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Distorted Audio with AVG

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Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby David Baldwin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:19 am

I have one computer which is only used for Hauptwerk. I have always had a tiny little glitch after about 5 mins running and have put that down to an antivirus task finishing and ignored it. I have two other windows 10 machined on which I have been running AVG Ultimate successfully. I therefore decided to install it on my Hauptwerk machine. I am now getting periods of great distortion. It corresponds with an AVG task running. If i hold a single note the distortion is continuous. Watching the CPU usage on the Hauptwerk indicator, this keeps shooting into the red. Does this indicator look at all processes. If so, it would appear that AVG is hogging the CPU.
I have decided to be connected to the internet so that I can keep my driver's up to date.
(Dr.) David G. Baldwin
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Re: Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby mdyde » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:50 am

Hello David,

Hauptwerk's audio-CPU meter doesn't show the same thing as as Windows Task Manager's one; it specifically shows how close the system is to an audio glitch occurring with the audio driver that's being used.

If Hauptwerk's audio-CPU meter is going into, or nearly into, the red when few or no pipes are sounding then it indicates that the audio driver/host is calling Hauptwerk too late for Hauptwerk to have enough time left to calculate the audio before the hardware needs to play it (i.e. resulting in a 'buffer under-run'), either because the audio driver isn't performing properly, or because the PC is having underlying hardware/driver timing issues (e.g. DPC latency). The following utilities should help to identify whether the latter is the issue, i.e. whether the PC and its drivers are performing sufficiently well to support real-time low-latency audio:

http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon
http://www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml

(Leave them running for a while. The second of them, DPCLat might not be fully accurate on Windows 10, but it still seems broadly to work.)

There are also some documents with more suggestions for troubleshooting PC audio problems here:

https://www.hauptwerk.com/clientuploads/documentation/Tutorials/WindowsOptimizationsAndDiagnostics.pdf
https://www.cantabilesoftware.com/glitchfree/

Anti-virus applications (such as AVG) are system-level processes that potentially can, and unfortunately quite often do, cause audio glitches with any low-latency real-time audio applications (not just Hauptwerk), which is especially likely if your PC has other DPC/hardware/driver performance issues related to accessing its hard-drive/SSD.

If needed, there's a gentleman called Francois Ratte ( http://www.hauptwerkconsultant.com/ ) who provides one-to-one remote assistance services to Hauptwerk users to help troubleshoot and resolve PC issues on a consultancy basis. He's very helpful and knowledgeable.

Hope that helps.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby NickNelson » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:12 am

David Baldwin wrote:I have decided to be connected to the internet so that I can keep my driver's up to date.


I also have a machine solely for HW, and this has never been connected to the internet. If I need to install a new driver (usually the only reason to do this is for new hardware) I download it on my internet connected computer and move it to the HW computer on a USB stick. Since this will have been scanned and checked on the connected machine there is, in my view, no need to have anti-virus software running at all on the HW computer.

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Re: Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby mdyde » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:23 am

I'd certainly concur with Nick's advice -- for real-time audio/MIDI use (such as Hauptwerk), it's best for audio reliability/performance not to have a computer connected to the Internet, or to have anti-virus scanner software installed on it, if it's all feasible to avoid doing both. (If it the computer does connect to the Internet, then unfortunately it does need anti-virus software for safety, though.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby 1961TC4ME » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:57 am

Fully agree on this one as well, best to keep your computer off the internet, I also aquire any upgrades / updates from my work computer and transfer to a memory stick. Although my HW computer has never been on the internet either, I was having a similar issue, a short rather nasty audio glitch / distortion that would show up every time about 5 minutes after start up into the session. In my case simply turning off 'automatic updates' cured the problem for good. It seems any little thing the computer could be doing in the background can cause audio glitches, so best keeping that sort of activity down to a minimum or not at all is best.

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Re: Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby David Baldwin » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:14 am

Thank you all for your contributions. The system is now much better.
The main cause of the problem turned out to the "maintenance" activities of of AVG which I turned off. What an improvement. I then ran latency monitor and it told me my machine was unsuitable for audio. I therefore took the decision to be internet free. I also carefully removed anything a else that I thought I could do without. The next running of the latency monitor got the green light. It did show page faults reach red but it now works OK.
The only thing I have yet to sort out is how to upgrade windows.
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Re: Distorted Audio with AVG

Postby mdyde » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:44 am

Hello David,

Thanks for update, and glad to hear it's performing properly now.
Best regards,
Martin.

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