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cool edit pro keeps distorting, help anyone know why and how to stop?
dyluk1
post Oct 27 2011, 21:03
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Hi

I am using cool edit pro 2.1 and some finished songs are fine as sessions and fine as mp3 mixdowns- then randomly they start to distort and crackle and all saved playing and wavs are lost in a total mess of distortion and crackle....anyone know why and how to stop it?

Its random...and doesnt happen every time- I have used it for years and years and its only just started doing it.

I have unistalled and re-installed in case that helped and it hasnt..

any feedback woudl be appreciated...all my back catalogue is on cool edit so yes i know i can use another daw and am slowly transferring my old tracks over to cubase but still need to solve this issue
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2Bdecided
post Oct 27 2011, 21:52
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I bet you it's a PC hardware fault that nothing else has revealed (yet).
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DVDdoug
post Oct 27 2011, 22:12
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I don't use CEP... Is there a tool or function for checking peaks, or checking for clipping?

QUOTE
...as mp3 mixdowns- then randomly they start to distort and crackle and all saved playing and wavs are lost in a total mess
What exactly are you doing?

When you mix two or more files, they are added together (summed). So, if you take two files/songs that are already normalized (maximized) and mix them together without lowering the volume (before or after mixing), the files will clip when you save to an integer format (like 16-bit WAV).
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dyluk1
post Oct 28 2011, 10:56
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 27 2011, 21:52) *
I bet you it's a PC hardware fault that nothing else has revealed (yet).

I am using same laptop,audio set up as for the last 10 years and this has never happened before, I tried a new external drive to save to, re-installed xp and cool edit from scratch,drivers are all up to date so what hardware could it be?

oh and also tried 3 different usb audio interfaces even though I have used the same one and no problems till last few months.

the weird thing is the peaks and wave clips are all normal - there is no change and this is either during recording session, building more tracks or sometimes after mixdown.
but all wave forms are normal.
This distotion and cracle plays on top of them,its very odd. and happens randomly.

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Oct 27 2011, 22:12) *
What exactly are you doing?

what am I doing? recording a song,adding tracks the same as I have done for over 10 years - this has just started to happen.
either after recordinng a new track...it can happen later in or can happen after mixdown but as said above all waves are normal and not over clipped and when i load some...not all old songs i worked on, it does it to them too,

This post has been edited by db1989: Oct 28 2011, 13:42
Reason for edit: merging 4 posts made in 5 min; adding quotes and rearranging for logical reading. You can edit your posts for up to 1 h; please use this ability.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 28 2011, 13:55
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QUOTE (dyluk1 @ Oct 27 2011, 16:03) *
Hi

I am using cool edit pro 2.1 and some finished songs are fine as sessions and fine as mp3 mixdowns- then randomly they start to distort and crackle and all saved playing and wavs are lost in a total mess of distortion and crackle....anyone know why and how to stop it?

Its random...and doesnt happen every time- I have used it for years and years and its only just started doing it.

I have unistalled and re-installed in case that helped and it hasnt..

any feedback woudl be appreciated...all my back catalogue is on cool edit so yes i know i can use another daw and am slowly transferring my old tracks over to cubase but still need to solve this issue


Obviously, there is something greviously wrong with your monitoring system. I bet that if you played your distorted and crackling .wavs and MP3s on some other computer there would be no problem.
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dyluk1
post Oct 28 2011, 17:46
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no that isn t the problem- same on other systems whether laptop and desktop and netbook- all play with distortion and crackle.
And reason is fine that doesnt get distorted, its within cool edit
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DVDdoug
post Oct 28 2011, 18:25
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If you really think there's something wrong with CoolEdit, I'm sure you already know that it is kind-of old. And, there are other audio editors! You probably also know that CoolEdit is now Adobe Audition. I use GoldWave (which I chose over CoolEdit many years ago, and I've been getting free updates ever since! biggrin.gif ) Audacity is free and very popular.


QUOTE
the weird thing is the peaks and wave clips are all normal... but all wave forms are normal.
OK...

What are those peak dB levels?
What procedures are you using to keep the final peaks below 0dB?
What format are you saving to? (If WAV, what bit-depth?)

The waveform is (probably) not going to clip inside CoolEdit, because (I assume) CoolEdit uses floating point internally. But the saved file might be clipped, depending on the format. You should always check your peak levels before saving. (Most WAV files are saved in integer format and will be clipped at 0dBFS.)
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mixminus1
post Oct 28 2011, 18:30
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Cool Edit -> F4 (Settings) -> Devices.

What is currently selected for playback, and what are all the options?


--------------------
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."
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2Bdecided
post Oct 31 2011, 11:37
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Do you mean that you load a wav into CoolEdit, do some processing(?), save it, and then magically that wav has distortion which is audible on any player software on any PC?

