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Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP - Recent crackling/Audio dropout problems - W7/64

 
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paulc_dj

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paulc_dj
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1 Posted on 05/23/2014 at 16:12:03
I am absolutely tearing my hair out with the problems I am having with my Saffire Pro 24 DSP. Basically if I play audio, through youtube, soundcloud, media player or any DAW, I get crackling like vinyl crackle on steroids. I also get occasional audio drop outs of approx 1 second, when things get particularly heavy. I have updated the BIOS on my motherboard, ran all the windows updates, switched off power management on the USB root hubs, changed my power settings in W7 to high performance and tweaked them all to 100% on CPU power management. I have updated MixControl to v3, disbled CPU throttling in the BIOS and I am fast losing the will to live. I have had the interface for around 2 years, but this problem is very recent, say the last 3 months approximately.

Here's my stats from Latencymon, I have spoken to Focusrite support a couple of weeks ago and they told me to try DPC Latency Checker and Latencymon:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CONCLUSION
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.
LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:18:11 (h:mm:ss) on all processors.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SYSTEM INFORMATION
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Computer name: MUSICPC2X64-PC
OS version: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, 6.1, build: 7601 (x64)
Hardware: ASRock, Z77 Pro4
CPU: GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz
Logical processors: 8
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 16271 MB total


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU SPEED
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Reported CPU speed: 3400.0 MHz
Measured CPU speed: 260.0 MHz (approx.)

Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.

WARNING: the CPU speed that was measured is only a fraction of the CPU speed reported. Your CPUs may be throttled back due to variable speed settings and thermal issues. It is suggested that you run a utility which reports your actual CPU frequency and temperature.



_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
MEASURED INTERRUPT TO USER PROCESS LATENCIES
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The interrupt to process latency reflects the measured interval that a usermode process needed to respond to a hardware request from the moment the interrupt service routine started execution. This includes the scheduling and execution of a DPC routine, the signaling of an event and the waking up of a usermode thread from an idle wait state in response to that event.

Highest measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 5729.213568
Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 6.683336

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 5278.959965
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 2.831179


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
MEASURED SMI, IPI AND CPU STALLS
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The SMI, IPI and CPU stalls value represents the highest measured interval that a CPU did not respond while having its maskable interrupts disabled.

Highest measured SMI or CPU stall (µs) 18.371552


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
REPORTED ISRs
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt signal.

Highest ISR routine execution time (µs): 341.711176
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.116956
Driver with highest ISR total time: Wdf01000.sys - Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.326429

ISR count (execution time <250 µs): 7059450
ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-999 µs): 63
ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
REPORTED DPCs
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.

Highest DPC routine execution time (µs): 6907.141176
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: ndis.sys - NDIS 6.20 driver, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.761946
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: Wdf01000.sys - Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 1.224311

DPC count (execution time <250 µs): 9411553
DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-999 µs): 11500
DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 µs): 1337
DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 µs): 51
DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
REPORTED HARD PAGEFAULTS
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hard pagefaults are events that get triggered by making use of virtual memory that is not resident in RAM but backed by a memory mapped file on disk. The process of resolving the hard pagefault requires reading in the memory from disk while the process is interrupted and blocked from execution.

NOTE: some processes were hit by hard pagefaults. If these were programs producing audio, they are likely to interrupt the audio stream resulting in dropouts, clicks and pops. Check the Processes tab to see which programs were hit.

Process with highest pagefault count: svchost.exe

Total number of hard pagefaults 598
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 217
Highest hard pagefault resolution time (µs): 75007.907941
Total time spent in hard pagefaults (%): 0.006105
Number of processes hit: 17


