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Windows 7: "Static sound" problem; out of ideas to solve/fix

04 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
"Static sound" problem; out of ideas to solve/fix

Hi guys, this has been something I've trying to solve for a little while and frankly I'm about ready to admit defeat. I must admit to reading a few threads on here that seem to pertain to similar issues, but as of yet I've been unable to solve this issue despite days and days of troubleshooting. I'd like to consider myself pretty computer literate (don't like the phrase) but the deeper technical side eludes me at times, so apologies in advance if I seem clueless ('cause I'm not! :P).

Also, I'm not sure if it's the right kind of etiquette to outright sign up to this site with the sole intention of solving an issue, but after lurking for a couple of days in a few threads it really does seem that there are a lot of extremely knowledgeable/helpful members, so it seemed a no-brainer to try and find some help.

I made a thread on a site relevant to the software I'm using (where my general issue is important) explaining everything, so if you click the link and read up what I've found so far, it's easier than repeating myself:

(sorry if this counts as advertising? It just seems easier than copy and pasting mine and another person's posts into here)

In short, my theory is the issue is either Astro MixAmp (click for image) related or maybe a driver issue, and I'm leaning towards Flash, given I swear I can sometimes hear it when PC games are loading and there's no game audio. As far as I'm aware, my audio drivers are up to date. So, yeah, thanks for taking the time to read the link if you can. It's a weird one.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

If you would just post your problem on here and not link to other sites, it would be much better. Linking and having someone try to read other sites is not the best way. I read your post, but refuse to go all over the web to see what is actually going on with your PC.

All I know is you have a static problem, nothing else. Sorry if this is direct and to the point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Fair enough. Figured it'd be easier as I was bouncing ideas off another person, but I'll post what I know here, then:

Basically, I'm using a piece of software called XSplit. It's recording/streaming software that I use for capturing console gameplay. This "static sound" issue really hampers the quality of my recordings (and to an extent, my streams). I've done a bit of research on the issue and it seems like it's not totally uncommon, but some of the solutions I've tried haven't helped me personally, so to avoid further frustration I figured I'd make my own support thread to try and resolve it efficiently.

So basically, what I've managed to narrow down (I think) is that this sound issue only really occurs when XSplit is open). As soon as I open the software I can hear it. This wouldn't be so bad if it was just me, as when you factor in gameplay sound/Skype, etc. it overwhelms it on my end. HOWEVER, when recording it is much more substantial and you simply can't help but notice it. It really lowers the quality of whatever I record.

The general consensus seems to be this issue is driver related, so I've tried to update my sound card drivers but it doesn't seem to have affected it at all. As far as I'm aware my sound card is on-board, and I have an ASUS P7P55D motherboard. I googled sound drivers for my Mobo and found this page and I downloaded the software it had:

Basically the software has loads of mixers, etc. but it seems to have updated my audio drivers as well, as far as I can tell, anyway.

Further information: I only record console gameplay at this time (Xbox 360 and PS3) and I've taken to trying to use XSPlit's local recording feature, as it's useful for recording my cam and voice at the same time without having to edit it in later. Plus, the capture card I use - Black Magic Design Intensity Pro - is extremely intensive in terms of file size. Recording just through the native software (Media Express) is literally like 1gb a minute at best, so XSplit is more convenient for long record times!

Headset wise, I use Astro A40s (2011 ed.) with the wired MixAmp (picture in the OP if you're unfamiliar; basically I have a 3.5mm jack for both my mic and sound going into this MixAmp from my PC, then a headset goes into this Amp; my console is connected to it via Optical for listening purposes, but everything is recorded through HDMI via my capture card).

Finally, here's a quick clip of the issue so you can hear exactly what it is. I've turned it up a little in Sony Vegas to make it more obvious, as YouTube can make things a bit quieter and it was hard to hear. But when I'm editing/playing back my footage, it seems much more prevalent. This'll give you a good idea of what I'm dealing with anyway, I hope.

XSplit Problem loud - YouTube

I recorded nothing else to keep the issue obvious.


Some extra info:

I have a theory that maybe it's to do with Flash Drivers? In the middle of a PC game, if I pause the game and turn my MixAmp master volume to max I can hear a similar kinda sound but it's not as obvious. Hard to say for sure.

There's always a very slight sound if I turn my volume on my MixAmp up, but it's nothing like the actual "static" that I hear when I open XSplit. When I open the program, it starts, and it goes back to "normal" once I close it. I've tried looking in the volume mixer and none of my programs seem to be showing any audio levels when I can quite clearly hear the sound, so it's rather strange in that aspect.

Reinstalling the software, nor updating it to the latest version, solve the issue, so I'm pretty sure it's driver related. The "static sound" definitely occurs when XSplit is open. I think the driver in question is potentially Flash, as sometimes I swear I can hear a much less obvious version of the "static" with flash player videos/images open in my browser.


Screenshot of my audio stuff:

So far I've tried disabling the known devices that I don't use (although I've always disabled the MixAmp as an input so that it only takes the 3.5mm input rather than USB, which is higher quality)

Before making this post I completely unplugged all the cables from the MixAmp so it wasn't plugged into anything and the issue was still there. I've played back two clips constantly (one with the Amp in, one without) to try and tell if it's changed anything, but it's unclear. Potentially the static is a LITTLE less prevalent with the Amp unplugged, but it's not enough to make me sure that it's the issue, given the sound comes and goes most obviously when XSplit is opened or closed.

