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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Sorry, I came late to the party. I didn't read the whole thread.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:37 pm 
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Testing using LatencyMon. A16 connected to ADAT-A:


Attachment:
ADAT-A.png
ADAT-A.png [ 58.15 KiB | Viewed 1183 times ]


And here connected with ADAT-B:
Attachment:
ADAT-B.png
ADAT-B.png [ 87.21 KiB | Viewed 1183 times ]


The troublemaker seems to be scopexite.sys!


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:16 pm 
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Hmmmm.... re-install Scope drivers? Check for duplicate Scope files? Don't see this being done in the thread.

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"I’ve come to the conclusion that synths are like potatoes, they’re no good raw—you’ve got to cook ‘em, and I cooked these sounds for months before I got them to the point where they sounded musical to me." Lyle Mays


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:35 pm 
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ronnie wrote:
Hmmmm.... re-install Scope drivers? Check for duplicate Scope files? Don't see this being done in the thread.


Besides I've already installed Scope on a virginal system (with same behavior): question why are ADAT-A and ADAT-B different (i.e ADATs on A16)? A16's ADAT-B is fine (up to 48k), but A only at 32k. Cable have be swapped and also crossed. Result: whenever ADAT-A from A16 is connected to Xite, trouble starts at 44.1.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:17 pm 
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that happens consistently?

ADAT A or ADAT B means absolutely nothing to Windows. period.

if it were a problem with scopexite.sys everyone would have that problem.
there must be a reason for this...


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:19 pm 
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garyb wrote:
that happens consistently?

ADAT A or ADAT B means absolutely nothing to Windows. period.

if it were a problem with scopexite.sys everyone would have that problem.
there must be a reason for this...

Yes, I can reproduce this error any time.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:07 am 
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ADAT A and B are just representations in the gui. nothing that they do takes place in Windows. Windows does not know which are connected or not connected. not at all. the driver isn't concerned with the ADAT i/o in any way. i can't think of anything else other than clock issues, but i don't understand why LatyencyMon would respond that way. maybe clock errors set off alarms in LatencyMon. do you have all 4 lightpipe cables connected at all times? sometimes clock is better transmitted on one or the other ADAT port. i've had this issue with the PCI cards in the past. if all 4 cables aren't connected, it's not possible to try the other ADAT port for clock. the clock signal doesn't have to be on the same cable as the audio data.

if you are using 8 channels from the A16 and 8 channels from another piece of hardware, then you should be using an external wordclock generator/distributor.

i realize that i'm probably giving advice that you have already experimented with, but i guess it the best i can do. in any case, it's pretty much impossible for you using one ADAT port or the other to do anything in Windows, even if that's what you are seeing. there's something else happening.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:19 pm 
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The only reason I could think of to make this happen (as Gary says) is clock issues. If the ADAT A is *thinking* it gets or creates lots of clocks as a high sample rate instead of normal rate, then there would be an issue with system timing as well.

Gary: Would the Word clock.sys "fix" for xite as wordclk master vs. slave play any role in adat clocks? I would expect not, but so many stones have been turned over so far to solve this.....


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:20 pm 
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jksuperstar wrote:
Would the Word clock.sys "fix" for xite as wordclk master vs. slave play any role in adat clocks?


no, that only puts the XITE into wordclock slave or master. it doesn't affect ADAT.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:58 am 
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I'm going to add my voice to this chorus. We were delving into this problem in another thread, but there's more activity and attention here. Sorry for the length of my post. Thought a little history background might be helpful.

I had opened my XITE-1 box up a few days ago in order to repair one of the ADAT TOSLINK jacks. I had broken the little plastic shutter on one of the TOSLINK connectors and am planning a replacement of the connector. That little door does more than act as a dust shield when not in use. It also provides some of the clamping pressure for the fiber optic cable connector. Without the door, the cable end doesn't make a firm "connection" to the light pipe. The others snap firmly into place.

The thread conversation quickly turned to the matter of crackles or distortion from the ADAT ports. I am also experiencing this. But my results seem a little different. Or maybe they're the same but just manifested differently. Here's the story:

I have an older model S|C A16 Ultra. I have been using it in Z-Link mode mostly since the day I got XITE (couple years ago). When I was doing preliminary testing of the XITE, I tried running with the supplied ADAT cables (just out of curiosity). I saw problems with crackling but didn't spend a lot of time on it because I wasn't planning on using ADAT anyway. Z-Link seemed to work fine without any further adjustments. However, there were always random pops and clicks in my recordings. The pops always seemed to come from Z-Link B source channels (never Z-Link A source). Because they were so random, it was hard to troubleshoot to even a specific channel (I suspect one of Z-Link B channels 3, 4 or 5 but haven't 100% confirmed that yet). It's hard to do when you're in the middle of a session lol

Now I have tried some more testing of the ADAT ports. I have the 4 cables (that were supplied with XITE from the factory) properly connected between XITE and the A16. I usually record at 48kHz so I tried that setting first. Within Scope, I have both ADAT A & B Source modules connected very simply to the STM 2448 mixer. Channels 1-8 of ADAT A to channels 1-8 of the mixer. Channels 1-8 of the ADAT B Source to channels 9-16 of the mixer. The Mix L & R channels out of the mixer are fed to the ADAT A Destination module channels 1 & 2 because I have connected the stereo output from here to my desktop mixer and studio monitor system. Very simple project.

