Is USB throughput too slow?

My apologies if this is already common knowledge but it’s worth mentioning incase anybody else finds it useful. Inspite of my pc being upto the job and the Cubase usage meter being reassuringly low, I was suffering from crackling in both audio and midi (vsti’s) after a few minutes of tweaking etc. which went away temporarily after clicking the “reset” tab in the audio config window. Now, I was using an M-Audio Fast Track (USB) but since switching to the Audiophile 24/96 (PCI card) it’s been fine. I had tried a bunch of different drivers for the Fast Track to no avail so I am guessing that USB throughput is perhaps just too slow. I should mention that I am no expert so I’d hate for anybody to waste money on a new interface only to find it makes no difference, but this is how it has (so far) worked out for me, so make of it what you will. Oh, and if it bears any relevence, it always happened regardless of which patch I was using.

Rubbish. Plenty of people using USB devices with no issues. USB speed is actually faster than IEEE 1394, IEEE1394’s advantage is bandwidth. Are you sure the USB port was 2.0? URL conflicts? Some kind of power saving scheme?

Yes it’s a perfectly functional USB 2.0 and there are no conflicts, the Fast Track wasn’t sharing a bus with anything etc.

You sort of answered your own question, if the problem is not constant and can be remedied by pressing a “reset” button, it’s not likely to be a throughput issue is it? The bandwidth needed for a couple of stereo streams and some midi is just second to none in relation to USB throughput.

Mashedmittens suggestion about power saving is something you should take a look at, fits the scene very good.

Problem with computers, everything interacts with everything else, it’s just as likely to be your network card as your USB chip or a faulty driver. I also have a small USB interface for field recordings, have constant problems with dropouts on my laptop, but not on my desktop. Same drivers, OS, DAW. The only difference is… everything else that can be different between two computers. Troubleshooting is not easy.


Get hold of a PCI USB2 controller that uses a different chipset to the one you have, and see if that helps. Check the M-audio forums, there are lots of people who will have them and therefore likely that someone has come across your issue before. Be logical and it’ll work out.

URL conflict, mashedmitten? :wink:

My experience is that USB is quite dependent on the chipset used by the Mobo, and also dependent on which USB socket one plugs into. For example, I quite often find that some hard disks just don’t work in the front panel USB slots of my PC box, but are fine in the back slots (which are directly attached to the mobo). Also, older mobos may have more trouble being stable due to older chipsets or minor design differences. Also, one should make sure that the latest chipset drivers are loaded (Windows I’m referring to, don’t know about Macs).

But yes, I’d say rubbish too because technically USB 2.0 is proven fast enough, it really is usually something else more specific to the other hardware or drivers being used.

Finally, just to say that although I do all of my Cubase work using a MOTU PCI system, my USB MBox2 still works just fine from both PTLe and Cubase. Unlike the PT HD3/192 system which seems to have terrible trouble sometimes on my PC - but that really is another story!!


I did consider this not too long ago, infact the problem seems to start mostly (but not exclusively) when loading a preset on any given vsti - particularly a big/complex one (Trilian springs to mind). This, to me would suggest a ram issue but so far it hasn’t happened with the pci card. Also, with regard to power saving, I tend to disable all the power saving options available in Windows and the BIOS anyway.

Seems my USB interface is for the very first time, working beautifully. The only thing that’s changed is that I’ve installed that PCI card, but I’m not actually using the thing. Apparently the M-audio Delta drivers have magical healing powers :confused: . Digital is a strange and ironically unpredictable beast - I’m going back to hitting things with sticks, you know where you stand with drums and a roll of gaffa tape.