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Soundblaster Z crackling sound

INSTG8R

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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.
Yeah on AMD boards just turn off Spread Spectrum in the BIOS and everything is solved :)
 
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Yeah on AMD boards just turn off Spread Spectrum in the BIOS and everything is solved :)
It still did not solve anything for me. I have had it off sens i got my x570 ordered 2019-10-31 so sens some days after that. =(
 

INSTG8R

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It still did not solve anything for me. I have had it off sens i got my x570 ordered 2019-10-31 so sens some days after that. =(
Only thing that messes up my ZX, could always try Daniel Ks drivers that have been posted earlier in this thread. I‘m using the latest Creative officials in 5.1 with zero issues as long as SS is off
 
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Only thing that messes up my ZX, could always try Daniel Ks drivers that have been posted earlier in this thread. I‘m using the latest Creative officials in 5.1 with zero issues as long as SS is off
And what MB cipset are you using? And are you using DTS or DD over tosslink?
 

INSTG8R

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And what MB cipset are you using? And are you using DTS or DD over tosslink?
MoBo and audio are in my specs, I use analog
 
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MoBo and audio are in my specs, I use analog

Ok, now i am on the track. Tnx

Edit: Spelling and clarification.
I installed the latest and version of the driver. Then uninstalled it. Then installed the old SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_11.exe and SBZSeriesDriverInstaller.exe (dated 2021-01-06 20:48) (see older posts from@alias007).
Tested and restarted, installed the later/last/curent. Installed the lates and now i have both the new and old control panel active. Did not modify a single line of code or regedit.

I se good potential in future updates to Sound Blaster Command if it reacts this way.
In the video i have both open at the same time and testing around how the settings in the old reacts on the new one. (dated 2021-01-27 18:52(SBZMasterInstaller_3.4.94.03.exe)) The EULA still say 2019 something

I have now done a DDU do to some sound volume problems. I, at this point believe its related on how my JVC handle the DDL signal. So ignore that parts for now.
End edit 2021-01-30 05:11 GTM+1
 
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INSTG8R

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Ok, now i am on the track. Tnx

Installed the latest and version of the driver. Then installed the old some tests and restarts later instaled the lates and now i have both the new and old control panel active. Did not modify a single line of code or regedit.

I se good potential in future updates to Sound Blaster Command if it reacts this way.
In the video i have both open at the same time and testing around how the setings in the old reacts on the new one. GUI.
Yeah I tried the new Commander but it really didn’t offer me anything over the OG CP because I just set 5.1, Full Range and a Classical EQ and turn off all the other “Nonsense effects” like Crystallizer etc.
 
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Yeah I tried the new Commander but it really didn’t offer me anything over the OG CP because I just set 5.1, Full Range and a Classical EQ and turn off all the other “Nonsense effects” like Crystallizer etc.
I do like the crystalizer, did belive it did work better on the X-Fi Elite Pro i hade/have before. So i might just be nostalgic.

Another que.
The old drivar sayd it fixed Dolby Digital Live channel swapping. DTS was not mentioned in the change note. And its diferent wrappers for DDL and DTS, Id DTS not works after some times try DDL.
 

marz

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Problem Solved

If you have an AMD 570x mobo (like I do) just change the PCIe slot to Gen 2. No more encoder issues or crackling.
 
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Problem Solved

If you have an AMD 570x mobo (like I do) just change the PCIe slot to Gen 2. N
To bad it did not work for most of us, I cant change all to one setteing or specific. Thaw another function Creative did wine about they culd not be solved on the 5xx series, That the 4xx series did not have.
I had missed SBZMasterInstaller_3.4.98.00.exe was using SBZMasterInstaller_3.4.94.03.exe
27Jan vs 2Feb.

Q? hav you that uses seen a guge deference between DDL and DTS in channel jumping? Thay did say in an older chancled that DDL was solved and did not remember DTS.

