Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

The Virtual Audio Mixer discussions and support...
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 11:10 pm

Re: Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

Post by Nirgali42 »

It's possible that part of my issue was related to something that voicemeeter does when it puts the drivers in Virtual I/O mode. I can't really confirm, but if whatever was causing OP issue was related, then this information may help Vincent if he puts much effort into researching this further if he thinks it is necessary. I also hope that this message (paragraph three in particular) will help the OP with original issue. Please PM him if you want. I'm not sure he is still reading this thread and I can't yet send PMs.

I solved all of my issues. I noticed that when attempting to uninstall the voicemeeter devices from the device manager, they reappeared. I dug further and found a stray vac driver still installed (not ABCD). I removed it and all the voicemeeter devices also went away. Just to make sure I covered all the bases, I uninstalled realtek drivers, reinstalled newer version from mainboard site, rebooting when necessary. It no longer mixed audio into the realtek mic interface, but it did continue to mix into the usb mic interface.

I found a setting I didn't notice before after installing the new realtek driver package. It may be something new but I can't confirm this. "Separate all INPUT jacks as independent INPUT devices" I ticked this and the system reverted back to how it was working before. It seems that somewhere along the way, this setting was overridden/disabled (potentially behind the scenes if this wasn't available on the interface before the upgrade). I rarely use that software interface, so I suspect some automated thing told the board to mix the mic interfaces, which somehow told the system to mix in the output device along with the mics. I suspect ticking this setting reset whatever was going on to cause the I/O mix. What perplexes me is that whatever happened hear affected a non-realtek usb device. I will keep an eye on this to ensure it does not revert. I will make note of when it begins.

If I didn't mention this before, the VAC control panels showed stuck in Virtual I/O mode even when voicemeeter wasn't running and even after uninstalling it. Normally when voicemeeter closes, this setting is reverted for all three devices. This no longer happens after the reinstallations. My suspician is that things became unstable through one of the upgrades uninstalls/reinstalls of voicemeeter when I was first getting started with it.

Lastly, I have been using VAC since Feb 2009. I've been doing audio engineering as a hobby and sometimes professionally for quite a few years and I'm also a 25 year professional IT veteran. Going straight to "reinstall the OS" is a dangerous thing to recommend people on these forums based on the simple idea that valuable time is being wasted otherwise. Vincent even says you shouldn't need to except as a last resort. If I didn't know this wasn't necessary in my case, I would have been stuck reinstalling all my licensed professional audio software along with some rather large games and professional astronomy, photo, and video editing software, which would have set me back several weeks. Please reconsider making this your default recommendation for people. Most of the people visiting here probably have more complex configurations than a simple 2 to 3 hour OS reinstall. Many of them are likely audio folk with fobs and licenses and other issues that have to get sorted (some of which do not migrate to new OS installs without a lot of effort dealing with the manufacturer). Anyway, thank you for taking the time. I do appreciate your willingness to assist people. I just think a little more caution should be observed when making recommendations.

Vincent, if you make it past my wall of text, thank you for the many years of VAC. No audiophile should be without it. Cheers.
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Re: Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

Post by xcasxcursex »

Going straight to "reinstall the OS" is a dangerous thing to recommend people on these forums based on the simple idea that valuable time is being wasted otherwise.
I didn't, I did it based on the false information you provided. You said that your operating system was failing to remove drivers, which indicates a serious flaw at a low level. In fact the fault was with the operator neglecting to uninstall them, but I can only go by what I know from what you tell me.

If you're an IT veteran it you'd have the installations of packages like that automated and it doesn't take weeks it takes hours at worst. Likewise installing games, just have them on a separate partition/drive or at least copy them over from your backups and you're golden. It's not hard even for end users let alone vets.
Also an IT vet ought to have seen the numerous differences between their issue and OPs and certainly wouldn't have said it was the "exact" same issue.

I'm inclined to take you on your word regarding your IT experience, but you gotta admit, it isn't as bad as you make out, unless you're doing it very wrong, and things aren't even close to what you said they were.

Regarding fresh OS installations: It's not my 'default recommendation', it was the most appropriate recommendation given the information at hand. I'll freely admit it was bad advice in your case, but that's not by it's nature, it's a result of being misinformed as to what 'your case' was - If you tell me you need to fix X and I tell you how to fix X, that doesn't mean that was bad advice in general, it means you actually needed to fix Y and you are judging the solution based on its effect for an entirely different problem. There's also nothing stopping you from saying 'whoa, that will take forever because logic's dongle is locked to the old install, perhaps there's some other way?', and that becomes problem Z and I'll give you a solution for problem Z. Even in this most recent post you've added new information which changes your problem and also further separates it from the exact problem OP has.

