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Hissing voice recordings once again *sigh*

posted by Quanta on - last edited - Viewed by 1.7K users

i just registered my account to post this issue as it bothers me since the first "Sam & Max" Season by Telltale. It's an issue of purely technical nature. No criticising of artistical quality.

Telltale apparently uses a really (and i mean REALLY) bad compression algorithm for the voice recordings as they HISS very badly. I'm certain that this is not the fault of the recording studio (it would be bankrupt anyways with such bad quality work) as the german voices of Sam & Max for example hiss just the same way they do in english.

I wouldn't write here if it wouldn't really bother me but it does. BIG TIME. And I don't get it. Every average shooter with a hilariously stupid plot and bad voice acting has ultra-clear sound quality whereas here - a game heavily focused on dialogs - sounds like a game from the mid-nineties.

There are high quality audio codecs for free which certainly do a better job than this (OGG, for example). Why not use one of them?

Tell me, Telltale. Please!

PS: If my grammar appears to be strange: english is not my native language.
36 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • actually, they do use ogg vorbis - at least in Sam and Max.
  • Really? Then either OGG is really bad for voices or they must use a really aggressive compression. I played some more of the demo and you can really hear it in every sentence. Expecially "th" becomes a total mess.

    I'm a big fan of "Grim Fandango" and even though the game is already more than ten years old the sound quality of the voices is better.

    The problem is that I hear the hissing ALL the time. Every "th" or "sh" sounds like compressed to death. Unbearable.

    Btw: - here you can find a thread in the S&M forum with the exact same complaints two and a half years before. There is even a suggestion for a free audio codec optimized for speech (Speex). It's really a shame that nothing has changed since. :(
  • Here's an even older thread than that, where I first mentioned the compression:

    If anything the sound quality seems to be even worse than it did back then, and significantly worse than Hit The Road from 1993! It's now 2009 - do we really still need to keep download sizes so low that the quality has to suffer? How about two choices of download size with varying sound quality - you could even keep one "hidden" to avoid confusing more casual players.

    It's such a shame that such an easily avoidable issue affects what otherwise seems to be an excellent game.
  • Its sad we get hurt by the Wii, because there is no other reason not to increase the sounds quality and size, seriously if people are on super slow connections that is their own fault. they just have to spend that hour or 2 more. Good sound quality is one of the building blocks of a good game, especially for us who have a really good sound system for the Computer, you can really hear it.

    and it cant be that hard to make a standart version and a another downloadable version with super high quality sound can it ? :)
  • W&G isn't planned for the Wii so that shouldn't be holding it back. What will be interesting to see is if things are any different on XBLA. Surely Microsoft wouldn't certify a game with such poor sound quality... would they?
  • Yes it's somewhat annoying, but it will surely be fixed for episode 2.
  • Okay, here is a good comparison for people who don't really understand what we are talking about:

    First, watch the trailer on the website:
    Then, watch the same trailer in the demo.

    Concentrate on the voices. Hear it? The sound quality in the trailer on the website actually is of BETTER quality than in-game! Enough bandwidth for online advertising but not for the product you should buy? Odd.
  • This is the first time I hear anyone complain about this. Are you sure it's just the games?

    I didn't have this issue at all. The sound quality in S&M1 + 2 was excellent throughout, the same with Strong Bad.
  • Quanta;118346 said:
    Concentrate on the voices. Hear it? The sound quality in the trailer on the website actually is of BETTER quality than in-game!
    There's no reason that it should be, since we made that trailer by capturing footage directly out of the game.

    More likely the difference you're hearing is caused by how the game sounds on the computer we used to capture the trailer, and how it sounds on your own computer.

    We do use audio compression to keep file sizes smaller, and it sounds better on some setups and worse on others, but this complaint has always been very subjective. We wouldn't ship something if it sounded hideous to everyone who played it, on every computer out there. ;) We do our best to reach a happy medium with the compression.
  • Thank you for your reply, Emily.

    There are two possibilities why only a handful of persons are complaining about it:

    [*]The problem needs a rather high aural sensibility to recognize it - or better: to get annoyed by it. - Maybe. But I can recognize it immediately without concentrating at all. And I'm not an audio engineer or smth.
    [*]The persons sound setup causes the problem. - Also possible. But heavely unlikely, at least in my case as it is the only game where this problem occurs to me. And i own and play quite a few games and they all sound nice. (Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS + Logitech Z 5300)

    So, maybe I'm too picky or maybe my soundcard and speaker suck. But if any of these would be the reason - why does no other game sound so bad for me in terms of voice quality?
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