Grainy Crackeling noise during playback

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by JonHarry, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. JonHarry

    JonHarry Guest

    Hey everyone,
    I recently baught a new computer, setup my m-audio firewire 410 soundcard.
    Whenever I record some mixes, or what have you, i always get a werid grainy crackeling noise during the playback. I do not have this problem with MIDI, or when i am playing back live from the speakers, so there's something wrong with the recording line. I tried messing with latency settings and buffering, but nothing seems to work...
    Any ideas as to what this problem may be? I never encountered this on my old computer.
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Could be anything, or a combination of more than one thing.

    You started fine by experimenting with settings.

    How extensively did you tweak your computer to prepare it for recording?

    Desktop or laptop?

    What OS? XP...Vista....? OS drive AND audio drive? If audio drive, how's it formatted? How do you record...linear like a multi-track tape, or a lot of loops, samples, copied-and-pasted segments, etc? How many tracks? Does it do it on very few tracks? Run a lot of plug-ins, or does it do it without plug-ins running?

    PATA drives or SATA drives? RAID? If either, onboard controller, or card? If card...PCI, PCIe?

    Have you turned off all extraneous programs and background services not needed for recording?

    Are your drives fragmented?

    What recording program does this?

    What is your motherboard, CPU and RAM? Is there any mention of incompatibilities with your motherboard chipset and your software and/or interface, for example, anywhere in any forums or software- or hardware-specific websites?

    Are you using cheap Value RAM, or good RAM? Have you tested the RAM?

    Do you have the latest updates and drivers for anything in the computer? BIOS, OS, programs, hardware, firmware, etc? Any reports of problems with the latest of any in any user or manufacturers websites? Do you need to roll back something to an earlier version, for now?

    Are you clipping the recording?

    Since nearly every combination of software, hardware and settings of all are surely different on any two persons' computers, it's nearly impossible for anyone to tell you difinitively what is wrong with yours. Anyone can guess about what MIGHT be causing it, but it's up to you to investigate all the suggestions, and experiment with your one unique-to-the-world setup to tweak it. Any change in one thing, however minor it may seem, has the possibility of affecting anything else.

    To be fair to all the above-mentioned hardware and software manufacturers, it is an impossibility to guarantee flawless operation immediately, since they can't possibly test for every conceivable configuration and combination of products. That's why if anyone is going to use a computer for a specific task like recording, they need to learn and understand a bit more than the average casual user. Otherwise, it's gonna get ugly. "But...I just want to make MUSIC...I don't want to be a freakin' computer engineer! :shock: " Sorry...gotta understand some of it to get the best out of it. Or, you could pay someone to tweak it, and keep it maintained. Good luck getting him/her out there at 2 a.m., though, when you're in the middle of your greatest inspiration, and your computer starts arguing! may even be as simple as, for instance, moving a PCI card to a different slot, or something.

    If you are using Vista, you're in a brave, new world. You'll have joined the legions of guinea pigs who are doing research for free for all the companies whose products are on your computer. When you figure it out, you may be kind enough to post bug reports or fixes on forums.

    If you're using XP, there's all kinds of info out there already that may help you tweak your computer.

    Could be something simple, or it may take you a month of tweaking. A month of tweaking, though, is still better to have it running smoothly when you need it, than to jump in quickly and keep frustrating yourself with subpar performance. Plus, it's a good learning experience that will make it easier to add on, upgrade, etc.

    Frustrating? Yep. But, it's your unique computer. Pretty much just gotta do it.

    Explore some of these questions, do a bit of research, and perhaps you can narrow it down enough to post with your setup, and what you think MAY be causing it to get a more focused answer. Then again, it may be a two-minute change and reboot, and you're good to go. Who knows?

    Why the lengthy post? I'm bored...had time.

    Good luck,

    Kapt.Krunch :D
  3. JonHarry

    JonHarry Guest

    I am using Sonar 6, however, this issue occures with any recording device I use... I imported wavs from soundbanks, and i don't have this "grainy crackely" issue. I tweaked with the i/o buffer and what not, and the grainyness seems to occur mostly in the low-ends... Perhaps it's a driver issue.... I will try installing a newer version of my firewire 410 driver.
    I even moved my video card down a couple slots... no difference there....
    It's nothing to do with the bitrate or bitdepth...and like i said, ive tweaked with the buffer and latency, but nothing seems to help the problem, but like i mentioned before, ive gotten close to solving the problem, however, the grainyness is still present in the lower frequencies....
    Confused, hoping to fix this darn
    Thanks for the advice tho Kapn' hopefully ill resolve this issue soon enougn.
  4. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    while you are facing these problems, is your computer connected on the web? Are there anti-viruses/firewall utilities scanning your system at the same time?
    What about RAm memory? RAm allocation?
    Have you defragmented your drives?
  5. mark02131

    mark02131 Active Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I suspect 2 things:

    You record volume is to high. Digital will not tolerate any peaks well. You can see that by looking at the wave form when you hear the "crackling" The peaks will be chopped off.

    If its not that check the sample rate and try reducing or increasing it, It would be interesting to see if that takes care of it.

    By increasing it you are expanding it's dynamic range so it will be able to handle higher volume. lowering will reduce data rates and system latency.

    One other thing. If nether of those work, unplug it from the internet and disable any anti-virus software.
  6. KingSix

    KingSix Active Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Check at your Firewire Chipset, I already have some problem with my 1814 running on a cheap Firewire card. Everything working well when I move to a Adaptec Texas Instrument chipset FW card.

    Hope this help

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