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Logic Audio Pops/Noise with G4 Upgraded MacsReturn to News Page

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Comments on Logic Audio Pops/Noise
with G4 Upgrades in G3 or Older Macs

Posted : 9/27/2002
(last updated 10/7/2002 for more reader reports)

Several readers replied to the post in Friday's news where a reader noted Logic audio pops/noise with a G4 upgrade in Beige G3. Although the same issue was noted by others, one of the replies noted running an OWC G4 in a B&W G3 with logic audio without any problems like this (even with Altivec enabled). I asked what QT/Sound Manager version he was using, since this may be a factor based on some past comments. One Beige G3 owner w/G4 upgrade noted disabling the cache also solved audio problems in FCP (but performance drops of course with cache disabled.)

Latest Reader Reports: (most recent first)

Previous reports were on OS 9 versions but here's a report on Logic Audio for OS X:

(added 10/7/2002)
" I have a B&W G3 with a G4 550 upgrade from Powerlogix (running at 600). Full gig of RAM. Western Digital 120 gb drive and IBM 30 gb drive (I forget the model numbers but they were the fastest available at the time). I have an Acard IDE card. Two monitors (21" and 17") running off a Radeon 7000 PCI, with Quartz Extreme hack enable. I have an Audiophile 24/96 PCI audio card and a Motu Fastlane USB midi interface. I have 10.2.1 installed.

Recently I upgraded to Logic Platinum for OS X. All the Emagic softsynths run like a dream (EXS24, ES2, EVP88, EVB3, EVD6) (most of these I don't own, but I am in the demo period for them). No clicks, pops, or midi delays. Just lots of notes (as many as I can play). I have loaded a large Gigasample format Rhodes sample into EXS 24 and it played great, and also the Gigapiano from Nemesys (that's over 1 gig of sample). The Gigasamples seem to play much better in EXS24 than in Gigasampler on my Athlon home built. (But I have problems with a Via chipset on my PC motherboard. It doesn't do audio well -- typical PC nonsense).

I didn't have to tweak OS X. I just plugged everything in, spent 5 minutes in audio/midi setup and had a working system. Wow, that's a big change from when I first tried to get this stuff working in OS 9!!! (I realize most people still need to stay in 9 because the audio apps have not all been converted yet).

I can't attest to the recording performance as I don't really use Logic for recording. Just for playing live (I know, it's overkill, but I like the midi processing and effects in Logic).
Cliff S. "

(added 10/4/2002)
" Hi Mike,
Your "Logic Audio on G4 upgraded macs" page was a big help to me. Prior to reading it I was resigned to running Logic with Alti-vec disabled, as other readers had noted. Because of the experience of the guy who upgraded his XLR8 MACh Speed Control to 2.5, then 2.6.1 (from the 1.4.3 which shipped with the card/chip), I gave it a go. Sure enough! Now I'm running Logic 4.7.1 just fine with Alti-vec enabled! I guess I'm going to have to upgrade to the newly released Logic 5.3 for OS9.

Unfortunately, MACh Speed Control (2.5 or 2.6.1) is no longer available on the sadly stale XLR8 site, but IS available through VersionTracker and MacUpdate - Classic. It requires a serial number, so you've got to open the box (it's on the card) or find the manual and registration stuff.
Thanks again,
Beige G3 MT 266 (Rev A motherboard)
XLR8 500MHz G4 running at 533 MHz
Echo Darla-24 audio card
Samplecell II
384 MB RAM
OS 9.2.1
Too many extensions to list. "

I asked a reader that had sent an earlier report below if he had the "EXS sampler" installed (a reader has thought this might be a factor in the popping noise reports) - but Phil noted no such problem and had the sampler installed:

(added 10/2/2002)
here's a thought but I'm sure it has been mentioned already. if anyone is complaining of crackles and pops while using the built-in audio hardware, it could be because they are at a sampling rate (48kHz) that this hardware does not support. I DO get audio artifacts in FCP (DV uses 48kHz audio tracks) if i don't direct Sound Manager to use the Korg card.

yes, I use the EXS-24 all the time. in the project i'm currently working on, there are usually equal numbers of audio tracks and EXS instances. I also have the UAD-1 card which hosts "Powered Plugins" - accessed within Logic just like VST plugins. These plugins are extremely good - and the card takes the enire processing load. I guess this results in heavier PCI bus traffic - and i haven't run tests to determine maximum track count with EXS instances and UAD-1 plugins... but a good measure of this system is that I don't feel limited by it in any way.

