DAW Suddenly Has Random Static \ White Noise \ Strange Behavior & Drop-outs

DAW Suddenly Has Random Static \ White Noise \ Strange Behavior & Drop-outs

I’ve had an album in which I recorded the songs all around the same time.
They have had no technical issues at all while I’ve done my post processing,
and suddenly tonight while tweaking around in a particular project, I’m getting
a faint static noise randomly on playback, which does translate into the file export.
I’ve been recording since 2012 on most of audio gear with no issues.

I’ve gone through all my settings, buffer size, sample rate, disabled all the plugins, etc.
The static isn’t coming from a track, but I am getting drop outs at random points on the vocal tracks.
It doesn’t follow any pattern. On another project, there is some very strange repeatable behavior, track audio is playing over itself almost like there is a delay effect on everything. I’m starting to wonder if my WD Velociraptor drive is failing. Anything I’m not thinking of to check?

I’m using Windows 10 Pro, Intel i9 7900X, WD Velociraptor 10,000 RPM(Recording), Samsung 960 Pro NVME(OS), Sonar X1, RME HDSPe RayDAT Interface, Focusrite Octopre MK2 Dynamic, Presonus Central Station.

Update: Well I wish I could say the problem followed me to my backup files, but when running those projects I am not getting any noise or drop outs. I also copied the suspect files to the backup drive, and they are still tainted. I guess the drive is failing or somehow all these projects got corrupted. Going to have to start over with the backup files :frowning:

If the Octopre is piggybacked to the RME via ADAT (lightpipe cable) you need to use the “external clock” (i.e. the Octopre) as the master clock, rather than “internal”. I’m just guessing from what you described that this is your setup. Having the clock configuration wrong can cause those kinds of problems. Look in the ASIO Device settings in Sonar (which I don’t use but that’s the obvious place to look).

Clock is fine, I’ve been recording for years this way.
Plus I am not using the Focusrite during mixing, I ADAT out to the Presonus Central Station for monitoring and playback.
Either way I’ve thoroughly checked my settings. Reverting back to the backups and reinstalling Sonar has APPARENTLY fixed the problem. Something was corrupted somehow, I don’t know if it was some of the free plugins I’ve recently tried, all I know is I’ve gone back to the exact settings I logged before this started happening yesterday, and everything seems ok now.

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Excellent! If at some point you happen to figure out what it was that caused the issue I’d be interested to know.

Can you bounce a track then post a quick sample of it? Just do a small chunk of the track then give me the min:sec. Let me hear it.

Have you gone through and tried disabling and soloing certain channels to find the culprit? I wouldn’t bother checking any of your hardware if you’re bouncing the files in the box. Its something in your DAW. Which DAW are you on?

Sorry! Didn’t see the follow ups. Glad you got it!

You still want to hear what it sounds like?
I bounced the mix on a few songs to a test location.

Yes, please post a sample of the noise from one of the tracks.

Interesting. I’m glad you got it figured out. The randomness is what’s got me really curious. That would seem to suggest that the issue is more mechanical than related to routing in your DAW.

it doesn’t sound like a hard drive failure to me. With a hard drive failure you should be experiencing crashes, freezes, possibly lost files. This sounds more mechanical, or possibly electrical. I’m thinking faulty cable connections, faulty cables to your headphones or monitors, etc. It also could be your audio device beginning to have some problems. Maybe static buildup in your audio device.

Sometimes rebooting can fix all of that as well.

Yeah I mean I have been through every conceivable technical issue going all the way back to my first M-Audio USB interface in 2006, and have been running perfectly for so long. I have a lot of experience from dealing with a subpar PC and hardware back in the day. Whatever happened is happening within the confines of the PC(as opposed to physical connections). That much I’ve narrowed down.
Not sure if it’s entirely over with yet either we will see how the new install holds up.

We are talking about random static and drop outs occurring during playback of recorded mixes & translating into the exported files from the DAW. I should specify that the “dropouts” are not your average audio engine crashing type where you lose your take. I mean like one or two tracks lose sound on playback, and then come back for a few seconds. Anyway here is a link to the sample.