Software help archive

A read-only archive of old serato.com help threads.

High Frequency Distortion in NS7II

Product
Serato DJ
Version
1.6.1
Hardware
Numark NS7 II
Computer
Mac
OS
Platform
-
KRG 10:53 PM - 18 April, 2014
I'm experiencing a high frequency distortion that comes and goes intermittently. It sounds like a grounding issue. I used SD 1.6 and 1.3 and still had the same issue. Numark Tech support said to download their newest driver and Serato DJ 1.6.1. but the same thing happens. Had this NS7II since January and still can't use it at a live gig.
NumarkChris 3:58 PM - 22 April, 2014
Hello,

I would like to help. Thanks for the helpful info. Have you tried this on another computer? If so, do the same symptoms persist? You may be experiencing latency as well. Your OS X is an older operating system and you're currently meeting the bare minimum for a supported OS X with your NS7II. You may need to upgrade your current computer. In the meantime, review this guide here serato.com to optimize your computer.
KRG 4:55 AM - 26 April, 2014
Thanks for your response Chris. I have not tried it on another computer. You think increasing the processor speed is a factor?
marcA 9:20 AM - 26 April, 2014
what do you mean by distortion?
this: serato.com ?
KRG 1:58 AM - 27 April, 2014
I should have classified it as interference. Sort of like a CB transmission. It appears out of no where for 2 min to 4 min duration. I've never experienced it with my NS7 and I'm using the same MAC.
NumarkChris 1:10 PM - 28 April, 2014
Hello KRG,

Yes, that will definitely help you out especially with this beast of a DJ controller. An upgrade in processor speed and RAM will definitely help you out in the long run. Typically if you're hearing distortion, that may be due to the driver you're currently using. Always check at www.numark.com to ensure that you have the latest driver installed. This will be located under the Downloads section on that page.
WookieNZ 10:18 AM - 21 May, 2014
I have just experienced the same issue on a 3.4GHz, with 8gb of memory, windows PC running Windows 8.1, and have just experienced a high pitch distortion to the audio output, on both headphones, and main out, only fix seemed to be switching the unit off and on... Not what I would want to have happen in a gig!
marcA 12:31 PM - 21 May, 2014
do you use the P&T plugin?
if so disable it ...
mdmusicman 8:39 PM - 28 May, 2014
I'm having the same issue. The music starts to distort after 10 or 15 minutes. I have to remove the numark midi device every time I boot my Mac Book Pro. I love my NS7ii, but I need it to work without having to jump through loops.
DJGongshow 1:39 AM - 9 June, 2014
I've been using my NS7 II for gigs since December but never had this problem until now... very scary, seems to occur after a high CPU load condition and stays even after load returns to normal.

The only way to stop is switch off and on again.

Serato and Numark please kindly advise... happens with the latest driver and the last four versions of SDJ
NumarkChris 12:48 PM - 9 June, 2014
Quote:
I've been using my NS7 II for gigs since December but never had this problem until now... very scary, seems to occur after a high CPU load condition and stays even after load returns to normal.

The only way to stop is switch off and on again.

Serato and Numark please kindly advise... happens with the latest driver and the last four versions of SDJ


Hello,

It sounds like your computer is struggling with your NS7II. Let's try this. Sometimes I have found that removing the device from MIDI Studio Window (Mac), and lowering the Maximum Screen Updates Per Second (Windows & Mac) in Serato DJ improves the symptoms that you are having, and in some cases completely resolves the issue. See the steps below.

Removing a Device from MIDI Studio (Mac Only)
1. Open a new finder window and navigate to Applications > Utilities.
2. Double click Audio MIDI Setup.
3. Select Window from the top menu and ensure that MIDI Studio is checked.
4. With the Numark controller disconnected click the Numark USB Audio Device.
5. Click Remove Device from the top of the MIDI Studio window.
6. Reconnect you Numark Controller.

Lowering the Maximum Screen Updates Per Second (Both Windows & Mac)
1. Open Serato DJ.
2. Clcik Setup from the top menu.
3. Click Library + Display.
4. Adjust the Display slider to 20 or 30. If you still experience clicks and pops after setting to 20 UPS try lowering the slider.
5. Close the Setup.
DJGongshow 4:45 PM - 9 June, 2014
Thanks yes I have tried these settings

Under normal load there is no problem, my machine is a high-spec Core i7 2.7GHz Retina MBP with 16GB ram and SSD. Controller is directly connected, not through a hub.

