Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Troubleshooting intermittent recording issue:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Wynnewood, PA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    Troubleshooting intermittent recording issue:

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hi folks, so I've been helping an acquaintance of mine get set up for recording his drum kit at home so he can record some halfway decent demos. I've been walking him through the signal chain, and tutoring him on recording with Reaper. (later we'll get into a bit of mixing, but that's a whole other can of worms!)

    He has mentioned an intermittent problem while recording. I haven't noticed it when I'm on site, but I only had him play a couple minutes to set levels and adjust the mic positions a little, as well as doing a scratch recording while playing to a drumless track that was imported into a track in Reaper.

    The problem that he mentioned is that every half minute or so while recording (it's not exactly every 30 seconds, but roughly that time frame) the system "hiccups". It basically freezes for a split second before continuing, and when it freezes, there is an audible pop like someone thumping a mic. He was asking me if he should put a filter in, or if it's a problem from unclean power. I told him let's research a bit more before spending money on a solution that might not work.

    He did say it happens while recording, but he doesn't recall hearing the problem during playback. He's going to send me a rendered mp3 of the recording soon to see if the sound from the interruption is captured or not. (I'm assuming it won't be).

    The signal chain is as follows: Mics -> XLR cables -> Snake -> Focusrite Scarlett <-> PC
    Scarlett Output 1 and 2 -> powered JBL Monitors

    SM57's on the snare and on the floor tom. Rode M5 SDCs as overheads, Beta 52 on the kick. He had some older XLR cables from his PA system on hand, but they weren't quite long enough to reach the interface, so I recommended he either get longer cables, or just get an 8-channel cable snake like the one I brought out (basically 8-channel cable snake 8 heads on each end). He ended up getting a snake that terminates in kind of a stage box strip at one end, XLR leads on the other end, which plug into the interface. So I just worked with it, connected the mic cables to the 8-channel strip. Seemed to be fine, got good signals at the interface and in the DAW. Didn't sound too bad, just need to tweak mic positions next time I'm over there.

    For the interface, he's using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Mk2 connected to his PC via USB 2.0, running Windows 10. 1/4" Outputs from the AI are running to a pair of powered JBL monitors. His system, firmware, drivers, and Reaper are all up to date. Everything seemed fine when I was setting levels and having him record a bit to a drumless track he had. And for the few minutes I had Reaper recording, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

    On the Scarlett, the Channels 1-4 have the +48v enabled for the Rode M5's.

    Unfortunately, I won't be meeting with him again until April, so I won't be able to troubleshoot each piece of the signal chain or try to reproduce the problem or witness it in person until then.

    I don't know off the top of my head what's happening. My first thought is a power or device interruption involving the Scarlett. Seems like an audio interface going offline or being interrupted might hang Reaper briefly. I mean, I've seen cases of a VST taking a dive causing the DAW to hang or crash, so an interface being interrupted somehow might cause that "hiccup". Any insight on this would be appreciated. Meanwhile I'll keep trying to search around for similar issues and if they were resolved or not.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
    Posts
    9,790
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 653 Times in 617 Posts
    Rep Power
    9266934
    My first thought would be to check the computer j-Bot. You don't give us any specs but assuming it is of decent speed/ram etc get him to check the usual suspects..
    Wireless network adaptors, disable them. Check what is running on the PC at start up and if he doesn't need it, stop it. Run Latencymon.

    He needs to be very systematic, for instance run just two channels with mics and if the problem does not show, does it happen as the channel count increases? That would be an indication of lack of resources or, resources being gobbled up elsewhere. PC Audio 101 I know but is the internal sound card disabled? Windows sounds, bleeps and bloops stopped? Make sure the USB port does not share with anything else.

    Lastly, get him to organize his problem and put it to Focusrite. Their technical backup is very good.

    Dave.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to ecc83 For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    6,611
    Thanks
    285
    Thanked 459 Times in 428 Posts
    Rep Power
    12977802
    I agree with Dave, there is something running, virus scan (they often run when creating new files), WIFI, but something is running and hogging the resources.

    Find that and most likely the problem goes a way. It could also be your hard drive is too slow and it is trying to catch up writing to the disc. If that is the case, faster HD or more RAM. Probably not the problem, but if everything else fails to expose the problem, HD speed might be the next step to investigate.
    DM60 Tunes: The Collection

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to DM60 For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
    Posts
    9,790
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 653 Times in 617 Posts
    Rep Power
    9266934
    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    I agree with Dave, there is something running, virus scan (they often run when creating new files), WIFI, but something is running and hogging the resources.

    Find that and most likely the problem goes a way. It could also be your hard drive is too slow and it is trying to catch up writing to the disc. If that is the case, faster HD or more RAM. Probably not the problem, but if everything else fails to expose the problem, HD speed might be the next step to investigate.
    Could be HDD but, AFAIK "everything" gets loaded into ram and the hard drive just "rescues" it as needed? Chap might have marginal ram? Ten wants about 2G just to get out of bed? Then, memory can fail, you can download a checker but they take a while!

