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  1. #1
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    Default DDO: Sound! (Voice Chat)

    I know its been said before but please fix.....

    how come we have to have VC set at 100% and then the rest of the sounds set to 1-2% so we can actually hear people?

  2. #2
    Community Member squishwizzy's Avatar
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    Sound coming from the game is static - there are no variation in the sound other than the samples they use and replay at the appropriate time.

    Sound coming from a mic, however, has LOTS of variations. There is the volume of the person doing the talking, how far the mic is from the person's mouth, how sensitive the mic is, how much additional amplication you have on the incoming sound, and whether the mic volume is somehow attenutated by a manual control, or by the length of the cable running to the PC (mine is wireless, so I really don't have that problem).

    Because the sound is digitized by the time it hits the network, there is no loss over the Internet. But all the factors that go into the original captured volume of the sound are still in play.

    Trust me, I've had people amplify their chat to the point where it distorts (loudly) in my headphones. So the reverse is true as well.

    The Devs (if they had the time and inclination) could create some AGC code (Automatic Gain Control) that levels the voice volume to a specific height, however this is no panecea either. Low, quiet voices will be raised, but so will any background noise.

    So, I hope that explains things for you.
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    Community Member Alrik_Fassbauer's Avatar
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    If you use Skype : Skype seems to "mute" other sound sources a bit, I heard ... And I think I can confirm that, for the few times I used Skype in conjunction with DDO ...

  4. #4
    Community Member Zyerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cade_Wells View Post
    I know its been said before but please fix.....

    how come we have to have VC set at 100% and then the rest of the sounds set to 1-2% so we can actually hear people?
    Thats due to peoples own microphone setting on their OS, not on DDO. Yes, its true, I also need to lower everything to 1% so I can listen to voice. Then again, if everyone maximized their microphone boost on windows/linux/ whatever OS they're using, we wouldnt have to do this, but it seems that the OS microphone and DDO microphone balance isnt... Well.... Balanced lol.

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  5. #5
    Founder Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squishwizzy View Post
    Sound coming from the game is static - there are no variation in the sound other than the samples they use and replay at the appropriate time.

    Sound coming from a mic, however, has LOTS of variations. There is the volume of the person doing the talking, how far the mic is from the person's mouth, how sensitive the mic is, how much additional amplication you have on the incoming sound, and whether the mic volume is somehow attenutated by a manual control, or by the length of the cable running to the PC (mine is wireless, so I really don't have that problem).

    Because the sound is digitized by the time it hits the network, there is no loss over the Internet. But all the factors that go into the original captured volume of the sound are still in play.

    Trust me, I've had people amplify their chat to the point where it distorts (loudly) in my headphones. So the reverse is true as well.

    The Devs (if they had the time and inclination) could create some AGC code (Automatic Gain Control) that levels the voice volume to a specific height, however this is no panecea either. Low, quiet voices will be raised, but so will any background noise.

    So, I hope that explains things for you.
    Not true.

    The voice chat system is a 3rd party system, I believe from GameSpy. From previous threads over the years it appears that Turbine has no control over the code, short of switching to a new system or writing one from scratch.

    About the best we can hope for in the current system is that people learn how to balance their own mics. I, for example, cannot use a USB mic as all the software uses preset levels that do not pick up my voice well. Connecting the headset to the "analog" soundsystem on the motherboard allows me to configure Windows to pre-amplify the mic by up to 30db. I had to do this so I could use speech recognition outside the game.

    Having made the adjustments in Windows, when I'm in-game I can then adjust my chat volume to what the party finds comfortable. Also, Push-To-Talk (PTT) can be your best buddy... who wants to listen to you scarfing Doritos and slurping Mt. Dew because you think "hands free" chat is cool?

    Like I said, there's a lot an individual can do to improve their own sound quality... I just hold no hope for it in these days where a crappy mp3 file listened to on an iPod through $4.00 earbuds represents the current state of High Fidelity sound.

