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Audio Stutter

When I get ingame all the audio is stuttering to varying degree with no real concise reason for why it vary. But it always stutter. However only ingame. there is no problem on the main menu and character select.

le_graphicsmanager.ini (523 Bytes)
Player.log (17.3 KB)
Player-prev.log (20.4 KB)
DxDiag.zip (7.2 KB)

There was some other topics with the same problem but they are all locked now.

Hey… Welcome to the forum…

I have not read the other sound problem posts from a while ago, but here are some thoughts…

Driver updates - the diag shows a sound driver from 2010… is there an update?
Are you doing anything with your system while playing LE? I.e. are you streaming music or video that could be competing with the audio? Even something accessing your harddrives?
Your CPU is pretty old now and LE is a very CPU intensive (optimisation is an ongoing task for the devs) so it could be that processing the audio is struggling during actual play (i.e. not in town/menus)… What FPS are you getting in a normal map killing mobs?

Drivers updated, no change. But thanks for pointing that out anyway.
Nothing in the background running.

Like I said there is no concise reason for why it varies. whether in town, menus or in maps, if the fps is stable or not, if I limit it to 60 or 30 or 15. When I pick a character and load into the game the moment the main menu music stops and the ingame music starts, the sound will stutter at what ever intesity it feels like and it never stops.

LE is the only game I have this problem in. modern games like RE3 or Valorant is not a problem. Other CPU intensive games like Stellaris and GTAV are fine. Unoptimised games like Apex and PoE is also fine.

But in LE it stutters.

Also here are the other topics I saw:
https://forum.lastepoch.com/t/music-constantly-stuttering/25307/13
https://forum.lastepoch.com/t/sound-stuttering/23573/3

So no quick fix then… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Did some googling to see if there is any hint at what it could be… A few Unity game based audio stutter posts and nothing too specific but here are a few ideas:

If you disable in-game Music from the settings in LE (slider to the left), do any other game sounds stutter or is it only the music.

Assuming graphics card, Windows, BIOS and other drivers are all up to date?

Do you have any Unity based games on the same system? Do any of them have issues? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unity_games

Do you have a HDMI sound option? - i.e. run the sound via your graphics card/screen combination to see if it does the same thing. Can you try disabling the “other option” while testing each?

Have you ever had a separate sound card etc in the same system and if yes, did you uninstall the drivers or reinstall the OS since. One guy online had a conflict on the driver side from an old sound card no longer installed. Another had to disable sound in BIOS to stop a driver conflict (pretty old reference tho).

Do you have any Sound processing software installed beyond the Realtek stuff? Someone else had a conflict with separate sound software hijacking the sound and causing issues in Unity games and it was running on system startup - this blocked all sound so its unlikely but worth checking.

Beyond that list of odd items, I cannot really suggest more… Perhaps the devs will see this and offer a titbit… :wink:

I can confirm I have this same problem! The sound is fine if my characters stay still and then stutters the second I move. Here are my details:

le_graphicsmanager.ini (498 Bytes) Player.log (19.5 KB) Player-prev.log (39.8 KB) DxDiag.txt (104.4 KB)

Got a around finally to checking everything you suggested.

No problem in other unity games both running older and newer versions of unity. I can even work in unity myself with no problem.

All sound options stutter but music and environment are the most noticeable.

GPU, Windows and BIOS are up to date.

No change while using other output devices.

No other sound drivers or software.

Also I saw that someone had solved it by changing settings to very low, however this has not done anything for me. Changing the graphics settings does not alter the level or frequency of the stuttering nor do capping of the FPS.

