12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2017 12:20 PM by Intel Corporation

    Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling

    BearLittle

      Greetings!

      When I run VST plugins in Ableton Live 9.x using ie an EQ or reverb plugin where the waveform is scrolling by, my audio quality suffers from crackling. In fact when Ableton (or any other audio application) is displaying changing graphical content such as a waveform updating, there is crackling.


      The USB audio device from Focusrite (18i8) is functioning as designed and cabling is known good. I've had Focusrite help to look at the audio interface and there is nothing there.

       

      The issue seems to be related to the Intel graphics chip interfering with the CPU to the extent that it disrupts audio going in and out of the USB to the Focusrite.

      I planned to use this PC as a live audio tool playing guitar through the VST plugins but as it is now it is pretty unusable.

       

      I run Win10 fully updated, with an i7-6500U CPU. The Intel GPU driver is 21.20.16.4664. The laptop is a Clevo from Taiwan with SSD and USB2/3 as well as Thunderbolt ports.

      The Focusrite audio interface runs at 48K with 128 for latency.

       

      Is this GPU functioning by (sloppy) design or is there something I might do to make the crackling disappear. I've read that some motherboards are configured so badly that such problems results from bad transistors but this seems at best unconfirmed.

       

      Anyone got anything on this?

        • 1. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hi : Thank you very much for joining the Intel® Graphics communities.

          Since you already installed the latest Intel® graphics driver which is 4664 and the problem remains, in this case we will do further research on this matter. In order for us to be able to do that, please provide the information requested on the link below:
          https://communities.intel.com/thread/77761

          Any further questions, please let me know.

          Regards,
          Alberto R

          • 2. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
            BearLittle

            Hello!

             

            Thanks for your reply!

             

            I had to wait for a new audio interface from RME in order to check for possible misconduct of my previous interface from Focusrite.
            I've had some help from Focusrite engineers who concluded that there is nothing wrong with their equipment or their driver. Having tested with the new RME, I can now concur that that there isn't as the RME interface behaves in exactly the same manner.

            So...

             

            Category

            Questions

            Answers (N/A if not applicable)

            Description

            Provide a detailed description of the issue

            Here's the "call flow":

            1: Electric Guitar

            2: RME Babyface Pro over USB IN

            3: Ableton Live

            4: RME Babyface Pro over USB OUT

            5: Speakers/headset

             

            The audio is totally chopped up/distorted at the OUTPUT stage of the audio interface or at the master output section of Ableton Live if you prefer.

             

            Monitoring the INPUT of the RME unit, everything sounds fine. No distortion at all. Going through the VST plugins, no gain staging. Monitoring at the OUTPUT section of Ableton or the RME, everything sounds distorted. The more graphics with waveforms or other graphics continuously changing (like ie the RME digital mixingboard with peak ladders), the more distortion or audio chopping sets in.

            RME sample rate is at 48K with 128 samples of buffer size.

             

            I have tested on Cockos Reaper, Ableton and BIAS Amp and the results are the same. I have tested with 3 audio interfaces, and they all behave in the same manner; the audio is chopped up and/or severely cracking.

             

            I have attached a number of files. The screen capturing tool will not capture at the audio outputs, only the inputs so I muted that one and instead used my cell phone as close to the speakers I could get (still the levels are low due to bad neighbors disinclined to listen to digital distortion).

             

            The one indication that this PC is not enjoying itself is the CPU meter on Ableton, which goes up over 60% as well as hissing from the fans. The other DAWs do not have a CPU indicator easily available but the hissing is just the same.

             

            No USB hubs are in play. All cables are known-good.

             

            In layman's terms it looks like the graphics chip is being overburdened with the graphics of the DAWs and the CPU has to overextend it self to help out with the job at hand. I have 2 other machines running Windows with Ableton (same app build) and there is no problem with this software.

             

             

             

            Please place an X to the right of the option showing how often you see this issue using specific steps. (Ex: 'Every few times a game is started it flickers.' <- This would be "Often")

            Always (100%): X

            Often (51-99%):

            Sporadic (20-50%):

            Very Sporadic (<20%):

            Hardware (HW)

            Brand and Model of the system.

            Multicom Talisa 731 gen 2 (actually a Clevo rebranded machine).
            Ref: https://www.multicom.no/multicom-talisa-u731-133-full-hd/cat-p/c100559/p10633170

             

            Hybrid or switchable graphics system?
            ie Does it have AMD or NV graphics too?

            Intel 520. No Nvidia/AMD

            Make and model of any Displays that are used to see the issue (see note2 below).
            LFP
            = Local Flat Panel (Laptop panel)
            EFP = External Flat Panel (Monitor you plug in)

            LFP at 1920/1080p

            How much memory [RAM] in the system (see note2 below).

            8 Gigs

            Provide any other hardware needed to replicate the issue.
            ie: Cables&brand, cable type [vga, hdmi, DP, etc], dock, dongles/adapters, etc

            Stock cabling, for audio interfaces see above.

