Author Topic: Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings  (Read 3348 times)

Derezzedj4ck

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Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings
« on: May 01, 2015, 10:48:08 pm »
Edit #1 | May, 10th, 2015: I've updated my second post with newer information I've acquired the last few days and I also changed parts of this first one.
Edit #2 | May, 14th, 2015: I've updated the second post with more information regarding my problem.
Edit #3 | August, 12th, 2015: Fixed a few typos and updated the setup. Also added another post with updated information. Still looking for help!

I've recently noticed that whenever I record a video for a long time, meaning an hour or longer, the audio and video tracks become desynchronized, but only gradually.

For example I have recorded a Battlefield 4 video for 1 hours and 27 minutes in 60fps at 720p. At the beginning I have around a 3-4 frame delay between firing a weapon and when you hear the gunsound.
Near the end of the video (at around 1 hour and 20 minutes) a fired weapon has a frame delay of around 22.

I've done multiple test recordings in a few games, however due to time requirements for such long recordings I was only able to do them in Battlefield 4 and Half-Life 2 for now. Both recordings show these problems.
I was also able to check the frame delay on a two year old Call of Duty: World at War video, I've also recorded with Dxtory at the time. This one also has a similiar delay like that, that is 3-4 frames delay at the beginning and around 22 frames at the end (here around 48 minutes).

I'm somewhat sceptical that games take around 3-4 frames until they play the gunsounds of their weapons and it would make evven less sense that gunsounds are more delayed the longer I play.
So it must have something to do with my recording setup.

The following settings were used for the recording of the Battlefield 4 video:
http://i.imgur.com/WCLaWDd.jpg
Similiar settings were used for the World at War video, too. However the World at War video had standard advanced settings for the codec.

The video for Half-Life 2 was recorded with the Lagarith codec at the following settings:
http://i.imgur.com/1IwLze1.png

Now as I said, all of these recordings did show this delay.

I've also done several short test recording with several different settings, that is different fps, different harddrives, different codec settings and I also tried both "Enabled Synchronous Surface Lock" & "Wait for Available Buffer" from the advanced tab in Dxtory, however the outcome was always a 3-4 frame delay.
My test game was a short demo in Half-Life 2, so there was minimal performance loss by the game.
I've also tried disabling my anti-virus software for these recording but that didn't change anything.

I have also done one test recording with the Dxtory codec, but this doesn't allow me to record at 60fps, even at 720p (file fps are around 45). The frame delay still was the 3-4 frames anyway.

I also did two additional tests in Battlefield 4 and Resident Evil 6. Both of these I played on a local game (test range for Battlefield 4 and offline singleplayer for Resident Evil 6). These only showed a delay of about 1 frame at 60fps.

Now the harddrives I'm using normally is a Western Digital Black 2TB that is connected via SATA3 and shows a write speed of about 140 MB/sec, based on the Dxtory benchmark, writing a 2GB file.
A few of these test recording I did on two other drives I have available, another WD Black 2 TB (connected with SATA2, around the same write speed) and a WD Black 1TB which runs the OS and other programs (write speed of around 90 MB/sec).

Now all of these drives showed no frame drops during recording and the files themselves have a fixed framerate of either 60 or 30fps, depending of the recording settings in Dxtory of course.

I have also gone through several different recordings I have done through Shadowplay (a few nearly a year old, others a few days) with varying lenghts (ranging from a few seconds to several hours) and none of them show ANY kind of frame delay, nether at the beginning nor at the end some of them have the delay and others do not. I had a three hour long recording of Watch Dogs with a delay of nearly half a minute in the third hour, while a recent recording of Max Payne 3 of nearly two hours has no delay.

So I don't really know what to do anymore. Of course I could try and only do recordings for a certain amount of time, but this will certainly limit my workflow and it's not really something I want to do. And even then I would still have a small delay that wouldn't be very noticeable, but certainly would annoy myself.

I could go and purchase another harddrive and do a RAID0 setup, but would that even help? Isn't 140MB/sec enough for 720p/60fps?
Or is that just how harddrives work with such long write sessions? The 1 hour and 27 minute long Battlefield 4 footage is around 160 GB.
Would using a codec like x264 help? Its not really something I want to use, unless I would really have to, since editing x264 videos is rather annoying in comparison to lossless files with the software I use.

I know these are quite a few questions, but as I said, I'm not sure what to do as I've tried quite a things already. Dxtory is a great recording software and so far I haven't found an alternative.
Any help would be really appreciated!

