ART USB DI - Clicks & Pops Upon Playback

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iBypass
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:37 am

ART USB DI - Clicks & Pops Upon Playback

Post by iBypass » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm

Hello,

Just wanna share my findings after spending more than an hour troubleshooting Goldwave and an external USB audio device, as it might help other users that may experience the same kind of issue.

The beginning...
I wanted to replace my internal PC sound card (Sound Blaster AE-5) which is a "gaming" oriented product with a dedicated external DAC so I did purchase this "ART USB DI" device :

https://artproaudio.com/product/usb-di/

Since this is an AUDIO OUT only device, the connection is very basic with a single USB 2.0 cable from the PC to the DAC, and there's 2 XLR cables from the DAC to my Mackie ProFX8v2 mixer (channel 1 and 2). Very satisfied with the overall sound quality of the DAC so far, mostly listening to some music with headphones on (VLC).

However, I ran into a major issue when trying to edit a wav file in Goldwave. You see, almost all I do with Goldwave is record vinyl LPs to WAV and then edit the tracks properly before I convert / archive them to WavPack.

Ok now what's that !? ...
After opening a WAV file and started playback, I immediately heard a lot of weird clicks and pops, obviously NOT related to the vinyl recording itself. So first thing I did was to listen the file with another player (VLC) and nothing, no clicks or weird pops, the audio recording is clean. Back to Goldwave I created a small loop somewhere within the file (actually did the test with 3 different audio files) and hit playback. Again, lots of random clicks, pops and audio artefacts ... what's that ... ?!

Long story short...
I spent more than an hour doing tests and playing with Windows settings here and there (Windows 10 Home Edition), and I even replaced the USB cable, but the problem was still there. At some point, my eyes got under Goldwave's Control Properties ¦ Devices, and I saw the "Quality" option set to "PCM 16-bit" for both "Playback" and "Record". I know it's always been set that way with my internal sound card, but I tried to switch these settings to "Shared" and see what happen. Guess what, all the clicks and Pops were GONE, problem FIXED! I tryed to switch again both values back to "PCM 16-bit" as a test, and the random clicks and pops were back upon playback ... test successful, found it!

Is there anyone that did experience the same kind of behavior using an external USB DAC and Goldwave ?

Can anyone tell me why "Shared" must be selected instead of "PCM 16-bit" (and if it's OK) for such an external USB DAC ?

I just would like to understand...

Regards, iBypass ;-)

Tristan
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: ART USB DI - Clicks & Pops Upon Playback

Post by Tristan » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:36 pm

iBypass wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm
I tried to switch these settings to "Shared" and see what happen. Guess what, all the clicks and Pops were GONE, problem FIXED! I tryed to switch again both values back to "PCM 16-bit" as a test, and the random clicks and pops were back upon playback ... test successful, found it!

Regards, iBypass ;-)
You should visit Gearslutz sometime and read about people's adventures with computer recording. Your problem isn't unusual.

It sounds like you have a buffering problem with your ART interface when it isn't run in "shared" mode. Unfortunately, your ability to control playback and record parameters in "exclusive" mode is limited when ASIO support isn't available.

The interfaces I've used work better with ASIO than they do with WASAPI, btw. They often work OK in "shared" mode, but they usually work best in "exclusive" mode with their proprietary ASIO drivers.

There's nothing inherently wrong with running your interface in "shared" mode, however, and it solved your problem.
If I can read the manual, so can you.

GoldWave Inc.
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Location: St. John's, NL
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Re: ART USB DI - Clicks & Pops Upon Playback

Post by GoldWave Inc. » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:22 pm

Sometimes the Latency setting in GoldWave can help to eliminate that kind of a problem (press the F11 key, Device tab). Longer latency gives more time for GoldWave to process and send the audio data. Also try the Test button to test playback with different combinations of settings.

The sampling rate can be an issue as well. Some devices may default to a high sampling rate, which requires more processing. You'd have to check the Windows Sound Settings (in GoldWave press F11, System tab, Configure button).

Sound drivers are usually tested well in Shared mode (most programs use Shared mode), but not well tested in exclusive mode, so there could be a driver problem as well.

iBypass
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:37 am

Re: ART USB DI - Clicks & Pops Upon Playback

Post by iBypass » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:28 pm

Hello Tristan, and Goldwave ! :D

Thanks for your quick feedback, much appreciated !

Forgot to mention that when I was experiencing clicks & pops on playback I also noticed a delay issue when clicking the STOP button in Goldwave. But once again, this issue was also fixed by setting the Quality setting to "Shared"... Sound playback's now very clean and Goldwave's interface's now perfectly responsive (as it always used to be).

To be honest, I'm still not 100% sure about what really happens when switching all these settings, and I'm not very confortable with ASIO / WASAPI concepts, but as long as it's not a "bug" in Goldwave, I guess it's good news!

Oh, and BTW, when troubleshooting I've also tried to switch to "DirectSound" instead of "Core" in the system tab, but it didn't fix anything.

In the end, I must say the ART USB DI box is pretty cool, I like it !

Regards, Daniel ;-)

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