    Dave.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to ecc83 For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Wynnewood, PA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks. Yeah, that could be the case. Possibly something in the background spinning up every half minute. I'll have to take a look at the task manager while he's recording next time. I don't know the PC specs off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it's on an SSD, at least. Intel Core processor of some type. At least 4GB RAM, possibly more, but I'm not positive. I'l need to check the specs next time I'm over there. He's an architect by trade, owns his own firm, and runs CAD software on his home machine, also creates and edits blueprints.

    So yeah, I'll monitor usage in Reaper, keep the task manager window open while recording, and see if behavior changes when reducing track count. Quick easy checks. If those don't turn anything up, I might have to start looking at something in his house turning on or off coinciding with the thump/freeze problem. Which a Furman might take care of that. Right now he's just plugged into a power strip which I'm not 100% sure has build-in surge protection.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    6,611
    Thanks
    285
    Thanked 459 Times in 428 Posts
    Rep Power
    12977802
    If he has an SSD, even if the RAM is low, those are fast enough to do IO for writing (IMO) and if he is doing CAD on the same machine, then you can bet he has enough HP.

    After readying your last post, I think something is running in the background causing it to do this. My suspicion would be a virus scanner. But could be multitude of things. You running the task manager will help the most.
    DM60 Tunes: The Collection

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to DM60 For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
    Posts
    9,790
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 653 Times in 617 Posts
    Rep Power
    9266934
    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bot View Post
    Thanks. Yeah, that could be the case. Possibly something in the background spinning up every half minute. I'll have to take a look at the task manager while he's recording next time. I don't know the PC specs off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it's on an SSD, at least. Intel Core processor of some type. At least 4GB RAM, possibly more, but I'm not positive. I'l need to check the specs next time I'm over there. He's an architect by trade, owns his own firm, and runs CAD software on his home machine, also creates and edits blueprints.

    So yeah, I'll monitor usage in Reaper, keep the task manager window open while recording, and see if behavior changes when reducing track count. Quick easy checks. If those don't turn anything up, I might have to start looking at something in his house turning on or off coinciding with the thump/freeze problem. Which a Furman might take care of that. Right now he's just plugged into a power strip which I'm not 100% sure has build-in surge protection.
    I started a thread a few weeks ago over at soundonsond.com asking whether people had much trouble with "dirty" mains supplies. The resounding response was that they don't. A very few live in quite remote rural areas and have the odd power outage but almost no one reported recording gear problems that they could put down to mains borne glitches.

    This is UK power of course and I understand the US is rather less well served? I would still say that any mains borne problems would cause other equipment to show problems as well? My experience is that computers and attached equipment is pretty well protected?

    People are always happy to take your money for filters and surge suppressors of course but are they flogging you a solution to a non-problem?
    Be good to hear from anyone who has positive, documented proof of mains "spikes" causing issues?

    Dave.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to ecc83 For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    928
    Thanks
    156
    Thanked 106 Times in 103 Posts
    Rep Power
    2383179
    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    I started a thread a few weeks ago over at soundonsond.com asking whether people had much trouble with "dirty" mains supplies. The resounding response was that they don't. A very few live in quite remote rural areas and have the odd power outage but almost no one reported recording gear problems that they could put down to mains borne glitches.

    This is UK power of course and I understand the US is rather less well served? I would still say that any mains borne problems would cause other equipment to show problems as well? My experience is that computers and attached equipment is pretty well protected?

    People are always happy to take your money for filters and surge suppressors of course but are they flogging you a solution to a non-problem?
    Be good to hear from anyone who has positive, documented proof of mains "spikes" causing issues?

    Dave.
    Hey Dave.......

    I was a field tech for a large electronics firm here in the US for 37 years. In our practice we employed line monitors and a number of other devices when we thought a main power line might be an issue. Those monitors measured and recorded line activity of all kinds.....including spikes (surges)....line noise (dirty line)....etc...etc. The later models were excellent and extremely accurate. Long story short.........as for dirty lines......that was really fairly rare.......with the exception of a water cooler motor or the like causing some noise adjacent to our product. Supply lines were not dirty to speak of. Surges....and spikes however......were the leading cause of component failure.......as you likely know......with weather related issues being the cause many times. A Florida thunder storm always meant some board failure.
    Just A Song Writer..........

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Mickster For This Useful Post:


  15. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    347
    Thanks
    28
    Thanked 20 Times in 20 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bot View Post
    Hi folks, so I've been helping an acquaintance of mine get set up for recording his drum kit at home so he can record some halfway decent demos. I've been walking him through the signal chain, and tutoring him on recording with Reaper. (later we'll get into a bit of mixing, but that's a whole other can of worms!)