In OP's case he's already weeks into testing, the results of which he can/will not understand, he refuses to see that the fault might be with anything other than VM, and even the worst installation requirements with the worst software demands (like dongles etc) and the worst preparation (no backups no automation) take mere days. By now even if it took the hyperbolic "weeks" to install, which it doesn't, he'd STILL be better off. He's refusing to install out of pure stubbornness and I maintain - and the evidence that I'm right, is right in this thread - it would be MUCH faster for him to just reinstall than it would be for an obviously inexperienced user to troubleshoot an issue like this. You'll note that it was not my 'default recommendation' in his case, since he reported a different issue to you, rather, I began a barrage of tests to isolate the fault - tests which were never completed and the results steadfastly misinterpreted - THAT is why I told him to reinstall. He was wasting time.
It's in no way dangerous, on the contrary. It might take longer than trying to fix it in-place, but that's the worst-case scenario.

The takeaway I have from this is that I should not base my recommendations on the assumption that users are accurately describing their faults (especially when they use terms like "same exact issue" to describe something, immediately before describing various differentiating factors) or that they maintain their systems appropriately such that reinstallations are not arduous. That was my bad. Next time, I'll prefix my suggestions with "well going by what you told me" and suffix by "if you have it setup properly"... Actually, no I won't, I'll base my responses on those entirely reasonable assumptions.... Like I already do.

Regarding the realtek feature to split front and rear audio, that's been there forever. It's reset by driver installations so I guess we know how that happened :) I'd been trying to drill down to issues related to that device, with OP, but hit the "I already know everything, the problem is voicemeeter" wall. If you have even half the IT experience of which you boast, you know that a user with a little knowledge is more problematic than a user with none. If he won't let me lead him into fixing it in-place, then reinstallation was the best bet. In your case, reinstallation and appropriate configuration has solved that part of the problem, and perhaps if he does the same, it will work for him too. After all, it WAS my first suggestion:
Perhaps the driver is going haywire when VM opens the device for output, and the driver is feeding the audio back on itself...
And many subsequent comments I've made since, went that same way.

Still, I can check and uncheck that box all day long with no issues like yours, so I've no idea why this would be happening for you two. Clearly, something is busted up on your machines, which, again, is just a good reason to start with something fresh - since you don't know what caused it, it might just come back. At least now, you'll know the workaround if that should ever happen :)..and what you DO know, is that it wasn't VM, or realtek, or the USB device - it was all of them, so what do they have in common? The OS, for starters. If it's not that, it's something lower down the stack, ie hardware/firmware/etc, and of course the only way you can get that far in your process of elimination is...reinstall the OS.

This ain't my first rodeo, either. There's method in my madness ;)
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Re: Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

Post by Nirgali42 »

I took weeks because I have more important things to fix than an audio issue. It wasn't false information. When you uninstall a drive package, it SHOULD uninstall the drivers. But it did NOT. I understand where you're coming from, but damn you're super defensive. installing games on a separate partition is only part of it because there are registry changes that also happen. I experienced the same issue, but it was compounded by the realtek split input setting. I can still create the same condition as the OP. "accurately describing their faults" is very true even veterans get in a hurry and don't explain things 100%. Your first msg to me was to reinstall the OS. This was based on what was portrayed and also comparing with what the OP stated in the many posts. Again I appreciate your willingness to help. I am glad your defauilt isn't to reinstall the OS. I can still recreate the conditions of OP, but my solution is pronbably more permanent than his.
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Re: Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

Post by xcasxcursex »

You said it took weeks to reinstall, not to reinstall and also do other things that were more important. It was absolutely false information, scroll up, you corrected it yourself. Heck, you literally stated by claiming the "exact" same issue and then immediately listed several significant differences. Yes, when you uninstall a driver package, it should do that, and if it doesn't, windows is broken, because it SHOULD uninstall as instructed. But you said in your next post that you "dug further and noticed another driver". That's not windows, that's operator error, it's not windows failing to uninstall, which as the false information you provided, it's you failing to uninstall, the corrected information you provided AFTER my recommendation based on the false information... and that's just one of the falsehoods in your first post. I'm not being defensive, I'm correcting you. I told you to install the games from the separate partition, since you said they were "fairly large'. Their size is irrelevant to their need for registry keys and the registry keys are taken care of by the installers which are but a doubleclick away. No, you experienced a different issue with one half of a similar condition, which was NOT remedied by the realtek setting, and various entirely different conditions. I now no longer believe you have 25 years in IT because even a 6 month helpdesk rookie knows not to make that mistake and certainly not to double down when they do. Maybe you're just not in a technical role. Yes, even vets get in a hurry and don't explain things 100%, and if so, they can expect advice that's based on not 100% accurate info and accordingly isn't 100% effective. Yes, my first message to you is to reinstall, and it's still my advice because you're still seeing malfunctions which a clean install is a requirement to diagnose. That was based only on what you told me, nothing to do with OP. Practically nothing to do with this thread has to do with OP's. It's a different problem. You yourself have described various differentiating factors such as:

Different output device
Redirecting to different input devices (His is realtek to realtek, yours is realtek to USB)
Second device pair redirection involved (yours does USB to USB)
Different behaviour of VM Cables
Workaround of OP's does not work
can still recreate the conditions of OP
Still? So far you never have. At least, going by what you've said.

