Tesla Effect: Sound Quality (stuttering, corruption)
Basically when we've seen this, it's always been related to two things:
1) Underpowered Machine: The 3D Environments might be too much for your machine.
Turn your video settings in the Game Options all the way down and try the game again. If it's working, experiment with turning up the options until you find the right balance of quality and settings that works for your machine.
2) Might be Overtaxing your Machine: Turn off Other Applications
We've seen good machines with sound issues (stuttering, corruption)
When we look at the task manager, the users had all sorts of other applications running.
Including, but not limited to, numerous browser tabs (some with sound).
Once we closed those items, normal game sound was restored.
Thanks for your reply, I tried to do both things and unfortunately, with everything at Low (rendering, resolution, etc...) AND most of the background app closed (even my antivirus) it still doesn't work :( Even when I disable the background music in the game, and if I stop walking when Tex is talking it makes things slightly better; but the problem is still here most of the time. For instance, when I inspect the armchairs in front of Tex's desk, standing still, with no background music, everything at low and no background tasks, the glitchs are still out of control.
I doubt that my computer is underpowered, I bought it a couple of month ago and even if it's not a real PC gamer, I can run games like Skyrim without a problem with medium settings. Tesla Effect set the video options to high by default. And as said by someone else earlier, I didn't have this issue when I played the demo.
My computer is running on Windows 8.1 and the drivers of my sound card are up to date.
I really hope something can be done because this is ruining the experience.
I only have problem with Tex's VO just before entering someplace were you get to talk to someone (Like "Brew & Stew"). The first time it's fine but if I reload the save just before entering the second half of the line from the VO goes silent. Next time even less is heard of the VO. It's the only problem I have had with the sound.
I'm also having the sound stuttering/cutting off issue. I'll post my specs here at the end of the post, but I have noticed it has ONLY happened on Chandler Avenue. Any of the other areas I've visited so far have not had any sound issues, and there is no sound issues during the FMV scenes either. Also, in the non-Chandler Avenue areas, I notice the game runs much closer to 60 fps, as opposed to the ~35-40 I get on Chandler. I haven't noticed any really complicated models or textures that should be causing that though, so I'm at a loss for an explanation. Also, I should mention that there was no discernible difference in performance between having everything on low and everything on medium. On high there was a HUGE drop in fps, as low as probably ~10-12 if I tried to rotate the view too quickly.
Also, if I point the view straight down at the ground when the audio starts crackling or otherwise acting up, it clears up almost completely. Occasionally a small bit will still get cut off at the end, but that's fairly rare.
Here are my system specs according to dxdiag:
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, build 7601)
System Manufacturer: Toshiba
System Model: Satellite L850D
BIOS: InsydeH2O Version CCB.03.71.526.10
Processor: AMD A8-4500M APU with Radeon HD Graphics (4 CPUs), ~1.9GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Page File: 3719MB Used, 11587MB Available
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Display Device Name: AMD Radeon HD 7640G
Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Chip Type: AMD Radeon HD 7640G (0x9903)
DAC Type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
Approx. Total Memory: 4049MB
Current Display Mode: 1366x768 (32-bit) (60Hz)
Main Driver: aticfx64.dll, aticfx64.dll, aticfx64.dll, a
Date: 19/12/2012 3:08:04 PM
WHQL Logo'd: Yes
DDI Version: 11
Driver Model: WDDM 1.1
Sound Device Name: Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)
Hardware ID: HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0269&SUBS'
Manufacturer ID: 1
Product ID: 100
Default Device: Yes
Drivers Name: RTKVHD64.sys
Version: 6.00.0001.7071 (English)
Date: 22/10/2013 9:38:24 PM
WHQL Logo'd: Yes
Provider: Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
Not sure if any of that information will be useful, but I'm sure it can't hurt. :-)
Thanks for the suggestions, Steve. Have attempted both and still getting issues, will keep an eye out for other posts and report back as I make my way through the game in case the situation changes. My laptop -is- getting on in years, so I always knew that might have been an issue!
