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The Swamp
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Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 06, 2018 7:56 pm

Hi Guys!

I've been wrestling with an issue for a while, but decided to check in with the pros. I recently built a new system, much thanks to Brew who helped me out immensely with the parts and ideas for the build. It was like going from an outboard motor to a... spore drive.

The problem I'm having is with popping and ticking audio when streaming online video. It's not really terrible, but it's enough to be annoying. I have tried everything I can think of, to no avail.

I'm running an HT Omega Striker 7.1 PCI sound card. I have the most recent driver I can find, from 2011. It's an old card, but I've never had issues with it. I have the on-board audio disabled via BIOS. I have a Radeon RX-550 video card, but I have the audio on it disabled via Device Manager. I thought maybe overclocking was causing issues, but that's not it. I've tried various settings in the driver, but nothing makes a difference.

I'm wondering if maybe I should ditch the Omega and use the RX-550 for sound? Or onboard sound? Although it seems like there's got to be a solution. What can I look at to see if it makes a difference? Thanks!
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 06, 2018 8:41 pm

My first bet is sound drivers. To diagnose, use onboard audio for a bit and see if that clears the problem up.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 06, 2018 8:47 pm

Have you tried disabling all the Line In ports, at least the analog ones?
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Mon May 07, 2018 12:43 am

In some software drivers pre-amping or adjusting equalization above the mid-level can cause some crackling/popping in recordings.
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SkyWarrior
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Mon May 07, 2018 5:01 am

You may want to play around with your motherboards PCI bus latency settings. Set it to no less than 64 and even try 128 for PCI Latency Timer. It will most likely to kill your issues.
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Wed May 09, 2018 5:36 am

SkyWarrior wrote:
You may want to play around with your motherboards PCI bus latency settings. Set it to no less than 64 and even try 128 for PCI Latency Timer. It will most likely to kill your issues.


I checked my BIOS, but could not find a place to change that setting. Is it called something else, perhaps?
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Wed May 09, 2018 6:32 am

Try your onboard sound. If the popping stops, you have your culprit.

If you have to, remove the sound card entirely to bs absolutely sure you're isolating its influence.
Last edited by mikewinddale on Wed May 09, 2018 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Wed May 09, 2018 6:32 am

What is your motherboard?
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Wed May 09, 2018 2:37 pm

mikewinddale wrote:
Try your onboard sound. If the popping stops, you have your culprit.

If you have to, remove the sound card entirely to bs absolutely sure you're isolating its influence.

This, stop trying anything else and remove the sound card from the equation first. Onboard audio is a lot better than it used to be and will narrow the troubleshooting considerably if you test with it.
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Wed May 09, 2018 3:50 pm

My motherboard is a Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4.

I don't know much about the sound hardware on that board or if it's any good. The last time I trued using on board audio was on an old Asus from 2007 and it did not sound very good.

Frankly, I wish I could still use my Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card, but I have not had any luck finding Win7 drivers for it, let alone Win7-64 drivers. So, I had to retire it, for now. That thing had amazing sound.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Wed May 09, 2018 4:52 pm

The Swamp wrote:
Frankly, I wish I could still use my Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card, but I have not had any luck finding Win7 drivers for it, let alone Win7-64 drivers.

Linux will be your friend should you choose that route. Last I knew (& JBI help when you get back), the drivers have been part of the kernel for some time now. And yes, the TBSC died with the end of XP.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 3:05 am

Looks like this board does not have a PCI Latency Timer setting built in. It is probably using a predefined value which cannot be changed. Unfortunately there is no way to do that from OS so your best bet will be using your HDMI audio output to a decoder to speaker. Or you can still use the onboard audio which may not satisfy you.
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 5:52 am

I could do HDMI to my monitor, which does DTS and Dolby Digital, and then to my receiver. So, that approach would work, as far as I can tell. Or, as you guys pointed out, simply use the on-board audio.

