Audio issue possibly related to system microphone

Hi, I am having an issue with audio applications that are using the Microsoft system microphone - GP being one of them.

Issue is that I get audio pops and crackles seemingly random. This seems to happen only for apps that are using the MS system mic, and I cannot figure out the solution. It does not seem to be related to system resources being taxed as I can experience this in GP with a light plugin like Addictive Keys playing a single note (3 to 5% GP CPU meter).

I believe this started happening roughly 3 months ago, and I never got a chance to troubleshoot it until today.

Has anyone else experienced this with system mic audio issues?

I had this kind of problem before deactivating the internal audio device (Realtek HD on my pc).
Try this, it could help and it is recommended, but the problem can be caused by anything else.

Thank you. I will try this.