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Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Hello all,
Since Windows 10 update 1803 I have sound distortions with foobar2000 1.3.17. I use a Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Fatality Pro sound card, with latest available driver. Currently it seems like the problem only occurs with foobar2000, not with VLC, firefox, etc. I have already tried a clean reinstallation of Windows 10 1803. Same problem. Now I went back to Windows 10 1709 and everything is ok.

I don't know what causes this problem. Windows 10 1803, an outdated Creative soundblaster driver and/or how foobar2000 is programmed.
Does someone else have experienced problems?

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #1
It's Window 10 drivers.

I have a Asus Xonar card. Just have to wait for Microsoft fix.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #2
Today I updated again to Windows 10 1803 (this time update, no fresh install) and I am still fighting with sound distortions. It still seems like it only happends in foobar2000, VLC is working fine. I have seen similar user problems in the Creative forum with foobar. Even when this may be a driver problem, I still wonder why this happends in foobar and not in VLC.

*edit* Okay, this is really strange. When I let VLC play something and reduce the sound volume, foobar can play the sound correctly!
*edit 2* It even stays good, as long as VLC is opened - regardless whether the sound playing is entirely stopped!
I have seen reports about power management problems in Windows 10 regarding sound card/drivers. Could possible be a hint where the problems lies. I am investigating more now. This may help a lot of people.
*edit 3* Changing the output in Windows 10 to CD Quality almost fixes it completely for me regarding foobar playback: https://appuals-jvwu8xgofzysz.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/1-7.gif
I can't select anything in foobar -> output settings (greyed out), could help as well.
*edit 4* Sound is only ok, when changing the setting to CD Quality 16bit 44100Hz - still hear small crackling

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #3
24bit 44100Hz is also okay, everything else introduces huge crackling with foobar.
Sound quality seems best, while VLC is open as well. (small remaining crackling is gone) - even when Windows->sounds isn't changed to 44100. My first guess: Something related in foobar to power management, application/thread/idle priority.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #4
Something related to the joke which is named Windows 10 :)
Sorry, I couldn't help myself :) . Their products tend to create more and more problems with each new version. Office with stupid installer requiring writing XML code to choose which apps from packet you need, OS tile menu which sometimes stops responding with no option to recover, sound distortions after updates to new builds, automatic updates which interrupt time consuming operations like rendering (this was probably fixed), Windows Store not working for strange reasons... What else they can fcuk up in this wounded OS? Burn hardware components?

That's why I stuck to Windows 7. Stable enough, functional enough, configurable enough. And all apps that I need work there.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #5
Something related to the joke which is named Windows 10 :)
Sorry, I couldn't help myself :) . Their products tend to create more and more problems with each new version. Office with stupid installer requiring writing XML code to choose which apps from packet you need, OS tile menu which sometimes stops responding with no option to recover, sound distortions after updates to new builds, automatic updates which interrupt time consuming operations like rendering (this was probably fixed), Windows Store not working for strange reasons... What else they can fcuk up in this wounded OS? Burn hardware components?

That's why I stuck to Windows 7. Stable enough, functional enough, configurable enough. And all apps that I need work there.

Still I hope it will get investigated further fb2k technical wise. I am happy to provide more information as much as I can. I want to keep using fb2k, but I am not going to buy a new sound card.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #6
Yes I noticed this issue too.  It is strange for sure.  No matter what form of driver I use (Except ASIO), I get the same sound problems, across all sampling rates and bit depths.  However, ASIO drivers (Creative ASIO2 Native) produce flawless sound; Direct Sound is the worst offender.  I have an X-fi Fatality Championship Edition similar to yourself.  I'm not sure if this is isolated to Creative products only or not, or this series.

I have the same odd findings, having certain applications open at the same time as FB2K results in the distortions disappearing and perfect sound resumes (under ALL drivers), Especially when having OBS, VLC, or other media players active.  I don't know where the problem is, I've tested a lot of things and this seems to be an under the hood issue for Windows.

It's either a scheduler issue, MMCS issue, sampling rate management issue or any number of other issues.  It could be the drivers that windows reinstalled during the 1803 update, I have not reinstalled my custom drivers because it's a lot of work and since sound functions everywhere else in Windows fine, I don't think that is the right direction to go. 

The odd part is that I ONLY have this problem with FB2K output, all other media players and output files sound fine outside of FB2K, and if I use ASIO it's perfect, and if I have OBS or VLC open, it works perfectly (FB2K).  I would like to continue to use ASIO but I don't like the inability to fade and it doesn't work well with my production flow because the ASIO processing for the visuals and meters, is severely lagged and stuttery when processing the audio.  For example a spectrum analyzer will perform slowly and janky.  In DS mode it's fast and fine.  I need it to be "fine" because I capture a visualizer as part of my workflow, and under ASIO it looks like crap, but sounds like a dream.

Is this an issue the developer is aware of?  I'd love to send any logs or other data that might help fix it. 

