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Suddenly getting audio static during playback

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Adi Frank
Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 9, 2019 at 9:53:57 pm

Hi all,

I've been editing a film for the past couple of months on Premiere Pro.
Currently working on a sequence and having some really strange audio issue I just can't figure out.
I'm in the middle of editing and suddenly when playing back the sequence the audio was filled with static.

Listen here:
https://vocaroo.com/i/s1QWFDZdnSEX

In this audio snippet there is someone trying to open a plastic container, so ignore those plastic-y clicking sounds. It's just the AM radio static type sounds that is the issue.
So I've been trying to isolate the issue by testing different options, but for the life of me I can't figure it out.

I'm running latest version of PP on Windows 10 on a laptop:
Skylake i7-6700HQ
32GB DDR4
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface


  • The scene is about 5 minutes. I was editing around 2 minutes into the scene when suddenly I got mentioned static during playback. I had just added an 8th track of audio. So I tried removing that 8th audio track (although I don't see why 8 audio tracks should be a problem) — the problem persisted.
  • Closed PP, restarted computer and tried again (while keeping an eye on memory usage) — the problem persisted, no issues with memory.
  • I confirmed audio hardware preferences in PP were set correctly.
  • Googled the issue and did find a few hits with somewhat similar descriptions (hard to tell if they were the same problem exactly or not). Anyhow, there were a couple of suggestions for those similar sounding issues. One suggested opening Adobe Audition and making sure that the audio hardware preferences in Audition are set the same as in PP. They were the same. Another suggestion was to decrease buffer size. It was set to 512. I reduced it to 256 — the problem persisted.
  • I tried making a duplicate of the sequence (right-click > duplicate), and played that — the problem persisted.
  • I'm a bit fuzzy on what I tried next, but generally speaking, I set out to try and see if it was a particular clip of audio on the timeline that might somehow be causing this. I think I started muting and solo-ing tracks, disabling clips... I might have even deleted clips from the timeline one by one. Long-story-short, I'm pretty certain the culprit is a particular audio clip that happens to be the sync audio from the video camera. It was nice to finally feel like I was getting somewhere, but at the same time it's strange because I was only using that clip in the first 7 seconds or so in the sequence. Whereas, the issue began when I was editing at a completely different place in the timeline. I also want to say that while it seems this particular clip is causing the problem, different tests I did with this clip did not produce consistent results. For example: When I tried moving the clip to a different track it was suddenly fine, but then I moved it to a third track and the problem came back. So is it the clip? Is it the track?...
  • I thought maybe it has to do with a combination of audio effects applied to tracks and the clip. On pretty much all audio tracks I have the following effects: Multiband Processor, 20 band EQ, and for some audio tracks I have a Hard Limiter. I tried different combinations of effects, but results did not seem to indicate that the problem had anything to do with effects. In fact the problem persists even if the clip is on a track with zero effects.
  • I set the problematic track/clip to solo. Listened and it was clean. Then I exported it as a WAV file. Listened to the exported WAV file and it was clean too. I then imported that new WAV file into my project and replaced the clip that seemed to be the problem with the new WAV file I had just exported — the problem persisted.


There were more things I tried, but it seemed the more I tested the less I understood what the problem could be.

I did, at one point, move the clip that seemed to be the culprit to a different audio track and suddenly the issue seemed resolved. But the next day when opening the project in Premiere, the issue was back.

Any ideas?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 9, 2019 at 10:00:13 pm

Are you running out of storage?
What kind of footage is this -- mp4 video? 4K? mp3 audio?
Do you let the OS auto-update?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Adi Frank
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 9, 2019 at 10:43:18 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Dave!

Have more than enough storage space.

The video is ProRES 442 in a Quicktime wrapper (120 Mb/s) shot on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
The audio is PCM WAV files recorded on a Zoom H4n digital recorder.

I honestly don't recall if the OS has updated or not. It's likely. I've been working on this project for months.
But I definitely did not update the OS while working on this particular sequence that suddenly started giving me this issue.


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Adi Frank
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 9, 2019 at 10:46:58 pm

I'll also add that I recently chatted with Adobe Premiere online chat support.
The support rep wrote me to try the following:
Please Press windows + R key and then type appdata then roaming folder-> adobe-> premiere pro-> rename premiere pro as premiere pro.old

Go to: documents-> adobe-> premiere pro-> rename premiere pro to premiere pro.old

I did those steps. The static sound is still present, but slightly improved. Hard to tell if the slight improvement is related to the steps recommended by Adobe support


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 10, 2019 at 7:28:01 am

Is your USB audio interface getting enough juice from the USB? Have you tried testing it with integrated audio?


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John Pale
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 10, 2019 at 6:38:25 pm

Delete the Media Cache, reboot and let it rebuild. Do it at the desktop level, not in the Premiere settings, as that does not delete the Media Cache for the project you currently have open.


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Adi Frank
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 11, 2019 at 1:43:01 am

Hi.
Tero Ahlfors wrote:
Is your USB audio interface getting enough juice from the USB? Have you tried testing it with integrated audio?

It's connected via powered USB hub. It should be fine. For sake of sanity, I tried connecting directly to the computer and the problem still persisted.
John Pale wrote:
Delete the Media Cache, reboot and let it rebuild. Do it at the desktop level, not in the Premiere settings

Do you mean that I should identify the folders as indicated in the screenshot below, then close Premiere Pro, find those folders on my D: drive and delete their contents?



I just want to make sure, because I'm not entirely sure what that would do.
Is there any way I could screw something up by doing this?
Should I back those files up just in case?
Thanks!


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John Pale
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 11, 2019 at 2:28:36 am

Yes, but don’t do it on the preference panel you show in your screen shots. Go to the actual folder on your hard drive (after quitting Premiere) and delete it (or move it someplace else). If you do it in the Preference panel, it won’t delete the cache files for the project you have open...so in this case, it won’t fix anything. Premiere will just rebuild a new Media Cache the next time you open the program. Hopefully, this might get rid of some corruption causing your issue. This might take a bit of time (you will see progress bars at the bottom of the timeline). I’d let it do its thing and not edit while this happens, as it affects performance...but you don’t necessarily have to. This isn’t harmful and you aren’t deleting actual media files.


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Adi Frank
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 11, 2019 at 2:37:58 am

@John Pale, got it, thanks.. I'll try it.
Theoretically speaking, could I clear media cache through Premiere Pro Preferences panel as long as I don't have the specific project open?


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John Pale
Re: Suddenly getting audio static during playback
on Feb 11, 2019 at 5:42:59 am

I suppose so. I usually do it the way I suggested though. Then you can be sure there are no lingering files to cause trouble. It also gives you the opportunity to just move the folder instead of completely deleting it, if you wish to be extra cautious.


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