OK folks perhaps a solution . Works for me. I got 2 graphics cards on my laptopo (one integrated intel graphics and one NVIDIA GTX 860) . It seems that the game automaticcaly play under the intel graphics. To solve that, go to the NVIDIA configuration panel, then 3D settings, then find the application TESLA EFFECT and put it on NVIDIA CARD and not automatic. Seems to works
That works for me. :)
Before learning of that, I found another solution to be disabling v-sync, so for anyone who doesn't have the option to switch GPU, that might be worth a shot.
I'm on a laptop too but I didn't find where to do this because I have a Radeon graphic card (and an intel like you).
But I realised that the performances of my graphic card were between "performance" and "battery saving", so I changed it all the way to performance and now the glitch have disappeared !
Thanks for the post Steve.
I've closed everything I can close and whilst it is possible that my machine is now what you would call "under-powered" it can play Skyrim and Portal 2 with no issues.
I sadly cannot afford a new computer so my only hope is that BigFinish are looking into a possible patch. *fingers-crossed*
There's more information and people affected over at the Steam Forum: http://steamcommunity.com/app/261510/discussions/0/558755529542591893/
Have you tried my tip?
My laptop doesn't have two graphics systems otherwise I would have! :)
This game doesn't handle Multi-Threading correctly, and will use all the CPU resources if it's allowed to. As soon as it exceeds ~ 75% of the CPU resources, other services (such as the sound compression engine) will suffer, and bad audio is the most noticeable result.
This can be resolved by forcing an artificial limit on the number of processor cores available to the game. In task manager, right click the executable (on windows 8, this is on the Details tab, not the Process tab), choose Processor Affinity, and choose less than the maximum number of processors (on a Quad Core machine, 0, 1, and 2 would work). Core 3 still gets used by other system processes, but the game doesn't try to push work onto it, and the performance is vastly improved.
Reducing the number of assigned cores didn't help for me. i found that raising the priority from "Normal" to "High" didn't eliminate the problem but significantly reduced the instances of stuttering to just once or twice per hour.
To do this:
1) Start Task Manager
2) Right click the Tesla effect executable & select "Set Priority"
3) Change the priority from "Normal" to "High"
Hope this helps.
This didn't work for me, but I found what did. I'm on a laptop with an Intel i5-3317U, integrated Intel graphics, 4GB RAM, 550 MB/sec SSD, running Win8. Not a gamer machine, but gosh, it should run a game like this. It appears as a quad "core" machine, but is really two cores with hyperthreading enabled.
What I found was that limiting Tesla Effect even to only two "cores" didn't solve the problem.. until I picked the right two "cores" -- if I set the processor affinity to only the even cores, then the game runs without all the audio stuttering problems, even on Chandler. Yes, frame rate is a bit low, and sometimes the video cutscenes have low framerate too, but since this isn't an action game, that's not really a big issue. There are still times where it will sometimes stutter a little, but that's usually only for a little while after traveling to a new area and it clears itself up after a little while (so that's probably just insufficient RAM to hold everything at once).
I suspect the audio and video processing threads are getting scheduled on the same physical core, and then contending for it's shared silicon. Picking all the evens (all the odds would probably work too) spreads the game's threads across the "cores" in such a way that they no longer contend with each other. Disabling hyperthreading might also work, and probably be better than affinity to evens/odds, but I couldn't figure out how to do that on my laptop. I don't know if this would help AMD processor systems, my knowledge of them is so old as to be useless here.
Hopefully, this gives other players another thing to try, and the developers an idea of something else they might look into to solve the issue.
I can't help but wonder if it's a situation of picking real cores vs hyper-thread 'cores'. You say the CPU only has 2 real cores. Perhaps picking those ones is what makes TE run better.
I can confirm the findings, disabling Hyperthreading in the BIOS settings completely resolves the sound stuttering issues.
Each Intel core has 2 threads, however the OS still sees them as 2 individual cores.
Threads 0,1 belong to Core 0, Threads 2, 3 belong to Core 1 etc.
