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#2937474 - 07/12/18 12:23 AM DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts?
MathOfInsects Offline
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I am trying to track down the source of an apparent sample-rate error currently in my home DAW set-up.

I run both my computer and my keys through an Onyx 1220i mixer.

When I play back sources from my computer, it runs flat relative to my keyboard. My first thought was a 48K-vs.44.1K clash, with the recorded tracks at the latter and perhaps the board running in at the former. But the difference is only about 25 cents (actually, exactly that to my ear), and for that to be the problem, it would need to be about 147 cents flat.

Checking against other sources, it is undeniable that the pitch variation is in the recorded tracks, not the keyboard. To confirm this I have played the recorded tracks via the built-in computer speakers, instead of through the board, and the pitch is then correct. This all holds true for both "local" tracks running on itunes, and streamed tracks on youtube and the like.

Any thoughts about what might be behind this? It's obviously something related to the relationship between the computer and the mixer, but I can't figure out what.

What say you, Corner?
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#2937496 - 07/12/18 05:48 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: MathOfInsects]
BbAltered Offline
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I use a Mackie Onyx 1604 with installed firewire DAD converter. I believe my mixer is one "product generation" previous to the Onyx i series mixer.

I can tell you that if I record audio thru the mixer into the computer and then play it back thru the mixer, the playback occurs at the same pitch as it was first played. So what you are experiencing is yes an anomaly.

I am not sure I understand your situation correctly. If you play any audio (itunes, youtube, stuff you recorded on your DAW using the Onyx) thru the computer's built-n soundcard, the playback occurs at the same pitch as the original material, but if you play any audio thru the Onyx mixer and attached speakers, the playback is pitch-shifted downwards relative to the original material - is that correct?

If that is correct, that suggests the problem exists solely with the Onyx mixer, particularly the D-A conversion. This might be a good question to ask the Mackie tech people (I have good experiences calling them with questions).


To explore all possibilities: What is your OS - Win or Mac? If Win, I suggest looking at Control Panel > Device Manager > Sound, Video, Game Controllers - looking at the Properties of the Onyx mixer listed there (i don't know how to do this on a Mac). Also turn off System Sounds because something those cute computer alert noises mess with audio playback.
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#2937635 - 07/12/18 03:52 PM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: BbAltered]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Originally Posted By: BbAltered
I am not sure I understand your situation correctly. If you play any audio (itunes, youtube, stuff you recorded on your DAW using the Onyx) thru the computer's built-n soundcard, the playback occurs at the same pitch as the original material, but if you play any audio thru the Onyx mixer and attached speakers, the playback is pitch-shifted downwards relative to the original material - is that correct?


That is correct. And anything non-computer-sourced also plays at the correct pitch.

I’m on a Mac.

I have shot all the trouble I can think of...
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#2937637 - 07/12/18 04:03 PM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: MathOfInsects]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
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This happens with all software?
Or just your daw?
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#2937641 - 07/12/18 04:25 PM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
MathOfInsects Offline
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All playback of sound from computer through the board.
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#2937700 - 07/13/18 06:37 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: MathOfInsects]
BbAltered Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
All playback of sound from computer through the board.


OK - so if you can get proper playback of audio thru the computer soundcard, but get out of tune playback of audio thru the Onyx mixer, that tells me the problem exists in the mixer, and not in the computer or your DAW software.

Call Mackie tech support - let's see what they think.
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#2937707 - 07/13/18 06:58 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Wastrel Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
My first thought was a 48K-vs.44.1K clash, with the recorded tracks at the latter and perhaps the board running in at the former.

I don't know your hardware, but the sample rates shouldn't cause a pitch problem. It sounds more like the playback rate is off. Maybe a crystal oscillator gone out of tolerance driving a clock?
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#2937718 - 07/13/18 07:54 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Wastrel]
CountFosco Offline
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In my world (machinery vibration analysis), mismatched sampling rates between what's delivered on a bus and what's expected by data acquisition hardware/software (eg on a UDP data stream or USB) can cause frequency error - observable in frequency spectra - I assume the same is true of audio data streams.

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#2937725 - 07/13/18 08:18 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Wastrel]
Sven Golly Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
My first thought was a 48K-vs.44.1K clash, with the recorded tracks at the latter and perhaps the board running in at the former.

I don't know your hardware, but the sample rates shouldn't cause a pitch problem.


Tell that to Van Halen.

It is absolutely related to sample rate. Make sure your Onyx sample rate is set to the same rate as your DAW (probably 44.1, given that all other "computer audio" suffers the same issue) and you'll be fine.
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#2937736 - 07/13/18 08:45 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Sven Golly]
Wastrel Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sven Golly
Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
My first thought was a 48K-vs.44.1K clash, with the recorded tracks at the latter and perhaps the board running in at the former.

I don't know your hardware, but the sample rates shouldn't cause a pitch problem.


Tell that to Van Halen.

It is absolutely related to sample rate. Make sure your Onyx sample rate is set to the same rate as your DAW (probably 44.1, given that all other "computer audio" suffers the same issue) and you'll be fine.