    He has mentioned an intermittent problem while recording. I haven't noticed it when I'm on site, but I only had him play a couple minutes to set levels and adjust the mic positions a little, as well as doing a scratch recording while playing to a drumless track that was imported into a track in Reaper.

    The problem that he mentioned is that every half minute or so while recording (it's not exactly every 30 seconds, but roughly that time frame) the system "hiccups". It basically freezes for a split second before continuing, and when it freezes, there is an audible pop like someone thumping a mic. He was asking me if he should put a filter in, or if it's a problem from unclean power. I told him let's research a bit more before spending money on a solution that might not work.

    He did say it happens while recording, but he doesn't recall hearing the problem during playback. He's going to send me a rendered mp3 of the recording soon to see if the sound from the interruption is captured or not. (I'm assuming it won't be).

    The signal chain is as follows: Mics -> XLR cables -> Snake -> Focusrite Scarlett <-> PC
    Scarlett Output 1 and 2 -> powered JBL Monitors

    SM57's on the snare and on the floor tom. Rode M5 SDCs as overheads, Beta 52 on the kick. He had some older XLR cables from his PA system on hand, but they weren't quite long enough to reach the interface, so I recommended he either get longer cables, or just get an 8-channel cable snake like the one I brought out (basically 8-channel cable snake 8 heads on each end). He ended up getting a snake that terminates in kind of a stage box strip at one end, XLR leads on the other end, which plug into the interface. So I just worked with it, connected the mic cables to the 8-channel strip. Seemed to be fine, got good signals at the interface and in the DAW. Didn't sound too bad, just need to tweak mic positions next time I'm over there.

    For the interface, he's using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Mk2 connected to his PC via USB 2.0, running Windows 10. 1/4" Outputs from the AI are running to a pair of powered JBL monitors. His system, firmware, drivers, and Reaper are all up to date. Everything seemed fine when I was setting levels and having him record a bit to a drumless track he had. And for the few minutes I had Reaper recording, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

    On the Scarlett, the Channels 1-4 have the +48v enabled for the Rode M5's.

    Unfortunately, I won't be meeting with him again until April, so I won't be able to troubleshoot each piece of the signal chain or try to reproduce the problem or witness it in person until then.

    I don't know off the top of my head what's happening. My first thought is a power or device interruption involving the Scarlett. Seems like an audio interface going offline or being interrupted might hang Reaper briefly. I mean, I've seen cases of a VST taking a dive causing the DAW to hang or crash, so an interface being interrupted somehow might cause that "hiccup". Any insight on this would be appreciated. Meanwhile I'll keep trying to search around for similar issues and if they were resolved or not.

    Thanks!
    Sounds like a buffering problem.

    Else there is something else running that interferes.
    You must close EVERYTHING that is not the program used to record with.
    EVERYTHING. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Especially on win8 and 10 there is way too much social media krapp that sucks out too many cycles doing useless things. DELETE THEM ALL if you plan to use that box for audio recording.

    Turn off all antivirus and everything else that is not needed to make the recording.

  16. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
    Posts
    9,790
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 653 Times in 617 Posts
    Rep Power
    9266934
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    Hey Dave.......

    I was a field tech for a large electronics firm here in the US for 37 years. In our practice we employed line monitors and a number of other devices when we thought a main power line might be an issue. Those monitors measured and recorded line activity of all kinds.....including spikes (surges)....line noise (dirty line)....etc...etc. The later models were excellent and extremely accurate. Long story short.........as for dirty lines......that was really fairly rare.......with the exception of a water cooler motor or the like causing some noise adjacent to our product. Supply lines were not dirty to speak of. Surges....and spikes however......were the leading cause of component failure.......as you likely know......with weather related issues being the cause many times. A Florida thunder storm always meant some board failure.
    Well of course we don't get anything like those storms in either frequency or intensity but I did see my share of lightening damage. There was a bit of a "process" TVs with switch mode power supplies were usually totally borked but the earlier VCRs with a ~20va 50Hz mains traff usually just had the input fuse of about 315mA blown black and suffered no further damage. Then VCRs went SMPSUs and got buggered!

    Dave.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Serious problem with intermittent freezing during muti-track recording
    By Spazhands in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-06-2013, 02:22
  2. TEAC 80-8 Troubleshooting suggestion on distortion issue
    By lassoharp in forum Analog Recording & Mixing - Tape & Gear
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-20-2011, 09:31
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-19-2011, 17:59
  4. Recording Troubleshooting
    By RobbieG in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 02-11-2009, 15:47
  5. static-intermittent PA-9 recording.HELP
    By mjahern in forum Cakewalk / Sonar Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-07-2002, 11:33

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •