Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Post Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:49 am

Update with possible closure:

Summary of stuff I did:
- Defragmented system and swapfile drives.
- Replaced onboard audio and LAN network devices (with replacing means disabling them in the BIOS as well) with EMU 1212M and a noname 2-port card I bought from aliexpress using an Intel chipset. The onboard uses a chipset from Realtek.
- I have no wifi device, nothing to do.
- Checked in latencymon were culprit seemed to be USBPORT.SYS, TCPIP.SYS, NDIS.SYS, PORTCLS.SYS - the last 3 related to audio and network.
- Deleted all USB drivers, and had windows reinstalling them on reboot
- Doublechecked that all power settings were at highest settings, 100 % everywhere, no sleepmodes allowed etc.
- Even did the same in device manager for USB ports and network card
- installed voicemeeter that allows you to route audio from all windows apps to the same, and from there to the soundcards asio driver, where I put latency to the highest

None of all this helped, but then two days ago I read about a guy who changed the settings for the swap file to fixed from controlled by windows. So went to check how my setup was for this, and found that windows had decided to use two partitions for the swapfile, and to control the size of it, in other words make it dynamic.
So what I did was to stop it from using two partitions, and set the size to 32 GB (I have 16 GB of RAM in my system - not sure if the 10 year old rule of twice as much swapspace as the static RAM still applies, but anyway) on one drive only. Then I rebooted.
Now, 48 hours later, I´ve had no single problem with the audio. Latencymon do get some spikes occassionally, but afterall nothing that seems important.
Also, I would not always be succesful with getting sound from the voicemeeter routing.. not sure if to blame voicemeeter or the emu-drivers, so now it´s simply just using the EMUcard as a direct output from the settings in windows.
I did try this before I changed the swapfile settings, and there I still had the crackling problem.
So, I probably could´ve saved the money for the extra network card, but it was just 18 EUR so I´m cool with that, and it got me into blowing life back into my old 1212m card which sounds better than the onboard audio.
So the conclusion is that you shouldn´t always focus solely on the information given by latencymon. No doubt that latencymon tells the truth, but not the whole truth.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this can help others to solve similar issues :)

I will get back again if after some days the problem comes back again, but what I can say is that I haven´t had the audio being this stable for more than a month.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:43 pm

So, things have improved after that I set the virtual memory size to a fixed one. I had to set it to 24 GB or sometimes I´d get weird messages from java SDK that I´m using for programming.

I do however still start to get hiccups after 5 days. They still seem to be impacted by network activity, but the system seems less sensitive than before.

I also sometimes get that the 1212M completely stops working, which I fix by disabling/enabling it in device manager.

I´m thinking about the voicemeeter way of doing it again, although that seemed rather unstable - at least in combination with the 1212m. Eventually I´ll simply go back to the onboard audio and see if that works better now that things have improved a bit by changing the virtual memory settings.

Inputs are still more than welcome!

PS: I read about ppl with this problem who took the classical "reinstall OS" step, and it did not help them.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:52 am

So, here´s the latest chapter in my story:

Yesterday I had another one of those events where the sound suddenly dies and I have to dis/reenable the 1212m device. On one previous occasion, I actually had to reboot the computer to get the sound back, but this time it was worse:
The device manager was hanging when I tried to disable the audio card, so I shut down the device manager, opened it again and saw that the device had been disabled (by me I suppose). So I enabled it again, but it made no difference. I tried this again, with the device manager hanging one more time etcetc.
Then I rebooted the computer, and now my EMU device was gone in the device manager. Well, it showed up under unrecognized hardware. I tried to reinstall the drivers, but the installer reported that I did not have matching hardware...
So, at least on my system, 1212m is so buggy that despite it sounding better, my prefered solution was to throw it back into the closet and reenable the onboard audio device. It´s gonna be interesting how this one will sound after some days, having tweaked windows a bit while having the 1212m in the computer.

Updates will follow...
Best Regards

Roman Empire

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:43 am

Nope.. after a day with realtek, the problem is back. Any ideas?
Best Regards

Roman Empire

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
10624 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:20 am

Yeah: forget about it, or do a complete format.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:25 am

BertKoor wrote:Yeah: forget about it, or do a complete format.
As mentioned:

"PS: I read about ppl with this problem who took the classical "reinstall OS" step, and it did not help them."
Best Regards

Roman Empire

Shockwave77598
KVRer
18 posts since 15 Mar, 2018

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Wed May 02, 2018 6:51 am

Well, I too have 16G of ram in my computer. But I have ALL the virtual memory turned off. No swapfiles at all. And I've never had a problem. If you have more than 4G then you really don't need a virtual memory unless you are doing BIG graphic works. Mine on my 16G i7 4970k has never been on and I have never had a sound problem like you have had.

