Heavy clicks, pops and dropouts since latest Keyscape Update

Spectrasonic Support confirmed the dropouts with VOICES=64 is a known bug and will be fixed in next release. Good news!

For clicks and pops they assumed it’s caused by windows defender or any other virus protection software replacing this defender (NortonLiveLock for me). I disconnected network and disabled the virus scanner for 15 minutes for some testing but the clicks&pops are the same as before. I also tried with different Keyscape.exe process priorities and thread affinity mask (in general not recommended to do!) but no noticeable impact on the audio issue.

During my testing I monitored the system load in resource monitor (more detailed view in task manager showing kernel cpu usage too) during “Preview Ready” while playing lots of notes:

  • Steam drive always 0% (Samsung SSD 970 PRO: 3.5 GB/sec)
  • RAM 29% of 32GB RAM used after loading is done. (for caching first samples of each note)
  • All other drives 0%
  • Ethernet near 0% or 0% when I pull off the cable.
  • Total CPU usage is 20%… 30% (6 cores)
  • Keyscape CPU usage is 12%… 15% (1 core max CPU load = 16,6%)
  • All other regular processes (user space cpu time) are always 0 or near 0% (1…3).
  • Kernel CPU usage is raising to 10% while loading.

So it looks like there is no other regular process causing a noticeable load on the local drives, especially the STEAM drive (storing steam data only and nothing else). And I think Ethernet load at this point is not relevant. In general network interface interrupts have a high priority over regular processes which can be throttled in very realtime critical applications using the MCSS Multimedia Class Scheduing Service (which is able to block everything excpt the system timer interrupts) but I don’t think they (need to) use MCSS since it might seriously affect system responsiveness.

So for me it looks like it is nothing outside the keyscape process causing this audio issues except the systems kernel cpu usage (10%). I will report this observation to Spectrasonics hoping they have a clue.

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Thanks for letting everyone know.

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For what it’s worth, it’s unclear that just disabling an AV stops it from interfering – it’s still there, it’s still running even if it is not supposed to be doing anything!

Spectrasonic Support asked me to do this. They assume that AV scanning might slow down the loading process and may be is causing the audio issues (which turned out to be false). Do you think a virus scanner which is running but disabled (not scanning anything) could cause any other processes realtime issues?

Just a quick status for everyone still interested. Investigation at Spectrasonic support is ongoing. I answered a lot of questions and sent some recordings demonstrating the issues. Support will discuss with developers and I wait for results.


I write the following to the best of my knowledge and belief!

If you use this information for whatever reason, you do it on you own risk!

Some good news! I seems to be possible to update and/or roll back and forth to any of the versions of the 3 Keyscape components availbale in the Spectrasonic website update area. But you have to be aware of the dependencies btw. the versions of this 3 components as described in the release notes. I was able to get rid of my audio issues by rolling back to Keyscape component versions released on “6-3-20” which are

  • Keyscape Software 1.1.3.c
  • Keyscape Soundsources v1.0.2
  • Keyscape Patches v1.3.1c

After this, I could not hear any clicks&pops or other audio issues neither in Keyscape Standalone application nor when I use Keyscape Plugin in GigPerformer 4. So I assume the issue has been added by one of the releases following “6-3-20”.

If you do encounter the same clicks&pops and try this roll back, then your keyscape user patches might be tagged with the newest plugin version you have used already. This may cause a warning "… patch was created by a newer plugin… might not load correctly… " when you try to use them later after this roll back. I just did a “Utility” → “Save Patch Quick” to get rid of this warnings.

All the tests Spectrasonic Support was asking me the do have been focused on the newest/newer versions of Keyscape and Omnisphere. I seems to me, they have been interested in the status of the newest versions of not only Keyscape but Omnisphere too. They have not been able to reproduce the issue on their end but all the tests they askd me to do did not show any suceess or solution. They also asekd me to update Omnisphere to the newest version. But take care, when I now use my older “recovered” Keyscape Plugin in the newest Omnisphere version I still hear the clicks&pops, espacially when I use “LA Custom C7”. It is to be clarified, if Omnisphere itself has a similar issue.


Short Update. I also reverted Omnisphere to the older version released on 6-3-20 but I still hear keyscape clicks using the Keyscape Plugin in Ominsphere multis, even if I roll back to my initial installation 3 years ago (around August 2018).

But as mentioned in my previous repply, no more clicks or other audio issues in Keyscape Standalone or Keyscape+GP4 with versions released on 6-3-20.

Today Spectrasonics support told me, they were able to reproduce the clicks and pops and found the root cause. The fix will take some time but today they can not tell what the timeline is. I will give an update as soon as I get more information on this.

They recommended to use version 1.1.3c in the meantime.


I too have been getting occasional clicks with Keyscape both with GP4 and standalone since installing the last Keyscape update however this is on a MacMini M1 and I didn’t have this issue before. Hopefully that new update to Keyscape will be released soon

@ahutnick I heard the clicks during loading when progress bar shows “Preview Ready” state. And in order to help finding the root cause I have sent some recordings to spectrasonics demonstrating the characteristics of the clicks.

It shows how the clicks look like, how they sound, the waveform, amplitude and timing (duration of bursts, offset to start audio / note on) and how they are related to the “VOICES” configured, Thinning and the number of notes played repeatedly (1 single note or chords of 6 notes). And escpacially when using Sustain Pedal at VOICES=64 I also got dropouts. May be for a first guess you can compare them to your issue but your clicks seem to bee much more rarely.

I started playing immediately after state “Previey Ready” was shown.

VOICES=32 - NoThinning - LA Custom C7 - 1 Note

VOICES=32 - NoThinning - LA Custom C7 - 6 Note Chords

VOICES=32 - Thinning - LA Custom C7 - 1 Note

VOICES=32 - Thinning - LA Custom C7 - 6 Note Chords

VOICES=63 - NoThinning - LA Custom C7 - 6 Notes - Sustain

Yes the clicks happen more rarely. I’ll try installing the previous version of Keyscape and see if that solves that issue

–From moderator
Please do not copy/paste an entire earlier post – just link to it!

Actually I was still occasionally getting clicks and pops using Keyscape with GP and being that the Cpu meter was reading around 9 percent in GP I figured it was some effect setting in the piano program. It turned when I lowered the gain in the effect called Tape in Keyscape the occasional clicks and pops stopped.

That could also be due to the buffer size being too low.

It was with the Grand Piano program. None of the other keyboard sounds such as the Rhodes or other keyboard sounds on Keyscape had that issue