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Strange problem - distorted sound when playing games, but...

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April 12, 2008 4:46:21 AM

...it's perfectly fine when I do anything else on the computer; listening to music, watching videos etc. etc. Even the intros to the games sounds fine, but as soon as the game engine kicks in (i.e, starting from at main menu) the sound gets distorted and crackled. Strangely enough, only some "layers" of the sound seems to get bad, sometimes the voices are perfect but the backround music is crackling, other times the voices are messed up, but sound effects are uneffected. To make this mess even stranger (to me, at least) - lowering the video options makes the audio better, most noticable when disabling v-sync when almost all of the distortion goes away. There's still some smelly crap lurking though, however, no matter how low I set the video quality.

It started yesterday when I bought Portal off of Steam, and the voices in it was sounding bad (everything else was fine, though). Thinking it was part of the game I didn't care, but when I later played some other ones I noticed everyone of them were infected. This is starting to get on my nerves after sooo many hours of trobleshooting, I reinstalled my sound, GPU and CPU drivers, I've checked the temperatures, I've got rid off every app or game I've installed the last few days and nothing is working. I REALLY don't know what's wrong. :pfff: 

My specs:

AMD Athlon64 X2 6000+ CPU
ATI RAdeon HD2900 Pro GPU
Creative EMU 0404 Soundcard
MSI K9VGM-V Mobo

Any ideas?
April 12, 2008 11:47:28 AM

surprised you can hear anything with a 2900 :p , i suppose you can try reinstalling windows.... have you tried using the integrated sound on your motherboard? just to see if its some conflict with the sound card just being in the system...
April 12, 2008 4:03:24 PM

spuddyt said:
surprised you can hear anything with a 2900 :p , i suppose you can try reinstalling windows.... have you tried using the integrated sound on your motherboard? just to see if its some conflict with the sound card just being in the system...


Yeah, I could reinstall XP, but I'd rather not since I've got a **** load of things on the computer that I just can't afford to loose at the moment, and I really don't like to format everytime a little crap problem pops up... Should be able to sort this mess up. :fou: 

Today I noticed that the distortion do infact distort every sound on the computer as long as it's under some kind of load. As an example, only listening to a song in Mediamonkey is fine, but when I browse an internet site at the same time the distortion shows up. The noise follows the volume of the sound being played, loud music and sound = loud noise, no music or sound = no noise.

So, to tear it down in pieces.
There's two criterias that need to be filled for the crappy sound to show up, 1. Audio and 2. Video load. There must be sound going from my card for the distortion to show up, no sound = no sound to make crappy - it does not create its own noise, hence 'distortion'. When playing games, the video settings effect to a large degree, almost eliminating any distortion when playing with low quality video settings. Vsync stands out as the distortion almost gets twice as high when it is turned on.

To put it even shorter: video seems to make my sound sound like crap.

Pretty please, help a computer newbie out here (before I throw the comp out of the window)... :) 
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April 14, 2008 7:54:40 PM

I have an idea of a possible workaround for the meantime.

If you can turn it any lower, turn the master volume of your soundcard down via the volume settings in the taskbar. Now, obviously everything is going to be a lot quieter. Use the volume on your speakers or headset to get the overall volume you want.

Also, if that doesn't work, try turning your ingame volume down instead, or media player volume down.

I have no idea if this will work, but it seems that as the distortion is relative to volume, it might. Worth a go.
April 14, 2008 11:44:42 PM

it's not noise. dxdiag.exe?
April 21, 2008 4:52:47 PM

sounds like the audio buffer is too low. try something higher like >512 samples
June 15, 2008 8:36:43 AM

Bump. I got the same problem using onboard HD sound though. Fine for movies mp3 etc, but try turning my head in game and hiss cracks and pops occur, but only on v high settings.

Can someone explain how I change the audio buffer in XP as well please as I'm having a hard time finding specific info on the net.
June 20, 2008 12:07:04 AM

I have the same issue in Vista.

Happens with both my onboard AND my Audigy card.

Here are my specs:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.21GHz
Asus M2N-32 SLI Deluxe
Sound Blaster Audigy (1, I think)
Windows Vista Ultimate
DirectX 10 (just updated).

I have also encountered this problem is some audio software as well as ALL games, most recently in the DJ software Deckadance (from FL Studio). It seems to be fixable by using the ASIO driver in some software.

All these games are set to stereo, the Volume options are set to stereo.
July 16, 2008 2:23:31 AM

Same problem here.

I know exactly when my problem started though.
My old Nvidia card went "pop" so I went and got a cheap replacement
(ATI/Powercolor x1550 PciE)

So I uninstalled my old drivers, and installed the new ATI card, Got the newest catalyst drivers, Installed them, Started a game up and bang!
The sound was raspy.

The game I 1st noticed it on was The movies, Graphics set to maximum.
I put the graphics down to medium and it went away..

Other games that I have the sound issues on so far are...

Starwars Galaxies (problem persists on lowest graphics)
The sims 2 (problem persists on lowest graphics)
The sims castaway stories (problem is not as bad as the sims 2)
Black and white 2 (problem is not too bad)

Alot of games dont have this problem at all, no matter what graphics settings.. such as

GTA San andreas
Evil genius
Hitman blood money
x3 Reunion
+many more

I have tried so many things to fix this including older drivers, Clean windows install ect..
The only way I could fix it was by removing the graphics card and testing the games with the onboard graphics, all of which worked fine (appart from the low fps) no sound problems at all.

So I tried to get support from the makers..
Powercolors website has limited support (when the page actually exists)
and only supports USA and Canadian customers which I am neither,
So that ones out of the window..

I tried ATI, I cant get propper support because I cant register my card, It dosnt even show up on ATI's list...

So Im stuck.. Going to have to live with the sound until I can save up some £ for a decent card..

Unless someone here holds the key to solving this.
November 2, 2008 6:28:48 PM

I have same problem to except reinstalling windows xp, new sound card, updating drivers, and switching grahpics cards didnt help at all. I have narrowed it down to the motherboard which is the only possible thing left it could be. The weird thing is that one cod4 when i am outside on creek the sound is a crakling distroted mess then when i go in the cave it is 99% perfect. Then the sound will start traveling aroun my surround sound not coming out of all but each one at a time.
April 18, 2010 1:41:35 AM

:pfff: 
October 24, 2011 5:24:55 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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