TechSpot

Voice becomes broken over time

By iflyata
Dec 21, 2008
  1. Hi all,

    I'm new to these forums, but have read through different topics on here frequently when I have computer problems. This issue I'm having now has pushed me to create an account and start seeking some help.

    Basically, I'll be using a program that connects to servers (to which other members are connected to, and we can communicate), and after maybe an half hour or so, suddenly others will be unable to hear me, and report my transmissions broken, and unreadable. I've found that if I go into the program's Audio Settings and switch from using Wave Sound to use Direct Sound, just in the Microphone portion of the Audio Settings, and click Apply, it fixes the problem and users can hear me again.

    However, then it seems like 20 minutes later, the same thing happens. So I do the same thing, and switch it back to Wave from Direct Sound. Problem solved. Then again, 10-15 minutes later, and same fix for it, just switching it back to whatever it previously was, and then when it happens again, back to the other way, and so forth. It might be my imagination but it seems initially all is fine, then the problem starts, and continuously gets worse and worse (shorter time span inbetween needing to switch back/forth) as time goes on.

    I should note when this happens I do NOT have Skype, Teamspeak or any other VoIP program open on my computer that I know of! I have another program that similarly communicates with users and it also has the same symptoms. For the record both programs I'm using are called VRC (metacraft.com/VRC/) and Squawkbox (squawkbox.ca)...they are part of a flight simulation community called VATSIM.

    I'm operating on Windows XP and using a Linksys router. I don't believe it has anything to do with the router though because I am using a desktop PC, and when I try using the VRC program on my laptop (which is wirelessly connected to the same router as the desktop), I have no issues.

    I am using a SoundMax HD Audio onboard soundcard with an Asus motherboard. Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Hey there; welcome to the forums! It sounds (no pun intended) like the problem lies with the onboard sound adapter. I've seen a lot of instances where the integrated SoundMAX HD Audio becomes distorted. I would normally recommend updating the drivers and software but in this case I might suggest upgrading the sound altogether. Having a dedicated sound adapter will give better sound quality and reliability. If you're a gaming regular, then you have an even better reason to upgrade. You can try reinstalling the drivers for the integrated unit, but if you continue to experience problems, it may be time to get something else.
     
  3. iflyata

    iflyata TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I did have a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme sound card installed and was using that for a bit, but got fed up with how quiet the microphone volume was, there seems to be so little microphone boost (I worked quite a bit into digging around every audio setting I could and raising it to max volume and even still it was relatively quiet). I eventually gave up using it, uninstalled it, reactivated the onboard and here I am.

    I also worry about going back to the X-Fi card because I'm getting a USB headset and don't know if it'll work with that, which is why I wanted to get the onboard sound fixed.

    So other than re-installing the device or updating the drivers there's not much of a fix?
     
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Unfortunately, what you see is what you get with onboard sound; there is typically little functionality without bloatware. The X-FI should have all kinds of options for voice input and whatnot, I'm surprised you had problems with it actually. Is your sound device defined in control panel and in the voice transmitting programs you are using? If not, your system may not be processing the audio correctly. Have you tried the mic on another system? I'm pretty sure that a USB headset would be compatible with both onboard and dedicated sound cards. Is it possible you had the mic line plugged into the wrong port on the sound blaster?
     
  5. iflyata

    iflyata TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I'll probably put the X-Fi back in tomorrow then, and try to get that to work. I do plan to call Creative first though tomorrow and make sure the USB headset will work with the sound card, just to double check (since the location of my desktop makes it a pain to open/close the main computer) before I put back in the Creative.

    Thanks for the help and I'll let you know if I have the same issues with the X-Fi (who knows, maybe a re-install will make the volume issues disappear!)
     
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