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Old 01-02-2016, 09:23 PM
madams madams is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: MD
Posts: 3
Default ProTools Crackle, Audio Time Slower

I have a random crackle sound and the speed of the audio output also slows down, physically hear it and set a timer measuring almost 2 seconds less in one minute. This happens when playing a single imported audio track through the mbox 2 connected over usb whether recording, number of tracks active, etc. It might start immediately from playback or after a minute or two or just random. I have read through a lot of threads but have not found anything that permanently helps. I have found that changing the number of processors, buffer size and cpu percentage do affect it. I can open the playback selection change the setting, even change it back to the setting which seams to work best while the window is open and select it and it'll work for a while. Maybe a few times of partial playback but not permanent.

New laptop, Toshiba/i7-6700HQ/4core/2.6GHz/8G RAM/Windows 10 (ProTools 10.3.8 & 11.3.1) and the cpu is not being used up at all. Tried 7 processors but that seems to crackle almost immediately from playback. Settled in at 4 processors, 1024/512 buffer size and around 80-90% cpu. THis lasts the longest but maybe only a couple times a 4 minute song has played all the way through. Version 10 & 11 have same problem. Did also notice at first in 10, the mix window would not actively show the power meter while playing unless the mix window was selected. Don't know how but that went away and now even if the track window is highlighted, the power meters in the mixer window are active real time. Also, a new dell i5-6200U of my wife's crackles the same but didn't spend a lot of time to tell if it was as much or not.

FYI: Other desktop system is an AMD FX-8320/8G RAM/Win 10/ same software and I've never had a crackle sound or problems.

Question of IRQs: Only Elan SMBus drive and High Definition Audio controller both have same IRQ. Disabled audio controller,(taking out normal sound) but didn't change crackle problem. Would this still matter?

Hard Drive in laptop is 5400rpm/1TB but SATA 6Gbps(HTS541010A9E680) so don't know if it's slower than desktop which has a 7200rpm/320GB ATA(ST3320613AS)?

Latest 6th generation i7 processors or windows 10 compatibility problem?

Mbox 2 driver is "Mbox 2 USB Family Drivers v9.0.2.65" Last update and only one I found to work.

Haven't spent time to see if 1 processor selected would work, would defeat purpose of i7....

Not sure but will look into disabling USB power management.

Graphics, what do I look at?
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:13 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,591
Default Re: ProTools Crackle, Audio Time Slower

Welcome to the forum.

Do the laptops have dedicated graphics sub sytem or do they only have Intel Integrated Graphics? The latter is a known Pro Tools killer.

"Fly High Freeee click psst tic tic tic click Bird Yeah!" - dave911

PT11 System Requirements link http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/C...m-Requirements

Thank you,

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Old 01-02-2016, 10:23 PM
madams madams is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: MD
Posts: 3
Default Re: ProTools Crackle, Audio Time Slower

Device manager has: Intel HD Graphics 530, and the Intel graphics control panel for settings. What/where else do I check? If this is it, is there a way around it or settings change to help?
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:11 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 16,409
Default Re: ProTools Crackle, Audio Time Slower

5,400 rpm drive will suck. Where is the dedicated audio/session drive 7,200 rpm or faster or SSD you are supposed to have? Getting a good windows laptop to run Pro Tools can be difficult. Many folks here would recommend a MacBook Pro instead, but until you get even in the ballpark with the audio disk requirement you may be wasting your time. Even if that is not causing all your problems you don't know until you get that sorted out. And I would just not dick around with HDDs in a laptop, look at SSD options. Either external (e.g Samsung T1 USB3) or internal if you have a second drive bay or can replace the optical drive with one. While at it I would replace the boot/system drive with an SSD as well. Samsung 850 Pro or Evo.

Start at the "help us help you" link up top of this page.

Fully optimise the computer--do every last thing.

Make sure "ignore errors" is *not* checked in the playback engine dialog. You want to catch any and all errors.

Are all your plugins up to date/compatible with your Windows and Pro Tools versions? (Both of them?) trying the latest AAX plugins instead of RTAS if they exist?

Do standard troubleshooting, trash prefs, try other sessions, try a new empty session, temp. remove all plugins from the plugin folders, etc. and report back.

Post a Sandra report. Look at other reports on DUC to make sure you are posting the right stuff. Run that with all your disk drives attached.

Describe your sessions. What sample rate? How many tracks? What plugins or VIs? And how many instances of each?

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 01-03-2016 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:33 PM
madams madams is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: MD
Posts: 3
Default Re: ProTools Crackle, Audio Time Slower

In my best attempts to get a good computer, it had
Shared video/system memory which was causing the crackle and also explains why the power meters in the mixer window was not continuous. Thanks for helping me look at the video more. So, I returned that computer and now have another, only one I could find (in price range) with non-intel graphics, i7-4720HQ/8G ram/ nvideo graphics and 2G vram. Crackling is gone and I can make it through playback of a track. Did have to adjust the buffer from underflow error but have seen those before and feel confident can handle that.
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