What timing just came back to add an update! I had to swap my sim for the day because couldnt focus on it, but last night i hooked it up and used the Chrome Flash Tool - took a bit, but everything came right back up (sigh of relief). So back running, but havent re-tired Magisk yet but will give it some testing later this afternoon!
that sound issue would be frustrating! Good luck!
So today ended up installing Magisk Manager 8.0.2 which ended me up with Stable Magisk 22.1 (not 23.0 which was the goal) and redid the whole boot patch rigamarole with the stock RQ3A.2106.05.005 boot file. Have rebooted my device now a bunch of times and my sound problem seems to have gone away (for the interim).
So after that have now have reinstalled DiamondJohn's recommended Android 11 V4A file (which he has linked to many places) and that's working too (well it was working before too when I was actually able to boot properly). Have rebooted now again a few times and am cautiously optimistic...
So I guess the moral of the story is that for those who are rooting their 4a (4G) phones for the first time with RQ3A.2106.05.005 and Magisk 23.0, keep on eye out on your sounds (cuz you might not have any after reboots). I enabled Touch Sounds under Sound & Vibration as an easy check by slapping the home key after each reboot.
And of course this will all prbly change once Magisk 23.x gets released or when we get a new OTA... then we will have new problems haha