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Soundblaster Z crackling sound

Dephect

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I just created an account to say THANK YOU!!

It worked for me!! At least I'm hearing music for 4 hours straight without being interrupted by the DDL/DTSC bug.

I'm also using the H0C file

Thank you :D
Hi mvpalves, I'm glad this worked for you.

Which Windows version are you running and build please?
 

hifimonkey

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Hi mvpalves, I'm glad this worked for you.

Which Windows version are you running and build please?

I also just created an account to thank you for post the guide. So far (few hours) this has worked for me as well. Didn't need to install any of the patches either.

Running Windows 10 19041.
 
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@alias007 First thank you to bring this fix to the masses. I buy my SoundBlasterZ second hand and don't have proof to talk with creative.
Just to bring so far my expirience.
I directly try your reg file Patch_11020033_H0C.reg and channel swaping was fixed, but rarely some crackling occure.
Then begin with lesser file Patch_11020033_H04.reg, but after some long time swaping channel occure, no crackling.
And now I am with Patch_11020033_H08.reg and for 24h things look OK with no swap and crackling.

For similar systems, I am with Asrock x470 gaming K4 mobo, Ryzen 3700x and OC ram 4000@3733 16-16-16-32, nvme PCIe x3 Samsung drivers.

All the best, thanks again :)
 

DronedOut

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Hello, I have read this entire forum and is this fix really a permanent fix? I had to pull my SBZx out due to crackling and channel swapping on a system using an r9 3900x, x470 Taichi BIOS 3.90, RTX 2080ti, 32GB G.Skill 3200 CL14. The issues was unbearable but after using the card for years upgrading to the 3900x and using new bios is what did me in I think and have not been able to use this expensive paper weight since.
 

stinger608

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So, bottom line here? Is the newest drivers from Creative working with the newest update on Windows 10?

Or is it better to download the Daniel K drivers?

Got a Sound Blaster Z coming sometime next week and want to be sure I don't have these issues mentioned in this thread.
 
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Been running the latest windows 2004 for a month or two. Had a Zx installed and started noticing sound swapping. Was completely fine before, and running 24 bit 192Hz. Bought an Audigy Fx and the same thing. This is with CS:GO, Rising Storm, Rising Storm: Vietnam, Unreal Tournament 4. Ryzen 3800X, X570.

If you want to know what's in the .reg files just right click and choose 'edit' and you can see what's being changed, and if you want you can manually change it instead. I haven't tried any reg files yet, what one works for sound swapping? I use Stereo Direct, btw

EDIT: Are the dword's in hexideciman or decimal?
 
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stinger608

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Well, I can confirm that the Daniel K drivers along with the Reg fix works.
When I first installed the Sound Blaster Z it was doing the swap channel thing.
Uninstalled the drivers and installed the Daniel K drivers and ran the reg fix and it now is good.
 
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Well, I can confirm that the Daniel K drivers along with the Reg fix works.
When I first installed the Sound Blaster Z it was doing the swap channel thing.
Uninstalled the drivers and installed the Daniel K drivers and ran the reg fix and it now is good.

Could it possibly be one and not the other?

I applied the reg patch for my Audigy Fx but used a (10) instead of 10(16)

This is what's needed for the Fx:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\cthda\HDB\11020041]
"HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE"=dword:00000010
 

phasemaster

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Wow this thread has been quite a read. I too have been having (crackling?) issues with my Sound Blaster Z. I did try the registry fix suggested by @hACmAn, but it appears to have had no effect. I just noticed Creative put out some new drivers in August so I will try those.

Anyway, the main reason I wanted to post here is because I found a temporary workaround that makes the crackling/distortion issue go away for a couple hours (on my machine, anyway). In the video I linked above you'll notice the crackling start at about the 0:08 mark and continue until I switch the 'Encoder' setting on the 'Cinematic' tab of Sound Blaster Pro Studio from 'DDS Connect' to 'Dolby Digital Live' (around 0:53 in the video).

Hope this is helpful for anyone that still has the problem and didn't already stumble upon this workaround :)
 

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phasemaster

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Didn't help at all on the one I had.

I ended up downloading and installing the Daniel K driver and reg fix.


Hmm, I wonder if there are multiple issues going on here. Maybe this would explain why some people hear "crackling" and I hear something more like digital distortion (you can hear it in the video I posted above).

Also, the official Creative/Sound Blaster drivers from August did not fix the issue for my Sound Blaster Z, so I will give the Daniel K drivers a shot.

Thanks!
 

stinger608

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Hmm, I wonder if there are multiple issues going on here. Maybe this would explain why some people hear "crackling" and I hear something more like digital distortion (you can hear it in the video I posted above).

Also, the official Creative/Sound Blaster drivers from August did not fix the issue for my Sound Blaster Z, so I will give the Daniel K drivers a shot.

