Audio bug with newer OBS version causes audio crackling, choppy mic or mic stuttering multiple time a second, OBS unusable with higher quality mics?

For most of 2020 there have been posts about this bug on this forum and reddit etc. It seems that OBS just does not like higher quality microphones and no fix has been presented.

Users who add a mic, especially higher end usb or even shotgun microphones fed via XLR find that their stream and recordings have choppy audio that cuts out multiple times a second. Many users on this forum and elsewhere have offered the below "fixes" that have not helped, while some users have found that reverting to older versions sometimes works. So is this a bug with recent OBS versions or just overall?

My testing setup (tested on two computers, laptop and desktop old and new OBS versions same result):
  • Canon C500 (includes XLR +48V phantom power)
  • Blackmagic ultrastudio mini 4k (includes XLR +48V phantom power that has to be enabled)
  • Elgato Camlink 4K HDMI capture card
  • Microphones (settings across all devices to 48 kHz)
    • Yeti USB mic (only one that works other than built in)
    • Sennheiser MKH-416 shotgun mic
    • Sennheiser MKH-60 shogun mic
    • Shure SM7B
    • Electro-voice RE320
There is a headphone monitor on the C500 and the Blackmagic, audio is clear on both for every mic (other than yeti which does not interface with these) but the audio on OBS crackles constantly. I even downloaded voicemeeter banana to monitor the input directly and the windows PC is hearing the mic fine, it is only when it gets routed through OBS.

Troubleshooting steps taken to resolve this issue that have not worked:
  1. Ensuring all of the sampling rates matched (48k across all devices and in OBS)
  2. turning off noise suppression in OBS. It was not on
    1. Also attempted to recreate the issue with desktop and yeti mic using noise gate etc to no avail.
  3. Testing to make sure it wasn’t a clipping problem (nothing is anywhere near clipping the audio)
  4. Changing gain from -10, to 0 to +10 etc.
  5. Checking all windows settings no gain etc.
  6. Restarting everything like 5,000 fucking times
  7. tried on a separate pc with same obs version and same issue.
  8. Tried multiple thunderbolt ports for the blackmagic ultrastudio
  9. tried checking for ground looping, isolated camera, computer and the mini 4K. No changes.
  10. Tried a different XLR cable
  11. Tried to embed audio through the Canon HDMI using both the blackmagic ultrastudio and an Elgato camlink 4k. Same issue.
  12. Reverted OBS to earlier version 24, same issue on one device, have not tested on both.
  13. Tried unplugging laptop, no changes
  14. Tried unplugging desktop, computer shut off.
I am sure there are some other things I have tried but looking through the forum there are a lot of posts with people who have just not been able to solve this, I know the developers have been pretty swamped but has anyone seen them comment? I can go put together a log report with some of these things later on but hoping some newer info or an update may be incoming to fix?
 

carlmmii

Active Member
I'm confused then... What is the exact chain from mic to computer that the audio is taking?

Also, when you say "I even downloaded voicemeeter banana to monitor the input directly and the windows PC is hearing the mic fine", what is the device voicemeeter is listening to?
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
Can confirm, OBS works fine with high-quality mics. I'm using a Rode NTG3, over a Behringer Q1204USB. Have also tested with a Scarlett Solo, zero issues after setting up proper gain-staging.
It'd come down to elsewhere in your audio chain setup. Do you have a separate XLR audio interface to test with? It may just be the Canon causing a problem (as they're somewhat known to).

And just saying, 99% of the /r/Twitch subreddit can't find their backside with both hands and a map. A source of reliable or competent information, it is not.
 

Rafael Santos

New Member
Estou tendo o mesmo problema. O áudio sai picotando, falando na transmissão, mas na mesa de áudio ou na inteface o som fica nítido. Formatei PC, reinstalei OBS, mas o problema persiste...
 
Hi,

some drivers to grabber card is broken e.g. Avermedia LGP (all version), if video signal break for the moments sound is broken in audio encoder (in Monitor mode signal is clear). The problem has been known for me for years (2014).

OBS does not allow the audio encoder to be reset other than by removing the damaged item from the scene list and adding it again.

Last time this problem show on Blackmagic DeckLink Quad HDMI (i connect 3 device) in last month, but i can't reproduce again problem.
 
I'm confused then... What is the exact chain from mic to computer that the audio is taking?

