Old 30th December 2010, 12:19   #1
darklord
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Winamp noisy playback

Hello

since few days I have a problem with Winamp and some other softwares. I do not think that Winamp itself is the problem but maybe you know what is going wrong (with the DirectSound plugin).

I have connected three audio devices to my system:
- The onboard sound (Asus P5KR, Realtek HD Audio - in the meantime relaced by a Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium, but the problem persists) for everyday use and so it is the main device in the Windows audio settings.
- A Digidesign Mbox 2 Pro for recording
- A Blackmagic Decklink (because I need the SDI interface and the driver also brings it's own audio capability).

Windows version is XP Professional SP3.

Some days ago, I installed CD Burner XP to do some tests with my Bluray recorder. Since then (CD Burner XP already uninstalled) I have the following problems:
- Winamp 5.572 is very noisy. I always used the DirectSound plugin with no problems before. Cure for the symptoms was to switch on "Create primary buffer" or to switch over to the WaveOut Plugin
- VLC is very noisy and the sound stutters (audio frames are swapped so it jumps forward and backward for some milliseconds). There was no cure for the symptons on the onboard sound, on the X-Fi, it at least works again with the WaveOut mode (normally, VLC also worked on DirectSound

Google revealed somebody else having the same problem (Winamp noisy, VLC and iTunes - I don't use iTunes - noisy and stuttering), but no solution.

As said, it is only a cure for the symptoms, not for the problem itself, to switch the parameters. And I know it was working before. The only modification I did was to install CD Burner XP.

Obviously something digged into DirectSound, but could you assume what and how to fix this?

Thanks in advance

Volker
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Old 30th December 2010, 20:44   #2
Batter Pudding
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What kind of "noise" are you getting? Crackles? Static? Buzzing? Fadeouts? Is it constant or changing? Does it change with any recognisable pattern? Does the noise also appear in recordings?

I know "noise" is hard to describe, but give it a go. Different noises come from different sources.


1\ Test with headphones in both the front and rear sockets on the PC. I have read about some very different quality of that front headphone socket compared with the rear. (Especially when you take cheap cases and bad wiring into account)

2\ How old is your power supply? And when did you last clear the dust from it? Failing power supplies can and do add noise to a system. That is just before they die... Could especially be relevant if you have lots of "extra" kit in that PC or running from USB power.

3\ Talking of dust - I assume it is nice and clean in the case? Overheating can cause all kinds of weird problems.

4\ Check exactly where your audio cables are sitting behind the PC. Make sure they are separated from other cables - especially mains cables. Also check for breaks in cables, weak points, broken jacks, etc.

5\ Think it is software \ settings related? I find installing the latest KLite Mega Codec Pack can often help chase out those broken codecs and settings. http://www.free-codecs.com/download/...codec_pack.htm
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Old 30th December 2010, 21:39   #3
darklord
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CPU temperature 35°C (Q6600 2.4@3.0, Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev2), Mainboard 38°C, Hard drives 38, 31 and 36°C
Voltage: 1.34 CPU, PSU 3.26V, 5.15V, 12.10V (Tagan TG-430U15 Easycon)
Any further questions? ;-)
Temperatures and voltages permanently monitored by Asus Monitor and Dtemp.

Obviously, something hit DirectSound.
I now also tried out iTunes (as described by the other one having the same problem I googled) and some DirectX games. iTunes and e.g. Ghostbusters have stuttering sound. Others run good.

It seems, DirectSound does something like resampling and it does it wrong.
In Winamp, it is a constant noise, slightly pumping depending on the played-back content. Also you can clearly hear high frequencies missing. It is exactly what the "Create primary buffer" Checkbox should avoid on ISA soundcards.
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Old 31st December 2010, 10:56   #4
Batter Pudding
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Ah - good. Hardware can be eliminated then as you sound like you know what you are doing. Nice bits of kit those Tagan's, I have one in an old PC here.

I use CD Burner XP Pro on my Vista 64-bit PC, so can't see that it was directly caused by that program.

Have you tried installing KLite from that link? It does hunt for broken codec problems and repairs them.

I assume you have dug around the Sound control panels in Windows? Made sure speaker count is set correctly, etc.
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