21 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2017 6:36 AM by Szalam

    Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right

    SFvdB Level 1

      I'm having a very strange and frustrating time with AE 2017.1 (14.1.0.57) at the moment. Whenever I do a preview playback I hear my (mono) audio split over both speakers, and they seem to be ever so slightly out of sync (if at all) and create this weird effect - instead of sounding mono (from the middle). It's infuriating. It seems to do this randomly.

       

      I know AE isn't ideal for audio but in my projects I do need to be able to use it. I've tried mono mp3s, aifs en wavs - I've also tried a stereo wav (the same mono track in both tracks) to no avail. I've tried upping the I/O Buffer size in the Audio Hardware settings, no difference. I've enabled the Cache before playback button and enabled and disabled the play audio in preview and it still messes up.

       

      Sometimes it plays right after I've purged the image cache memory, and it'll be fine for a while, until it seemingly randomly goes back to weird sounding. Maybe it has something to do with the cache...?

       

      It's 44100 Hz, 16-bit audio (mono).

       

      AE 2017.1 (14.1.0.57)

      Max OS X El Capitan 10.11.6

      Mac Pro (late 2013)

      Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 external audio device

       

      Message was edited by: Sebas van den Brink, hit submit too soon

        • 1. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          Two things come to mind:

           

          Your audio sample rates may be mismatched.  Over the last few years audio on video has become 48kHz, not 44.1 kHz.  You can either change AE's dealt sample rate to 44.1 or you can convert your audio to 48 kHz.  I recommend the second option.

           

          You may also want to trash your preferences.  I THINK you hold down the Ctl-Shift-Opt keys (Cmd-Shift-Opt Mac) keys as you start the application.  If I have the wrong key combination, someone is sure to correct me.

          • 2. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
            SFvdB Level 1

            Both things turn out not to be the answer. Both my audio and settings are 44.1. And trashing my prefs also caused me to lose the settings of one of my plugins, leading to lost tools which will cost me more time than I need, right now >:(

             

            It does playback the audio normally, but when it chooses not to is seemingly random (though obviously nothing is with computers). So perhaps it's a memory thing or cache.

            • 3. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
              SFvdB Level 1

              Eh, it seems that my weird audio problems are likely due to having too little free space left on the machine. I was down to approx 10 Gb. Had to remove some stuff and now back up to 160 free Gigs. I will return to confirm, if this turns out to be true.

              • 4. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                Dave LaRonde Level 6

                Oh, my. 

                 

                There's a rule if thumb for storage -- If you reach 80% of your capacity, you're full!  After that, weird things can happen... as you seem to have experienced.  If you need more storage, get more.  It's cheap.

                • 5. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                  Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

                  HI SFvdB,

                  I hope that is the case. If so, please return and let us know your findings.

                   

                  Much appreciated!
                  Kevin

                  • 6. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                    SFvdB Level 1

                    The problem persists. I have 116 Gigs free on my harddrive yet the audio is still screwy. It's as if the right channel plays before the left channel, a fraction of a second earlier. Causing it to sound really odd.

                    • 7. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                      SFvdB Level 1

                      By the way, AE 2015.3 (13.8.0.144) did not and does not have this problem.

                      • 8. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                        SFvdB Level 1

                        I'm still having problems with AE 2017. I've resorted to using 2015 to finish my work (sad face).

                         

                        However, here's a recording to illustrate the problem. The first time I preview using the space bar, the second time I use the dot on the numeric keypad to do an audio preview. The latter one doesn't always work, either.

                         

                        Here's an audiofile on SoundCloud to listen to:

                        https://soundcloud.com/sfvdb/ae-audioprobleem/s-99uJq

                         

                        (In case you're wondering, the language is Dutch).

                        • 9. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          It's likely something to do with AE not handling that external audio device. Can you try working with a regular set of headphones or speakers plugged directly into your Mac (not as a permanent solution, but just a temporary troubleshooting step).

                           

                          Also, sometimes Adobe support does well with these sort of weird technical things, so you might contact them.

                           

                          Please keep us posted.

                          • 10. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                            SFvdB Level 1

                            It indeed seems to work fine with the onboard audio of the Mac (tested with headphones). I will contact Adobe support.

                            • 11. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                              RameezKhan Adobe Employee

                              Hi SFvdB,

                               

                              Let us know if support is able to help you with this.

                               

                              Thanks,

                              Rameez

                              • 12. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                SFvdB Level 1

                                I've spoken to support but it has proven unfruitful so far. I am also contacting Focusrite to see if they can shed any light on the subject, but there are no firmware or software updates available for the device. And considering I have no problems with AE CC 2015 or previous or any other programmes having the same problems (including audio-heavy software like Propellerhead's Reason or even Adobe Audition) it strikes me as an After Effects playback issue. Sometimes it gets it right, sometimes it doesn't and plays back mono out of sync on left and right channels.

                                 

                                No solution thus far, I will let you know what Focusrite says.

                                • 13. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                  SFvdB Level 1

                                  I figured out what might be a workaround, although it has limitations.

                                   

                                  When I start AE and open a project, the sound is having problems using both preview methods (normal and audio-only).

                                   

                                  If I switch between either 16 or 32 samples I/O Buffer Size it seems to cure the audio problems for that session with both preview methods.

                                   

                                  However,...

                                   

                                  When I switch projects, the problems return.

                                   

                                  When I close AE and restart it, open the same project, the problems return.