But despite the conservative settings, I can reliably reproduce the issue by either downloading a few tracks in the background or running MixEmergency to put CPU into the red

Of most concern to me is the fact that the condition is unrecoverable without powering off and on, this is very disconcerting during a performance

Also note I have PnT turned off, SV at High quality and 2GB buffer size, USB latency at highest level

No problem with original NS7

Any additional help would be appreciated

Thanks
NumarkChris 5:20 PM - 9 June, 2014
Hello DJGongshow,

Are you only experiencing this when your mixing music videos?
DJGongshow 6:02 PM - 9 June, 2014
yes, I only do videos... higher bit rate from Xtendamix and VJ-Pro
NumarkChris 7:35 PM - 9 June, 2014
Hello,

Review this handy support guide for Serato Video DJ's here serato.com. Please keep in mind that this is not a hardware issue. You should post your topics and questions under the appropriate thread to get the best help. Post under Serato Video Help here serato.com. They will be able to assist your symptoms better in on that thread.
DJGongshow 8:13 PM - 9 June, 2014
Thank you for your assistance, but please note as well that the problem occurs when Serato Video is disabled
DJGongshow 10:51 PM - 9 June, 2014
Getting a little desperate... just happened again and lost all button control on the NS7
DJGongshow 12:27 AM - 10 June, 2014
After 10 minutes of performance the platters suddenly went to double speed

What's happening???
DJGongshow 12:30 AM - 10 June, 2014
More info... after restarting Serato it doesn't recognize the NS7 II until power off and on
DJGongshow 1:11 AM - 10 June, 2014
more info... on track load SDJ goes from 23% CPU to 153% CPU and crashes the NS7 II if it is playing

I removed and reinstalled Perian and same results with or without
mdmusicman 11:15 AM - 10 June, 2014
Did you upgrade to Mavericks? I had to format my hard drive and install mountain lion 10.8 That works great with Serato DJ 1.6.3
NumarkChris 1:59 PM - 10 June, 2014
Hello DJ Gongshow,

Is this a custom PC? I've had consistent experience with many, many... DJ's who tend to use custom PC's with DJ gear to have issues with drivers, CPU load, performance, etc. Dual partition could also be another issue. Let me know if this is a custom PC.
DJGongshow 2:46 PM - 10 June, 2014
I may have a handle on it now.

My system is a mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro with the fastest processor, most memory and largest SSD money could buy at the time. A no-excuses setup, and over the last 2 years mixing only HD video, with ITCH/NS7 and then SDJ/NS7II, I can say I've never really had to monitor my CPU.

Back in February when Serato announced support for Mavericks, I upgraded. Since then everything's been fine with the NS7II while unwittingly using the 2.2.6 driver not supported on Mavericks.

I can't pinpoint exactly when things went south because I've been on a brief hiatus between gigs and only using the system to prepare new tracks. During that time I applied the most recent update for Mavericks and briefly experimented with the Beta NS7II driver before rolling back because it was unstable and lacked the RCA monitor output.

Overnight, out of desperation, I rolled back to my most recent backup of Mountain Lion. Immediately I could see that I was using less CPU, and when going into the red there was only brief and mild distortion, not permanent. When I push the machine as hard as I can I can get a brief sound dropout and lose control of SDJ, but the music and video keep playing uninterrupted and control eventually is restored.

This is in contrast to Mavericks, where there was significant and permanent sound distortion and occasional permanent loss of control.

I'm wondering how I was able to perform with it for so long. Perhaps the Beta driver remover didn't finish the job, since I observed a runaway kernel process frequently when loading a new track.

I'll keep pushing it tonight to validate that the problem is actually alleviated. I do hope that a driver update is on the horizon. Moreover, I would like to see some "protection" for USB communication when under load... most multithreaded apps are well behaved when using up to 600%+ on a multi-core CPU, after all that's what it's there for. It's more a matter of prioritization it would seem.

As an aside, I'm still using SDJ 1.5.2 because I get about 55fps from it where 1.6+ seems to hover between 15-22fps.

