RadioDJ - Free Radio Automation Software Forum

RadioDJ v1.7+ => v1.7+ - Support Forum => Topic started by: pfoole2012 on April 26, 2016, 03:24:54 PM

Title: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 26, 2016, 03:24:54 PM
I noticed this topic having surfaced about a year ago. I switched from SAM Broadcaster to RadioDJ. Love everything about it except the fact that my music occasionally sounds as though it was copied from an old, damaged LP. I'm hearing (as are the listeners) popping/scratching, etc. I never had this problem with SAM (though I'd never switch back for other reasons). I've conservatively tweaked the buffer settings to no avail. I reinstalled the encoder. I've even re-recorded what I suspected where bad music files. Finally, I've repeatedly rebooted both my machine and modem/router. Nothing seems to work.

Is this a RadioDJ issue? Or, perhaps a Windows problem (I use Windows 10).

Sadly, due to this irritating 'noise', I've considered other automation software. I'm hoping you guys might have some suggestions so that I can keep using RadioDJ (which is phenomenal in most respects).
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: Jhonny on April 26, 2016, 03:31:09 PM
Welcome ad first,

My suggestions is that you suffer from clipping in the tracks.
Maybe you can solve this with mp3gain.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 26, 2016, 04:44:42 PM
Have you tried setting the AGC to disabled? From Audio processing.

(http://djgarybaldy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/soundprocessingnew.png)

As Jhonny suggested you may also need to volume level your tracks. Also change the In Chain volume down from 100 until it sounds OK. we have our currently set at around 65.

The popping could also be caused by the onboard sound card & the drivers may need to be updated for Windows 10  or have you tried a virtual audio cable solution such as Voice meter banana (http://www.radiodj.ro/community/index.php?topic=6519.0)?


Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 26, 2016, 05:52:44 PM
Thanks, guys. I used mp3 gain on all of my tracks, so I don't think the problem is with my levels (though I could be wrong). I'll mirror the EQ settings you provided and see if that works. Much appreciate your feedback. One more thing - could this be modem/router related somehow? The machine I use, by the way, is brand new, so I would assume the drivers are up to date (though I've made assumptions in the past that proved incorrect).
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 26, 2016, 05:57:24 PM
Quote
One more thing - could this be modem/router related somehow?

It's possible you could have some "Noise" on your Broadband line you'd be best off asking your ISP to run some tests to see if all is well with your outgoing traffic/connections..

If after that you're still getting pops and cracks try a different encoding program there are a few listed Here (http://www.radiodj.ro/community/index.php?topic=6421.0) and see if that makes any difference.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 26, 2016, 07:39:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I'm switching out my modem/router in a few days. Also, I'll review the encoders within the link you provided and see if a different one corrects the problem. Finally, I'll run MP3Gain again. Much appreciated!
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 26, 2016, 11:05:06 PM
Interestingly, even though I ran the tool a few months back, I'm running into a lot of tracks that are clipping. Of course, I did consolidate my library and re-import recently. Some of the music might not have been run through MP3 Gain at that time.

You guys are very helpful. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 27, 2016, 10:37:29 AM
Just thought of something else that could be causing sound issues.

Go to the speaker Icon in the system tray right click on it and select playback devices.

Highlight and right click on the default audio device that RadioDJ is using and select properties.

You should see the properties box with four tabs, On the Advanced tab uncheck the box that says "allow applications to take control of this device" box and click apply

(http://djgarybaldy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/speakerproperties.png)

It's also a good idea to completely turn off Windows default sounds as well.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 27, 2016, 11:35:50 AM
Ok, I unchecked the box and turned off Windows Sounds. Still hearing it. Going to try a different encoder. Anything special I need to know when installing recaster?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 27, 2016, 11:47:03 AM
You mean MB Recaster?

There's nothing major you should need to know about it if you're used to setting up encoders it's easy enough to use. Just make sure you point it at the NowPlaying text that RDJ generates for your metadata.

That's usually C:\NowPlaying.txt
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 27, 2016, 11:52:04 AM
Strange thing is, I can't get it to connect. Do I need to select one of the plugins?
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 27, 2016, 12:06:07 PM
In MB Recaster where you configure the encoder there's an "enable" box check that and the encoder should automatically connect. Also try entering the address an port of your server like this ..

E.G: 123.35.25.0:8000 (without the http://) Some encoding programs don't like the http part.

Just tested the latest version of MB Recaster and had it up and running in less than a minute on Win 10.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 28, 2016, 10:45:25 AM
Ran a little test; I, against my better judgement, fired SAM BC back up to see if the popping/crackling returned while using that application. Sure enough, it did; so, I dumped SAM and switched back to RadioDJ (which I much prefer anyway). Also wanted to mention that this issue occurred on two different machines with two different operating systems. I think I can safely say that the noise I'm hearing (as are my listeners) can be traced back to my modem/router/connection. Never had this problem until I switch to dual band. I'm hardwired, but even so, I think switching out the unit might be the ticket.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 28, 2016, 11:03:21 AM
Ran a little test; I, against my better judgement, fired SAM BC back up to see if the popping/crackling returned while using that application. Sure enough, it did; so, I dumped SAM and switched back to RadioDJ (which I much prefer anyway). Also wanted to mention that this issue occurred on two different machines with two different operating systems. I think I can safely say that the noise I'm hearing (as are my listeners) can be traced back to my modem/router/connection. Never had this problem until I switch to dual band. I'm hardwired, but even so, I think switching out the unit might be the ticket.

