Win7, Laptop, Line6 Stuttering/pops/clicks

A few things I learned.

Hello all,

I recently install windows 7 on my laptop and from there I had problems with my line 6 UX2 with pops, clicks and stuttering. So I went to the line6 website and many readers report issues with laptops and widows7, similar to issues I’m having. The support team has put together a series of videos of how to optimize the win7/Vista system for working as a DAW. I followed all the directions, shutting off all kinds of things and I even went as far as disable absolutely ever device in the device manager leaving only the basic function of the laptop, no anti virus, no firewall, no on board sound, everything. I even bought a Monster 2 stage V2 clean power supply as well in my attempt to solve the issue. I also installed both the latest 32 and 64 bit versions of n-track. I also installed Reaper as well and low and behold reaper was doing it as well. I’m mean I crippled my laptop so far I just couldn’t understand how or where the pops and clicks were coming from. I have the latest drivers for everything on my line6.

I even disabled my local wireless router for my other PC, turned off all the breakers in my house expect for the room I was working in and still pops and clicks were there.

Now I bought an extra monitor for my laptop a while back, it’s a 24 inch LCD high res and for “cowdung and giggles” I decided to turn it off and go with the laptop screen. That was the ticket. As soon as I unplugged that monitor my issues went away and my DAW now runs perfect.

Now as near as I can tell, laptops have some on board memory on the video card and they also use whats called vRAM which it uses from your own ram. I believe it’s the combination of these two components which caused my pop and click issues. Now it could be said, well your using it anyways when you use the laptops own screen and default resolution, granted this is true but when the extra monitor was plugged in it was using a higher resolution than the laptop is capable of with it’s default resolution. I believe the cause was using an external monitor running a higher resolution than the laptops maximum default resolution.

I can only say given what I have learned that don’t use an external monitor with a laptop DAW and insure your video drivers are up to date. With no external monitor lowering the resolution may also help stop the stuttering/popping issue IMO.

I would like to see in future versions of n-track the option to strip down the graphics to lowest possible impact on graphic processes. I believe this could help lots of people with lower end laptops looking to use it as a DAW IMO.

Well that was my 2 cents. I’m sure glad I got it sorted out. I’ve started work on my 4th album with 2 songs completed. Cheers :D


PACO

Hi, That was an interesting finding, I’ve never read about a second monitor bringing on crackling and pops. You must be releived to have sorted it out. Did you try DPC latency checker when you were investigating the problem? (if the bars stay green you should be ok for audio work).

http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

It would be interesting to know if adding the second monitor would affect the DPC results.

Nick

During the testing process I considered using the DPC latency checker, however since the pops and clicks were always happening I didn’t bother to use it.

So I tried your idea to see if the DPC would see the pops and clicks as drops outs.
I hooked up the external monitor like before and then ran the DPC latency checker and it was all green. I tested audio again and I could hear the pops and clicks like I did before. So I unhooked the monitor run DPC latency checker again all green same as before. I tested the audio again without the external monitor and pops and clicks are no more like before. So the DPC latency checker is not picking up the pops and clicks. No yellow or red spikes; all green during both tests.


PACO

Thanks for trying DPC. It’s all rather strange but at least you’ve sorted it and can get on with making music.

Nick

My personal experience supports the information: a second monitor on a laptop will cause audio problems. Obviously, I have not used enough laptops to know that it is a universal problem, but it is a place to start. On some laptops this might not be a problem if a dedicated video card were used - memory not shared but just memory from the video card, but I am not sure. The issue seems to come because laptops set up the bios and frequently link video and audio together ( I think), but sites talk modems, firewire and blue tooth most every feature being an issues. I recently discovered an issue with a desktop computer - the auto load was turned on to the CD/dvd player. Every time the computer checked for something in the drive I got a pop or dropout.
Bax

Some of these symptoms reported on Line 6’s website were cured by using a USB card to plug into the card slot on the side of a Laptop. Aparently the standard USB ports on most Laptops are a little slow for streaming audio. I use a PCMCIA card on my 4 year old XP laptop with a L6 Toneport GX and can record at 24 bits OK where as without the card it would click, pop and crash etc. It doesnt seem to be a problem with 16 bit recording though.

Quote: (One-way @ Dec. 03 2010, 9:24 PM)

Some of these symptoms reported on Line 6's website were cured by using a USB card to plug into the card slot on the side of a Laptop. Aparently the standard USB ports on most Laptops are a little slow for streaming audio. I use a PCMCIA card on my 4 year old XP laptop with a L6 Toneport GX and can record at 24 bits OK where as without the card it would click, pop and crash etc. It doesnt seem to be a problem with 16 bit recording though.

My laptop is a couple of years old.

dual core 2.6ghz
usb 2.0
4g Ram
1066 FSB
win7
7200rpm HD

I did run this setup on XP 32 bit and used the external monitor, although it was a different monitor/brand without issue. I suppose I could try moving the other monitor back and give that a go. I could be monitor specific. I'll post back my results.

PACO

Well, I hooked up my other monitor and so far so good. I practiced a bit, didn’t hear and clicks or pops with Pod Farm running and that without n-track running. A bit later I was practicing with couple of tracks playing in n-track and so far so good. The next test will be recording, which I’ll be doing at some point tomorrow. I’ll post back when I’m finished. Looks like it might be monitor specific issue with the pops and clicks.


PACO

Well, I did some recording with no issues with pops and clicks. The monitor that caused all the problems was my Samsung SyncMaster 2343. Case closed.


PACO

Cool. Get to work, dude;-)

I am dude, I’m on my 3rd song of my forth album. My focus is on a bit slower music (Pink Floyd/Santana like although I’ll never be that good but still that’s what I’m shooting for) with more emphasis on my leed (SP?) playing.


PACO