Also, when you say "I even downloaded voicemeeter banana to monitor the input directly and the windows PC is hearing the mic fine", what is the device voicemeeter is listening to?
I’ve tested three chains:
  • Mic>c500 XLR input>hdmi output>Blackmagic>thunderbolt on PC
  • Mic>c500 XLR input>hdmi output>Elgato cam link 4K> USB 3.0 on PC
  • Mic>Blackmagic XLR>thunderbolt on PC
All of these cause OBS to have constant mic chattering/chop etc.

I wanted to test whether it was a pc issue so I ran voicemeeter to listen to the mic through the PC instead of just through the blackmagic headphone monitor. It sounds fine on voicemeeter so it’s narrowed to OBS.
 
Can confirm, OBS works fine with high-quality mics. I'm using a Rode NTG3, over a Behringer Q1204USB. Have also tested with a Scarlett Solo, zero issues after setting up proper gain-staging.
It'd come down to elsewhere in your audio chain setup. Do you have a separate XLR audio interface to test with? It may just be the Canon causing a problem (as they're somewhat known to).

And just saying, 99% of the /r/Twitch subreddit can't find their backside with both hands and a map. A source of reliable or competent information, it is not.
Lol yeah I’d have to agree but there was a lot of troubleshooting steps I found there.

The blackmagic device has an XLR input so I can do canon XLR to blackmagic to PC or canon to elgato camlink to PC and just XLR to blackmagic to PC.

I’ve got no gain across all and still the issue persists. Hoping I can fix this tomorrow :/ thanks for your help!
 

carlmmii

Active Member
"so I ran voicemeeter to listen to the mic through the PC"

What is the exact chain for this? As far as I know, voicemeeter can't grab audio from video capture devices, so that's why I'm trying to figure out what chain is actually producing usable audio in windows.
 
"so I ran voicemeeter to listen to the mic through the PC"

What is the exact chain for this? As far as I know, voicemeeter can't grab audio from video capture devices, so that's why I'm trying to figure out what chain is actually producing usable audio in windows.
The mic shows up via blackmagic so I just added it? Lol. Simply to see if windows was causing the issue.
 
The issue is with OBS interfacing with your Blackmagic ultrastudio mini 4k.

Do you have the OBS Asio plugin installed?
Installing OBS Asio did not solve the issue.

I installed the OBS Asio plugin and was able to replicate the problem with audio served through the OBS-ASIO plugin.

I had to use voicemeeter to get audio to it from the blackmagic device, as it seems the OBS-ASIO does not recognize the blackmagic device audio correctly. Seems the new version needs some work anyway as the control panel would not open.

Can confirm, OBS works fine with high-quality mics. I'm using a Rode NTG3, over a Behringer Q1204USB. Have also tested with a Scarlett Solo, zero issues after setting up proper gain-staging.
It'd come down to elsewhere in your audio chain setup. Do you have a separate XLR audio interface to test with? It may just be the Canon causing a problem (as they're somewhat known to).

And just saying, 99% of the /r/Twitch subreddit can't find their backside with both hands and a map. A source of reliable or competent information, it is not.
Later tonight I will try on a third device, but I am also ordering a goXLR to try a third interface with the mic to PC to see if that will work.

Despite all the attempted troubleshooting steps above using embedded audio through an elgato camlink 4k and using a blackmagic ultrastudio mini 4k causes choppy audio with very bad crackling etc. Maybe a third XLR audio interface will work? This is ridiculous and after trying to fix this for weeks for two streams I am about to give up and just use shitty yeti usb mics or a built in mic forever. Anyone wanna buy some barely used microphones? lol.
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
One thing to also check if you're using USB devices is to make sure you aren't running into USB bus bandwidth choke. Running something like a webcam on the same host-controller as your audio interface can lead to problems... I have an eye-tracker (for example) that intermittently will cause my mixer audio to crackle badly until I disable it. USB 2.0 has pretty low bandwidth, and each host controller has to split that between ALL devices connected to it. You can use the USBView tool to check what's connected to what:
If you're using a built-in webcam at the top of the screen, very often (almost always) those are just plugged into an internal USB port and run over the same bus.

I'm looking at buying a 4-host USB expansion card just to avoid that issue, myself. Costs around a hundred bucks for one with four host controllers, as opposed to twenty bucks for the cheap ones with a single host controller. Not really an option with a laptop, unless they make one in PCMCIA. If anyone actually still uses PCMCIA.

If you do give up, let me know what you're looking to sell that MKH-416 and SM7B for, I've been thinking about picking up both.
 