And before i did a DDU to get rid of the drivers and reinstall I uninstall the DDL and DTS software from add/remove program. If you want to test what i did.
The channeljumping for me is now mostly notably in movies. Have them on for houres even if the apliferier is muted. And some long moves in a row or you favorit series in 5-6h. In games it goes faster hover not that noticeable like in a move. Hope you understand what i mean. =(

Yeah I tried the new Commander but it really didn’t offer me anything over the OG CP because I just set 5.1, Full Range and a Classical EQ and turn off all the other “Nonsense effects” like Crystallizer etc.
The new one have profiles. It is less good if you look at my video. The other things the installer does is the interesting part.
Edit:
And that the new and old are so conected so we can prpbly install the old one and disable the new one afterwards to get the old menues working, We lose the Profile part do. For now i just want to test how this new versions work withot me changen more that my windows builds.
 

INSTG8R

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bibouli

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I had similar issue. Fixed the issue by seting the sound quality to the same thing in every output and input i was listening to, in my case 24bit, 48hz.
 
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A custom equalizer, isn't the problem. It's the Crystalizer and the other stuff.
 

Frauss79

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the only solution to the problem with the latest windows version, you set the audio in stereo from windows audio and kill the sounblaster and creative services.
 
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You know how I solved this problem I simply stopped using the SB-Z and just used HDMI audio from my GPU into my amp problem solved
 
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I still have that issue with the latest drivers and Sound Blaster Command using a Sound Blaster Z on an Asus Z270-WS motherboard.
After a few minutes listening to some stereo audio that's going through DDL or DTS encoding the front channels audio comes out of the surround speakers and its all broken with intermittent crackling. The issue occurred when watching YouTube in Vivaldi and when doing video calls on Microsoft Teams. I wonder if it did occur when playing Fortnite too.
In any case it happens after a period of continuous playback as those Creative Labs driver release notes seems to suggest.

Sounds like a software problem so I'm assuming the latest Sound Blaster hardware also have those issues right?
Is there other hardware out there that does DDL/DTS encoding for SPDIF and that actually works? Sound Blaster or not Sound Blaster.
Crazy to see how hard it is to get reliable surround audio on Windows 10 in 2022.
On an other PC I'm using HDMI and there too it's a mess, mostly Windows/Microsoft issue though in that case or maybe NVidia… who knows…

Looking back up on that thread it looks like Creative Labs was suggesting people to adjust some registry settings to control some buffer size in order to fix the issue.
The registry key in question is:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\cthda\HDB\11020027\HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE
Mine was set to 8. I set it to C which is the next value up Create Labs recommended.
So far so good I could play over 60 minutes of audio without having that issue which is way better than what it could do before, so I'm going to assume that fixed it.
 
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What motherboards are you guys using?
Power supply?
case?

this is starting to sound like 100% hardware related issues on your PCI-E bleeding emi into it, or power related.

in-fact my SBZ is the only device that gives me solid optical out and DDL and DTS.

now I hope everyone here has tried a fresh OS and DDU to purge all drivers before proceeding further.

I’m just saying you should honestly order new parts one by one on Amazon because I don’t think it’s hardware related to the card, I’m sure it isn’t software either if I had to bet, unless you all are corrupting drivers which a DDU purge and reinstall should help.

All these work around and buffers are just showing you have anolog interference your trying to offset.

I’ve been ordering sbz off eBay that have crackling issues in discriptions cheap and testing them in my cracking verified config that I know has grounding and emi issues, and my fixed machines and they work fine.

so I’m quite sure it isn’t software related.
But you guys all need to also run OCCT stress test and make sure you memory, cpu are all stable aswell under heavy load.

These issues seem too unexplained, unless there is more complexity like your systems have unstable aspects to them, maybe corrupting memory or a bad psu struggling with spikes

but i see it like this, the only time I had crackling issues was with hardware problems, power supply but almost always motherboards and very often with ryzen and more so then intel, but intel can aswell.

When I discovered this and fixed it my SBZ is 100% rock solid on any OS, in fact every one I’ve test has been I have had like 5+ I bought for testing this theory.

