Intermittent audio distortion: reproducible

I am able to consistently cause audio playback to become distorted in the following conditions:

  1. Open a video in VLC;
  2. Use left arrow and right arrow keys to scrub forward and backward within the video.

(For those of you know electronics, the distorted audio sounds as if it has had a ring modulator applied to it.)

I thought it was VLC, but it isn’t. I am able to reproduce it by using the arrow keys to scrub around in a YouTube video.

Today I was able to trigger distorted audio in another application seemingly by scrolling up and down a webpage.

Closing the affected application usually resolves the issue, however sometimes I need to close it, reopen it, close it and reopen it (although it could be that the audio resolves itself after some duration and reopening the application is a red herring).

Thinkpad Carbon X1 gen 10. Fedora Workstation 38.


Then I should plug my guitar in?!?

VCO A to carrier input, VCO B to modulation input; adjust bias; output to a VCA (ideally a vactrol low-pass gate opened by a snappy envelope generator).

But yeah, guitars are cool too.

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Actually I was thinking of the radial tone stomp box pedals that use a ring modulator for the distortion, and an envelope follower for the more aggressive bass distortion pedals. They tend to be more used in metal type rock since they are really “harsh” to some more refined ears. But yeah, guitars are cool.

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Any idea why I might be incurring distorted audio, though?

At a guess I’d say it’s somehow related to that stack of audio-related things that don’t necessarily come pre-installed on Fedora Workstation?

Is there an audio-related log I could inspect to see if I’m actually getting some kind of error?

There should be something in the system logs to reflect any errors or warnings as a result. Possibly look in journalctl. Maybr journalctl --user -b to get the log since boot then maybe pipe that to grep or egrep. Graphically there is a Gnome based log viewer I think. [edit] Just checked in Gnome there is a log viewer in the utilities group of the default applications.