Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Audio Stuttering on a G5

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default Audio Stuttering on a G5

    So, I am working on editing an audio file -- using software named Fission (which I've used for the last couple years). The audio starts stuttering, and adding clicks/pops (as in extraneous digital noise).

    I import the file into iTunes, it plays JUST FINE with no problems.

    Can anybody here guess what would cause audio to stutter like that on a G5? I have 7 GB RAM, the machine has been running a tad warm, but not too warm. I repaired permissions, restarted, etc., same problem. Also tried plugging in the speakers to the front headphone jack instead of the rear speaker port, but that didn't work either (as I said, the same exact file plays just fine in iTunes).

    I'm gonna need either new editing software or a fix to this problem. Up until about a month ago I was running a dual 1.33 GHz G4 and OS 10.4.11 and NEVER had this problem. Can't figure out why it started SO suddenly......

    P.S.: The G5 runs WAY cooler with the door and the plastic see thru thingy OFF. Is it okay to leave it that way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default Need the sage advice of the Gurus

    So..... I am using a piece of software called Fission to edit a weekly radio show that I produce. I used Fission successfully in the past on a G4 Mac, and have already used it on the new(er) G5 I just purchased..... until yesterday that is, when audio stuttering showed up unexpectedly, during playback.

    I imported the file into iTunes, it plays perfectly.
    I downloaded Wave Pad, and imported the file, and it played perfectly.
    I restarted, repaired permissions, downloaded the current vsn of Fission again, downloaded the previous version of Fission..... still getting audio stuttering and random digital noise in playback.

    This morning, I transferred the file in question over to the boot drive (which is one of those Solid State deals) and it PLAYS JUST FINE in Fission.

    What I am trying to figure out if this is part of a larger problem with this G5, or if something else is going on. Here's what I've got SO FAR:

    • Computer tends to crash when waking up from sleep. I usually get the spinning beach ball of death and then have to hit the power button.
    • Mouse is jumpy - the pointer will just randomly move all the way across the screen sometimes.
    • Temps are running real hot. I was seeing Processor temps in the 68-75 degree C range. The computer is running WAY cooler now that I have the side door off..... but I realize that's not exactly good for it either.
    • The fans are spinning and running quietly, but no matter how high the temps get, they NEVER spin up to full speed. The only time they spin up to full speed is when I am running applejack.

    So, based on the new information I have this morning -- that I took the audio file that was stuttering in Fission and moved it from my Users volume to my Boot volume, that maybe I'm having a problem with my Users volume? Yet, the Users volume is less than a year old. Actually, I think I got it earlier this spring, so like 7 or 8 months, max. I shouldn't be having problems with it (and as far as I know, haven't).

    If you're still with me after reading this far, I am still within the "45 day window" at ebay for their buyer protection. I could try and open a claim based on the fact that there are some things about this computer that don't seem to be right.

    Am I having normal experiences? Or do you think I should try and return the computer?

    When I asked for support from Fission, their advice was to get a computer than ran 10.6 or higher, and then they could help me.

    Sigh......

    I really do appreciate all the advice from you wise folks. I honestly don't know what to do. All I want is a working computer...... And at least for the time being, I've figured out a "work around" -- but the window on the 45 days will be closing very soon.

    Thanks!

    Boyd.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    Solve it one little thing at a time.

    First, set sleep to never. 'Always set sleep to never' is my rule, which I accept can't be everyone's. But when sleep causes its inevitable problem at least turn it off while doing your diagnostics.

    Mouse pointer moving depends on the mouse - many times, if you have one of today's innocuous wireless meeses then it can get either dirty, or the firmware on them can get corrupt. One requires a thorough cleaning while the other will require replacement. Seldom see the mouse pointer issue caused by the computer, but I suppose it could....

    I am always nervous about running a G5 without the air dam. Problem become hotspots. Yes, the CPUs are fine since they have dedicated fans and dedicated air channels. The motherboard has components that require controlled airflow to stay cool. Hence Apple added the dam.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference
    Posts
    2,929

    Default

    I have seen reports of PCI card placement causing audio stuttering. Frequently with a non OEM video card. But not limited to that.
    Damien,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default

    Appreciate the info. For now, I am setting the G5 to never sleep, and also unchecked the box about putting the HD's to sleep. Maybe that is causing a problem?

