Mysterious Pop and loss

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Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Donald S » Thu Feb 23, 2012 20:01

Hi,
I've never had this problem with PMX before, maybe because I usually take a different DAW in the field. But there is a slight pop across all tracks and a loss of time of about an 8th note in my latest recording. (Dvorak 9 3rd mvnt) Thank god it's a repeated section! But shouldn't PMX alert me when such an event has taken place? If I had not listened to the entire concert carefully, it would have been missed. I want to have faith in this DAW, but this is very unsettling. BTW, I'm using PMX 5.1 on XP pro on a MBP, and a FF800. Files were "one per track" and in PMF format. Any ideas?
Thanks,
Don
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby tim » Thu Feb 23, 2012 20:25

Hi Don,

This could be from several causes, including non-Pyramix related ones. One thing I'll suggest is that if you're recording in pmf format (good idea), don't use one-file-per-track. Pyramix is much more efficient handling interleaved pmf files. Of course if you're recording using bwf, you'll want to check the "one-file-per-track" box in order to conform with the rest of the world.

Tim
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Donald S » Thu Feb 23, 2012 20:46

Thanks Tim - good to know! The only reason I selected that option is because the manual recommends it. I was hoping to track and mix in PMX so that the rest of the world wouldn't matter. I did get a funky PMX "not responding" during a test once, but that was a while back and figured it was a faulty FW800 cable. I guess I have to dig deeper.
Best Regards,
Don
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Graemme » Fri Feb 24, 2012 00:32

Hi Don,

You don't mention any system tweaks (Windows) that you've done to improve the stability of Pyramix (or any other DAW, for that matter) running on a Bootcramped MBP...

So, at the risk of telling you what you may already know:

I've had the very problem that you mention when I forgot to turn off the wireless network adaptor before a session.

And then there's this excellent tool:

http://thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml

There are some posts on this forum, from Frank Lockwood (fl), about optimizing the MBP for use with Pyramix.

Cheers,

Graemme
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Donald S » Fri Feb 24, 2012 01:16

Hello Graemme,
Yes, please assume that I don't know! This is the first time taking PMX in the field. I tried once back in 2005 and it was a disaster! Mostly because of a (expensive but junk) toshiba laptop. Now that I finally have a MBP running bootcamp, I'm ready to give it another try. Thanks for the info!
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby fl » Fri Feb 24, 2012 04:17

Don,

If you like, contact me off list by email (click on the "fl" at the top of this message to send me an email) to discuss MBP/BC optimization.

BTW, what version of Boot Camp? You mentioned XP Pro - SP3? No doubt you are familiar with the thread on the RME Forum about optimizing Windows/Boot Camp for use on a MacBook Pro...
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Graemme » Fri Feb 24, 2012 05:03

There are quite a few of us here who use Pyramix running on various flavours of MBP...it can be made to run very reliably.

'Glad to help...

gb
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Donald S » Fri Feb 24, 2012 18:37

Thank again everyone for the help. I did a couple things such as update the FF800 drivers and also ran the DPC check program. Spikes were below 1000u/s with the largest at 1250 and most below 500 at 10-15 sec intervals. So far everything SHOULD be running well. But I'll have to do more tests to be certain. I remember when setting up the rig that the fireface would not be seen by XP. I had to switch bck to OSX, then reboot bootcamp for XP to respond. Also, PMX once went to "not responding" mode for a minute when recording. Apparently my MBP has a Lucent FW chipset. Has anyone had a problem? I could easily replace it with a card based adapter with a TI. Heat is another issue. I'm surprised how much hotter the MBP runs on BC/XP. I may have to get a platform with a fan.
The most annoying thing is there are several low level clicks close to the noise floor throughout the recording that are channel specific; a couple hard right and hard left. That are NOT on my backup. SPDIF mix out of total mix software to a Sound Devices 702.
BTW - I noticed how much better the AtoD is on the 702 compared to the FF800!
Thanks!
Don
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Graemme » Sat Feb 25, 2012 08:59

*EVERYTHING* should be well below 1000...no spikes allowed ;->

Enable/Disable the wireless network adaptor and see if there's a change in the DPC Latency checker's readings. Check out the forums at rme-audio.com with respect to your Lucent (Agere) FW issue.

Graemme
Graemme Brown
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Paulo M » Sat Feb 25, 2012 16:16

I had problems in the past in certain Pyramix systems when the Lan ports were enabled. Disabling them reduced the spikes in the DCP Latency check to the normal levels well bellow the green line.

1000 is to much, everything that goes above the green line is a source of problems for audio streaming duties. My system is around 33-50 microns sec max.

The way I do it is to run the DPC and then go into system device manager and enable/disable things that are prone to cause problems and check what happens in the graph.

Certain mobos BIOS versions are also a cause for spikes. I had a problem in the past with a Gygabyte board. Flashing the BIOS to the latest version cured the problem. I still use that board on my system and is fine.
Best regards,

Paulo M

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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Donald S » Sat Feb 25, 2012 17:16

I realized that I had forgot to look at record block size and it was set to 64! Would that cause some problems with 5 tracks at 24/44.1? And a big thank you to Frank Lockwood!
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Graemme » Sun Feb 26, 2012 01:43

That record block size (64) should be no problem.
Graemme Brown
Zen Mastering
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Canada V0R 1X5
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby tim » Sun Feb 26, 2012 20:54

I'll add to what Graemme said by saying it's my understanding - from an old post by Mark Donahue - that setting recording block size to 64K should be optimal.

Tim
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Donald S » Sun Feb 26, 2012 21:54

Glad to hear that the default setting was good, but I was hoping that it was part of my problem. I just want to clarify that the pops are printed on the file, not just a random playback issue. I'll check the LAN ports next. I'm getting spikes of 800-1200 when PMX is open, connected to the FF800 and recording (baseline is 400-500). Upon playback, I don't hear any problems. With all programs closed, DPC reads 50. Is this a normal operating environment? During these spikes, the taskmanager says "System" in the first column when I have it sorted by CPU usage. Does that give any clues?
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Re: Mysterious Pop and loss

Postby Graemme » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:31

Have you actually tried the suggestion to turn off the wireless adaptor yet? (and the other items mentioned at rme-audio.com?)

gb
Graemme Brown
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