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Popping/Crackling Sounds Since Expansion (closed, necro)

fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
edited January 2014 in Graphical and Sound Issues
For the longest time I always had the strangest issue with sound. I have verified it is only me having this issue, but I am hoping some fellow geeks out there can help me track this issue. It really bugs me that out of the thousands of players that play this game, I am the only one who has ever reported having this problem, so I really want to solve this for myself here. Since it is a problem on my end and not Cryptic, I am placing this under General Discussion and NOT tech issues.

Okay so here is the situation: I have a few headsets I have tried, with the latest being a Logitech G35. On Tribble, I always had an annoying popping sound that seemed to be most effected depending on whatever ambient sound is playing. To best describe it, it seems like someone is taking bubble wrap and slowly popping it right into my eardrums. This ONLY happened on Tribble and NEVER happened on Holodeck. I could play for HOURS on Holodeck and never have this issue, but Tribble would cause this right off the bat. Since it was limited to Tribble for me, I never brought it up here in the forums, but now the issue has transferred to Holodeck as of this patch.

I have tried the following troubleshooting steps:
  1. Before, when I had the issue only on Tribble and not Holodeck, I had verified that the sound settings in-game matched precisely.
  2. I tried turning off Digital Processing in the Audio section of the in-game settings. This made no difference.
  3. In windows, under Playback Devices, I selected my headset, clicked "Configure", the only option was 7.1 Surround, so I left that and clicked Next, then i un-checked all optional speakers, clicked next, made sure Front left and right was checked and surround was not checked, clicked next and finish. This was thanks to tips on Google for folks complaining of similar issues.
  4. I went into properties, clicked the Advanced Tab, and per a tip from others on Google tried downgrading from 44100 Hz to 15000 Hz. Unfortunately this seems to completely disable my sound and mutes the game and whatever else I am working on. The lowest I can select and still get sound from the G35 is 32000, which does not cure the popping issue.
  5. I have ruled out that it is an issue with the G35. This issue has persisted with Plantronics and another USB headset I have also.
  6. I purchased and installed a PCI USB card, to rule out that motherboard processing was an issue. The USB card did not cure the issue. The popping still persists.

At this point I am officially at a loss. Due to my environment it is necessary for me to use headphones, out of respect for others in my household who need to sleep (who the heck DOES that anymore? Sleep is SUCH a waste of time).

If anyone else has any suggestions, I am very open to them. The current OS is Windows 7 Ultimate w/ SP1 and all of the latest updates. The current Logitech gaming software is version 8.40.83, however I find that irrelevant due to other headsets of different makes and brands having the same issue.

At the moment I can mix music, game and do lots of multitasking with sound with no issues. The ONLY times this persists is in Cryptic Games. I have this issue in Neverwinter also, but not as bad. If Cryptic for some reason uses different sound pushing technology on Tribble, and they decided to bring that pushing tech to Holodeck, I really wish ye hadn't, because it is hard to play a game when it sounds like someone is, every 5 seconds, popping bubble wrap right inside your ears.
Post edited by fazemladaiya on
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Comments

  • vigilanceazvigilanceaz Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I am also having this same issue exactly as you described with a Logitech G930 wireless headset. To be noted when I switch to an older headset with jacks (3.5mm) the popping does not continue.
  • threat21threat21 Member Posts: 300
    edited May 2013
    ive been getting a popping sound out of my left rear speaker since this iteration of sto went onto tribble, and it was only on tribble while the game client was active, even in the background (where sound doesn't play from the game). I reported this, and looky it made its way into holodeck. Right now my game client is minimized and im getting a poping sound every few seconds out of my left rear speaker.
  • ufpdewolfeufpdewolfe Member Posts: 95 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I would try updating your audio drivers if possible. Also are you on a laptop? Is there any performance monitoring software running that measure cpu usage and other stats of the computer?
  • namtarcnamtarc Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I also have a Logitech G35 and am experiencing the same problem. Will experiment tomorrow and see if I can find a fix.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Laisu VaNotas - U.S.S. Warbreaker
    Raoden - I.R.W. Warmaker
  • zombiedeadheadedzombiedeadheaded Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Disable the Surround Sound effects, and your problem will disappear.
  • soundwisdomsoundwisdom Member Posts: 248 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Same issue with a corsair vengence 1500.
  • fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    MANY thanks to those who replied. Here is a follow-up to what's been asked stated so far . . .
    I am also having this same issue exactly as you described with a Logitech G930 wireless headset. To be noted when I switch to an older headset with jacks (3.5mm) the popping does not continue.