Since taking those screenshots, every input/output is disabled that I do not use.

I'm fairly certain that my audio drivers are up to date, but the most likely solution to similar issues from my research is that having audio drivers completely up to date solves the issue. Again, to reiterate, my personal theory is that this is Flash related somehow, potentially a conflict? Flash is up to date, Firefox is my main browser, though I do also use Chrome on occasion. From looking at other threads, I'm aware that Chrome uses its own Flash player which may cause a conflict? But I'm not sure.

Hope this is enough information. Sorry for the giant wall of text. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Aug 2013   #4

Windows 10 64 bit

I have a recording studio, so I deal with audio and its problems daily.

This appears to be an application specific issue. From your description not all audio has static. Normally, the Stereo Mix should be set as the default recording device then any input that is heard on the PC's speakers should be able to be recorded by whatever device. As a test, if you haven't done it, set the Stereo Mix as default recording device and record some streaming audio from the internet and see if any noise is heard in that. I don't know about your Xsplit, if that would record or not. May be better to use a recording program such as the free (and popular) Audacity recording program for the test. This should tell you whether its a basic PC problem or definitely the Xsplit application.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #5

Windows 10 64 bit

Added, after listening to the audio clip, that is what sound is like if the input signal is very low and a amplifier is trying to amplify it, and it amplifies the (white) noise too. A louder (higher level) input signal is needed, judging from that clip.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

A friend who is pretty good with audio (his line of work) had this to say regarding the clip:

Sounds like audio signal from a microphone with the gain up and/or internal noise from your computer. Double check your mic inputs/outputs in the program and check it's not defaulting to the mic source instead of your speaker playback for audio recording.
I must admit to ignorance when it comes to that sort of thing, but it seems you both would agree?


I've used Audacity in the past for recording my voice. Just tested it with Stereo Mix set as default recording both iTunes and a YouTube video and I couldn't detect any of the "static" I hear with XSplit open.

I tried recording the sound that I hear with XSplit open through Audacity out of interest, but it seems it's too low to pick up on a recording (when I record within XSplit itself - or when I just have the software open - it's certainly audible to me).

From your last post, are you suggesting that I increase the input volume of something?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2013   #7

Windows 10 64 bit

Yes, the volume level from the source to the PC needs to be raised. Its very low and you are mostly getting "noise".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Sorry if I'm being stupid here, but by source do you mean my Capture Card? As in my playback the speaker set for that is on max already. On that note, just as an added bit of info, if I record from my capture card with its native software, I don't get issues like this at all. It's only when I have the XSplit software open that the sound starts and gets recorded.

What volumes specifically do I need to change? As I think I've raised the relevant ones.

Edit: Could purchasing a separate soundcard (either internal/external) help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2013   #9

Windows 10 64 bit

I have no idea how you are getting the signal to the Xsplit.

For example, if I try to record an electric guitar direct, into my PC, the volume level out of the guitar is too low (its called instrument level) for proper operation and what is recorded will be noisy, similar to your example. However, if I amplify the guitar signal with a preamplifier up to "line level" (what the PC sound card inputs (both Line and mic) are then there is adequate signal for proper operation and the noise is not an issue. This can also be referenced to "Signal to Noise" ratio. If the signal is very low, compared to the inherent noise in the PC's sound card amplifier, there is a large Signal to Noise ratio and there will be more noise. If the signal (audio) is much higher then its a lower signal to noise ratio (more even) and the signal overrides the noise level.

Here is more on S/N Ratio from Wikipedia:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Okay, I understand that a lot better now. I guess if I try and explain my set-up, it may help.


Video game console connected via HDMI to my capture card (in a PCI-Express slot), then out of the capture card into my TV. The capture card on my PC basically acts as a pass-through. I need to have either the native capture software open or a similar program like XSplit open to actually display anything on my TV.

Because the cap card is in my PC, all of the sound from the console comes through like anything else on the PC would.

My sound set-up, as touched on in the OP, is through an AstroGaming MixAmp, with the A40 headset. The Amp looks like this:!291339322.jpg

I have a 3.5mm jack going from each of the MP3 and Mic sections to the rear panel of my PC to cater for my PC sound. The Amp is powered by USB (though I removed the optional Battery recently as I thought that might have been the cause for static). I use the Optical connection to my console (for sound when I'm not recording anything). Then of course the headset just goes into the Amp itself on the other end.

One idea I had was that it was actually something to do with the Amp causing the issue, but I took every single cable out of the Amp and recorded and I could still hear it. It really is baffling to be honest; the way you've described how the sound would be created makes sense but as far as I can tell my audio inputs that I'd use are all set to high levels, so I don't know how else I could alter it.

Picture of the XSPlit software:

Basically I add the capture card as a "source", so it picks everything up directly from it. I then control the audio levels of my Microphone and the Game Audio and my general PC audio (it captures WHATEVER is playing on my PC, i.e. Skype, music, etc.).

(thanks for continued effort in solving this; much appreciated, mate)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Static sound" problem; out of ideas to solve/fix

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