Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

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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 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:49 am

Hi xcasxcursex,
A lot to go at there! A few clarifications below, I'll try your suggestions later - ATM, I've hooked up the Nvidia sound to the desktop speakers (rather than the USB input) to try and eliminate any 'USB problem' as the cause - see next post.

xcasxcursex wrote:Darn, you can't catch a break can you :( Sorry to hear it's not sorted yet. I put a TL;DR at the bottom for you in case you're growing tired of reading my long explanations ;)

Cook1e1412 wrote:I am disinclined to start just changing settings at random... :?


Wise again. All too many troubleshooting posts online basically are a bunch of random guesses and that's not really the right way to go about things. If you guess right, then that's a shortcut but if you guess wrong, you're just wasting time, and might even break things or mask the problem....So, it's basically gambling, and with bad odds. Following a sensible process to actually define and reproduce the problem is the way to go. I know it can be tedious so hang in there :)

You've done everything right, I notice you even went back to stock-as-a-rock 44k1@16b, and it still not working is kinda strange. I guess one upside of this is that while all of this is showing that something's wrong with your computer, fixing it for VM is going to fix it for everything else, too.

I honestly don't believe it's anything to do with the computer - the problem's persisted through a change of MB and processor (essentially a new computer) and of course a new installation of Windows.

There is still the possibility that both of your USB devices are causing problems, it would be good to have a known-good soundcard/driver to test against (like the nvidia HDA or perhaps the realtek (perhaps not reliable enough to be calling it 'known-good') with some normal headphones plugged in).... but MME tends to be very stable (slow, but stable) and you're still seeing this with MME drivers so what you learned 1) and 2) are strong here.

Done - see below

So, let's assume (Just saying that word makes me feel like hindsight will punish me for it, but given 1) and 2) it's a fairly safe assumption) that it's unlikely that two completely different devices just happen to have the exact same problem, then the next step is to look at what those devices do have in common - as in, what's the one thing that's breaking, that breaks both USB devices?

Two things jump to mind immediately - the first is obvious; they're USB devices. Perhaps there's something wrong with your USB controller. Secondly, upstream from there is of course the CPU. I can't help but wonder if maybe this is something overloading the CPU (or taking priority over VM, although that shouldn't happen with windows' defaults - have you made any windows 'tweaks' that might be changing CPU priority/affinity/etc?).

Nope. All seems well with the USB system

If the USB is the problem, there's a strong chance there'd be a message about it in the windows event viewer (Under Windows Logs... System). If it's CPU overload, Task manager will tell you. You can just leave task manager running in the background and then switch to it when the glitch happens, and see if the CPU spiked to 100%

I may try this anyway, just in case there's a clue

Moving on up the chain from there, if it were an issue with the virtual device somehow, you could cut voicemeeter out of the situation here. If you close VM, then the virtual cable will send its input to its output, and then you can use windows to redirect that to the USB sound device. Here's a screenshot of how that looks on my PC, I've used VAIO3 but you should just use the normal default, and I've set the output to my TV but you should select your USB device:

I'll try that if the problem remains with the Nvidia sound as A1(I suspect it will)

Listen.png
Again, leave the config screen open (to check for push loss) and task manager running (to check for overload), but this will give you a chance to see if the virtual device is glitching out without VM being in the loop.

The only other thing that immediately comes to mind is perhaps the player you're using is handling the device in a strange way. I'd be inclined to try and test this with something really standard, like a browser, or VLC or something like that.

It's just the same listening to YouTube or internet radio via the browser. All the sound is directed the same way as VM is the default sound device.

There is a tool, I know from my old days as a musician and is also common for gamers these days: LatencyMon. This tool is specifically designed to test a PC to make sure the system is handling events in a timely fashion and that the PC is capable of handling realtime audio, so it's quite appropriate here. The short version of how to use it is: While the PC is idle, run the app, click the green play button up the top, let it run for a few minutes, then click the stop button. It should tell you outright in the results of the test, if it found any problems.

