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Optimus Prime & Max (through a loudspeaker?)

posted by Aerothorn on - last edited - Viewed by 425 users

Hey - just started the game and it looks great, the music is great, but the voices...have issues. No, this isn't a "WHERE IS BILL FARMER" post - the acting sounds perfectly fine - it's the actual sound quality that's the problem. Namely, there's a lot of distortion - Max sounds like he's got an enormous lisp, created by all this hissing when he talks - and Sam sounds like a robot - like his voice is coming from some deep metallic chamber. Sorry I can't give a more technical description but I'm no audio engineer. I have no idea what could be causing this. I'm using a Soundblaster X-Fi, and am running it in entertainment mode, using headphones, but I don't have any fancy features turned on - no EAX, no CMSS-3D, no 24-bit crystalizer, nothing that should interfere or alter the game's sounds.

I can confidently say this isn't just me mishearing the intended voice acting, as I know they didn't sound like this in the trailer or anything.

10 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Aerothorn said: ... Sam sounds like a robot - like his voice is coming from some deep metallic chamber...



    Maybe this'll be an important plot-point in Episode 2? I'm really looking forward to some cyborg-action...

  • Very funny:P

    Unless you're saying you get this too. But it sure didn't seem intentional.

    I'd try running the game on my other machine, but due to the authorization system I'm not sure that would be possible.

    Edit: Apparently, it was just much more pronounced on the few voice samples I heard (motorcycle picture, moon picture) - most of it's fine, thought he sampling rate seems a bit low/hissy. Still, fun game:)

  • I get this too. I think it's just very high compression and I think it's VERY unfortunate. It ruins the gaming experience for me and I really hope they will offer another download with better quality.

  • Maybe you guys could fiddle with the bass/treble settings. I imagine setting the bass a bit higher, and treble a bit lower, might mask any high pitch noises, such as the hissing you described. It's not a solution, but just a suggestion to enhance your gaming experience ;) If it works, that is.

    --Erwin

  • @Erwin said: Maybe you guys could fiddle with the bass/treble settings. I imagine setting the bass a bit higher, and treble a bit lower, might mask any high pitch noises, such as the hissing you described. It's not a solution, but just a suggestion to enhance your gaming experience ;) If it works, that is.

    --Erwin



    Lousy advice.

    Me, I actually *Am* an audio engineer... I bought the whole seson and am kicking myself in the head because I in *no* way can enjoy such poor quality speech... It was horrible in mid 90's how could I bear it these days?

    Please do something about this or I wil be expecting a refund.

  • Hey, Erwin was just trying to help (and the suggestions were good ones).

    The sound compression we use allows us to keep download sizes small. Some people don't like it; others don't notice it at all. I'm sorry that it's bothering you so much.

    We are kicking around the idea of offering alternative versions with higher quality sound for those who want it, but right now we're a bit busy getting out a whole bunch of games in a very short amount of time. ;) If we do this, it probably won't be until season 1 is finished.

    In the meantime, if it bothers you so much that you want a refund, just send an email to support@telltalegames.com with your order number and we'll make it so.

  • I, too, as an audio engineer/audiophile, was stricken with some confusion when I heard the blatant audio compression artifacts on such a new game. I wonder what kind of compression is being used? Even a lower quality MP3 compression wouldn't yield such a strange sounding (quantization?) distortion. Also, don't most people have broadband connections these days? I downloaded the game in maybe 10 minutes, tops. Most MMORPG's take a few hours to an entire day to apply all the patches out of the box these days, so adding a few more megabytes onto the install package doesn't seem like it would offend too many people.

    I sort of feel bad jumping on the "audio compression sucks" bandwagon, especially when I am so, otherwise, incredibly happy with the game. I've been waiting so long for another Sam n Max that it almost just doesn't matter. ...and the monthly episode thing? Fantastic idea. If I were a rich man I would donate generously to Telltale for their efforts in revitalizing the pc adventure genre. Keep it up.

    In conclusion, I would be immensely appreciative of either an add-on speech pack, a larger install file, or a more transparent compression technique for the audio files. The music sounds great, though! :)

    -jake

  • Hey, I had the problem you described (cyborg voice etc), however it was only during the driving section of the game. It seemed to me like the engine noise was screwing everything up. The rest of the game was fine for me, didn't notice any hissing or anything, so maybe this is more of a glitch some people are experiencing that can be fixed via a patch or whatever, rather then just the quality of the voice compression. Any ideas?

  • Given the mention of a "metallic chamber" effect, I'd be curious if it might be EAX-related somehow (even though he says he's got EAX effects off, and he seems to be the type to know what he's talking about).
    I wish I could hear it for myself to compare to my own. (Am I just not as aurally discriminating?)

  • The speech in Episode 1 seem to take about 18MB of space, so really heavily compressed. I wouldn't really care if it was double or triple the size. Installer would pack compressed audio even a bit more anyhow.

    And yes, I can really hear all the hissing and S's sounding like snakes and lizards speaking. As being professional on audio, it annoys quite a bit, although you can get used to it. Maybe it's also my equipment here which makes it worse, high quality speakers (Genelec) and audio going out with digital optical from computer.

    I can even hear how bad (and I mean real bad even though it should be "high quality") motherboard soundcard sounds with it's D/A converters. I guess I'm used to pro-audio soundcards with pristine audio quality.

    Why not have torrent download for the files if it'd be problem them taking server download bandwidth or something. The download time of EP1 and EP2 took something like 5 minutes total. And it was yet using only half of my DSL download speed.

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