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Bluebox Record/Playback Jitter & Crackle (MAXED OUT)

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  • Bluebox Record/Playback Jitter & Crackle (MAXED OUT)

    I often use my Bluebox for performance videos, playing back stems while mixing performance elements to be synced with video. Last night I had a shoot where I needed to playback 4 stereo stems, Drums, Sound Design, Synths and Backing vocals, while recording 2 stereo keyboards, mono backing vocals, stereo guitar, and mono lead vocals. I also had a stereo FX send/return with a Poly Beebo but the Bulebox couldn't handle recording that as well, it appeared that I had maxed out the CPU and/or the read/write capability. If I tried to add just one more stem for playback, I also had lead vocals, guitar and a click track stem I had to disable in order to get the system to handle the workload. I'm using the same type of card that came with it (my original micro sd was DOA, so I ordered the exact one for replacement).

    So in summary, turns out the Bluebox can only handle 4 stereo playback stems and 5 recording tracks simultaneously. But isn't it supposed to be able to playback and record any combo of the 12 inputs/tracks available? Perhaps this is just a micro sd card limitation? I'm going to get the fastest SD I can but what's the max speed and capacity it can handle?

  • #2
    So in summary, turns out the Bluebox can only handle 4 stereo playback stems and 5 recording tracks simultaneously
    Your microSD will affect this outcome. We supply a decent card to get you started. I get the best results with 'A2' rated microSD cards. V30 is still faster than we write data. However, cards at 128GB or larger benefit from having larger write chunks so you should see a slightly better performance there.

    I have used cards as large as 1TB though I don't recommend it because it takes forever to transfer, backup, etc. 126GB is the sweet spot, for me when pushing the box as you describe. SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB U3. V30. A2

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    • #3
      Great! That’s the exact card I ordered this morning.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve View Post
        SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB U3. V30. A2
        Unfortunately this still doesn't perform the task as laid out in my OP. I'm actually shocked that the extra write speed of the Extreme Pro V30 128GB didn't change the results (coming from a V10 16GB card). I'm still only able to record 2x mono and 3x stereo tracks while playing back 4x stereo stems. I was fully expecting and hoping to be able to playback 6 stereo stems while capturing 6 stereo tracks, I can manage to work around this but am curious if this benchmark has been tested internally at 1010?

        I ordered a ProGrade 64GB U3, V60 to try, though I don't think it will make the difference since a v10 to v30 didn't seem to. I'll report back tomorrow.
        Last edited by idylmind; 06-05-2021, 03:28 PM.

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        • #5
          No luck with the ProGrade card either. The wall I'm hitting seems to be the limitations of the Bluebox itself. I hope the sd card write speed can be improved with firmware updates.

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          • #6
            Maybe consider sending me the project with audio files you are using?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Steve View Post
              Maybe consider sending me the project with audio files you are using?
              There's no need, it doesn't matter which files are loaded. I just created a brand new 1 minute long song, tracked 6 instruments in LIVE, created 6 24/48 .wav files, loaded them up into a brand new from scratch project and tried to overdub 6 new tracks with the exact same results. I even used a brand new (just opened and formatted using "sd card formatter" for this test) SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB U3. V30. A2.

              I implore you to try this same thing, create any 6 stereo tracks and have the Bluebox play them all back while trying to record 6 new tracks, it can't be done.

              EDIT: The new overdub files get recorded but live monitoring while recording isn't possible, that's when the stuttering and crackles occur.
              Last edited by idylmind; 06-07-2021, 04:12 PM.

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              • #8
                Thanks for raising this issue. Prior to releasing bluebox 1.0, we did do several rounds of benchmarking and optimizations. We validated a few key scenarios:
                • Recording 6 stereo tracks + the stereo master
                • Recording 12 mono tracks + the stereo master
                • Playing back 6 stereo tracks
                We also validated several play + record scenarios and I forget the details. As you already figured out playing 6 stereo tracks while recording 6 more stereo tracks is unreliable. I recall that playing 6 stereo tracks while recording 4 stereo tracks was solid.

                Given that most 12 channel digital mixers can only run 12 channels at once with either playing and recording per channel, bluebox is still way ahead. We have been careful with our marketing to not promise more than 12 channels, because of the limits you have found above.

                I hope this helps.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the info.

                  I am able to record 5 while playing back 4 but I still get a little jitter from the audio sometimes for the first few seconds. My usual scenario is playing back 5 or 6 stems while recording 2 - 4 tracks. Still I'm hoping to see the ability for 6 & 6. It's definitely in a class on its own with the size and ability, love the new beta features too, I'll be ripping into it today to see how it works with my setup.

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