Thanks!
Once you download the driver and the reg fix, install driver, then reboot, then run the reg fix before firing the program up.
 

phasemaster

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Once you download the driver and the reg fix, install driver, then reboot, then run the reg fix before firing the program up.

TLDR; Installed custom Daniel K driver and registry fix (I think). No recurring issues yet.
-----
OK. That was weird. I downloaded the 'SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_12X.7z' and 'SBZRegFix.7z' files via Daniel K's site. However, during the driver install, I got an error (see attached) stating that 'Installation is unable to continue...(code) I-010'. (According to Creative, this error relates to 'missing Windows components'). I expected this to kill the installer, but it seemed to finish anyway. So I rebooted, ran the registry fix utility, then rebooted again.

I wasn't getting sound initially, so I went into the Sound Blaster Pro Studio app, clicked on the 'cinematic' tab, and was slightly horrified to see that the DTS Connect radio option was missing. (In retrospect, this was not that big of a deal, as I could always re-install the official drivers).

According to the Creative troubleshooting article I mentioned above, one must find an 'install.log' file before dismissing the driver installer's error message, so I set about trying to re-install the driver. Thankfully this did not seem to be necessary, as launching the Daniel K installer again gave me the 'repair' option, which seems to have done the trick. I also re-ran the registry fix utility again (and rebooted again) for good measure.

So I currently have working sound and the 'DTS Connect' option is back in SB Pro Studio. I won't know for sure whether these steps fixed my distortion issue until at least a couple of days, but I will report back either way.

Thanks.
 

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phasemaster

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TLDR; Installed custom Daniel K driver and registry fix (I think). No recurring issues yet.
-----
OK. That was weird. I downloaded the 'SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_12X.7z' and 'SBZRegFix.7z' files via Daniel K's site. However, during the driver install, I got an error (see attached) stating that 'Installation is unable to continue...(code) I-010'. (According to Creative, this error relates to 'missing Windows components'). I expected this to kill the installer, but it seemed to finish anyway. So I rebooted, ran the registry fix utility, then rebooted again.

I wasn't getting sound initially, so I went into the Sound Blaster Pro Studio app, clicked on the 'cinematic' tab, and was slightly horrified to see that the DTS Connect radio option was missing. (In retrospect, this was not that big of a deal, as I could always re-install the official drivers).

According to the Creative troubleshooting article I mentioned above, one must find an 'install.log' file before dismissing the driver installer's error message, so I set about trying to re-install the driver. Thankfully this did not seem to be necessary, as launching the Daniel K installer again gave me the 'repair' option, which seems to have done the trick. I also re-ran the registry fix utility again (and rebooted again) for good measure.

So I currently have working sound and the 'DTS Connect' option is back in SB Pro Studio. I won't know for sure whether these steps fixed my distortion issue until at least a couple of days, but I will report back either way.

Thanks.

Distortion issue came back today :( At least the workaround I mentioned still seems to be effective.
 
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Yesterday Windows Update offered a Creative driver update. I installed the driver update. Noticed my control panel settings were reset, so something was installed yet I can't seem to find what's been updated. Looked through device manager and the driver was from 2017 - I'm probably looking in the wrong place but just thought I'd mention it here. Oh and the registry edit via Creative support is untouched, still the same = "HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE"=dword: 0x00000010 (16) [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\cthda\HDB\11020041] 41 is for the Audigy Fx
 
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Yesterday Windows Update offered a Creative driver update. I installed the driver update. Noticed my control panel settings were reset, so something was installed yet I can't seem to find what's been updated. Looked through device manager and the driver was from 2017 - I'm probably looking in the wrong place but just thought I'd mention it here. Oh and the registry edit via Creative support is untouched, still the same = "HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE"=dword: 0x00000010 (16) [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\cthda\HDB\11020041] 41 is for the Audigy Fx

Without the reg setting and with the windows update that I mentioned, CS:GO and Rising Storm audio both cut out mid-game.
 

alias007

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Hi Everyone,

Creative released official new driver (Only driver not software):

SBZSeriesDriverInstaller (6.0.102.74) :peace:

Works With:
  • Sound Blaster Z
  • Sound Blaster Zx
Fixes:
  • Fix master volume laggy issue on Z Series.
  • Fix possible DDL audio break and no audio after a period of continuous playback esp. in certain x570 motherboard.
Requirements:
  • Microsoft® Windows® 10 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8.1 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit
Notes:
  • To install this driver installer, do the following:
    1. Download the file onto your local hard disk.
    2. Double-click the downloaded file.
    3. Follow the instructions on the screen.
    4. Restart your computer after installation.


My recommend: Firstly check for BIOS update and clean install SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_11 after install new driver.

Software: SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_11.exe ;)
 
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This will be tested. =) FINALLY
 
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INSTG8R

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Running the new driver. Nothing untoward to report, everything working normally. :rockout:
 
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To early for me to say. I knormaly need a maraton like potplayer or some not so long time in the frostbyte engine to get the total swapp of speakers. The crakling sound was gone for me efter reg, fixes mm.