    I put the air dam and the door back on. If it runs up to 75 C, guess I just won't worry about it, or better yet, turn off Hardware Monitor so I will just be blissfully unaware

    I do have one PCI Express card installed, it's the two channel eSATA one from the Gurus, and it's sitting RIGHT above the video card, because I just could not get the darned thing to seat right on the very top, upper lane. I need it, of course, for doing backups to the Burly, but could try and remove it and see what happens. Worth a go at least. Since the card itself is so small, figured it wouldn't really hamper any airflow, but I suppose it might.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default Found the cause of the stuttering

    Well, I found out that if I reboot into 10.4.11, the audio stuttering problem stops with Fission (the audio editing software I use). So, apparently, something in 10.5.8 causes the audio stuttering. The big question is what, of course.

    Alternatively, I have been offered $100 to take the G5 off of my hands (half of what I paid for it), which I could apply towards the purchase of an early 2006 Intel Mac (which I can almost sorta maybe afford).

    Fission supports their software from 10.6 onwards, but nothing previous. So there's that. But I wouldn't really expect the problem to crop up again. At least I hope not.

    Decisions Decisions. Of course, with an early Intel Mac, none of my other software will work, and I guess with the early Intel machines, I'll be stuck in the land of 10.6 forever.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,317

    Default

    Audio stuttering has traditionally been a bus timing issue. The fact that moving the offending file to the boot drive solves the problem suggests to me a problem with your card-based storage. It was a common issue back when the first PCI ATA cards were released for SCSI-based Macs. There was a utility developed for those cards that limited the data transfer rates, and solved the problem for most users.

    Wouldn't take a whole lot of experimenting to isolate that as the core issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default

    So, if I understand this correctly, the problem might be solved by attempting to limit the data transfer rates on the boot drive, which is a SSD, or barring that, clone the SSD boot drive to a regular normal SATA I HD, and try that?

    I know that in recent years, with SATA II or III HD's for my G4 Mac, you had to put a jumper on the HD to limit it to SATA I speeds and everything would work correctly. Maybe this is similar to the problem I'm having here? The people I bought this from (a reputable Mac dealer, but sadly not the Gurus) said that even tho it wasn't SATA I (I believe it's a SATA II or III), they claimed it would work in my G4..... and it did...... just fine. Running OS 10.4.11

    It also worked in the G5, running 10.4.11. But not after running 10.5.8. And to make matters worse, the audio stuttering doesn't appear in iTunes, or with another audio editing package I downloaded. Only in Fission, my audio editing software of choice.

    I must admit I'm feeling a bit like Winnie the Pooh and am having trouble wrapping my feeble brain around this. Since the G5 has a much greater bus speed than the G4, I would expect to see less problems, not more. Right? Sigh. But that's the whole point. I never had any problems with stuttering in the G4.

    So, maybe I should try going back to a SATA I HD (my old 10k Raptor is around here somewhere) and seeing if that fixes the problem?

    Thanks for the feedback. Will continue to try and puzzle this one out.

    P.S.: After following Rick's advice and putting the dam back on and closing the door, the temps on one of the CPU's hit 79 degree Celsius yesterday afternoon. 20 more degrees and I'll be able to boil water on the sucker.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference
    Posts
    2,929

    Default

    That doesn't seem like a high processor temp to me. My proc usually runs in the 65-75˚C range all the time and if I am encoding video it gets up to 90-95˚C range (Flash video ramps it up there as well) Graphics chips run in that same range as well

    Hard drive (spinning) temps are a different story They need to stay below 60˚C (well below IMHO) my spinner is currently running 42˚C


    Would this audio issue be solved by a USB audio interface like the iMic?
    Damien,

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd 9 View Post
    So, if I understand this correctly, the problem might be solved by attempting to limit the data transfer rates on the boot drive, which is a SSD, or barring that, clone the SSD boot drive to a regular normal SATA I HD, and try that?
    If the file plays fine on the boot drive then obviously it's not the problem. Why not try pulling the eSATA card just to see if the problem goes away?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default And the award goes to M. Brane!

    Bingo!

    You were right. The problem went away once the card was pulled. Amazingly simple, after all.

    As far as the backups to my Burly goes, I also have one of the Burly FW enclosures, with an FW800 connection on the back. Maybe not quite as fast as SATA, but it'll sure get the job done.

    Rick, if you're out there, any firmware updates for the SATA card, or should I try another one? Or, should I try the 8x PCI express lane in the G5?

