I am running the most up-to-date Roon core on a Dell XPS 15 (2017 model) running Windows 10. Key system details:
Intel Core i7-770HQ processor
Windows 10 64-bit
I run all audio from a portable USB drive used only for audio files (2Tb with >800Gb free) so there is no other traffic to/from the drive. Files are a mixture of few MP3, many 44/16 FLAC and some 24-bit FLAC (very few DSD).
My devices include Schiit Gungnir (latest version USB board), Meridian Explorer 2, iFi Micro iDSD - all driven using Wasapi drivers.
No matter what device or what file format I am using, I was regularly experiencing stoppages in playback with the “lost control of audio device” message. I disabled event mode on the devices and found that this prevented the total loss of playback, but I now notice significant audio glitches like the signal is hitting a bottleneck getting from Roon / PC processor out to the USB DAC. I assume this is what was previously resulting in the loss of control errors.
It makes no difference which USB sockets I use for the various devices and I don’t have any troubles using other playback software (e.g. JRiver). I love Roon and do not want to abandon it, but need help to solve this issue.
Hi @Lachlan_Fennen ----- Thank you for the report and sharing these observations you have made with us. The feedback is always appreciated!
Moving forward, to help aide in our understanding of this behavior you are experiencing during playback, may I very kindly ask you to please provide the following:
While it may seem a touch elementary, since noticing this behavior have you power cycled all devices relevant to your Roon setup (i.e core machine, endpoints, any networking gear, etc)? If you have do you find that the experience gets better or remains the same?
Have you tested with a different USB cable(s)?
If your devices require special drives can you confirm that those are up to date? Firmware as well?
If you play directly out of the internal speakers of the XPS 15, temporarily bypassing the mentioned endpoints, do you receive the same error message in app?
If possible can you please provide a screenshot of the signal path just before the error message is presented in the application.
USB 2 or 3?
Network wired or wireless?
If wireless, wireless specification, server only, endpoint only or both wireless?
Hi Eric, thanks for the reply. Responses below…
While it may seem a touch elementary, since noticing this behavior have you power cycled all devices relevant to your Roon setup (i.e core machine, endpoints, any networking gear, etc)? If you have do you find that the experience gets better or remains the same? Yes. I use a laptop so everything is regularly shut down when I am out of my home office.
Have you tested with a different USB cable(s)? Yes. All three devices mentioned in my original post use completely different USB cables of different brands and lengths.
If your devices require special drives can you confirm that those are up to date? Firmware as well? Yes. First thing I checked
If you play directly out of the internal speakers of the XPS 15, temporarily bypassing the mentioned endpoints, do you receive the same error message in app? I’ve tested for a while now using the system output to the XPS speakers (immediately after experiencing the fault via iFi Micro iDSD) and have not experienced the fault.
If possible can you please provide a screenshot of the signal path just before the error message is presented in the application. See below
Also, @evand, everything is wired (see original post) and using USB 3 sockets on laptop (not sure of DAC devices USB specifics, but believe at least 2 of the 3 are USB 2)
Some additional notes. I use the Meridian Explorer 2 as a portable device when I’m working in clients’ offices. In this setup, there are no other devices connected except the DAC and the external HDD, but the problem still occurs so I can immediately rule out network interference or other USB devices interfering (in my office there are many other devices, but not when I am mobile).
I’ve just transferred 4 albums to my onboard SSD and will test playback from there to see if it removes the issue.
Playing from SSD directly (i.e. not via external USB drive) made no difference. I’m not sure, but it seems using my browser (Chrome) makes the problem worse, but I have definitely had issues when the browser is closed so it is not directly related to the browser, only worsened by it.
It seems to be a memory issue or something, but my system is not running short on memory at the times it happens (this last time there was still 4Gb of free memory) and the processor is cruising on about 20%.
Thanks for getting back to me @Lachlan_Fennen and sharing the observations made during your testing. Very appreciated!
Moving froward, you mentioned the following in your response to my post:
Q: If you play directly out of the internal speakers of the XPS 15, temporarily bypassing the mentioned endpoints, do you receive the same error message in app?
A: “I’ve tested for a while now using the system output to the XPS speakers (immediately after experiencing the fault via iFi Micro iDSD) and have not experienced the fault.”
This is an interesting observation as it would seem that the error is only occurring when one of the mentioned endpoints are in play. Out of curiosity have you tried testing without the DSP engine disabled? Furthermore, if you have the means to, I would also like to know what the experience is like if you setup another laptop (or desktop computer) as a Roon remote and mount one of your DACs to it. Do you experience the same issues?
Hi Eric. The iDSD is the only one of my 3 devices that uses DSP (I only realised that volume levelling was enabled after the completing the post so apologies for not clarifying). The Schiit Gungnir and Meridian Explorer run in a totally bit-perfect setup with no DSP and the problem occurs equally as frequently there.
I will try setting up my Raspberry Pi endpoint and see how it performs…
I had a chance to run the Raspberry Pi briefly yesterday - not long enough to categorically rule out the issue, but it certainly didn’t happen over half-an-album’s worth of listening.
