Can simply having Soundflower installed lead to issues though it's not in use?

    Nov 02 2013 | 10:39 pm
    Hi, I'm in need of a sanity check here. I've been having this audio crackle issue for a while and have so far failed to find a solution: Some symptoms led me to believe that my MOTU is failing so I bought me a RME UCX as replacement. It's got both USB and FW so I thought I'd have the USB as backup if it turns out to be a FW problem on my system (though I already had swapped the FW PCIe card for another one). No luck. Same problem still there, on both FW and USB... By coincidence I thought of the 1st instant I encountered the crackling issue. It was during a show where I was channeling audio from Ableton to Max via Soundflower. On a whim I uninstalled Soundflower from my system. And what do you know...? I've been playing my Ableton test set for hours and the crackling isn't appearing. Previously the issue always surfaced within an hour of playing (no Max in the loop here, just Ableton). Soundflower was not in use before, just installed. Could it still have been creating issues?

    • Nov 03 2013 | 2:45 am
      What I can tell is that while reporting a crash, the Ableton support told me to erase soundflower to see if the crash still occurs. So, I imagine they suspect it to be eventually the cause of some problems. (this crash has nothing related to your crackling issue, though)
    • Nov 04 2013 | 5:25 pm
      And no... it wasn't soundflower causing trouble. Still searching :(
    • Nov 04 2013 | 8:09 pm
      I don’t know if this is useful but I had a problem last Feb during a tour where audio would begin to crackle in the middle of a song. It was only happening with one song, extremely bizarre. Also, it didn’t matter whether the audio was coming from a plugin or through an external input and being fed into Max for mixing purposes.
      I discovered that resetting the audio system fixed it so for the tour I just attached a “reset” message to one of my MIDI pedals and when I heard the crackle begin, I’d quickly reset and keep going. Note that my CPU utilization was negligible during this problem.
      After the tour I forgot about the issue until I started preparation last week for another tour and had the problem again. This time around I was in a position to investigate it more deeply and made an interesting discover. One plugin that I use in that song (and ONLY that song), the Native Instruments FM8, is only used for a sound effect a couple of times in the song. I discovered that if I triggered that sound when the crackling started, the crackling immediately stopped.
      I then removed the FM8 plugin from that song and the problem went away completely. Consequently, I just recorded the sound effect it was producing and threw it into Kontakt.
      So this random crackling was somehow being caused solely by the presence of that plugin. I contacted NI and of course they told me they had never heard of this problem before (story of my life) but clearly removing the plugin eliminated the problem.
      Something to think about.
    • Nov 04 2013 | 9:21 pm
      Hey, yes I'm in that zone... trying to find the needle in the haystack that's causing this. My test app at the moment is a track I'm working on in Live, only using native devices. It's about 3 minutes long. I let it loop forever and every hour or so it will start crackling badly.