We had a strange audio problem today where many things did not play properly. Sounds were distorted and very short, like if the sound was compressed in time. It was likely a Windows or driver issue as it was not specific to files or programs. I found that running the following program fixed the issue: Creative Sound Blaster Control Panel Note that rebooting or even reinstalling the driver did not help.
I pinned that program to the start menu, but maybe it was only needed to run it once to fix the issue. Hopefully it won’t happen again.