At least you've been thorough trying to track down the issue.  :bash: You will get to the bottom of it all eventually.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 30, 2016, 01:01:24 PM
Ok, guys; I had my ISP tech swap out my modem/router for a new one. Had him tighten all connections. Did every bit of troubleshooting one can image. The occasional popping is still occurring (which has become maddening). Think may have something to do with my stream hosting server? I'm out of ideas.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on April 30, 2016, 03:47:44 PM
I don't know what else to suggest .... Maybe try a test stream with another free host see if the popping and crackling still exists with the stream on that connection.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: stevec on April 30, 2016, 04:21:39 PM
Have you tried listening to the stream without audio on it. Does it pop and crackle then? If its silent then its something in your audio side which is wrong.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 30, 2016, 07:56:45 PM
Actually, I did try listening through another server same problem. And yes, I listened to the stream without audio. No pops.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: stevec on April 30, 2016, 08:48:10 PM
Are you using the onboard soundcard and have you checked the CPU usage when you are streaming audio. What bitrate and sampling are you using? We had a similar problem years ago and it turned out to be the processor & motherboard would not handle playing audio and streaming at the same time. It would intermittently pop and crackle. We put our own soundcard in and it stopped. We still use XP & Win 7 to stream with. Not tried streaming with Win 10 as most of our software will not work with it. 
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on April 30, 2016, 09:46:44 PM
Sure am, Steve. Checked CPU usage, too; no problems there. Should the issue continue to crop up, I'll look into something other than the onboard soundcard. Out of desperation, I used MP3val to correct any errors in my audio. Nice utility. I also used Driver Booster 3. The machine I use for my automation (a dedicated machine) is nearly brand new; even so, Driver Booster found a surprising number of drivers that were outdated. Haven't heard any pops since taking those measures, but I ain't counting my chickens before they're hatched.

I suggest you guys check out Driver Booster (if you haven't already). Reputable company (IObit), lightweight application, and best of all, it's free:http://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php (http://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php)

Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: DJ Garybaldy on May 01, 2016, 10:10:08 AM
Just installed that driver program and it found 14 up to date drivers for our Win 10 box... Think I'll add it to my list of useful software!

I presume everything is still running as it should?  :bash:
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on May 01, 2016, 10:36:30 AM
It most certainly is! Ya know, I'm not a 'techie'; I'm a former commercial radio jock. I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble (though this foray into troubleshooting was pretty successful). That popping was a huge annoyance; drove me, my jocks, and my fiance' mad. Today, I'm happy to report, is a good day.  ;D
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: FreerunMedia on May 01, 2016, 03:32:16 PM
It most certainly is! Ya know, I'm not a 'techie'; I'm a former commercial radio jock. I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble (though this foray into troubleshooting was pretty successful). That popping was a huge annoyance; drove me, my jocks, and my fiance' mad. Today, I'm happy to report, is a good day.  ;D

About the crackling noise, allways make sure you have some headroom. So first set the main audio levels at max 75%. Switch down the ACG and be carefull with the low frequenties of the EQ. When using MP3 gain, don't go over 95%. Set all the tracks at 93% ( worked for me ) and you will allways stay within your headroom.

if it is stream related, be sure you switched the ports open were the stream is on. Be sure you have more than enough bandwidth and i prefer 1GB connections. If it is your main broadcast computer, don't run browsers and other software that could interfere with the main audio output. Best thing is to use a seperate audio device so you have one for windows sounds and the other one for main broadcast audio. Most MP3 files are 44,1k so set your output at 16 bit , 44,1k. Higher sounds nice but it won't come through the stream. The current audio boards can handle 48k but it is a little overkill.

When capturing audio, don't put your audiolevels at 100%. You will hear clipping. When in doubt, check your captured audio in an editor like Adobe Audition and if it is too loud, pull it back at least -3dbfs. ( Reference is -12dbfs. dbfs stands for DeciBell Full Scale digital metering.)

Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: pfoole2012 on May 02, 2016, 11:04:31 AM
I'm pretty conservative when it comes to settings; AGC is soft, EQ isn't aggressive, and used default settings when I ran my audio through MP3 Gain. I let the Optimax plugin do most of the heavy lifting. Needless to say, when I got into the world of internet radio three years ago, I had gone through a lot of trial and error before really understanding how digital audio behaves when modified. Also, I was using SAM, which was quirky as all get out.

Still have a clean stream. The updating of one or more drivers did the trick, though I did drop it back from 24 bit, 48k to 16 bit, 44.1k as you advised.
Title: Re: Popping and Crackling - Buffer Settings Issue?
Post by: FreerunMedia on May 02, 2016, 06:45:38 PM
I'm pretty conservative when it comes to settings; AGC is soft, EQ isn't aggressive, and used default settings when I ran my audio through MP3 Gain. I let the Optimax plugin do most of the heavy lifting. Needless to say, when I got into the world of internet radio three years ago, I had gone through a lot of trial and error before really understanding how digital audio behaves when modified. Also, I was using SAM, which was quirky as all get out.

Still have a clean stream. The updating of one or more drivers did the trick, though I did drop it back from 24 bit, 48k to 16 bit, 44.1k as you advised.

Still a would advice to step down from the AGC. Some are good but most are bad. In combination with some audioprocessing it can sound very bad. If all the tracks are at good volume, you don't need AGC. See it like this, amplifying, something that is amplified through an amplifier that amplify some sounds is getting your signal as "dirty" as it can be.

Working sinds 1997 with radio and TV, it gave me some insights of right and wrong processing. ;-)