I've only had problems with Cool Edit Pro twice. In both instances, it utterly destroyed the audio - replacing the track with a repeating loop of audio earlier in the track, the loop getting shorter, the distortion getting greater, until it was just noise at the end. In both cases, it turned out to be a hardware issue. Doesn't sound like what you're seeing though.

Cool Edit Pro may be old, but I still use 1.2a, and (apart from a couple of known but very minor bugs) it's still rock solid. Never really got into 2.0 (I did buy it, but...), or anything from Adobe.

Cheers,
David.
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bennetng
post Nov 2 2011, 04:40
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You said that you reinstalled XP. Which service pack are you using? Did you downloaded the latest updates from Microsoft? CEP is a old software, it is possible that some latest updates from Microsoft are causing compatibility problems. You may try to right-click your CEP.exe>properties>compatibility, then try an earlier version of Windows. If it doesn't help, try to uninstall the Windows update you installed (something like KBxxxxxx) except security updates... If security isn't important to you, uninstall the security updates as well. For example, if cep was working fine in September but begin to distort in October, then uninstall the updates downloaded in October.

I am using Windows 7 and got frequent BSOD recently just because Windows update automatically installed some problematic updates in my system. It took me two weeks to figure it out. Updates are not always good for everyone.

This post has been edited by bennetng: Nov 2 2011, 04:59
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2Bdecided
post Nov 2 2011, 12:28
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CEP seems perfectly happy on XP SP3. That was 2008 and there's been nothing major for XP since. Haven't noticed any hotfixes etc breaking anything.
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botface
post Nov 2 2011, 13:38
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I agree with 2Bdecided. I'm still using XP (Home SP3) with CEP 2.1 and am up to date with XP updates. I've never had any problems at all like the OP is experiencing. Having said that I've not used CEP for multi-track recording for several years as it can't handle ASIO or VST plug-ins.

The symptoms being described sound similar to what happens when there more tracks/effects running than the CPU can handle. But as someone experienced with recording via CEP I expect the OP will know if he's been heavier lately on the track count or effects than in the past
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AndyH-ha
post Nov 2 2011, 20:54
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It may not be totally relevant, but I am using Cool Edit 2000 with Win7 SP1. There are no particular problems. Getting it to install properly (accept the registration passwords) was a bit tricky until I found the solution, but once settled, it was fine. There are some differences with a few functions, but the program still works well. Of course, multi-track recording and mixing is not it forte, and I'm not sure that I've had a real use for the four track studio plugin since moving to Win7, but it does seem to work.
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rmb234
post Dec 2 2011, 05:10
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Hi there, I have the exact same problem. I add tracks, cross fade, etc. It plays fine withing CEPro. But after I do a mixdown (to create the MP3 file), SOME songs suddenly have distortion - sounds like crackling. I can't pinpoint why it happens or for which tracks. But what I end up having to do is deleting the track and inserting a new one. It is quite frustrating but I still love the software. I have heard that Adobe Audition (the latest version) actually removed many of the features of the original Adobe Audition/CEPro.

If you figured out what causes this distortion (maybe something embedded in the track itself?) - because I have found that it occurs for some of the tracks when I tried to re-add/re-mix the track.
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DVDdoug
post Dec 2 2011, 23:45
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NOTE - I don't use CoolEdit or Audition, but I'm still NOT convinced there's a bug.

QUOTE
But after I do a mixdown (to create the MP3 file), SOME songs suddenly have distortion - sounds like crackling....

...If you figured out what causes this distortion (maybe something embedded in the track itself?) - because I have found that it occurs for some of the tracks when I tried to re-add/re-mix the track.
Like I said above, when you mix the files/tracks are added together. That increases the amplitude (volume). If the volume is too high and the peaks go over 0dBFS (the digital "maximum") you can get clipping (distortion) when you save in certain formats (like regular integer WAV).

The solution is simply to reduce the levels before mixing, or after mixing (i.e. normalize), and before saving, so that the peaks do not exceed 0dB. (Or, you can use dynamic compression to reduce the peaks while maintaining the overall volume-level.)

It's a good idea to normalize (or at least check your peak levels) after any processing (and always before saving).

If you are not watching your levels, you've probably got clipping in lots of your mixes, although you might not always be hearing it.

QUOTE
I have heard that Adobe Audition (the latest version) actually removed many of the features of the original Adobe Audition/CEPro.
I'm sure Adobe has also added quite a few features since they bought-out CoolEdit several years ago. And, you've got plenty of other choices. But, mixing is always done by summation by all analog & digital mixers so you are always in danger of clipping/distortion if you don't watch your levels!!!! (Although, analog mixers usually have more headroom, and people are more likely to take advantage of the master slider and watch the meters on an analog mixer.)

