Emulator Issues #8200

Unbalanced audio with OpenAL in a multi-channel environment

Added by Eloris404 about 6 years ago.

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Issue type:
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Game Name?


Game ID?


What's the problem? Describe what went wrong in few words.

When using the OpenAL backend, audio is put out over left, right and center channels. Center channel audio is approx. 300% louder than left and right.

What did you expect to happen instead?
Balanced audio or 2 channel output as with XAudio2.

What steps will reproduce the problem?

  1. Use OpenAL backend without DP2 decoding

Dolphin 3.5 and 3.5-367 are old versions of Dolphin that have
known issues and bugs, so don't report issues about them and test the
latest Dolphin version first.
Which versions of Dolphin did you test on?


Does using an older version of Dolphin solve your issue? If yes, which
versions of Dolphin used to work?


What are your PC specifications? (including, but not limited to: Operating
System, CPU and GPU)

Windows 8.1 x64, i5-4690k, AMD R9-270X, Creative Audigy 4, 5.1 audio

Is there any other relevant information? (e.g. logs, screenshots,
configuration files)

Audio is properly balanced across all channels when using Pro Logic II decoding with a game that supports DPL2 (e.g., Rogue Leader).
Audio is even more messed when using DPL2 decoding with a game that does not make use of DPL2 (e.g., Xenoblade), with audio cutting in and out of all channels in addition to a very loud center channel.


#1 Updated by Eloris404 about 6 years ago

Actually, despite what I said about it being properly balanced when using DPL2, the center channel is still too loud even then.

Here are two files to demonstrate the issue.
Rogue Leader opening without PL2:
Rogue Leader opening with PL2:

If you don't have a 5.1 system, you can import these into e.g. Audacity to get a visualization of the problem.

#2 Updated by skidau about 6 years ago

Are you using the OpenAL32.dll that comes with Dolphin or a version provided by Creative?

#3 Updated by Eloris404 about 6 years ago

Default DLL that comes with Dolphin.

#4 Updated by Eloris404 about 6 years ago

Removing the OpenAL32.dll provided by Dolphin (so it falls back to the systemwide DLL I presume) results in the following with PL2 decoding disabled:

Severe clipping issues (fixable by lowering the volume in-game) and various other slowdowns and crackling.

However, audio levels are working properly across all channels. Front left and right are mirrored to rear left and right, and center channel seems to be a mix of channels that I can't quite make sense of, but it looks rather natural (in the sense that center contains audio that makes sense to be there).

Two files for comparison:
Rogue Leader opening:
Rogue Leader audio test (start and a few flybys):

Furthermore, the issue is also present in the 4.0 release.

Anything else you want me to look at that might be of any help, let me know and I'd be happy to test it out.

#5 Updated by skidau about 6 years ago

What are the levels like with DPL2 decoding enabled?

#6 Updated by Eloris404 about 6 years ago

The same just with a lot more crackling (and clipping if the volume isn't lowered in-game).

It's also not actually decoding the PL2 information, rear channels are still just a mirror of the front channels (easily testable in the RL soundtest).

#7 Updated by skidau about 6 years ago

From the description, this sounds like a bug in openal-soft

#8 Updated by LuismaSP89 about 6 years ago

I thought this was a problem because of my 5.1, but as i can see, many people have it.
Subwoofer channel was recently repaired in OpenAl, but yes, the backend still have some problems.

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