I ran some tests on a stuttering machine, limiting to 2 threads resolved the sound stuttering (even if on the same core), to verify this I also disabled multi-core and left hyperthreading on and there was no garbled sound.
There was one case of a slight glitch when running on 2 threads from the 2nd core, but mostly the game played fine.
As soon as I add a 3rd thread to the mix, things get nasty and the voice gets garbled etc.
I believe we may have found a formula to reproduce this issue (set affinity of Tesla to 3 consecutive cores and test the game - CPU0 - CPU3), I can only test this when I get back home later on today so if anyone is willing to check this please do.
As I've mentioned in other threads, my main Desktop computer is an i7-2600K. It, of course, has 4 real cores, so it has 8 apparent cores with HyperThreading.
I just tried a few tests with setting the Affinity for TE. There isn't a tremendous amount of difference, but it did seem somewhat 'smoother' if I disabled 2 of the cores. It didn't seem to matter which ones. I tried using only 2 cores, 3 cores, 4, and 6. I also tried using all odd numbered cores and then all even numbered ones. With only 2 cores it did seem to be a bit jerky; not a lot, but a bit more than with 4. Odd or Even didn't seem to matter.
Can you check what happens to the sound if only CPU0-CPU2 are selected?
If it doesn't reproduce maybe we need to force off them from the BIOS...
I will check. Now, I have to say that my issues are more to do with video than audio (but it all seems to be related). Before I reinstalled Win8 from scratch, I would get very jerky movement on Chandler Ave., to the point it was not fun to play.
After reinstalling the OS it got a lot better. However, limiting the number of cores seems to have improved it even a bit more. Like I said, not a lot, but noticeable.
I also noticed something else. I had 4x4GB Corsair Vegeance DRAM sticks in the computer. I removed them and installed only 2 sticks of G-Skill 8GB DRAM. What I noticed is that movement on Chandler Ave. is smooth with both configurations, but I can run much faster with the 4 sticks or DRAM. I don't know if it's the number of sticks, or the brand of DRAM, but the difference is quite strong.
EDIT: I just checked with only CPU0 & CPU2 selected. I didn't notice any significant difference. The movement along Chandler Ave. is smooth, but only the slower side compared to 4 sticks of DRAM.
That's odd since when i set my game's affinity to 2 CPUs, this seems to make the sound run without choppyness and smoother movement.
Actually TexFanatic96, it's not really odd. Each core is going to use RAM. Reducing the number of cores will reduce the amount of RAM needed.
I think this could be a OS X issue, a lot of people on Steam (inc myself) that are having this issue seem to be Mac users.
My Specs: 2013 Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 2.4 GHz Intel i5, 8 GB DDR3 Ram.
Windows 7 and 8 users too!
It may sound dumb but I had the same problem and plugging my laptop really did it for me. Must be a performance thing. (I have windows 8)
If you haven't seen this is turning out to be a very big issue with people across the board. Hardware has been ruled out as many of us have high performance machines and the problem still persists. Other operations have been ruled out. Many people report that there is a problem with there not being a throttle on resource usage:
"This game doesn't handle Multi-Threading correctly, and will use all the CPU resources if it's allowed to. As soon as it exceeds ~ 75% of the CPU resources, other services (such as the sound compression engine) will suffer, and bad audio is the most noticeable result.
This can be resolved by forcing an artificial limit on the number of processor cores available to the game. In task manager, right click the executable (on windows 8, this is on the Details tab, not the Process tab), choose Processor Affinity, and choose less than the maximum number of processors (on a Quad Core machine, 0, 1, and 2 would work). Core 3 still gets used by other system processes, but the game doesn't try to push work onto it, and the performance is vastly improved."
"So, decreasing available processing power leads to a game performance increase? Strongly suggests that a programming issue needs to be resolved."
"By taking away the two virtual cores in the task manager the sound problem is almost gone 99% of the time, but the graphical performances took a serious blow.
I can run Deus Ex Human Revolution in DirectX 11 mode with all the graphical settings at max and more at 60 FPS all the time, so it's not a hardware problem."
