Contribute
Register

USB & FW external soundcards, intermittent crackles, going nuts

Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
321
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
GTX 960
Hi there,

I have an audio issue that's driving me mad. I'm a professional audiovisual artist and having a flaky sound system is just no option. Breakdowns in the midst of a live show are no fun.

It started with my old 'n trusty MOTU 828mk2 firewire interface. After not having used any hardware synths for a long time (pre-mountain lion times) I hooked some stuff up and noticed that I 'm getting crackles on the input and output signals intermittently. Comes in every hour or so and lasts for about 10 minutes and goes away again, till it comes back an hour later... Sounds like audio clock sync crackle issues, like when the CPU is overloaded, though here it definitely isn't. It only occurred when hardware audio inputs were being used. Not when only soft synths were used. This is using MaxMSP as software on ML 10.8.3. The integrated audio on the mobo doesn't seem to display the issue.

It doesn't happen with the MOTU connected to my genuine macbook pro so it doesn't seem to be a hardware failure on the MOTU.

Now recently the intermittent crackling also started occurring when using only Ableton Live. No hardware inputs used.

I replaced my FW PCIe card to rule out a flaky adapter. I updated to 10.8.5. No success. So I figured some weird incompatibility issue is happening between my specific hackintosh rig and the MOTU audio interface.

I was planning to upgrade my interface sometime anyway so I got me an RME UCX. It's got both USB2.0 and FW400 so I thought I could switch to USB if FW would be flaky too. And what do you know... Problem is there as well, on both the USB and FW connections. So it's not specific to firewire or the MOTU. Good to know the MOTU is fine but now I'm stuck with 2 interfaces and still no reliable sound.

I'm out of ideas now. Does anyone have any insights?
Only solution I can think of right now is building an entirely new hackintosh with different components, mobo and all. But I really don't have the time for that right now, and I have other priorities for my cash...
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
6
Motherboard
10.8.2
CPU
q6600
Graphics
gts25o and geforce 210
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
i have audio stuttering issues with QUICKTIME on Mavericks... it works fine on itunes and vlc player... but quicktime has stutterick crackle all the time...
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
321
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
GTX 960
Now get this... After testing my audio interface on multiple machines, after testing all kinds of software combos, after buying a new €1000+ audio interface, after getting a new FW PCI card, after completely reinstalling my system, after pulling out my PCI cards 1 by 1 and after the hundreds of hours of testing (issue only pops up after an hour or so...) I find out that simply clicking the wifi icon in the top menu bar makes the crackling go away (for a while). Just clicking it so the wifi menu shows. Not even turning wifi off or changing networks. Just showing the menu.

And it seems I'm not the only one with weird ML issues, lots of genuine mac user complaints here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4149309?start=1185&tstart=0

Now have to confirm if simply having wifi off prevents the problem altogether.
 
Top