Before this driver and still are i am running 3600x and AMD AGESA Combo-AM4 V2 1.1.0.0 . Seams Update AMD AGESA ComboAM4v2 1.1.0.0 Patch C is out for my MB. I habe to retest.

A cupple off days and no OS restart is minimum when i try creative and there drivers. =(
 

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To early for me to say. I knormaly need a maraton like potplayer or some not so long time in the frostbyte engine to get the total swapp of speakers. The crakling sound was gone for me efter reg, fixes mm.

Before this driver and still are i am running 3600x and AMD AGESA Combo-AM4 V2 1.1.0.0 . Seams Update AMD AGESA ComboAM4v2 1.1.0.0 Patch C is out for my MB. I habe to retest.

A cupple off days and no OS restart is minimum when i try creative and there drivers. =(
I cannot stress this enough a BIOS update is gonna reset settings meaning Spread Spectrum will be enabled by default and will wreak absolute havoc on sound cards and all those symptoms you describe I’m waiting for the AGESA final before updating.
 
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I cannot stress this enough a BIOS update is gonna reset settings meaning Spread Spectrum will be enabled by default and will wreak absolute havoc on sound cards and all those symptoms you describe I’m waiting for the AGESA final before updating.
OK. I normaly reconfig all settings manualy after a bios update to get the OC right. ASRock do change the menys in my bios all the time. Spred Specrum is one that i set to disabled the first think i can.
I am testing every beta bios to see if it helps the sound problem.
 

alias007

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Hi Everyone,

Creative released official new application for Sound Blaster Z, Zx, ZxR, Z SE : Sound Blaster Command (new driver included: 6.0.102.75)



This download contains the Sound Blaster® Command application for Windows® operating systems. For more details, please read the rest of this web release note.
Sound Blaster Command provides you with various configuration options to enhance the performance of your product and personalize your audio settings.
Works With:
  • Sound BlasterX G6
  • Sound BlasterX AE-5
  • Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus
  • Sound Blaster X3
  • Sound Blaster G3
  • Sound Blaster AE-9
  • Sound Blaster AE-7
  • Sound Blaster AE-9PE
  • Sound Blaster Z
  • Sound Blaster Zx
  • Sound Blaster ZxR
  • Sound Blaster Z SE
What's New:
  • First release for Z, Zx, ZxR, Z SE.
Fixes:
Requirements:

  • Sound Blaster G3: Microsoft® Windows 10 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8.1 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit
  • Others: Microsoft® Windows® 10 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8.1 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit
Notes:
  • To install this application, do the following:
    1. Download the file onto your local hard disk.
    2. Double-click the downloaded file.
    3. Follow the instructions on the screen.
    4. Restart your computer when prompted.

About for Sound Blaster Command: Sound Blaster Command Guide

Sound Blaster Command Download: SBZMasterInstaller_3.4.94.03.exe
 

DronedOut

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I am glad to announce this driver has made my Zx a working sound card again. It is also no more improved as well. Before I have to disable all other sound devices. With this new driver I am able to keep all other devices enabled. The software is a lil wonky and I was forced to reinstall once so I suggest not fiddling with it too much. I am happy to be able to use my card again.
 
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@alias007 nice links

Sorry for not being to optimistic. One off these days.

I have instilled the driver now on w10 build rs_prerelese 21296.
Ihave not used the reg fixes H10/H14 that worked decent for me before. None here just see, so might take some hours or day to see if i get the switching problem from audio sources.

I have noticed 2 bad parts, maybe more.
I use DTS connect or DD Live depending on driver versions. I have a 5.0 system.
In the menu "Playback" there is now only Stereo, 2.1 surround, 4.0 surround, 4.1 surround and 5.1 surround.
Full range front is still there. Full range pack speakers is gone for back speakers or is now named Surround Speakers? (In old GUI Full range back speakers was an option.)
In that way is the old control panel superior.

The speaker test is ok better that the DING all your neibers can not hear anything anymore. To bad on the 0.1 subbwofer that dont exist and sounds off.

I don't use the Equalizer or scout mode so can say anything about that part.

Overall:
GUI fix on SBX Profile so you cant change settings before activating the on/off button. Might be one ide for later versions.

I will test the driver out and not use reg fixes i normally use just to test and i am on an old AMD bios. (AMD AGESA Combo-AM4 V2 1.1.0.0 patch C)

GUI:
I don't like it. Test to create a new SBX Profile if you want the crystalizer.

On all. Give me my 5.0. 4 full range speakers and a center back. =)

To sum it agen. THEY HAVE STARTED TO DO NEW DRIVERS. Time will tell. And after they say that it was a hardware problem that could not be solved on AMD X570 motherboards. Its a lot better sens last patch. One maybe test to install the new driver and install the old control panel to se the reg keys. =)

On/off Topic:
Do we have a tread on the different behaviors on the revisions on the cards?
I have the first off the two revisions on Z.
 
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