odd scratchy playback

In WL 9.5, Mac Mojave…
When I open a file and play it back, I get an odd scratchy playback - It doesn’t sound like a buffer issue, nor respond to a change in buffer size.

Oddly enough, when I audition the file inside WL prior to opening it, there is zero scratchiness… AND even when I double-click on the file to open it WHILE it’s still auditioning, and it opens up in Wavelab and keeps on playing (the way this happens automatically in Wavelab), the audio sounds fine. It’s when I stop the audio and restart it again that the scratchiness reoccurs.

any help? thanks in advance.

and the answer is simple, so I should just delete this… but alas for anyone as dumb a me… it was a plugin on the master buss that I didn’t realize was on and set poorly.