    For the time being, just real happy that I don't have to go out and buy another used Mac to solve the problem. Thanks everyone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,119

    Default

    No firmware on the SATA cards. They are all driver based. And drivers aren't the problem. The speed issue that is being discussed was relevant even with old ATA cards, like the Acard (way back when). From what I gather this isn't compatibility as much as a timing issue. I am glad to assist, but have no experience doing the stuff you guys are doing. Brane is more likely to have a workaround.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,317

    Default

    Another thing you can try is putting the card in a different slot. Don't know if there's a way to alter the transfer rates on that card. Been a while since I did any research or troubleshooting on this kind of thing.

    Good to see we're making progress though.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default Sad to say.....

    The fix was only short lived. We're back to the audio stuttering again, but it's basically only happening in my audio software (Fission). Other things do seem better, like streaming audio, you tube playback, etc.

    All I know for sure is that the audio stuttering in Fission does NOT happen in 0S 10.4.11.

    When I took delivery of the computer, it came with OS 10.5.8, but needed about 16 different software updates. I could go back to square one and see if one of them "breaks" Fission while doing the updates again, one by one.

    This is frustrating. Any chance the cause of the stuttering is caused by plugging an external drive into the FW 800 port?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd 9 View Post

    This is frustrating. Any chance the cause of the stuttering is caused by plugging an external drive into the FW 800 port?
    Easy enough to test that theory.

    This kind of troubleshooting can be very frustrating. The important thing to remember is only change one variable at a time, and keep track of the results.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd 9 View Post
    ...When I took delivery of the computer, it came with OS 10.5.8, but needed about 16 different software updates...
    Boyd, just trying to get the details clear.

    Do you have the retail install disk for 10.5?
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,784

    Default

    If you have 10.4 and or 10.5 to reinstall, you can easily do a test install on a second internal drive or a firewire drive. Test, do updates, test again, etc.

    All this without having to risk changing your current setup

    Certainly sounds like an OS compatibility is likely, but the only way to know is through testing. Not sure if you mentioned it, but the other (likely quicker) thing to do is dig through the Fission community to see if others have this problem and perhaps a fix.

    If this is a Fission version vs. an OS version issue, others would have encountered it and it should be documented. If not, then it could be a third party software/driver issue.

    Oh, did we try a Safe Boot to see if that changes anything?

    One other quick thing to try: Create a new test user. Log in as the new user, and see if the issue is still there.

    If the problem is there: means it is a global issue (software, OS, hardware, system-wide). It the problem is NOT there: means it is related to something in the user account (preferences, running software, setttings, etc.) I would not expect this to be a user specific issue, but it is quick to test and rule out.....before reinstalling, updating, adding software, etc.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default

    Biggles: The computer did not come with a retail install OS 10.5 disk. One of the gurus was kind enough to send me one, but I think it is for Intel machines only, and would not work on the G5.

    The person/company that I bought it from did an OS 10.5.8 install on a HD, and slapped that in the G5. Naturally, of course, cannot know if they wiped the drive with zeroes, etc., before installing OS 10.5. When I took delivery of the machine, a whole slew of software updates needed to be done. Before I did any of that, I wiped a spare drive, and cloned it, booted from the clone, and did all the updates to the clone. So I could go back and try ALL of the updates over again.

    Unclemac: Tried a new user account, and got the same problem with audio stuttering. So that helps to narrow it down, I guess, by something.

    Will try and track down and see if there is a Fission community and will keep trying things one at a time to see if I can narrow it down. Haven't tried safe boot. Sounds like a good plan.

    Thanks all

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    I asked about the retail install disk because that G5 shipped with 10.4, and afaik the 10.5 install should be done on the G5, from the retail installer, to ensure that you do in fact get the correct install for that particular machine.

    I might be wrong.
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Stinking Desert National Memorial
    Posts
    394

    Default That's a good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by biggles View Post
    I asked about the retail install disk because that G5 shipped with 10.4, and afaik the 10.5 install should be done on the G5, from the retail installer, to ensure that you do in fact get the correct install for that particular machine.
    Yeah, very good point. And since used copies of OS 10.5 are going for (last time I checked anyway) upwards of $100 on ebay, I was really hoping to avoid that scenario. Much rather spend that $100 on another backup HD or a new UPS if possible.

    Of course, as I said earlier, I've no idea where the copy of 10.5 I'm running came from, if they were conscientious and wiped the drive with zeros first, etc. etc. That very well could be part of the problem I'm having.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •