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Thread: New Acer Aspire laptop.

  1. #101
    Overlord of Music DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting webpage article I just found, it explains what the different Windows audio APIs are:

    https://appuals.com/how-to-fix-commo...in-windows-10/

  2. #102
    Overlord of Music DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Update:

    Ok, just for fun I thought that I would try a few more things to try and troubleshoot the crackly distortion issue I'm experiencing with my Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen usb audio interface, here's what I tried:


    * Using my Focusrite Scarlett headphones instead of my Audio Technicas.

    * Switching to the FL Studio ASIO driver that comes with FL Studio.

    * Switching between Speakers (Focusrite Usb Audio), and Speakers ( Realtek(R) Audio) as the default Windows playback device, while comparing the results I get with either the 2i2's ASIO driver and the FL Studio ASIO driver.

    In each case the result was the same, I still got the crackly distortion coming through the headphones, I have previously tried seeing if the crackly distortion comes through the line-outs of my 2i2 if I plug them into my two 15W Audioline powered studio monitors, and yes it does, I know it's not the monitors cause they sound crystal clear with my Saffire Pro 40, so, as far as I'm able to, I've managed to narrow down the cause of the crackly distortion being caused by three things:

    * Something inside my Scarlet 2i2 2nd gen usb audio interface.

    * Something inside my Acer laptop.

    * Something to do with the driver software for the 2i2.

    Interestingly enough, if I select the FL Studio ASIO driver in FL Studio's audio settings, and plug my headphones directly into my laptop, and have Realtek(R) Audio selected as the Windows default audio device, audio playback is crystal clear with no crackly distortion.

    So, seeing as my 2i2 works perfectly well with my studio desktop pc, the cause of the crackly distortion has to be something to do with my Acer laptop, since I seem to be only experiencing the crackly distortion issue when the 2i2 is plugged into any of the available usb ports on the laptop.

    Or, it has to be something to do with the 2i2 and it's driver software, or something about either of them, which is not working like it's supposed to only when plugged into the laptop.


    So, is it a hardware issue or a software issue?, what makes it more frustrating is that computer hardware issues can manifest themselves as software issues, and vice-versa.....

    I don't think it's some weird grounding-issue since running my laptop off it's built-in rechargeable battery has ruled that out.

    It appears that the crackly distortion seems to be occuring because of some issue with streaming audio using the ASIO (Audio Streaming Input Output) protocol, I don't think it's a buffer-setting problem since it makes no difference whichever buffer-setting I set it to, nor does it make any difference what sample-rate I set it to, or whichever combination of sample-rate and buffer setting I set it to.

    Is it because my Acer laptop's usb ports have problems supplying enough power to my 2i2?, that would explain why the 2i2 works perfectly well with my studio desktop pc, which is powered from an 850 Watt power supply unit which is powered from a 240V AC wall socket, and not very well with my laptop which is usually powered from a 19V DC/3.42A 240V AC plugpack adaptor when I'm doing any music production on my laptop.


    Here's two more things I just thought of trying:

    * Do a complete clean-install of Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium on my laptop to see if the crackly distortion issue is caused by a software/hardware incompatibility with the latest build version of Windows 10, I still have both my 32 Bit and 64 Bit Windows 7 Home Premium DVDs.....hmmmmm...I think it's worth a try, even though Microsoft are going to force me to upgrade to Windows 10.

    * Try buying an externally powered usb hub and use it to connect the 2i2 to my laptop, just to see if the crackly distortion is caused by the laptop's usb ports not being able to supply enough power to the 2i2 when it is plugged-in directly.
    Last edited by DrNomis_44; 30-06-2020 at 10:52 AM.

  3. #103
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNomis_44 View Post
    Update:
    It appears that the crackly distortion seems to be occuring because of some issue with streaming audio using the ASIO (Audio Streaming Input Output) protocol, I don't think it's a buffer-setting problem since it makes no difference whichever buffer-setting I set it to, nor does it make any difference what sample-rate I set it to, or whichever combination of sample-rate and buffer setting I set it to.

    Is it because my Acer laptop's usb ports have problems supplying enough power to my 2i2?, that would explain why the 2i2 works perfectly well with my studio desktop pc, which is powered from an 850 Watt power supply unit which is powered from a 240V AC wall socket, and not very well with my laptop which is usually powered from a 19V DC/3.42A 240V AC plugpack adaptor when I'm doing any music production on my laptop.
    What happens when you play a CD/DVD or stream Youtube through the Scarlett.

    I doubt it's a low power issue as I can run my Scarlett Solo off my Lenovo lappy USB with a line fed LDC mic running off it with no issues, my Behringer mixer will run off the laptop but won't drive the LDC due to power issues whether using the internal battery or mains power. It simply pulls it's skirt over it's head and does nothing, no distortion just the sound of silence.

    Given that the 2i2 runs fine off the desktop and was running off the laptop prior to the drive change I keep going back to something in the laptop signal path as being the issue.

    I'm guessing your head of hair must be starting to look like that of your avatar

  4. #104
    Overlord of Music DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.king1 View Post
    What happens when you play a CD/DVD or stream Youtube through the Scarlett.

    I doubt it's a low power issue as I can run my Scarlett Solo off my Lenovo lappy USB with a line fed LDC mic running off it with no issues, my Behringer mixer will run off the laptop but won't drive the LDC due to power issues whether using the internal battery or mains power. It simply pulls it's skirt over it's head and does nothing, no distortion just the sound of silence.

