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Topic: Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)

  1. #1

    Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)

    Hello everyone~ I'm a 'new recruit' so to speak in the GPO world, as of last Thursday. Finally bit the bullet and made my first stride towards sounding a bit more professional. I've been composing for years, limited to my Yamaha PSR-530 keyboard sounds (and more recently Sibelius' Kontakt Silver) and my college's extreme bias towards live music (which isn't to say that it's not a lovely thing). Since I'm extremely driven to eventually write for interactive games or film, it made the most sense for me to spend my senior year focusing solely on being able to produce great-sounding tracks from my computer in addition to simply writing well. I do have experience with sound editing/design, but nitpicky midi editing is still something I'm getting used to.

    In any case, a long intro that leads me to my current issue. I've been using Sibelius for years now, and have yet to make a decision/investment in a sequencing program (PC-based). I'm currently looking at Sonar, but am open to other suggestions.

    In the meantime, I've been struggling using Cubasis LE in order to 'spruce up' a few of my existing compositions. My first project was an orchestral work... Which blew up in my face and made me realize I should start smaller. So I have a simple 1'30" flute duet to tinker with.

    Now, the meat of my issue is in the title: whenever I get everything set up correctly (hopefully) and begin playing back, there are little pops & crackles scattered in the flute sounds. It reminds me slightly of an old record, but of course more digital. It occurs with any instrument I attempt to load. The sounds run perfectly standalone, or while using GPO Studio in coordination with Sibelius. It seems to only occur when I am using GPO as a VST plugin for Cubasis. I'm going to download the Sonar demo and try in there when I get home from work.

    In any case, if you have any idea what the problem is and a possible solution, I would be extremely grateful. Cubasis is obviously a placeholder until I can afford to expand my system further (Sequencer, most likely a new sound card, Sibelius 4 upgrade, better speakers... oof.)

    And for reference, here are my system stats:

    Pentium4 3.2ghz
    1GB RAM
    Soundblaster Live! 24bit


  2. #2

    Re: Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    I'm currently in my senior year at Cornish College of the Arts. Great people here, both teachers and students. It's very open to all sorts of styles and goals, so I would certainly recommend it.

    I actually am quite familiar with Digital Performer, since the computers on campus here use the latest version. Unfortunately, it's Mac only. However, Sonar definately looks like a very capable solution to that woe.

    Regarding Seattlites, I noticed that too! A get together would be a great idea. A few friends of mine at Cornish (graduated last semester) actually worked with Hummie for a while. I've always been interested in doing his film course, but have been pretty busy with my college stuff.

    Anyways, I don't want to clutter my own thread with off-topic chat I think my email's listed in my info, so feel free to drop me a line.

    Ahem.. now, back to the issue. I'll try to tweak my sample buffer setup when I get home, and hopefully someone can give some more direct advice on the matter by then.

  3. #3

    Re: Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)

    I also run GPO through Studio using Sibelius 3, though I haven't begun to use a sequencer yet. The main noise problem I had -- with the same soundcard as you have -- was a scratchy hiss above the strings. Talking to Tom Hopkins (GPO programmer), I identified the Soundblaster as one of the most likely culprits. It was not designed for the kind of digital audio work you want to do, though it often works pretty well considering the price.

    I had a horrible time with the Soundblaster until it was pointed out to me (on this forum) that I should not be using the asio4all driver but rather MME. That fixed the severe CPU overload problem I had with playback moderate-to-large orchestral scores. You might have a similar driver issue with your sequencer.

    You have plenty of CPU horsepower and your RAM should be enough unless you want to handle large groups of instruments.

    It's possible you have some recording levels set too high. I suspect that is a source of a crackling problem I'm having with my new soundcard (EMU 1212M). I got some interesting feedback about this issue on an EMU 1212M forum:

    Latency and drivers are potential sources of the crackles, they say.

    Another element is the density of notes in your score. I get crackles when I have a lot of instruments playing short values in quick tempo -- a big processing load for the CPU.

  4. #4

    Re: Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)


    Welcome. Another possibility for your problem: Make sure your computer has hyperthreading turned off. The Kontakt 1.5 player does not react well to it on most systems, resulting in clicks and pops.


  5. #5

    Re: Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)

    Thanks for the responses, Doug and Tom.

    Regarding Hyperthreading, I already have it disabled so I don't think that should be an issue.

    It quite possibly could be the drivers, but I'm personally not sure how to check or update that issue. I recently downloaded the most recent driver from Sound Blaster's website, but it didn't have any indicator of "asio4all" or "MME" associated with it.

    At the moment I'm doing quite well in Sibelius, though of course not to the level of realism I could get with more nitpicky editing, but my first piece is coming along well. I am getting a bit of 'lag' in playback of the harp (lite) or fast string sections, so that could possibly be associated with the drivers as well.

    Where would I look to find an MME driver to try out?

  6. #6

    Re: Pops & Crackles in Cubasis LE (And other misc q's)

    For drivers click on the GPO STudio window > Settings > Audio Driver

    You might experiment to see which works best.

    I initially set mine to asio4all, which is a freebie driver you can find on the web (search in the GPO forums for the source), because the Soundblaster does not innately support ASIO.

    To set latency, go to the Studio > Preferences > ASIO Control Panel > ASIO Buffer Latency

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