Again, I'll give that a go next

TL;DR:

Check event viewer for USB errors
Check task manager for CPU overload
Remove/undo any CPU-related tweaks
Try Cutting VM out of the loop (see image)
Use a known-good player
Test your PC with LatencyMon


I'm really interested to hear what Vincent has to say about the VM recorder having that 'sped-up' effect, while the user hears distortion. Obviously, audio buffers are not getting to VM (we can see this from the VAIO device push loss), but how that recorder works under the hood is closed source do he would have to tell us what that means..... Is it just that there is no audio, so the recorder writes nothing, and this results in less audio in the same amount of time (a sped-up effect because the missing parts are missing, as opposed to being silent or duplicated old buffers)? Or is it a clock/timing issue? (the clock is running faster than the audio arrives, so it drops some audio buffers)?

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

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:53 am

Good morning chaps,
I have disconnected the USB from the desktop speakers and used a 3.5mm jack to the aux input on them from the monitor, so the Nvidia video card sound drivers are now connected as output A1.

This will tell me whether the problem is caused by something to do with the USB sound outputs.

Current config is therefore:

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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 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:06 pm

Vincent Burel wrote:
Cook1e1412 wrote:Update...
4) After running for just over an hour, distortion started again. Notably, when the distortion started, the 'push loss' counter on the Audio Cable Virtual Control Panel started counting rapidly upwards from the 0 it had been showing whilst the sound was OK.


This push loss indicator is more a colateral effect... all is coming from the output A1 device.

well you may change your device for output A1, for exemple your Realtek Speaker (plug somethign in to activate it).


He has already tried that, the same trouble came up with two different USB devices as A1, and also with the realtek (using the digital output which is always active even without cables plugged in)

As you're aware, the realtek drivers are not the most reliable, so I'm glad he is trying the Nvidia HDA instead :)

Cook1e1412 wrote:Hi xcasxcursex,
A lot to go at there! A few clarifications below, I'll try your suggestions later - ATM, I've hooked up the Nvidia sound to the desktop speakers (rather than the USB input) to try and eliminate any 'USB problem' as the cause - see next post.


Sorry, I like to go into detail to explain not just the "what" but the "why" - that way you're not just following random instructions from random internet guy, but understanding the process, so you're doing something that's sensible to you .... so it's a long post...but it won't take long to do. Will probably take longer to read my post, than to do what is in it :)

Anyway, I had previously suggested using the Nvidia HDA as A1 and mentioned it again in that post, so I'm glad you're doing it. I've found it to be incredibly reliable - so much so, that I'm now running just smaller than the second-smallest buffer sizes on both Voicemeeter and also the virtual cables, even when outputting to realtek devices that can't handle those buffer sizes alone.

The one change I might suggest if you still have trouble, is to use only the nvidia output as A1, and no USB device as A2.... but as Vincent (who is the authority on these things obviously) and I both agree, the issue seems to be coming from the A1 device, so hopefully, the nvidia drivers will take care of it there.

Good luck!

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

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:56 am

xcasxcursex wrote:Sorry, I like to go into detail to explain not just the "what" but the "why" - that way you're not just following random instructions from random internet guy, but understanding the process, so you're doing something that's sensible to you .... so it's a long post...but it won't take long to do. Will probably take longer to read my post, than to do what is in it :)

Good luck!


Detailed explanation is actually appreciated - grateful for your typing skills as well as your diagnostic skills! :D

Anyway, yesterday was a bit of a saga, I have tried some random things... :shock:

The distortion recurred with the Nvidia driver, which I expected as it did with the Realtek driver. So I ran LatencyMon as suggested by xcasxcursex.

This started out OK, but then the interrupt latency went up to unacceptable levels. The driver which was causing this was the Microsoft 'hdaudbus.sys', which set me thinking: I have been Googling the problem on and off for a long time and I found that Windows 10 sound problems are common, whereas Voicemeeter problems are fairly rare (no surprises there, then!).

I therefore disabled hdaudbus.sys, which meant that the only output devices available were my two sets of USB speakers. Set as A1 and A2, this worked fine for a while and I was happy, thinking I had bypassed, if not actually solved, the problem.
.
.
.
Nope. Distortion set in after an hour or so. :cry: LatencyMon now shows 'Wdf01000.sys' and 'ACPI.sys' to be causing the excess latency.

