Sound is so Complicated

Special Note: This isn’t very interesting. I wouldn’t read this post unless you are wondering how to create a setup where you can record sound from a specific game without voice chat being included from Teamspeak/Ventrilo.

I’ve been working for a couple weeks to get the sound settings on my computer to a place where I can do what I want, which is basically record game sound without voice chat. Yesterday I finally got it down.

Before this all got started I had to have my regular headset and then used some iPod earbuds to listen to both computers at the same time. Main computer ran UO, laptop ran Ventrilo. It was not ideal at all. For one, the headphones were pressing against the ear buds and causing ear aches which were annoying. I also had to reach for the laptop keyboard every time I wanted to talk in voice chat.

To begin I tried various means to route the sound from my main computer to a laptop and then to my headset. I bought a cable to plug into the headphone socket and pipe all sound to the microphone socket. But that wouldn’t work because then all my UO sound is going to broadcast in voice chat. So I bought a splitter to bypass connecting to the laptop. But when I had both computer on there was terrible static. I’ve been informed it has to do with the different groundings and I could have purchased a device to eliminate that. So the setup could have worked but I’m glad it didn’t.

So then I look into methods of streaming sound over my network. I am able to use VLC to stream a movie, but can’t find any method to do just computer sound. Plus there is a terrible delay which I’m sure there is a way to correct with some buffering options. But I can’t buffer game actions so everything would be out of sync.

Then I read about more methods and decide to look into purchasing a sound card. Currently I was using the motherboard sound jacks. I hop on to Newegg and see the selection. I notice some Audigy cards and suddenly remember I have a computer with a sound card in it. The computer is about 8 years old so I didn’t think the card would be compatible. I thought my computer (Dell Vostro 200) only had PCI-Express slots. Which was pretty silly of me because I bought a PCI wireless adapter and installed it when I bought the thing. Anyway, I rip out (literally, it was jammed in there) the sound card from the old computer, which turned out to be an Audigy 2 Platinum or something, and installed it into my current one. Their still updating drivers for it. When I downloaded it the last update was March 9.

Finally it looks like I’m getting somewhere. So I setup Ventrilo to use the sound card and Ultima Online ends using the motherboard jacks. Here I run into another problem, how do I listen to both at the same time? Then I remember the splitter and give it a second try. At the time I thought the static was from the laptop, because I do get a little bit normally. There was none. Hurray!

So now I can record videos with all game sounds while excluding voice chat. In addition the sound card makes me sound a lot clearer. I’ll also probably see a boost in audio quality for newer games. UO shows no noticeable difference from either on-board or from the dedicated sound card, as I would expect from a 14 year old game.

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