My thinking so far is that the ASIO4ALL is pushing the Realtek drivers beyond what they can handle for the chipset. Perhaps something else is occuring in the system and the high interrupt rate of ASIO4ALL gets hosed momentarily, starving the chips of data and causing them to lock up. One thing you can do to test that theory is adjust the Buffer Size to be double what it currently is set too. Yes, the bigger the buffer, the worse the latency. That's a given. But ASIO4ALL will not give you the power of a truly dedicated highend audio card, any more than a fuel additive will turn your Taurus into a Ferrari. You may simply have the settings so hot that anything else the system needs to do may cause enough of a delay that the critical timing necessary gets ruined.

Try playing with the Buffer sizes and see if a bigger buffer reduces the numbers of lockups. If it does, then all you need to do to permanently fix the problem is put in a sound card with true ASIO capabilities and you'll be golden.

Here's my config:

i7 4970K 4Ghz base
16G DDR3 ram
C: Dual Samsung 850 512G in Raid 0
E: dedicated drive for Reaper to record into
F: Other scratch drive
XiFi 24bit sound card, pciex 1 slot, true ASIO
gtx970 video card

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
10624 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Thu May 03, 2018 3:18 am

A path which might be worth looking in to: if there are any PCI instead of PCIe devices, it could be their latency is set too high.
Background article: https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... mer-Issues
Note that you might require a live boot cd with WinXP or Vista to run the PCI Latency tool and change settings.

Otherwise I'd just write off this particular computer and not put anymore effort into the issue.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Sun May 13, 2018 7:33 am

BertKoor wrote:A path which might be worth looking in to: if there are any PCI instead of PCIe devices, it could be their latency is set too high.
Background article: https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... mer-Issues
Note that you might require a live boot cd with WinXP or Vista to run the PCI Latency tool and change settings.

Otherwise I'd just write off this particular computer and not put anymore effort into the issue.
"The tool is not compatible with Windows 7" it says, so I´d think it´s not compatible with Win 10 either. Nevertheless, thanks for the idea about checking on PCI latency, will certainly try to see if this could have anything to do with it.

Unfortunately I´m not in a position to just write off a whole i7 system including the many hours it´d take to reinstall everything on a new one. If we were talking about a raspberry pi with a 15 min reinstall, perhaps I´d buy another one to see if the problem would be the same on the new one, but not for this one.
I´m considering a (cheap) USB soundcard to see if things will behave any differently with such a thing installed.
For now, my "workaround" is rebooting the computer whenever the problem starts, which can be after a day, a week; you never know. After all alot of people reboot their systems every day so with that in mind I don´t feel like the unluckiest person in the world but obviously I´d prefer not to. And as a multi-decade techie guy, you don´t give up on solving a problem that bugs you unless fixing it with money costs next to nothing and steals next to none of your time.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Sun May 13, 2018 8:04 am

Shockwave77598 wrote:Well, I too have 16G of ram in my computer. But I have ALL the virtual memory turned off. No swapfiles at all. And I've never had a problem. If you have more than 4G then you really don't need a virtual memory unless you are doing BIG graphic works. Mine on my 16G i7 4970k has never been on and I have never had a sound problem like you have had.

My thinking so far is that the ASIO4ALL is pushing the Realtek drivers beyond what they can handle for the chipset. Perhaps something else is occuring in the system and the high interrupt rate of ASIO4ALL gets hosed momentarily, starving the chips of data and causing them to lock up. One thing you can do to test that theory is adjust the Buffer Size to be double what it currently is set too. Yes, the bigger the buffer, the worse the latency. That's a given. But ASIO4ALL will not give you the power of a truly dedicated highend audio card, any more than a fuel additive will turn your Taurus into a Ferrari. You may simply have the settings so hot that anything else the system needs to do may cause enough of a delay that the critical timing necessary gets ruined.

Try playing with the Buffer sizes and see if a bigger buffer reduces the numbers of lockups. If it does, then all you need to do to permanently fix the problem is put in a sound card with true ASIO capabilities and you'll be golden.

