Troubleshooting guide/Audio problems

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Broken sound (cracking, delays, missing music/effects, etc.)[edit]

Set sound quality to 24 bit, 48000 Hz (Windows Vista and later)
  1. Open the Start menu, type mmsys.cpl and press Enter.
  2. Open the Default Device.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Change the Default Format box to 24 bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality).
  5. Click Apply.

Game uses incorrect playback/recording device[edit]

Check that the intended sound devices are set in the game or launcher (if an option is provided). Many games rely on the operating system's default sound devices, so having that set to the intended device will avoid many problems.

Surround sound problems[edit]

Check speaker setup[edit]

Many games use the speaker configuration reported by the operating system so having it set correctly is crucial.
Configure speaker layout (Windows)[1]
  1. Open Sounds in the Control Panel (mmsys.cpl).
  2. Ensure the correct output device is the Default Device.
  3. Choose Configure for the Default Device.
  4. Choose the speaker layout that is being used.
  5. Choose Test and follow the steps to ensure the speakers are detected and positioned correctly.
  6. Adjust the speaker configuration as needed until it is correct.
  7. Choose Next and follow the steps to save your new configuration.

Test alternate speaker layout[edit]

Try a different speaker layout in the game settings (if available). For some games it may be necessary to set the operating system speaker settings to stereo output (see Check speaker setup).

3D sound problems[edit]

Can't enable 3D sound[edit]

DirectSound3D functionality has been removed. See Restoring Legacy Audio Effects (DirectSound hardware path).

No music[edit]

WMA Source Filter music not working[edit]

The Windows Media Source Filter has been removed in Windows Vista, so games using this method have no music.
Affected games include Test Drive 6, Ford Racing 2 and Monopoly Tycoon.
Install the Windows Media Source Filter codec[2]
  1. Download the DirectShow - Windows Media Source Filter Installer v1.7
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded .zip file into a folder.
  3. Right-click the ApplyPatch.bat and run it as administrator
  4. Launch the game

Notes

Windows Defender may appear with a warning when running the batch file. Select "More info" and then "Run anyway"
Manually Install the Windows Media Source Filter codec[3]
  1. Download the DirectShow - Windows Media Source Filter Installer v1.7
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded .zip file into a folder.
  3. Make a new directory in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ called Windows-Media-Source-Filter
  4. Copy drmclien.dll, strmdll.dll and dxmasf.dll from the .zip file to the Windows-Media-Source-Filter folder
  5. Run DSFMgr.exe as administrator and register the dxmasf.dll in the Windows-Media-Source-Filter folder.

Notes

This modification does not affect Windows Media Player file playback adversely.

WMA Source Filter music stuttering randomly[edit]

Windows wraps any WMA playback with its DMO Wrapper. This has to be overridden for smooth playback.
The Windows Media Source Filter must be installed for this to have any effect or use.
No system file modifications are necessary.
Install the qasf.dll[4]
  1. Download the music fix: DirectShow - Windows Media Source Filter Installer v1.7
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded .zip file into a folder.
  3. Copy the qasf 6.03.dll from the .zip file, to the where the game is located at (<path-to-game>).
  4. Move the game from its original installation folder. Or else the qasf.dll won't load.
  5. The qasf 6.03.dll that was copied to <path-to-game>, must be renamed to qasf.dll.
  6. Launch the game.

Notes

The game MUST NOT be located where it was originally installed to (<path-to-game>), or else the correct qasf.dll won't load.
Version 6.03 of the qasf.dll is highly recommended over 6.05, since version 6.05 can cause 32-bit applications to crash.

CD music not playing[edit]

CD-DA music (shows up as a music CD in media players)[edit]

Verify CD is in the "CD-ROM 0" drive
CD-DA music will only play in-game if the CD is in "CD-ROM 0".
  1. Open Disk Management (open the Start menu, type diskmgmt.msc, and press Enter).
  2. When Disk Management opens, ensure that the drive you are using the game CD in is listed as "CD-ROM 0".
  3. If the drive is not "CD-ROM 0", remove the disc and insert it in that drive.
Change drive ID order
If you are unable to insert your disc in "CD-ROM 0", e.g. if it is a virtual drive, do the following:
  1. In Disk Management, identify which drive is listed as "CD-ROM 0".
  2. Open Device Manager (open the Start menu, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter).
  3. Expand the DVD/CD-ROM drives entry.
  4. Right-click the drive Disk Management listed as "CD-ROM 0", choose Disable, choose Yes.
  5. Right-click the drive you want to use for the game CD, choose Disable, choose Yes.
  6. Right-click again on the drive you want to use, choose Enable.
  7. Right-click again on the other drive, choose Enable.
  8. Return to Disk Management and the drive you want to use will now be listed as "CD-ROM 0".

Non-CD-DA music (does not show up as a music CD in media players)[edit]

Many games remember the drive letter the game was installed from even if you put the disc in a different drive.
Verify drive letter is correct
  1. If you have multiple optical drives, try inserting the disc in a different drive.
  2. If possible, check the game's configuration files to see what drive letter it is expecting.
  3. Try reinstalling the game from the drive you want to use. This should make the game look to that drive letter instead.

MIDI problems[edit]

Can't change MIDI mapper[edit]

For DOS games use the DOSBox MIXER.
Windows 8 and later: For native Windows games use the Coolsoft MIDIMapper. It may be necessary to start virtual MIDI synthesizer software manually beforehand. MIDI support has been further reduced in Windows 8.[5]
Vista and 7: For native Windows games use Putzlowitsch's Vista MIDI Mapper Control Panel on Windows Vista and 7.

Codec issues[edit]

FMV/audio codec issues[edit]

N and KN editions of Windows lack multimedia codecs required for some games; see Get Windows Media Player.

Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect don't work (Windows 10)[edit]

Encoding APO (Audio Processing Objects) are broken.[6] A fix was released with build 10547,[7] but it still fails to completely address the issue.[8] A workaround has been included since builds 10565 and 10586,[9][10] but stopped to work for some users in 10586.3[11] (driver issue?[12]).
Build 14316 broke DTS again,[13] fixed in build 14342.[14][15]

References