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How to best protect your ears from bursts of noise? [update]

Wunderhorn

Senior Member
Recently Logic gifted me with a truly deafening and absolutely dangerous burst of noise. It did not happen like this before and I could not reproduce it afterwards. Not sure how it actually happened but that is rather irrelevant to the question of how can we protect ourselves from such things in general?

Does anyone know if there is an application out there that can monitor the computer's audio out ports for potentially harming noise and suppress it on detection?

Shouldn't a DAW have such a safety mechanism built in?


- - - update - - -

I found out where the noise burst came from. It was an instance of NI's grand piano The Grandeur. Some stacked clusters with sustain pedal enabled caused triggered Logic to go into a frenzy.

Last night I moved my production to my new Mac Pro (2019, 16 core, 224RAM) for the first time and low and behold, the same issue persisted there too (Catalina 10.15.6 vs Mojave on the Trashcan 10.4.6)
Thanks to the Ice9 plugin I was able to see it happen repeatedly without anything getting hurt. Once I tamed the piano cluster chords it was fine.

I wonder what is actually triggering Logic to create such noise. In a worst scenario, these piano clusters would result in a little bit of clipping, even though my levels are not even high enough for that. Something is weirs, but at least I was able to isolate and reproduce it.
So yes, it would be helpful for anyone to file a bug report with Apple (I did).
 
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MartinH.

Senior Member
Shouldn't a DAW have such a safety mechanism built in?

Absolutely, and Reaper has it built in.

Maybe there's something useful in this similar thread:

Some logic useres reported similar things, maybe ask them if they found a solution by now.
 
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Wunderhorn

Wunderhorn

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It is not officially available anymore, the developer has ceased to exist. But I could find it somewhere else. Thank god it is 64bit! Thanks for the hint.

The is also another one out there for $49 by Nugen.

I wonder what kind of additional latency you'll have to deal with.
 

jiten

Member
It is not officially available anymore, the developer has ceased to exist. But I could find it somewhere else. Thank god it is 64bit! Thanks for the hint.

The is also another one out there for $49 by Nugen.

I wonder what kind of additional latency you'll have to deal with.

This is what I use too, no perceivable latency! Crazy that there's no good currently maintained alternative with the same simplicity / no-frills / no-latency approach (at least none that I know of...).
 

José Herring

Senior Member
Recently Logic gifted me with a truly deafening and absolutely dangerous burst of noise. It did not happen like this before and I could not reproduce it afterwards. Not sure how it actually happened but that is rather irrelevant to the question of how can we protect ourselves from such things in general?

Does anyone know if there is an application out there that can monitor the computer's audio out ports for potentially harming noise and suppress it on detection?

Shouldn't a DAW have such a safety mechanism built in?
It use to happen many many years ago with me. It's due to an audio driver crash. Since then I've upgraded my soundcard and Cubase has a built in detector that will mute audio automatically if that happens. I can't believe that Logic doesn't have the same thing. I remember how unnerving it use to be, you're listening to some passage of music at a good level then BAMM!!!! full scale odb white noise burst. After a couple of those I was on my way to swaping out my soundcard, which handled it then Cubase updated to include the mute feature and between the two is been about 15 years since that's happened. Probably saved me from a heart attack.

What is your soundcard btw?
 

Rex282

Active Member
Recently Logic gifted me with a truly deafening and absolutely dangerous burst of noise. It did not happen like this before and I could not reproduce it afterwards. Not sure how it actually happened but that is rather irrelevant to the question of how can we protect ourselves from such things in general?

Does anyone know if there is an application out there that can monitor the computer's audio out ports for potentially harming noise and suppress it on detection?

Shouldn't a DAW have such a safety mechanism built in?
Yep same thing happened to me last week and I had my big monitors on....thought I was gonna go deaf....hurt like hell.It was the 3rd time in 10 years.Logic needs to fix this before it does some serious damage to someone.
 

I like music

Senior Member
Wear a mask. And socially distance from your speakers. But seriously, would love to know if Cubase has something built in and where I can get more info on it. Can't seem to find anything.
 