So I have tried xcasxcursex's idea to shut fown VM and just run through VB-Audio Virtual Cable, with just the USB speaker transmitter (shows as 'Speakers (USB Headset)'). This works fine, which I guess narrows down the diagnosis a bit...

PS Damnit, I forgot to save the LatencyMon outputs! :roll: If they're important, I'll run again.

PPS (Afterthought): no clues from Resource Monitor. The PC is pretty high performance, i7-8700 CPU, NVMe system drive and 32GB RAM.

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

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:26 pm

Update: I have been using Voicemeeter (standard? basic? not Banana, let's call it 'VM std' OK?) today, as I did several years ago when I first discovered it as a way to run 2 sets of speakers from my computer. I'm pretty sure I was running Windows 7 back then, but I couldn't remember whether the distortion problem set in with VM std, when I discovered that Banana would allow separate control of 2 sets of speakers, or when I installed Windows 10.

Anyway, distortion set in after about 5-6 hours of running and LatencyMon is showing very high latency, caused by 'Wdf01000.sys' and 'ACPI.sys'. Remember I disabled 'hdaudbus.sys' yesterday.

I recall VM std working great for a long while, then, coinciding with a VM or Windows update the distortion problem started. So, we now know:

1) It's not the computer (the problem's persisted through 2 different computers).
2) it's not the USB speakers I'm using (because the problem occurs with Realtek or Nvidia sound cards with nothing else connected).
3) It's VM, not Virtual Cable, as there's no problem running the USB speakers via the latter.
4) Banana and VM std both show the problem

Any wisdom gratefully received...

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

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby xcasxcursex » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:24 am

Cook1e1412 wrote:narrows down the diagnosis


That's the aim of the game. In the tech support world it's known as "isolating the fault" - obviously there are a lot of 'moving parts' here and the idea is to try to pin it down to the one busted thing.... and you are making progress on that front. Your patience is pretty outstanding, by the way.

Cook1e1412 wrote:disabled hdaudbus.sys


It's not really pertinent to fixing this but, how'd you do that? That's a built-in windows driver and there's not really any supported method to disable it entirely (normally, one would just disable the devices which use it). I'm guessing you just renamed the file or something? I'd probably un-do that change and put things back to normal.

By the way, the idea with LatencyMon is just to run it when the machine is idle. From the FAQ:
Should I run my audio software while LatencyMon is testing my system ?
In general, no. In particular, the interrupt to process latency that the software measures already simulates the workings of an entire audio process. You should run most tests without running any other software in the background. Running your audio software together with LatencyMon only makes sense if you wish to measure hard pagefaults of the audio process.



The PC you've got is more than capable of running VM (that's a pretty beast system) and you mentioned you had this same problem with other hardware too, so we know it's not that. We know it's not VM (or it would be happening to us all) and it's not windows (ditto) and you've tried it with at least 5 different audio devices, at least one of which is known-good (the Nvidia HDA), so I doubt very much it's a sound card or driver issue. The behaviour you're describing tells us that there's some underlying problem with the OS, but as I said it's not a universal problem with windows or we'd all be seeing it.

At this point I'm wondering what's different about your installation, compared to normal. Perhaps it's some tweak you've made (to windows or in the BIOS, perhaps an unstable overclock, some registry hack, power plan changes, etc...any tweak/mod/whatever you'd call it), perhaps it's some other software interfering with VM.... I'm not sure. I mean, hypothetically - and to be clear, I know this is a big job so I'm not necessarily suggesting it right now (yet), but hypothetically - If you formatted the drive and installed windows, default stock standard and nothing else, and installed VM, everything all default, I'm pretty confident that it would work (certainly with the Nvidia driver and most likely with the realtek one, too, and right now, I've no reason to doubt your USB devices in particular).... So, at this point, I'm wondering...what's the difference between that, and what you've got?

If you're anything like most of us that is probably a list of like a zillion things :( But the ones we're really looking at here, are the ones that are in effect all the time - so tweaks, and software running in the background (full-time or on a schedule). Anything come to mind immediately for you? Perhaps take a look at your startups and background processes and scheduled tasks and see if anything is there that's out of the ordinary.

