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Windows 7: Realtek onboard sound card with 5.1 surround speaker fill problem


20 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 
Realtek onboard sound card with 5.1 surround speaker fill problem

I recently installed a new motherboard Asus Sabertooth 990FX. It has an on-board sound card "Realtek® ALC 892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC". I'm using 5.1 surround speakers from creative. Speaker fill with windows update driver, or Realteks driver from Asus' website, has the same outcome.

The problem is that the back speakers, when playing music, sound like an mp3 playing at 24kbps or something of the sort. This is not the first time this has happened, and ever since windows vista, this problem has occurred in every on-board sound card i have dealt with. I have heard different reasons such as DirectSound3D Hal in Windows Vista being removed, on-board sound cards just sucking, drivers sucking, etc.

The only time the rear speakers sound right, is when i test the speakers with windows, with the software from Realtek, Or using some media player that i cant remember the name of anymore that had an option to fix this problem only for music played in that media player. But I just want all sound to play through them right. I don't watch movies on this computer and usually don't play any games, so i don't really care about the surround affect. I just want all the speakers putting out sound in stereo.

At this point I really don't care if i need a third party software to fix this issue and just for the record, no I do not have room in my system for an internal sound card, and I really don't want to deal with an external one either. I'd rather just never fix the issue and use only two front speakers for music and such.

I am using windows 7 64bit on this system.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The first step once confirmed that the correct drivers and by the way sound app is installed is to set to the speaker settings for 5.1 or 4 speakers depending on preference. You may want to check on the Windows sound mixer settings as well since many often forget about that other mixer being there.

The first test once the settings are looked over is going into the Control Panel>Sound section there to run the test/configuration wizard which will verify each pair of speakers first front then back as you go along. That is found in the Playback tab when first clicking on the CP>Sound and seeing the popup window appear.
(refer to attached images for both Windwos sound mixer, Sound configuration wizard)

As you will see from the second image there for the configuration wizard I use a separate expansion card(preferred here) while you would still look through that wizard. With the Creative Audio Console/Volume Panel you generally expect a move evolved mixer.volume control panel while most onboard sound setups also provide some smaller form of mixer app you would need to look at as well.

Another trip up found with some 5.1 speaker sets is on the center speaker or other volume and balance controls where sometimes tweaking them is required when it seems sound will drop off from the rear speakers. If the bass is up a bit the quality of sound from the rear pair despite having a woofer below can suffer! Then you have to tweak the tremble if these controls are present to clean up the sound from the rear.

As for 3rd party audio mixers you can find a ton of those. Power Mixer however replaces the standard volume control/mixer included in Windows. Volume control for Windows - Power Mixer


Attached Thumbnails
Realtek onboard sound card with 5.1 surround speaker fill problem-sound-mxer-levels-windows.jpg   Realtek onboard sound card with 5.1 surround speaker fill problem-sound-configuration-wizard.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

Thanks for the step by step info NightHawk, I have already messed around with those settings a hundred times. I will upload a snapshot of my current configuration, and look into the third party software you provided a link for.

Another good way to describe the sound im getting from the rear is that it sounds as if not only low quality but cutting out at certain pitches. so you may be right about the bass thing. I will see if there is something i can play with.


Attached Thumbnails
Realtek onboard sound card with 5.1 surround speaker fill problem-sound.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

my volume isn't all the way up because I use the system to manage the volume rather than the speaker knob. doesn't make any difference either way, it still makes weird sounds in the rear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

I am using Realtek Audio Driver V6.0.1.6251 for Windows vista 32bit&64bit/Windows 7 32bit&64bit.

Doesn't seem to be anything i can do with power mixer that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The thing I was referring to is seen with the older Logitech speaker set here with the volume, front to rear fader, and tone bass to tremble type knob on the center mix I keep on the desk while others are spread out. The head phone jack is also right there as well.

When adjusting the bass to tremble the center mix and front seem to get the boost while the rear seems to fade off a bit. The woofer simply does what a woofer does when seeing an increase in bass there. The difference I notice not only effect any music playback but even live tv input by way of the tuner card.

Yet all those wav files for Windows sounds are loud and clear! regardless of how these are adjusted. The problem eminates from multichannel sound not mono tones for the obvious reasons however. Two channel stereo wav files or MP3s will expect to see the same problems however as your typical stereo, HD, or 5.1 input.

From what I run into this would suggest the speakers are the main problem since front and back all need a certain current only seen when volume and other things like your equalizer(disabled on card software here) or bass and tremble adjustments are off from the sound coming through.

Web media playback or a live tv signal will be crystal clear while those controls will need to be tweaked a bit for an audio cd or MP3 when going back to the 5.1 setting unless using head phones for late night listening. As for any gaming the game's own control panel will see a speaker setting option there ruling out the need to change from 5.1 to stereo or head phones. No worry about bass and tremble either!

The driver version there is what is found at the Asus support site being crosscompatible with the 32bit/64bit Vista and 7. You may want to see what the Realtek has there to see if a newer version of the same for that audio chip is available at their main site support pages.

I doubt even a newer set there will hold any solution however since this always seems to stem around the volume and other controls on the speakers themselves as well as the sound application at least as far as a separate expansion card. The other thing that could help would be using optical output if available over direct plug into the 1/8 rear jacks to see if the audio is then cleaned up using the other technology over analog.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

Ill look into another driver that is 64bit. as for the speakers, i would use a monster cable if the speakers supported it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

I took a look at the Realtek download page and all that shows is R2-67 ATI and the 3/30/12 latest R2-68 for both 32bit and 64bit download for Vista and 7. I fugured you would lkely have the latest from the Asus support site but wanted a look anyways.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

yep still working on it, but no luck. Tried the driver from the Realtek sight, but it doesn't make any difference. Ill be amazed if this problem is ever solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

It always boils down to something odd like some stupid adjustment of settings rather then any driver issue. Eventually I will need to replace the old 5.1 speaker set here and may end up still running into the drop off of rear right speaker in fact volume/clarity to some extent until some tweaking with the front to rear, tone, etc.knobs.

For digital output the only concern of course would be for analog sound file, MP3s, etc. where the conversion losses something along the way. Unfortunately there's usually nothing that can be done for any of that either unless someone digitally remasters something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Realtek onboard sound card with 5.1 surround speaker fill problem




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