Okay, I was unable to resolve the slideshowing.
Neither could I eliminate the audio problem, it just got worse.
What is happening is that I now get a reverberation on the sounds, which then carries over to everything I do outside the game.
Initially, I rebooted the system, and it cleared. I then went into the game and it sounded fine, the sound problem was fixed. However, when I then exited the game, it reset something that is creating the studio sound, that reverb, on every sound effect from the desktop, to popup blockers, to other games.
I don't know if this info leads to a solution, hope it does.
I disabled music throughout this entire test, it didn't seem to help.