Really at the moment what we're dealing with is a general issue with the PC rather than a VM issue, it's just that whatever is up with your PC is interfering with VM in some way. Perhaps looking at it like that will help steer you in the right direction, since if you're focussed on VM/audio stuff, then other things might slip by you.

Man, this one's a doozy :( You strike me as a pretty smart dude and patient as a saint, so don't worry, you'll get it sorted eventually. It occurred to me - in case you'd like the occasional break from troubleshooting, you could set up a VM Macro Button with a keybind to restart the audio engine. That way, when it glitches out, you can hit a keybind and carry on. If you want to do that, set the button type to "Push Button" and paste this into the "Request for Button On":

Code: Select all

Command.Restart = 1;
and select your key binding as you like. In the Voicemeeter menu, check the button for "MacroButtons: Start on Voicemeeter start". Might give you some reprieve from bug-hunting if you need it.

Vincent Burel
Site Admin
Posts: 1237
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:01 pm

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Vincent Burel » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:41 pm

if nothing work, you may consider re-installing audio drivers (as much as you can).

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

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:57 pm

Sorry for the delayed reply, for some reason I didn't get an email when the thread was updated... :roll: Replies below in blue.

xcasxcursex wrote:
Cook1e1412 wrote:narrows down the diagnosis


That's the aim of the game. In the tech support world it's known as "isolating the fault" - obviously there are a lot of 'moving parts' here and the idea is to try to pin it down to the one busted thing.... and you are making progress on that front. Your patience is pretty outstanding, by the way.

The bug's been going for a few years and from time-to-time it bothers me enough to have another go. Inbetween having bursts of fiddling, I either tolerate it, or (like now) uninstall VM and do with changing between speakers manually. Right now, I don't know how I've managed to have the music player on the wireless speakers and system sounds/browser on the desk speakers, but it suits what I'm doing today :D

Cook1e1412 wrote:disabled hdaudbus.sys


It's not really pertinent to fixing this but, how'd you do that? That's a built-in windows driver and there's not really any supported method to disable it entirely (normally, one would just disable the devices which use it). I'm guessing you just renamed the file or something? I'd probably un-do that change and put things back to normal.

Device Manager ;)
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By the way, the idea with LatencyMon is just to run it when the machine is idle. From the FAQ:
Should I run my audio software while LatencyMon is testing my system ?
In general, no. In particular, the interrupt to process latency that the software measures already simulates the workings of an entire audio process. You should run most tests without running any other software in the background. Running your audio software together with LatencyMon only makes sense if you wish to measure hard pagefaults of the audio process.


Ah! That's what happens when a dilettante like me fiddles beyond his comprehension :lol: I'll have another go...

The PC you've got is more than capable of running VM (that's a pretty beast system) and you mentioned you had this same problem with other hardware too, so we know it's not that. We know it's not VM (or it would be happening to us all) and it's not windows (ditto) and you've tried it with at least 5 different audio devices, at least one of which is known-good (the Nvidia HDA), so I doubt very much it's a sound card or driver issue. The behaviour you're describing tells us that there's some underlying problem with the OS, but as I said it's not a universal problem with windows or we'd all be seeing it.

That's what's really confusing me, unless using VM to drive 2 USB speakers is an uncommon use?

At this point I'm wondering what's different about your installation, compared to normal. Perhaps it's some tweak you've made (to windows or in the BIOS, perhaps an unstable overclock, some registry hack, power plan changes, etc...any tweak/mod/whatever you'd call it), perhaps it's some other software interfering with VM.... I'm not sure. I mean, hypothetically - and to be clear, I know this is a big job so I'm not necessarily suggesting it right now (yet), but hypothetically - If you formatted the drive and installed windows, default stock standard and nothing else, and installed VM, everything all default, I'm pretty confident that it would work (certainly with the Nvidia driver and most likely with the realtek one, too, and right now, I've no reason to doubt your USB devices in particular).... So, at this point, I'm wondering...what's the difference between that, and what you've got?

