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Forum List => Technical Support => Topic started by: dlivezey on June 07, 2009, 11:09:19 PM

Title: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: dlivezey on June 07, 2009, 11:09:19 PM
Hi Paul.

A couple of times, while recording (to MP3), I have received a message that VinylStudio had to stop recording. I don't have the exact text of the message, but the gist of it was that there was too much going on on the computer, preventing VS from keeping up.

In most cases that message has seemed to come up as a result of my trying to find/import album art while the recording is in progress. On a few occassions, the lookup/import process exhibited a visible delay, sometimes "hanging" for quite a few seconds.

I'm using a somewhat older, not-too-powerful computer for my "recording system," so it's understandable to me that this kind of thing could happen, particularly when encoding on the fly. That's not really the subject of my question.

My question is, is it possible that some of this CPU contention could lead to a drop-out in the output file, *without* getting the VS "recording aborted" message? On a couple of recordings for which I did not receive the message, I discovered upon playback that a portion of a song was missing.

Things that make me think it might have something to do with CPU contention, as opposed to other causes for a skip:
1. In both cases, the drop-out occurred a ways into the first track, when I likely would have been looking up the track listings and album art.
2. It's possible that somebody in my family (or even a cat!) could have bumped the turntable, but the drop-outs don't *sound* like that. In such a case, I'd expect to hear the needle skip and bounce a little before settling in again. The drop-outs were more like a portion was just removed.
3. I also don't think the drop-outs were the result of debris or scratches on the vinyl. There weren't any noticeable pops before or after the drop-out, and upon re-recording, both recorded without any problem.

I'm just wondering if you can say definitively whether it is possible that a drop-out like that could occur without a warning message and without the recording being aborted. If it's possible that a silent error could be happening it would be nice if that could be avoided. It's not that big of a problem--I can do the lookup stuff either before or after recording--but would like to be able to do the lookups while recording if possible.

Thanks for your help,
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) on June 08, 2009, 08:54:08 AM

Yes, I think it might be possible, although I have never had it happen to me personally.  If the Windows audio system loses data without telling VinylStudio that it has done so, then VinylStudio would be none the wiser.  I'd be surprised if it was connected with looking up album art though.  This is not an activity that uses a lot of CPU time, and any delays you might observe are probably due to the fact that the album art must be retrieved from a remote database (i.e. across the Internet) and this can sometimes take a while.  Having said all of which, it sounds like you have made enough observations to be sure of your ground.

How much memory does your PC have?  Adding a bit more (which is usually not an expensive option) might help.


Paul Sanders
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: bowden73 on August 19, 2013, 01:01:43 PM
I have an issue that I think is in a similar vein to this thread.
I'm using a NAD PP3 connected via USB to a Fujitsu laptop running Windows 7.  The laptop is about three years old and is a pretty basic one.  I'm not sure of the specs.

I noticed what I would call 'skips' (dropouts? where a portion of sound, a fraction of a second, is missing) when I recorded some vinyl, and it was made worse if I was surfing the web and scrolling through pages whilst recording.  So I recorded the vinyl with no programs open other than VinylStudio, and I didn't touch the computer whilst recording, but there is still a few skips on the recordings.

Is this likely to be caused by insufficient RAM, or a slow processor, or ... ?

I don't have another computer accessible to me to try installing VinylStudio on, so I can't check if the computer hardware is at fault or not.

(It's definately not the vinyl jumping by the way).

Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) on August 19, 2013, 02:04:42 PM

It's unlikely to be either of these.  Something is interfering at a system level and interrupting the recording.  Other recording programs would be similarly affected.

Do you have anti-virus installed?  If so, please try turning it off.
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: bowden73 on August 19, 2013, 04:35:58 PM
Thanks Paul.  No Anti-virus installed, other than Windows own.  Could it be something other than that?
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) on August 19, 2013, 06:01:39 PM
Well, there are a couple of things you can try.  Firstly, and easiest, please try a different USB cable and / or port.  If that doesn't help, you can try bypassing the USB by connecting a cable from line-out on the PP-3 to line-in onm your PC and recording throught line-in.  The able you need is pictured here:
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: bowden73 on August 23, 2013, 12:48:45 PM
Recording using the line-out of the PP3 has cured the problem.  Thanks!

There is a lot more "buzz" recording through the line-out.  Using the filters helps alot, but should there be noticeably more buzz through the lin-out compared to the USB out?
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) on August 23, 2013, 02:12:44 PM

No, there shouldn't be.  Can you send me an (unfiltered) sound sample please?  To do this:

1.  Select (by clicking and dragging in the waveform display) about 10 seconds of audio, including some silence, in the Cleanup Audio window.

2.  Right-click and choose 'Save selection as'.

3.  Save as an OGG file (to keep the filesize down) and email it to:

p DOT sanders AT alpinesoft DOT co DOT uk

I will then see if I can tell what is wrong.  But first, push all cables securely home and give them each a twist.
Title: Re: Aborted recordings and drop-outs?
Post by: Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) on September 04, 2013, 10:33:48 PM
I got the sound samples, thank you.  It sounds (and looks) like interference picked up from your computer's power supply by the analog input circuitry of your sound card.  There's not much you can do other than use the hiss filter in VinylStudio to minimise the noise.  This actually seems to to a pretty good job on the sample you sent me and should not do too much damage as the background noise is at a fairly low level to start with.  The hum filter doesn't work as there is a significant high-frequency component to the noise.  If you use maximum vertical zoom you can see little steps in the waveform - see screenshot below.  These are what is causing the damage.