Thanks as always for your support.
DJGongshow 10:10 PM - 10 June, 2014
No luck... problem is back again. This has to be hardware
DJGongshow 10:37 PM - 10 June, 2014
CPU does not seem to be an issue, I did an SMC reset on MacBook... is there a hard reset or firmware update for NS7 II? I have a show on Friday that I don't want to cancel
NumarkChris 12:25 PM - 11 June, 2014
Hello DJGongshow,

Have you tried this NS7II on another computer? Do you experience the same symptoms? I still don't believe it's the NS7II yet. If you want, you can call us here at the office located closest to you for over the phone support.

Numark Industries World Headquarters (United States Office)
Support Contact: 401.658.3131

Numark UK LTD (United Kingdom Office)
Support Contact: +44 1252 896040

InMusic GmbH (Germany Office)
Support Contact: +49 2154-81299-20/-25

Numark Japan Corporation (Japan Office)
Support Contact: +81-3-6277-2231

Numark South America (Brazil Office)
Support Contact: +5511 - 3222-6476
DJGongshow 4:22 AM - 12 June, 2014
Thank you for the support numbers.

I called long distance and waited 20 minutes before someone took my number to call back, but didn't get a call.

So I went to apple and bought the most powerful MacBook Pro available today for over $3500, got it home and configured it, and I have the same issue.

I do believe I have a hardware problem with my NS7II.

Is there anything I can do, or do I have to cancel my show on Friday?

Please advise.
NumarkChris 12:38 PM - 12 June, 2014
Hello DJGongshow,

I'm going to private message you.
DJGongshow 11:23 PM - 12 June, 2014
using the newer machine now, silky smooth playback as I used to get with my similarly configured old machine but after about 3h I get static noise

if I simply pause for 10 minutes and don't shut off everything returns to normal

I think it's overheating... normal playback when the fan isn't running
DJGongshow 3:05 AM - 13 June, 2014
well it just died. no sound after shutting off and on again both software and hardware

recovered after about half an hour, then garbled sound. not a CPU issue, the new machine barely peaks at 25% with heavy load

the sound problem survives a restart of SDJ and has an echo to it in 1.6.3, and just a control failure in 1.5.2... consistently so after several attempts

since I can get at best 3 hours out of this unit now after 6 months of use, I'll have to source another one tomorrow
deancrake 8:48 PM - 14 June, 2014
wow major pain ...im on a del I7 inspiron 8 gig ram droped back to windows 7 and never get any of this ..hope you get it sorted soon ...
Dj Snipe 6:48 PM - 9 July, 2014
Whats up guys, I've been having my controller for about 4 months now, the first time I witnessed the sound, I thought I had jus blew an old speaker.

I later experienced the same sound on a club system, discovered that it was the controller after removing the sound cords and putting them in another device and the sound wasn't there. As other users have described, it is a high pitched distortion sound, this is a sound i have never experienced with the previous model of the NS7.

( occurs while using, XLR sound cords and main/booth audio Outputs)

I don't think this is a computer issue but more of an hardware overheating issue while performing.I've mixed in my home for hours at low volumes without experiencing such problem. I don't perform with headphones, so i don't know if the distortion was also there but Having this happen in front of hundreds of party goers was very tragic and looked very bad on my behalf as a disc jockey.
DJGongshow 6:56 PM - 9 July, 2014
try removing all other USB devices from your system... even on late model MacBook Pro's it seems that the ports are not completely isolated from each other and can be interfered with.

I bought a new replacement laptop, NS7 II, cables and DMX controller before I figured that out
Dj Snipe 7:11 PM - 9 July, 2014
While performing I don't plug in any other devices.

As stated I was an owner of the previous model which crashed on me but just months ago purchased the Ns72.

