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I’m experiencing glitches in playback and/or the processing meter is spiking.

Troubleshooting techniques to determine the root cause of playback glitches and artifacts.

This can be the result of many different things. We’ll cover some of the most common causes below:

  • Raise the buffer size: Try raising the buffer size to a higher number, then test. A higher buffer will incur more latency, but uses less processing power.
  • Lower the sample rate: Running at a higher sample rate puts more strain on the CPU, which can cause glitches/dropouts - try lowering the sample rate to reduce this strain and free up processing power.
  • Remove plug-ins: If you’ve raised the buffer/lowered the sample rate and are still experiencing audio glitches, it’s possible the project is simply too large for the computer to handle. Try disabling plug-ins (effects or VI’s) gradually, testing in between. If you see a gradual increase in DP’s performance, then it’s likely the system just isn’t powerful enough to handle this project. In this case, there are a couple of solutions:
  • Freeze VI’s and audio tracks with CPU-intensive effects. Freezing a track means printing it to audio. Once it’s been printed to audio, you can disable the VI or audio track with plug-ins on it, thereby conserving processing power for other things. Read about how to freeze a track here.
  • Upgrade your system’s CPU and/or RAM to provide more resources for DP to work with.
  • Run a slave computer that hosts intensive VI’s and plug-ins. This can be done through through 3rd-party software such as Vienna Ensembe Pro and Bidule.

If the above troubleshooting techniques had no effect on the glitches you are experiencing, then it’s possible they are related to something besides computer performance. This could include a corrupted project/plug-in, corrupted preferences, or an issue with the current audio interface. Please see this technote for troubleshooting techniques that cover these non-performance related issues.