4k.lan

New Member
Boa noite pessoal, estou tendo o mesmo problema que vocês desde o Domingo, até agora não consegui resolver, então vou somar forças a vocês.


SETUP
  • ATEM TELEVISION STUDIO 4K
  • DECKLINK MINI RECORDER 4K
  • BEHRINGER X32
Nós transmitimos no Sábado normalmente. A única coisa que mudamos antes do problema aparecer foi uma atualização no Decklink.

Iniciamos normalmente e segundos após a transmissão começar no Youtube o problema começou a aparecer. O que foi uma surpresa, pois monitoramos o áudio e estava tudo funcionando na saída de monitor da ATEM e na mesa de som.

Lendo o que vocês falaram vi que já fizemos praticamente tudo que vocês tentaram, trocamos os cabos, instalamos versões anteriores e colocamos outras placas de áudio USB (Zoom H6), energia, nada adiantou.
Algumas observações que fizemos hoje:

- Testamos o áudio entrando diretamente na câmera via XLR + 48v ao invés da ATEM e o problema continuou mas de forma reduzida;

/// Pensamos então que o problema poderia ser o DECKLINK, o que foi descartado ao enviarmos o áudio pelo Zoom H6 > USB 3.0 o problema persistiu somente no OBS.

- Ao utilizarmos somente o áudio da câmera via HDMI pela ATEM, o problema não apareceu;

- Notamos que todo áudio enviado por XLR ou Interface de alta qualidade gerava a aparição do problema;

- Enviando o áudio por P2 diretamente no computador também funcionou, com qualidade média/ baixa além de uma latência estranha;

- Áudios enviados diretamente do OBS não apresentam o problema.

- Notamos interferência do áudio no Windows mesmo com todos os canais silenciados;

/// Amanhã vamos testar mais algumas coisas, mas acreditamos que o problema esteja no OBS em conflito com o Windows.
 
One thing to also check if you're using USB devices is to make sure you aren't running into USB bus bandwidth choke. Running something like a webcam on the same host-controller as your audio interface can lead to problems... I have an eye-tracker (for example) that intermittently will cause my mixer audio to crackle badly until I disable it. USB 2.0 has pretty low bandwidth, and each host controller has to split that between ALL devices connected to it. You can use the USBView tool to check what's connected to what:
If you're using a built-in webcam at the top of the screen, very often (almost always) those are just plugged into an internal USB port and run over the same bus.

I'm looking at buying a 4-host USB expansion card just to avoid that issue, myself. Costs around a hundred bucks for one with four host controllers, as opposed to twenty bucks for the cheap ones with a single host controller. Not really an option with a laptop, unless they make one in PCMCIA. If anyone actually still uses PCMCIA.

If you do give up, let me know what you're looking to sell that MKH-416 and SM7B for, I've been thinking about picking up both.
The bandwidth should not be a problem with the firebolt but i will try out this secondary device i rented which arrived today to see if that can solve the issue. I will also try the original set up with the USB tool to see what happens.

Will absolutely let you know about these once we figure out if OBS will let us use them lol.
 
OK So.

I rented a fourth audio interface, a Mix-D that has XLR to USB and that seems to work.

So OBS is refusing to work with some USB microphones, embedded audio on Elgato Camlink 4K and on blackmagic ultrastudio mini 4k.

All of which should theoretically work just fine, but cause crackling in the OBS audio.

I bought the Blackmagic because it has an XLR so that I would not have to buy a second XLR to USB interface, but it looks like OBS hates me so I have to go buy an XLR to USB audio interface, anyone have a suggestion on a good one?

You can use the USBView tool to check what's connected to what:
I need to run this still with the original set up to see if there are some bandwith issues on the USB hub but from reading up on thunderbolt connections my understanding is there should not be since it can handle 4K 60p throughput? Either way will test it out.
 
OK So I tried the USBView tool, the blackmagic device is the only device hooked up to a xHCI hub or USB 3.0. There is zero chance this is a bandwidth issue with the hub. Let me see about getting a new post together with a log just need to be sure to remove client info.
 
Solution (not really)

All of the video devices I am using output in 29.97 or 59.94, switching everything to 30fps fixes the audio but the video will not work.

So since the camera can only record at 29.97 etc. not 30, there is no way to use these cameras with the blackmagic device to OBS at a standard 30fps that will allow the audio to work.

I will go ahead and see if i can find a solution in forums for this.
 
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