Also make sure spread spectrum is enabled on your bios for some emi minimization as having this off messes with analog audio often.

Also if your onboard is working, and gpu they can be isolated for emi where you sbz can be effected by it.

what you should do is try to get a usb mouse (wired) and turn up your volume super loud, along with your in windows and see if you can hear anything when you move it, try front back and all USB ports and if you hear anything you got hardware issues 100%. It might be faint but if you hear anything faint at all when the mouse is polling you have hardware issues on your motherboard imo.



because trying to fix this software wise you’ll never get a cure sorry to say even if you do it’s a temp fix and the issue will show it’s head again one way or another when the buffer can bury the problem.

that is after trying the DDU clean os steps first.


if it still does try different pcie ports, top bottom mid, any difference?

try changing motherboards (avoid asus or gigabyte) fixed?

try using DDU and reinstall drives before trying all that. Try a fresh os even.

it will prolly still be there showing it’s likely not software.

order a second sbz off Amazon and test, same issues? Prolly not the card.

try a different sound card, any weird issues?

There are so many solutions, however this isn’t software, I’m quite sure it isn’t, if you get a temp fix with software by messing with ram buffers

regardless, if you’re spending this much time trying to fix this, time to trouble shoot via hardware swapping.
 
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Looking back up on that thread it looks like Creative Labs was suggesting people to adjust some registry settings to control some buffer size in order to fix the issue.
The registry key in question is:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\cthda\HDB\11020027\HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE
Mine was set to 8. I set it to C which is the next value up Create Labs recommended.
So far so good I could play over 60 minutes of audio without having that issue which is way better than what it could do before, so I'm going to assume that fixed it.
What Creative needs to do is create a utility that gives fine-grained controls over settings like these. That way people can make adjustments without mucking about in the registry directly..
 
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What Creative needs to do is create a utility that gives fine-grained controls over settings like these. That way people can make adjustments without mucking about in the registry directly..
That would just be a workaround really. What they should really do is get their shit together and fix the root cause of the issue. They should be able to determine the proper buffer size for your system if that's all there is to it.
 
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Sadly day say the way the AMD 500 series had implemented the PCIE part its not possible.
I use the regfiles to get it decent. Some of my last BIOSE(UEFI) to my MB did make me change a little. So for me Patch_11020023_H10.reg or Patch_11020023_H14.reg with SBZMasterInstaller_3.4.98.00.exe works best.

The interesting part here is that I use (already mentioned here) Use DTS Connect or DD LIve over toslink. The problem is not Spread Spectrum like some still say. If so it would have worked for the masses.
Based on my X-Fi Elite pro. The files seem very similar to DND_PCApp_2_00_00.exe on the outside. And how mutch have thay changed. I dont now. Its not in hardware there att least. The conversation program.

I have given up. I can normaly now using reg files make it work decent (for weeks) with no shutdown the pc and I dont notice the problem.
From what i know ther is atleast 2 revisions of my card. I have the first.
 
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Turns out the HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE registry fix only works properly with the older Sound Blaster Z Control Panel. Installer file name is SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_11.exe, you can still download it from Creative support page. When using the latest Sound Blaster Command the registry key keeps being reset to its default value which ends up breaking the digital encoder again. With the old software the key is not reset and the encoder keeps working as it should.

Another major fail from Creative Labs right there… I mean they suggest their users a workaround for a show stopper issue and then they go on making sure they release a new version of the software that not only does not fix to original issue but also breaks the workaround. Seriously Creative, could you be more disrespectful of your customers? Too bad no other vendor offers DDL/DTS encoding, not that I know of anyway.
 
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I did not have any issues for weeks with HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE set to C, until yesterday that bug occurred again. I've changed HW_CTL_MX_BSIZE to 10 and restarted the Sound Blaster Audio Service. No issues so far so it looks like it works at least as good as with C. Time will tell if it still happens occasionally. By the way to fix the issue when it occurs all you need to do is go to Windows Services and restart that Sound Blaster Audio Service.
 
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