Here's my config:

i7 4970K 4Ghz base
16G DDR3 ram
C: Dual Samsung 850 512G in Raid 0
E: dedicated drive for Reaper to record into
F: Other scratch drive
XiFi 24bit sound card, pciex 1 slot, true ASIO
gtx970 video card
Thanks for the answer. I guess you did not read everything here, which is fine cause the thread is a bit large now.
Buffers of different sizes were already tried, on my 1212m card (dedicated asio drivers) and on my onboard card.
I stopped using asio4all (remember it´s not my daw) because it seemed to not help at all.
For turning off my swap file, I´d be happy to do so if it wasn´t for that java reports memory problems when I do so. My usage of java is a bit different from other people, since I´m also a programmer and the way java is being used is therefore different and more.. intense.
But perhaps I should look into running without a swapfile again, and then put a bit of attention on the error messages.. maybe they´re giving me a clue of something I can configure differently and succesfully run with no swap files and have no java memory errors.

Edit: I decided to give the noswap suggestion one more try, and this time I get no java memory errors. I did replace the java version I´m working with with a newer one at some point but I thought it was long time before the last time I tried this. Anyway, let´s see what happens!

Editedit: Nope, problem came back.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

BluGenes
KVRist
308 posts since 15 May, 2017

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Thu May 17, 2018 2:21 am

All I do to make the problem of crackling go away is open ASIO4ALL and then close it. The crackling goes away. The buffers sometimes get corrupted and doing this resets the buffers.

Not to hijack the thread, but.. ( I created a thread on this forum already)

I need a new solution though, for recording my DAW with ASIO and Windows. I used to used ASIO Link which mixed WDM audio with ASIO and was able to screen record with OBS. However, the author of that software passed away and when I updated Windows, it un-registered the software, and the registration sever is no longer running.

I looked at VoiceMeeter, but, it has a problem that it forces the DAW to 43ms latency, which is not acceptable..

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Fri May 18, 2018 8:45 am

BluGenes wrote:All I do to make the problem of crackling go away is open ASIO4ALL and then close it. The crackling goes away. The buffers sometimes get corrupted and doing this resets the buffers.

Not to hijack the thread, but.. ( I created a thread on this forum already)

I need a new solution though, for recording my DAW with ASIO and Windows. I used to used ASIO Link which mixed WDM audio with ASIO and was able to screen record with OBS. However, the author of that software passed away and when I updated Windows, it un-registered the software, and the registration sever is no longer running.

I looked at VoiceMeeter, but, it has a problem that it forces the DAW to 43ms latency, which is not acceptable..
In this case I see the hijacking as a keep-alive :)

I could try asio4all again and see if the cracking there is NOT the same as the one I get when not using asio4all.
In the meantime I´ve ordered a cheap behringer USB audio interface to see if that´s gonna behave differently.
Did you check all options in Voicemeeter? I know it´s got alot of settings.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

BluGenes
KVRist
308 posts since 15 May, 2017

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Mon May 21, 2018 7:49 am

Yes, thank you, actually after several attempts, got Voicemeeter behaving as expected.

But, seriously, the crackling, that is all it is, the buffer got corrupted.. Now, why this happens, well, when you load a new VST and it requests a buffer size different than what is set as default, then, that will corrupt the buffer. I find it happens ALL the time working with Aria player, or when I change instruments in IKMultimedia Sample Tank.. (not all the time, but, enough times) For me, my best buffer size seems to be about 256k.. I have to guess it actually will depend on your CPU and load.. ( meaning mine is an I5 Intel at 3.1x mghz)

The problem is, you won't have control on the buffer request by the VST, so, guess what.. poof.. just what it is..

Roman Empire
KVRian
849 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Re: Routing all windows audio through ASIO4All (crackling audio caused by network interface)?

Post Tue May 22, 2018 1:54 pm

BluGenes wrote:Yes, thank you, actually after several attempts, got Voicemeeter behaving as expected.

But, seriously, the crackling, that is all it is, the buffer got corrupted.. Now, why this happens, well, when you load a new VST and it requests a buffer size different than what is set as default, then, that will corrupt the buffer. I find it happens ALL the time working with Aria player, or when I change instruments in IKMultimedia Sample Tank.. (not all the time, but, enough times) For me, my best buffer size seems to be about 256k.. I have to guess it actually will depend on your CPU and load.. ( meaning mine is an I5 Intel at 3.1x mghz)

The problem is, you won't have control on the buffer request by the VST, so, guess what.. poof.. just what it is..
Not sure if your problem is fixed but maybe it´s good to start a new thread about it to get attention to your specific problem.
I installed my new cheap behringer USB audio interface today, let´s see if that´ll solve my problem.
Reminder: I´m not talking about my DAW here.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

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