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TOPIC: Windows 10 problems?

Windows 10 problems? 1 month 2 weeks ago #43165

  • StratKat
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My apologies if this topic has been covered before, but I have searched and not found it. I have a problem with distorted audio while using the USB Streamer B, and it may be related to Windows 10.

I've successfully used the USB Streamer B over the past year or two on a Mac. I am now trying to use the device on my Windows 10 (Dell laptop) PC. I loaded and configured the MiniDSP driver according to the current user manual, and the USB Streamer control panel seems to work great. I have the device configured to receive stereo audio via TOSLINK (driver v4.47.0).

As a test I am playing a steady stream of stereo 48khz SPDIF audio, and I am inputting this to the latest Windows version of Audacity. But all of the incoming audio has a strange distortion which sounds like ring modulation. The Audacity recording has the same distortion when played back.

In troubleshooting this I have switched the various options in Audacity, but the result is the same. In the MiniDSP control panel I have switched from 24-bit to 16-bit, and I have switched the clock from TOSLINK to internal. But the strange distortion remains unchanged.
I have heard this same distortion in another audio recording app running on Windows 10 on another PC. So Windows 10 is very suspicious to me. Can you advise whether this is a common problem with Windows 10 applications and what the solution(s) might be? It is very difficult to find intelligent troubleshooting information for audio when most Windows "experts" do not even understand what a sample rate is /does.

Or am I misunderstanding what the USB Streamer B is capable of doing? In my previous experience (on my Mac) I was transferring ADAT 8-channel audio. This is the first time I've configured the USB Streamer for stereo.

Thanks in advance!
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Windows 10 problems? 1 month 1 week ago #43239

  • devteam
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@StratKat

Not sure what could be the reason but did you make sure to configure the sample rate correctly?
You're indeed using the ASIO driver or the WDM driver in your recording? TRy asio if you're not already. Under Reaper it's easier to support ASIO I believe. We never use audacity so don't really know how that works...

More info (E.g. example recording/settings) would help here.

DevTeam
MiniDSP, building a DIY DSP community one board at a time.
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Windows 10 problems? 1 month 1 week ago #43263

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Problem solved!

The distortion in my audio was actually two different distortions superimposed on one another. Your advice to look for a sample rate error was good advice. The USBStreamer was looking for a 48kHz stream. My audio source, a MacBook Pro, was playing a 48kHz audio file (which I had verified), but the Mac was also changing the output audio stream to a 44.1kHz sample rate. That was a simple thing to correct (in the Mac's "Audio MIDI Setup" app). What sounded like ring modulation disappeared.

But another distortion remained. It sounded like erratic processing dropouts or perhaps buffer overrun. I discovered the key was Audacity's setting for "audio host." The menu choices for this are "MME," "Windows DirectSound" and "Windows WASAPI." There is no "ASIO" option. I discovered that (in this audio system, with the USBStreamer's SPDIF driver) WASAPI causes the distortion. MME and Windows DirectSound both produce clean audio.

As I was troubleshooting, the distortion from the sample rate error had been masking the other distortion problem. Without the sample rate distortion it became easy to hear the other distortion, and therefore easy to hear how switching the "audio host" eliminated the problem.

Another facet of the problem was that most of my audio software experience has been in the Mac environment, and I therefore didn't understand the names of these Windows drivers and components. Here is a useful article which helps to clarify this: www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/ro...sio-wdm-mme-drivers/ But even with this technical info there's still confusion in the terminology. A Windows audio component may be called by a different name by different people.

Nevertheless I remain suspicious of Windows 10 for audio applications. It seems that people with years of audio experience in the Windows environment don't like Windows 10. And I find its audio controls to be badly designed and poorly labeled.

Anyway, thank you for helping me solve the audio problem!
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