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Foobar soft freeze during playback

Recently Foobar has been freezing up part way through a song with a horrible continuous chattering sound on the speakers. This is very similar to what happens when you have a blue screen of death crash part way through a song and the system just keeps sending the last pre crash tone to the DAC till you kill the power. I may have had this in the past with a damaged track too.

But this is completely different in the sense that Foobar remains fully functional throughout. Meaning that one can go to menus and so on. In order to unfreeze this, one can press pause and then press play and the sound continues without a glitch.

This has never happened before - has been happening only in the last few weeks. I have replayed the track where that happened and/or scroll back a few seconds and play again many times - to see if there is anything wrong with the track. I have never got it to repeat that freeze effect and I cannot precipitate it.

There are no failure messages from Foobar when it happens. There are no events in windows 10 event viewer - either system errors or application.

I did an online check and removed the listed bad components but it is still happening perhaps once every half or 3/4 hr.
The computer is streamlined with nothing running apart from music and I rarely 'do anything on it' as a user anywhere near the time I get that effect - not even changing songs.

I am using have been using Bitsum process lasso for years - isolating 1 CPU exclusively for foobar at realtime priority and ASIOhost64 runs exclusively and realtime on another core, with all other visible processes on the machine relegated to other cores and all at lower priority. This has worked flawlessly for years.

I have been checking each time which drive track was on - in case it was hard drive related. It was never just one drive and I have done chkdsk on one of the bigger drives even checking bad sectors. I initially copied all the music from one large drive (which registered some chkdsk problems) to another brand new drive (which I am currently using) after repairing it. The copy process registered no errors. But as stated - this happens on other drives and no windows error read drive messages in the log.

Appreciate any suggestions as to what to look into. It is so few and far between freezes that it is hard to know where to start.  Thanks  


the kind of thing I only ever experienced this in the past when

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #1
I'd start by getting rid of ASIO. Also the core adjustments sound completely unnecessary.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #2
Thanks

I see all the stuff people write about ASIO and would love to follow what always looks like wise advice from people who should know, but unfortunately I have ears. At least with the Asus Xonar 2 dac there is a dramatic improvement in clarity detail and transparency in the sound over all the other methods I have tried. I have quite respectable sound system and don't think I have a cheap listening ear of the sort which is impressed by artifacts or enhancements of any kind. For example - I was sensitive to degradation in my sound chain even from the fairly high end pre-amp, which I removed, and I can clearly hear degradation using the volume control on foobar, versus keeping that at full volume and adjusting sound using the stepped resistor device with is the only thing between the DAC and the power amps.

Also - before I started using core adjustments I was unable to play many SACD or high bit format tracks - they too would stutter all the time - so it is not something I sought out as a gimmick. And on the dedicated Dell I use for music, there would be clicks and breaks in the playback (of any regular flac) when I did things with explorer, or even doing a search for a track in foobar while another track was playing. Doing the core assignment cured that 100.

I have used the described configuration for at least 3 years with no problems and have updated Foobar and everything else on the machine during that time.

But I am now getting the odd blue screen with drivers mentioned as cause - so, I wonder if something broke with a new Windows update. For now I am going to try to diagnose and renew what drivers I can and see if that has been the cause of the problems. I somehow doubt it is Foobar itself but for now, what do I know.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #3
Use DS output. Problem solved.
| TAK pMax | QAAC ~ 192 kbps |

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #4
...not sure about the stuttering or the crashes which only happen every so often -  but I just did DS again - the sound is dull distant - like heard down a boomy tunnel filled with cotton wool. Like I traded my system to something which cost half the price.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #5
Maybe start with which version of Foobar2000 you have and a list of components you have installed.

Have you also looked at all the issues with the Asus Xonar 2 windows 10 drivers.

http://maxedtech.com/xonar-and-windows-10-compatibility/

Quote
Windows 10 version 1909 (November 2019 Update) notes

Known issues:

    Higher DPC latency which may cause massive stuttering (#1). The v1909 can be uninstalled from Control Panel->Programs and Features->View Installed Updates-> select and uninstall "Feature Update to Windows 10 Version 1909 via Enablement Package (KB4517245)". To prevent v1909 update (KB4517245) to be installed again you should use Wushowhide tool (guide on how to use it) or disable Windows Update altogether for the time being.




