Everything looks ok, but DAW is unusable

Discussion in 'Computing' started by ra990, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. ra990

    ra990 Guest

    Hi All,

    I have a very frustrating problem, and one that I'm sure you hear of everyday. But, rest assured, I have read all the posts I could find before posting this.

    I have a machine that consists of the following:
    AMD Athlon X2 3800+
    2 GB RAM
    2x 80GB Hard Drives
    PCI-E GeForce 6800
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio Radium Keystation USB MIDI keyboard

    Now looking at those specs, I was pretty sure I would be able to do what I intended, which is simply to play some vst instruments live. Not sequence, not record, just play some softsynths live.

    I'm running Steinberg VSTack and playing on Atmosphere and Absynth mainly. Using the MAudio ASIO driver, I get horrible crackling and popping regardless of the buffer size I use. I have tried every increment availible in the menu. As soon as I hit the keys on a new patch, the sound crackles for about 10 seconds then goes away. Then as soon as I change chords or go to a different region of the keyboard, it returns for about 10 seconds then disappears, returning to normal.

    My CPU usage isn't unusually high when I'm playing and I have plenty of RAM. So what could it be? I have no conflicts of any sort, in fact my soundcard is has a distinct IRQ that no other device uses. I used to have a Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro which I ditched for the same reason after everybody told me that I should get a "professional" card. Well, the Audiophile is just as bad.

    I'm really about to give up here and never touch a computer again for music. It is ridiculous! I could have created my magnum opus in the time it has taken me to play around and try to find what the problem is...and I still haven't found it!


  2. axel

    axel Guest

    i am probably not much of a help, but i had a the same problem way back with absynth... i am on a mac so the structure is a bit different... but basically i had to re-install the Delta ASIO driver for absynth, and GET RID of the ASIO soundmanager driver which is a default, but this is i think a mac specific structure... not idea about a PC, but maybe you have something similar... did you checked all your sound settings / maybee conflicts within your OS???

    it's shurely not you audiophile card, you did the right thing to get rid of your soundblaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the 2496 is a fine card.

    sorry that i have been most probably not much help.

  3. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    From your desktop, right-click the "my computer" icon -> "properties" -> "advanced" tab, and click the "performance" settings button. Now select the "advanced" tab and check the "processor scheduling" setting: if it is set to "programs" change it to "background services"
  4. ra990

    ra990 Guest

    Thanks, but I have already done that as well.

    I think it may just be my comptuer, because as powerful as it is...the fact that the crackling happens everytime I change chords or move to a different region of the keyboard indicates that it can't handle moving new samples into the RAM without the noise.

    I am going to to try out a different motherboard soon based on a new chipset. Lets see how that turns out.
  5. Quite a few people seem to be having difficulties with the AMD 64 or dual-core processor using Nvidia graphics with a PCI-E interface with clicking/popping and general glitchiness.

    The Intel P4 / dual core chipset with Nvidia and PCI-e has also experienced some difficulty, albeit lesser problems (increased latency seems to be the most commented on)

    People are suspecting the Nvidia drivers and/or the motherboard/pci-e interface as the most likely suspects in these problems. PCI-e runs at a higher bus speed than ordinary PCI or AGP ports and people say that with all the high speed clock freqs in the processor, GPU and pci-e interface there are extra background noise and conflicts - these are theories and I'm no expert...
  6. ra990

    ra990 Guest

    Thanks for the reply. The new motherboard I ordered has onboard graphics, so I am going to try and use that instead of the PCI-E card and see if it makes a difference. I will post my results for those interested. I should have the board by Wednesday.
  7. ra990

    ra990 Guest

    I just want to say THANK YOU! I remembered that I actually had onboard video on my current motherboard. I took out the GeForce PCI-E card I had in there and enabled the onboard video.

    I'm running VStack now and its much much improved. I hesitate to say that the crackling is completely gone because it has only been about 5 mins since I have turned it on, but its a first for this computer. I couldn't go 2 minutes without horrible noise with the PCI-E in there.

    To those who are going to run PCI-E graphics on an AMD 64 or X2 platform, beware of this!

    I am going to go play some music now, which I haven't been able to do in a while without cringing (at the crackling and pops)!
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    the problem is the motherboard chipset NOT the video card.
    and onboard video tells me you have a not good for audio motherboard.

    research prior to buying ~


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