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Windows 7: Sound crackling is driving me insane.


26 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Sound crackling is driving me insane.

Based on my research, I appear to be another victim of windows 7 sound glitches. My specific problem seems to only happen when playing music. Or, at least, I have yet to truly notice it while playing a game or watching video. I've been trying to find a solution for a couple of weeks, including reading several posts on this forum, and I have only just now found a potential solution (though not an ideal solution, in my opinion).

First, the basics. I just built a new PC using almost entirely new parts. My old set up used windows 7 32 bit, but almost entirely the same software otherwise. I never had this problem before. Here's what I have now:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
AMD Phenom 965 Deneb 3.4 ghz
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1gb
4 gigs of ram
ASUS M4N75TD with integrated VIA VT1708S

A few other details can be found in my profile, but that's probably the important stuff for now.

I have been using this Mp3 to test this out (you can download it for free), because for some reason I seem to notice it on this song more than others: Camphor - Enjoy The Struggle | RCRD LBL | Free MP3 Downloads . I'm certain it's not that song, however, as I often notice it on anything else that I play, and never noticed it on that song until recently.

I also have a sound blaster audigy 2 zs, which I installed after first noticing the problem (I was originally intending to just leave it in my old pc). I tried it with the latest drivers from creative, as well as the audigy series support pack, found on this forum, using the cleanest installs and uninstalls that I know how to do. Neither worked, and the card annoys me (Seriously, no front jacks on any creative cards? Silliness), so I decided to just keep using my integrated card.

I've tried disabling as many background processes as I can. I've disabled microsoft security essentials. I watch audiodg.exe in the resource manager, but it never uses more than 12mb of ram, and even when doing typical web surfing and listening, my CPU usage rarely seems to go over 50%, and usually idles much lower.

One post suggested that windows 7 prioritizes network processes over audio processes. This could potentially be my issue. I'm using an outdated linksys wireless adapter, Linksys by Cisco - WUSB54G Support , which I unfortunately discovered does not work with 64 bit windows. (I assumed I would have no issues since it worked so well in win 7 32 bit). It is currently working for me thanks to this driver: Linksys WUSB54G V4 Driver Download for Windows 7 x64 bit & Vista | Social Web, Small Business Marketing & IBM . All networking seems to be working fine.

To attempt to rule this out, I disconnected the adapter, rebooted, and listened. It didn't help. I know it doesn't completely rule it out, but I can't quite think of any other way to test this without too much fiddling and uninstalling. I would personally prefer not to have to buy a new adapter, unless I absolutely have to.



Now, I did say that I have found a potential solution. My preferred player is Winamp, but to troubleshoot, I tried everything I have installed that can play music. Windows Media Player has glitches... but Media Player Classic does not seem to. At all. I recently installed AIMP 2 as suggested on another site, and playback seems to be fine in this program, too. I just... don't like the program. I like winamp . I suppose I might be willing to give up winamp, which I have been using for YEARS, if that is the only solution. However, I was hoping the lovely people of this forum could help me figure out a more preferred solution. Sorry to go on for so long .


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

If you don't use 'Line-In' try muting that. It got rid of a hissing problem for me a while back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

Try booting in your bios and check the pci latency timer from what i read alot of crackling and hissing noiSe can come from to high of a setting try lowering the pci latency and see what happens
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Does Winamp have built in effects? (I use the old WinAmp Classic 2.95)
Perhaps it is one of the plugins that Winamp uses or.... that it needs to be set to the correct driver mode.. which is not "direct sound output" but rather "waveOutput".

The difference in some media players might depend on the output driver model they're using.

Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

A couple of comments. (1) Wireless cards and connections have been known to cause popping and crackling in sound. Also cordless phones and cell phones near the PC and/or Speakers.

(2) The Audigy 2 ZS is an old sound card. The "retail" version of the card did not have the connections for the front panel (and the ATX connections standards were not set yet). The Dell custom version of the card that Dell sold as an option did have front panel connection but it was a Dell proprietary connection. All SoundBlaster sound cards, now, have the ATX standard front panel connection on the card. If your case is a standard ATX case it will have the cable and connector(s) for this.