Who are you and how did you get in here ?
I'm a locksmith, I'm a locksmith.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #6
Thanks for that info - I have clearly not got general hardware incompatibility having run this configuration glitch free for at least 3 years. I had configured a lot all that time ago - shutting down all the services which were not needed for music - and I have not touched any of that in that time. It was 3 years in which there were no blue screens at all.

I should say that I experienced one of the 3 or so in the last day or two when  Foobar was not active and nothing was playing. The error was 'driver power state failure' btw. which got me searching for solutions and I may have found it (touch wood - no problems in perhaps 5 hours). 

What sounds hopeful is that the power profile set in windows. Previously I used Bitsum Process Lasso with a tweaked profile it installed itself - Bitsum highest performance. Probably a windows update had defaulted to some other profile. So I changed back to it and tweaked one or two power parameters. The computer is not exactly green in terms of power saving now but most of what might interrupt a sound stream has been turned off. 

The latency issue is also one I came across before - when I was trying to make it as short as possible, it did result in stutters in breaks in the sound - but rarely a full stop. I assumed rightly or wrongly that in pure playback latency is not important. Not using Karaoke or recording in sync with playback.

If I understand it, there can be as big a lag as one likes, when just listening, as long as the buffer is filled and presumably the DAC must have some kind buffer as well. Whatever it is - I set the ASIO buffer to a very high figure  and never experienced stuttering again.

I will report on progress and if anyone is interested I will gather a list of components and anything else.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #7
Why are you even using ASIO? all your doing is playing music not recording instruments where latency actually matters. You should really be using the WASAPI output which will sample rate match the audio file with the soundcard\DAC and prevent any other devices using it.

Whatever dark arts you think need to be done to a computer for real time bit perfect audio really isn't required now days.

I have Foobar2000 outputting with WASAPI to a USB DAC, to headphones and the output is bit perfect. All i needed to do was make sure the correct DAC drivers were installed. I don't need to mess with any services or increase foobar2000 priority. it just works, no skipping or software interrupting playback and I'm using the computer like normal.





Who are you and how did you get in here ?
I'm a locksmith, I'm a locksmith.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #8
"Why are you even using ASIO? " 

Someone else tell me why I am using it. 

After spending hours trying to make some sense of all the good advice on this subject, such as yours, you will have to admit that what really makes sense at the end of the day is how it sounds. With this particular combination of components I have the sound is more transparent and defined, the stereo image is better, it sounds more natural, less chocked, boxy and foggy with ASIO than anything I ever got out of WASAPI.

I have good listening conditions and pretty good hardware, so I am able to discern quite subtle differences both with A/B as well as sustained listening.

Again, how would I know? There might be something technically interesting, comparing what is going on with the signal chain. Otherwise, always possible I am a delusional and an idiot to boot. I dont think so, on the former - I listen pretty carefully to a lot of different music totally flat. I dont have a taste obsession for a single type of sound - which might suggest a certain bias or style of distortion might seem more 'attractive' to me than 'the real sound'.

 

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #9
looks like you're back to your dark arts.

Who are you and how did you get in here ?
I'm a locksmith, I'm a locksmith.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #10
I listen pretty carefully to a lot of different music totally flat. I dont have a taste obsession for a single type of sound - which might suggest a certain bias or style of distortion might seem more 'attractive' to me than 'the real sound'.
It absolutely doesn't matter because your tests were not properly done (search for "double blind tests")

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #11
Empirical testing is only meaningful if you know what you are testing - or you are testing the right thing.  The weakness in the end with audio is that the final arbiter is some dumb idiot you might absolutely despise who experiences sound in their own way based on their own physiology and listening experience.  The shame is that that dumb idiot is actually all of us - though some of us just go on strike, stop listening and rely on the dark scientific arts to pretend we are superior and have a total grasp on everything.  Usually that means that you get a grasp on the fundamentals and that is it.