José Herring

Senior Member
That happened to me quite recently, so I'm not sure if Cubase has everything covered. Unless the burst I heard was due to my interface, do you have a Steinberg link about this?
It's been years but it was definitely due to my interface. I wished I could find the article that talked about the feature. I think it was in Cubase 5, but doing a quick search of the internet, I see it's still a problem.

The main culprits these days are bad or outdated audio drivers and Virus (the synth) software and Plugin Alliance v 3.1
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
When the noise blast happened, did it show up on Logic's meters? Like, did the peak-hold indicator show some ridiculous level like +700db? If so, then it WAS coming from inside Logic, but if not, then it was coming from the audio interface driver and was therefore "downstream" of Logic's audio engine.

In 20+ years of using Logic's native audio I have NEVER had a noise blast, so unless someone can narrow it down to a particular VI or library causing it in a repeatable manner, I'm inclined to suggest it's due to the audio interface's driver taking a crap. I definitely use just about every VI and library you can think of, and never had this issue, from the Mac G4 era through G5's and cheese graters all the way to the cylinder Mac Pro.

I've been using MOTU interfaces the whole time - first the PCI based 2408 systems, and now the AVB+Thunderbolt 112d+1248 boxes - and their reliability and predictable performance is part of the reason why I stick with them. Noise blast issues seem to be more widely reported by users with USB audio interfaces like Focusrite Safire etc., so perhaps it's a USB thing?

If it IS the interface / driver that's causing the blasts, then it's dubious that something like Ice9 will prevent the issue, since the plugin will likely be "upstream" of the noise blast.

But it can't hurt to have it installed.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
This definitely has been happening. I had the same problem a few months back, and found others experiencing the same thing...in logicPro. Putting ice9 on the master bus stopped the problem.

now that being said, I'm a few versions later on LogicPro now, I can't remember what version I was on when that happened like a few times in a row after an LPX upgrade...but I haven't used ic9 in a while and haven't had any noise blasts either.

I personally think it could have been logicPro, or could have been a plugin or could have been OS or audio driver related also ( happen to be using built in audio on MacPro in this case).... All Apple's fault either way! But it was definitely happening with some version of LPX a while back and I haven't had it happen in quite a while, so maybe its fixed now...
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
Logic needs to fix this before it does some serious damage to someone.
Had it happen a few months ago. It blew the speakers in my MBP. Apple development is seriously fucking up lately.

Also Pretty sure a limiter wouldn't help. At least what I experienced wasn't happening inside Logic's mixer, it was some kind of driver or core audio failure.

I'd seriously suggest anyone experiencing this in Logic report it as a bug via the Logic feedback page. IMO issues like this go unaddressed unless multiple people report the same issue...
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
I just filed this as a bug. Really hope others do as well. Linked to this thread..

Also I'm pretty sure they've added a few feedback categories. I don't recall seeing Audio Quality, Quality of service, and Connectivity/Interoperability before. (I could just be clueless :P)

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Wunderhorn

Wunderhorn

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When the noise blast happened, did it show up on Logic's meters?

I can't tell because at that moment I was sitting back on a couch to taking notes while a work in progress was playing.

It certainly could have been a driver crap-out or something else but my gut instinct tells me that it was most likely coming from within the project.

I have the Ice9 plugin installed - but of course, if it is not Logic related, a plugin won't help and there is a bit of me that remains freaked out.

I'll do what @jcrosby did and will file a bug report.
If Logic is actually what causes it and it damages people's ears (speakers can be replaced) I would see legal issues coming up. Health is not something to be messed around with.
 

synergy543

Senior Member
I've been using MOTU interfaces the whole time - first the PCI based 2408 systems...
I had the noise burst happen using a MOTU 2408 MK III when I was first trying the Embertone Joshua Bell (which I love). However, the noise burst was so bad that it left me paranoid everytime I try Joshua Bell again sadly. Now I use Iced9 and try to keep the volume down most of the time. There really should be protection built into the DAW and the audio interfaces so this never happens. Fortunately I don't have ATCS150S to worry about blowing out.:sneaky: (but I did actually shoot a tweeter across the room once).
 
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