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Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:56 am
by JohannesBerglund
Hi,
Long time user of Nuendo 4.3 on PC that migrated to mac and N7 last year. It has been working mostly fine apart from the generally more sluggish interface.

But I have one serious performance issue where I get audio dropouts. The disk meter doesn´t show any peaks and the number of tracks doesn't seem to matter much either. My observation is that it´s a track or two that doesn't play the first second or so after a edit and that results in a dropout or click (The other tracks seem to play fine). I've tried different settings and so far it seems like asio guard makes it worse. But is is very inconsistent and sometimes I can listen to a whole song without any problems and sometimes there are problems every 30 seconds. The only consistent factor seems to be that it happens at the start of edits, but it's hard to diagnose.

My RME UFX+ (over USB3) shows no errors , neither does Nuendo (or Cubase 8.5/9).

Since I do mostly mixing the acute problem is doing mix-downs analog out to my console (Offline bounces are just fine).

Ideas?

best regards,
johannes

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:45 am
by Wheels
The only thing I can think of is to check your buffer size on your audio card and increase it. HTH.

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:06 am
by JohannesBerglund
If i raise the latency more (over 512 smpls) it's even to high for asio guard. With maximum latency on the UFX+ and maximum disk preload it seems like i get fewer dropouts but should it be necessery to go that extreme?

If i lower the latency to minimum i get frequent dropouts but also a warning message for CPU spikes. As for the dropouts at medium latency settings there are no warnings. Also the channel dropouts I experience comes without warning and the disk meter is not moving at all.

Coming from a >10 year old PC with N4.3 that was super solid until it finally gave up, i hate to not trust the setup even if 4/5 listen-thoughs come out good.

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:40 pm
by Neil K
Are you using any plugins? I find they occasionally interfere with each other and cause dropouts during playback. For instance, I can't run Izotope RX declicker on a track if any other Izotope plugin is in the chain.

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:43 am
by JohannesBerglund
Neil K wrote:Are you using any plugins? I find they occasionally interfere with each other and cause dropouts during playback. For instance, I can't run Izotope RX declicker on a track if any other Izotope plugin is in the chain.
Checking a dropout ridden project there is nothing out of the ordinary in the plugin chain. There is a lot of offline processing incl spectral repair and autotune but i don't know if that could be a factor.

I just updated the firmware on the UFX+ and everything seems smoother now. Lower usable latencies and smoother start/stop behaviour. Hopefully that solves the dropouts but the jury's still out on that.

Thanks for all the help!

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:11 pm
by Neil K
And also go into preferences under "Editing/Audio/" and uncheck the "Enable automatic hitpoint detection" and see if that helps as well.

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:33 am
by JohannesBerglund
Neil K wrote:And also go into preferences under "Editing/Audio/" and uncheck the "Enable automatic hitpoint detection" and see if that helps as well.
Thank you. I've always kept it unchecked because I don't use hitpoints. (I do my editing manually...)

The weird thing with the dropouts was that most of the tracks keep on playing and it's just one (or two?) that briefly did not play. Usually (as far as I've been able to deduct) in the beginning of clips/edits, without the disk meter moving at all or any warning for overloads or anything. Do this suggest some kind of disconnect in the DAW software, as opposed to in the audio driver? I mean, the software should be able to tell me it had a drop out happening, right?

Updating the firmware on the UFX+ did make the whole start/stop, lower possible latencies and the whole playback experience a lot smoother. I don't know if it addressed the drop out issue though (or why it should), but so far so good.


/johannes

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:45 pm
by Neil K
One more thought, because we're both on Macs. Try booting into safe mode and not loading any other programs. El Capitan made significant OS changes that affected many programs that ran fine before. If that stops it, you'll have to troubleshoot background processes. Once you move to Sierra, get ready for more strange behavior.

Re: Audio dropouts on a few tracks

Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:59 am
by JohannesBerglund
Checking back after a couple of days work on the system. Seems like the FW update to the UFX+ did the trick. The system has been rock solid ever since.

Thanks for the help!

/johannes