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  #1  
Old 10-28-2010, 12:51 PM
hotgravy hotgravy is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3
Default Digital Noise Blips on LE Mbox2 Mini

I've searched the forums and could not find a thread that matched the specific issue I'm experiencing.

I'm using Pro Tools LE 8.0.4 and just installed the latest cs2 updates. This same issue was happening with 8.0.3 before I upgraded. I have an MBox 2 Mini connected to a USB port on the back of my Dell desktop (Sandra report below).

When I record I hear what I can only describe quick digital "blips" at evenly spaced intervals. These blips interfere with the voice over recordings I do and they show up on playback as well. It isn't static, distortion or a "shorting out" kind of noise but a quick succession of digital blips that have a consistent spacing. One I stop my recording I get one longer digital blip before it goes quiet again.

I have tried every combination in the Playback Engine with buffer settings, CPU limits, etc. I've followed the optimization guide and troubleshooting as noted. I don't get any "error" messages unless I lower the buffer size too low at which point I get the common buffer errors that say to raise the buffer limit. Have tried different USB inputs for the MBox 2 Mini, different cables, different mics, etc. I only record a single track at a time for voice over work. I'm not using any effects, plug ins, etc. Very simple one track recording.

I also tried recording with my MBox 2 Mini through Audacity and the digital blips were not present. I have a sample of this noise recorded and dumped down to an MP3 file if listening to it would help someone troubleshoot this.

Thanks in advance for any help.
----------------------------

Computer
Model : Dell Dell DM051
Workgroup : WORKGROUP
Host Name : eric-0735eb895b
User : eric

Processor
Model : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz
Speed : 3.2GHz
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 2 Unit(s)
Integrated Data Cache : 16kB, Synchronous, Write-Thru, 8-way, 64 byte line size, 2 threads sharing
L2 On-board Cache : 2MB, ECC, Synchronous, ATC, 8-way, 64 byte line size, 2 lines per sector, 2 threads sharing

Computer
Mainboard : Dell 0WG261
BIOS : Dell A05 03/31/2006
Bus(es) : X-Bus PCI PCIe IMB USB i2c/SMBus
Multi-Processor (MP) Support : No
Multi-Processor Advanced PIC (APIC) : Yes
Total Memory : 3.24GB DIMM DDR2

Chipset
Model : Dell 82945G Processor to I/O Controller
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 200MHz (800MHz)
Total Memory : 3.5GB DIMM DDR2
Shared Memory : 8MB
Channels : 2
Memory Bus Speed : 2x 267MHz (534MHz)

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Samsung M3 78T3354CZ3-CD5 256MB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4-4-4-11 3-15-4-2)
Memory Module : Kingston 2GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-5300U DDR2-666 (5-5-5-15 3-20-5-3)
Memory Module : Samsung M3 78T3354CZ3-CD5 256MB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4-4-4-11 3-15-4-2)
Memory Module : Corsair VS1GB533D2 1GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4-4-4-12 2-15-4-2)

Graphics Processor

Storage Devices
MAXTOR STM3200820A (200GB, ATA100, 3.5", 8MB Cache) : 186GB (F:)
MAXTOR STM3160812AS (160GB, SATA150, 3.5", NCQ, 8MB Cache) : 149GB (C:)
SONY DVD RW DRU-710A (ATA66, DVD+-RW, CD-RW, 2MB Cache) : N/A (D:)

Logical Storage Devices
data (F:) : 186GB (NTFS) @ MAXTOR STM3200820A (200GB, ATA100, 3.5", 8MB Cache)
Hard Disk (C:) : 149GB (NTFS) @ MAXTOR STM3160812AS (160GB, SATA150, 3.5", NCQ, 8MB Cache)
Optical Drive (D:) : N/A @ SONY DVD RW DRU-710A (ATA66, DVD+-RW, CD-RW, 2MB Cache)

Peripherals
LPC Hub Controller 1 : Intel 82801GB/GR (ICH7) LPC Interface Controller
LPC Legacy Controller 1 : SMSC SCH5504-NS
Audio Device : Dell 82801G (ICH7) High Definition Audio
Audio Codec : Sigmatel 7680h
Audio Device : Creative Labs SB0570 [SB Audigy SE]
Disk Controller : Dell 82801G (ICH7) Ultra ATA Storage Controller
Disk Controller : Dell 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7) Serial ATA Storage Controller
USB Controller 1 : Dell 82801G (ICH7) USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller 2 : Dell 82801G (ICH7) USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller 3 : Dell 82801G (ICH7) USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller 4 : Dell 82801G (ICH7) USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller 5 : Dell 82801G (ICH7) USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller
SMBus/i2c Controller 1 : Intel 801xx/63xx SMBus

Printers and Faxes
Printer : Microsoft XPS Document Writer (600x600, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft Office Document Image Writer Driver (200x200)
Printer : EPSON NX510 Series (360x360, USB, Colour)

Network Services
Network Adapter : Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection - Packet Scheduler Miniport (Ethernet, 100Mbps)

Power Management
Mains (AC) Line Status : On-Line

Operating System
Windows System : Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.01.2600 (Service Pack 3)
Platform Compliance : x86
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2010, 01:30 PM
spkguitar's Avatar
spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Posts: 18,161
Default Re: Digital Noise Blips on LE Mbox2 Mini

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotgravy View Post
When I record I hear what I can only describe quick digital "blips" at evenly spaced intervals.
Evenly spaced intervals suggest that you might have a plugin that has not been authorized correctly and is still in demo mode.


You do have a few other issues:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotgravy View Post
Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Samsung M3 78T3354CZ3-CD5 256MB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4-4-4-11 3-15-4-2)
Memory Module : Kingston 2GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-5300U DDR2-666 (5-5-5-15 3-20-5-3)
Memory Module : Samsung M3 78T3354CZ3-CD5 256MB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4-4-4-11 3-15-4-2)
Memory Module : Corsair VS1GB533D2 1GB DIMM DDR2 PC2-4300U DDR2-534 (4-4-4-12 2-15-4-2)
Mixing and matching RAM like this, especially with mixed timings, is NOT a good idea. It can cause all sorts of general computer problems, and possibly even the one you are experiencing.

Your Sandra report is not listing your Graphics card, which also indicates some other sort of problem. I'm pretty sure that dell has built in graphics, though, which are not compatible with Pro Tools.

Pro Tools historically is known to "not play nice" with the Audigy sound cards as well.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2010, 04:02 PM
hotgravy hotgravy is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3
Default Re: Digital Noise Blips on LE Mbox2 Mini

Thank you for the suggestions.

How would I know if I have a plugin that is still in demo mode? I'm recording to a blank track with no effects of any kind. Are you saying that even without actually using a plugin it could still adversely affect the recording process? I'd greatly appreciate some additional info on this so I can see if that's the cause of the problem.

I removed all of the RAM except for the single stick of 2gb memory. I can see how that could be an issue from your explanation. That alone hasn't fixed the blips but thank you for that insight.

If Dell does have a built in graphics card that isn't compatible with Pro Tools would you suggest one that would work well with it?

Also, any recommendations for a different sound card that would play nice with Pro Tools? I've used this Audigy sound card on another computer and it worked fine with Pro Tools but I'm game to try anything that would fix the problem.

Again, thanks for the help. Experts like yourself are lifesavers! Guys like me know just enough to get ourselves into trouble!
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