Audio compression

  Styxx 13:31 06 Sep 2010

Hi all. I bought a new PC about 9 months ago and decided to get Windows 7 for it, being the shiny new OS from Microsoft and all. One thing that's really bothering me with it is that there is a compressor on the master audio out. I'm not sure if this is a part of Windows 7, or if it's a feature of the motherboard's on board audio processor. If anyone's unsure as to what I'm talking about, the most obvious example is when I am playing music through iTunes, then a louder noise plays (the start noise on minesweeper is a particularly good example for this) and the music noticeably drops in volume while said noise is playing. For reference, my motherboard is a Gigabyte EX58-UD3R. Does anyone know if this is Windows or the motherboard, and does anyone know how to turn this "feature" off?

  john bunyan 13:56 06 Sep 2010

I have W7 , a desktop. I cannot be sure how to fix your problem, but maybe a way around it is to buy a seperate sound card. I have a Creative X Fi Xtreme Audio and it comes with all kinds of software (I dont use all of it, but there was a big download to provide more realistic sounds for gamers). It was not too expensive , and I reccomend it.There are settings for a variety of uses.

  john bunyan 13:57 06 Sep 2010

PS about £30.

  Styxx 14:05 06 Sep 2010

Yeah I thought about that, but if it's something embedded in Windows 7 then a sound card won't help. I'd rather be sure about what I'm doing before spending any money. Thanks for the suggestion :)

  john bunyan 14:23 06 Sep 2010

Have a look here and Google "Sound compression in Windows 7"

click here

Not sure how you can listen to iTunes and play minesweeper? Why not listen to iTunes via iPod and headphones? Sorry, I am not a gamer so hopefully someone else will comment.

  Styxx 14:33 06 Sep 2010

Sorry mate, that's a different sort of compression. What you've found is info on data compression for audio files, what I'm talking about is a way of limiting volume. I already did a Google search and didn't come up with much, so I thought I'd ask the forum. I could use an ipod, but I really shouldn't need to when I have a desktop PC that should do the job. Another reason it bothers me is that I want to use this PC for some audio production work, and having a compressor on the main outputs means I won't be listening to what is actually going on in my mixes.

  AndySD 14:44 06 Sep 2010

Have you checked on the MoBo manufacturers website to see if there is any update to the audio software?

I use an Asus soundcard in Windows 7 and do not appear to suffer this problem.

  Styxx 15:12 06 Sep 2010

I've had a look for info on this on both the Gigabyte website and the board's codec's manufacturer (Realtek, codec ALC888) and found nothing on this. Unfortunately it's pretty difficult to find anything on this, as "compression" tends to refer to file compression when talking computers.

  Sbrads 19:53 15 Sep 2010

Well, the drivers for my Asus m/b mention the ALC888 chip in the readme so perhaps they are the same as yours, or you could install them. They are version R247 and for Vista or Win7 32/64 bit. In the driver 'Sound Effects' options (click on system tray speaker icon) there are tick boxes for 'Loudness Equalisation' and the balloon tip says 'blah blah ... to reduce perceived volume differences'. I've tried this option on wide dynamic range music and yes the DR is greatly reduced.

I can't remember for sure where I got the drivers, either Asus or Realtek I guess.

  Styxx 00:03 16 Sep 2010

Thanks, I didn't think of that. Unfortunately I just checked and the loudness equalisation setting is turned off already. Can't find a driver version number like yours, the one I saw was, I don't know if we're looking at the same thing. I'll try searching for yours when I've got more time though, that might sort it. Cheers!

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