Framerate drops with other progs using audio device [SOLVED]

Framerate drops with other progs using audio device [SOLVED]

Postby CaBleman » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:14 pm

Hi there,

regarding the other thread "Aerodrums" hangs I have a similar experience and have quite a sepcific description (I hope ;) ):

In standalone mode, I never have an issue with the framerate, it is 129/130 all the time.

As soon as I open another program which makes use of the audio interface (see below in the system specs), the framerate starts cycling through 9x/10x/11x/12x, where the 9x step does not occur very often. The cycling frequency is appr. 1Hz for all 4 steps, so the values are readable. The red warning appears that the drumming would be impacted by grahpics.
Well, it's not the graphics, because when I switch through all the options with CTRL-G, nothing changes, not even in the "headless" mode w/o the graphics (the FPS values are still shown in the window title though). After a while, it goes down to 9% and virtually hangs.

Of course I read the other thread "Areodrums hangs" and followed almost all the advice given there, including trying all combinations of USB ports for the audio device and the PS3 camera. As "competing" software far I have tried Maschine and Kontakt from Native Instruments as well as Reaper. I also tried all audio settings, from ASIO to WASAPI, from 44.1kHz to 48kHz.
When I pull the USB plug from the audio device; the framerate of aerodrum recovers. So it's clearly a "war" about the USB resources. CPU usage stays far from busy, see next paragraph "On the side".

Other than with Aerodrums, I haven't had any problems regarding audio or performance with that machine. I understand that the camera with the high framerate needs some bandwith. But I do not intend to use aerodrums in standalone very much, it's seems it is no use at this point for me since I'd like to use it mainly with NI Drumlab, but also with Kits like the free MT Powerdrum Kit.

On the side: during my two day long investigations and trials (*sigh*) I discovered this: on the splash/welcome screen and the home screen of Aerodrums, the CPU load is 24% and the frequency of the CPU is at the highest setting. after a minute or so the fans kick in, which they usually never do!
Anyway, so when I go to the drum screen the load drops to 6-11% and the frequency setting of the CPU cycles between 25% and 45% of the maximum freq. What is going on there? One would expect the opposite: nearly no CPU load and low CPU Freq on the Welcome and Home screens, and soem more usage and freq on the drum page. Or am I mistaken? Maybe you could actually improve the polling in drum mode?

Anyway, at the moment I'm quite frustrated with the whole thing. I bought areodrums for fun (no, for getting some beats into the DAW/host via MIDI, to be honest), but so far it has been lacking that for me... *sigh* (BTW, the MIDI prob with the hi hat sound after pedal down persists with other software as well, see the thread in general)

Any further hints or advice?

Thanks,
CaB

My system specs:
==================================
I own a self-built audio PC with Windows 8.1 64bit. It's driven by an i5 4590S on an ASUS H97M Plus mainboard with 16GB DDR3 RAM, all from Oct 2014
GFX are driven the integrated Intel HD 4600 GPU
The mainboard has at least 4 separate USB ports, one is USB 3 and the others are USB 2.
The Audio device is a Novation nio2|4 from 2008 with current drivers suitable for Win 8.1.
Last edited by CaBleman on Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby slavedave » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:15 am

Interestingly, I received my aerodrums today and had similar difficulties with "hanging" as soon as I ventured away from the stock set up using the internal samples. My initial set up was thus:

Dell XPS 1330 dual core 2.o ghz with 8Gb ram (stripped back DAW prepared Win 7 64bit OS). No antivirus running and no supplementary programmes other than aerodrums running. The camera was connected to one of my two USB ports and the other port was occupied by my Roland Quad capture audio interface. The light array was plugged into an external wall socket via a usb adapter.
Played like this for a while with no glitches at all. I then wanted to try running Addictive Drums 2 with aerodrums and moved my layout around a bit which required me using a passive usb hub for both the light array and the camera going into one of the laptops usb sockets and the Quad Capture still in the other. As soon as I tried to run aerodrums the system ground to a halt with the framerate going down to 1fps at times. I read the forum post on "hanging" and also the troubleshooting guide in the manual.

In the end I remembered that the USB that feeds from my quad capture actually goes to a powered usb hub that has my usb midi controllers attached to it PLUS chargers for my mobile phone. I bypassed all these additional items by using a spare usb cable and rigging the quad capture straight into the laptop. Rebooted the machine, and viola! Glitch free playing for 3 hours with midi feeding AD2 with excellent unnoticeable latency. Probably more luck than judgement but it may be worth checking what else is connected to your usb ports once again.

Hope you get some joy, because my first experience was disappointing with AD2 until I got it sorted - and then a huge smile spread across my face.
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby Sipaliwini » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:36 am

About the USB issue, it would be fantastic if Slavedave's answer was the solution. CaBleman, if you have a USB charger, could you plug the light in it instead of in your computer as an experiment?

About high load on the home screen, we forgot to cap how many frames are rendered per second on that screen so the graphics are functioning at full power. This is not a high priority issue considering little time he spent on that screen.
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby CaBleman » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:03 pm

Heh, I doubt very much that the power consumption of the light could cause such a (my) problem...

Besides, because of the "blinding effect" I did most of my trials and experiments with the USB issue
without the light even being hooked.
No, it's probably a battle between the audio devices driver and the camera driver for USB bandwidth or a bug in one of the drivers or... What do I know?

BTW when I put the Realtek onboard sound as default in Windows and set the DAWs/hosts and Aerodrums to Wasapi, it works fine. But that is not a way to go for me, it has to work with my audio device.

WAIT, I have an idea:
I noticed that even when Aerodrums is in "MIDI only" mode, it warns at startup that it can't get access to the audio device, if the alreadyopen DAW is ASIO or another exclusive mode.

What if you implemented it like this:
In case Aerodrums is in MIDI only mode it would not care about any Audio Device access and possibly wouldn't try to initiate a sound output channel.

Maybe that could help some users having trouble USB related trouble like msundh and myself.
Really just a wild stab the dark...

Cheers CaB
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby Sipaliwini » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:08 pm

Yes this is a good idea, no point initializing any audio if Aerodrums isn't in charge of rendering the audio for that session. I will keep you posted.
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby Sipaliwini » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:10 pm

Do you also get the problem when you select the Windows device in the latency screen instead of Wasapi?
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby CaBleman » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:06 pm

Concerning your last question, yes, the problem persists if I declare some other device than my Novation nio 2-4 as the default windows audio and then point the DAW still to the nio 2-4 but Aerodrums to the Windoes default. No difference in the FPS cycling between 9x-12x...
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby Sipaliwini » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:14 pm

Ok I understand, the Wasapi setting should then be irrelevant as it applies to a different device.
Unless something odd happens within Windows...
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Re: Framerate drops when I open other progs using audio devi

Postby CaBleman » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:17 pm

I've got news:

After buying and mounting a cheap PCI USB 2.0 extension card,
I hooked the PS3 camera to that one and now the frame drops are history!
HOORAY :mrgreen:

Caveat: such a workaround might have other implications in your USB / audio eco system, e.g. here I noticed some problems booting and probably some changes in the sample buffer needed for the audio device. But this has to be investigated further here in my setup...

Bye,

CaB
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