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  #1  
Old 08-31-2017, 02:58 PM
1epsilon1 1epsilon1 is offline
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Default Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

Hi everyone,

This is my first time posting here. I am somewhat of a veteran with PT (10+ years?) and am completely baffled by this issue. Any time I monitor or play back any stereo audio through my interface I have severe distortion only on the left channel. I am quite experienced with Pro Tools and most pro audio problems and this one has me very puzzled. At first I thought one side of my headphones was shorting out or the driver was going bad. I lose all audio on the left side intermittently and when it returns it sounds like a heavy digital distortion/clipping with low fidelity and volume loss.

I have tried multiple sessions, fresh installs of all software, a plethora of I/O settings, multiple physical I/O wiring and monitoring options, and everything else I could think of. There have been no recent hardware or software changes. The issue occurred during a recording session and has not resolved since.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.. I have never used Avid's support options (I can't figure out how they work?). I have a feeling my interface (the most recent HD I/O & Native card purchased in 2015) will need to be sent in for repairs. Is there a way to speak with Avid about this other than purchasing the $80 single service support?

Thanks again for the help, and I apologize if this is posted incorrectly as it is my first time here!

-Charles

*Edit* Got the email a few hours ago 'read this before you post' adding additional info

HD Native Card Driver version 11.3.0.327 (purchased new in 2014)
Pro tools HD I/O (purchased new in 2014)

SiSoftware Sandra

ID
Host Name : Epsilon
Workgroup : WORKGROUP

Computer
Model : ASUS All Series ASUS MB
Serial Number : System Ser**********
Chassis : Desktop
Mainboard : ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME
Serial Number : 1409328********
BIOS : AMI (OEM) 0802 10/16/2014
Intel vPro : 9.01.10.1005
Total Memory : 31.88GB DIMM DDR4

Processors
Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5930K CPU @ 3.50GHz (6C 12T 3.7GHz, 3GHz IMC, 6x 256kB L2, 15MB L3)
Socket/Slot : FC LGA1150

Chipset
Memory Controller : Intel Xeon (Haswell-E) DMI2 100MHz
Memory Controller : Intel Xeon (Haswell-E) Integrated Memory Controller 0 Target Address, Thermal & RAS Registers 100MHz, 4x 8GB DIMM DDR4 2.4GHz 256-bit
Memory Controller : Intel Xeon (Haswell-E) Integrated Memory Controller 1 Target Address, Thermal & RAS Registers 100MHz

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Crucial/Micron BLS8G4D240FSAM16FAD 8GB DDR4 PC4-19200U DDR4-2400 (16-16-16-38 4-54-18-6)
Memory Module : Crucial/Micron BLS8G4D240FSAM16FAD 8GB DDR4 PC4-19200U DDR4-2400 (16-16-16-38 4-54-18-6)
Memory Module : Crucial/Micron BLS8G4D240FSAM16FAD 8GB DDR4 PC4-19200U DDR4-2400 (16-16-16-38 4-54-18-6)
Memory Module : Crucial/Micron BLS8G4D240FSAM16FAD 8GB DDR4 PC4-19200U DDR4-2400 (16-16-16-38 4-54-18-6)

Video System
Monitor/Panel : Philips 32PFL5708/F7
(1920x1080, 46.0")
Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (16CU 2048SP SM5.0 1.23GHz, 256kB L2, 4GB 3.5GHz, PCIe 3.00 x16)

Graphics Processor
OpenCL GP Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (2048SP 16C 1.23GHz, 256kB L2, 4GB 3.5GHz)
Compute Shader Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (2048SP 16C 1.23GHz, 256kB L2, 4GB 3.5GHz)
OpenGL Processor : GeForce GTX 980/PCIe/SSE2 (4GB)

Storage Devices
WDC WD2003FZEX-00Z4SA0 (2TB, SATA600, 3.5", 7200rpm) : 2TB (F:)
Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB (500.1GB, SATA600, SSD, OPAL) : 466GB (C:)
ASUS BC-12B1ST b (SATA, BD-R, DVD+-RW, CD-RW) : N/A (D:)
DTSOFT BDROM (717.9MB, Virtual) : 685MB (K:)
DTSOFT BDROM (992.7MB, Virtual) : 947MB (L:)
DTSOFT BDROM (Virtual) : N/A (E:)

Logical Storage Devices
System Reserved : 100MB (NTFS, 4kB) @ WDC WD2003FZEX-00Z4SA0 (2TB, SATA600, 3.5", 7200rpm)
Hard Disk (C:) : 419GB (NTFS, 4kB) @ Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB (500.1GB, SATA600, SSD, OPAL)
New Volume (F:) : 2TB (NTFS, 4kB) @ WDC WD2003FZEX-00Z4SA0 (2TB, SATA600, 3.5", 7200rpm)
Optical Drive (D:) : N/A @ ASUS BC-12B1ST b (SATA, BD-R, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
20121112_1712 (K:) : 685MB (CDFS, 2kB, Read-Only) @ DTSOFT BDROM (717.9MB, Virtual)
20121112_1712 (L:) : 947MB (CDFS, 2kB, Read-Only) @ DTSOFT BDROM (992.7MB, Virtual)
Optical Drive (E:) : N/A @ DTSOFT BDROM (Virtual)