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Dec 2 2011, 23:53
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resmeltoma
post Dec 3 2011, 10:56
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distortion is of horrible magnitude.
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AndyH-ha
post Dec 3 2011, 11:42
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Had you provided a short clip (maybe 10 to 15 second so it isn't such a pain to download -- if that duration can demonstrate the problem adequately) people would not still be declaring it must be something other than what you claim (unless, of course, your evidence shows that it actually is). It isn't too late to correct that error.
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rmb234
post Dec 7 2011, 05:52
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Dec 2 2011, 17:45) *
NOTE - I don't use CoolEdit or Audition, but I'm still NOT convinced there's a bug.

Like I said above, when you mix the files/tracks are added together. That increases the amplitude (volume). If the volume is too high and the peaks go over 0dBFS (the digital "maximum") you can get clipping (distortion) when you save in certain formats (like regular integer WAV).

The solution is simply to reduce the levels before mixing, or after mixing (i.e. normalize), and before saving, so that the peaks do not exceed 0dB. (Or, you can use dynamic compression to reduce the peaks while maintaining the overall volume-level.)

It's a good idea to normalize (or at least check your peak levels) after any processing (and always before saving).

If you are not watching your levels, you've probably got clipping in lots of your mixes, although you might not always be hearing it.


@DVDDoug - your input is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Can I bother you with a question (probably a basic one but I don't know much about sound terminology). When I add different tracks/mp3s/waves/etc. and start crossfading, I do notice that the amplitude (volume) of each track can be (and often is) different. What I have been doing is manually highlighting each track that has a low volume and applying the "Constant Amplification" feature to increase say by 5db or 3db, etc. Is there a way to highlight the entire string of tracks (all the tracks in the session) and "normalize" or make the amplification all the same? Can CEPro do that? If so could you direct me to the menus? Basically I want a full mix which has say "x' number of tracks, but they all have the same volume level - right now I manually increase the volume using constant amplification on a track by track basis and its very primitive as my ear can only sense large changes in track to track volumes.

Regarding your comments on Audition - you are probably right as I was speaking from hearing rumours only.

Thank you.
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cpam
post Dec 7 2011, 06:52
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i also have this distortion problem.
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botface
post Dec 7 2011, 10:04
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QUOTE (rmb234 @ Dec 7 2011, 05:52) *
Is there a way to highlight the entire string of tracks (all the tracks in the session) and "normalize" or make the amplification all the same? Can CEPro do that? If so could you direct me to the menus? Basically I want a full mix which has say "x' number of tracks, but they all have the same volume level - right now I manually increase the volume using constant amplification on a track by track basis and its very primitive as my ear can only sense large changes in track to track volumes.

Thank you.

Check out "Group Waveform Normalize" in the "Edit" menu
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rmb234
post Jan 20 2012, 03:27
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another question friends: in CEPro, i notice that when i add many tracks and finally do my mixdown, the quality of the mixdown is not as good as the files that went into the mix. for starters, the file sizes are much smaller than what they should be after doing a mixdown, and when i turn up the volume on the mixdown file there is some distortion - but all the tracks that i used were originals. does this have to do with settings in CEPro regarding quality of the mixdown? any help would be appreciated.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 20 2012, 12:46
Reason for edit: removing unrelated full quote of above post
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AndyH-ha
post Jan 20 2012, 08:16
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QUOTE
the file sizes are much smaller than what they should be after doing a mixdown
For starters, if this is true, there is something seriously wrong. Be more specific: what is happening to file size? what do you expect and why? what do you get?
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2Bdecided
post Jan 20 2012, 11:25
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QUOTE (rmb234 @ Jan 20 2012, 02:27) *
does this have to do with settings in CEPro regarding quality of the mixdown?
In the version I have, you can only pick the bitdepth. No harm trying 32-bit.

QUOTE
any help would be appreciated.
You've got to make sure your audio isn't clipping. I think there's a function to prevent that in later versions by automatically reducing all the individual track gains.

In earlier versions, as long as all the individual track volumes are negative or zero, you can just mix to 32-bit then peak normalise - because 32-bit will preserve any waveform peaks above full scale without clipping them - though they can't be played back by your sound card until you bring them back into range. Sometimes peak normalise misses peaks above full scale, do you have to reduce the volume manually (using amplitude), then peak normalise. Or whatever you wish.

If some of the individual track volumes are positive, there's a bug that prevents this from working - it'll happily (and unfortunately!) sometimes clip the audio before mixing it down!


Apart from clipping (inevitable with 16-bits if the levels are too high), the mixdown in CEP is mathematically correct.

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Jan 20 2012, 11:29
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jan 20 2012, 07:16) *
QUOTE
the file sizes are much smaller than what they should be after doing a mixdown
For starters, if this is true, there is something seriously wrong.
WAV file size is stored-bitdepth x sample rate x channels x time-in-seconds + a tiny header. You should only be using WAV files.

Only explanation for different file size is operator error or lossy (e.g. mp3) files.

If you mixdown 8 16-bit files for CD, the result is still a 16-bit file - you don't magically get a 8x16=128-bit file.

Cheers,
David.
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