Boston: Sound Compression Issue Here Again!

Discussion in 'Xbox Discussion' started by lukereynolds1, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. lukereynolds1

    lukereynolds1 Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday, I was looking forward to watching the Boston stream. However, the awful sound compression issue clearly still exists on the Xbox series X!

    If you watch from 11:40 with the volume up, you will hear that horrid, repetitive, distorted, clicking sound.


    For me, it's now beyond the joke. There was no acknowledgement of it either. How can this still be happening?

    Please please please DTG, do something about this. How can this be acceptable? You know there is a problem, it has existed since the release of TSW2, and now it continues into Rush Hour. It is immersion breaking.

    If it helps, the problem never occurs of Koln-Aachen route. Maybe there is something different about how sound was implemented then.
     
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  2. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    Even though I am on PC and this will probably not affect me... HOW did this slip? It was annoying as soon as Matt walked close enough to the F40.
     
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  3. lukereynolds1

    lukereynolds1 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the same. It was bad way to start the stream. I'm just so annoyed by it now. It's a big problem. Effectively, the sound is broken. I just don't understand why it isn't taken seriously. From watching the stream, anybody can see that it's not just a little issue.
     
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  4. dreampage

    dreampage Well-Known Member

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    Also from 15:31 you can hear it clearly as a train stops right beside Matt's character. It's extremely distracting and not a good showing for the Xbox version. I don't know any other game that does this on Xbox so it's clearly not the system's fault.
     
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  5. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    That’s the most famous looping sound that’s annoyed us since 1 year without any fixed.
     
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  6. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if this is the famous sound issue always reported by XBox players. This is the first time I have had an opportunity to hear the XBox version and that clicking is quite the horrendous issue. Here's hoping that DTG will manage to find a fix in the near future.
     
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  7. AndrewWhite96

    AndrewWhite96 Member

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    I swear matt has mentioned this issue a few times and said it's based on how xbox compresses the sound files. If im right he said last night on the stream they had even consulted other developers about it.
     
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  8. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    I’ve heard him say that too. They are aware of the issue but it doesn’t seem there is a fix yet.
     
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  9. MLP Derick

    MLP Derick Active Member

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    this is a console issue mostly since the routes get ported over from PC to console the audio gets messed up when it gets brought over
     
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  10. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    It only affects Xbox. It hasn’t affected the PS4 Pro or PS5 from personal experience.
     
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  11. Wooki74

    Wooki74 Active Member

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    Matt said it's the way unreal talks to xbox. Can't be true because gears of war uses unreal with no sound issues what so ever. Tsw 2020 did not have this sound looping either something happened when they converted from unreal 4.16 to 4.23 and never sorted it . It was horrible on yesterday's stream.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
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  12. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    Its a lie, Forza Developer said the Series X can used 90 FPS sounds for Cars in base of the old sound files from Xbox One
     
  13. Knightfire1964

    Knightfire1964 Well-Known Member

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    do you have a link ect of where they said this
     
  14. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    It should this video because they showing and talking about the new and optimize Car sounds
     
  15. L89

    L89 Well-Known Member

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    TSW2020 does have that issue too. I hear it most with the M3 and Class 20 on there. Older content it doesn't seem to occur as much. For me the sound looping issues occur more in TSW2 than TSW2020. The more sounds playing, the higher the chance it occurs I think.
     
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  16. Wooki74

    Wooki74 Active Member

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    Don't remember hearing it on tsw2020. But still not noticed any sound issues on any other games I play on unreal engines.
     
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  17. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds are measured in fps.......?
     
  18. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Well-Known Member

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    No, its not. What they mean is the update rate of their behind-the-scenes working own granular synthesis for the engine sounds. You can only understand this, when you have messed around by yourself with this stuff ab bit. It is about timing and accuracy at least.

    One other thing i really want to meantion, besides that i always find it funny when people compare TSW with something like Forza, and what backs up my speaking about that, the budgedt that is used for making only the sound for the Forza game, seems 100x higher that the whole budget for TSW. So, comparions are absolutely useless. And even if there were a higher budget to record trains, it is not as easy as doing it on cars and even not achievable for all the noises a tain makes. It would take years for a single trainn to try to capture all that. And then, we dont have the hightech granular thingy that they can use, not even a 0.0001% of it. There is no granularity in TS1 or tSW, what is really bad, but it is as it is. It would be way to expensive to get such a thing into the running game. Don't expect anything like that in the future i would say. I would at least love to use FMOD in TSW, but even that is way to expensive for a train sim game. Period. Out...
     
  19. stevenwalker1985

    stevenwalker1985 Active Member

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    Yeah i watched the stream this morning and noticed that sound issue right away. Unreal its still happening after all this time.
     
