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Topic ClosedAurora 8 LTFW crackles; I die inside

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Flagfoot View Drop Down
Caracal
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Joined: September/11/2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Aurora 8 LTFW crackles; I die inside
    Posted: September/11/2008 at 2:36am
I use Sonar 5 Studio with Windows Vista Home Premium (whatever that means) 32bit
quad core 2.4 GHz
7200 rpm single internal hard drive
Aurora 8 with LTFW.
 
I just got a new PC with Vista, but some of these problems have come up with a previous machine.  I have long been frustrated but will be calm as I now ask for help from the kindly people at Lynx.
 
On the Vista system:
During playback from Sonar and iTunes, there is occaisional crackling and pops (this is new with Vista).  But when I am recording audio (2 channels at 44.1/24bits), there are frequent skips and crackling.
The task manager CPU meters hover calmly around 35% or less, but the Sonar CPU meter jumps erratically to 100%.  There are no slow disk warnings or jumps on that meter.  And frequently the Aurora disappears from the scene altogether.  Maybe I press stop in iTunes, and wham, there's no more clock, no audio, so the songs don't even play they just sit on 0:00.  This happens every few minutes, and so I go turn the aurora off, then on again.
 
I have tried both ASIO and WDM on 10ms and much larger latencies.  I have updated the Lynx drivers.  I have tried recording to external HDDs.  I don't think it's totally a disk issue.  The Lynx is set as my default (and only) audio device in the Windows Sound control panel.  I have tracked jumps in the latency tests but cannot identify what driver/service/process is causing them, and I try to keep a tight rein on whatever Windows tries to dump on there in the first place.
 
But the problem didn't start on the new Vista system, it just got worse.  Recently, I had an XP professional single core 3.6GHz with RAID striping and whatnot.  Recording vocalists, even on what I thought were safe latencies (10-30ms), there would be a jump midway through a take.  Sometimes it would blip every few seconds.  The same aurora dissappearing act happened ever since I got the aurora, but I had it fairly tamed after a year or so.  Now I have this new system.  Here's the sign of trouble: once something seems awry, I try to open the lynx mixer.  It asks for MIDI ins and outs.  I swear inside.  Heck, most of the time I don't have any MIDI connected.  If I say cancel, it says "unable to locate an aurora!" If I say ok (virtual midi in/out), it opens up a dud mixer for an Aurora 16.
 
I get the feeling that these are elementary problems, but I can't deal with them anymore.  I sooooo want to be one of those people who say, "my aurora 8 works seamlessly...." and can't take the embarassment of glitch-filled recording sessions anymore.  What is the magic trick I am missing?  (and please don't say get a mac, I already know, and weep)
 
Riley
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2008 at 5:11pm
Riley,
 
Sorry to hear about the troubles. Have you ever tried a different firewire card to connect the Aurora to? If you have PCIe slots in your computer, this is a model that we've had good success with:
 
Here are suggestions that have helped others:

* If there are any other devices on the firewire bus, disconnect them so that the Aurora is the only firewire device present

* Try swapping firewire cables, particularly if a cable over 10' is being used

* Try a channel mode with fewer devices.

* Try restoring defaults on the Aurora (applying AC while holding down SAMPLE RATE).

* If your computer has an integrated display adapter that uses system memory, this can be devastating with firewire audio. If possible, try a separate video adapter in this case. And even when a separate video display is being used it can be useful to try setting video hardware acceleration back (WIndows only).

* Download and run the DPC latency checker. This diagnostic tool will give you realtime data on your computer's performance, and provide a means to quantify improvement as you enable and disable driver devices. Very handy (Windows Only).

http://www.thesycon.de/eng/free_download.shtml

 
Otherwise Riley, perhaps you can call me during business hours (PST) and we can explore some other possible solutions.
Paul Erlandson
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2008 at 10:50pm
I'm sorry to say that I have the same problem (and another couple of hundreds in this forum)...
I've tried all of the above - nothing works.
I have these problems for three months now, I don't know what to do...
It's embarrassing me in front of my clients and myself.
 
This forum is filled with this same complaint but there are no WORKING solutions.
I'm totally disparate by now and I don't have time for these troubles anymore.
By now I'm pretty sorry that I've bought it...
Unhappy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2008 at 11:23am
And the silence lingers on...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2008 at 8:23pm
Seems the R&D department at Lynx is either calling this a "Won't Fix"...or a "Known Issue We Will Never Fix." Also seems there are hundreds of pretty PO'd customers out there that have spent thousands of dollars on a product that crackles and pops. I consider myself fortunate as I just said bloody hell and switched to MacBook, which really seems to alleviate most of the crackling and popping that I was getting in my previous Vista days. I would like to hear some legitimate sample recordings using this product that do not contain crackling and popping and under what hardware environments they were recorded. That would be a good performance benchmark so that at least Lynx's customers could get a feel for what hardware does actually prevent this stuff from happening. Ok my .10 cents worth.
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Caracal
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2008 at 9:04pm


I am having the same problem too. The Lynx people are at AES this weekend and it's Sunday here in Los Angeles. I hope there is a fix for this problem.
DEVOLVED!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2008 at 2:02am
I'm not sure if the problem is with hardware or software.

For example, on my PC I can run the Aurora 8/FW at 128 samples using Cubase, but with Sequoia 8 I can not get it to work cleanly at all, even with only 2 channels at 1fs. On my MacBook Pro 2.4 gHz Penryn, Sequoia and Boot Camp have the crackling issue (I initially thought it was BC, but obviously not), yet I have no issues with Logic on OS X (even running at 64 samples/1fs).

