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Please increase the sound quality for voices

posted by neilka on - last edited - Viewed by 899 users

As has been noted in several threads of yore, the sound quality used for voices in past Telltale releases has been lower than some people would like. The voices sound overcompressed and clipped, which is especially evident when a character says the letter "s".

(To head this off at the pass - I realise that some people either don't notice or don't care about this problem, in which case forget you ever read this thread and don't try listening for it!)

With Dominic Armato back on board, it'd be an extraordinary shame for the voices to fall victim to the same problem again. So I beseech you Telltale, please increase the amount of data allocated to voices this time around so that Guybrush's esses (and other letters) can ring out across the Caribbean with the clarity they deserve.

Thank you!

100 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Irishmile said: What do German players think of Jurgen in Sam & Max?


    I'd say he's one umlaut short of Jürgen. :D

    np: Billy Bragg - You Make Me Brave (Mr. Love & Justice (Band Version))

  • @Pirateguybrush said: Are the German voices higher quality?

    Sounds better to me. The episodes are available here: http://www.gamesload.de/sam_and_max_episode_1/
    One problem though: The demo version is the regular English version, and the German full version has no demo mode. However, you could easily build a Frankenstein-version by replacing all VOX files of the English version with those of the German version. Doesn't work perfect, though. Some lines which are longer in the German version are cut short when played in such a manner. Still, should be good enough to judge the audio quality. @Pirateguybrush said: so i think it's finally time for an Overhaul in your Recording Department.Apart from a few lines (it was in "Reality 2.0", iIrc) which sounded like recorded in quite a different environment, I don't notice recording issues. It's the compression which obviously degrade the quality. A slightly higher bitrate would likely be a great improvement.

  • Is it possible to tell the sound quality from the trailer? And also, how much would it effect the file size to upgrade the sound?

  • @hplikelike said: Is it possible to tell the sound quality from the trailer?

    I downloaded the 224 MB trailer. It has lossless audio in CD quality, so very representative, given the producer isn't playing tricks on us.
    It sounds indeed better to me than Sam & Max. Watching the audio in a spectral view merely reveals occasional gaps above 16 kHz on music cues. That would place it even above the rather good EMI recordings.

    You probably noticed that most music in the trailer is directly taken from CMI, a game which is interestingly lossy and 22050 Hz only. Is this going to be in ToMI, or are those just placeholders for the new music to be produced? Either way, Telltale Games is apparently in possession of high quality recordings of the CMI soundtrack.And also, how much would it effect the file size to upgrade the sound?On "Culture Shock" the voice is 18.9 MB and the music is 14.7 MB. So adding about 30 MB would almost double the bitrate, which should be quite good. And adding about 50 MB would be somewhere comparable to Ogg Vorbis quality 5 which would be above the average game quality. That is not exactly excessive big, but still in very reasonable regions, I'd say.

  • @LogicDeLuxe said: I downloaded the 224 MB trailer. It has lossless audio in CD quality, so very representative, given the producer isn't playing tricks on us.
    It sounds indeed better to me than Sam & Max. Watching the audio in a spectral view merely reveals occasional gaps above 16 kHz on music cues. That would place it even above the rather good EMI recordings.

    It seems to me that previous gameplay footage previews for other games have contained higher quality voice samples than what were found in the final product. As though the trailers were compiled prior to everything being fed through the Audio Compressionator. If I had more motivation, I'd try to find a specific example, but considering this is all speculation until the final product is released anyway, I'm going to try not to exert too much more energy on this topic.

    The dilemma I'm facing is this, however. If I could get some sort of assurance from Telltale on this subject, I'd immediately preorder. After all, I'd really like the Steve Purcell artwork. On the other hand, if the audio quality ends up being "business as usual", I may take a pass on this one. Gotta "vote with my dollar" and such.

  • http://www.mixnmojo.com/features/read.php?article=grandadventures3

    The poor sound quality gets a mention in the latest Mojo review of W&G.

    "Muzzled! is closer to 4 skulls than the previous episodes, but the low quality speech still grates in my poor ears for every sibilant uttered by the actors."

    "A 2009 game being beaten by a game from 1992 in the sound quality department shouldn't happen."

  • So is anyone up for taking bets? 10$ that the audio is just as poor in Money Island?.

    Would it be funny to know what sound system they use at Telltale? i mean use so hours and hours opon end to record such fun and clever dialog, only to have it ruined with bad compression.

    I mean that is like making a new car, but not putting it togther properly so it falls parts 5min later :S

    Also just played W&G Episode 3, damn poor sound, it ruins the game.

  • I bet it is a pitch/age thing. Maybe there's nobody at their office who can hear the hissing, so when they try to fix it and think they've fixed it, it's still there.

    Otherwise I have no idea. My hearing is fairly poor so I've never noticed it, but this issue has been around pretty much since day one. Pretty sad.

  • My hearing goes in and out... like I can hear things really far away... but when me wife starts nagging my hearing seems to go out.. its the strangest thing.

  • If one of the previous posts is to be believed, 64kbps VBR OGG is pretty low for music standards but would be considered "ok" for Vocal with 80kbps VBR being the high end for Vocal only. As for music, music should be AT LEAST 160kbps VBR.

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