Here is my current PC setup:
Mainboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K (3,5 Ghz), 4 cores, 8 threads (Hyperthreading ON)
GPU: GeForce GTX 680 Phantom 2GB VRAM (Factory overclocked by Gainward)
RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz by Corsair (Vengeance Series)
Soundcard: Asus Xonar Essence STX
Harddrives:
1TB WD Black (Windows & Programs)
1TB Samsung harddrives (Games, will be switched out to another 1TB WB Black hopefully soon)
2TB WD Black (Backups and work files for videos and other projects)
2TB WD Black (Dedicated recording harddrive for Dxtory and Shadowplay)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 10:00:59 am by Derezzedj4ck »

Derezzedj4ck

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Re: Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2015, 10:54:03 pm »
I did some more testing and so far I have come the likely conclusion that it's probably something relating to my RAM.
I also found out that the only the stereo (ingame audio) track is affected and my microphone track is completely fine (mono). Both of them run at 44.1kHz and 16 bit now. I had them at 48kHz before, but that didn't change anything.
I could go and do a test recording with both of them in mono, but that isn't really necessary as I need the stereo track for the videogame footage obviously.
So I guess I'll either stick to keep recordings small or switch out my RAM sticks to new ones. I'll update this when I've tried either or both.

Update: Alright, the last week was pretty much spent trying out several different things to see if I could further track down the source for the problem.
I tried a new codec (MagicYUV) to see if that changes anything. Of course, it didn't help.
Then I tried using my onboard soundchip instead of my Xonar Essence soundcard. It didn't help.
I then tried recording nearly two hours with a mono audio track instead of the normal game stereo, nothing.
I've also tried recording at a really low resolution, half of 720p, but that didn't change anything either.
Recordings are still gradually delayed.

I also did a test run of my current RAM and one of the modules has errors, so I bought new ones, but they haven't arrived yet.
I'm currently running only on the one that didn't fail the MemTest software and did another recording. As I sadly expected, nothing changed.
So I'm really hoping that the new RAM modules I ordered will fix it, but I'm not hopeful at the moment.
Since some Shadowplay recordings still work completely fine (for example I have around two hours of Max Payne 3 at 1080p/60fps running fine and showing no problems of an audio/video delay.
On one side I would have said that it's either the RAM or harddrive that is to slow, but videos I do have just don't support that theory at all.
I guess I'm still going to try and see if I can test record something with the intel graphics chip from my processor.
I'm also considering a full upgrade/change of the main hardware, but that is something I don't want to do unless it is actually one of the main parts that is the source for my problem (so either CPU, GPU or mainboard).

As before, if anyone has ANY idea what I could try or how I could fix this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Update May 10th: I just installed the newest release 2.0.129, but as I expected it didn't change anything.

Update May 14th: I now have new RAM installed in my setup, but it didn't fix the problem sadly.
I've done some more recording and I've uploaded footage of the differences with several games to YouTube. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlThGjmKOOM.
I would advise watching it in 60fps and at half speed. YouTube seems to exagerate the delay a bit, but at least it's very noticeable.
I'll also take a look at how MSI Afterburner performs, but I assume it will have the same problem, seeing that both Shadowplay and Dxtory recordings show the delay.
Any help would be really appreciated!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 08:26:08 am by Derezzedj4ck »

Derezzedj4ck

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Re: Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 02:55:27 am »
First of all, sorry for the bump of the thread, but I'm still looking for help!

I've spent the last few days doing a few test recordings again.
Nothing has changed so far.
I've tried a different recording software and the only one I have found that supports unlimited recordings in AVI files in the trail version is Action!.
I've done several test recordings in Battlefield 4, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Half-Life 2.
After the first tests in both Battlefield 4 and Half-Life 2 no recordings showed a delay after an hour of footage (however Half-Life 2 had a delay of 4 frames throughout the whole recording), so I thought only Dxtory produced desynchronized recordings, but now, after several more tests, it seems that again every game will have the delay, no matter the software used.
Shadowplay still seems to be fine for recording anything without a delay, however I now believe that it simply extends the time for the delay to be noticeable because of the smaller file sizes it produces or maybe the way it records (using the GPU instead of the CPU).

Additionally I did tests of both my CPU and GPU through OCCT (http://www.ocbase.com/) and both ran without errors for around three hours before I stopped the tests.

So again I do not know what to do.
I don't really have time at the moment and don't really want to do a new Windows installation. Of course I also doubt it would help as I'm on the third Windows installation where the problem occurs.
Changing either GPU or the CPU is also something I don't really want to do, as both perform just fine as far as I know.
I just don't seem to be able to find out what the reason for my recording problem is. The de-synchronization is definitely there, even on small recordings, so I don't know to be honest.