Peripherals
LPC Hub Controller #1 : ASUS Wellsburg LPC Controller
Audio Device : ASUS Wellsburg HD Audio Controller
Audio Codec : Realtek Semi 0900
Audio Device : Gigabyte GM204 High Definition Audio Controller
Audio Codec : nVidia nForce4 Intel Edition CPU to PCI Bridge
Disk Controller : ASUS Wellsburg 6-Port SATA Controller [AHCI mode]
USB Controller #1 : ASUS Wellsburg USB xHCI Host Controller
USB Controller #2 : ASUS Wellsburg USB Enhanced Host Controller #2
USB Controller #3 : ASUS Wellsburg USB Enhanced Host Controller #1
SMBus/i2c Controller #1 : Intel ICH SMBus
SMBus/i2c Controller #2 : Intel MCP4-E(P) XMB Ch 0 SMBus
SMBus/i2c Controller #3 : Intel MCP4-E(P) XMB Ch 1 SMBus

Printers and Faxes
Printer : Send to Microsoft OneNote 15 Driver (1200x1200, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft XPS Document Writer (600x600, Colour)
Fax : Microsoft Shared Fax Driver (200x200)
Printer : Adobe PDF Converter (4000x4000, Colour)

Network Services
Network Adapter : Intel(R) Ethernet Connection (2) I218-V (Ethernet, 1Gbps)
Wireless Adapter : Broadcom 802.11ac Network Adapter (802.11n (HT), AES-CCMP, 216.5Mbps)
Wireless Adapter : 802.11n Wireless LAN Card (802.11n (HT), AES-CCMP, 72Mbps)

Operating System
Windows System : Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 6.01.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Platform Compliance : x64

Performance Enhancing Tips
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Tip 2 : Double-click tip or press Enter while a tip is selected for more information about the tip.

Last edited by 1epsilon1; 09-01-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2017, 01:53 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

Start with basic troubleshooting and be methodical. Left side of phones distorts...what about main speakers? If they are both clean, that points to the phones or the headphone amp. Mains also distorted on the left? Re-assign your main outs to a different set of outputs and see if the problem goes away(if it does, then maybe your left main out is failing). You said you've done a "plethora" of things, but what exactly(and what happened in each case). Its tough to get much more precise without knowing the entire signal chain

Computer specs appear good, but I am curious why its showing total RAM at less than 32GB
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2017, 02:26 PM
1epsilon1 1epsilon1 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

Hi, thank you for the reply! I have been through the entire signal chain and replaced every component in the chain and tested multiple ways both on the digital side and analogue. My only conclusion is that there is an issue with my Pro Tools I/O.

Let me try to outline my setup and troubleshooting steps:

(Input should not matter, I have a plethora of clean audio files to test with) -> (new session, clean install, no plugins) -> db25 to TRS cable (tried 3 different cables to be safe) -> Mackie mixer (substituted with 2 other mixers) -> amp/speakers (substituted with another amp and speakers, two different pairs of high end headphones)

All combinations of this signal chain point to the I/O as far as I can figure. Again I apologize for not having good enough info to be helped, I am not super familiar with you forum! Please let me know if additional info would be helpful!

Also I would appreciate any information on avid's technical support process, is there any way to initiate that without buying a service ticket and if not what does that service ticket cover? Thanks again!
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2017, 02:41 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

Your troubleshooting points to what in the IO? It is a HD IO 16x16 analog?

Please just tell us exactly what you have done and what the results of the conclusive tests.

You want to simplify stuff as much as possible. I'd get rid of any mixer and connect up a set of powered monitors or simple analog headphone amp and use that to debug stuff. First thing is to reverse the L/R cables you at the HD IO outputs. What happens? Try all outputs, what happens? Start with a new empty Pro Tools session. Add an audio track using a know good MP3 or similar, and also try sine wave signal generator (on mono track feeding each channel equally).

Reversing any output pair in Pro Tools IO setup is also an easy thing to do and see if the problem swaps there. That tells you for sure if the Problem is Pro Tool software or hardware.

You have 16 outputs so check all of them. (try to get -10/+4 line-level settings the same). I could well imagine one faulty/damaged output port... and if so then you have the option of just using another port.

have you checked the DB-25 to TRS cables are wired correctly with a multimeter? Unlikely to be the wrong AES since they are TRS not XLR, but especially if you have three identical brand/construction cables I would double check they are indeed wired correctly (left side with a floating ground could explain everything). Of course if these identical same cables worked OK before then that's less important.

You can also use the signal generator plugin to play out each output and record than back into an input and make sure they all look the same in Pro Tools.

Pro Tools HD IO has no concept of "left" or "right" output, and you have multiple pairs of IO to try. if you are saying you a problem with the left channel on all the output pairs that does not sound like a HD IO hardware problem, it's Pro Tools or the downstream hardware.