One thing that surprised me that I did not previously know is that Radeons also have sound hardware, too. Is it any good? I've not heard much about it. I'm guessing it's comparable to on-board audio?

Good to know about Linux and Turtle Beach. I love that card.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 8:19 am

The popping and clicking sound is the powerful, two-cycle, briggs and stratton engine powering your computer cooling down after all the hard work of mowing through all the data you threw at it. :D
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 9:41 am

The Swamp wrote:

One thing that surprised me that I did not previously know is that Radeons also have sound hardware, too. Is it any good? I've not heard much about it. I'm guessing it's comparable to on-board audio?


Someone please correct me if i'm wrong, but I thought Graphic card audio, was basically just a pass-thru for onboard audio...................
 
The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 9:52 am

I have no idea how the Radeon is connected to audio, but Device Manager shows the video card as an audio source. I assumed Windows was picking up audio hardware, but maybe not. It's been forever since I've dealt with onboard audio.

I know I've not seen anything audio related in the video card driver software, so that was a bit confusing to me.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 11:18 am

HERETIC wrote:
The Swamp wrote:

One thing that surprised me that I did not previously know is that Radeons also have sound hardware, too. Is it any good? I've not heard much about it. I'm guessing it's comparable to on-board audio?


Someone please correct me if i'm wrong, but I thought Graphic card audio, was basically just a pass-thru for onboard audio...................

AFAIK it's a separate chip handled by the Radeon/Geforce driver. The onboard sound on my HTPC is disabled, yet I get my audio via ARC on my TV through my Geforce card. I don't do anything fancy with it though.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 2:11 pm

Don't modern video cards present an HD Audio device entry for every HDMI and DisplayPort connector?

Anyway, OP, please try removing the very old PCI Omega. Then report back. Please.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Thu May 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Aranarth wrote:
The popping and clicking sound is the powerful, two-cycle, briggs and stratton engine
The Otto cycle is four-stroke: suck, squeeze, bang then blow..
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Fri May 11, 2018 10:43 am

I will pull the sound card out this weekend. I fiddled around with it last night and the sound was popping and clicking all over the place while trying to watch movie trailers. Reboots seem to help some, but when the computer wakes from sleep, it seems to become especially bad. I'm not sure why. I removed all of the sound adjustments from the driver settings, but it did not make a difference. I can't find any settings in the drivers that seems to stop the Rice Krispies in the audio.

Should I go with the Radeon sound? Or the board sound? Which would you choose?
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Fri May 11, 2018 11:17 am

The Swamp wrote:
I will pull the sound card out this weekend. I fiddled around with it last night and the sound was popping and clicking all over the place while trying to watch movie trailers. Reboots seem to help some, but when the computer wakes from sleep, it seems to become especially bad. I'm not sure why. I removed all of the sound adjustments from the driver settings, but it did not make a difference. I can't find any settings in the drivers that seems to stop the Rice Krispies in the audio.

Should I go with the Radeon sound? Or the board sound? Which would you choose?


Try both...also, I've had good experiences with moderately priced USB sound cards such as this https://smile.amazon.com/Creative-BlasterX-Portable-Gaming-70SB171000000/dp/B01DLY3IW8/ref=pd_sbs_147_10?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01DLY3IW8&pd_rd_r=7Y3CMKBAYDTAMYKR409J&pd_rd_w=MAtSx&pd_rd_wg=XiGjA&psc=1&refRID=7Y3CMKBAYDTAMYKR409J
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Fri May 11, 2018 11:24 am

I like my current sound card because it has an optical out, which makes connection to my receiver easy.

But, I think I can still pull it off since I'm pretty sure my monitor has an optical out, too. I'm just not sure which would sound better, the board sound or the Radeon. Anyone ever tried both?
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Fri May 11, 2018 11:56 am

The Swamp wrote:
I like my current sound card because it has an optical out, which makes connection to my receiver easy.