(3) there have been issues with SOME systems that have over 3 GB of RAM causing noise problems in audio. This was mainly in early SoundBlaster Xfi cards and SoundBlaster eventually issued a driver that fixed it. However, as the popping crackling noise problems can have many different caused, temporarily remove some memory so you have 3GB or less and then see if you have the noise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thank you all for your suggestions.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rap33042
If you don't use 'Line-In' try muting that. It got rid of a hissing problem for me a while back.
Doesn't appear to have any effect. :\

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Solarstarshines
Try booting in your bios and check the pci latency timer from what i read alot of crackling and hissing noiSe can come from to high of a setting try lowering the pci latency and see what happens
I've never had a motherboard with as many options in the bios as this one, but even a after a thorough search, I can't seem to find this setting or anything that sounded remotely close to this. I will look again, though.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aphelion
Does Winamp have built in effects? (I use the old WinAmp Classic 2.95)
Perhaps it is one of the plugins that Winamp uses or.... that it needs to be set to the correct driver mode.. which is not "direct sound output" but rather "waveOutput".

The difference in some media players might depend on the output driver model they're using.
Though I haven't tried switching between direct sound and waveoutput, my installations of winamp tend to be bare-minimum of the features that I want (one reason I love winamp--custom installation). The thought occurred to me, though the one thing that kept me from testing it at the time was the description of waveoutput as "outdated" in the preferences. That doesn't mean it isn't worth testing...

The problem also exists with Windows Media Player. I wonder what they might have in common to cause this.

Though, if using and older version of Winamp is a possible solution, I may just stick with it. I always did like the older versions...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd
A couple of comments. (1) Wireless cards and connections have been known to cause popping and crackling in sound. Also cordless phones and cell phones near the PC and/or Speakers.

(2) The Audigy 2 ZS is an old sound card. The "retail" version of the card did not have the connections for the front panel (and the ATX connections standards were not set yet). The Dell custom version of the card that Dell sold as an option did have front panel connection but it was a Dell proprietary connection. All SoundBlaster sound cards, now, have the ATX standard front panel connection on the card. If your case is a standard ATX case it will have the cable and connector(s) for this.

(3) there have been issues with SOME systems that have over 3 GB of RAM causing noise problems in audio. This was mainly in early SoundBlaster Xfi cards and SoundBlaster eventually issued a driver that fixed it. However, as the popping crackling noise problems can have many different caused, temporarily remove some memory so you have 3GB or less and then see if you have the noise.
1) As I said, I tested the issue with the wireless adapter unplugged completely from the computer. The router is in another room probably some 20 feet away. It's possible that my cell phone has been causing trouble, as it is often on my desk, but not near my speakers, or subwoofer. I haven't done any testing with my phone, and it is often around the bedroom anyway. I will keep track of it, but this seems unlikely to me, considering my set up.

It looks as though I forgot to mention that this problem occurs on both my headphones and speakers, so it seems unlikely to me that my wireless adapter, which is near my speakers (but not the subwoofer), would be causing this issue while using headphones, which it is nowhere near.

2) K. Anyway, like I said, I wasn't intending to use that card with this build. I had only put it in because I thought there was an issue with the integrated card--since that wasn't the issue, I simply took out the Audigy card. I don't consider it a loss.

3) I do have 4 gigs, so I suppose this could be an issue. Does this only happen with sound blaster cards? Because as I said, I'm currently using my integrated sound. This may be worth testing next time I crack open the case, if I haven't yet solved the issue. Though what's the fun of 64bit windows if I can't use 4gigs or more of ram?


Thanks again for the comments. I'll be sure to post if I get this thing figured out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Vicious Parker View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions.
Though I haven't tried switching between direct sound and waveoutput, my installations of winamp tend to be bare-minimum of the features that I want (one reason I love winamp--custom installation). The thought occurred to me, though the one thing that kept me from testing it at the time was the description of waveoutput as "outdated" in the preferences. That doesn't mean it isn't worth testing...

The problem also exists with Windows Media Player. I wonder what they might have in common to cause this.
What they have in common is both will be using the Direct Sound driver, that's why I suggested trying out the waveOut option.

Also, some have reported (me for one) that upgrading the motherboard with the latest BIOS nixed all audio glitches so unless you're running the latest BIOS, might give that a thought.


Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

good though, I'm surprised I hadn't considered it.

On it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #9

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

DPC Latency Checker <-- try that utility, if it spiked Red when it crackles - you have DPC latency issues. If so, open Device manager, click View -> Resource by Connection, scroll down, look for IRQ, now search for things that shares an IRQ, post them here.

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Bios is already latest version. Shame.

I'm currently working on recreating the problem (like other posters, mine seems to get worse with time), so I'm playing a lot of different files with DPC latency Checker running. Just to save a little time later, if this does turn out to be the problem, here are the devices that share IRQ.

Edit: Crackling has started, and though they aren't consistent, there is definitely an increase in spikes on the DPC latency checker.


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 Sound crackling is driving me insane.




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