tonylapark77
Contributor
Contributor

Sound breaking really bad after update but video is better!!

After the last update I noticed an improvement on video quality and performance since it runs with Hyper-V features now, specially in Windows XP, I remember video was laggy, but after the update is better!!, but now SOUND in many Windows OS is breaking a lot, and suddenly I get a message saying "sorry but audio will be now disconnected" I hope you can make a follow up on this

23 Replies
dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Hi tonylapark77​,

I would be interested in examining a vmware.log (or vmware-0.log, etc...) showing the problem occurring.  Could you please find one from in an affected VM's directory and attach it to a reply in this thread?  Just look for the Attach button in the lower-right corner of the editor window when composing a reply.

Thanks!

--

Darius

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tonylapark77
Contributor
Contributor

There you go, I noticed a log saying "2020-05-29T13:20:12.299-06:00| vmx| I005: SOUNDLIB: Closing Wave sound backend." for your records

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Thanks for the logfile.  A quick question before we go any further: Do you get any sound out of the VM before it disconnects, or is it completely silent?

2020-05-29T13:19:18.278-06:00| vcpu-0| I005: SOUNDLIB: SoundLib_CreateSyncSoundStream: Failed to create sound stream.

[...]

2020-05-29T13:19:18.278-06:00| vcpu-0| I005: [msg.pciSound.HostOpenDspChannelFailed] Sound will be disconnected.

Can you please try shutting down your VM and then editing your .vmx file and adding

   pciSound.useSoundLib = "FALSE"

and see if that works around the problem?

Thanks,

--

Darius

tonylapark77
Contributor
Contributor

OMG it just did!!! Thanks a lot, but before the update this didn't happen, maybe a future release can patch that, thanks again

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Mits2020
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Since it seems WinXP guests are still popular, I thought I'd add my research findings for posterity. Things that seem to help fix XP audio problems are:

1. using vmfixaudiotray - see LCS - VMAudioFixTray

2. change kernel timer - see GitHub - temerkhanov/SetTimerService: SetTimerService is a tiny Windows NT4/2000/XP compatible servi...

3. installing XP on a SCSI virtual disk instead of an IDE one

I never encountered before the pciSound.useSoundLib = "FALSE" fix - thanks a lot for that!

tonylapark77
Contributor
Contributor

Yeah it fixed it, and also works with older versions of windows, but still wasn't a problem until this last update, hope they can make a follow up

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Yeah, the option is new for Workstation 15.5.5 and Fusion 11.5.5, and reverses a piece of modernization work I did on the emulated ES1371 "Sound Blaster PCI" audio device.  Sorry for the trouble!

Clearly something has gone wrong with the way we are making use of your "Altavoces (Realtek High Definition Audio)" device through the modernized sound interface.

There are a few more data points which would help me narrow down what is going wrong:

1. I would be interested to hear of anyone else affected by this in the move to Workstation 15.5.5, including which host OS, guest OS and physical sound device is in use.

2. For Windows Vista, Windows 7, and newer guest OSes only, try setting sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio" (add the option if it does not already exist) and see if the sound problems continue with that option set.  You can leave the other option we added earlier... it does not affect the emulated HD Audio controller at all.

3. Let me know if you are hearing any sound from the virtual machine of your host's audio hardware before the connection fails – even it is just a fragment of sound or is not sounding the way it should sound.

Thanks,

--

Darius

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Mits2020​: The option is entirely new in this release (Workstation 15.5.5 and Fusion 11.5.5), and it exists very specifically to address potential sound problems in the virtual ES1371 "Sound Blaster PCI" device which arise upon moving from older releases (Workstation 15.5.2 or Fusion 15.5.3) to this latest release.  It only affects the virtual ES1371, which is used only when sound.virtualDev = "es1371" or when no sound.virtualDev option is present.

I am expecting that the option will be removed in the very near future as we finish modernizing the sound support, so it is important that we solve any underlying problems rather than simply recommending the option as a "fix".

I ask that you keep that context in mind if you are contemplating recommending it to others here in the forums.  Thanks! :smileycool:

--

Darius

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Mits2020
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

dariusd​ Thanks for the detailed info. It's off-topic, but since you have dealt with audio, have you heard any rumors in the cafeteria about improving guest sound quality by supporting higher bitrates than 16/44 or implementing audio pass-through for dedicated PCIE cards?

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

That's outside my domain for now.  I've just been spending some time on modernizing the emulation of our older virtual sound devices.  I have done very little work on the HD Audio controller, and that would be the most likely place you would see support for higher sample rates or depths.  I would have thought that our emulated HD Audio would be able to support at least 48 kHz 16 bit but I have not really checked – and that would only be a small increment over 44.1 kHz anyway...

If you are looking to assign a dedicated device to the VM and are seeking greater than 44.1/48 kHz 16 bit, I would try passing through a physical USB audio device.  I believe there are some very capable ones nowadays... as long as our USB passthrough is up to the task. Smiley Wink

Another option would be to set up network-based audio support (e.g. PulseAudio​ or JACK​)​ between the guest and the host... I have not tried this and have no idea whether they would support higher sample rates or depths over remote links, nor whether they would survive the somewhat-unusual timing environment in a VM, nor whether they would introduce unacceptable latency, nor whether they would just be a pain to set up for your particular application...

ESXi can do PCI/PCIe passthrough so that a VM can have a truly dedicated and native sound device.  I am not aware of any plans for PCI[e] passthrough for our Workstation and Fusion products.