    I may have to try this on my surround speakers, which do use jacks, but it bothers me if I have to resort to speakers when I depend on a headset/mic setup. Per my own rules, talking on my fleet Teamspeak does not allow game-play on speakers if it would bleed through the mic, even with push-to-talk enabled. I won;t back down on my own rule just because I have an issue and inconvenience others who use my Teamspeak by blasting their ears with phaser fire.

    threat21 wrote: »
    ive been getting a popping sound out of my left rear speaker since this iteration of sto went onto tribble, and it was only on tribble while the game client was active, even in the background (where sound doesn't play from the game). I reported this, and looky it made its way into holodeck. Right now my game client is minimized and im getting a poping sound every few seconds out of my left rear speaker.

    The same happens to me in what I described above. I can turn sound all the way down in game . . . popping still continues. Minimize the game . . . popping still continues. I am glad folks have replied here - I really did think based on forum searches and Google that I was the only one with this issue.

    ufpdewolfe wrote: »
    I would try updating your audio drivers if possible. Also are you on a laptop? Is there any performance monitoring software running that measure cpu usage and other stats of the computer?

    Considering this issue occurs on multiple headsets of multiple makes and designs, I doubt it is the drivers. I always use the latest drivers from each manufacturer. I did check and there is new software from Logitech for the G35, so i am now updated to version 8.46.27. The problem, however, still persists.

    Not on a laptop. I am running this on a desktop with the following configration:
    • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
    • Intel Core i7 Extreme 975 @ 3.33GHz w/Bloomfield 45nm Technology
    • 24.0 GB Triple-Channel DDR3 @ 801MHz (9-11-11-28)
    • ASUSTeK Computer INC. P6T7 WS SUPERCOMPUTER (LGA1366)
    • Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition ([email protected]) powering three 24" monitors off of an ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 (ATI) with CrossFire Disabled
    • Logitech G35 Headset
    namtarc wrote: »
    I also have a Logitech G35 and am experiencing the same problem. Will experiment tomorrow and see if I can find a fix.

    Anything you find out and can contribute here would be GREATLY appreciated.
    Disable the Surround Sound effects, and your problem will disappear.

    In the steps I took listed above, this is one of the steps that I took (See Step 3). Unless you know of a different way to disable surround, doing so through Windows 7 sound configuration is the official way to do so. Also, it should be noted that I have also tried this and had the same issue with two former headsets, neither of which had surround sound on them. They were just regular USB headsets.
  • zombiedeadheadedzombiedeadheaded Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Theres a button on your headset.
  • thratch1thratch1 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Just throwing it out there: Is your cell phone nearby? It will cause popping sounds in your speakers just from proximity. Not sure about headsets.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • perrinbcperrinbc Member Posts: 17 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    The same issue is happening to me as well. The popping only happens when playing STO, and only started with LoR.
  • fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Theres a button on your headset.

    Tried that. Makes no difference.
    thratch1 wrote: »
    Just throwing it out there: Is your cell phone nearby? It will cause popping sounds in your speakers just from proximity. Not sure about headsets.

    It does this even when my cell phone is across the room. Also for consistency, if it was cell phone interference, then my smart phone must really be smart, and decides to only interfere when playing Neverwinter or STO. LOL
  • distantworldsdistantworlds Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    In the voice communication section, turn it off. That's what fixed a similar issue for me.
  • pyryckpyryck Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Since LoR went live:

    Popping out of Left rear speaker.

    Phone is over 5ft away from nearest speaker.

    7.1 is enabled.

    Headset mic is plugged in for use with TeamSpeak.

    And for those of you trying to trouble-shoot hardware or settings issues across these multiple individual machines - they all have the same game audio files in common. :)
  • fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    In the voice communication section, turn it off. That's what fixed a similar issue for me.

    I went into Communications. There were the following choices:
    • Mute all other sounds
    • Reduce the volume of other sounds by 80%
    • Reduce the volume of other sounds by 50%
    • Do nothing

    Mine was set to reduce by 80%. I just switched it to Do Nothing. Is that what you were referring to?
  • distantworldsdistantworlds Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I went into Communications. There were the following choices:
    • Mute all other sounds
    • Reduce the volume of other sounds by 80%
    • Reduce the volume of other sounds by 50%
    • Do nothing

    Mine was set to reduce by 80%. I just switched it to Do Nothing. Is that what you were referring to?

