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Windows 7: Seemingly random audio crackling/popping


08 Jun 2012   #1
Smurfferdid

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Seemingly random audio crackling/popping

Lately I've been having a problem where my audio snaps and pops. It's not constant but it can get pretty noticeable. Especially on more calm music. It occurs while any audio is playing. Skype calls, Youtube videos, songs, video games. Anything. At first I had thought it was simply because my headphones were getting old worn out, but when I switched to new headphones the crackling and popping still occured.

Looking at some old forum posts here from 2009 I downloaded a tool called DPC Latency Checker. Ran it, and then started disabling and enabling devices one by one in device manager. Running normally there's an alternating pattern Where it will be down towards ~130 then suddenly spike to ~2500 and back down again. Back and forth.

After nothing having any real logical affect on this I noticed something weird when I disabled a program I use called Virtual Audio Cable, for streaming purposes. Suddenly the latency jumped to the high 14,000's and stayed there. Then after re-enabling VAC, the latency continued to stay in the high 14,000's. I can't seem to replicate whatever happened there.

My BIOS is up to date, my sound card drivers are up to date, and really, I hadn't changed anything prior to this problem starting in order to cause it. If anyone has any idea on how to help, please. This is driving me nuts.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #2
fireberd

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

Please fill in the My System Specs - we can only guess and talk in generalities without it.

If you look over the many posts on this forum (and other forums) about the popping and crackling you will see its an often reported problem.

There is no "one fix" for this, however there are some things that are known to cause it (and high latency). Wireless controllers (wi-fi) are one known cause. A user on the Sonar (recording software) forum reported getting spikes and high latency as shown with the DPC Latency checker. His problem turned out to the the wireless adapter (controller) and as soon as he disabled it his problem went away.

Video drivers and sound drivers are another issue.

That Virtual Audio Cable sets up virtual audio devices and that can be a prime issue. You should have a "System Mixer" (could also be called Stereo Mix and what SoundBlaster calls "What You Hear") and these functions will allow you to record streaming audio.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #3
Smurfferdid

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I apologize, I thought I had already updated that info. It's all filled out now though.

As you can see I do have a bulldozer processor, which is known to cause issues even with "compatible" motherboards like mine. But this sound issue is new, and persisted even after I've updated my BIOS to the most recent f9.

As far as I can tell I can't really disable my wireless adapter, since then I wouldn't have internet whatsoever. I did, however, disable a "Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller" in my device manager, but it offered no change in the latency or audio popping.

I know my setup doesn't really show it, but I'm a bit of an audiophile. Any help you can provide with this new information would be amazing.

Also; I apologize if I'm sounding clueless, but that's mostly because I am. this computer was put together for me. I thought I was taking great care of it and working around all the kinks but I supposed I'm not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #4
Smurfferdid

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Also, I forgot to add that my Stereo Mix doesn't actually seem to work right... it's enabled but if I set it as the input audio device in FMLE it doesn't actually output anything. That's an issue for another time though.

For now I've uninstalled VAC so it should no longer be a factor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #5
fireberd

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

I'm building a new system for my Recording Studio (I use Sonar X1 and Pro Tools), so I'm into audio too.

For testing, disable the wireless controller and see if it makes a difference. One thing at a time to see if it changes or fixes the problem.

My new recording system is ASRock Z77 Professional motherboard, i7 3770 CPU, OCZ liquid cooler, OXZ Vertex 4 128GB SATA III SSD, 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive, OCZ 750 watt modular power supply and Corsair Carbide 500R case. The ASRock motherboard had a problem and its been RMA'd to newegg for a replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #6
Smurfferdid

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Sonar is a neat piece of software, I got to use it at school once. It seems to have a lot of versatility.

Anyways - I disabled the wireless controller and there was no change in the latency or the audio popping (The "Realtek PCIe Family controller" under "network" is the wireless controller, correct? Cause that's what I disabled. The only other things there is my hamchi network, the tunngle network, and my wireless adapter. All of which I've tried disabling to no avail.)

Would it be helpful to you if I were to post a screencap of my DPC Latency checker?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #7
ionbasa

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Smurfferdid View Post
Sonar is a neat piece of software, I got to use it at school once. It seems to have a lot of versatility.

Anyways - I disabled the wireless controller and there was no change in the latency or the audio popping (The "Realtek PCIe Family controller" under "network" is the wireless controller, correct? Cause that's what I disabled. The only other things there is my hamchi network, the tunngle network, and my wireless adapter. All of which I've tried disabling to no avail.)

Would it be helpful to you if I were to post a screencap of my DPC Latency checker?
on board audio is known to have numerous issues with interference. This is most likely the motherboards fault/ onboard audio because of trace design on the PCB. This is a common issue.

Best fix would be to buy a dedicated PCIe sound card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #8
Smurfferdid

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Is there any sort of hot fix for this problem? And what would a prices estimate be on the sound card? I'm afraid I'm a bit broke at the moment.

Regardless, thank you so much for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #9
Smurfferdid

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Is there any sort of hot fix for this problem? And what would a price estimate be on the sound card? I'm afraid I'm a bit broke at the moment.

Regardless, thank you so much for your help.

Edit: apologies for the double post. I had thought I was editing the s away from prices but I was actually in reply mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #10
ionbasa

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Smurfferdid View Post
Is there any sort of hot fix for this problem? And what would a price estimate be on the sound card? I'm afraid I'm a bit broke at the moment.

Regardless, thank you so much for your help.

Edit: apologies for the double post. I had thought I was editing the s away from prices but I was actually in reply mode.
That depends on what pcie/pci slots you have available right now. after looking up you motherboard on google it seems thta with a gpu installed you will have access to 2 legacy PCI and 2 PCIE 1x.
If you want the pcie 1x i would recommend :
Newegg.com - ASUS Xonar DGX 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Gaming Audio Card

If you want the PCI I would go for:
Newegg.com - ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Audio Card
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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