                                   

                                  So whenever I open a project it helps to open preferences, select the other sample I/O Buffer size.

                                   

                                  So far I've only switched between 16 or 32, which works. So when it's on 16 I switch to 32 and vice versa.

                                   

                                  During this time, the Sample Rate is still set to 44100 Hz (as my audio is that Sample Rate).

                                   

                                  I'm not 100% certain this workaround is full-proof, because I'm testing and not actually full-on animating and previewing.

                                   

                                  I will need to test this workaround with an actual (commercial) project, luckily I have those lined up

                                   

                                  Will update this with more. But hopefully this helps pinpointing the problem a bit.

                                  • 14. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                    RameezKhan Adobe Employee

                                    Thank you for your response and sharing the workaround!

                                     

                                    Considering it works fine in After Effects CC 2015, could you please file a bug for After Effects CC 2017 here: Bug Report Form

                                     

                                    Regards,

                                    Rameez

                                    • 15. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                      SFvdB Level 1

                                      Bug report filed!

                                       

                                      I will return to this topic to update my findings using the workaround, to confirm it works or to let you know it doesn't

                                      • 16. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                        Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                        Please note that everyone urges you to file a bug report.  There's a reason -- whether you like it or not, you are now part of the Adobe Unpaid Beta Tester Program. 

                                         

                                        They apparently don't want to go to the trouble of getting real Beta testers.  Or the prevailing opinion in San Jose may be, "Hey -- they're renting our software!  Where are they going to go?  Why not lmake THEM be the Beta Testers?"

                                         

                                        In any case, treat AE CC 2017 like an unexploded bomb --  you never know when it could go off on you.  Stick with CC 2015 until the NEXT version comes out. 

                                        Adobe should have ironed out most of the bugs in CC 2017 by then, only to introduce a huge laundry list of puzzling woes in CC 2019... or whatever.

                                        • 17. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Dave, that's not helpful at all.

                                          We are suggesting bug reports because without a report, Adobe won't have the issue logged in their system to be fixed. Even for legendarily stable software like Cinema 4D, I still recommend people file bugs when they find them for this same reason. This isn't an After Effects thing or an Adobe thing. That's just software in general. This is an unusual bug that I have only ever heard reported here, so this isn't some wide-ranging issue. I understand that the initial release of CC 2015 was really buggy, but those days are gone.

                                           

                                          https://forums.adobe.com/people/Dave+LaRonde  wrote

                                           

                                          In any case, treat AE CC 2017 like an unexploded bomb --  you never know when it could go off on you.  Stick with CC 2015 until the NEXT version comes out. 

                                          This is really bad advice in general. CC 2015.3 was much more stable than CC 2015 was (for the vast majority of people).

                                          And CC 2017.1 is more stable than CC 2015.3 was (again, for most people).

                                           

                                          In this particular case, there is a rare bug in CC 2017, but generally speaking CC 2017.1 is the most stable release we've had in years.

                                          • 18. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                            Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                            Szalam  wrote

                                             

                                            We are suggesting bug reports because without a report, Adobe won't have the issue logged in their system to be fixed.

                                             

                                            Gee, I wonder why that is?  Does Adobe test its software before release any more, I wonder?

                                             

                                            Szalam  wrote

                                             

                                            In this particular case, there is a rare bug in CC 2017, but generally speaking CC 2017.1 is the most stable release we've had in years.

                                             

                                            Okay, I'll let you tend to those rare bugs.  As I recall when I last looked, there were about a dozen unsuspecting new users with bugs... and each bug is brand-new to each new user, who expects to install & go.  Never mind all the quirks that aren't official "bugs" but nonetheless bring work to a grinding halt!

                                             

                                            Hope you like staying busy!

                                            • 19. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                              SFvdB Level 1

                                              I want to note that software development is rarely flawless and very specific cases (like this) are hard to foresee. As is so much in life, you cannot always keep everything covered all the time, unless you have a crystal ball or a time machine.

                                               

                                              But, Dave, I do feel your concern (I've waited with updating to CC 2017 and I've still got CC 2015) this topic is not to discuss issues with how Adobe releases their software or complaints thereabout. Please allow this topic to remain about researching and possibly resolving this bug - because I really want it fixed to get back to work without a hitch. Thanks!

                                               

                                              ~~~

                                               

                                              Back on topic: I've had contact with Focusrite about this and they couldn't offer much help. I did test the audio by playing one (either R or L) over both speakers, resulting in synced but weirdly choppy playback when the bug is rearing its head. Meaning that regular playback is also perturbed.

                                               

                                              I'll be working on some projects today with CC 2017 and I'll check back in when I've trialled the workaround a bit more.

                                              • 20. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                                SFvdB Level 1

                                                I'm not entirely sure how, but the problem seems to have fixed itself. Lately I've been opening and closing projects and previewing without the problems reoccurring, without doing the workaround. I had to use the workaround once, started working on that project for a couple of hours, then when returning the next time (after having closed AE) I didn't need to use the workaround again.

                                                 

                                                I thought maybe it's something between saved version of CC'15 and CC'17, but so far it seems to work fine whenever and whatever project I open.

                                                 

                                                So perhaps it was a glitch in the prefs?

                                                 

                                                I will return to this topic if it rears its head again, but "case closed" I'd say Thanks for all the support!

                                                • 21. Re: Strange Audio Playback, mono out of sync left and right
                                                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  Thanks for following up!