Crackling Pop Noise

I am hearing crackling and popping when I play my song. The CPU usage never goes higher than 30% while playing so I don’t think it’s a resource issue. It could be though because I only hear the noises when playing the song on my older laptop (2gb RAM dual core). When I play on my desktop (8gb RAM quad core) I don’t get the issue. Both systems use directsound drivers with the default settings. I don’t have ASIO (demo version) and haven’t fiddled with any settings. Right now its on 35 ms latency.

I’ve also tried to use earbuds on my laptop and the same issue happens. That rules out the chinsy laptop speakers.

Use asio and/or relax your audio settings

set your power settings to high performance

but 35ms is a big latency, some plugins, heck, even rewire will begin to crackle, signal followers will have issues, almost anything what processes stuff in blocks will/can have issues, especially in direct sound

But if my CPU usage (according to Renoise) never goes above 30%, then why would I have to increase any performance parameters? It seems that’s not the issue. If it was the CPU usage would be pegging around 90+ percent. Am-I-right?

EDIT - And I just noticed that if Renoise is open anything I do in windows gets the crackle noise added to it. I’ve attached a WAV file of the standard “Windows” sound. Listen to the crackle that occurs when Renoise is open. If I close Renoise the crackle goes away. Hmmm??

Renoise doesn’t take into consideration all the other processes being executed on your laptop, only what it uses. As gova points out, you need to free up CPU cycles to reduce latency in the Windows audio driver processing. Or install ASIO which is more efficient and you still may need to modify your power settings to reduce crackle, etc.


Not sure how you recorded this, but the sample is clean — There’s no crackling.

Is Renoise using a sampling rate that is fully supported by your audio interface? Do you have some external USB audio interface, or just the on-board RealTek audio chip on your motherboard, or what? Try to check what it supports.

Try to raise your latency above 35ms. Set it to something pretty high like 100ms — or even higher — and see if that stops the crackling. If it does, gradually work backwards from there until you find a value that sounds ok and doesn’t introduce too much latency.

In your Renoise audio preferences, try changing the number of realtime audio CPU cores to see if this has any effect.

Try to check your windows Power Options. Are you running on some kind of adaptive or balanced power scheme that may be throttling the CPU now and then? If so, try to use a high performance power scheme instead.

It’s not always about the amount of CPU being used, it’s also to do with how frequently the audio device is trying to interrupt the CPU and schedule its own tasks. If you set your latency too low, you can actually kind of flood the CPU with lots of requests, and then it simply won’t be able to handle them all in time. Hence you get crackles and drop outs.

ASIO is also not a magical band-aid that will solve all your problems, btw. It may enable you to use a lower overall latency thanks to its lower level access to the audio hardware, but you can still run into problems with it, and in some cases it may even demand more resources from your system in order to run smoothly.

In my opinion, you should try to get your sound running smoothly in DirectSound first before you explore other options.

For my laptop… Simply by applying the suggestions to alter my power profile to “max performance” along with changing my direct sound from studio quality to CD quality (16 bit 44.1 kHz). Those two changes eliminated the crackling noise.

When I open a song on my desktop will it take this “cd quality” and apply it or are renoise settings independent of each saved song? I noticed my song settings drop when opened on my laptop to this new cd quality. My desktop will keep studio quality direct sound.

sometimes i get pop and crackle, and over the years I honestly barely have any idea why. some years everything goes good, but if i anger the audio buffer gods, it seems as if it can take ages to get the system running smooth again.

all i have concluded thusfar is that mojo and voodoo are the main forces at work with this thing. too many softwares, too much random. focus on the luck plane.

all i have concluded thusfar is that mojo and voodoo are the main forces at work with this thing. too many softwares, too much random. focus on the luck plane.

haha. i live about 25 miles from lousiana.