This BS is why I was hesitant to respond. I'm done arguing with you and OP both. It's clear to me that the root cause of both of your issues is the operators and they are unwilling to accept a fix. Your loss.
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Re: Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

Post by newbieTrying34 »

Hi guys, OP here.

So let me tell you a story of why an OS reinstall is NEVER the solution.

I decided to bite the bullet and reinstall Windows 10, downloaded direct from Microsoft's website, setup a flash drive and got to work.

Now I install my OS on an NVME so the install itself takes barely a minute, but then Windows boots up, then I have to login to my Windows account, then it takes a good 15 minutes to setup everything and present me with the desktop. At this point, I install my mobo drivers and restart. Now I have to install Chrome and disable IE11. Now I have to login to Chrome. Now I have to install Avast and restart. Now I have to install my nVidia drivers and restart. Now I have to install 7zip. Now I have to install my LAN drivers and restart. Now I have to install my audio drivers and restart. Now I have to install my ASUS AURA Sync drivers and restart. Now I have to install MSI Afterburner and restart. Now I have to install Voicemeeter and restart.

At this point, the problem STILL EXISTS. But hey am not done yet.

Now I have to install my Corsair keyboard software and restart. Now I have to install my Logitech Gaming Hub and restart. Now I have to install Google Drive, Codec pack and NPP++. This is followed by installing the various game launchers I use including Steam, UPlay, Epic, Origin followed by Discord. Now I need to login to each of these and configure them how I want. Thankfully my games are on my non-OS drive and I only have to reinstall one of them. But now I need to run each of my games and configure them how I like.

This is followed further by installing the tools and software I use like DaVinci Resolve, OBS, Firefox, FreeOffice Suite, Gimp, IrfanView and configure them how I like.

After this I need to configure some Windows group policies, services and pin things onto the Start menu.

This whole process took me 6 hours. Not a couple of minutes, not half an hour. My problem, as I had already said, was still not solved.

HOWEVER! This wasn't the end! Ohhhh no!!! See if you install Windows 10 from the Microsoft website it automatically installs the latest version. And after spending 6 hours setting up my PC so I could finally work with it, I realize a game I really enjoy playing, Honkai Impact 3rd, did not work with the latest Win 10 v2004. Not only that but this latest version of Windows started causing problems in other games as well, Microsoft is aware.

I tried to get the game to run on BlueStacks emulator but that emulator is garbage, started causing BSODs after a few days.

So THEN (lmao like good ol crazy Joker) I reinstalled Win 10 v1903 (my previous version) using Rufus (https://rufus.ie/) and repeated the whole PC setup process again for another 6 hours.

Oh yeah Voicemeeter STILL has the problem.

So the moral of the story is NEVER reinstall OS if a software has an issue. NEVER recommend that someone reinstall OS if they are having a software issue.

An OS reinstall is ONLY recommended when the damned OS itself has an issue (Windows update won't start, explorer keeps crashing, start menu won't open, applications won't open) OR when you work on a barebones PC.

So there. Now what? Should I get a new motherboard? Should I get a USB mic? Is that the solution to a bug that exists in Voicemeeter?

Speaking of motherboard, since I have an ASUS mobo as well as a laptop and have had the pleasure of using their software and service center recently, NEVER buy anything ASUS ever, their software is crap and they outsource their service centers and never accept a return on an RMA. But I digress.

The only thing good to come out of a reinstall is that I created a freshInstall folder containing ordered installers for all the stuff I need. So thank you for that.
xcasxcursex wrote:
tests which were never completed and the results steadfastly misinterpreted
And dude, I have already done your test, I already told you to go check page 3 of this thread. You are literally spewing nonsense at this point. This is a VM bug, I made the thread to bring it to the dev's attention (Vincent alone works on this as I came to know). If he wants to fix it, he can. Else VM users' inputs on a "fix" are not required at this point. The thread will serve to help other Realtek users who encounter this Voicemeeter bug.
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Re: Voicemeeter does not work well with Realtek card/drivers causing system audio feedback as mic input

Post by HOWIEC »

newbieTrying34 wrote:So THEN (lmao like good ol crazy Joker) I reinstalled Win 10 v1903 (my previous version) using Rufus (https://rufus.ie/) and repeated the whole PC setup process again for another 6 hours.
Yeah, I only suggest a fresh install of Windows if most other options are exhausted or if some serious troubleshooting/isolation is desired and/or corruption or something wrong with the OS is strongly suspected.

It sucks that you had to go through that (from someone's ill-informed recommendation?). Perhaps if you have to do that in the future, it might be worth creating an drive image backup so that at least the restoration (if necessary) might be a little easier or faster. Of course, you'd need another drive or enough space to do so...
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