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Windows 7: Sound problem perrsists even after new sound card

10 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 
Sound problem persists even after new sound card

As some of you might remember, a few weeks ago I had a problem with sound after I built a new PC and kept my old Win 7 installation using sysprep: Onboard sound issue with new PC build. The problem was that the volume levels were off, and instead of having a normal flatline volume were you could hear everything clearly at a good volume level, certain sounds were too quiet to hear and others were deafening. I came to this forum and after a few responses I decided to do a fresh installation of windows, which only did a little to help the particular sound problem. Figuring it was a problem with the onboard sound, I bought this: ASUS XONAR_DG Xonar DG Sound Card - Newegg.com.

After I installed the sound card, the volume problem persisted and was pretty much exactly the same as before. Thankfully this time though, there was a setting in the device's audio center called "SVN", which is smart volume. This setting actually did fix the problem a little, and the sound was a lot closer to how I remember it being on my old HP pavilion. SVN is not without it's own problems, though. Now there's clicking noises, audio drop outs, stuttering, and general low quality with that setting on. What's more, in most games I've played, the voices are hard to hear and tend to be drowned out by music or background noise.

Even though these problems sound bad, it's more tolerable than it is with the SVN settings off. Without that setting, the volume issue goes right back to how it was before I installed the sound card. Some might say I'm picky but I know something is wrong with the sound, it's not at all like it was on my old PC which had perfect sound.

I am very, very frustrated with this whole thing, there has got to be something I'm missing. The sound card has nothing to do with the onboard sound, correct? It is a separate sound device on it's own, so why does it have the same exact audio issues as the onboard sound? It should be fine without having to turn SVN on, so what's the deal? Is it my headphones? I can't imagine what's causing this, and if there is no solution I'm prepared to give up and deal with it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Not all sound is at the same volume level. One MP3, for example, can be louder or softer than another. Same way with wav audio files, audio from the internet, audio on DVD's, etc. System sounds can be at different levels from different programs, and same way with streaming audio from the internet.

I have Audio CD's, both commercial and burned that have different volume levels between songs.

I have a home recording studio and when I mixdown songs, I do it to a preset level. I then run them through an audio editior and set them all to the same reference level. Then when I burn an audio CD all the songs are at the same (or nearly) same volume level.

BTW, when you installed the separate sound card, did you disable the on-board audio in the BIOS? If not, there can be conflicts and varying problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 

Yeah, I did make sure to disable the "onboard sound function" in the integrated peripherals section in the BIOS. I'll double check soon just to make sure.

Also, the volume problem isn't that different programs are at different volumes. The overall sound across the whole system, games, music, videos, everything has this volume problem. Across everything, there is not a flatline volume, and certain sounds are too quiet and others are too loud, making for an uneven sound. For example, usually in games the footsteps, talking, and other background noise are too quiet to hear, and then when you fire a weapon it's so loud it almost hurts your ears. The certain sounds that are affected vary from game to game, but it's always guaranteed to have uneven volume.

It's not normal, this is not how the sound should be, and I have no idea what's causing this. I am prepared for there to be no solution, but I know something is wrong with the sound. If all else fails, at least there's that SNV setting that somewhat fixes it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

A lot of games use MIDI sound. The MIDI synthesizer may be part of the problem. The Microsoft Synth is used by the on-board audio. I don't know about the ASUS, but SoundBlaster's have their own MIDI synth's and they are much better (more realistic) than the Microsoft.

Check around the PC and see if there is another MIDI synth you can use for MIDI. Also, some games have adjustments for the background volume, talking volume, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 

I typed mixer /listmidi in dosbox and it only showed Microsoft GS wavetable synth, is that normal? I've read about people usually seeing other options like "SB X-Fi synth A [9C00]" and "SB X-Fi synth B [9C00]".

Maybe in the Registry editor I can edit something like the default midiout device? Or should I leave that alone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2013   #6

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

You have to have a SoundBlaster sound card to get the "SB" syths (which are hardware synth's on the sound card). The Microsoft GS Wavetable is the default built in Windows synth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 

I know it sounds crazy, but I have a feeling the problem might be related to my headphones. The headphones I have are Sony MDR-ZX100 stereo headphones. Is just stereo enough, or should I invest in some surround sound ones? If this doesn't fix this problem, I'll give up on this whole problem altogether.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Unless the headphones are bad, they are probably not the problem. There are high $$ surround headsets but unless your sound card supports them you don't want them. There are also USB headsets but they can be problematic too.

Do you have another headset or even the "ear buds" that you can test with? The ear buds aren't as good fidelity but it will tell you if the sound problem is in your headset.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 

I just tried it with some ear buds and yeah, it looks like headphones aren't the issue. Oh well then, I guess that how the sound is going to be. I thought it wasn't normal to be experiencing really loud sound at only 50% volume, but I guess either that's how PC sound is for everyone or there is a problem that can't just can't be solved. Maybe it's the mobo, but I don't know. All I know is getting a new one would be way too expensive and too much effort for a sound issue, so I guess I give up! Thanks for all the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Sound problem perrsists even after new sound card




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