This is getting real sketchy for me as i have a big Dj season coming up and don't want to have to purchase new hardware or send off for a replacement, which may only work for another few months then later only be good for a few hours.
DJGongshow 7:41 PM - 9 July, 2014
same here, used the original NS7 for years with no problems, and then the NS7II for 6 months problem free before I got the crackle last gig

I did overnight autoplay tests with the NS7 and 2 NS7II's to observe the crackle happening after sometimes less than an hour with the mk-II and many hours with the mk-I, even with the current max-spec MacBook Pro

I believe the mk-II is really taxing the USB a lot more than the mk-I, and probably my system was at the limit even though the main processor stayed below 25% under heavy load. my latency is set at 5ms

if you don't have other USB devices there might be another root cause, or else the NS7II's are just a little too much for USB 2.0 on some systems. you can turn up the latency but forget scratching

with no other USB devices I can now run overnight without the crackle, but I do notice some midi artifacts such as the pitch slider light going on in the wrong position and the platters starting and stopping very slowly until I turn the dials up and back down.
Dj Snipe 7:57 PM - 9 July, 2014
I appreciate your rsponses but that seems like a little much to be doing. And I don't wanna eliminate any function because I use the controller to its full potential and i'm a hip-hop dj who can't stay away from cuttin and scratchin so to change my latency is out of the question.

I really like performing with this controller as it is everything a dj can ask for and was hoping to be able to build my setup around this controller.

I'm going to do some more searching for solutions and also contact numark, I hope they have an answer or will be willing to replace the unit.
NumarkChris 12:32 PM - 10 July, 2014
Hello DJ Snipe,

I don't believe you have hardware issue. DJGongshow was actually steering you on the right path in troubleshooting your symptoms. Keep in mind, this DJ controller will resource a decent amount of your CPU because there's so many features such built into the controller. Use the USB port closest to your power adapter too and ensure that you have the latest driver installed for your NS7II from its product page www.numark.com.

Users have found that removing the device from MIDI Studio Window (Mac), and lowering the Maximum Screen Updates Per Second (Windows & Mac) in Serato DJ can improve the symptoms that you are having, and in some cases completely resolves the issue. See the steps below.

Removing a Device from MIDI Studio (Mac Only)
1. Open a new finder window and navigate to Applications > Utilities.
2. Double click Audio MIDI Setup.
3. Select Window from the top menu and ensure that MIDI Studio is checked.
4. With the Numark controller disconnected click the Numark USB Audio Device.
5. Click Remove Device from the top of the MIDI Studio window.
6. Reconnect you Numark Controller.

Lowering the Maximum Screen Updates Per Second (Both Windows & Mac)
1. Open Serato DJ.
2. Clcik Setup from the top menu.
3. Click Library + Display.
4. Adjust the Display slider to 20 or 30. If you still experience clicks and pops after setting to 20 UPS try lowering the slider.
5. Close the Setup.

If you have any further questions, feel free to private message me to help you out!
drewsunpro 1:50 AM - 14 July, 2014
I had the same problem last night , I almost threw the Ns7 ii out the window in front of 600 people . I was happy I had a backup.... it all started after 4hrs of playing
Dj Spinboy 8:10 PM - 20 July, 2014
Im dealing with the same issues on a max-specs Alienware m14x i7 laptop and my NS7ii .. Im watching this thread closely
Dj Cerv 4:57 AM - 24 July, 2014
I have also had this similar issue. I recently update my Mac to the new Mavericks program and I have noticed that I get the same distortion as all you have described. At first it was only deck 2 on the NS7 II but now it is both sides. It only does it however after the 4th hour of use. I have a 3 hour gig on Saturday, so I should be fine. I also thought it could have been my speakers since the fans inside my sub are no longer turning on, but this issue seems to happeing with everyone so it cannot be my speakers. I have not tried any other troubleshooting so i will also keep my eye on this thread.
eldjjor 12:13 AM - 8 August, 2014
I've been following this thread for a while waiting for an answer. Tried all NumarkChris's recommendations, even moved all the music library to an external drive and still the same distortion on my NS7II with a Macbook Pro mid 2010 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 with 4 GB of RAM, over 200 GB free running Mac OSX Lion 10.7.5. The problem started 2 months ago and before that I had no issues since Oct 2013 when I got the controller.