    Given that the 2i2 runs fine off the desktop and was running off the laptop prior to the drive change I keep going back to something in the laptop signal path as being the issue.

    I'm guessing your head of hair must be starting to look like that of your avatar

    Hahahaha....yep, all the frustration I've been experiencing with trying to sort-out the sound issue with my 2i2 has seriously sorely tested my patience and made me feel like tearing-out every single hair on my head, for sure....lol.

    I must have the patience of a saint.

    When I try streaming audio from youtube while listening to it via the 2i2 on my Acer laptop, I do get the crackly distortion, but as soon as I switch to the laptop's Realtek(R) Audio, and plug the headphones directly into the laptop's headphone socket, the audio is crystal clear with no crackly distortion, I just tried it again just to confirm it, yep, crackly distortion only when using the 2i2 when streaming audio from youtube, crystal clear when using the laptop's Realtek audio when streaming audio from youtube.

    I did notice that before the crackly distortion issue manifested itself, my 2i2 would randomly power itself down for no apparent reason when connected to my laptop, and I had to unplug, then plug it back in to get it working again.


    Just out of curiosity, and cause I can't think of anything else, I'm going to set things up so that I can have a look at the output signal coming out of the stereo line-outs of my 2i2 on my DSE Q-1804 20Mhz Dual-Trace Oscilloscope, while simultaneously listening to audio playback from one of FL Studio's demo projects on a pair of headphones, I'm curious to see what the crackly distortion actually looks like.


    It was hard to see, but I did notice that every time I heard crackly distortion in the headphones, a small part of the signal waveform was missing, and interestingly enough, the crackly distortion seemed to occur on signal-peaks, or when things got loud.....hmmmmm....
    Last edited by DrNomis_44; 30-06-2020 at 01:16 PM.

  5. #105
    Mentor jugglindan's Avatar
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    Does the 2i2 have a fault leading to weird signal clipping? Also, at risk of repeating things from earlier in the thread, have you been able to test the 2i2 with a different computer?
    Mantra: No more pedals, must finish BlueyCaster...
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  6. #106
    Overlord of Music DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugglindan View Post
    Does the 2i2 have a fault leading to weird signal clipping? Also, at risk of repeating things from earlier in the thread, have you been able to test the 2i2 with a different computer?

    Yep, I tried my 2i2 with my studio desktop pc, which is running the exact same version of Windows that my laptop is running, also same Daw software too, I get crystal clear audio from the 2i2 when using it with my studio desktop pc, but crackly distorted audio when using it with my laptop.

    It's hard to determine if the 2i2 does have a fault that leads to weird signal clipping, it was very hard to see on the Oscilloscope, but occasionally when I heard the crackly distortion in my headphones, I saw a very brief drop-out of the audio which momentarily looked like a straight line, I don't know how significant that is.


    I might try looking at the headphone-out signals with the scope later-on.

  7. #107
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    Be nice to be able to monitor the USB traffic and see if you get the same gaps there although I suspect it's a digital spike causing the 2i2 to clip giving the signal drops.

    I have a Hammond B3 VSTi that spikes horribly at random intervals so a limiter set at -12 sits in the effect chain immediately after the VSTi, sounds absolutely brilliant and was free so I live with it

  8. #108
    Overlord of Music DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.king1 View Post
    Be nice to be able to monitor the USB traffic and see if you get the same gaps there although I suspect it's a digital spike causing the 2i2 to clip giving the signal drops.

    I have a Hammond B3 VSTi that spikes horribly at random intervals so a limiter set at -12 sits in the effect chain immediately after the VSTi, sounds absolutely brilliant and was free so I live with it

    Yeah, if that Hammond B3 vst is the same one I'm thinking of, it tends to be a bit of a cpu hog, and you get spikes in the cpu usage.


    I'd probably need a bit more sophisticated piece of test equipment, like a multi-channel logic-analyzer to look at the digital data on the data transmission lines of the usb ports to see what's going on.
    Last edited by DrNomis_44; 01-07-2020 at 02:25 AM.

  9. #109
    Mentor jugglindan's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like either a physical issue with the USB ports, cabling, or motherboard in the laptop, or a driver issue. In either case, examining the data stream over USB won't get you any closer to a fix. Maybe it could help identify whether it's a USB power issue or not.

    Is the 2i2 powered from the USB cable, or separately? If powered by a separate supply you could try running a data-only USB cable to rule out noisy power from the USB port. Another thing to try is putting a powered USB hub in between the laptop and 2i2. That might help isolate noisy power from the laptop USB port. It might also make no difference
    Mantra: No more pedals, must finish BlueyCaster...
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  10. #110
    Overlord of Music DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugglindan View Post
    It sounds to me like either a physical issue with the USB ports, cabling, or motherboard in the laptop, or a driver issue. In either case, examining the data stream over USB won't get you any closer to a fix. Maybe it could help identify whether it's a USB power issue or not.

    Is the 2i2 powered from the USB cable, or separately? If powered by a separate supply you could try running a data-only USB cable to rule out noisy power from the USB port. Another thing to try is putting a powered USB hub in between the laptop and 2i2. That might help isolate noisy power from the laptop USB port. It might also make no difference
    Good point, my 2i2 is powered directly off of the usb lead, and not from an external plugpack adaptor, I'll see if I can buy a powered usb hub when I get back from spending time with my mum in Perth.

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