Questions & Answers

Campfire-like crackling during high CPU usage (Issue still persisting)

+1 vote
asked Jun 6, 2017 in AudioBox USB by billychen2 (170 points)
edited Nov 19, 2018 by billychen2
I have an Audiobox iOne, and I hear crackling over any audio playback as soon as the CPU usage hits ~30% or spikes. In fact, it seems like as soon as the CPU utilisation increases, the audio starts to crackle. It sounds like a loud campfire in my headset. It was very prominent after the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and went away for a good couple of months. After I updated yesterday to the W10 Content Creator's Update (Feature update to Windows 10, version 1703), the crackling became very prominent again. It seems like any sort of audio playback is accompanied with greater-than-usual CPU usage/CPU spikes.

I'm wondering if this is an issue with Windows/CPU usage, or if it's a problem with the Audiobox driver? No crackling occurs no matter what CPU usage if I use on-board audio.

What I've tried: changing all the settings in Universal Control (different safe mode/block size), changing sample-rate and bit depth in Windows sound options, disabling audio enhancements in sound settings, trying different USB cables, connecting different headphones/speakers, tried all the USB ports on my PC.

Thanks for any help

EDIT: I've run the DPC Latency Checker, and it says my PC should be able to handle it. I'm running a Core i5 6600K, with 8GB of RAM and an 850W power supply. All my drives are SSDs.

EDIT: Issue still persisting

2 Answers

0 votes
answered Jun 6, 2017 by AlexTinsley (825,450 points)
Make sure you're on a fast CPU, Core 2 Duo / Quad or i-Series, 2.0GHz per CPU or faster. Atom, Celeron and older AMD processors will not be adequate. Entry level sub $500 laptops many of which do not have enough power for real time audio and run very slow (4200 RPM or 5400 RPM green friendly storage drives) which cannot sustain ASIO audio operations.

Run this tool called DPC Latency Checker to see if your computer can handle real time audio: Read the information on that page as it will help you understand what else contributes to poor audio performance for DAW recording systems.

Memory plays an important factor, Windows 7 systems can get by with 4GB of RAM, but 8GB or better is recommended. Win 8.1 and Win 10 systems need 8GB or more to run effectively. Also Hard Drive Speed plays a big role, if you are recording to your system drive this can impact your sound in a big way, use a 2nd hard drive (USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt) to record and play back your session audio files. If your system driver is an SSD, then this may be less of an issue.
0 votes
answered Jun 7, 2017 by billychen2 (170 points)
SOLVED! Suspecting software/driver issue, I did a fresh install of windows and installed my audio driver first. No crackle. I then installed my other drivers and games. Crackle. I pinpointed the problem to Asus' AI Suite. After completely removing AI suite, there was instantly no crackle. I've yet to determine if it's the whole suite or one particular function that's messing with the audio interface, but the issue is definitely resolved.