Thanks,

--

Darius

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Mits2020
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Plenty of food for thought and experimentation, thanks Darius. I know about the USB solution but I don't own any to play (and I'd use only a Xonar, as are all my PCI/PCIe soundcards). ESXi is in my future plans after I win the lottery and make a new AMD PC Smiley Happy

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OldGamer83
Contributor
Contributor

I also have this problem with VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.5. I run a Windows 98 Second Edition VM for old games and before 15.5.5 the sound was a little distorted, but now it has gone a lot worse. VMware Workstation is installed on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The VM is running at the latest version and using the "Auto detect" functionality for the sound card. I have tried different VM hardware versions, but they all produce the same distortion.

I have attached my log. I do not find any errors with the soundcard ( while playing the Windows startup sound or playing a game) in the logs. At least, not the ones other people have found.

Windows 98 may be a niche, but some people use it for old games.

Any suggestions, besides going back to 15.5.2?

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altae
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

On my system (Windows 10 Pro, 2004, Workstation 15.5.5) I experienced the sound issues too. I tried two different guests, Linux Mint 19.1 and Arch Linux, both suffered from distorted sound. Applying pciSound.useSoundLib = "FALSE" has fixed the issue.

You can download a sample recording (of a random youtube video) which should give you an idea what kind of distortions I am talking about: https://bodenwiesli.duckdns.org/s/xJF78FE9Axjy2PA

I also attached two log files which had been created before I applied the fix.

P.S. I realized I forgot to mention my physical sound card. It's a Soundblaster ZxR.

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tonylapark77
Contributor
Contributor

I want to add that finally I saw an improvement on video performance on Windows XP, I remember playing games was really laggy, and virtualbox was working just fine! I thought impossible that it works on virtualbox but vmware it doesn't, it took a couple of years but finally video performance is really good, no lag, good sound, I hope in future releases it keeps the same performance than now, and yes I hope audio may be back yo where it was before, I reinstalled win xp using that command and still working fine, thanks again for all the work!

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rgbld
Contributor
Contributor

Just dropping by to say it seems I have been affected by this issue as well (and in fact looking for a solution has led me to this fix).

1. Host is Windows 10 (no Hyper-V if that matters), guest is Windows XP, and also probably another on Alpine Linux (but it's encrypted so can't confirm; I have seen an encrypted-VMX editing tool floating around but I haven't looked at it yet). Host device is some kind of Realtek audio built-in as well as through my USB dock.

2. N/A. I guess I could switch to hdaudio on the Alpine box, but same VMX editing issue.

3. I haven't reproduced the exact same disconnection issue. The sound has just been really cracky / laggy, but since the soundlib vmx option did fix it for now, I am assuming the root issue is the same. However, I can say the Alpine box downright crashed while trying to play audio, which may be related; unfortunately I don't have the logs anymore as I spent the morning cleaning up the mess it left, which involved a number of reboots (I forgot that I left it running an upgrade while I was investigating the sound issue in another VM and then decided to go there and try playing an mp3 for comparison... it choked really bad for a bit and then the VM powered off).

Anyway, thanks for the fix.

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OldGamer83
Contributor
Contributor

The distortion in this audio-sample is the same kind of distortion I experience. The distortion is more noticable during music-play, however.

I've applied the "pciSound.useSoundLib = "FALSE"-workaround in the .vmx-file and this brings the sound-quality back to the Workstation 15.5.2-level: In Windows 98 SE the sound has improved, but during gaming the sound still produces some clicks/slight distortions but not as bad as it was. I'm wondering whether this will be fixed sometime or is due to the way VM's work.

I did not experience the issue of complete audio-failure at all before applying this fix. Even during an hour-playing of games the sound continued to be distorted, but did not break.

P.S.: Forgot to mention my soundcard. It's a Creative Sound Blaster Z.

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AP64
Contributor
Contributor

I have experienced the same dreadful crackling sound quality in an Ubuntu 20.04 64-bit virtual machine running on a Windows 10 version 1909 64-bit host.

  • Using the configuration option sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio" fixed the issue.
  • Using the configuration option pciSound.useSoundLib = "FALSE" also fixed the issue.

The terrible cracklings were present when using the computer's built-in sound card (identified as "High Definition Audio Device", HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76E0&SUBSYS_103C1909, which I think is some sort of IDT 92HDxxx) and when using an external USB sound card (identified as "G533 Gaming Headset", USB\VID_046D&PID_0A66&MI_00).

Thank you for the quick fixes.

By the way, what are the disadvantages of using sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"?

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Thanks for the info.

As long as your guest OS is modern enough to recognize the HD Audio controller and it works to your satisfaction, there is really no reason not to switch.  It's really just old-ish OSes – perhaps from 1998 through to 2006 or thereabouts – which are likely to work with the older ES1371 but not work with the newer HD Audio controller.

--

Darius

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qhartman
Contributor
Contributor

Hey there! Unfortunately, this workaround is not helping my sound situation. I've been running an Ubuntu 20.04 (Previously 18.10) VM for work for several months now. I'm using the latest Fusion (on Catalina) when I work on my work hardware, and have been using Workstation Pro 15.x (On Ubuntu 20.04 ) for the last few months as I've been working from home.

After the latest update to 15.5.5 build-16285975, I have two sorts of sound issues:

Playback via virtual soundcard to Logitech Artemis headphones connected via USB to host - Generally choppy sound. Hiccups. Sometimes sounds like static

Playback via USB for Logitech Artemis directly connected to the VM - Seems fine

Recording via microphone on Artemis connected either way - lots of dropouts and delay, unusable for video conferencing.

I was using the creative es1371 emulation, trying both the hdaudio and pciSound.useSoundLib = "FALSE" workarounds seem to have no effect.

Prior to this, on 15.5.2 (?) sound worked fine either way, but if I connected the soundcard directly to my VM via USB, it would often cause the VM to hang for several seconds at a time, or the sound would periodically cut out for no apparent reason. When I started using it via the virtual sound card, it worked reliably.

Happy to provide logs or additional details if it would be helpful.

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