-Spikeypup

 

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #7
This thread has been noticed but neither the developer nor any alpha tester has any issues under Windows 10.

I noticed system timer frequency varies while foobar2000 is playing and I'm pretty sure it used to stay constant. Care to test if running https://hyv.fi/files/ImproveTimerRes.exe helps with your problems? It's a simple program that forces the system timer to run at higher accuracy. It will remain in memory until it's killed with Task Manager.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #8
Same problem at my machine but i solved this problem this way:
1.Open Preferences
2.Go for Playback and Output options
3.Change buffer lenght for 50ms
SAVE SETTINGS  8)
X-fi titanium PCI-E working fine after this...

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #9
This thread has been noticed but neither the developer nor any alpha tester has any issues under Windows 10.

I noticed system timer frequency varies while foobar2000 is playing and I'm pretty sure it used to stay constant. Care to test if running https://hyv.fi/files/ImproveTimerRes.exe helps with your problems? It's a simple program that forces the system timer to run at higher accuracy. It will remain in memory until it's killed with Task Manager.

Yes, when this program is started it seems like the sound is perfect. When I stop it in the task manager, the sound gets immediately distorted again. Please consider including this into the foobar code. I will watch the future change log. Thank you very much!

Changing Buffer length to 50 seems to fix this as well, but higher values not. I trust timer frequency idea somehow more from the developer.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #10
Thanks for the feedback.

Changing buffer length to low values helps because foobar2000 overrides system timer accuracy when running with obscenely small output buffers.

Please do not use small output buffers. Small output buffer can only help to reduce latency between DSP and output - such as to make equalizer changes take instant effect - at cost of higher chance of stutters if the system is under load. In a music player, a large buffer is what you want.

What we have here is an obvious bug in your system/drivers. Timer resolution changes should not be needed to maintain stable audio playback and will cause unnecessary battery drain on mobile devices.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #11
Posted 1.4 beta 19 with a fix - higher timer resolution enabled whenever we're playing through DirectSound. Please test.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #12
Thank you all for taking my case serious! I will test it at home in ~3-4hrs and will give you asap information.

I have also created a new thread at Microsoft: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-performance/windows-10-1803-sound-distortions/d2074821-1ce8-44b1-b105-f5a3a94c191e?tm=1531396762662 Hopefully they are able to address this issue in future Windows updates.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #13
Download link seems down, but found one at filehippo.com.
Sadly, the sound distortion is not gone with foobar 1.4b19. Opening VLC as well still fixes it.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #14
Posted 1.4 beta 19 with a fix - higher timer resolution enabled whenever we're playing through DirectSound. Please test.
Currently the foobar2000 installer (both  v1.4 beta 19 and v1.3.19) cannot be downloaded, tried with different browsers and clean cache.
Best regards
deus-ex

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #15
Download link seems down, but found one at filehippo.com.
Sadly, the sound distortion is not gone with foobar 1.4b19. Opening VLC as well still fixes it.
1.4 beta 19 is NOT available at filehippo.com yet, at this time v1.4 b17 is the latest beta accessible for download.
Best regards
deus-ex


Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #17
Oddly it worked with Microsoft Edge, it seems that on Firefox at least, the download redirect appears for a few seconds then quickly disappears. Strange indeed...

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #18
Beta 20 is working now.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #19
Yes!! It seems to be fixed! (I am still a bit paranoid now and need to trust my ears again. Still verifying.)
Can you provide more information what was changed from beta 19 to beta 20?

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #20
The timer resolution change was bugged in the short-lived beta 19. It was only activated when playback was paused.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #21
Not quite there yet.

When the playback is paused and then resumed, there are sound distortions again.
I have to stop/restart the playback. (No complete foobar2000 restart is required.)
Something seems off with the pause function regarding the fix.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #22
I can confirm that there's still some logic bug with the change. Pausing enables the accurate timer and resume disables it.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #23
Win 10 native, WASAPI event mode does not work with USB Class 2 DAC's (Grace M9xx and iFi idsd nano black.)  Push mode works.

Re: Windows 10 1803 - Sound distortions

Reply #24
Windows 10 1803 here (build 17134.167 ; which is newest build) on v1.3.19 and all is fine with Opus/AAC/FLAC playback etc. I clean installed Win10 1803 a while ago now.

p.s. I got a 'ASUS P8H61-M LX Plus' motherboard with a i3-2120 CPU etc (I got that motherboard/CPU/RAM in May 2012). while they have Windows 10 specific drivers for things like audio driver etc on ASUS website, I am using whatever comes with Windows 10 by default and whatever it finds from Windows Updates. the only thing I manually download from a driver perspective is I am using official NVIDIA drivers v391.35(from March 2018) for my GPU (1050 Ti 4GB) though and a driver for my PCI-E card which gives me two more SATA ports and a IDE port but I am currently only using one of the SATA ports for a DVD burner.
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

 
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