Realtek Audio Problems on PC

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,274
Lucerne, California
Hey all, I know this isn't exactly in this forum's wheelhouse, but y'all my people so I thought I'd put it out there.

I use a Widows 10 PC w/ Realtek Audio...lately I've been having issues with my audio randomly glitching out and sounding stuttery/stretched/distorted while using various software, including different DAW's and Native Instruments Maschine.

From what I can surmise from Google, it's not an uncommon issue, though solutions seem nebulous at best. I was wondering if anyone has general recommendations for making Realtek audio as reliable as possible.

So far I've tried updating the driver, updating Windows, then rolling back the driver after updating didn't seem to help...I've tried running in both Shared Mode and Exclusive Mode...tried turning off audio enhancements in Windows... I've purged my hard drive of unnecessary stuff, I have over half my hard drive's storage space free...I dunno y'all, I'm at a bit of a loss. It doesn't happen a ton, but I have live performances coming up, and I don't want one of these glitches to pop up at the wrong moment and kill a moment in the show.
 

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,274
Lucerne, California
Do yourself a favour and get a cheap USB sound interface and let it take care of the PC's sound as well,


$45.00

Loads of free software to use with it as well and it takes a load off the CPU and window's resources :)
Interesting... I'll look into this. I've always just used my mixer as the usb interface, maybe this would help. Thanks for the tip!
 

mtjo62

Squier-Meister
Dec 14, 2009
409
USA
grizzlewulf is spot on. You might be able to tweak you sound settings and improve it, but you will still have latency issues using your PCs sound.
 

mtjo62

Squier-Meister
Dec 14, 2009
409
USA
Just reread your last post. Did you install drivers for your USB mixer? In your DAW sound device settings, do you have options in the default recording/playback other than Realtek? Check your latency settings too. 20ms is a good starting point. You will also want your monitors hooked to your mixer as well. If your are recording from your mixer and playing back through your PC sound, that can cause a host of latency/ground loop issues.
 

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,274
Lucerne, California
Just reread your last post. Did you install drivers for your USB mixer? In your DAW sound device settings, do you have options in the default recording/playback other than Realtek? Check your latency settings too. 20ms is a good starting point. You will also want your monitors hooked to your mixer as well. If your are recording from your mixer and playing back through your PC sound, that can cause a host of latency/ground loop issues.

I usually just run a line out from my headphone jack into my mixer, at least when it comes to outputting signal...I use the usb for recording, but that's not where I'm having issues. Maybe I'll experiment more with the usb
 

5ofeight

Squier-holic
Nov 14, 2016
2,369
Glasgow
I had something similar happen a few years back, turned out it was one of the plugins looping automatically in my DAW, I had to go into the plugins menu and disable any I had used..
 

howserx

Squier-Nut
Apr 20, 2017
963
Winnipeg Canada
I don't use windows on my music room computer so this isn't first hand knowledge. I've always heard that you shouldn't use windows drivers with your audio interface but use ASIO drivers instead. The windows drivers will introduce too much latency.

info from sweetwater
 

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,274
Lucerne, California
Update:

This issue has gotten worse, to the point that my software is basically unusable w/Realtek, glitches out reliably within a minute of use.

I can use the USB mixer w/ ASIO, but that occasionally glitches in a different way, and also, it just sounds awful. Many degrees of fidelity worse than Realtek, robs all the detail from my music, sounds like everything is coming from an overtaxed subwoofer. And the volume is hard to control.

Maybe I'll try a USB interface next...but man, I was really hoping to not make my setup more complex. My hope is this is a giggable electronic sequencer rig someday soon, one more device and the associated cables is NOT what I want at all.

The whole thing works quite a bit better on my wife's newer, more powerful PC laptop, so maybe the real solution is just to upgrade the PC. Which would tap out my guitar and amp budget for the rest of the year and beyond.

If anyone can think of something I haven't tried, let me know
 

fleezinator

Squier-Meister
Jun 22, 2020
166
Texas
I have live performances coming up, and I don't want one of these glitches to pop up at the wrong moment and kill a moment in the show
You're one brave soul. A dedicated USB interface is the only way I'd roll for this.

