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11-18-2018

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P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2018-11-18, 7:31 AM

I am using my P52 for audio and music production and I have external audio interface hardware that is necessary for my work - a Universal Audio device connected directly to the P52 by Thunderbolt 3, and an older Focusrite Firewire device connected by adapters to the P52. I only run one of these devices at a time, but monitoring through either device yields very bad digital audio noise, crackling, hissing, distortion, and warping (both time and pitch). It is difficult to describe how awful and unworkable this noise is and how disappointing it is to not be able to work on audio on this new computer. Is there anyone else here who does similar work and has had similar problems? Anyone successfully using Thunderbolt 3 for external audio devices on a ThinkPad?

 

I have tried many things to eliminate and identify the possible problems, but I still need help. The noise is present while using different software programs, so it does not appear to be related to either hardware device or to any specific program and its settings. I have run through a series of steps to optimize my P52 for audio and especially for use with the UA Thunderbolt interface, following the thorough support documentation from UA itself. I have updated and reinstalled firmware and drivers. I have tried different adjustments to ASIO buffer size. I have tried disabling other audio drivers and the wifi radio (an old trick from the days of using Firewire). Nothing is preventing the noise. Is the problem with the P52's Thunderbolt 3 ports themselves, or the software/firmware available to date?

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3 Posts

11-18-2018

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Re: P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2018-11-27, 21:01 PM

I mostly figured this one out with some help from Universal Audio support staff and Sweetwater's help pages. In case anyone else is having similar problems, try the following and let me know if it worked:

 

1) Check your system's DPC Latency and fix it by disabling key devices, at least while running Thunderbolt audio applications. For me, the key devices were the ACPI battery and the Realtek audio drivers. For you, it may be slightly different. Here is the step by step guide:

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/solving-dpc-latency-issues/

 

2) Make other PC Optimizations for audio. There are a lot of system settings you should change, like power management and sleep settings, updating drivers manually (because Windows 10 updates are not adequate), admin settings, processor scheduling, etc. Just follow this guide as closely as possible:

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/pc-optimization-guide-for-windows-10/

 

3) Disable Intel TurboBoost and SpeedStep settings in BIOS. CPU throttling, in addition to DPC Latency, can create noises like pops and clicks. There are multiple options:

http://www.geeks3d.com/20170213/how-to-disable-intel-turbo-boost-technology-on-a-notebook/

 

4) Disable onboard audio cards because you will be using your external audio device as your audio card. Experiment with different ASIO buffer sizes in your audio interface software, depending on how many processing plugins or audio files you are working with.

 

NOTE:

The steps above mostly solved my problems, but I still have some occasional noise when bypassing on/off plugins that are authorized by iLok USB dongle or when an external USB drive is attached. There is something about USB connections creating interference with Thunderbolt audio. Anyone have thoughts or suggestions on this? It is only occasional and nothing like the noise I had earlier.

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7 Posts

12-29-2018

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Re: P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2018-12-30, 18:04 PM

I'm running into the same issue, but with a Presonus Quantum TB interface.  The Quantum works fine when plugged into an older HP laptop with TB support.  But plugging into the P52 results in the static/cracking/pops in audio...even for system sounds with no other software running.  This is a specific P52 issue.

 

I ran through all the similar steps you mentioned when I first got the laptop to optimize for audio production.  My Scarlet 6i6 2nd Gen was running great on the P52 and latencymon is all green.

 

Curious if you have issues just playing back youtube videos or any other system sounds.  Even with my buffers jacked up to 2048 there is no change in the audio problems.

 

I've opened up support tickets with Lenovo and Presonus, but I'm guessing this will be a difficult to resolve issue.  Hoping TB driver upgrades can resolve.

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03-13-2019

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Re: P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2019-03-13, 6:09 AM

Hello SF7,  I am having the very same problem with my Apollo x and my P52.  Your post is the first encouraging thing I've found, and I've been trying to solve this for weeks now.  I have taken most of the steps you describe, but I'm stuck on disabling the ACPI battery devices, which are part of the problem, if I'm reading LatencyMon correctly.  In System Devices in device manager, I can see 5 ACPI devices, the top one being "ACPI Fixed Feature Button".  But when I click on its driver, I find that both the Roll Back Driver and Disable Driver are greyed out.  Same with the other 4.  Did you find this, and if so, how did you go about disabling them?  I would like to contact you directly but I don't see any way to do that on this board... let me know if that's possible; I can give you me email.  I'm pretty discouraged and would sure appreciate your input.

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2 Posts

03-13-2019

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Re: P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2019-03-14, 6:15 AM

It looks like I've solved this one on my P52.   I changed one setting in bios and the audio cleared up.

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41 Posts

03-12-2019

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Re: P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2019-03-14, 13:18 PM

Hi SF7, sorry you had to go through all that trouble, but I greatly appreciate the links and tweaks you've posted.  I also have a Focusrite Saffire and plan on using a TB interface (yet to be decided).  That's why having two TB3 ports really made the P72 an appealling buy (not to mention four USB ports).  Nonetheless, when I read your post I started to have a panic attack.  It was a tough choice on buying the right laptop, but now I feel much better after reading the rest of your thread.  I just received my P72 and haven't yet set things up (need another adapter).  So, thanks a bunch!  Hopefully, things will work as expected.

 

Kind regards,

 

tecknot

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41 Posts

03-12-2019

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Re: P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2019-03-14, 18:01 PM

Good to know, skmckee.  Appreciate it!

 

Kind regards,

 

tecknot

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1 Posts

08-19-2020

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Re:P52 Thunderbolt 3 ports sending intense noise/crackling to 2 different external audio interfaces

2020-08-19, 23:25 PM

Thanks for your diligence.  I am having exactly the same problem.  Yesterday I performed several updates and everything sounded great the rest of the day.  Today the problem returned.  I will use the links you provided.  I am a Swee**bleep**er customer, too.

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