1 (edited by funkymothers 2022-05-24 13:02:10)

Topic: Dual HDSPe MADI FX problem

I am having a problem with my dual HDSPe MADI FX setup:

Quite regularly one of the cards will suddenly delay its audio as though it is setting itself to the highest buffer setting.

My setup involves multiple hardware inserts spread across all cards. Quite regularly I will have a mix running using plenty of outboard gear and suddenly the vocals or other elements (whose equipment is inserted with the second card) will play out of sync with the rest of the mix.

Let's say I have a mix running and the buffer size is 256 samples. Reaper will correctly measure and report the delay of any inserted outboard gear. At 256 samples this will usually be a few hundred samples. Then, when the problem occurs, that same insert will suddenly shoot up to over 8000 samples when pinged.

So it appears that one card will reset/ignore/crash its buffer setting whilst still showing correct values in HDSPe FX Settings. 

The problem can only be cleared by shutting down and starting up the computer. Sometimes it can be days without the problem occurring and at other times it happens daily.

System info:

Device name    RYZN-5950X
Processor    AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-Core Processor               3.40 GHz
Installed RAM    64.0 GB
System type    64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
Pen and touch    No pen or touch input is available for this display
Edition    Windows 10 Pro
Version    21H2
Installed on    11/01/2022
OS build    19044.1706
Experience    Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.4170.0

DAW is Reaper, always the latest version, 6.58 at the moment.
RME Driver is v.2.18

I have one stereo pair of MADI outputs set up as WDM devices for native audio.
The card order is swapped in the global settings.
Power plan is set to Ultimate performance and never to sleep. Display goes off after 5 minutes and locks computer.

Is there a way to get the driver to log events or another means of generating debug info that might be useful in finding the source of the problem?





2 (edited by ramses 2022-05-25 08:44:43)

Re: Dual HDSPe MADI FX problem

Which mainboard, CPU, graphic card do you use and which PCIe slots are you using for the HDSPe MADI FX?

Basically I would always ensure to use the best PCIe slots with PCIe lanes that come directly from the CPU
and that these PCIe lanes are fully dedicated to this PCIe slot and not shared with any other HW components on the board.

How long does it usually take until this issue happens? Is there something which triggers the issue or makes it more likely to happen which could make troubleshooting easier / not so time consuming.

At which sample rate are you working ? Always the same ? If this happens in double speed, how is it in single speed ?

Would be interesting whether it makes any difference to change clock synch / MADI configuration to use
- AES to clock synch the two cards
- 96k frame size
- a unique MADI channel count and frame size on both cards (96k, 64ch)

Does it make a difference if you use activate Redundancy mode to reduce the number of input channels.
Or to mirror MADI1 output to MADI 2/3 ?
Ok, maybe you need all of the MADI busses, but maybe this leads to a different workload maybe worth to check whether this makes any difference if this could be "workload" related.

Is the problem fully away if you use only one card? Can you check this with each of the cards?
If the problem should appear with one card, can you check whether it disappears if you use it in a different PCIe slot?

Sorry, I have no other idea than to ensure, that both cards and the PCIe slots are well
and to check whether certain changes in the configuration (to use another digital channel for clock synch or to use other/uniq configuration of MADI channels and MADI frame size) makes any difference.

Maybe some observations while doing all that could bring new ideas, to what the issue is related.

Check with RME support what they think would be best in your case, maybe they have better ideas.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Dual HDSPe MADI FX problem

Thank you for taking the time to reply with such detail and the many suggestions, Ramses - I really appreciate it!

First off the rest of the components are:
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
Dell AMD Radeon Pro WX3200 4GB Full Height Graphics Card (Audio driver disabled in Device Manager)
64GB Samsung ECC RAM
Samsung M.2 980 Pro SSD 1TB and 2TB
8TB Backup Drive

I am predominantly working at 44.1kHz, occasionally at 48k. The way I have wired up my converters is so that I am using a maximum of 32I/O per MADI port in order to be able to work at high sampling rate without needing to rejig everything. So far the theory. In practice I have never run the system at 88.2k or 96k although I would like to test it out.

Before I go any further I should add the following:

  • This is a running system I am working with every day. I do not have the time to make certain adjustments or change certain settings - the problem is annoying but resetting the system to carry on working is not that bad compared to taking the rig apart.

  • I do have a hunch as to what the culprit could be but need to keep an eye out for it and also need to try and document the circumstances of when it occurs again.

  • The cards were previously installed in a Hackintosh running macOS Mojave and the problem did not occur then

Regarding my hunch: I think it may have something to do with Windows' sound being routed through the RME hardware. I had one stereo pair set up as a WDM device and suspect that that is where the problem lies. I seem to remember it happening when Firefox/Freetube were open and I had been streaming music from SoundCloud/Deezer, etc.

Since posting here I have disabled the RME hardware as WDM device. The AMD audio drivers have always been disabled and I never installed the Realtek Audio Driver for the motherboard. So currently Windows has no sound output. If the system starts behaving itself I might install the motherboard's audio drivers to get WDM working again.

In the meantime I will see how it goes and update this post accordingly.

Thanks again!