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Topic Title: Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops
Topic Summary: Audio channel is getting corrupted
Created On: 11/20/2020 04:59 PM
Status: Post and Reply
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 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - petemarconi - 11/20/2020 04:59 PM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - Stephan Kuepper - 11/23/2020 05:48 AM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - Mav - 11/23/2020 06:15 AM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - Stephan Kuepper - 11/24/2020 02:44 AM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - Mav - 11/24/2020 03:01 AM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - petemarconi - 11/25/2020 12:01 PM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - Mav - 11/26/2020 04:56 AM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - PG LTU - 11/25/2020 12:19 PM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - petemarconi - 11/26/2020 03:07 PM  
 Dragon and Citrix Virtual Desktops   - Stephan Kuepper - 11/27/2020 04:58 AM  
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 11/20/2020 04:59 PM
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petemarconi
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I am using Dragon Professional Individual installed in a Citrix virtual desktop (dedicated VM not Sever Terminal Services) which means it should look like a Windows 10 PC to Dragon. I know thousands of our customers are Dragon Medical users within the Citrix environment but I believe those are typically Dragon Enterprise.

I am noticing some strange behavior with my audio channels when using Dragon in this environment. After a period of time the audio microphone gets "corrupted" and becomes unintelligible for Dragon. I have verified this multiple times by launching Audacity and verifying that the audio channel is hard to interpret as it is now full of static. I am worried that this is our (Citrix) problem and would like to get to the root cause of why this is happening before some customer experiences it.

1. Has anyone successfully used Dragon Professional in a virtualized environment?

2. Does anyone have any engineering contacts at Nuance that I might approach. Trying to go through their customer support has been mindnumbing.

I have attached an audio file which illustrates my issue. The yeti microphone was being used by Dragon.

Thank you for any help that you can provide or any suggestions you might have.

Peter Marconi

VP, Engineering

Citrix Systems 




 11/23/2020 05:48 AM
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Stephan Kuepper
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You're lucky that you could even install DPI on a Citrix virtual desktop since this is not officially supported (it is not even for Dragon Medical). DPI is consumer grade software, and not many consumer environments have a Citrix infrastructure. Hence, you won't find anyone even willing to answer your question - the customer support probably thinks that Citrix is a cartoon character, and those who know will just tell you that the configuration is not supported.

I'd love to help you but my own knowledge of how networks work is limited so all I can do is try and point you in the (hopefully) right direction:

If the audio file was created in Audacity, that just goes to prove that the sound issue is not Dragon-related. I've seen (or rather heard) similar issues before: once with a faulty network switch, once with the audio buffer not flushed; and I can't recall the others.

Hope that helps, Stephan

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www.egs-vertrieb.de - www.spracherkennungscloud.de

 11/23/2020 06:15 AM
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Mav
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Hi!

 

Apart from what Stephan wrote, my impression of VDI performance with audio redirection is not that great at all.

 

Citrix performs audio redirection by providing a virtual audio device in your session and Dragon is using this virtual audio device instead of your physical hardware on the client machine.

 

In order to get audio recorded from your physical device to the virtual device on the server, the Citrix client opens your local audio system once the virtual one on the server is to be opened, records audio packages, compresses them and sends them over the network to your server.

 

On the server, the audio packages are uncompressed and then fed into the virtual audio device to be used by the client application (Dragon or Audacity in your case).

 

The network transfer of audio data is quite fragile, though.

 

If you use UDP, packages can get lost and thus corrupt your audio stream.

If you use TCP, you get delays in your audio stream if a package has to be retransmitted, which is equally disruptive with realtime data and limited buffer sizes on both sides.

 

While I agree with Stephan that Nuance won't be of any help here, I suggest you get yourself someone with good Citrix and network infrastructure experience and equipment and try to fix your network, because this is the cause for 99.9% of all problems with audio redirection.

 

hth,

mav

 11/24/2020 02:44 AM
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Stephan Kuepper
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Hi Mav, if it's true that he's the VP of Engineering at Citrix, he should be just the right man for the task :-)

Cheers, Stephan

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www.egs-vertrieb.de - www.spracherkennungscloud.de

 11/24/2020 03:01 AM
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Mav
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Oh, I didn't see this.

In that case I'm really surprised that he's not aware how audio redirection in Citrix works and what the pitfalls are...

 

mav

 11/25/2020 12:01 PM
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petemarconi
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In fact, I am very aware of how audio redirection works as I led the HDX team for five years!.

The audio file demonstrates that the audio virtual channels are working just fine as the audacity recording shows that the recording is clear, but then something happens were the channel gets into a state of static mixed in with the voice. When the audio virtual channel is in a "good" state Dragon recognition is very good but then something causes the virtual channel to "go bad" and Dragon cannot recognize much of anything.

This is a dedicated virtual machine, not a virtual session. This is the same as RDP'ing to a physical computer, but instead using Citrix ICA.

 

 11/26/2020 04:56 AM
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Mav
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Originally posted by: petemarconi In fact, I am very aware of how audio redirection works as I led the HDX team for five years!.

Yes, sorry, I didn't read your signature because the vast majority of users asking such questions are not aware that using any VDI involves lots of tiny cogs which can fail...

 

Nevertheless I'm puzzled about your question.

Citrix HDX Audio is responsible for simulating a Windows audio system for arbitrary applications, correct?

Each application can use a different audio interface (waveio, DirectSound, WASAPI, you name it) and can expect HDX Audio to behave like a real audio system would - that's the whole point in interface abstraction.

 

So if an application performs some actions with the audio interface which work fine when a physical audio device is being used but somehow "crash" HDX Audio then it's not the application to blame, don't you think?

 

While I don't know which audio interface Dragon uses in a given version and also don't know if they check for HDX audio and behave diffently if a virtual audio device is being present, as an insider for Citrix HDX audio it should be a lot easier for you to get some reliable information from looking at the client-side API calls on your VM than for us to make some more or less educated guesses about the black box HDX audio is for us.

 

Regards,

mav

 11/25/2020 12:19 PM
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PG LTU
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Is it the same though?

RDP'ing into a physical computer requires that a Group edition be installed on the remote PC (and Dragon is not even needed on your local desktop or device, just an audio source to redirect to the remote one). DPI does not support that. There are folks here who have tried DPI on VMs, but I don't know who succeeds. When I've done it with VirtualBox and VMWare, I am using DPG and it works fine. I once used a Citrix (I think ICA or Receiver) for remote access at a client and it was well supported back around vers. 11 or 13 (but again, using a Professional edition, not individual).

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PG





Remember folks, my comments and this forum are for entertainment value only, please, no wagering or other reliance on the contents herein.  I permit no commercial use of my ideas (whether expressions or embodiments) without my written consent.

 11/26/2020 03:07 PM
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petemarconi
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thank you for your thoughts. I'll try DPG to see if it behaves differently
 11/27/2020 04:58 AM
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Stephan Kuepper
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I should think DPG performs better - as I said, DPI isn't meant to be used in virtual environments and may therefore be subject to restrictions.

Looking forward to new findings, Stephan

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www.egs-vertrieb.de - www.spracherkennungscloud.de

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