Asio causes crackling sound during playback and hissing from mouse movement while paused

Hello everyone,

I recently upgraded my soundcard to a Creative SoundBlasterX AE-5 and there is a crackling sound that occurs when I playback a song using ASIO, as well as a hissing sound that is caused by mouse movement when a project file is open but not playing. The issue is specific to Spectralayers 10 Pro, and does not occur when listening to the same audio file, or exported stems in another program. It is worth noting that the crackling sound is not random, but rather is tied to certain higher energy transients. Thus when it happens, and how much it happens is song dependent. However the hissing sound is directly tied to mouse movement when no audio is playing.

What I’ve tried to fix the issue:

  1. Different ASIO drivers
  • ASIO4ALL, FL Studio ASIO, Creative SB/SBX AE Series ASIO, and Creative’s DSD ASIO, all with different configurations.
  • Uninstalling all ASIO drivers except the ones for my sound card.
  1. A wide range of buffer sizes, sample rates and audio qualities.
  • 16bit 44khz to 32bit 96khz and everything in between.
  • Direct audio quality with no processing applied.
  • Very large and small buffer sizes, preferred buffer size.
  1. Front and rear headphone jacks with different headphones.
  2. Different audio files of differing quality.
  3. CPU & GPU processing in Spectralayers 10.

The issue doesn’t happen when I switch to WASAPI drivers. The issue also did not happen prior to installing my new sound card when I ran ASIO4All with my on-board sound card. But to reiterate, this issue is localized to Spectralayers and I have no issues with my sound card in any other program.

I downloaded the program “LatencyMon” per a Mod’s instruction in someone else’s post here. My latency never exceeds 50ms with a heavy load of programs open.

My computer’s specs are:

  • Ryzen 7 5800x
  • 32gb DDR4 ram
  • RTX 3070 GPU
  • MSI MAG B550 motherboard
  • Creative SoundBlasterX AE-5 soundcard.

Any suggestions on what else I can try to resolve the issue would be greatly appreciated. I can’t think of what else to do.

Thanks for the help.

1 Like

I am hitting this exact same problem in Spectralayers 10 Pro. It’s very dramatic and very caustic to listen to (or try to).

For whatever reason, WASAPI is just more reliable than ASIO with SpectraLayers in standalone mode.

I think this soundcard is more towards to gamers and not for pro audio. ASIO works fine here with RME digiface and ESI Neva Uno

Always worth setting your sample rate of Windows to be the same as Spectralayers. This has a benefit in many audio drivers that you can then use ASIO & WASAPI at the same time without audio issues, but things generally work better, files load faster etc if you have OS, Application and Files all running the same sample rate. nothing needs to be converted then.
I generally prefer to use WASAPI over ASIO, it seems higher performance than ASIO. In Bitwig, the DAW I use WASAPI allows about 40% more DSP too which is a nice bonus.
Usually on Windows, the issue of crackles etc is the sample rates don’t match between ASIO & WASAPI/OS