Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

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Cook1e1412
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:02 pm

Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:12 pm

Hi All,
First post, but I've had the problem for a while (a couple of years maybe). I'm using Banana very simply, to drive 2 USB speakers, one on my desk, the other an "Audio Pro" wireless transmitter for remote wireless speakers around the house. The latter looks just like a USB headset to Windows. The reason I'm using Banana is that I need independent control of the 2 outputs.

Suddenly, after a random amount of time (varies from a few minutes to a few hours), the sound becomes severely distorted and I need to "Restart Audio Engine". Then it works fine again, until the next random time, etc...

I believe the issue started with either a Windows or Voicemeeter update. I have tried (repeatedly) all the solutions suggested in the pinned posts and search results, but to no effect. The problem has persisted even following a new motherboard and processor.

I recently had the idea of recording the main (A1) output until distortion started and then trimming the .wav files to a couple of minutes each side of the distortion starting. I notice that the playback speed of the recordings seems to double (approximately) at the same time as the distortion sets in.

I can't attach .wav files ("invalid extension"), but I have uploaded them to Google drive:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zRpJL ... qyRAS3fz0R

System settings and system information attached as screenshots.

I would be grateful for any advice.

Cheers,
Ian
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xcasxcursex
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:04 am

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby xcasxcursex » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:21 am

The 1056bit buffer is a hint. Something is wrong with the way the driver is working.

Try this search: search.php?keywords=1056

Cook1e1412
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:02 pm

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:36 pm

xcasxcursex wrote:The 1056bit buffer is a hint. Something is wrong with the way the driver is working.

Try this search: search.php?keywords=1056


Well spotted, thanks! I'll keep monitoring and post an update.

Strange, I knew and thought I had set 'exclusive mode' a while ago. I guess I forgot about it during the latest re-install of Voicemeeter - I have given up on the problem a few times, but I was missing the functionality lately, so I installed the latest version following a Windows update, hoping the 'bug' may have been sorted.

Spotting the 1056 buffer thing is level: expert stuff though, many thanks for that :mrgreen:

Current settings and showing shared mode originally
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Cook1e1412
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:02 pm

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:07 pm

No difference unfortunately. Distortion recurred after about half an hour of playing. :(

RobBoss
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:39 am

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby RobBoss » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:23 pm

What happens when you use now a WDM buffer size of 1024 or 768?

Even if you do not want to use that buffer regularly, because it adds too much latency (delay), testing 1024 and 768 may help to identify the problem!

xcasxcursex
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:04 am

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby xcasxcursex » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:34 pm

RobBoss wrote:What happens when you use now a WDM buffer size of 1024 or 768?

Even if you do not want to use that buffer regularly, because it adds too much latency (delay), testing 1024 and 768 may help to identify the problem!


That's good advice. Likewise, try MME instead of WDM mode, and also (separately) try swapping your A1 and A2 devices (so your USB headset is A1 and MM1 is A2). It's possible that the MM-1 device is not providing a stable clock, and voicemeeter uses the clock of that first output device as its basis for all data. On a similar note, you may try using some othger device as A1, and then use your existing devices as A2 and A3. I notice you have a realtek digital output there which may (or very well may not, the realtek drivers suck) do a better job. Especially since you mentioned the glitch where recordings have the 'double-speed' glitch, this really suggests a clock issue.

I notice that the sound is incoming via the VAIO device, so it might be worth checking that things are default there, too, or maybe even make the buffers higher than default. Also, check the internal sample rate is set to 48KHz since that seems to be the way you've got everything else running and you don't really want it doing unnecessary conversions and I notice that it's greyed out so you're stuck with 48KHz on your headset. If the trouble is there, you'll probably easily identify it by the crackling appearing on both of your outputs (speakers and headset). Is it just one or the other that crackles, or both?

