View Full Version : Sound artifacts

01-01-2005, 02:10 AM
I just installed my old soundcard in Windows XP using a makeshift driver, and I am hearing some clicks/hisses/pops (whatever you'd like to call them) while playing back music. The soundcard is an Aztech PCI368 DSP, and since Aztech has long since stopped supporting their soundcards, I found out that you can get the card working using the drivers for the Philips Seismic Edge 704 drivers and a modified INF file.

I thought it might be a conflict between the soundcard and my onboard audio, so I disabled that in my BIOS and the artifacts seemed to have gone. However, after playing back a song that is rather more heavy on the bass, I heard the artifacts again.

My opinion is that the artifacts originally came from a conflict between drivers or resources, but I'm really not sure. The artifacts I heard after disabling my onboard audio may just be that I am listening through headphones (albeit fairly new high-quality headphones). It might pay to note that I didn't hear the artifacts in every song I played - they seemed to appear randomly, and I didn't replay any songs to see if I heard them again (though doing that now, with onboard sound disabled, does still reproduce the artifacts on the afore-mentioned song).

I'd love to have my onboard sound and the soundcard working side by side so that I can output to speakers on the soundcard and listen to a different audio source on the onboard audio, but this simply isn't feasible if I get artifacts out of it. I am quite sure they weren't there previously, having listened at high volume and never hearing artifacts.

Any clues as to whether I need to do something in regards to drivers or resource sharing/conflicts, or am I stuck with using one audio chipset at a time?

01-01-2005, 03:03 AM
Have you tried using just the onboard, and there are no artifacts this way?

Do you overclock your FSB (therefore overclocking all PCI devices including your soundcard)? This often produces sound artifacts.

Do the artifacts also appear with larger speakers (may just be the headphones cannot cope with the "heavy bass").

And finally, are you sure the pops and clicks sound digital? Can you tell whether they are digital or analogue noises? Usually digital sound artifacts will have small sections of audio (<1 second) that sound 'scrambled', like static but more digital sounding, if you know what I mean. If it sounds anything like that it will be digital, but if it is just crackles and stuff, it may be a physical (connection, speakers etc) thing.

Hth Cheers George

01-01-2005, 10:52 AM
Well unless I've already ruined my nice headphones (which I don't think I have), they can cope very well with bass.

I also know that I never heard the artifacts when listening through my onboard sound - it's only been since installing my old soundcard and playing songs through that that I have heard the artifacts.

I'm not too sure if they're digital or analog either - but I don't think any of it sounded like static (much less scrambled), it was definitely more like a pop or hiss.

Now, here's the catch: I haven't overclocked, right now I'm underclocked :p

Going to put everything back to normal in the BIOS and see if that makes a difference, so thanks for the suggestion.

01-01-2005, 12:28 PM
Put my CPU back to normal speed, and enabled the onboard audio again.

I'm still getting the artifacts though, which is annoying. I checked in Device Manager and neither sound device has any reported conflicts (although both of them use IRQ 9 - is there any way I could change this?).

I decided to check that the artifacts weren't there all along and I was just noticing them because of the headphones, so right now I'm playing an audio CD through the onboard sound - and I still hear artifacts, though there aren't nearly as much.

01-01-2005, 01:19 PM
What's interesting for me is that I don't get artifacts when playing the audio CD through the on-board sound.

I think this would point to a problem with the drivers for my soundcard. Kind of obvious when I'm using drivers meant for another card (though they do use the same chipset, which is why they work).

01-01-2005, 06:11 PM
To change the IRQ, try plugging it into different PCI slots. It's to do with the way IRQs are mapped.

Try and find a slot where they each have a different IRQ.

01-01-2005, 06:52 PM
Okay, but would having two audio devices on the same IRQ really cause problems?

01-01-2005, 08:11 PM
To be honest, I doubt it.

It's not the kind of thing I would expect to result from a conflict or such. If that was the case I think it just wouldn't work at all.

I think the same thing about drivers.

I actually think this is much more likely a hardware issue with the card, albeit a minor one. How much is the sound card worth?


01-01-2005, 08:40 PM
The cure.

1.Remove sound card.
2.Throw sound card away.
3.Ask yourself......what the hell did i expect?