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Topic: Loud crackling static? Help needed

  1. #1

    Loud crackling static? Help needed

    I have trouble with loud crackling static type of noise that is randomly triggered while playing back midi using giga piano and orchestration.

    The CPU meter in GS shows around 50% usage during playback and in Sonar it is between 15-50% with occasional split second spikes up over 80%. I have played back some other large orchestral samples without the piano patch, and they seem to do fine. But when using the piano, it seems to screw things up.

    At first everything sounds normal, and then suddenly the static sets in and continues even if I stop playback and just hit a single note on the keyboard. I have to close and repopen all applications to get rid of the noise. All GS sounds are affected by the sudden static. Sounds from my keyboard are not affected. The static is only heard when playing a GS patch. GS polyphony doesn’t exceed 50 even though I use sustain for the piano a lot throughout the piece.

    I use Terratecs EWX 26/96 (GISF driver) for the GS and keyboard sounds, and Delta 44 for Sonar inputs and outputs. There are no IRQ conflicts.

    It’s a dedicated audio work station with all the recommended optimization tips implemented. I’m also using recommended rig:

    Motherboard: Asus A7M-266 (AMD 761 chip set)
    CPU: AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.4Ghz (266mhz FSB)
    2 Hard Drives: Maxtor 60gig 7200rpm ATA100, and Maxtor 20gig 7200rpm ATA100
    RAM: Micron PC2100 DDR RAM, 512meg
    Windows 98 SE

    I can’t imagine my gear is inadequate. I am asking for help with this because I really can’t finish this piano piece (or any other piano pieces).

    Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. #2

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    Originally posted by tortugas:
    I have trouble with loud crackling static type of noise that is randomly triggered while playing back midi using giga piano and orchestration.

    There are no IRQ conflicts.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Static and crackling are usually indicative of an IRQ problem. If your sound cards share an IRQ with another device that doesn\'t handle interrupts properly, you will get static/crackling. Unless you can get updated drivers, you will have to move your Giga card to a slot that doesn\'t share an IRQ with any onboard or PCI slot peripherials. When GS starts playing back a complex sample (like the Gigapiano), it will need more CPU time. If the CPU is still servicing an interrupt, the data stream gets disrupted and you get static and crackle.

  3. #3

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    Thanks Mike,

    I checked interrupts and there\'s no conflict. Everything has it\'s own settings. Could it be that there\'s conflict, but it doesn\'t show up in the IRQ list? I checked under Device Manager | Computer Properties. Every device is assigned to its own number. Is there any other way to cross check this?


  4. #4

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    In the BIOS, try assiging the IRQ for the GIGA card within the range 3-7. The IRQ\'s 9-15 cascade through IRQ 2 and some drivers don\'t properly handle this.

  5. #5

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    Thanks again Mike for your continued help,

    The Giga card is currently set to IRQ 4 as showing in Windows. But I changed the following in the BIOS:

    The PCI Configuration in BIOS mode shows:
    Slot 1
    Slot 2
    Slot 3
    Slot 4/5

    They are all set to “Auto”. I set Slot 4/5 to “4” to match the windows setting.

    I opened all applications and played back the piano piece, and the same static occurred again towards the end of the piece.

    Also at some point right around the middle of the piece I had a “dropout” in Sonar where the music basically stopped. The CPU meter had jumped to 80%. It’s strange because for the most part it stays between 15-30%, and where the music played when the 80% spike occurred wasn’t that much different in terms of number of voices playing.

    Currently I have Giga Piano playing on 2 channels, 3 more channels for other giga patches, 4 channels for keyboard patches, 1 audio track, and 3 real-time effects. It doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Giga polyphony is far from maxed out.

    In addition, I have updated the soundcard with the latest drivers just recently.

    Are there any other steps I should take to remedy the above problems?

    By the way, which card do you recommend if I wanted to replace the Terratec (one that will not cause these kinds of problems for sure)

  6. #6

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    Let\'s try to eliminate some variables. Switch your Gigastudio output to the Delta card and Sonar output to the Terratec card and see if the same problem occurs.

  7. #7

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    Try this: In Sonar, go to Options>Audio>Advanced and uncheck Enable Read Caching and Enable Write Caching.

    I had crackling problems with Sonar until I made that change.

  8. #8

    Re: Loud crackling static? Help needed

    Thanks for your tips. I have been out of town for a few days. I will try your suggestions as soon as I catch up with some pressing work. I will let you know how things worked out. I am really grateful for your help on this.

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