Crackling during playback (DSD conversion) when navigating away from Roon

Thanks! This worked!

The next issue is how the DSD conversion is affected (crackling, glitching) by doing anything on the computer, e.g. switching windows.
I have a lot of stuff running, but the CPU is only at 30%, so this should be avoidable by setting up some buffering.

Any hints on that front? I already have the “Use Maximum Buffer Size” checked above.

Hi @youurayy ---- Thank you for the post and the question! I went ahead and moved this post to a new thread so we can address this behavior separately.

Moving froward, I gave this a quick test this morning and did not notice any crackling when I navigated away from the application during playback (DSD conversion). I have your setup/settings details from your previous post here but would like to ask you for the following:

  • A screenshot of your signal path leaving Roon when the issue occurs.

  • Can you give me an example of another application you are switching to when yo notice the mentioned crackling?

  • Do you notice any patterns in behavior when the error occurs? Have you confirmed if the crackling is present when you disable the DSP engine?


Hi Eric,

  1. Examples of signal path:

  1. Any app really, but the intensity varies – more complex/heavy apps cause more crackling. Also any activity, e.g. compiling a Java program. Lowering the DSD from 512 to 128 makes the crackling not appear on app switching, but it’s still there on any heavier activity and occasionally in between.

  2. Direct PCM transfer doesn’t have this issue:

Simple answer. Your Roon core computer is just borderline adequate for DSD512. Most non dedicated Roon core computers are not up to the task. And in your case, once other temporal processes add to the load, your 1.5x processing speed drops below the real time minimum.


Thanks for getting touch @youurayy and providing the requested information. Very appreciated!

Continuing forward, based on the processing speed in the screenshots of your signal path I have to agree with Andrew’s comment that the machine may not be powerful enough to handle DSD512. I would consider testing DSD512 playback via Roon on another laptop or desktop computer (if you can) that isn’t being used for " complex/heavy apps" as you pointed out in your post.


The computer is last year’s gaming-grade mainboard, Core i5-6600K 3,5GHz and GeForce GTX980.

The CPU is at around 30% load, so there’s not a shortage of computing power.

Furthermore, I can push DSD512 from Foobar2000/foo_dsd_asio without any issues (while e.g. playing Quake 3) - this is also an upconversion from PCM.

So my take on this is that Roon is somehow underutilizing the hardware or there’s a bug that makes it susceptible to interference from other apps – e.g. it’s perhaps too dependent on the allotted time slices it gets from the OS – which is definitely solvable by buffering because we aren’t in a time-critical domain, unlike the USB transport or the external DAC (and both can be ruled out by the fact that it works from Foobar).

In any case, thanks for all your help. But as a end user I won’t be dedicating a separate PC to software I as a developer by trade believe should be able to work on my current config.

Do you have Parallelize Sigma-Delta Modulator switched on in DSP Engine > Sample Rate Conversion? You’re using one core only if you have not.

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Yes, as we did in the previous post: DSD upconv - playback stops at 30 seconds

Hi @youurayy ---- Thank you for the follow up and my sincerest apologies for the delay on my end.

I had a chance to meet with our tech team yesterday to discuss some open support issues that I am currently tracking and mentioned this thread to them during the meeting. The team has asked if you would kindly verify what the experience is like if you navigate away from Roon when there are no other process/applications running in the background? Do you still notice the “cracking” when upsampling to DSD512?