    [Edit] re-formatted to clarify the point.
    Last edited by Hambo; 05-03-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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  6. #6
    Community Member LazarusPossum's Avatar
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    Isn't Voice Capture Threshold in the audio option window supposed to be adjustable, to take care of the Doritos issue?
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  7. #7
    Founder Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LazarusPossum View Post
    Isn't Voice Capture Threshold in the audio option window supposed to be adjustable, to take care of the Doritos issue?
    VCT would filter out background noise, as it is related to the db level of the noise and most mics have a high attenuation rate... Normal sound within 2-4 inches is louder to most mics than Jackhammers at 50 feet.

    Crunching Doritos (or similar, don't want to fixate on a single product ) has a higher db level than normal speech and would be transmitted. In fact, if (im)properly adjusted, VCT could filter out all but the crunching.

    As stated in the prior post, all crunching can be done before hitting your PTT and the problem is nonexistant
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  8. #8
    Community Member Phemt81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cade_Wells View Post
    I know its been said before but please fix.....

    how come we have to have VC set at 100% and then the rest of the sounds set to 1-2% so we can actually hear people?
    /Signed and +1 asap.

    I keep sound effect and UI always at 3-4% of the volume.

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  9. #9
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    For a co-op game this needs addressing

    i've talked to people over msn using the same microphone and headset and then gone to ddo and can hardly hear them

    so its not just "get people to sort their microphones out"

  10. #10
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    Since I hear people a lot better in other platforms (using a third-party voice-client or when playing another game), that is, the same people I have to lower my in-game volume to around 20% to understand in DDO, I'm not sure I'm buying the explanation that this is the users' fault for incorrectly setting up their mics. That, or I misunderstood something.

  11. #11
    Community Member Shinjiteru's Avatar
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    My biggest problem with the ddo voice chat is when 2 people in the group are using voice chat and one of them busts my ears and the other one is so low that I can't understand anything(even if the other one wouldn't have already busted my ears). As long as I can't adjust the volume for every player in the group nor the ddo client uses some kind of normalization for voice chat it's just not working out for me.

    And yes, in sype and other voice chat programms you can activate an option to lower the volume of other sound sources as long as someone is talking in voice chat.
    Although I don't expect something like that from an ingame voice chat I would like to see an update of the ingame voice chat system because the current usability of it is not very good.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by squishwizzy View Post
    Sound coming from the game is static - there are no variation in the sound other than the samples they use and replay at the appropriate time.

    Sound coming from a mic, however, has LOTS of variations. There is the volume of the person doing the talking, how far the mic is from the person's mouth, how sensitive the mic is, how much additional amplication you have on the incoming sound, and whether the mic volume is somehow attenutated by a manual control, or by the length of the cable running to the PC (mine is wireless, so I really don't have that problem).

    Because the sound is digitized by the time it hits the network, there is no loss over the Internet. But all the factors that go into the original captured volume of the sound are still in play.

    Trust me, I've had people amplify their chat to the point where it distorts (loudly) in my headphones. So the reverse is true as well.

    The Devs (if they had the time and inclination) could create some AGC code (Automatic Gain Control) that levels the voice volume to a specific height, however this is no panecea either. Low, quiet voices will be raised, but so will any background noise.

    So, I hope that explains things for you.

    No, it really doesn't explain it.

    DDO's in game voice is different in volume than every other voice program I use.

    I can talk in Ventrilo and be heard clearly at half volume. I have all inputs cranked to max in DDO and people still have issues hearing me. I have to about eat the mic, which further distorts input.

    Isn't just me that has to do that.

    Ironically, I know a few folks who sound loud and clear, and others who sound like me... no rhyme or reason to it I have been able ot find.

  13. #13
    Community Member ...v...'s Avatar
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    I think it would be a very easy fix but Turbine is lazy. When you press F or whatever your assigned key is for voice chat, game sounds should automatically mute.
    Afterall this is Turbine were talking about.

  14. #14
    Community Member themoonbreaker's Avatar
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    Voice chat in DDO is third party software. Yes, it could be improved but I am just glad that it is there and fairly automatic.
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  15. #15
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    Interesting note on this topic, six of us got together at my place with laptops. We went over the settings to make sure our playback settings were the same. We checked the mixers sliders out of the game also. Someone talked. On two of the computers, they were inaudible, on one they were booming, and the other two were normal. There is something random affecting it beyong our mic settings, nothing we did changed how we came out on the other end. We could make it worse, but not better.
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  16. #16
    Scholar Of Adventure & Hero Missing_Minds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LazarusPossum View Post
    Isn't Voice Capture Threshold in the audio option window supposed to be adjustable, to take care of the Doritos issue?
    The solution is to get those crunchers and breathers to learn how to use Push To Talk.

    inggold, Vent also has an outgoing amplifier. Near as we can tell GameSpy does not.

