How I conquered audio glitching on Windows

I had issues with sporadic audio glitching since I started using GP in September of 2019. Generally it would happen when I loaded resource-intensive rackspaces with “heavy” plugins (like IK’s B3-X) and GP’s audio processing would spike to 100%.

I knew that on Windows 10 I would face optimization challenges that those on Macs are somewhat immune to. I have found two tools in particular that have all but eliminated the audio glitching issue (for me at least). To begin with, here is my hardware configuration:

  • Dell Latitude E7470 laptop with i7-6600U CPU @ 2.81 GHz
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • Steinberg UR22C USB audio interface (128 samples, Low Latency mode), latest drivers

The first program I run at startup is Process Lasso (www.bitsum.com). It costs $36 lifetime for one PC or $46 lifetime for unlimited PCs. With Process Lasso I can configure the priority class, CPU affinity, and I/O priority of the GP application and trigger a performance power profile automatically whenever GP is started. I have it set to basically give GP as much system resources as it needs. When I exit GP, the power profile reverts to balanced and other programs then have more resources. Process Lasso also includes ParkControl, a utility program that prevents CPU core parking, another potential root cause of audio glitching.

The second program that has made a HUGE difference is a free utility called ThrottleStop (https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/). ThrottleStop is designed to counteract the three main types of CPU throttling (Thermal, Power Limit, and VRM). Using this guide (https://www.ultrabookreview.com/31385-the-throttlestop-guide/) I was able to keep my CPU cores running at a higher average clock frequency (not overclocked), which GP and VST’s prefer in order to keep up with work queues, audio processing and I/O handling. I set ThrottleStop to load at startup, so it is always running in the background along with Process Lasso. You have to be careful with this tool, as it can cause your PC to run hotter so you need to make sure you have sufficient cooling (like setting “fan always on” or using a laptop cooling pad). For me, this was the single most effective solution to completely eliminate audio glitching, which in a live performance mode is catastrophic.

Anyway, I thought I would share as I know many of my fellow GP’ers struggle with making Windows PCs and laptops work as music workstations and virtual instruments. Your mileage may vary, but these two programs are inexpensive and definitely worth checking out, especially if you are running on older or laptop Windows hardware.

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Wow, that is incredibly valuable information. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this.

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All successful approach regarding Windows optimization for audio is interesting, thanks. Did you start with advices the advices in the following document or not at all?
https://www.cantabilesoftware.com/glitchfree/

I sure did!! I implemented all of the guidance provided in that document and similar “optimizing Windows for DAW/audio” documents before I added the tools I mentioned above. All good stuff and essential as a foundation and best practice.

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