You're probably right, but why is this? It seems to me that as long as the recording was played back at the same rate at which it was recorded, it should maintain pitch irrespective of the sample rate. Is it because the mixer assumes that both recordings are sampled at the same rate and treats them equally? In that case I can see that the pitch would be off, and probably the timing as well.
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#2937738 - 07/13/18 09:10 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Wastrel]
Sven Golly Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wastrel
You're probably right, but why is this? It seems to me that as long as the recording was played back at the same rate at which it was recorded, it should maintain pitch irrespective of the sample rate. Is it because the mixer assumes that both recordings are sampled at the same rate and treats them equally? In that case I can see that the pitch would be off, and probably the timing as well.


I'm sure some of the math wiz/EE types (one of which I used to be, but I never got invited to any parties, so I quit wink ) will come along and post 17 pages worth of explanation, I'll just say clonk here. wink

(that's the first close match I found via Google; there are lots of others out there, search pitch change when converting sample rate).
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#2937751 - 07/13/18 09:37 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Sven Golly]
Wastrel Offline
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OK. That goes along with what I was saying. Even so, I assumed that a professional or semi-pro DAW would be smart enough to read the sample rate in the header of the file and adjust accordingly, freeware like Amazing Slowdowner (which can adjust the playback tempo with or without altering the pitch) does this sort of timebase manipulation all the time. Like I said, I'm not familiar with these tools so I'm probably talking through my hat. Thanks for the response.
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#2937754 - 07/13/18 09:47 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Wastrel]
Sven Golly Offline
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The problem isn't the DAW, it's the mixer (which is doing the D/A conversion).

Or, rather, it's the combination of the two. wink

But basically the DAW is consistently sending at (presumably) 48kHz, and the mixer is set to 44.1kHz (or 98k/88.2k respectively). Change one so it matches the other (best to change the mixer to match the DAW) and everything should be hunky dory.
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#2937756 - 07/13/18 09:59 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Sven Golly]
Reezekeys Offline
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Audio files can have their sample rate embedded in the header of the file – which is sometimes the source of errors in playback if it conflicts with the actual SR the audio is supposed to be, OR the SR set in the playback system. For more fun, I'm pretty sure Macs can do real-time SRC if they think there's a mis-match. Of couse i'm not sure how this might relate to your issues, but it does tell me that you can get into sample rate mis-match hell very easily.

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#2937758 - 07/13/18 10:03 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Sven Golly]
slowtraveler Offline
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Wondering if this could be problem with how the macOS Core Audio API passes instructions to the Mackie on how to treat incoming audio streams. Didn't Mackie provide custom drivers for this product to deal with certain versions of macOS? (Or is the OP already using a Mackie driver?)

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#2937772 - 07/13/18 10:57 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: slowtraveler]
Sven Golly Offline
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Originally Posted By: slowtraveler
Wondering if this could be problem with how the macOS Core Audio API passes instructions to the Mackie on how to treat incoming audio streams. Didn't Mackie provide custom drivers for this product to deal with certain versions of macOS? (Or is the OP already using a Mackie driver?)


Well, given that the OP didn't provide enough info about the computer platform for us to know (and he really should know better, don'tcha think? wink razz ), we'll have to wait until he weighs in on the subject with more info.

snax
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#2937776 - 07/13/18 11:41 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: Sven Golly]
MathOfInsects Offline
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I really should know better, particularly since I posted that in between learning songs (at a painful 25 cents off, before I microtuned the Nord) and firing off an angry email to my ex, which always works out wonderfully and is never a bad idea.

I am on an iMac 27 running Sierra. 3.4 GHz i7. I shorthanded the problem in the subject to DAW to mean the "computer/mixer continuum," but this happens in or out of a DAW.

I was literally just thinking I should download and reinstall the Mackie driver. But I don't think it's going to be the issue.

I do think sample-rate is in the mix, but again...I should be 147 cents off, not 25.

Also, I notice that when I play back one song, there is a part of it where it keeps going "beep beep." I have never heard that in a song. Does anyone know what it could mean? I forget the name but it is about a car.
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#2937783 - 07/13/18 12:37 PM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: MathOfInsects]
slowtraveler Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
...I am on an iMac 27 running Sierra.

I was literally just thinking I should download and reinstall the Mackie driver. But I don't think it's going to be the issue.


Maybe uninstall the driver completely, and find out if Sierra will handle the Onyx more gracefully as a Core Audio device. Those Mackie drivers are pretty old.

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#2937857 - 07/14/18 07:51 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: MathOfInsects]
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I do think sample-rate is in the mix, but again...I should be 147 cents off, not 25.

Also, I notice that when I play back one song, there is a part of it where it keeps going "beep beep." I have never heard that in a song. Does anyone know what it could mean? I forget the name but it is about a car.



As long as we’re throwing around numbers, my guess is it’s 409.
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#2938056 - 07/16/18 08:05 AM Re: DAW running out of tune only for computer. Thoughts? [Re: drawback]
Sven Golly Offline
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So, any update? wink
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