It's quite entirely possible you've a hardware issue. On my desktop PC, I've had the issue of crackles & static with audio coming down HDMI into my display's built-in speakers. I never bothered to troubleshoot as it had latency anyways and needed to pony up for XLR outs to feed my speaker monitors so I got a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

If you wanna avoid a new PC, which will still give you latency issues, your best bet is a USB audio interface.
 

Ray Stankewitz

Jammin' in my Music Room
Staff member
Oct 11, 2014
1,127
Central Indiana
I just went through this with my Dell 17R N7110 laptop. I used the drivers from Realtek, it asked if I wanted to remove the existing drivers first, I let it, it installed fresh drivers, problem gone.
My laptop started doing this after a Window$ "Downgrade" update a month or two ago. I will bet it installed some bogus driver supplied from Redmond, Inc.
 

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,274
Lucerne, California
I just went through this with my Dell 17R N7110 laptop. I used the drivers from Realtek, it asked if I wanted to remove the existing drivers first, I let it, it installed fresh drivers, problem gone.
My laptop started doing this after a Window$ "Downgrade" update a month or two ago. I will bet it installed some bogus driver supplied from Redmond, Inc.

Actually so far, the actual Realtek driver seems to have worked, I did the same process you did. We'll see how it holds up...a proper usb interface might be needed someday for recording, but as I said, I'd like to keep the live rig simple as possible in terms of components
 

AxelMorisson

Squier-Nut
Nov 15, 2021
955
Fagaras, Romania
my friend, Windows has a way of getting itself in its own way quite often these days. The new and improved 11 is just as "good" in this regard- although there have been small patches of stability. The real time access - drivers such as video and audio have long been a problem.
I stand by the Behringer external card solution offered by @Hal Nico - and I even plus a bit, try and get the equally cheap 202 HD, That meaning two channels, (independent!) but works in stereo, two inputs two large jack outputs for active monitors and whatnot, and one "monitoring headphone jack" on the face of the thing. It is simple! Simpler than you think. Just put the USB in it, select it in the windows audio source menu and... just put either headphones with a jack adapter or large jack, or regular computer speakers in the "headphone output" on its front, and that is it! Yes it comes with low latency yes it knows ASIO drivers and even has its own version of that etc- but without installing anything, the thing is simply an external audio card no frills....just push on the direct monitor switch and you're off to the races.
Later if you want to add active microphones- it's got phantom power for that. If you want to record microphone and instrument- you got two inputs for that. If you want to use studio monitors on the output- there's a couple of jacks for that. And it's all 24 bits, 192 kHz. And it's cheap- one of the cheapest out there. And it's disturbingly good- so good that the noise floor is above many other competitors. What it does not have in spades is ..gain. Headroom is a tad small- but much better than that cursed red thing everyone loves and will not make your normal recordings clip ( I'm looking at you, Focusrite Scarlett), comes with attenuators -20 db on each channel at the push of a button,.and a line or instrument in selection. And yes, it takes large jacks or XLRs, balanced/unbalanced. And did I mention it is cheap?
I love the thing so much I got one for home and one for the office- I am listening to it as a normal audio source right now, in fact- and what an improvement over the computer's internal audio card! Plus it's got a metal enclosure but it's not large and cumbersome.. just a pretty thing. Volume on input AND output monitoring too. Catch it now...before the stocks run out...
 

Hal Nico

Squier-Nut
Dec 21, 2020
927
UK
Another advantage of a separate USB sound device is it can be re-used on another/new PC if required :D

My cheap refurbished PC ( £99 gbp) lasted a couple of years and went last year. I bought another refurb for less and it's a year old now :)

Why pay Big-Bucks for some snazzy High Priced new PC when a cheap refurb/recycle will do the job :)


PS

My Motorcycle is 23 years old and will most likely outlast me <grin> :D


Tx8K0dZ.jpg
 
Last edited:

Ray Stankewitz

Jammin' in my Music Room
Staff member
Oct 11, 2014
1,127
Central Indiana
As a note, I had Redmond, Inc. push another "update" on me, reinstalled the windows sound drivers in the process. I had to re-reinstall the Realtek drivers. What a pain in the patootie!
 


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