Hey… been a while… I had to go read through the previous posts to remember…
Since your original message there have been a few other posts about audio stutter…

A few were definitely performance related - the users had oldish systems and anything that reduced the overall load helped dramatically on the stuttering. If I recall one had a conflict with something else that resolved the audio…

*** The following is basically some educated guesswork - I cannot specifically prove any of this but it does seem plausible to me ******

This made me think more about your setup - an older processor & a newer graphics card…

Just out of interest, I checked for bottlenecks - i.e. comparing your GPU & CPU combination to see if the one is being bottlenecked by the other… I checked on PC Builds and on CPU Agent (got to scroll down quite far) and both are saying that your CPU is bottlenecking your 1070 by anywhere btween 30-60% depending on graphics quality @1080p. The bottleneck is less at higher quality settings obviously because the GPU has to work harder…

If there is any credence to this, it means that your GPU is waiting for your CPU to catch up… which would explain why the graphic settings changes are making little to no difference at low settings - your GPU is twiddling its thumbs

Now I have no idea how LE has implemented multicore support or multithreading so I have no idea if this is a way out theory or something that has merit…

What does your CPU usage do during play? I figure if its hitting 75%+ then its entering pretty high utilisation and that could explain the audio issues.

Could this be something? Or shall I just roll my other pair of socks and smoke them?

I was aware that there is a CPU bottleneck but never bothered doing anything about it.

@1080p the CPU load is 50-80% on all 8 threads.

Forcing the game to render at 4K through the nvidia control panel to balance the GPU workload the CPU load is s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶5̶0̶-̶8̶0̶%̶ a little load off, 40-70%.

No change at higher graphical settings with exception to those that affect CPU workload like shadow quality.

No change in stuttering nor it’s amount or intensity.

This is probably too high… I know you gave a range but all core 80% cpu usage is getting closer to synthetic benchmark type loads than real world usage (or high end 3d rendering type tasks)

One last thing to try… set the ingame framerate limiting to its lowest (I think thats 15 fps) - i.e. hobbling the GPU to doing nothing and not asking the CPU for anything… see if this affects the audio while standing in town in the game and not doing anything…

EDIT: been messing around with my system to see if I can reproduce any audio stutter of any kind… music or sound effects… by maxing out my system.

Been setting my system to ULTRA settings on 1080p with everything enabled and I can max the crap out of my GPU - stays on 99% virtually constantly but my CPU rarely gets above 75% utilisation average closer to high 50%… no audio problems whatsoever…

If I then load up something like Handbrake (video encoder) and get it to encode a video file I can max out my CPU to 100% … running both LE Ultra & Handbrake maxes out my system CPU & GPU to 100% and my fps maxes at about 40fps - dipping lower from there…

Unfortunately zero audio problems even with maxed out CPU & GPU… even if I try and break LE by pulling a crapload of mobs etc, all it does is drop my fps to single digits and turn it into a slideshow… sound effects become delayed but the music doesnt stutter…

So,… I really have no idea anymore…

Another EDIT and another long shot… are your WD Blue harddrives ok? What is their performance like?

I believe I might not be having a stuttering issue but a playback issue.

So I played around in town and listened to the music, environment (mostly the arena portal, not a lot else to listen to in the end of time) and my abilites.

And the load on 60 FPS 4K sits around 60% on 4 cores, 20% on 2 and idle on 2.
At 15 FPS 4K 30% on 4 and idle on 4.

No audio change at either.

How ever after listening more closely it don’t sound like stuttering nor is it random.
It sounds more like static noise at the end of every sound playback. Louder sound louder static.
Playing around with different levels on the sliders, the master slider and windows audio setting tells me that this happens no matter the volume of the sound.

The reason I thought it was stuttering is that the static happends for the whole duration of the sound effect/song giving the static sound a kinda hitch as it repeats.

This is just my random thought but if it is always happening for every second of playback that would explain why the difference in preformance caused no change.