At 48kHz, I get 0 db crackling on mixer channels 10-16 (all seven channels have simultaneous crackling). It's audible through my monitors of course. Oddly, channel 9 (which would be ADAT B Source channel 1) is not affected at all. I can make the noise stop momentarily by muting one of the mixer channels (for some weird reason pressing the mute button on one of the channels turns the crackling completely on and off). Mixer channels 1-8 have random noise spikes but nothing like whats happening on the ADAT B Source channels.

If I switch to 44.1 kHz, the problem goes away 100% and all channels work exactly as expected. No noise. No random crackling and audio input to the channels is clean. I could do all my recording perfectly if I wanted to record only at 44.1 kHz. Also checked at 32. No problem there either. Switching back to 48 immediately has the noise problem again. I tried adjusting the ULLI settings but they had no effect. I tried switching between ADAT A and ADAT B sync source and no improvement. I have not tried running A16 as master yet because I don't have a word clock cable (expecting one to arrive today but I doubt that will help as already indicated by other posts here).

I think what I'm describing here falls into the same category of problem as what some you are also describing. It just looks different to me because of the way I have the Scope project set up (I think). I could forget all this and go back to Z-Link operation (which mostly works OK except for the periodic pops). I can go a day or two sometimes and not see a problem. It's so very random. However, I would very much like to resolve all this once and for all. I had been considering a new Ferrofish A16 (obviously with no Z-Link capability) and that's mostly why I'm here right now.

PS - I sent Juergen at Ferrofish an email yesterday explaining these problems and asked if he could review these threads/posts and respond back.


Last edited by krizrox on Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:43 am, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:38 am 
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oh wow - I have to add another oddity. As I was sitting here in front of my DAW, with Scope project loaded and active and just sort of watching the random pops and clicks, I logged onto Facebook and was doing a little social interaction there when all of a sudden I noticed that if I switched to someone else's FB page account the crackling on channels 10-16 popped in abruptly. So I tried switching back to my page and the problem went away (not completely but still some minor random pops). So now I'm switching back and forth and around FB and sure enough... sometimes the problem on channels 10-16 appears and sometimes it goes away. Completely in sync with the mouse clicks. 100% reproducible with certain FB pages.

I am now wondering if there is something deeper in this problem - perhaps related to Windows (I'm on 10) or maybe even related to the network settings. I don't normally use my DAW for network/internet ANYTHING except to check email, upload files to my server, download DAW updates and check FB messages. But this was an odd development. Again, this could point to something completely not related to the hardware. The plot thickens. Normally, my network connection in Windows is deactivated. If I want to momentarily get on the internet I have to manually activate the LAN/network settings.

Before you ask... yes... all the OS tweaks known to man are in place (including all the usual suspects in BIOS). I have run LatencyMon in the past with clean results.

UPDATE 1: let's take this one step further. It's not specific to Facebook. If I open other websites it's the same behavior. Opening a random website makes the noise on channels 10-18 burst into action. Closing the page/tab makes it stop. I'm trying to sort this out in my mind what happens when you open (download) a page from the internet. Some CPU/memory processes? I have a dual-monitor setup with Scope on one side and browser on the other. I may try a quick test in a single monitor setup to see if there's something related to graphics setup? Maybe my video card? This is just too weird lol I would never have the network connection enabled and be doing internet surfing during a recording session so I'm not sure how these two "problems" have anything to do with each other but there may be a single root cause. I should mention this noise problem has followed me across a couple of PC builds and even a studio location move with new wiring throughout.

UPDATE 2: I tried a test using only one monitor to see if the dual monitor setup might have had something to do with this. Same results with a single monitor. Doesn't seem related to the graphics card setup although more testing might shine light on this theory. Will try other settings and tests. If I have something more concrete to add to this I'll update. Still wondering about memory allocation or CPU cycles.

Also: here's a screen shot of the STM2448 mixer. You can see how channels 10-18 are full-on steady noise and the other channels are random. Oddly, no activity at all on Ch 9.

Image

Here is the project window showing simple setup:

Image

And... here is the settings window

Image


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:08 am 
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A minor update: I had to stop for a bit because of the holiday but I finally got my clock cable in, so I will do some testing using A16 as master this coming week. Not too optimistic this will cure anything but it's worth a try.

Also, just as a reality check, I did some testing using Z-Link at 48kHz opening and closing websites and absolutely no problem with Z-Link. I couldn't even see any random pops or clicks after about an hour of testing. In my case, these random pops would occur only once in maybe a day or two of actual production so I just don't know. But if it was a Windows/BIOS thing, you'd think you'd see the same problem whether it was ADAT or Z-Link. I'm more suspicious about the A16 at this point.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:42 am 
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Well, well.... positive update!