  17. #17
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    Been fighting this for years.

    Sadly the best solution seems to be turning off voice chat entirely, and using a teamspeak or ventrillo server instead of DDO voice chats.

    I can never, ever use DDO voice chat. It doesn't pick up my voice. It's garbage. I can usually barely hear anyone using it.

    Teamspeak though, is pure gold.

  18. #18
    The Hatchery danotmano1998's Avatar
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    If there was some way in the interface to adjust a particular person's volume, then life would be good. Even if it was just down!!

    Biggest problem I have is the disparity between users. One guy is so soft you can't hear him, and another is so loud, your window panes creak from the sonic blasts.

    Oh, and I've tried to let people know that their volume could use some adjusting, but they tend to get defensive for some odd reason. Still can't figure that one out...
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  19. #19
    Community Member In_Like_Flynn's Avatar
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    I think the OP was more about how low game sounds have to be turned to be able to hear voice chat and less about the variance in voice chat volume.

    I've had all game sounds turned down to 5% for six years so that I can hear voices -- at any volume -- over sound effects and the environment. I know many others do as well.
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  20. #20
    Community Member squishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hambo View Post
    Not true.

    The voice chat system is a 3rd party system, I believe from GameSpy. From previous threads over the years it appears that Turbine has no control over the code, short of switching to a new system or writing one from scratch.
    Actually, it is true depending on your expertise in communications and the Windows sound mechanics. And yes, I know both (I'm a software developer).

    But yeah, if it is a package, they have no control over the adjustments (I figured they just wrote their own). However, there is - and God forgive my immortal soul for pointing this out - public domain stuff that can be incorporated into their system with a minimum of development time that could accomplish the same thing. However, "free" stuff is free often for a reason...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambo View Post
    About the best we can hope for in the current system is that people learn how to balance their own mics. I, for example, cannot use a USB mic as all the software uses preset levels that do not pick up my voice well. Connecting the headset to the "analog" soundsystem on the motherboard allows me to configure Windows to pre-amplify the mic by up to 30db. I had to do this so I could use speech recognition outside the game.
    That's not 100% true either. Much of it has to do with the quality of the mics (most of them are cheap) and the initial amplification of sound as it comes in from the source. Most of that is chipset dependant.

    I could go into a long dissertation of analog inputs, and front-end circuit clamping, and how it is unlikely that you'd see a difference between an analog and USB mic based on the mic alone. Suffice to say, it has more to do with the indivisual chips used to process and condition the individual voice input than it does the actual method for getting that sound data to the CPU; and most of those use the same technology. At one point, however, most sound circuitry uses almost the EXACT same circuit to transform the voice signal into a digitized number. So, from that point on, variations in the system don't really exist as far as the technology concerned in getting them to the computer. With analog, you go into what;s defined as an AFE (analog front end), which uses an ADC to turn the stuff into a number, and then pipe that to the CPU. On a USB mic, ther same thing occurs, but the only difference is that is delayed slightly as the information has to be transported over a USB bus. What varies is the driver that's used, the options on the sound card, and so on.

    Or maybe I'm dwelling too deep into minutae...which I most likely am...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambo View Post
    Having made the adjustments in Windows, when I'm in-game I can then adjust my chat volume to what the party finds comfortable. Also, Push-To-Talk (PTT) can be your best buddy... who wants to listen to you scarfing Doritos and slurping Mt. Dew because you think "hands free" chat is cool?
    I SO agree with you on Push-To-Talk. I ran with a guy who used the voice-activated thing, and it was annoying as all get-out. At times it was funny. However, when his spouse came in and a huge fight ensued over how he was playing the game and ignoring other things, it went from annoying to cringe-worthy embarassment.

    Everyone do yourself a favor. Go Push-To-Talk. I don't want to know about some of the gorier details of your individual lives...my own life is bad enough.
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