No 'tweaks' or overclocking, nothing of that nature. I'm not a gamer, the machine spec is for Lightroom and a bit of video editing.
I suspect you're probably on the right track with 'other software interfering'. I've read about Bitdefender Total Security interfering with sound - I use Bitdefender Antivirus, but I don't believe this has the same problem (something to do with port scanning, which the AV version doesn't do).


If you're anything like most of us that is probably a list of like a zillion things :( But the ones we're really looking at here, are the ones that are in effect all the time - so tweaks, and software running in the background (full-time or on a schedule). Anything come to mind immediately for you? Perhaps take a look at your startups and background processes and scheduled tasks and see if anything is there that's out of the ordinary.

Yes, there are all sorts of unnecessary startups inserted by various programs, it drives me nuts - I do tend to look at the startup list from time to time and prune it, but I'll have another look.

Really at the moment what we're dealing with is a general issue with the PC rather than a VM issue, it's just that whatever is up with your PC is interfering with VM in some way. Perhaps looking at it like that will help steer you in the right direction, since if you're focussed on VM/audio stuff, then other things might slip by you.


Man, this one's a doozy :( You strike me as a pretty smart dude and patient as a saint, so don't worry, you'll get it sorted eventually. It occurred to me - in case you'd like the occasional break from troubleshooting, you could set up a VM Macro Button with a keybind to restart the audio engine. That way, when it glitches out, you can hit a keybind and carry on. If you want to do that, set the button type to "Push Button" and paste this into the "Request for Button On":

Code: Select all

Command.Restart = 1;
and select your key binding as you like. In the Voicemeeter menu, check the button for "MacroButtons: Start on Voicemeeter start". Might give you some reprieve from bug-hunting if you need it.

Thanks for the tip, but the big deal is that when the distortion occurs I'm generally away from the computer, so I need to stop what I'm doing to reset it, whether via mouse or keyboard shortcut. :roll:


I'll also try Vincent's suggestion re the audio drivers, but I'm not convinced the system's actually using any now (since I disabled the HD audio), apart from the stock USB drivers. I'll maybe delete both sets of speakers in device manager and let the system re-install them

CptnTurner
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:58 am

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby CptnTurner » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:31 pm

Hi Cook1e1412,

Just to let you know, I am in exactly the same position as you.

- Had the problem for a long time, occasionally have a second wind attempt at trying to fix, never got anywhere.
- Problem has existed over two computers. The second having new CPU, motherboard, memory, NVMe drive and clean windows 10 install.
- It exists no matter what device I choose as A1, onboard Realtek, Nnvidia HD Audio, and also a separate USB device.
- I've tried them all in WDM, KS and MME, and removed and updated every single driver.
- I've followed every suggestion on this thread.
- The result is always the same, it can happen after one hour or six hours, but I can guarantee if I go to bed, the sound distortion will be there the next day.

Maybe we could compare hardware and software, see if we can find any common denominator?

My hardware: (*** indicates new to this second PC build)
Motherboard: Asus Z390 ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO ***
CPU: Intel Core i9 9900K 3.6 GHz ***
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz ***
GPU: Nvidia GTX760 windforce
Storage:
+Samsung 970 EVO Plus V-NAND M.2 500GB SSD (primary) ***
+Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS ***
+WD Blue 1TB (x2 in RAID1 configuration)
Additional Expansion:
+Broadcom NetXtreme Ethernet card

Kind Regards,
Andy

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

Re: Severe Distortion After Running Banana for Minutes to Hours

Postby Cook1e1412 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:28 pm

Hi Andy,
From my POV, thank goodness, I was thinking my problem was unique! For you of course, not so good :(

My system's not as high-end as yours, clearly you're a serious gamer. There's a screenshot of sysinfo in post #1 and a summary a couple of posts back. Previous system was a Dell T1650, latterly with 16GB RAM, an SSD system disk and a processor upgrade.

As you say, identical symptoms and a similar history of trying to fix it. I reckon a single instance (which I thought I was, up to now) could be a one-off anomaly, but twice or more is pointing to an obscure glitch or {errm...} 'undocumented feature'. ;)

Vincent, is there maybe a program error log or similar which we could activate or access which would help to locate the problem?


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