Using Chrome on macOS?
A recent Chrome update introduced a bug on some MacBook models, which causes stutter in recordings and playback. This problem may get worse the more times you record or play audio between restarting the browser.
In the interim, we suggest using the Mozilla Firefox browser to log into Myriad Anywhere.
After installing Firefox, you will need to tweak a setting, otherwise you will not be able to select an Output Device. We've put together a guide on how to install Firefox and change this correctly.
As the internet continues to evolve through the 21st century, so do browsers - the software you probably use most of the time to access it. Popular browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, all of which are officially supported by Anywhere.
However, if you're not running with state-of-the-art specs (for example, you have a 5+ year old laptop), it is very possible that you can hit what is known as a computational bottleneck, during recording. This doesn't mean your computer is too slow to handle Anywhere, but the more tabs and other applications you have open, the more likely you are to experience this.
To understand why this happens, let's have a really quick look at how the operating system lets you run more than one app at once.
- Your computer will, every second, run a little bit of code from every app you're running - giving them a small quota to do some 'work'. It will decide how to divide up the time, so software that is running with a higher "priority" will be given more time to do work.
- Your computer sees your browser as a single app (or maybe a 'pool' of 3 or 4 apps that work together). You can see all of these under the Details tab in Task Manager.
- When the browser is given its quota, it tries to split this up across all of the pages you have open. But not all tabs are equal and, almost always, priority goes to the one you have open at that given point in time.
This article assumes you're running Myriad Anywhere, or Myriad Anywhere Cloud, and already have these configured and working.
Myriad Anywhere is supported in browsers running on current versions of Windows, macOS and Linux. We strongly recommend running Myriad Anywhere on a computer with at least 8 gigabytes of RAM.
The Optimum Settings
The first recommendation to avoid stutter is to make sure you are not connected to the studio. In studio control mode, Anywhere puts more pressure on the graphics card and CPU, which can impact recording quality.
1. Basic settings
Let's take a look at the different settings you have for the Media Engine in Myriad Anywhere. Some of them may help you improve your performance.
To open the options window:
- Click on the blue Anywhere logo, and click Options.
- Click on the Media Engine Settings tab.
The following values are recommended:
- Reduced Animations
Anywhere's interface has many subtle animations. By turning these off, the GPU doesn't have to re-render the web page as often.
- Do you want to use shorter recording buffers?
This setting lets you configure how many milliseconds of audio Anywhere will record at a time. By default, it will pick 'use longer buffers', and we recommend this option on lower to modestly-powerful computers.
- When should Peak Files be generated?
Choose "Generate after".
The 'wave' showing your recording updates several times a second. This may not be supported on all hardware, so setting Peak Files to be generated after a recording will improve performance.
- Do you want to use the new recording engine?
Myriad Anywhere v5.23 introduces our new recording engine. If your browser is up-to-date, the new recording engine will give you improved reliability when recording for almost all users.
- Use browser audio enhancements
Although the enhancements it provides (like automatic gain control, and noise reduction) are good, it makes Anywhere more susceptible to buffer issues.
2. Buffer Issues ("Stuttering")
If, with the new recording engine turned on, you experience stuttering or audio artefacts when recording, you may be hitting a bottleneck elsewhere. This means that the computer doesn't have enough of a particular resource (e.g. CPU, GPU, RAM) to be able to do everything within a few-millisecond deadline, which can lead to audio drop-outs.
Buffer issues come in many shapes and sizes, but almost every time our support team has investigated someone experiencing the issue, it is caused by the browser. Browsers don't have a good mechanism for determining what open pages should have priority, but we discuss rolling our own in the next step.
To immediately rule a hardware-related issue in/out, you can make a simultaneous recording in a bit of free software (e.g. Audacity), or your audio editor of choice. If the stuttering is only present in Myriad Anywhere, this indicates that the browser is the bottleneck.
You might not think Graphics Card when thinking about digital audio. As browsers are incredibly complex bits of software, even audio processing is - to an extend - dependent on your graphics processor. As graphics hardware improves so much faster than other bits of computer hardware, older devices can struggle to keep up. By closing any programs which generate a lot of graphics, video players, and other web applications, this can be overcome.
3. Giving Myriad Anywhere Priority
As we've established, Anywhere may be competing with something else (another application, or even another tab) for resources.
Even though there is no way to tell the operating system to give a particular tab priority, there are a few tricks we can use to work around this:
- Open Myriad Anywhere in it's own browser window
- Increase the browser application's priority
3a. Open Myriad Anywhere in its own browser window
It's often convenient to be switching mid recording to another tab with something useful on it (for example, a Google Doc or a weather or news site), however this can lead to significant performance issues.
If you open Anywhere in a new window, instead of in a new tab, it will perform better. This is because the browser treats tabs and windows differently. If the browser knows a page isn't visible (specifically, if you have another tab selected), it will gradually slow it down - but switching between a window for Anywhere and a window for your general browsing stops this happening.
3b. Open Myriad Anywhere in a different browser from your usual browser
Install another web browser on your PC, and use it to log into Myriad Anywhere. For example, if you use Google Chrome, install Mozilla Firefox.
How does this work? As we explained at the start, your Operating System will give each app a set amount of time to do its work. This means that, instead of competing alongside the other tabs you have open for a fraction of a fraction, you don't have this competition.
On older computers, this option usually provides the best results.
3c. Increasing the browser applications Priority
If you're running Myriad Anywhere in its own browser, you can safely nudge up its priority on Windows computers. Open Task Manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC). Under the details tab, right click on your browser, and increase the priority to Above Normal or Higher. This may reset each time you close and re-open the browser, so you should check the next time you load your browser
4. Reduce the number of open tabs
If you're still having issues, you may have more tabs open than your computer can handle.
If your computer has less than 8 gigabytes of RAM, browsers tend to become very sluggish very quickly - compared to computers that do.
If the steps above do not help resolve a stuttering issue, you can always call or email Technical Support.