Sound in system and Rhythmbox is scratchy and skips

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https://bbs.archlinux.org – Two problems. Since a few hours ago, the sound on my system and in Rhythmbox has been *extremely* scratchy. I'm playing mp3 files through Rhythmbox, and in the system, the terminal beep is also quite scratchy. However, the scratches aren't present in Totem. I'm just using the standard ALSA configuration, I believe, since I don't remember installing anything special to make my sound work. I thought it might have been a simultaneous playback issue, because although I don't *play* sound in multiple apps at once, I often have several apps that utilise sound open (e.g. Tote (HowTos)