And as before I'm looking for any possible help and would really appreciate it!

SilvanGhost

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Re: Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 08:02:54 am »
I had this same issue start a week or two ago and I believe my issue was caused by a virtual audio cable software I installed (unconfirmed). Uninstalling the software did not help unfortunately.

Just today I confirmed that my audio is back in sync with my video.

Since DxTory was working fine for almost a year before that, I tried deleting all of my program profiles (including the default) for DxTory and resetting my default configuration back to where I wanted it. The only manual modification I did to the default profile was to set ThreadCount to 4 (not sure if that does anything in version 2.0.132).

Give that a try if you haven't already, it may solve your issue. Especially if it worked previously.

ClassifyLP

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Re: Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 05:45:22 am »
I've had these issues, too. However, they only occur when recording with multiple people, causing me to use Virtual Audio Cable and even then only in a special environment: Borderlands games.

The fact, that our systems are so similar, is interesting, yet I don't think this is the reason for the desyncing. The write speed of the harddrive should also not be an issue, I can record 1080p games at 60fps or 4K at 30fps (barely however). What I have found can cause immediate desyncing is when the hard drive is not started yet.

If the desycing is evenly occuring throughout the whole recording, you can simply resync them with "slighty advanced" video editor by stretching the audio; I use Sony Vegas for it. Since the desync isn't mayor, one will not notice it.

Still, it's a weird issue. My guess would be that the spikes in CPU use could be the cause.

My system:
Sabertooth Z77
i5-3570K (@4,2GHz)
Palit GTX 680 (~1180MHz)
Corsair Vengeance (16GB, 1600MHz)
recording on a WD Black 2TB (~160MB/s)

Derezzedj4ck

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Re: Gradual audio/video desync on long recordings
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 05:58:28 am »
Thanks for your answers. I partly forgot about them, partly didn't have the time to check after the problem again (been playing MGSV pretty much non-stop when I had free time).


I had this same issue start a week or two ago and I believe my issue was caused by a virtual audio cable software I installed (unconfirmed). Uninstalling the software did not help unfortunately.

Just today I confirmed that my audio is back in sync with my video.

Glad to hear that you could somehow fix you syncing problem! I'm not using a virtual audio cable software. It's all basic soundcard business on my machine. (I also did test recordings with the onboard soundchip, but that didn't help!

Since DxTory was working fine for almost a year before that, I tried deleting all of my program profiles (including the default) for DxTory and resetting my default configuration back to where I wanted it. The only manual modification I did to the default profile was to set ThreadCount to 4 (not sure if that does anything in version 2.0.132).

Give that a try if you haven't already, it may solve your issue. Especially if it worked previously.

I tried that, but it didn't change anything. The only thing I could still try is maybe recording on a RAID harddrive setup, but that would require a complete re-installation of Windows which I don't really have time for at the moment...


I've had these issues, too. However, they only occur when recording with multiple people, causing me to use Virtual Audio Cable and even then only in a special environment: Borderlands games.

While I do record sometimes with others, any test recording I've done since then has been with me alone, but it doesn't matter in my case, since the delay shows up on any Dxtory recording.

The fact, that our systems are so similar, is interesting, yet I don't think this is the reason for the desyncing. The write speed of the harddrive should also not be an issue, I can record 1080p games at 60fps or 4K at 30fps (barely however). What I have found can cause immediate desyncing is when the hard drive is not started yet.

When it comes to framerates of the recordings it's fine. My machine handles even very long recordings very well. Also no spikes during recording, neither from the harddrive nor the CPU. I also disabled sleep mode for the harddrives through Windows' energy options and the only time the recording framerate dips is right at the beginning of a recording for maybe half a second.

If the desycing is evenly occuring throughout the whole recording, you can simply resync them with "slighty advanced" video editor by stretching the audio; I use Sony Vegas for it. Since the desync isn't mayor, one will not notice it.

Sadly it does not occur evenly. The delay gets larger the longer I record. Half an hour, a few frames at 60fps, over an hour, nearly half a second at 60fps and so on. If the whole audio was just a few frames ahead or behind that would be annoying, but not a problem at all.

Still, it's a weird issue. My guess would be that the spikes in CPU use could be the cause.

This also isn't the case. Windows' Task Manager shows no spikes anywhere, except during loading times in a game. Either way spikes in CPU or harddrive usage should also show up on the recording framerate, I believe.


Anyway, thanks again for the answers. I'm still openly looking for any help!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 06:42:40 pm by Derezzedj4ck »