Sudden Audio Crackle

Today when I launched Retroarch the audio was crackling pretty badly. I originally encountered this issue when I first installed Retroarch, but I managed to eliminate it by calibrating the estimated refresh rate and setting it. I then went one step further and turned on G-sync and set the refresh rate to the display reported value. This virtually eliminated any perceivable audio crackling for me. Depending on which display I’m using I switch between having g-sync on with the refresh rate set to display reported, and g-sync off with the refresh rate set to the estimated value. I have a TV and computer monitor hooked up to my computer that I switch between. I always set the screen I am using as the primary display. I am having this issue with both Beetle PSX and Beetle PSX HW.

I am at a loss for why this suddenly started happening. I have been using Retroarch this way for a couple weeks now with no crackling at all. It’s possible that I changed a setting without realizing it last night. I think I accidentally changed a global/core preset that I did not mean to. But I have completely reinstalled Retroarch several times and I’m still having the same issue.

I did some searching and found a suggestion to set the power consumption settings for Retroarch to maximum. It doesn’t seem to have made a difference.

While trying to work this issue out I noticed that if I use the keyboard for input there is no crackling at all. If I use a dualshock there is a lot of crackling, and if I use a 360 controller there is a little crackling. Using the keyboard seems to fix the issue on both the TV and the monitor. I’m thinking it might be possible that I accidentally saved a button remap that could be messing things up. I have not purposely remapped any buttons but I did find a remap file for the game I was playing and deleted it.

There are certain options I have not yet attempted, like changing the audio latency value or the input drivers. I’m hoping to fix this issue without changing my settings from what was working before, but I am willing to try anything at this point. This is driving me crazy! Any help at all is very appreciated.

Here is a link to a log file I made today.

New Log

Here is an old log I made a couple weeks ago when everything was working (except the error that motivated me to create this log which has since been fixed thanks to some awesome people on these forums :slight_smile: ).

Old Log

Note: this post has been edited many times for clarity.

So I went to create a system restore point because I was going to try updating my video and audio drivers when I noticed there was an automatic restore point created the day before the issue started. Apparently there was a Windows 10 update on that day. There was an option to check what programs were affected by the update and wouldn’t you know it, Retroarch was on the top of the list. I restored my system and viola! Everything is working as it did before.

I think there could be a Windows 10 update floating around that causes issues with Retroarch, specifically the drivers for controller inputs. I wish I could provide more information on what was updated, but it is no longer showing me that information because I restored my system. If there is any way I can help, let me know :slight_smile:


I’m glad you solved this issue, I had the exact same problem with the controllers and audio crackling on Beetle cores and couldn’t figure out why.

About RA config; there’s a lot of it and sometimes a small unintended change can break something. I recommend using version control like Git to manage the entire RA folder. It’s much easier to figure out problems if you know if/how your RA config changed.

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Thanks for the advice. Git will likely give me some piece of mind when fiddling with Retroarch files

Here’s some evidence that suggests it likely was a Windows Update issue.


Funnily enough, I have since updated my system and I am not experiencing the problem, at least for now. Maybe they made some changes to the update.

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I was able to determine the update that causes this issue is Windows Security Update (KB5001330). My Retroarch continued to work after the last update only because this update was not installed. My computer recently installed this update and the problem returned. It is in fact the same update the linked article references. I uninstalled the update and the problem went away.

I fixed my issue with stutter on Beetle PSX HW by changing video driver from Vulkan to GLcore and disabling vsync. The stutter always happens on Vulkan, no matter if vsync is on/off but with vsync on the problem is much worse (on any driver).