Another note: I am also running QT movies in Logic (for scoring) and have found that I get the best system performance by NOT compressing the QT movies with Sorenson or any other high compression scheme. 360 (or 320) x 240, 29.97fps (need every frame), NTSC DV seems best. Even though compressed movies are smaller and may make fewer demands on resources in some ways - in the end, it seems the cpu power required to decompress them during playback really limits what you can do in Logic. I usually run my movies from a Maxtor 7200rpm firewire drive - and audio from the internal audio drive.
Phil "

Phil's previous report is the next one below.

(added 10/1/2002)
"Hi Mike,
Great site! - thought I'd contribute. i have only very good results with my xlr8 G4 upgraded Logic system. it flies.

cpu: G4/500 (7400)
ram: 1024/100 (133 chips)
mainboard: Yosemite (Blue & White)
graphics: ATI Rage128 VR
system disk: IBM GXP75/30GB
audio harddisk: IBM GXP60/60GB + Ultratek ATA/66
optical drive: TEAC 512EB
audio_system: Korg 1212
driver: ASIO v5.01
audio_buffer: default
processor_buffer_range: small
larger_disk_buffer: off
more_friendly_disk_handling: off
os: MacOS 9.2.2
logic_version: 5.3
QuickTime: 5.02
Sound: 8.5.6
Sound Manager: 3.6.7
Appearance sounds: enabled

-performance results (no plugins)
max linear playback tracks: 80 (16bit) : 68 (24bit )
max playback tracks in cycle mode : 54 (16bit) : 46 (24bit)

-performance results with plugins-
[same test but each track has two serial plugins (fat EQ & comp) and sending to 3 parallel plugins: 1 stereo delay and 2 platinum reverbs] max linear playback tracks: 32 (16bit) : 32 (24bit )

This compares very favourably to the "digital audio" series of g4. In fact, in my own informal tests, it outperformed the 466, 533, and 450DP. very surprizing... considering the hype about the "sawtooth" MB.

no crackling or popping at all.

only complaint is overload distortion playing audio CDs from the TEAC CDRW through sound manager. it clips even conservatively recorded material - independent of playback volume.

Hope this is useful. Keep up the good work!
Phil "

I asked Phil if he had the "EXS sampler" installed (see other reader comment below suggesting this may be a factor) - he said yes in the follow-up report above.

(From a Rate Your CPU Upgrade database report - Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3)

(added 10/1/2002)
A friend forwarded me a comment by some about Logic Audio audio pops. it was me that posted a couple of messages about this sometime back. As far as i could see, the problem with clicks was something to do with having the EXS sampler installed. I installed a Sonnet G4 Ziff on another beige for a producer friend of mine. He was running exactly the same system but without the EXS installed and he had no problems. This was also confirmed by someone else through the late lamented XLR8.

Now if your reviewer doesn't have EXS installed and still gets the pops then thats another theory down the drain. On Logic 5 the use of the velocity engine has been significantly enhanced, and hopefully this problem is no longer there, though i haven't had a chance to check it with 5.
Felix K.
(he later wrote)

well this Logic pop issue gets more and more confusing. !! the chap i was in contact with through XLR8 was using a MOTU 828 like me. He was also using an upgraded beige G3. I'm just about to install an OWC 500mhz on my friends B & W. He is running the same software + MOTU 2408 so it will be interesting to see the result. "

A reader (Phil) above noted the EXS sampler was installed and he had no popping noise problem, so this is not a factor apparently.

(Reports from 9/20/2002 and earlier)

" I just upgraded my B&W G3 350 with the OWC G4/450 and am running Logic Audio 4.8. Velocity Engine is enabled. So far, no clicks and pops, though I've only been using it intensively for about 10 hours. (However those were two 5 hour consecutive sessions with a helluva lot of audio.) Performance gain isn't huge, but it is noticeable. (I'm now able to run 8 platinum reverbs instead of 5 as with the g3/350.)

If I experience pops & such in the future, I'll be sure to let you know. If you don't hear from me, then you can assume this is working fine.

