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Sound in Windows 7

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:14 pm
by Zaranthos
I'm running Conquest v4.0p in Windows 7 64bit with a Creative Sound Blaster Xi-Fi Titanium. The sounds of attacking armies are not working. In my Windows XP setup they worked. I've tried running the game with Creative Alchemy but the improvement is minimal at best. Any tips on getting decent sound in Windows 7?

Edit: I got it working. Alchemy doesn't work unless the game gets elevated permissions. Either run it as administrator or set the game shortcut to run the game in Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode (it then asks for elevated permission when you run the game). Getting rid of direct hardware accelerated sound in Windows Vista and 7 was the dumbest thing Microsoft ever did.

Edit: I guess it's not working. The sound works better but still cuts out after certain sounds are played. Frustrating.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:49 pm
by Sean OConnor
I'm surprised there's an issue with playing sounds as I use the very simplest sound function (sndPlaySound) that's been around since Windows 3.0 to play them, and all of the sound files are just the basic WAV format. My guess is that maybe some of the WAV files are slightly more complex (say rarer sampling frequencies) and that your sound card drivers may be struggling with them?

I'd definitely recommend checking if there are any more up to date sound drivers available for your card.

I'm still on Windows XP but I'll probably be getting a new computer with Windows 7 soon just to stay up to date. But if anyone else has issues like this please let me know!

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:08 pm
by Zaranthos
I have the latest sound drivers and this is a brand new computer setup. Windows 7 64bit SP1, 16GB RAM, quad core i7 3.07Ghz, Radion HD 6870 1GB. I think part of the problem is that sounds are being played over the top of each other. The computer is probably too fast. Shorter duration sound files would probably fix the problem. I also have to turn the sound down when I play this game because the sounds have too much punch for my surround sound setup. My normal sound levels for average use when running this game is like a small war going on in my office. ;-)

Edit: On second thought shorter sound files wouldn't likely help since the next sound would just play sooner...

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:48 am
by Sean OConnor
The sndPlaySound function is so basic that it can only play one sound at a time and when the next sound is played it should just cut off the previous one.

The sound played when the computer attacks is just a short clicking sound so is that not what you're getting? Could you let me know which sounds have a problem?

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:13 pm
by Zaranthos
Sometimes the attack sounds work. Once they stop working they don't work again at all until the program restarts. Usually they quit working after some event sound plays like when a player is defeated. This time I did my attack, did my final move, the sound played for that, then the computer started attacking and no attack sounds. Yeah, closed it, opened it again, did my attack, moved my guys, sound played for final move, computer attacked, sound ticked for a slit second then no attack sounds again. Looks like turning in cards plays its sound and that kills attack sounds after also. Restarted again, attack sounds worked until the computer captured a continent and that sound played, then attack sounds died again. Seems like attack sounds are what stops working and are killed after any other sound plays.

It looks like the games sound files are cached somewhere, probably by Windows. I replaced Alert.wav with a Windows sound file, restarted the game, but the old sound still plays. Other sounds also stop working though if you don't restart the program. The capture continent sound stopped working as did the defeat opponent sound. The alert sound is generally the first one to stop working.

Fixing sound problems

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:53 pm
by Zaranthos
I think I finally have sound working right. I had to lower my sound sampling rate to 44100 24bit and disable sound blaster enhancements. I suspect other audio devices may have issues as well and require similar tweaks to fix sound issues. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have frequent sound problems with a wide variety of hardware. You'd think simple sounds like this would play without issues but it took me 7 months to get working sound. I made the mistake of waiting for a Creative driver update that would fix it and that never happened.

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:38 pm
by Sean OConnor
Thanks for the feedback! Did you modify the .WAV files themselves to change the sampling rate?

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:40 pm
by Zaranthos
No I just modified my sound card properties in control panel. I think just disabling the sound blaster enhancements option would be enough to fix it. Ironically I think playing those very short sound files with that setting doesn't work with my hardware/drivers/setup for whatever reason. Bug ridden drivers that Creative never fixes combined with Microsoft's new crappier software driven sound system. Who knows. I'm bitter about it though. ;-)