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Getting audio artifacts running at Real Time priority

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...
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magnaton

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Getting audio artifacts running at Real Time priority

PostTue Mar 12, 2024 11:00 pm

Hello all:

I'm doing a new computer build:
- Asus Prime Z690-P MOTB
- DDR5 RAM (64GB)
- Intel Core i7-12700K
- NvME drive
I usually use the Asus 590 series but the 690s are compatible with the 12th Gen i7, so I chose it.

After the organ loads within 20 seconds I get some slight static kind of in sync with each key press. This is reminiscent of the audio buffer being set too low. I tried several buffer variants 512, 1024 . . . 1, 2, 3 counts for trouble shooting but it make no difference.

I'm using a MOTU MK5 and happened to have another one so swapped it out along with different headphones and the static was still there. Pressing keys on the virtual keyboards (to rule out MIDI interference) the in-sync static was still there. It was present on any organ I loaded. I went as far to make some tweaks to the BIOS but still no static relief!
The Asus BIOS update and the MOTU its latest firmware update.

Finally by chance I unchecked the box to have HW run in High Priority and that resolved it!. Of course the CPU meter is more active now as its picking up some background Windows activities but all the in-sync static is gone. This is the first time I've encountered anything like this. It's usually the other way around, as running in Real Time resolves any audio artifacts not create them. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Danny B.
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mdyde

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Re: Getting audio artifacts running at Real Time priority

PostWed Mar 13, 2024 4:27 am

Hello Danny,

(You probably realise this anyway: Hauptwerk's "Try to run Hauptwerk at real-time priority on Windows" advanced general preference can only have any effect if the Hauptwerk process is launched from Windows as "as Administrator".)

A few PCs have drivers or other system components that don't coexist comfortably with user processes (e.g. Hauptwerk) running at real-time priority. If that's the case, and if Hauptwerk performs well without running at real-time priority anyway, then I'd suggest simply avoiding running Hauptwerk at real-time priority and not worrying it.

You could also experiment with the unticking the "Bind audio engine threads to CPU cores on Windows?" advanced general preference.

You could also try running LatencyMon ( https://resplendence.com/latencymon ) whilst Hauptwerk is running with audio/MIDI active, in case it indicates that any driver/component may be causing problems for real-time audio performance.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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magnaton

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Re: Getting audio artifacts running at Real Time priority

PostWed Mar 13, 2024 1:13 pm

Hello Martin and thank you for the quick reply.

Yes, I have done all that you suggested except for running LatenceyMon. When executed, it complained that my system could not handle Real-Time audio and that the processor may be "throttled" in the OS or BIOS.

This Asus BIOS is very sensitive in that any new adjustments prevents the computer from booting! I had to keep loading the default settings in order for Windows to load again. I actually had to "load defaults" a few of times in the BIOS in order to get the Windows to load. This turns out to be a big time waster! So continuing with LatenceyMon's suggestions, I then made adjustments in the Windows power settings via the Control Panel. Set to High Performance and Min and Max Processor states set to 100%.

Not sure if it the Windows power settings change or the multiple BIOS reboots (and more BIOS reboots) is what resolved the issue but I now have normal, no-glitch audio at Real Time priority! Fortunately even when it was running in High the CPU showed activity and would even spike into the red, but there wasn't a pop or crackle. So I may have given up and just left it that way.

I do have a question:
Running in "Real Time" priority, when the Touch Menu is activated the CPU meter jumps from zero to six green bars. Then fluctuates between 2-3-4-5 bars the entire time this menu is visible. Does this behave the same for anyone else? I have a 2nd HW8 computer I'll be setting up to compare but thought I'd ask.

Best,

Danny B.
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Re: Getting audio artifacts running at Real Time priority

PostWed Mar 13, 2024 1:44 pm

Have you done all the Windows performance tuning recommendations in the user guide, in the Performance Tuning chapter? The BIOS ones might not work since your BIOS is giving you trouble, but I wouldn't omit any others. Then use Cantabile's Glitch Free PDF to go into more depth.

What does LatencyMon show as the highest DPC and ISR time consuming drivers? See the Drivers tab display.

The touch menu doesn't show any activity on my HW CPU meter. Steady at 1 bar.

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