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Sound stability, Audiodg.exe


j7n
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I am experiencing unstable sound under NT6.1 x64. If I open a process that causes a high load or runs at high priority (such as Task Manager), the sound drops out. I'm not surprised because it also happened on another PC. Apparently sound is no longer processed in a driver but in a normal process.

I want to try to increase the priotity of audiodg.exe which is how I always approached sound issues in the past. If I try that, I get an error "Access denied". I don't like that I don't have access to things on my computer. How to fix it? I am logged in as Administrator, no UAC. Perhaps I can give more permissions to the Administrator account?

I found some reports of other users increasing the priority, but they didn't mention any additional steps.

Edited by j7n
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I am able to kill the process. Attempts to start audiodg.exe does nothing, it does not run. It is normally started by AudioSrv.dll under Local Service account.

Turns out the process has a protection related to some kind of unneeded DRM! Setting HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Audio\DisableProtectedAudioDG =1 allows to change the priority. I can see it increasing from 15 to 24 in Process Explorer, but it does not appreciably affect the reliability of sound output.

On the other hand, E-MU 0404 functions well under x64 with 8 GB of RAM! (Driver 2.3 "Beta", PatchMix 2.2.) It did not work under x86 PAE. ASIO is reliable and bypasses Windows. Still I would like to have the "Wave" playback working for common programs.

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In my expereience Windows 7 (x64 or x86) just do not go well with any audio equipment . You're absolutely right , one of the reasons is DRM. I have several pro-grade sound cards and they sound awful with win7 , despite being officially supported . As soon as I put them in Vista PC , the sound is amazing . 

Edited by Dixel
a typo
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Yes, but setting it to the audiodg process or the parent service doesn't improve the sound unlike what I expected. It should already be acceptable because the default priority is 15.

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I meant the priority class, not the level. (Above post edited.) See SetPriorityClass().

 

Edited by jumper
Changed "value" to "level"
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  • 3 weeks later...

LatencyMon appears to be very sensitive. I've never used it before, and don't know what to expect from it. Even with the PC idle, when no problems are observed, it reports that my system is "having difficulty" in black text. Of course, if I load the CPU, the interrupt to process latency goes into the red. My expectation is for sound to be handled "first" as it was on Windows XP and earlier, even if the system is loaded.

With the same set of other drivers loaded (whatever their deficiencies might be), I can play sound in Cockos Reaper at 10ms latency, as long as Reaper's priority is greater than other processes. This localizes the fault into a Windows process. The task of mixing sound is lightweight for Vista-class computer, and I don't see why it wouldn't have unlimited priority. Microsoft has apparently reinvented the wheel priority system with the "MMCSS" service, and it is no longer straightforward.

Loading a dual-core CPU is harder. It takes two processes to make the system unresponsive. I might as well leave the situation as it is now.

LatencyMon - Idle

LatencyMon - cpugrab

Reaper Playing at Nearly Full Loaded CPU

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  • 4 weeks later...

what audio devices do you have on your Win7 machine, j7n?

open Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) and check the audio devices listed in the Sound, video and game controllers section

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I see E-MU E-DSP Audio Processor (WDM), which is the sound card.

High Definition Audio device is an NVidia video adapter with a HDMI port, not used, but automatically found by Windows. The unknown devices are a Brooktree television/radio capture card that I can't use on x64 and have intentionally not installed. It works fine on Windows 2003 in dual boot to listen to radio (only 32-bit drivers exist).

I am fine with how it works now. A pre-requisite of NT6 audio appears to be a CPU with 2 or more cores. Maybe there haven't been more complaints because people usually only install this system on fairly new computers.

Device_Manager.png

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