I've been using my spare NS6 with no problems at all on the same computer. Please advise. Thanks!
DJGongshow 1:37 AM - 8 August, 2014
I got my NS7II in 12/13 and ran problem-free with my max-spec 2012 MacBook Pro until I hit this problem somehow in 6/14. I restored to Mountain Lion but it didn't stop

After talking with NumarkChris I went out and bought a new max-spec 2013 MacBook Pro and a second NS7II and had the same problem immediately

What worked for me was removing every USB device except for the Numark and an iPad for Serato remote

If I put anything else back on USB it starts to crackle within about an hour

Seems to have nothing to do with the CPU demand, mine peaks at 25% under full load. The USB bus is just not keeping up
Dj Cerv 1:44 AM - 8 August, 2014
Gentlemen, I started having this problem about 6 weeks ago. I took off all software related to Serato and Numark. I also upgraded to Software OS X 10.9.4 (13E28) on my Retina Macbook. This was about 2 weeks ago and have not had any issue with cracking or distortion. I also started plugging in my harddrive on the opposite side of my power cord and plugging in my NS7II into the same side as my power cable. Things have been working great.
NumarkChris 12:46 PM - 8 August, 2014
Hello everyone,

DJGongshow is right on point with his post. You have to look at your scenarios in a practical sense, the NS7II is a beast of a controller. It's going to consume a tremendous amount of CPU when connected to your computers. There is a tremendous amount of MIDI data being consumed and transmitted from your controller to your computer, especially when utilizing all of the touch capacitive FX, loops, hot cue's, and scratching on the platters. A fast processor, a good amount of memory and a few tweaks in the software normally resolve your issues. I recommend if your experiencing the symptoms above and you made all the necessary adjustments from buffer size in the software, display refresh rate adjustments, Audio MIDI Setup removal, to contact us here at Numark to help you out over the phone for technical support individually. I've found that each case is different because of the type of computers that they have.

Also keep in mind, for most of you, it's summer time. If you're DJing outside or inside hot clubs, it's not recommended to DJ in extreme, hot environments with this controller or any DJ gear for that matter. Imagine that it's 90+ degrees outside. The heat on top of your board may feel like it's 100 plus degrees. Imagine how hot it's going to be inside your controller!? Double or triple that after hours of use. Rule of thumb is to always use your DJ gear in a dry, cool area. If it's going to be sunny outside, you definitely need to ensure that you are shaded. Frequently using your DJ controller in these hot environments can permanently damage your controller.

To contact us here at technical support, you can call us with one of the phone numbers below.

Numark Industries World Headquarters (United States Office)
Support Contact: 401.658.3131

Numark UK LTD (United Kingdom Office)
Support Contact: +44 1252 896040

InMusic GmbH (Germany Office)
Support Contact: +49 2154-81299-20/-25

Numark Japan Corporation (Japan Office)
Support Contact: +81-3-6277-2231

Numark South America (Brazil Office)
Support Contact: +5511 - 3222-6476
eldjjor 6:12 PM - 8 August, 2014
Hello Everyone,

Following your recommendations my preliminary conclusions are (i) to by a new laptop and see if it barely works as for DJGongshow or OK as for Dj Snif or (ii) to get rid of my NS7II. If this last one is the case I don't understand why Numark's minimum requirements are not accurate for the amount of load NumarksChris is referring to. Before purchasing I looked at a the specs and felt ok with my Macbook capacity and had no problems for 6 months. Another thing that now I don't understand is that Numark recommends to store your content on a separate drive and by doing this obviously you have to use a USB port contrary to getting rid of USB connections.

Finally thanks for the advise regarding the heat, I only use the hardware in air conditioned space and haven't been able to use it for the summer.

i will try to call technical support before jumping into any conclusions, many thanks for your comments!
NumarkChris 2:51 PM - 2 December, 2015
Hello All,

Its been a while here so I wanted to chime back in to help all of you out.

As with any USB audio interface, there are many potential causes of symptoms like distortion, artifacts (clicks/pops/crackling/distortion), and latency. We've created a guide which provides some helpful tips to troubleshoot the issue.

Troubleshooting USB Audio Artifacts or Latency - www.numark.com

Also, please attempt the steps that I suggested below to help you out.

Update Serato DJ to the latest version - serato.com

Update to the latest NS7II audio driver - Log onto the NS7II product page and navigate to the DOWNLOADS section to find your audio driver - www.numark.com.

You also want to connect your NS7II to the USB port closest to your computers power supply.

If you continue to have issues...

• Set buffer sizes in Serato DJ to either 5, 10 or 20. Find the buffer size that works best for your computer and hardware.

Optimize your Windows and Mac computer for DJing

• PC Optimization Guide for Windows 8.1 - support.serato.com
• Mac Optimization Guide for OS X - support.serato.com

I hope this helps everyone =)