            Hardware Stepping (see note1 below).

            See attached screenshots

            Software (SW)

            Operating System version (see note2 below).

            See attached files

            VBIOS (video BIOS) version. This can be found in “information page” of CUI (right click on Desktop and select “Graphics Properties”.

            See attached files

            Graphics Driver version; for both integrated Intel and 3rd party vendors (see note2 below).

            See attached files

            SW or Apps version used to replicate the issue.

             

            Configurations

            Single display, clone, or extended (see note2 below).

            Single

            Display resolution & refresh rate setting of each display (see note2 below).

            1920x1080p

            AC or DC mode, i.e. is power cable plugged in or not?

            AC

            How to repro

            Please provide steps to replicate the issue.  These steps are very crucial to finding the root cause and fix.
            A screenshot to illustrate the issue is a huge plus. A video of the failure is even better! Attach to the post or provide the YouTube link.

            1. Please see videos of audio and DAW situation attached.

            ...

            @

            • 5. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              : Thank you very much for providing all that information.

              Could you please provide the graphics report?

              Any questions, please let me know.

              Regards
              Alberto R

              • 6. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                BearLittle

                Hello!

                Sorry, missed the last line of your reply. The graphics report..? Which one is this?


                Update:
                Reinstalled Win 10-64 on the machine with latest Intel drivers. Same problem.
                The crackling mostly disappears if I set latency to 256 samples instead of 128 (at which point it is useless). Sample rate is set to 48K and with the RME card (which is really fast), latency is relatively manageable as is audio quality if I don't use any moving graphics such as EQ or reverb VST's with graphical content scrolling by in real-time.

                 

                Still, an i7 CPU should be able to tackle this without problems so there is an issue here.

                 

                Please specify which graphics report you were interested in and I'll supply it for you.  

                 

                Thanks!

                • 7. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                  Intel Corporation
                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                  Hi Thank you very much for sharing that information.
                   
                  In order to get the graphics report please right click anywhere on the desktop and look for the option: Intel® HD Graphics control panel, then choose "options and support", then select "information center", and then choose where it says "file" at the bottom, you will get a text file, please attach it to this thread, so we can verify it.
                   
                  Any questions, please let me know.
                   
                  Regards,
                  Alberto R
                   

                  • 8. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                    BearLittle

                    Here's the text file off of the control panel.

                    • 9. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                      Intel Corporation
                      This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                      : Thank you very much for providing that file.
                       
                      Now we will start a research on this matter in order to try to find a possible solution for this audio problem. As soon as I get any updates I will post all the details on this thread.
                       
                      Any questions, please let me know.
                       
                      Regards,
                      Alberto R
                       

                      • 10. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        I just wanted to let you know that I just got an update on this case, in order to try to fix this problem,  please try to install driver version 4678 and let us know the results:
                        https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26836/Graphics-Intel-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-15-45-?product=88355
                         
                        Also, according to the web site below, Live 9 Lite is fully compatible with Windows® 7 or 8, it looks like Windows® 10 is not supported:
                        https://www.ableton.com/en/products/live-lite/
                         
                        Do you have the option to use this same configuration with either Windows® 7 or 8 just to confirm if the problem persists?
                        Did you check with the  manufacturer of the receiver if it is expected to have this kind of problem when using a non-supported OS?
                         
                        Any questions, please let me know.
                         
                        Regards,
                        Alberto R
                         

                        • 11. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                          BearLittle

                          Hello!

                           

                          Tried your new driver, but the result was just about the same.
                          The problem is NOT with the DAWS be it Ableton Suite or Cockos or Ardour or whatever. These are all Win 7 or later (including 10) compatible and have been tested on this OS.

                          The issue is local to the PC and as such it might be a hardware issue with seriously bad drivers or chips. Let there be no doubt about that, please.

                           

                          I could not install Win 7 64 on this PC. I tried using the USB 2 port on the machine but the Win 7 installer kept asking for missing CD/DVD drivers. I saw half a ton of ways to remedy this but quite frankly I have to move on.
                          I'm giving up this machine since Intel has not come up with anything meaningful at all and specially since Focusrite points towards the graphics chip/driver as the source of the problem. Focusrite is a small jewel in the audio industry and they know well what they're talking about.

                           

                          So, back to Linux and good old terminals for this machine. At least it can be used for something meaningful...@

                          • 12. Re: Intel Graphics 520 Audio Crackling
                            Intel Corporation
                            This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                            : Thank you very much for providing that information.
                             
                            Just to let you know, Intel appreciates and respects all the decisions and feedback provided by the peers in our communities. We are sorry to hear that the problem persisted after trying the new driver and we understand that you need to move on.
                             
                            Let me apologize for any inconvenience.
                             
                            Any questions, please let me know.
                             
                            Regards,
                            Alberto R