    Inside STO: Options -> Voice Chat -> Disable Voice Chat (check this)

    It's not the audio section causing this, it's the ventrilo/teamspeak knockoff cryptic uses.
  • baratheonx57baratheonx57 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I'm also having this problem and it is quite annoying. Anyone else find a fix or know if this has been acknowledged by cryptic?
  • fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Inside STO: Options -> Voice Chat -> Disable Voice Chat (check this)

    It's not the audio section causing this, it's the ventrilo/teamspeak knockoff cryptic uses.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will try this. Server just came down for maintenance so it'll be two hours after this post, but I believe I had that disabled by default. I wonder if the LoR expansion re-enabled it somehow.

    Since I also have the issue in Neverwinter, I am going to pop on there and see if this option is enabled over there and report back.

    EDIT: I just loaded up Neverwinter and verified that voice chat is indeed disabled there, so I do not believe this is the issue. I will check STO when it comes back up, but the same issue in both games being consistent I believe voice chat was just ruled out for me.

    Any other ideas?
  • soundwisdomsoundwisdom Member Posts: 248 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Still have the issue with popping with voice turned off.
  • ozforceozforce Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Recently i have been having a problem like this with my ears before, i would be doing whatever on my computer with my headset on, and then in my left ear and ONLY my left ear it sounds like a bee is buzzing in my ear, it passes in a few seconds...
  • rorirori Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I've got the same issue. Random snaps constantly and it's driving me nuts. I even went so far as to try and turn the game sound right off and it didn't stop the popping. I went into my windows volume mixer and turned the volume for STO right down to off and I noticed that it does actually register the pop on the STO slider. DEFINITELY a game issue, not hardware related, not windows related.
  • zerobangzerobang Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    threat21 wrote: »
    ive been getting a popping sound out of my left rear speaker since this iteration of sto went onto tribble, and it was only on tribble while the game client was active, even in the background (where sound doesn't play from the game). I reported this, and looky it made its way into holodeck. Right now my game client is minimized and im getting a poping sound every few seconds out of my left rear speaker.

    same here,
    popping sound out of the left rear speaker,
    Asus Xonar D2PM, Teufel Concept E Magnum 5.1 surround system.

    i only noticed it once so far and it instantly annoyed me and i started to TRIBBLE around with settings.
    It was just the one time, i don't remember which zone and i did not play STO a lot yet thx to insufficient server latency, so i wasn't sure if that was a one time thing or something that might persist and wanted to observe first before making a stink about it.

    usually i have ambient sound turned all the way down to maybe 5 - 10%,
    because on ESD there is a super annoying background humming that lets my Subwoofer hummMMMMM really REALLY LOUD.

    With LoR i turned Ambient Sound louder again because i wanted to have the full story gameplay experience... so in fact it might be possible that this popping sound turned up earlier and i did just never notice it because of that. this thread suggests otherwise though.

    If this is ambient sound, then it might just be one audio file, i suggest tracking down in what place / zone the popping happens so the devs can take a look at that audio file.
    If it persists everywhere and with ambient sound off then i got nothing to go on right now.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • rorirori Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I just ran a ground mission where the popping started in the middle of combat (Think it was one of my BO skills that triggered it), but here's the weird thing...After combat, one of my BOs pulled out a tribble and the popping stopped. Can anyone else test this?
  • fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Well, all. A follow-up as promised. Verified voice in STO is indeed turned off. I decided this time to try muting ambient sound entirely in STO. Here's where the weird part begins . . .

    Depending on where I was, I still got the popping sound, but with having ambient sound turned off I did notice a HUGE decrease in the obnoxiousness of the popping. However as the night went forth I gradually noticed other sounds disappearing as well. Before logging off tonight i could not hear my weapons fire. I'll look and see if this has something to do with the fact that my headphones had 7.1 turned off even though Windows insists on this being the only setting.

    I may be in the market for a new headset with jacks and ditching this USB fiasco altogether. Does anyone have any experience in STO/Neverwinter with the Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset? From what I am reading it uses either jacks or USB as an option. They are about the same price as I paid for these G35's. Makes me wish I knew this stuff sooner so I could have traded in the G35's.
    zerobang wrote: »
    If this is ambient sound, then it might just be one audio file, i suggest tracking down in what place / zone the popping happens so the devs can take a look at that audio file. If it persists everywhere and with ambient sound off then i got nothing to go on right now.

    For me it happened everywhere on Tribble but nowhere on Holodeck. It did this since I started playing around season 4. Now with the launch of LoR, it persists on Holodeck. In Neverwinter it seems to happen only in certain zones, mainly Icespire Peak or anywhere where there is "wind". However in STO there is no wind. Mostly we are in space or on Drozana, etc. Indoors and with humming.

