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Thread: Troubleshooting intermittent recording issue:

  1. #11
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    Yeah, agreed. I'm not really suspecting the power unless his house somehow isn't supplying enough amperage to that particular circuit or something. Given what his house is like, I'll just say that is highly unlikely. (it's a McMansion) The power itself is probably fine, which is why I told him we should research the issue and troubleshoot instead of going out and buying a filter. Even if the power was a little dirty, the worst we'd probably get is a little hum on the line or something.

    I'm a native Floridian, so yeah, lightning storms are a thing down there. Here in Philly, (well, the suburbs) we get some occasional storms, but nothing like Florida.

    But yeah, I agree with it most likely being a computer issue. I don't really suspect the power, and that would be the absolute last thing I would check. My bet is some program or service firing up and stealing priority from Reaper or something. As I said, I'll check task manager, and see if any services jump to the top of the CPU usage and/or RAM usage. I'll just arm the tracks, and set it to record for 10 minutes or so, and keep an eye on things when the "hiccup" happens.

    FWIW, I did read the SOS article on recording interruptions and probable causes, which pretty much covered the gamut of issues. So I've got a few ideas where to start looking when I see him again in April.

    Thanks all, for pointing me in the right direction, and also for reconfirming some of my suspicions.

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  3. #12
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    Okay, bumping this with an update.

    So I was over at his place today, and did manage to witness the "blips" first hand. It's just a split second kind of digital glitch or maybe artifact kind of sound. He claimed he usually heard it much more often than we did today, but I did catch it twice over the course of several minutes. Very intermittent, couldn't really force it to happen by clicking around the timeline while playing back. I didn't really see anything abnormal stealing CPU cycles in the task manager when it happened. Nothing real obvious jumped to the top, and CPU idle was 98%

    Specs wise, it's a pretty beefy computer, though it does seem to be a Dell related PC (I'm not fond of Dell, so if anyone in particular favors that brand, I'm sorry, and I hope you find a better brand someday).

    His CPU is an Intel (forget which model/generation but something like 3.2GHz per core) 16GB RAM, but he was on a normal HDD drive, NVidia GPU (didn't check what model, but it shouldn't matter too, too much) It's a computer he brought home from his business since it wasn't being used there anymore. It has a wireless adapter on the back for connecting to the home network.

    I disabled a number of services, and set the rest to manual in the services manager, going by Black Viper's guide for Win7. He's using Win7 Pro.

    I'm hoping that helps mitigate the occurrence of the interruption during recording and/or playback. And yes, the hiccups were happening during simple playback, not only while recording. (I also disabled any Nvidia and Realtek HD Audio based services and devices, just to make sure ALL audio is handled by the Focusrite interface).

    His security software (AV/Malware/firewall/etc.) is Trend Micro. It could be very well that is a potential culprit, and I might recommend he uninstall that and get something like Avast since I've had no problems with it, and my own PC isn't too far off specs wise from him. He IS using a regular HDD drive, but I couldn't check the spindle speed in device properties, so not sure if it's 7200 or 5400RPM. I SERIOUSLY doubt it's a 10K RPM speed.

    FWIW, my own HDD, which is currently just being used as a storage drive since I moved OS to an SSD, was a 7200RPM 300GB Western Digital drive, and I've used it for 10 years without any hiccups or hitches/interruptions/artifacts happening during record or playback functions. Could be very well that Dell through a sub-par OEM HDD in the machine.

    So hopefully shutting down and setting various services to manual will alleviate some of the hitching while recording and playing back audio. One thing I forgot to check was if there was any mismatch between recording/playback quality on the Focusrite vs. project settings in Reaper. Also, as a test, next time I might bump the buffer up a notch to 256, and see if that has any effect. Didn't sound like buffer underrun or audio dropout to me, though, more a sharp/bright digital glitch or artifact sound, not a crackle or pop.

    In a nutshell: definitely some gremlin in the system. Definitely system related. Not entirely sure of the root cause yet, but hopefully my going through things with a fine toothed comb will at least mitigate how often it occurs.

    I probably spent about an hour and a half going through everything, and another 2 hours helping him, and doing a little teaching, having him take notes. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to get back over there until our house hunting adventures are done and we close in July. Though I'll try to respond and go over there if there is any emergency.

  4. #13
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    I gave up Avast (ye lubbers!) years ago, it got very bloated and intrusive I found. I have had Ms Securtiy Essentials on all my machines for a good 6 years with no trouble. I run the free version Of MalwareBytes about once a month, it rarely finds anything.

    Might be an idea to run a full "discchk" at turn on once? That is going to take SOME time to run however. Don't see the word a lot these days now with SSDs so common but he could do a defrag.

    Dave.

  5. #14
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    As a matter of curiosity, does the mouse freeze at the same time?

    If so, it's worth trying a different mouse. I mention this because for a short while I was getting random and momentary freezes which included the mouse. When I put in a new mouse they went away. I don't think this is what's happening in your case, but it is an easy thing to check.

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