Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
DorphonDalfir
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:56 pm

Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by DorphonDalfir » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:07 pm

So I'm using a brand new Nio 2/4 with Live 7 on a dual core 2.1ghz laptop with 3gb ram and Windows XP.

I was previously using Asio4All drivers with no hassle at all.

It seems that if I set my buffer length to anything HIGHER than 2ms, I get awful, constant crackling but a 3% decrease in CPU load. As soon as I set it to 2ms or lower, the signal is crystal clear, but with a 3% boost in CPU usage.

This is odd, because I thought that a higher buffer length would decrease crackling and not the other way around. I have total latency of 11ms with a 2ms buffer length, so I'm not really complaining, but I'm curious as to why this is occurring. Any ideas?

Also, DPC latency checker shows a constantly in the green readout.

d-track
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:29 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by d-track » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:27 pm

h,

first try this firmware update:
http://www.novationmusic.com/answerbase ... php?id=392

then the thing still exists there is an official 1.2.8 usb audio driver in the official 1.2.0 whole nio pack at the novation site.
if it doesnt help then ask for the 1.2.9
there is no 1.2.9 not even on the beta testing site but they will send you via email.
i got it this way too and since these two, i dont have any problems with the nio.
*-*

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:38 am

After weeks of dealing with Novation support there was no resolution, the guy I spoke to did not know of any 1.2.9 drivers. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:17 pm

So for the last few months, I've been using the Nio through Asio4All which has given me crackle free performance until now.

I finally got the 1.2.9 drivers from Novation today because I felt better about using official drivers and wanted to see if they sorted out the problem as suggested a few posts up. They didn't work, the crackling remains and eventually Live will hang, when I end its process and try start it up again everything (including the splash screen) will lag which necessitates a system reboot.

Now when using Asio4All - which was my old solution to the problem. There seems to be no way around this crackling since installing 1.2.9 (although I'm not sure if thats the cause of the problem.) This is driving me insane as there's no way I can perform with it sounding like this.

So far I've:

Done a clean install of both 1.2.8 and 1.2.9 drivers (alternating between the two) and Asio4All 2.09 and 2.10. The problem still persists. I've gone into my BIOS and disabled all onboard devices such as Bluetooth, LAN and Wireless cards. I've disabled the onboard sound drivers. Disabled my anti-virus software and Windows Firewall. A DPC Latency monitor shows a constant green read out.

I thought that maybe the Nio wasn't drawing enough power from the USB slots (not using a hub - should I buy a powered hub?) and when the interface was working using Asio4All, it would only work in the first slot (closest to the monitor.) While Asio4All would be reliable 95% of the time there were a couple of occasions where it let me down, which is why I'm trying to get the interface to run on its official drivers.

Does anyone have any suggestions? What else could be crashing the drivers? (I'm assuming that's what's happening because Asio4All will also flash the red !)It must be something on the laptop because I'm using the Nio on my desktop without any problems with Asio4All or official drivers.

I'm desperate now!

edit:

10 minutes ago - after writing that post - it started working perfectly, Asio4All or Official drivers. I shut down and restarted about 16 minutes later to see if it'd stay fixed and no dice. Same problem. It's obvious that the potential to run properly is there, but something's getting in the way.

bagginz
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Switzerland
Contact:

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by bagginz » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:12 pm

Dalfir,
try first choosing the Nio driver in Live's audio driver selector box and putting the slider up to say 12 ms

Then go back and reselect the Asio4all driver in Live's audio driver selector box and see if that makes a difference.

The slider on the Nio driver dialogue box appears to be active even if you are not using NIO as an ASIO driver. I don't know why.

Perhaps something to do with Nio's onboard plug-in business?

Good luck,
bagginz

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:17 pm

Thanks Bagginz, will give it a try. It's the most frustrating thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Things were fine most of the time with the Nio set to 10ms and Asio4All at 256 samples. Now, even after 4 hours of rebooting and trying different methods the problem persists. I'm almost positive there's something on the laptop that's interfering but I can't pin point it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't which is not something I want hanging over my head 5 minutes before I go on infront of a dance floor.

The problem cropped up a couple of weeks ago in the last few seconds before my set started. Switching cables over from the Nio to a CDJ is never fun when you have only a couple of seconds to pull it off.

edit: thanks for the suggestion, but no dice. When I siwtched back to the Asio4All drivers, the status icon turned to the red ! and the problem was worse.

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length? - SOLVED

Post by Dalfir » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:21 pm

Right.

I seem to have found a solution. The cause of the issue seems to be the Ati Radeon HD3200 display adapter on the laptop.