My sense is that this is a USB issue, but does not occur outside of Roon.
Thanks for the follow up and sharing the observations you have made during your testing, very appreciated!
Based on the results of the test with the RPi it further supports the idea that this behavior is isolated to the Dell XPS 15. In light of this, may I very kindly ask you please verify what version of Win10 you are currently running on the XPS 15.
Additionally, I would also like to enable diagnostics on your account so our techs can try to understand what is causing this behavior to occur. Before I go ahead and enable this feature may I kindly ask you to perform the following with each of your devices (iDSD, Gungnir, and Explorer) mounted to the XPS 15:
Reproduce the issue and note the time when the you receive the mentioned error message during playback (i.e lost control of audio devices).
Please also take note of the track/album that was being played when issue was reproduced.
iDSD - Error occurred @ XX:XX when Track/album XX was being played .
Gungnir - Error occurred @ XX:XX when Track/album XX was being played.
Explorer - Error occurred @ XX:XX when Track/album XX was being played.
No problems, Eric.
Windows version: 10.0.16299 Build 16299
Other data to follow as available
DAC: Schiit Gungnir Multibit (USB Gen 5)
Time: 2:09pm (AEDT)
DAC: Ifi Micro iDSD
Time: 2:39pm (AEDT)
DAC: Meridian Explorer 2
Time: 3:39pm (AEDT)
There was no correlation as to what I was doing on the computer at the time of the errors. My actions this afternoon included a combination of PowerPoint design and web browsing for images, PhotoShop image editing, etc. The errors occurred during both PowerPoint app usage and Chrome browser usage with no clear sign of a cause.
I had music playing the entire time from before the first error right through until the final error. The only pauses were to switch DACs.
Thanks for the follow up @Lachlan_Fennen, this was exactly what I was looking for
Continuing forward, now that I have the requested time frames I have went ahead and enabled the mentioned diagnostics on your account. What this action will do is the next time Roon is active on your core machine a diagnostics report containing a set of Roon logs will be automatically generated/uploaded to our servers. I will keep an eye out for the delivery and will touch base again so you know we have the report.
Furthermore, I also wanted to ask about the driver(s) being used with your various devices. My assumption is that you are using device specific drivers, please confirm.
Great! Thanks Eric.
In relation to the drivers, all are using dedicated drivers for each device. In the case of the Schiit Gumby, the recommendation from Schiit is to allow Windows to install the drivers automatically which is what I did. For the iFi and Meridian DACs I manually installed the specified drivers for both devices.
As for the diagnostics, changing the settings to turn off Event Mode has improved stability on both the Gumby and iDSD (it glitches, but doesn’t stop playback). Should I switch Event Mode back on for the purpose of debugging?
Thanks for touching base with me @Lachlan_Fennen and sharing this observations you have made.
I checked our servers this morning and it looks like the report has not been received yet I have re-enable diagnostics to try and refresh the request but as mentioned in my previous the upload won’t take place until the application is active on the core machine. However, based on this recent observation you have shared, my sense is that you have been using Roon within the last 24 hours. Please due correct me if that is not the case
I always install the drivers from Schiit as I don’t trust Windows to install things correctly.
In setting up my Schiit gear I do the following:
When you have the Schiit plugged in (after loading the drivers), go into the Windows Audio Panel and setup the driver for exclusive access
On the Enhancement page, Turn OFF Enhancements
On the Spatial Sound Page, Turn Off Spatial Enhancements
On the Advanced page, Make sure both options under Exclusive Mode are checked, like below:
I have the Volume Control set to Fixed.
Under playback, I have both Exclusive and Event Driven Mode Set to On. Work Around Drivers set to OFF.
While testing turn off all DSP. The goal is to get playback stable at the most basic level before adding other elements.
The above is with Windows 10 64 bit connected to a Schiit DAC, Gen 2 USB.
Thanks @Rugby, but the Gen 5 USB board from Schiit actually worked better when I let Windows handle things (I tried both approaches). It is also Schiit’s recommended way to have Windows handle it for the Gen 5 USB board.
@Eric, I haven’t used Roon for the last 24 hours due to work commitments. I have just fired it up now and will leave it running today to try and generate some reports. I currently have it driving the iDSD in non-event mode because in event mode playback will stop whereas in non-event it will glitch, but continue. Hopefully some data will come through and provide some insight…
Sorry for the extra replies… I’ve just heard my first glitch for the day (roughly 10:00am AEDT) and noted at the time that it perfectly coincided with my draft email (through GMail in Google Chrome browser) saving itself.
I have often noticed that certain browser operations seem to trigger the issue, but it does also occur when the browser is closed so it is not directly or purely browser-related.
Thanks for reaching out, @Lachlan_Fennen. Very appreciated!
Touching base with you to let you know that the mentioned diagnostics have been received and passed over to our techs for analysis. Once my report has been updated and passed back I will be sure to share the team’s thoughts/findings with you asap.
Your continued patience is very appreciated!