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  #1  
Old 04-08-2022, 12:15 PM
seasonreverse seasonreverse is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Springfield, MO
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Default Ring-modulated sound on playback when using Elastic Audio varispeed

Hoping that someone might be able to help me with a problem that’s been bugging me for a while! I have a few sessions where I have used elastic audio with varispeed to slow down/speed up recordings ala tape varispeed. I've had an issue where about 2/3 through a song, tracks will start playing back with a distorted/ring-modulated sound.

I've tried trashing preferences/restarting many times. I've adjusted I/O buffer size and disk playback cache size many times. I've tried using Real-Time processing and Rendered processing for Elastic Audio. I've tried unplugging/replugging the firewire cable/adapters connecting interface. I've noticed it affecting tracks with and without plugins.

I have not noticed this problem in sessions that don't use elastic audio. In the sessions that do have elastic audio tracks, the problem doesn't seem to affect tracks that are playing back at the recorded speed. I'm using elastic audio to varispeed slow/speed up instrumental tracks so they're easier to sing to. So for instance the vocals are playing back at recorded speed and aren't effect by this ring-modulated sound.

I also only notice it when I'm listening through the song from the beginning, then always around 2/3 into the song I'll notice, for instance, the bass guitar has this distorted sound. Then if I stop playback and start it from another point in the session, the problem goes away.

I can also momentarily stop the problem by changing the i/o buffer size, but eventually it just happens again. Has been going on for months now and is very frustrating! I’m about to try uninstalling and reinstalling Pro Tools 2018.7 to see if that helps. I found some other threads mentioning a distorted/ring-modulated sound, but none seemed to be directly tied to elastic audio like my problem is…

Here’s my setup info:
Mac mini 2018, 3.6 GHz Intel Core i3, 32gb RAM, mac OS 10.14.6
Digi002r, connected through Firewire-Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2-3 dongles
Pro Tools 2018.7
Using Lacie 2tb USB hardrive as record drive
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2022, 03:35 PM
Sardi Sardi is offline
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Default Re: Ring-modulated sound on playback when using Elastic Audio varispeed

First thing that sticks out is your OS. You’re running Mojave. PT 2018.7 is only supported up to High Sierra. It may not be the cause of the issue, but it also may well be.

This is taken from the release notes.

• macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later is not recommended due to performance issues at lower buffer sizes.

That doesn’t give me much confidence in running it on an unsupported OS. Also, this specifically states performance issues at low buffer sizes and you mentioned you’re able to make it go away when toggling buffer size. Could well be related.

Try a re-install and see how you go. Nothing to lose there and won’t take very long. Do you happen to have a High Sierra partition you could try it on?


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  #3  
Old 04-08-2022, 06:17 PM
seasonreverse seasonreverse is offline
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Default Re: Ring-modulated sound on playback when using Elastic Audio varispeed

Thanks for the reply! I didn't realize PT 2018.7 wasn't supported on Mojave. The Mac Mini I'm on was originally shipped with Catalina but I downgraded to Mojave so I could keep using my 002. I've been using Mac Mini with 10.14.6 and PT 2018.7 for almost 2 years with no issues at all. I hadn't used elastic audio with this setup until recently and that's when I ran into this crazy ring-modulated sound problem.

I have a Macbook Pro early-2015 with Sierra 10.12.6 so I opened PT 12.7.1 on it, plugged in the 002 and pulled up the same sessions. I got the exact same problem at the exact same time.

I also tried reinstalling PT 2018.7 on the Mac Mini and had same results.

If I have to I'll recreate these sessions without Elastic Audio/varispeed and just use old fashioned Pitch Shift Legacy, I was just hoping there might be an easier solution. Also, I'd like for varispeed to work like it's supposed to! My upgrade plan for my perpetual license ended in 2018, so I'd rather not have to pay to upgrade to a new version of PT.
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Old 04-08-2022, 08:12 PM
Sardi Sardi is offline
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Default Re: Ring-modulated sound on playback when using Elastic Audio varispeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by seasonreverse View Post
I have a Macbook Pro early-2015 with Sierra 10.12.6 so I opened PT 12.7.1 on it, plugged in the 002 and pulled up the same sessions. I got the exact same problem at the exact same time.
OK. So now we’re getting somewhere and can rule out the OS/PT version compatibility.

What happens if you run the sessions using the built in sound card and not the 002? Same issue?

If you create a new session and use import session data and only import one channel that you have EA instantiated on (and is showing the ring mod problem in the current session) does it play normally at those points of the session? If so, continue adding additional tracks from the other session and see if it keeps playing OK.

A few things to try but if you’re getting the same issue on two different setups with different versions of the app, then it’s pretty safe to assume you have to look to the common denominator. In this case it’s either the hardware or the session itself.


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  #5  
Old 04-09-2022, 07:01 PM
seasonreverse seasonreverse is offline
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Default Re: Ring-modulated sound on playback when using Elastic Audio varispeed

Thanks for these ideas!

I tried playing on Mac Mini w/ built-in sound card, got the same problem.
I tried create new session and import session data one track at a time, still the same problem.

The sessions I'm having trouble with were all recorded at 96k. I figured I'd try converting to other sample rates and see if I get the same issue. I did Save Copy In and made versions of one session at 44.1, 48, and 88.2. The bitcrushed/ring mod-y sound went away at 44.1 and 48!!! I could listen all the way through the song and not have switch to garbled mess 2/3 through. 88.2 and 96 both behave the same with the elastic audio tracks still being affected.

So this is good enough to let me get more work done on these tracks! It is my preference to stay at 96k so I'm not in love with this solution. Curious if this sample rate thing might shine a better light on what the problem is.
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2022, 01:04 PM
seasonreverse seasonreverse is offline
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Default Re: Ring-modulated sound on playback when using Elastic Audio varispeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burmansound View Post
Anyone else having this issue? I'm using varispeed warp to force an audio file to stay roughly in sync with some video. There are only three warp anchors - one at the beginning and end, and one in the middle. If I play the warped audio, it plays fine until it gets to 2:49 (2 minutes 49 seconds in). Then, it makes a mild digital glitching sound that sounds like a digital clocking error which continues until I stop playback. If I stop playback there, and then re-start it from that location, it sounds fine until another 2:49 later, where it begins to glitch again.

In order to create a render of the warped audio, I set up a record bus and I have to stop and re-start playback every 2:49, then consolidate the regions.

The problem also occurs in realtime, or non-realtime (offline) bounces.

Thanks,

Ellis

96K/24 bit WAV files, PT 12.4.0, HD Native, OS 10.9.5.
I found this thread which seems to be describing my exact problem but in PT 12.4.0, although I'm not using any warp anchors with EA varispeed.
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