Get a signal generator at a decent level at 1kHz plugin driving all all outputs and run along the back of the DB25 connector on the HD IO with a good quality multimeter. Does the AC voltage look about correct for the dbFS output level and the same for each output. Do this with probes at the HD IO DB25 connector not using any cables and check for bent or loose or corroded pins.

You often don't need to buy an ASC (support ticket) to have hardware repaired, but given the description so far here I would not be surprised if Avid support does want you to purchase an ASC so they can hand walk you though troubleshooting again. And that may well be you worth doing. If you are convinced the unit is faulty you can also just approach any Avid repair center or look for a used analog IO card yourself and try replacing it, that will likely fix and IO problem... but I'm not following from your description so far that you have really shown the IO is faulty.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-06-2017 at 03:53 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2017, 07:04 AM
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YYR123 YYR123 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

Darryl and Dave are right.

Change main out's in PT. (ie Change, swap ect)

Start with Signal Generator and run straight out of PT to your monitors. Also don't forget to swap your monitors left/right to right/left. to eliminate that possibility.

Every time you pass a clean signal add something back into your chain....

Monitor Controller whatever else you might have there....
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2017, 08:57 AM
1epsilon1 1epsilon1 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

I have tried every solution offered so far except testing with a multimeter.. I will do that ASAP and reply, thanks for the tip! I left everything completely unplugged from my I/O for a couple of days and then plugged it all back in. Bam! It worked just fine for about 30 seconds of playback. Then the 'distortion' came in.. light and intermittent. It got progressively worse to the point where my mixer was showing no signal coming from the left side at some points. This intermittent nature of the issue cannot be explained by a signal chain issue, also the nature of the distortion (digital-esque.. almost as if someone was wiggling the db25 connection to the I/O and it was shorting, and the part where I tend to lose huge bands of frequency i.e lows mostly drop but I have distorted highs) doesn't resemble any signal chain issue I've ever incountered. It genuinely sounds like a cable short of some kind but with all of the steps I've taken to troubleshoot, the only cause for that short must be the I/O.

Thank you so much for the helpful replies! I hope this additional description is useful and not 'word vomit' as it were!

P.S. monitoring the signal levels coming from the separate TRS cable for left/right output using the meter on my mixing board I believe would accomplish the same effect that we are looking to achieve with the multimeter, and indeed the signal from the one side is reduced and in some cases non existent.

*Edit* Yes, 16x16 analogue I/O and I have tested all the outputs

*Edit* I have followed prior to, and again after just to be sure, all of the troubleshooting steps mentioned in the previous posts and have experienced identical symptoms with no difference.. sorry if I am not providing enough info, but in each case the identical problem persists
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:35 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

If you have tried all the output pairs and the problem remains on the left channel then that tells you this is unlikely to be the HD IO, there is no difference there between left or right IO ports and no common way that all "left" ports develop a problem in the HD IO.

You are still not described *exactly* what you have done in any test and the results. Guessing what this "sounds like" is not likely helpful, just logically troubleshoot it.

Debugging this should take tens of minutes at most, swap IO L/R in Pro Tools tells you if this is a Pro Tools issue (unlikely but just do a quick check). Then simplify everything downstream and check stuff there. Everything past the HD IO output is the most suspect here.

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Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-07-2017 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:43 PM
1epsilon1 1epsilon1 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

Hi Darryl,

Thanks again for the helpful posts! Let me try to be as specific as possible. I have tried and replaced every step in the signal chain including simplifying all the way down to just headphones. I am quite experienced with pro audio troubleshooting and swapping the L/R channels is among the first things I tried.

I have replaced/simplified every single step in my signal chain that I described in an earlier post and the problem has persisted identically. I have ran many different input sources through my entire signal chain with no issue. The fact that you are adamant that the I/O is not the problem is very exciting because I am hoping and praying that I don't have to have the unit/native card or both replaced or serviced!!

I understand your statement that this should be a quick 10 minute debug, I have done audio in studio/live professionally and semi-professionally for over 15 years.. All of the simple troubleshooting steps and every more complex one I can think possible still come back with the issue coming from the left channel output on my I/O (I can reroute the left channel to any output with the same result). There is no issue if I run a mono output.. it doesn't make any sense to me but I am not very familiar with specific hardware/software issues on these Avid components.

I can say with a very high degree of certainty that my signal chain is not the issue. Again, thank you all so much for the help, it is very much appreciated!! What steps could I take to diagnose the Avid components other than a fresh install no plugins, new session, clean audio to playback, etc.? Thank you!
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:16 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

OK I give up you are on you own.

I am not asking you how experienced you are, or in the abstract if you have tried lots of stuff, or to repeat what you think the problem is or not, or anything else. All I have asked you several times for is to tell us what clearly *exactly* you have done and I still can't work that out.

You should probably just purchase an ASC and contact Avid support and they can try interrogating you on the phone to try to find out what you have tested.

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Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-07-2017 at 02:12 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2017, 01:42 PM
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Default Pro Tools HD Distorted Audio Only On Left Side

If it's a 16x16 then did you swap the cards from Out 1-8 to the one from 8-16?


....and you said they are DB25 connections so have you removed the DB25 shell and inspected the connector/connections?
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Last edited by YYR123; 09-07-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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