I had a few minutes this afternoon so I decided to try out the wordclock cable. Connected to the A16 (set as master), XITE/Scope set as slave with BNC sync source selected. Loaded a test project and Eureka! all the problems with ADAT at 48kHz magically disappeared. Everything seems to be working fine now. Clicking on mixer channel mute buttons has no adverse affect. Opening and closing website tabs in my browser has no negative impact.

I see no random pops/clicks (watching the VU meters on the STM4896 mixer loaded in Scope). Signals are coming through clean and clear on all 16 channels of the A16.

This is a very positive and welcomed resolution to the original problem. All thanks should go to GaryB for the tips. If he hadn't suggested the wordclock cable as a solution I might never have tried it. Obviously I want to do more testing before I have confidence, but this is looking good. I have a band coming in tomorrow I will put this setup through it's paces and see what happens.

Should mention this is an older model S|C A16 Ultra. Not a Ferrofish.

It's perplexing that some of you tried this solution and it didn't correct your problem.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:09 pm 
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I just tried the same with my Ferrofish A16e doesn't work. :-(


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:34 pm 
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Ambient Source wrote:
I just tried the same with my Ferrofish A16e doesn't work. :-(


That's weird and annoying. I wish I had something to offer. Where are u located Ambient? U.S. by any chance?


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:05 pm 
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Ambient Source wrote:
I just tried the same with my Ferrofish A16e doesn't work. :-(

Same here. Ferrofish behaves the same, if I use A16 WC or external. So I have to live with crackles at 48k or some on 44.1k on port B.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:24 am 
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Where are u located Ambient? U.S. by any chance?

no I'm in Scotland.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:05 am 
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Well.. I was hoping to get my hands on a Ferrofish unit for testing (and possible purchase). I thought maybe I could help by either buying a unit, or testing one that seems to be exhibiting problems. I dont want it if it's not going to work with Xite. But it would be interesting to test one and see if the results are the same as my SC A16. Just thinking out loud.

That's kind of how this whole thing started for me - was interested in a new FF A16 but they dont support Z-Link so I had to do some testing and thinking to make sure it would work in my studio.

I have a band coming in today. If this ADAT setup passes muster I might continue to use it like that.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:26 am 
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Well, this ADAT setup passed the stress test in an actual recording project (at 48kHz). No pops or clicks at all. If it stays like this I will be one happy camper. Time will tell. I've learned to be patient with these things. Ya never know what to expect down the road sometimes. ;-)

Final update: I'm back with a follow-up comment a few days later. I've ran a few sessions now with this new setup using ADAT and A16 as master and recording at 48kHz. No clicks, pops, farts, or any noise of any kind coming through the system. Clean and quiet. But there's something else. The sound quality has changed. For the better. I noticed it right away but was reluctant to say anything because I wasn't sure what I was hearing at first. I've used only Z-Link literally since day one (I've been through a lot of Creamware/S|C products over the years starting with TripleDAT and Luna 2496's and A16s). The "sound" of Z-Link is ingrained in my brain lol

The best way to describe the improvement is ADAT sounds tighter, more focused, more 3-dimensional. I noticed the improvement on the drum tracks right away. Lows sounded richer and fuller. Highs sounded less harsh. It's like washing dirty windows and being able to see clearly through them.

I'm very pleased but also a little startled. I don't understand why. I guess I was under the impression that Z-Link was supposed to be superior to ADAT. But ADAT with word-clocking definitely sounds better to me. Anyway, all this effort led me to a better sound overall. Well worth the effort. And I hope those still struggling will find a solution soon.


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 Post subject: Re: with 6 inputs crackles at higher sample rates
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:59 am 
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Hey everyone! Happy new year! Hope you had a great holiday. I just wanted to put some closure to my story. I've run many sessions since November and am pleased to say that there have been absolutely no problems with random clicks or pops. Changing my setup to use the A16 as master, and XITE as slave, cured everything. And as mentioned earlier, the sound quality of my recordings has improved a lot! I wish I had tried this years ago. So I completely abandoned the Z-Link interface and have been using ADAT with excellent results.

Re sound quality: bass is tighter, more defined. High end (like cymbals) is smoother. Mids are less fizzy sounding. Everything feels more.... right! lol This was the most significant sonic upgrade I've made to my studio in years. I've also done a lot of experimentation using Scope as a mixing/mastering platform for my recordings. I've been back and forth with that and for many years and had been mixing mostly in Samplitude. A lot of that decision had to do with client budgets and schedule and the ability to render a mix quickly for what are mostly demo recordings that don't need that extra polish. I find using Scope as a sort of "summing mixer" gives me real good results. I have lots of excellent VST plug-ins I use daily and they all benefit from a round-trip through XITE/Scope. A sort of hybrid approach to mixing & mastering. Scope plugs continue to impress. The sound quality of the verbs and compressors and whatnot... excellent. But even if I use Samplitude to do all the mixing and mastering, even that seems better now since the WAV files are sounding better. So that was an improvement too.

I'm really happy. I really have to thank Gary B too. He continues to be an extremely valuable resource. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for his suggestions. I probably owe him a beer or something lol


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