machine might reduce the frequency of the noise but will not eliminate the problem

    I've attempted to revisit all of this information from memory. I'll drop back to this site in a day or so to make necessary additions and alterations as my info is at home on my own PC.

    Answers really are difficult to isolate amid so much confusion online. Anyone with advanced insights, please add to the thread!

    Word. 8)
  2. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Right, answers are confusing.

    Like, lets say I open my Mac notebook...oops! Ok, nevermind

    "flash SSD drives with at least 32-64MB of cache are SUPERIOR to 0MB "

    What does the above statement mean? Is that the same thing as saying a six pack of cold beer with a whiskey chaser is better than a six pack of cold beer with no chaser?

    'Cause that's how I'm interpreting it :)
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    What are your specific views on why this is bad? I've used a couple drives in RAID 0 as my audio drives with no issues, and I am thinking about setting up a couple RAID 0 drives as my system drive in a new computer build. I am hoping it might help speed up writing the temp files in Audition even a little bit (I need to process many gigabytes of audio files quickly, but need the undo option).
  4. robbmatrix

    robbmatrix Guest

    The Internet is flooded with useless posts that only serve to distance many people searching for answers from the truths they seek. My style of post was revised to a point-form list because the last thing some people want (or have time to bother reading) is a wall of text.

    You didn't understand the direct data approach about SSD drives. I didn't post here to give lessons on modern tech; people that are truly interested in answers usually absorb information and then take the initiative. Anyone truly curious about the SSD option potentially could encounter my brief post, classify it as "interesting" (should it pertain to their situation), and take the ball from there.

    SSD drives with cache on-board have significantly more up-time, fewer read and write errors, and generally eliminate the stuttering problems that are associated with earlier cacheless designs. If you're looking for benchmarks, micromanaged settings, artificial or real-world scenarios, or anything of the like it would serve you well to utilize "the Google".
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "I didn't post here to give lessons on modern tech"

    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but yes you did. Vista is a "modern tech" and that drivel above is an attempt at a lesson.

    "My style of post was revised to a point-form list because the last thing some people want (or have time to bother reading) is a wall of text. "

    What I want is coherent sentences, structured paragraphs and a glass of whiskey. What you gave me was a bunch of points under wierd headings and most of the points have nothing in common with either the heading or each other. The complete lack of flow means I have to read it over and over again to even get some semblance of meaning...
    What I want doesn't matter though, and whatever motivated you to post that up doesn't matter either.

    Are we all having fun now?
  6. robbmatrix

    robbmatrix Guest

    I was generalizing for the common DAW user. The majority of people looking for information aren't going full-out with a pro studio rig; in those situations, the party relies on industry specialists that and confirm or discount information posted by random users in forums. I can understand your confusion and apologize for my lack of clarification.

    RAID0 (striping) is a great way to increase both read and write speeds with mechanical or solid state storage devices. The striping option is poor for many users because they don't operate in RAID10 mode, mainly due to the associated costs.

    The 'death' of one disc in striping mode can result in the loss of your immediate session to as much as weeks or months of work (provided the user is behind on the backing up of their audio data; again, when addressing the forums, I believe it to be important to compensate with generalizations since everyone has unique experience and requirements).

    RAID10 mirrors the striped main 'drive' but requires four drives. The majority of users roll with a single drive or two drives, either in striped or mirrored RAID mode. Hard disk drives with relatively average specifications perform well in the DAW environment. (Minimal averages such as 7200 rpm, 16-32 MB of on-board cache, etc. for modern drives.)

    Beyond the mundane world of stats lies that of drive configuration. AHCI, IDE, RAID (0, 1, 5, 10), and "what is best for me?". Mechanical drives truly are unable to utilize the SATA-II interface due to physical limitations and essentially aren't any better than a ATA/133 (parallel) setup. SSD drives perform differently based on your reading and writing demands.

    Many people confuse recommendations made by 'tweakers' for gaming systems with the actual requirements for dedicated DAW applications, with a majority of users in the middle (casuals) that need their machine to do everything. The professional studios ultimately rely on professional audio and component techs to ensure that their expensive investments are secure in functionality.

    I'll summarize by clarifying that my recommendation to avoid RAID0 DAW configurations was for standard investment options. If you're a common user with a wide-open wallet then just go all out and go RAID10 with the striped/mirrored sets to ensure speed and safety. RAID0 alone can be risky since you might lose all of your data with even one drive 'dying'.

    Single hard disks (with average or better specs) are adequate in 64-bit DAW settings environments with 8 GB or more of RAM, provided you aren't running a pro studio with upwards of 24 channels always in simultaneous multi-tracking operation. (Remember that you can increase your mixing/playback speeds whenever you aren't actually inputting tracks simply by increasing your buffer/latency times.)

