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/  Forum Index
   /  Amiga OS4.x \ Workbench 4.x
      /  Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
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Hypex 
Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
Posted on 31-Aug-2020 13:14:00
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10092
From: Greensborough, Australia

Hey everyone.

I don't know how many machines this affects but I find the AHI drivers have this constant stuttering problem. It sounds like the audio buffer is suffering from an underun condition giving an audible distortion in the sound stream. It starts playing but then gets tripped up ever so easily. Even streaming a simple AIFF, where all AHI has to do is convert it to the sound chip format and send it off. Drag a window around and then it starts. It can't handle simple multitasking. Given an actual Amiga would have no trouble streaming a simple audio stream this doesn't look good for the faster AmigaOne.

I don't know if changing the settings can help or if it's just a lost cause. I always thought that soft mixing wasn't the Amiga way and was rather backwards to how the Amiga did it all with hardware. Especially as some Amiga sound cards actually had hardware channels. But with only one stereo stream this is rather a moot point. I'm using the built in HDAudio sound chip on my X1000. My current settings are 48Khz 32-bit Hifi mode.

Aside from this it's still commonly misunderstood what the AHI settings mean. In fact I still wonder what they mean after all this time. Even after programming the low and high level interface. Look for user documentation on the web and there is either old information or a programming wiki. I see the units continue to confuse. There in fact would be five units then, the music unit and the four standard ones. Originally they were assigning to different sound cards. They would still be useful for such usage but mostly would be used to customise some audio modes. Being able to set the music unit to unit 0 is confusing. Why can't unit 1 be set to unit 2 the same way? What does it mean by music anyway?

Other definitions are unclear as well. What does a channel mean? How does it affect the audio? How does it relate to AHI clients? The AHI definition of stereo is confusing, as the AHI definition of stereo is a sound panned to extreme left or right. How is that stereo? That's a mono sound panned to left or right. Confusing.

Then there are the advanced settings. Which from reading about them default to mixing samples at full volume and clipping the audio when needed. That doesn't sound like a good default. Giving it's taking too long in processing before the sound chip gets the buffer I would have expected a better default than that. The Hifi mode is meant to have a better mixer but it doesn't detail what that actually means.

So, are there any settings for AHI so it can play normally? Or can it only work with a certain sound chip? I'm about to set it to a basic 16 bit mode as obviously the hardware isn't powerful enough to handle it.

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K-L 
Re: Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
Posted on 31-Aug-2020 15:55:12
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 3-Mar-2006
Posts: 1384
From: Oullins, France

@Hypex

I have none of these symptoms on my X1000 (and I think no other X1000 user either otherwise there would be a lot of complaints).

What programs do you use ? What softwares have these symptoms ?

My settings:

Musical Unit : Unit 0 : HIfi 16 bit stereo++
Unit 0 : hdaudio:HiFi 32 bit Stereo++ 16 channels 48000 Hz
Unit 1 : hdaudio:HiFi 32 bit Stereo++ 16 channels 48000 Hz
Unit 2 : hdaudio:HiFi 32 bit Stereo++ 16 channels 48000 Hz
Unit 3 : hdaudio:HiFi 32 bit Stereo++ 16 channels 48000 Hz

Last edited by K-L on 31-Aug-2020 at 03:56 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
Posted on 31-Aug-2020 16:21:07
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11485
From: Norway

@Hypex

I also have no issues with, I have always used it on default settings, never messed with settings, the only thing I change is the volume, as it default to zero volume, everything else normal.

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Hypex 
Re: Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
Posted on 31-Aug-2020 16:58:52
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10092
From: Greensborough, Australia

@K-L

I've noticed it can happen on boot as well. For some reason it can stutter. Seems to be random somehow.

Another thing I forgot to mention. I also get a lot of cracking. If the speakers are on and nothing is playing I can hear this crackle. It tends to increase over time. If I load up AmigaInput or plug in a joypad it really sets it off.

In my testing I've used MultiViewer with a 16-bit AIFF song sample. Last night it disrupted the sound. Tonight it semed fine as I was dragging size gadgets around. Until I went to get info on the file on WB and it just wrecked it. When I accidently pressed the version button.

Here's a good test. Start playing a song. Now grab an icon and drag it. Does your sound stop dead? Workbench kills the multitasking and nothing can play.

Apart from that I tend to use OctaMED. But there is a bit of 68k software being emulated before it gets to AHI. Still it would be nice if it could work smoothly.

I also get stuttering when playing videos in Odyssey but I expect that to be buggy without full hardware acceleration.

Comparing units. All mine are set to hdaudio:HiFi 32 bit Stereo++ 10 Channels at 48000 Hz. Except one unit which has one channel at 44100 Hz. I have the Enhancer installed and I think it has a bug as well. Some units show as a large negative volume.

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Hypex 
Re: Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
Posted on 31-Aug-2020 17:01:28
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10092
From: Greensborough, Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

The zero volume would mean full blast in dB, though I always think it looks funny. But did you lower it? I can't increase it here.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Is the AHI stuttering issue a lost cause?
Posted on 31-Aug-2020 17:02:55
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11485
From: Norway

@Hypex

I hate the dB scale.

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