Distorted Sound

  stickybluetoffee 13:57 05 Apr 08
Locked

I'm getting distorted sound on a lot of the games on my PC, but not all of them.

E.g
Command and Conquer 3 - distorted
Command and Conquer 2 - ok
Neverwinter Nights - distorted
Knights of the Old Republic - ok

Now my sound is fairly old - a creative 5.1 which I've had for around 10 years, but most people I speak to don't think that it could be the sound card given that it only affects some games and it is at least playing sound.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Would a new sound card help or just be a complete waste of money doing nothing to help the issue.

Cheers

  brundle 13:59 05 Apr 08

Do any of the games use so-called 3D enhancement - EAX for Creative cards, A3D was another kind if I recall. If they do, try disabling it.

  stickybluetoffee 14:02 05 Apr 08

Cheers Brundle
Do you mean disable it in the game or on the card?

  brundle 14:05 05 Apr 08

It's usually an option in the game settings.

  stickybluetoffee 14:23 05 Apr 08

They are already disabled and I can't enable them.

So I'm going to assume that they are disabled because my sound card doesn't have the ability to support them.

Based on that then a new sound card would be a good idea, so I can get one that will support the enhancements.

  brundle 14:27 05 Apr 08

It was worth a try; the enhancements can sometimes cause the distortion you describe. You could try the sound tests in DXDiag (start menu/run/type DXDiag press return) to see if you experience distortion there.

  stickybluetoffee 15:27 05 Apr 08

No distortion there.

Will a new sound card make a difference if it is due to the 3D enhancements?

  Ditch999 15:32 05 Apr 08

Creative have a diagnostic facility usually. Have you run this? It should be in the Start Menu where you have the Creative folder.

  brundle 15:35 05 Apr 08

If the options are greyed out in games it's probably because your card doesn't support the features as you already surmised. That's the only obvious cause of distortion I can think of but there are several links in the chain - make sure your drivers are up to date.
It's possible that some games use a different method to output the audio - go to control panel/Sounds and Audio devices/Audio/Playback - see what is selected, set it to Creative or Preferred device and try it out. Click on Advanced and reduce Hardware Acceleration a notch. Don't change too many things at once as you'll find it harder to track down the answer if the distortion stops.

  stickybluetoffee 15:59 05 Apr 08

Ok now here's a twist.

Check my sound settings and my audio playback wasn't through the sound card it was through another software device used for recording.
Turned the sound card on and sound on virtually every game is now all good.

Except one where the sound is clear, but there's no picture, and then I can't seem to use my keyboard to get out of the game so end up having to reboot my machine.

So on the plus side my sound card seems fine and it can support 3D enhancements.

On the down side I can't use my sound card when playing with one game. My PC is well above the spec the game needs to that's a bit weird.

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