If I disable the device (from system - hardware devices) and do the necessary reboot, the crackles are gone whether I use the Novation drivers or Asio4All drivers. I can even re-enable the the graphics card (which apparently does not require a reboot as I don't get prompted for one) and things still work fine. However, if I were to boot up the laptop with that device enabled, the crackles come back.

So it seems that the work around to this problem is:

Disable graphics adapter

Reboot

Enable graphics adapter

Use Live

When done, disable graphics adapter before shutting down.

I tried uninstalling the drivers in order to install newer versions, but the HP firmware seems to automatically reinstall the drivers and I can't seem to update them with newer ATI ones (downloaded from a third party site). If I try download the drivers from ATI, it directs me to the laptop manufacturer's site to download what appears to be drivers specifically for that system. However, there are no newer drivers than the ones already installed. (The straight up Radeon drivers from ATI seem to be a few versions ahead, but I can't get rid of the drivers that seem to be built into the laptop. Trying to uninstall them also forces me to reactiviate XP due to "significant hardware changes."

So I guess this is the closest to a solution I'm going to find until HP/Compaq get newer video drivers that might fix the problem. Lets just hope those crackles stay gone!

Thanks to everyone for the help, hopefully this information proves useful to anyone with the same problem!

leedsquietman
Posts: 6659
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:56 am
Location: greater toronto area

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by leedsquietman » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:25 pm

if this happens again try downloading the DPC latency checker and click off your device drivers one at a time to find the culprit - graphics drivers are often the culprit and Nvidia and other vendors often are as troublesome as ATI. Backing off full hardware acceleration often helps. CD/DVD ROM drivers, wifi, ethernet/network and bluetooth are also often causes of such glitching.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:51 pm

Well, it has been happening again when I try different scenarios (enabling the device before I open Live for instance) and then it takes a couple more tries at disabling/enabling/disabling til it works again with the device disabled and crackle free. It's working now and I've decided to just leave it as is, using Asio4All. It seems the crackles only stay gone if you enable the device only AFTER you've used Live/Cubase/Traktor and gotten crackle free performance. If you enable it before, such as once your system has booted and before you do anything else, the crackles are back although not nearly as bad as the ones I get if the system actually boots up with the graphics card enabled. When I disable/enable a device, does Windows assign it a new IRQ number so eventually after enough disables/enables it'll be assigned the problem number again? That is, if the crackles are an IRQ conflict of some kind.

It's the weirdest thing, definitely the weirdest audio related problem I've ever encountered. I'm not even sure if the graphics card is the root problem, but disabling it seems to be the only solution - although temporarily it seems. But I guess it'll have to do for now.

Decreasing hardware acceleration isn't something I've tried. I've decreased HA from the audio device properties, but not the HA of the graphics card. if it comes back it'll be the first thing I do.

All built-in devices from the limited BIOS of the laptop are turned off (Bluetooth, LAN, WLAN etc).

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:43 pm

Ok, so my OCD got the better of me and I started playing with Hardware acceleration. First set it to the middle and unchecked write combining. No crackles. Raised the acceleration slider a bit. Still no crackles. Kept on doing that till it was back at full while write combining was still unchecked and.... I think that's stopped the crackling. Will give it a try again in a few hours to see if the audio stays clean. Asio4All would give one little skip and turn when I hit play for the first time in my live set, but after that everything was running smoothly. I'm actually using the official Novation drivers now because it doesnt give off a little glitch when I first start playing the set like A4A does. Everything seems to be running well with the graphics card enabled and write combining disabled. Thanks a lot!

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:39 am

Nope, still present. The real only way it seems I get clear audio is by shutting down and rebooting whenever the crackles are apparent and hope that the next reboot will fix it. Just when I think it's fixed, a reboot seems to bring the crackles back just as it makes them disappear.

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:25 pm

Ok, this is going to be the last post I make on the subject unless it's an update to tell everyone that it's working 100$. Someone suggested I get a powered USB 2.0 hub to run the Nio through...Could it be a possibility?

Dalfir
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: Novation Nio 2/4 crackling above 2ms buffer length?

Post by Dalfir » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:01 pm

The crackles have been gone for about a week so far. What did I do? I lowered the buffer size of the Nio driver. From the default 10ms down to 4ms cleared it up straight away. I can take it all the way down to 1ms without any crackling but as so soon as it goes to 7ms or up the crackles start and get worse...Isn't this the total opposite of buffer size side effects?

It seemed that switching to the Asio4All drivers would crash the drivers, so I've just uninstalled them. I'm not going to try replicate the problem to see what it's cause could be (if it ain't broke...) and I'm going to leave the buffer size so that the latency is 4ms. Lets hope it stays this way! So, so weird!

Hopefully this fix is permanent and can be applied to some of your problematic systems.

Post Reply