    It's absurd to assume every user is screwing the pooch with anything less than a RAID setup utilizing 15,000 RPM drives; DAW environments have been functioning well for years and computers today are faster and ever. Hard disks, though, have been close to the physical read/write barrier for a long time, and SSDs are still cutting edge and will not suit the needs of all users.
  7. robbmatrix

    robbmatrix Guest

    Lessons are complete, so you're absolutely wrong; my initial post was a summary of many issues.

    I hate sarcasm and mediocrity. You just sound like a forum troll. All that I gather from your response is that you're incapable of performing your own research, or that you need to have every gory detail of the topic at hand laid out; without the pop-up pictures and cheery tune, you essentially are just frustrated and cover with a defensive, emo posture.

    Anyone even remotely familiar with a given subject take what they want from (any amount of) information and seek solutions -- that's called initiative. All that you've proven is you attempt to conceal your lack of insight with bad humor.

    Time to get back to the interesting thread responses.

  8. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Yes, I do need the [expletive] pop-up pictures and an [expletive] cheery tune.

    What I don't need is [expletive] presented as information.

    Here is some [expletive] I will attempt to palm off as valid information.

    -Some unknown internet person is posting random [expletive] in a forum which normally isn't a place for people to [expletive] all over the place.
    -This person is defensive and argumentative even when posed with simple questions about their content, let alone their motives.
    -You have a itchy knee but are too fat to reach it.

    -Most of the points made by the random internet person are vague and inane, clouded by massive amounts of assumptions and pressed into your face in a messy and annoy manner.
    -Digression into name calling and put downs takes less than 24hours.

    -Here is some more random assumptions without any referencing or indeed meaning.
    -PCIe and PCI 2.0+: both are faster than Firewire and USB 2.0

    -Insults and further proofs of incompetence come forth as soon as someone tries to extract some meaning from a whole page of random mind vomit.

    -Who the [expletive] is this guy and why wont he [expletive] off?

  9. robbmatrix

    robbmatrix Guest

    You just validated the truth of my prior post. I love others' ignorance at times.
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I have done and will always admit I'm a Troll.
    The difference between you and I is, I know I'm stupid.
  11. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    "The Internet is flooded with useless posts that only serve to distance many people searching for answers from the truths they seek."

    You can say that again!

    Once I was looking for some porn and all I kept getting was the useless porn link pages...but no PORN! Yaddamean?

    But let's move on.
    ""flash SSD drives with at least 32-64MB of cache are SUPERIOR to 0MB "

    Two things on this one. First, an ssd is FAR more expensive then the causal drive by troll can expendiulate on, Dig where I'm hypothisizing from?

    But even nearer and more dearer to my thinking, like porn wasn't already, it is a simple given that ANY cache is better then 0 cache.

    See how this is all confuzilating to my postulation?

    Not only is the teacher in the techin zone trying to exercise my cranium with mental , can I call it, ah, whatchamacallits, but in the endzone, there ain't no zero cache.

    So do me a favor, cause I like ya, I think you are a fun guy. Now I assume your a guy, you could be a chick, I mean not that there is anything wrong with that but it reads more better to say funguy.

    Anyway, love what your doing, get some accredintalation and some, ah, certifamacation and come back for the always tense, too much suspense, what's a boy gonna do when he has no where to do, do, episode of "No you are, no YOU are" to be followed by a brief intercomention.
  12. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    useless posts LOL

    let me put your mind at ease

    1) i was by far one of the most outspoken AGAINST using vista of any flavor

    2) now given the right circumstance i will actually recommend it.

    3) in NO WAY is Vista anything responsible for pops, clicks etc.

    it is
    interface Drivers
    improperly configured computer including
    windows updates right or wrong ones
    hardware drivers
    not patched software
    old software
    problem exists betwwen screen and chair.
    i could go on buy you get the point.

    Vista is not the issue.... lack of knowledge IS.

  13. robbmatrix

    robbmatrix Guest

    You should try to read other peoples' posts in their entirety before posting rhetorical arguments and unsubstantiated claims.

    ..and ..here ..we .....go.

    Your opinion is irrelevant; this post is about facts evidenced by multiple sources on the Internet.

    "Given the right circumstance". You just blew my mind.

    Please enlighten us on your logic without referencing your direct experiences.

    DirectX, in your world is a: 1. snack; 2. form of contraception; 3. idiot

    Well, I suppose everyone could be in the same boat "given the right circumstance".

    What's next, the current entering your area?

    I'm certain that people understand the value of your input.

    The original post actually implies that Vista x64 is a great operating system with minor multimedia complications due to DirectX limitations within the x64 environment.

    I'd like to close by requesting that you read the first line of this response again; it's likely that your wall of ignorance reroutes information away from your working memory.

  14. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    900 pro audio systems a yr and supporting same enough experiance for you

    DX that would be option 3

  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Prince George, BC
    Home Page:
    We should have dumped this jerk months ago... you are banned for life...

    bye bye

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