Like RobBoss said, these are just things to test. It doesn't necessarily mean it has to stay that way forever, but these are just troubleshooting steps. The trick to fixing computer problems isn't actually fixing them, it's defining the problem - fixing a problem is impossible if you don't know what the problem is :) These steps will help to do figure out what's wrong.

Cook1e1412
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:02 pm

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:36 pm

Thanks xcasxcursex and Rob.

Going through xcasxcursex's list, I latched onto the sound card/timing idea. I don't use the sound card, though I haven't disabled it, so I tried with Realtek as A1, with the USB outputs on A2 and A3. At first, the distortion was present from the start, which is the first consistent behaviour I've seen so far :) When I looked at the sound card properties, I saw I needed to enable exclusive mode, set it to use WMA only (disable Dolby & DTS), set sample rate to 48k and disable 'spatial sound'.

It's running fine at the moment, I'll leave it on until it glitches (or not...) and post an update later. If the problem remains, I'll go through the rest of the ideas systematically.

Thanks again guys, I was beginning to despair of ever managing such a seemingly simple thing as getting the computer to run 2 pairs of speakers!

Settings now as follows:
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Cook1e1412
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:02 pm

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:22 pm

Nope :( It lasted about 2 hours before the distortion set in. The distortion is evident on both sets of speakers BTW, and on the Voicemeeter recording (which also changes playback speed when the distortion starts).

Next trials:
1) Change from WDM to MME (all 3 outputs). If problem recurs then;
2) Change back to WDM, set buffers to 768. If problem still recurs then;
3) Set buffers to 1024. If problem still recurs then;
4) ?????? :roll:

xcasxcursex
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:04 am

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby xcasxcursex » Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:02 pm

Sounds promising, good luck. You're wise to note that consistency is valuable in this process, even if it's consistently bad ;) Also, well done spotting all those other options. Especially the dolby/dts/spatial sound - all of which prevent exclusive mode.

Another alternative I just noticed may be available to you, is the Nvidia HDA device. I see one there that's disabled, but if your setup is anything like mine, you have four of those, and maybe there's a monitor connected to one of them that will make the sound card think something is "plugged in". I had a lot of trouble with my realtek (Never could get dolby over optical working, just won't ever happen, drivers suck) but since using the Nvidia HDA output as my primary (A1) I've been able to get ridiculously low buffer sizes/latencies. Seems to be a very reliable device.

For now let's hope it behaves itself for a few days until we all get a feeling it might be fixed for good :)



Edit: LOL of course it broke while I was typing this. Oh well.

The fact that it is distorting on both outputs suggests either something wrong with VM at it's core (hence suspecting the A1 clock signal as the problem) or that it's a problem maybe even occurring before VM - So I guess step 4? would be to check the settings on the virtual audio device that you're using as your default sound card. For me, that's in the start menu under 'VB Audio... Voicemeeter ... Virtual IO Control Panel Properties'. There's a catch here.... The default settings aren't written anywhere I know of, and I've tinkered with mine so I can't tell you. I think the official advice at this point is to follow the reinstall process (uninstall each component one at a time and reboot after each one).

Cook1e1412
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:02 pm

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:15 pm

xcasxcursex wrote:The fact that it is distorting on both outputs suggests either something wrong with VM at it's core (hence suspecting the A1 clock signal as the problem) or that it's a problem maybe even occurring before VM - So I guess step 4? would be to check the settings on the virtual audio device that you're using as your default sound card. For me, that's in the start menu under 'VB Audio... Voicemeeter ... Virtual IO Control Panel Properties'. There's a catch here.... The default settings aren't written anywhere I know of, and I've tinkered with mine so I can't tell you. I think the official advice at this point is to follow the reinstall process (uninstall each component one at a time and reboot after each one).


Crikey, I didn't even know about this... I am well aware that I'm using an extremely complex, multifunctional audio processing system for a very simple task, but I can't find anything else that does what I want. Anyway, here's the VIO control panel - does it tell you anything? I can see a 'rogue' 44,100Hz sample rate, but I don't know if it's relevant or how to change it. ;)
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