All you have to do is look at recording engineers and their attitude to microphones and acoustics. Sure you can measure all the differences between different microphones and placements but for an analysis explanation of what it all means you have in the end to work backwards from whether someone thinks a voice sounds natural to their ears or not. There may be very flat frequency response devices and you can thump the table all you like about it being perfect - but by the time you deliver their output to your ears you may not have produced the same experience that some one has (or wants to have) when listening to the speech directly. You may find that some complicated biases deliver the sound to the listener and cause them to say 'that sounds right'.  You may not have the slightest idea of the mechanism at play but you can at least consider it interesting based on the so called empirical evidence evidence - namely the response of the listener.

No sound delivery system is perfect and without coloration - of course including DACs . You can look at a graph and ponder at which point variations are imperceptible but you are not really able figure that out based on listening experience and that is not easy to do.

You can only go a certain distance in terms of being empirical about this. Double bind tests are the only tool one has but it is pretty superficial and imprecise when it comes to anything other than asking the subject 'whether or not they can discern a difference' and even then the brain is unreliable. If you try a double bind test where you want to ascertain which sound is more natural you wont get so far. It takes a while for our brains to get familiar with whatever it is and then to try process it. The surprise of flipping between sources can color judgment. Then there is the degree to how sensitive we can become when we are immersed in something - and how we can exhibit much higher levels of sensitivity in certain circumstances. You may only achieve such sensitivity when you are immersed in something for a long time -  and then you may not remember with any degree of accuracy later on. So bang goes your double bind because the listener has forgotten where they were by the time you play B.  Another thing - with double bind the chances are you wont perceive differences if you are not pre-alerted to what it is to listen out for. A trained recording engineer is probably going to resolve much more than someone off the street.  

I remember hearing about how the Vietnam war - that N Vietnamese who were living like animals in the forests developed super animal style sensitivities, way beyond what normal people have - that they were able to smell american toothpaste in a river - miles downstream , alerting them to the presence of the enemy.   The whole point about music is to put you into a higher state of consciousness - the higher the better and if this means your sensitivities are increased to beyond the level which can be measured in a bleak 'government issue' double bind experiment, you are never going to achieve anything of real value.

The results at the cutting edge of perception are hard to really measure and are doubtless highly imprecise and subject to error or self delusion. But there is no choice really but to listen listen and listen and try to train your ear and brain and still to doubt you senses. At the end of the day you probably develop a sense which has stood the test of time - but even then it could be wrong.

And of course - if you are psycho/aurally lazy or just have poor hearing, you wont perceive much and then, naturally everyone who says they can hear something you fail to is some primitive who believes in woo woo.



Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #12
there is a dramatic improvement in clarity detail and transparency in the sound over all the other methods I have tried

and I can clearly hear degradation using the volume control on foobar

but I just did DS again - the sound is dull distant - like heard down a boomy tunnel filled with cotton wool.

I have the sound is more transparent and defined, the stereo image is better, it sounds more natural, less chocked, boxy and foggy with ASIO than anything I ever got out of WASAPI.

I have good listening conditions and pretty good hardware, so I am able to discern quite subtle differences both with A/B as well as sustained listening.

So, AB is really easy but ABX is almost impossibly hard. OK.

Re: Foobar soft freeze during playback

Reply #13
It may be highly interesting to ascertain quick and reliable generalizations of the limits of sensitivity of the listener if you are a software engineer, but the listener has a purpose in challenging and/or extending the range of their listening capability over time.  Nothing is clear when you reach the base noise levels of perception but sometimes you need to listening in order to train your perception. And being wrong may not contradict that. Familiarity with a particular sound sometimes gets under your skin and then returning to B and sensing differences unconsciously in a sustained listening may have some validity.  There is no prize to be earned or argument to be won but articulating your experiences can alert others who might be getting complacent.

Anyhow - getting back to my original playback problem. I can report that nothing has dropped out or crashed in at least 10 hours of listening time. So, with my particular configuration and hardware, the power scheme in windows seems to have been the problem.

 
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