Distortion Problem

Periodic Distortion no matter what

I’ve been using n-track for over a year and was getting some pretty good recordings for a long time. I stopped recording for a few months and installed the latest version and now I have a distortion problem. Its a regular, periodic (about once every second or 2) short burst of a sort of crackling sound – not real loud but enough to be annoying. And it seems to happen no matter what I do. I’ve systematically sat down and modified every variable I can think of: output level, line 1 output level, line 2 output level, with and without my effects boxes, guitar alone, vocals alone, mono/stereo, mixer/amp, – anything I could think of and it still happens.

I’m running a Mexican Strat through a Digitech effects box and a mike through another Digitech vocal effects box into a Lexicon Alpha and from there into the computer.

Anyone got any idea what the problem is?

Quote: (cmarshall @ Apr. 14 2008, 1:19 AM)

I've been using n-track for over a year and was getting some pretty good recordings for a long time. I stopped recording for a few months and installed the latest version and now I have a distortion problem. Its a regular, periodic (about once every second or 2) short burst of a sort of crackling sound -- not real loud but enough to be annoying. And it seems to happen no matter what I do. I've systematically sat down and modified every variable I can think of: output level, line 1 output level, line 2 output level, with and without my effects boxes, guitar alone, vocals alone, mono/stereo, mixer/amp, -- anything I could think of and it still happens.

I'm running a Mexican Strat through a Digitech effects box and a mike through another Digitech vocal effects box into a Lexicon Alpha and from there into the computer.

Anyone got any idea what the problem is?

I'm guessing that you mean that you hear the distortion on playback - not while you are recording the track.

So assuming that you've taken all the precautions to avoid clipping, my thoughts would turn to buffering. Does the hard drive light flicker time with the glitches?

Anyway, try upping the buffers for playback and see if the problem goes away.

Other than that look out for virus scanners, spyware stoppers, "helper apps", etc that sit in the system tray and pop up periodically and grab disk and cpu cycles while you are recording your masterpiece.

Thanks for the reply Mark. You are right that I only hear it on playback not during recording.

I’ll try some different buffer settings later today.
I’m a little skeptical though because I’m using the same buffering settings that used to work – settings that I only arrived at after a lot of trial and error but that used to work and still work on recordings I made from a few months ago.

What puzzles me is the periodicity.
If I were recording with tape, that would make more sense to me.

Quote:

installed the latest version and now I have a distortion problem


So your buffering settings were okay for your previous version? That's what happened to me as well. V3.3 and early V4 versions worked well at low buffer settings and provided nice low latency playback. V5 killed that. Stuff I used to run with 10ms or lower latency now crackles and pops at 50ms which is totally unacceptable to me. Even at 50ms I have to start freezing FX to get glitch-free playback as the track count goes up beyond 10-15 tracks.

What version did you run before? Can you roll back to that version to try it?

D

I am going to guess that you do not have a registered version installed. If you load the software and don’t use the old config file, or you used a different version, you will need to reenter the registration code. I have often wished that a flag would occure along with the “beep”, but not so. Check to see if this install has the registration entered.
Bax

Sounds like a buffer issue, using asio? Make sure your drivers are latest for sound card. If so it means upping the buffer settings. Like D said you may have to run it high to get rid of the pops and crackles.

This seemed to become an issue after the last 2 builds of 5, Flavio had posted on his blog no more 16 bit and 24 bit programs, one program to handle all. This started the asio farting here on my machine. Then it went to total distortion to the point I had to go back to WDM drivers. (even caused distortion with asio4all)
And like a dummie I hadn’t backed up the last build that worked for me, so stuck with last build of 5, now it sits in the corner collecting dust!

Yaz :cool: