8 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2018 11:15 PM by Varimar

    USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound

    Varimar Lurker

      I'm back to using VMware workstation since version 1.14.1 work on Ubuntu.

      However, I have issues with sound.

       

      My host OS is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and I have a Creative Sound Blaster Play! 2 USB sound card attached.

      My guest OS is Windows 10 Pro 1803

       

      Since the built-in speaker/mic of the PC stutters a lot in the guest OS I have added the USB sound card instead.

       

      (1) If I change the Sound Card for the VM from 'auto detect' to 'ALSA: Sound Blaster Play! 2' the play back device in Windows works fine. Clear sound BUT I do not get any recording device this way, only playback so this is not a viable option.

       

      (2) If I let the Sound Card for the VM to be 'auto detect' and connect the USB device called 'Sound Blaster Play! 2' with USB controller set to 3.0 I get no sound at all from the Sound Blaster.

       

      (3) If I let the Sound Card for the VM to be 'auto detect' and connect the USB device called 'Sound Blaster Play! 2' with USB controller set to 2.0 I get distorted stuttering sound so it's not a viable option to use the Sound Blaster that way.

       

      Note that the Sound Blaster Play! 2 device works find with VirtualBox but since the disk access in VirtualBox is so bad compared to VMware Workstation I need to use VMware instead.

       

      So, is there any tricks (settings in the .vmx file) to get the USB Sound Blaster Play! 2 to work correctly (both input and output) with VMware workstation.

       

      Thanks,

      Magnus

        • 1. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
          bluefirestorm Master

          The way you described it, it would look as though you now have two physical sound cards attached to the Ubuntu host machine (the built-in sound card and the USB sound card).

           

          You could have a few things to try:

           

          You can use the USB sound card as passthrough device to the Windows 10 VM. Remove the virtual sound card from the Windows 10 VM but then attach the USB sound card through the Removable Devices menu. This works in similar fashion when you attach a USB flash drive/external USD SSD/HDD to the VM. That means the Windows VM sees the Creative Sound Blaster Play! 2 USB sound card and needs its drivers to installed inside the VM. If everything goes well, maybe you just need to configure the USB autoconnect on VM power up.

           

          You can look at this KB about the USB autoconnect

          https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1648

           

          There have been quite a few posts about stuttering sound of Windows VMs running on Linux host. The thing that seems to work is to remove the line

           

          sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"

           

          You can read this post for more details.

          https://communities.vmware.com/thread/560600

          • 2. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
            Varimar Lurker

            Thanks for your quick response.

             

            Removing the default sound card and just let the guest OS detect the Sound Blaster Play! 2 via the removable devices do not help.

            The USB device is detected and drivers are installed but still no sound.

             

            If I revert back to the built-in device and instead remove the "hdaudio" setting, then the guest OS will not find a suitable driver for the "multimedia audio device" which means no sound.

            Why does Windows not find a driver when 'hdaudio' is disabled?

             

            The best bet seems to be to select a Sound Card device and point it to 'Sound Blaster Play! 2'. Just have to figure out why the recording device does not work.

             

            Thanks,

            Magnus

            • 3. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
              bluefirestorm Master

              Since you have a second sound card in the USB Sound Blaster Play! 2 I'd suggest you give the USB passthrough another try. You might be able to get better audio quality with it, too. You can try installing the Windows 10 driver available from the Creative Labs website into the Windows 10 VM

               

              http://support.creative.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?catID=1091&catName=Archived%20Products&subCatID=1092&prodID=22009&prodName=Sound%20Blaster%20Play!%202&bTopTwenty=1&VARSET=prodfaq:PRODFAQ_22009,VARSET=CategoryID:1092

               

              You might also have to disable the Sound Blaster Play! 2 from the Ubuntu host so that the Windows 10 VM won't have trouble claiming the USB sound device when you connect it to the VM.

               

              If I revert back to the built-in device and instead remove the "hdaudio" setting, then the guest OS will not find a suitable driver for the "multimedia audio device" which means no sound.

              Why does Windows not find a driver when 'hdaudio' is disabled?

              Look at this to resolve the "hdaudio" issue

              https://communities.vmware.com/message/2672605#2672605

              • 4. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
                Varimar Lurker

                If I remove the sound card from the VM and connect the Sound Blaster via the removable devices I get no sound even though the Sound Blaster driver finds the device and installs fine. There is a short "click", that's all.

                 

                I'm not sure I understand what you mean by disable the sound device in Ubuntu since it will be disconnected from the host as soon as I connect it to the guest via the removable devices.

                 

                So...I will give it another try to add the Sound Card to the VM (ALSA: Sound Blaster Play! 2) since that gives me crystal clear sound. Then I need to figure out why the recording device do not work. Maybe my headset is the issue but then again, it works fine with VirtualBox,

                 

                Thanks,

                Magnus

                • 5. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
                  bluefirestorm Master

                  Did you get to install the Creative Labs drivers in the Windows 10 VM? After you remove the virtual sound card, try to go to the Device Manager and select "Show Hidden Devices" and try to remove whatever hidden audio playback/recording device (such as VMware Audio, Microsoft High Definition Audio).

                   

                  How does the Creative Labs USB device appear in the vmware.log? Does it appear as a compound device (e.g. one device is sound playback with its own device ID, other is microphone with its own device ID). If it is a compound device, maybe you can use the autoconnect feature to connect to both.

                   

                  About the disabling sound device on the Ubuntu host, my concern was the VM is not able to connect to it if the host somehow claims it and refuses to release it. But the autoconnect is possibly one way for the VM to claim it as the VM powers up.

                  • 6. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
                    Varimar Lurker

                    The Creative Labs driver installed fine. It also came with a nice control panel.

                     

                    I removed the 'Sound Card' device from the VM and then uninstalled the 'High Definition Audio Device' found under 'Audio inputs and outputs' and 'Sound visdeo and game controllers' in the device manager. Then rebooted the VM again.

                     

                    Everything looks fine but still no sound when clicking the 'test' button in the audio control panel.

                     

                    The vmware.log file contains some records of Sound Blaster but I do not know what to look for.

                     

                    2018-05-31T16:07:05.379+02:00| vmx| I125: USB: Found device [name:Creative\ Sound\ Blaster\ Play!\ 2 vid:041e pid:323d path:3/2 speed:full family:audio,hid serialnum:000000040066 arbRuntimeKey:5 version:3]

                    2018-05-31T16:07:05.379+02:00| vmx| I125: USB: Autoconnecting device "Creative Sound Blaster Play! 2" matching pattern [path:3/2 autoclean:1] prefer usb_xhci

                    2018-05-31T16:07:05.379+02:00| vmx| I125: USB: Connecting device desc:name:Creative\ Sound\ Blaster\ Play!\ 2 vid:041e pid:323d path:3/2 speed:full family:audio,hid autoclean:1 serialnum:000000040066 arbRuntimeKey:5 version:3 id:0x10000005041e323d

                     

                    If I change the USB controller of the VM from 3.0 to 2.0 then I get sound but it is really bad (stutters with noice).

                     

                    Anything else I can test?

                     

                    Thanks,

                    Magnus

                    • 7. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
                      bluefirestorm Master

                      From the looks of it, it is already automatically connecting but it is autoconnecting by path (i.e. specific USB port).

                      USB: Autoconnecting device "Creative Sound Blaster Play! 2" matching pattern [path:3/2 autoclean:1]

                       

                      It looks like it is just one device ID.

                      vid:041e pid:323d

                       

                      I don't have much ideas left. Have you tried plugging to other USB ports on the host machine? This is just in case some of these USB ports are wired internally differently. Perhaps an output of

                       

                      lsusb -vt

                       

                      on Terminal of the Ubuntu host can give an idea. Also these days some USB ports also provide charging capability and I am bit wary (maybe unwarranted) of using such ports for devices that don't need that extra electrical charge. I don't know if these charging ports can be distinguished/identified from lusb -vt though.

                      • 8. Re: USB sound card = no sound or stuttering sound
                        Varimar Lurker

                        When switching from a frontside USB port to a USB-hub connected to one of the backside ports, the sound got clear and good (no static or stuttering).

                        However, if the USB controller of the VM is 3.0 it will not produce any sound at all but I have no problem using 2.0 instead for my VM.

                        So, the solution for me was to use another USB port.

                        Thanks for the hint.

                         

                        Regards,

                        Magnus

                         

                        (Note: all ports on my PC are USB3 and that goes for the USB-hubs too)