    The only common factor I have with this issue is Cryptic Games. I cannot for the life of me replicate this issue in any other game. SWTOR (Shudders at this terrible game but I had to launch it to compare and test), Rift, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 - as far as MMOs go I have no issue there. Single player games I have everything from Far Cry to Crysis to Dishonored and cannot replicate the issue there. It only happens in the two Cryptic games that I play, which is why I posted here instead of on some tech forum elsewhere on the net.
  • zerobangzerobang Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    well i will keep an ear open when i play some more later and report.

    but if you had problems with your USB stuff they would be everywhere, not just Cryptic games.
    I would suggest to NOT throw more money at this problem, because it probably won't fix it.

    My 5.1 is hooked up via Jacks, not by TOS-Link either and i am 100% sure that i do not have a problem with my surround system but that it is indeed a Software issue on Cryptics end.

    It needs to be tracked down what triggers it and then Cryptic can do something about it.

    Chances are they won't be able to reproduce the popping just like that if we can't tell them how to trigger it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • zerobangzerobang Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    ok new information:

    the cracking sound is there for me on the Romulan Flotilla. it is not a 100% persistent loop, so it is not just some audio file stuck on loop.
    sometimes i hear 5 cracks in a loop and then it stops for a minute or two, then it starts again.


    i turned ambient sound and music completely OFF 0% and the popping still happened.

    i recorded a FRAPS video of it with 3 cracks (no other sounds), the video has all 6 channels (i think if i upload it to youtube it would reduce it to 2 channels, i will try later)

    when i played the Video in mplayerc.exe the cracking sound was still there
    -> so it is not a hardware issue produced by the game but an issue with the Audio output of the game itself.


    i turned the left rear speaker off while replaying the video and the cracking was NOT completely gone, there was also a more silent crack coming from the right rear speaker!
    it is a lot more silent but it is there, and when i also turned the right rear speaker off it was gone.
    (this could have to do with my sound settings... i got that GX button pressed (= Asus version of EAX emulation for certain games and winamp) and i think i got some 7.1 mixer running, i will TRIBBLE around more with those settings later.)

    it also shows up on the equalizer of my PCI Soundcard Software:

    http://i.imagebanana.com/img/barmi83z/crackingsound.jpg

    so it comes from the game audio and is not just some weird cracking noise from an external source like a cellphone.


    //uploaded:

    *note: windows movie maker made a Stereo line out of the 6 Channel Audio -> now you hear the crack from every speaker, nothing i can do about that right now.
    But i guess it is enough for the purpose of demonstrating it to the Devs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgwiGoNTZ3k

    is that the same popping sound you are all hearing? yes?


    //cracking persists with ALL Volume Levels, including overall volume at 0% and Voice Chat disabled.
    also disabled my 7.1 Virtual Shifter and that GX EAX emulation button just in case... no change

    //put the volume of my surround system real loud and the popping sound now also comes from the front speakers but even more silently than the right rear.

    //with the virtual 7.1 shifter i can move the left rear speaker to any position and the loudest cracking sound comes from that direction then... //like this: http://i.imagebanana.com/img/gn7fqmzb/shifter.jpg
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • voodookingsgvoodookingsg Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I'm also getting a popping sound. It happens occasionally and then it goes away. Later it comes back again. It's definitely something wrong with the game as I never had this before the Romulan patch.

    I also encountered the same issue on Tribble.

    I'm on a Sound Blaster Z.
  • fazemladaiyafazemladaiya Member Posts: 166 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    zerobang wrote: »
    ok new information:

    the cracking sound is there for me on the Romulan Flotilla. it is not a 100% persistent loop, so it is not just some audio file stuck on loop.
    sometimes i hear 5 cracks in a loop and then it stops for a minute or two, then it starts again.

    This is the behavior I get as well. When it happens it seems to be almost even and consistent, but it does not always occur. Someone somewhere else had a theory that Cryptic's game engine might be trying too hard to push x-number of sounds at once through the system,. and that not all sound platforms can handle it. I agreed with this person that I would happily rather hear, say, 5 shots of phaser fire in battle instead of 10 if it helped alleviate this issue.
    zerobang wrote: »
    i turned ambient sound and music completely OFF 0% and the popping still happened.

    i recorded a FRAPS video of it with 3 cracks (no other sounds), the video has all 6 channels (i think if i upload it to youtube it would reduce it to 2 channels, i will try later)

    when i played the Video in mplayerc.exe the cracking sound was still there
    -> so it is not a hardware issue produced by the game but an issue with the Audio output of the game itself.