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PER CPU DATA
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 138.362774
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (µs): 341.711176
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 28.493391
CPU 0 ISR count: 7059513
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (µs): 4773.186765
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 96.714022
CPU 0 DPC count: 9007239
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 25.701828
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR count: 0
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (µs): 885.906765
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 0.098954
CPU 1 DPC count: 7195
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s): 23.940093
CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR count: 0
CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (µs): 4149.40
CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s): 2.204174
CPU 2 DPC count: 75828
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s): 21.346295
CPU 3 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR count: 0
CPU 3 DPC highest execution time (µs): 1927.418529
CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s): 0.104920
CPU 3 DPC count: 5979
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 4 Interrupt cycle time (s): 9.029729
CPU 4 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 4 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 4 ISR count: 0
CPU 4 DPC highest execution time (µs): 6907.141176
CPU 4 DPC total execution time (s): 4.196787
CPU 4 DPC count: 125813
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 5 Interrupt cycle time (s): 28.158004
CPU 5 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 5 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 5 ISR count: 0
CPU 5 DPC highest execution time (µs): 256.930294
CPU 5 DPC total execution time (s): 0.109066
CPU 5 DPC count: 6065
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 6 Interrupt cycle time (s): 27.072947
CPU 6 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 6 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 6 ISR count: 0
CPU 6 DPC highest execution time (µs): 6097.862647
CPU 6 DPC total execution time (s): 3.126499
CPU 6 DPC count: 126843
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 7 Interrupt cycle time (s): 24.280446
CPU 7 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 7 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 7 ISR count: 0
CPU 7 DPC highest execution time (µs): 1698.781471
CPU 7 DPC total execution time (s): 0.313444
CPU 7 DPC count: 69483
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Please can you help as I am unable to do any production at present and its absolutely doing my head in.

Thanks

Paul

P.S. I streamed Radio One's big weekend through their website earlier and there were no crackles at all. EVERYTHING else does though.

paulc_dj

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2 Posted on 05/26/2014 at 09:54:57
Anyone?

Simon Focusrite

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Simon Focusrite
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3 Posted on 05/30/2014 at 02:03:12
Hi Paul,

We have seen some ongoing issues with Z87 & Z77 motherboards with regards to audio.
Updating your BIOS is a good place to start, are you sure that you have the very latest update?
Are you aware if there is any over clocking software bundled with ASRocks? I've seen similar software called Easytune on Gigabyte motherboards cause issues until disabled.

Are you using a Firewire PCI card? If so, which make/model?

Do you receive the same problems if trying your interface on a different computer?

Best regards
Simon // Focusrite Technical Support

paulc_dj

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4 Posted on 05/31/2014 at 04:03:38
Hi Simon

Thanks for replying. yes, I have updated the BIOS to the very latest version, did that last week. I am using a PCI firewire card, which had a Via chipset. I am not overclocking the CPU, its on standard settings. But I have just bought a Ti chipset card http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002UOSI3U/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 as on the forum, the Ti chipset is supposed to be a better fit with the SP 24 DSP. Installed it and am now having problems with Mixcontrol saying "no hardware connected". So there's obviously a driver issue/conflict here. I thought this would sort it out, but its actually worse, because now I have no sound.

Any ideas on this?

Edit: I have just put my old firewire card back in http://www.dynamode.com/english/pages/product/Datacom%20Products/PCI%20Adapter%20Series/PCI-3PFW.html and the good news is that I still have sound, but the crackling is still there. Would using a board with built in fire-wire make a difference, such as this one https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme6/?cat=Specifications Simon? Also is there a better chipset for use with the interface, than the Z77. I must point out that when I first started using it, I had no problems whatsoever, its only been in the last couple of months. I also have everything st to max in the power settings and they are on high performance.

Can you recommend any other fixes/tweaks for the Z77 chipset at all?


Thanks

Paul

[ Post last edited on 05/31/2014 at 09:16:50 ]

RiPLAY

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5 Posted on 09/01/2016 at 09:48:23
Hello

I am sorry to revive this thread 2 years after the last message but as i'm having the exact same problem today, and tried everything, i stumbled upon this thread, and it put me on the right path to solve this, which can be usefull to others existing saffire pro 24 dsp owners.
I set the firewire driver latency from short to medium, and crackling disappeared :

https://s13.postimg.org/3rjg1bo13/saffire_pro_24_dsp_crackling.jpg

I hope you solved this problem in the last 2 years :p

Have a good day
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