CPU load at 4k… no experience running anything in 4k myself but those figures seem more realisitic to my mind and yes from my testing I cannot make the audio stutter based on CPU/GPU load…

Static now thats very interesting…

I get static through a crappy USB desktop speaker sometimes and its caused by interference with the wires & other devices near it… sometimes I hear an incessant repeating tick and when I first heard it I was wondering if one of the fans in my case was dying or something worse… Took a while to find it but I wouldnt have described it as stuttering…

Obviously the performance of the system would have zero effect if this is what you are experiencing…

I dont have very good audio equipment (both headsets & human ears ) but I have spent the last few minutes listening to the audo in the game… going from town to town etc…

The music itself (with everything else off muted) seems pretty clean and clear to me without any obvious stuttering… The music in some places has backing tracks that reverb and could perhaps seem like they are stuttering but I figure thats intentional as its in the track playing…

The environmental audio - with all the background noise - definitely has some arb sounds that are repeating - e.g. wind - and could sound like static - at least to my ears…

Sound effects themselves like running and footsteps… no stuttering there

Voice & User inteface sounds are once off and I cannot hear anything that could be stuttering or static…

If you combine the music and the environment sounds - especially with similar volume settings in-game, then it definitely can sound like static - to me at least… not stuttering, but definitely static buzzing with some effects… Add this to the reverb on the music track and I suppose if you could get some odd sounds but still not stuttering…

Considering you already tried changing sound output devices and none of the other games you play have similar “stuttering”, unforunately I doubt its some sort of static interference from outside (e.g. electromagnetic).

Is there any way you can make a recording of the sound? Or even a video that has the game sound embedded? If its in the game recording then we should hear it on our systems…

This was both interesting and more confusing.

It stutters. resaon I thought of noise was casue it is so in beat with the music and game.

60FPS
15FPS

No difference between the two as far as I can tell.

What is interesting was this image from when I recorded it.

Stuttering in a image

It looks exactly the same for both audio clips.
From what I judge to be every 400ms (not 40) it seems that the audio drops causing a stutter.
It is strange that this does not happen until that I load into the game or that it is tied to the preformance of the game on my PC.
I would like if this was just realated to prefromance but it seems that it is some weird playback bug with my system and the game.

One last thing before I tag in the devs… did you check your harddrives performance and disk activity (obviously the one on which the game is installed)… is it working hard when the audio stutters?

@HybridLyte Sorry for tagging you in this one but we are running around in circles here… even following side-track ideas that are making things more confusing…

Others seem to have similar problems so it may be something worth getting you guys to chip in on what could potentially be causing this.

Summary below, weird side tracks and testing in the posts above.

Summary:

Audio Stuttering - listen to tracks posted above.
Doesnt seem to be affected by system performance settings - i.e. running the game on absolute lowest possible settings or highest possible (practically) makes no difference to the audio stutter.
Other sound on the same system is not affected (i.e. other games).
Other sound devices (headsets/speakers) makes no difference.
Not static sounds.
All overclocking
All drivers and patches…
No problems in other games based on Unity.
No problems obvious on the system.

Any chance you guys could offer some advice?

My main drive is uasally doing something realated either to F-secure(anti virus) or system.

My LE drive is not doing anything in particular. Some high activity right at launch and a little during loading screens and entering into the game. Nothing while in game tho assuming I don’t go swaping area or do anything else that needs to call the HDD.

Nothing special realated to the stuttering. A tiny bit of activity every now and then but that I assume is to be expected from the drive the game is on.

It was a long shot… most modern mechanical harddrives are more than capable sustaining the loading needed for a little audio…

Lets see if someone from EHG can chip in with something to try…

Does this issue only seem to occur in the End of Time or is it an issue that appears everywhere (apart from the main menu)?

Outside of the main menu, character select and loading screens it appears everywhere I’ve been to, up to halfway through chapter 6 which is as far as I gotten. So everywhere inside the actual game.

Alright, thanks. We’re investigating this internally.

Just wanted to chime in here as well as the other thread about audio stutter: this exact issue is happening to me and makes the game pretty awful. Never used to happen. Haven’t played in several months and wanted to come back to it but the audio stutter is madness and playing a game without audio is just ridiculous.

I hope this gets fixed soon while I realize it must be an incredibly elusive bug. For what it is worth my rig is more than capable of handling this game and I don’t even have everything tuned up to maximum settings in game.