  20. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    We are investigating ways of improving it - it's to do with the old XAudio engine and how the wav files are converted/compressed as part of the automated build process, the end result of this process is that files which perfectly loop no longer do, and you're in pop city. As I understand it and there are alternatives now available and as I mentioned on the stream, our audio team have been talking to a couple of other game studios and we have a lead on a change but it's a big scary one that will require a full re-test of all audio amongst other things, and thus not one you do this close to a release... and no, i'm not going to promise or even hint at any kind of timescales. When it's on the roadmap you will know it's closer.
     
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  21. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    You should work with Playground Games together, both from England and you too making Engine Sounds.
     
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  22. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    Can Epic or Microsoft not help with this? Surely there are resources out there for game developers with this kind of issue? Given how many Xboxes there are out there, and how many games based on UE4, I am staggered at why this is a problem for our favourite train sim and not other titles. In any case if you folks need any extra help testing the audio, just shout. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of volunteers here including myself.
     
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  23. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Well-Known Member

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    Because a train sim needs to use a lot of short looped sound sources. Other games doe not need to use such loops mostly. This has nothing to do with testing or what. It is the pure availability of sounds for a specific train. Try to get 1minute long diesel engine llops from every diesel loco, or better try to get minutes long distinct inverter sounds from a modern loco/train. Basically mostly impossible. So there are only very short sections of audio available as a source and then you need to produce a loop out of it (what is really a pain). The results are often ok, but not perfect, but it is what we have, or there would be no sound at all for some trains. And then there is the compression issues with UE4/Xbox audio files on top of it. It is basically the nature of train sim audio all the time. Was it in MSTS, in TS1 and will be in TSW too. Other train sims are even worse in that regards.
     
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  24. dreampage

    dreampage Well-Known Member

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    There are hundreds of UE4 games on Xbox and honestly I have never encountered this issue in any of them. True, not many games use looping sounds on a constant pitch, because that's what seems to trigger this, but still TSW is the only series in which it is audible. I hope there will be a solution some day.
     
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  25. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Well-Known Member

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    Have you playd all of the hundreds of games by yourself? I don't think so. As someone who makes audio for a game from time to time, i also try to put attention to audio in games i play, and i have experienced lots of audio problems even on AAA games. This is really a more common problem on consoles and also on PC. On the lower end PS4 and XBoxOne it is bit worse than on the others because of the need of compression.

    There is a solution. Use of no compressed audio (if it is really possible, i guess not). But then you need all the memory for audio only. No space left for nice textures, gameplay and whatever. So, not really a solution there yet. The compression is a need. The only thing to fix this would to investigate the compression algo itself and find the issue that destroys the loop cue points (or here the start and end of the file via a perfect zero sample position). Compression artefacts are a different story then.
     
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  26. lukereynolds1

    lukereynolds1 Well-Known Member

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    I hope there is a fix as soon as possible. Although I am happy to see new passengers with multicoloured, spotted or striped t-shirts, snazzy gradient profiles etc I really wish the basics were sorted first. I'm not asking for more recordings to be done, I just expect that the sounds consistently work and aren't distorted. For anyone playing the game on xbox, it's a dismal experience when the distortion occurs. For things such as sound, there should be parity across all platforms. Currently, Xbox users are let down. It's not fair.

    I fully appreciate the complexities involved, but we are now a year on and that's a year too long. It's a significant problem that cannot be overlooked.
     
  27. lukereynolds1

    lukereynolds1 Well-Known Member

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    I fully appreciate your expertise in this area and it's interesting to hear your views from a development perspective. However, consumers shouldn't have to be concerned with the technicalities of the development. When consumers purchase a product, they expect it to work. Currently the issue Xbox players are experiencing is not reasonable.

    I have zero background in game development. The explanations given don't even make any sense to me, as it's an area I am completely unfamiliar with. All I do know is that Xbox users are not experiencing the same sound quality as the other platforms.
     
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  28. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so the solution for you is to ripp off TSW from XBox at all. Better? Sometimes it is better to have any result than no result. Making/having a train sim comes with lots of compromises. This will not change until we get 10 times the computing power we have nowadays. The painful truth unfortunately. I prefer the okish-result over the none-result as a player (not as a developer, as a dev i can only use what is there).
     
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  29. lukereynolds1

    lukereynolds1 Well-Known Member

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    No, not at all. I wouldn't want that. I'm just pointing out that many players of the game, including myself, don't know anything about game development, and it is therefore not unreasonable for us to not understand the difficulties involved in the game's development, and be surprised when buying the game that there is an immersion-breaking sound issue with no expected time for a resolve. Whenever I buy anything, I'm not ever considering how it's made, how difficult it was to make, what technical nuances are involved etc. That's not my issue - that's the developers issue to resolve.
     
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  30. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    We've just been trying to help explain it. That's fine.

    Suffice to say I get it and I agree completely. Up until this point we simply had no idea how to resolve it. Following conversations with other studios to see what they do, we now have a handle on a potential solution but it's a hairy scary change to the audio system entirely and thus not something you rush into.

    I don't have timelines to advise you of, just that we're aware and at least some progress has been made in terms of the direction to go.

    Matt.
     
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