But, I think I can still pull it off since I'm pretty sure my monitor has an optical out, too. I'm just not sure which would sound better, the board sound or the Radeon. Anyone ever tried both?

It's digital, unless you need specific codec support by the driver it shouldn't be any different.
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sat May 12, 2018 7:20 am

Okay, I switched the sound from the Omega to the Radeon sound. I'm pretty sure the Radeon is not using the on-board sound because I have it disabled in the BIOS. It would seem the video card does indeed have its own sound chip/hardware.

So far, so good. There is a big difference. There's a slight pop every now and again, but it's much better. So, it seems the problem was the PCI sound card after all. Oddly, I had no issues with it in my old system, which also ran Win7-64. I'm not sure what is causing issues in the current system.

Does anyone know if overclocking the bus would cause any issues with the Radeon sound? It's still a bit poppy on some streaming videos.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sat May 12, 2018 8:23 pm

The Swamp wrote:
So far, so good. There is a big difference. There's a slight pop every now and again, but it's much better. So, it seems the problem was the PCI sound card after all. Oddly, I had no issues with it in my old system, which also ran Win7-64. I'm not sure what is causing issues in the current system.

Wait, "also ran Win7-64"? So you're using Win7-64 on this system? That might be your problem, the driver scene for Win7-64 was never spectacular.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 13, 2018 4:56 am

ludi wrote:
The Swamp wrote:
So far, so good. There is a big difference. There's a slight pop every now and again, but it's much better. So, it seems the problem was the PCI sound card after all. Oddly, I had no issues with it in my old system, which also ran Win7-64. I'm not sure what is causing issues in the current system.

Wait, "also ran Win7-64"? So you're using Win7-64 on this system? That might be your problem, the driver scene for Win7-64 was never spectacular.

Err... what? Are you sure you aren't thinking of XP-64? Win7-64 had reasonably good driver support IME.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 13, 2018 5:15 am

The Swamp wrote:
....I'm running an HT Omega Striker 7.1 PCI sound card. I have the most recent driver I can find, from 2011....


Just to chip in, are you sure you were using the latest driver? There's a Windows 10-specific driver at:

http://www.htomega.com/drivers---striker.html

Which seems to be far newer than the one you were using (it'd have to be, since Win10 was released in 2015...)

Failing that, a squint at a picture of the card suggests it uses a CMedia 8770 chipset, so you might try the latest driver (which only supports Windows 8, but is dated 2016) from their site:

https://www.cmedia.com.tw/support/download_center
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The Swamp
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 13, 2018 6:28 am

Indeed, my understanding is that Win7-64 has fairly robust driver support. It was XP-64 that was rather dodgy. I didn't have any issues with Win7 and the Omega sound card on my older system. I'm not sure it's the card, given that I'm now getting the regular popping and clicking with the Radeon sound, too. I have not tried the onboard audio yet, but I've read of people having issues with that audio too when a separate sound card also displays the same issue.

I think I may have a clue, though, about the cause. From a fresh reboot, the problem seems to be minimal. However, when the system wakes from sleep, the problem is far worse. With the new system, I use the sleep function a lot more. I'm not sure how that is effecting things, but there's clearly a pattern.

The Omega uses a CMedia chip. Support for the card looks like it ended in 2011, hence that lack of drivers after that. But the Radeon uses modern drivers and it's still doing that popping thing too. So I wonder if it's a driver issue.
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Driver issues with sleep were not unknown on Win7. Do you have any other devices installed besides the soundcard? It may be worth checking whether any other devices have newer drivers available; the offending driver may not even be the one for the soundcard (e.g. NIC driver).
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Re: Ticking and Popping Sound

Sun May 13, 2018 7:04 pm

The only two cards I have in use are the sound card (disabled in Device Manager) and the Radeon RX-550. The Radeon driver is recent. The popping seems more pronounced during heavy CPU usage. Maybe a bus issue?
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