Only bother about the upgrade so far is that before the upgrade, I believe that when the computer slept, everything slept. Now the CPU fan runs all the time, sleeping or no. (I think this was reported already though.)
-canton "

I asked what Canton meant by the CPU running - the B&W G3 does not have "Deep Sleep" like the later Mac models. (The power supply fans do not turn off, no pulsed power button, etc. like the AGP towers and later macs.)
I also asked what version of QT and audio extensions he was using (some say this may be related to the sound manager version/QT version).

" My Beige g3 upgraded to 500 mhz G4 gets the same kind of problems in final cut ie noise and and strange audio pops. Without backside cache enabled the problem goes away.
kinkajou "

I asked what version of QT/sound manager was installed (if using OS 9), what version of FCP and if running OS 9 or OS X.

" Hi Mike - this is indeed quite common with Altivec-enabled audio apps running older macs upgraded to G4 CPUs. Memory bandwidth is a problem. In every case, the solution is to disable Altivec support, which may or may not incur a noticeable performance hit (not much in Logic's case). I believe the earlier report was probably me, with a PowerLogix carrier card and Newertech G4/400 ZIF (OC to 473MHz) in my old Umax S900 (now in use as an OSX web/backup server). I've since fried the cache on the ZIF, by the way...
--John P "

" Hi Mike, if you are running an ASIO USB audio interface, there is a new checkbox in Logic to give the USB more bandwidth. This eliminated the pops and clicks on my pismo upgraded powerbook. I also have a beige g3 upgraded to a newer tech G4, and with my pci motu 2408 I could not get rid of the pops and clicks unless I unchecked the alti vec box in logic.
planetX "

As far as the subject (G4 upgraded older Macs), I think most were not using USB audio.

" Interesting, as I just had a reader mention the exact same problems as well. CPU upgrade (G4) and audio stutter when using software synths.

Same problem with my OpenGL distortion that you may remember. When running SoundManager 3.6.7 or .3.7 (Qt 5 and 6) it happens, when running SoundManager 3.1 (QT 4) it doesn't. Turning off altivec also helps. iTunes is also very buggy and unstable for importing using the later SMs.

I'll point the reader towards your tips and see if it solves his problems as well.

I must conclude, that certain G3-G4 upgrade combinations have serious issues with Altivec calls, combined with sound processing, that can affect both audio and video output.
G-News "

" Hi! I had the same problem with XLR8 Mach Speed G4 450MHz CPU upgrade but I informed them about the problem and they send me beta version of their software speed control 2.5 with enhanced velocity support...and I don't have any problems from then on. Now I have installed version 2.6.1.For information I had those clicks and pops only through Emagic Audiowerk8 audio card using digital output and input. My other audio card from MOTU model 2408 mk2 worked just fine!

G3 desktop beige
Logic Audio Platinum 4.8
MOTU 2408 MK2

" hi... i don•t have the machine anymore, but i experienced the same clicks under logic audio with a newertech maxpowr G4/400 card in a beige G3 DT (originally 300 mhz). it must have been OS 9.04 and 9.1 at the time (with logic platinum 4.7.x. and 4.8.1)
and i also had to disable the velocity engine in order to get rid of the problems. the clicks would not be there all the time, but when they started there was nothing that could stop it apart from shutting down and rebooting.

i reported the bug to emagic, but they had never experienced it or heard about it.
thx for maintaining such a great site
mark "

(The original report from Friday's news follows)

" Mike,
I recently posted a review of my upgrade (Beige G3 DT with OWC G4/450 report in the database here) and cited problems with Logic Audio. Well, by the suggestions of users in the Yahoo Logic Users Group I turned off the "Use Velocity Engine" setting within Logic and got rid of the pops and clicks. It's still very fast and I'm able to do much more with my upgrade. But I suppose if someone wants to upgrade their processor for use with Logic Audio I'd recomend sticking with a faster G3 rather than G4, especially if they don't plan on using much of OS X like myself.
Thanks for your very helpful site.
Dennis "

If any G4 Upgraded B&W G3, Beige G3 or older Mac owner (not G4 Yikes or later) is running Logic Audio can comment (tip/suggestion/seen the same thing or not) let me know.
Include as much detail as possible in reports (QT/Audio/Sound manager extension versions, if Appearance sounds are enabled (used to cause pops in DVD player if enabled), etc.

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