I bought the Aurora for hi-resolution location recording, and I've run for 3 continuous days at 174.4kHz without an issue in Logic. I'd really like to find out what the issue is with Sequoia though, as this is the better program for location recording.

Cheers,
Tom

Thomas Grubb
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2008 at 8:03pm
Good point.
 
Since I upgraded from sonar 5 to 7, the problem has minimized to where it was with my old XP pro + sonar 5 setup.  Which means about 2 glitches (jumps or skips) every vocal take.  The fun just doesn't stop.  As of two days ago, my aurora won't turn on.  Sweet!
 
Regardless, the advice about running firewire through its own PCI slot helped.  Now I'm curious about the forum discussions about clocking with a big ben... if synchro lock is on, yet jumpy, why wouldn't a big fat clock help things not click and pop? 
 
But then, what if it isn't the hardware at all, just all the 4,312,922 processes running in windows that are so untamable?  I can hear them jeering "try linux, you fool" as windows starts.  I ran the DSP latency checker and identified a culprit.  The wireless network thingy.  I made it quit, and latency stays in the "okay" range.  Recalibrated latency within sonar and/or ltfw panel (who knows which controls which, so I change both.) 
 
And it still hapens every two minutes or so of recording at 24/44.1.  It has the hiccups (or did before it died.)
Sincerely,
Flagfoot
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2008 at 4:55pm
Flagfoot,
Sounds like the glitches are a bus reset, or at least some sort of buffer underrun. An external clock would do nothing to help this - a clocking problem can also cause clicks/ pops but it would be much more consistent and immune to OS conditions...
 
As to the unit not turning on, perhaps there is a related problem that was expressing itself through the poor firewire performance. Anyway, did you check the fuses? The unit ships with a spare fuse, you can just swap it out.
 
Also, check try removing the LTFW card and checking the ribbon cable between the Aurora faceplate and mainboard (you'll need to remove the lid). You might also check the power supply to see if there is a marginal connection with the coupler there.
 
Give me a call or email if nothing helps and I can issue an RMA. Sorry again for the troubles...
Paul Erlandson
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/15/2008 at 4:14pm
Hi Paul,

I made an interesting observation today regarding this clicking and Sequoia. I switched over to the Aurora FW ASIO driver (I have been using the Pyramix ASIO driver) and the clicking started, one every half minute or so. I'm just making a CD-image, and for this Sequoia seems to unload all audio drivers, but the clicking is continuing while the image is being created!

In Cubase 2.2 I've not had any clicking on the same machine. Would you have any ideas as to why it is doing this only with Sequoia, and why it should continue clicking even when the driver is unloaded?

Cheers,
Tom
Thomas Grubb
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/15/2008 at 4:33pm
Tom,
 
DO you have a UAD1 or some other powered plug-in card? That could do it. You're right though, the driver is not involved with a bounce to disk unless you are using External effects.
Paul Erlandson
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2008 at 1:39am
Hi Paul,

No, no other processing cards, just the Pyramix one, though the clicking still occurs in Sequoia on the MacBook Pro as well.

T.
Thomas Grubb
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2008 at 1:47am
...I should add that in Cubase 2.2 on the same machine I did a realtime mixdown of all 8 inputs (synths) and various VSTis with no issues at all. Latency is also low enough to allow for live monitoring. It doesn't seem to be a machine-related issue.
Thomas Grubb
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2008 at 4:51pm
So, I looked back through the thread, and it appears you are using V8 of Sequoia. Any chance you could see if the demo version of Samp 10.1 does this? They made some significant ASIO changes with that Version. I'm curious if that makes any difference.
 
It might be worth checking with Magix about what could cause clicks on a bounce to disk. This seems to be a major clue to the problem.
 
Have you tried some of the standard Samp/Seq tweaks, i.e. deleting the Ini file or disabling MIDI? Any difference if you use MME or WDM?
Paul Erlandson
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2008 at 5:41pm
Good idea - I'll check the new version. The resulting bounced file is fine without any clicks - the Aurora just keeps clicking away while the CD-image is being created. I seem to remember trying the WDM driver as an alternative with no luck, but I'll try again.
Thomas Grubb
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2008 at 6:51pm
Hi Paul,

I tried the version 10 demo, and there seems to be the same issue, though it only seemed to audibly click during playback while in Sequoia 8 there would be clicks when idle (though strangly not today!). I played a simple 1 1/2 minute piece in both versions and afterwards in the control panel it showed 7 dropouts for Sequoia 8 and 5 for Samplitude 10. The same piece with the same settings would play in Cubase with no dropouts coming up. (settings were 4.5ms buffer depth and 1.5ms streaming).

With Logic and the MacBook Pro the only time I've ever had clicks is when experimenting with a very low buffer setting, otherwise it was been rock-steady.

Ever thought of creating a dedicated ExpressCard interface?...


Thomas Grubb
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2008 at 11:20am
OK - how about the monitor mode in Samplitude, make any difference? What if you do Peak Meter hardware monitoring? How about any of Samp's internal buffer settings (VIP buffer, etc)  - do those make any difference?
 
I take it I should put you down as a vote for an Express card.. :)
Paul Erlandson
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2008 at 8:01pm
Hi Paul,

Yes please, and Express Card would be great!

Interestingly I ran this morning in Sequoia 8 with no issues - this was however after using Pyramix with the Aurora set to AES/EBU and dual-wire. I then used the control panel to switch to LSLot.

This afternoon, starting cold and going straight into Sequoia, the clicks happened again. I then tried Samplitude 10, and the clicks stopped - switching back started the clicking. Switching monitoring modes or VIP buffers didn't make a difference.

All very strange!

Cheers,
Tom
Thomas Grubb
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