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New DAW suffering sound dropouts from some channels

I just built a new DAW. When I load my old projects into Cubase SX3 (3.11) and/or Logic 5.5 or create new projects I find myself suffering random audio dropouts on some channels of the sequencer but not others. The problem seems to occur on VST instrument channels as appose to audio tracks. The dropouts occur roughly once a minute during playback of a project. They can start occurring from running as little as 2 VST channels. There is no abnormal CPU load activity when the dropouts occur. It can be utilizing as little as 5% CPU when it happens.

The System:

Asus P5W DH Deluxe Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.67GHz (1066FSB)

Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2 Dominator PC2-8500C5 TwinX (2x1GB)

Terratec Producer Phase 88 PCI soundcard

Western Digital Raptor 74GB WD740ADFD 10,000RPM SATA 16MB

Asus GeForce EN7300GS-HTD 256MB DDR2 TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express)

Corsair HX 520W ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant PSU

Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition inc. SP2

I have updated the BIOS on the motherboard and all of the relevant drivers to their latest versions. I have tried messing about with the PCI latency values with no relevant change. The buffer size being used on the card makes no difference to this problem. To rule out it being a bad soundcard combo I have also tried an M-Audio Delta 410 (PCI) as well as a Lexicon Omega (USB 2) and the problem remained exactly the same. I have followed most of the performance tweaks, (unshared IRQ for soundcard, turn off all graphics extras, no power management schemes, disable unwanted services, reduced graphics acceleration, processor set to background services etc.) I have a minimal install of windows with nothing running in the background. All I have installed is the sequencers and relevant plugins. I tested the ASIO driver using “CEntrance” which returned latency results that would be expected for the selected buffer size. I have disabled every unused port, onboard sound etc in the BIOS.

I have built 2x identical systems which both have inherited exactly the same audio issue so I’m reluctant to think its any faulty hardware. The computer itself operates smoothly and rapidly but fails when you put the audio system under any kind of load.

Has anyone had a similar problem ?


pr0gr4m Sun, 06/17/2007 - 03:25

Happens in both Cubase and Logic eh? Hmmm...
Happens with both old and new projects eh? Hmmm...
Buffer size changes have no effect eh? Hmmm...
Same problem happens with 3 different sound cards eh? Hmmm...
Happens on two separate but identical computers eh? Hmmm...

Considering the above, my first guess is that it is a problem with the VSTi since that seems to be the only constant.

Which VSTi? Could it be a trial or unregistered version of the VSTi is installed that has a regular "moment of silence" engineered into it until it's purchased/registered?
Does it happen with the same VSTi, only some VSTis or seemingly random VSTis?
What happens if you change the VSTi to a different the dropout still there?

anonymous Sun, 06/17/2007 - 11:14

hi, It doesnt matter what VSTi im using, legitimate or not it happens anyway. It seems to be effected more by multi channel VSTis like Kontact 2 or StylusRMX.

It can happen from as little as 2 VST chans from the kontact or RMX, it will drop 1 channel but not the other or if there was more channels it may drop 3 out of 5 playing.