    An very interesting find. See below your video link for my response. I am a photography geek, but never was good at computer video stuff so I never got around to doing any such recordings.

    zerobang wrote: »
    i turned the left rear speaker off while replaying the video and the cracking was NOT completely gone, there was also a more silent crack coming from the right rear speaker!
    it is a lot more silent but it is there, and when i also turned the right rear speaker off it was gone.
    (this could have to do with my sound settings... i got that GX button pressed (= Asus version of EAX emulation for certain games and winamp) and i think i got some 7.1 mixer running, i will TRIBBLE around more with those settings later.)

    it also shows up on the equalizer of my PCI Soundcard Software:

    http://i.imagebanana.com/img/barmi83z/crackingsound.jpg

    so it comes from the game audio and is not just some weird cracking noise from an external source like a cellphone.

    I definitely ruled out my cell phone in this case. Shutting it completely off did not solve the issue. For my 7.1 surround headphones, regardless of if surround is on or not, the popping occurs in both ears, though admittedly at times it does seem like it is louder in one ear than the other.
    zerobang wrote: »
    //uploaded:

    *note: windows movie maker made a Stereo line out of the 6 Channel Audio -> now you hear the crack from every speaker, nothing i can do about that right now.
    But i guess it is enough for the purpose of demonstrating it to the Devs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgwiGoNTZ3k

    is that the same popping sound you are all hearing? yes?

    Oh wow! That is PRECISELY what I am hearing! I could not have presented it more accurately myself. Whatever your sound settings, and however it converted to for the video, as far as my headphones are concerned that sounds exactly as I hear it in game.
    zerobang wrote: »
    //cracking persists with ALL Volume Levels, including overall volume at 0% and Voice Chat disabled.
    also disabled my 7.1 Virtual Shifter and that GX EAX emulation button just in case... no change

    Same actions to same effect. Due to using Teamspeak, I usually keep all of my in-game volume levels at 10 percent, not 100. Turning Ambient down to 0% and disabling in-game voice chat made no difference here either.
    zerobang wrote: »
    //put the volume of my surround system real loud and the popping sound now also comes from the front speakers but even more silently than the right rear.

    Same effect, seemingly. When surround is on, the popping is definitely more prominent. When I turn it off, it is more analog, but definitely still there. It just doesn;t have the "echo" as if you are hearing the pops in a silent room (like your video), but in this case when surround is off it's more like a "snap"
    zerobang wrote: »
    //with the virtual 7.1 shifter i can move the left rear speaker to any position and the loudest cracking sound comes from that direction then... //like this: http://i.imagebanana.com/img/gn7fqmzb/shifter.jpg

    I do not have such an ability with my Logitech software that I know of, but based on your experience I would gather I would get the same effect.

    THANK you so much for the images and the video. Your research has presented that this is indeed the exact same issue I am having and that I am truly not alone in this. A lot of various "crackling" and "popping" type sounds can occur on various setups, but it was so hard to describe exactly what I was hearing until you did that recording.

    I truly hope that a Dev maybe stumbles upon this thread and might be able to give some insight. Even some technical knowledge as to how they "drive" their sound might help. I know that before this season, Holodeck and Tribble did indeed use different sound technologies due to the descriptions I gave in my earlier posts in this thread. The fact that with this patch these sound issues "ported" over seems to definitely indicate they did something different with sound as well, even though I cannot find any reference to sound "upgrades" at all in their patch notes for this release.
  • ufpdewolfeufpdewolfe Member Posts: 95 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    They use FMOD for their sound system, which is an amazing sound system. I recall this crackling was an issue in the past that they where able to resolve before by updating something on their end.
  • captaind3captaind3 Member Posts: 2,442 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    My laptop isn't particularly strong, but I have popping issues as well. Usually the popping is a precursor to either slowdown or the game crashing. This happened mostly as heat issues, though I don't know how the heck that would apply to head phones. I always thought that it was an issue with the game not being processed properly, now I'm not so sure. I'll keep my ears open so I know what the conditions are the next time it happens.
    tumblr_mr1jc2hq2T1rzu2xzo9_r1_400.gif
    "Rise like Lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew, Which in sleep had fallen on you-Ye are many — they are few"
  • threat21threat21 Member Posts: 300
    edited May 2013
    cryptic broke something with the sound, among other things, but before closed beta even started this poping sound was there and after a while, most sound effects would just simply stop playing. This only occurred on tribble till lor went live on holodeck. For the life of me, I dont know why they had to mess with the sound code, as far as I could tell it was working just fine. now its not.
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