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Troubleshooting DPC latency

Overview

DPC (Deferred Procedure Call) is the operation that Windows uses to assign a priority to processes/drivers that run simultaneously in the same system. If processes that are involved in streaming audio aren't assigned high enough priority then various issues can occur since the audio will not be streamed correctly in 'real-time'. These can include pops/clicks, 'glitchy' audio and device disconnections.

A common cause for DPC latency is out of date device drivers and Windows processes that are not optimised correctly. Many processes/drivers are involved in streaming audio and many other processes/drivers can cause interruptions in the audio stream.

Analysis

To analyse whether DPC latency could be the cause for any pops, clicks or disconnections you might be experiencing you can run the following software tool: Latency Mon (Windows 7 and later).

To run the tool, click the Play button and then play audio from any application through your audio interface for a couple of minutes. If there are no DPC problems, the scan will report this:

If there are problems the reporting text will be black/red and the drivers/processes that are the likely cause of the problem will be displayed:

Solving DPC Latency issues

Updates for some processes/drivers are often delivered via Windows Update. It's recommended that you ensure that your version of Windows is fully up to date should you encounter any DPC problems, you can update Windows by following these steps:

Windows 7: Go to Start > Programs > Windows Update > click 'Check for updates'

Windows 8: Go to Control Panel > Windows Update > click 'Check for updates'

Windows 10: Click the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of the screen > Settings > Updates and Security

If the DPC problems persist after installing all Windows updates then the next step is to try to deduce the device that's causing the problem. Common problematic areas are:

- Network/WiFi adapters

- Card readers

- Other sound devices that aren't in use

- Bluetooth adapters

To narrow down which device is the culprit you can disable the above components in Control Panel > Device Manager and then run the DPC test again. If this fixes the problem then this would be a strong indicator that this particular device is the cause of the issue - you can then either leave this disabled when working with audio or check for any updates from the component manufacturer.

If you encounter any problems please Contact Technical Support

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