Although this solution did not work for me.
I'm hoping for serious response to the problem even if you tell us you can't get to it immediately. Many of us backed you and can't play the game because of the game-breaking issue. I' not upset but I would like the problem honestly addressed so I know what to do: hold my breath for a patch or quit trying to make the game work.
Let me start by saying that I am not having this issue (to the best of my knowledge).
In some quick testing though, I can see that standing in front of the Ritz and just looking around pushed my machine to ~88% CPU usage and 1.2GB physical RAM. I have an AMD Phenom X4 @ 3.2Ghz (7.3 Win score) and 8GB RAM (7.5 Win score), AMD Radeon 6950 with Win7x64. Without running the game, I have over 6GB RAM free. My hard disk is rated at 6.4 Win score, which is the lowest scoring section of my machine.
Obviously what I am about to say is Windows-centric, but may still have relevance to Mac users. I am also not saying that this cannot be fixed by BigFinish, but as we want to play it now, rather than wait for a patch, something in here may help.
Changing the video settings (rendering level, resolution etc) appeared to have no effect on the CPU usage.
I suspect that Chandler Avenue as a location is the 'busiest' area in the game, having the most objects, and at great distance (compared to elsewhere). In comparison to Chandler Avenue, the Beach House area drops my CPU usage to 60-70% and drops ~100MB off the RAM usage.
Looking at kill0byte's specs I can see two things straight-away that could be causing stuttering:
- The CPU is only ~1.9Ghz. This is 2/3rds of the raw speed of my 3.2Ghz, and mine runs at 88%. The chip may not have the raw power to run this game without some sort of modification to the game, if, as I stated above, changing video options in-game does nothing to the CPU usage.
- The AMD Radeon Graphics driver is very much out of date. A quick check at AMD's website shows the current version of driver is 14.10.1006. This is 5 major versions higher and almost 1.5 years newer than the 22.214.171.124 dated 19/12/2012 listed. This may have a huge effect on system performance, especially in the case of an APU setup, as resource sharing is more intense.
Nothing is easily done about the CPU of itself, but the video driver can be updated, which should make a difference to the load balancing between the APU cores.
Other people are also stating that they are on laptops. While they have not posted their specs, it is possible that some are running only 4GB RAM (or even as low as 2GB though I would hope not). With all the crap that manufacturers pre-load onto a machine these days, plus any user added background programs, such systems are likely starving for RAM, starting off with less than the ~1GB RAM the game appears to need free. Personally I would want to see at least 2GB RAM available before starting the game.
This will have a two-fold effect. Low RAM means the game cannot keep all of of its assets in the memory cache, resulting in more disk reads as it loads in the unavailable textures and assets etc. The hard drive is far slower than RAM.
The other effect is similar, but can be far worse. When the system has a low memory condition, it starts 'swapping', or 'paging' RAM to and from disk. This does not necessarily mean game data. It usually tries to swap low use items, like the aforementioned background programs. The downside to this, is that if the hard disk is busy doing this, it will slow down access to needed files for the game itself, but to make things worse, running the hard disk also has a direct hit on the CPU, as the CPU usually has a significant role in just running the disk.
If you combine the two effects, the results can be very noticeable indeed.
A defrag of the hard disk can also help, as this can significantly slow down the hard drive, especially in memory swapping situations.
In the case of people with dual-video cards, running on the on-board card (usually an Intel) can have a bad effect on the CPU as well, as these types of chips usually offload a good deal of processing to the CPU. The game should be shifted to the add-in card (usually nVidia or AMD/ATI) by using the included video card utilities, or by switching your primary display to the better card.
All users, but especially laptop users, can be affected by their power profiles. Usually a laptop has two major modes of operation, plugged-in to power and not. The default power profiles for laptops is usually 'Balanced' for plugged-in, and 'Power Saver / Battery Saving' for not. PCs are normally defaulted to 'Balanced'. To run games, you usually want the 'High-Performance' profile, on both laptops and desktops. The downside of course is that the machines will consume more power.
From what I have seen, most performance issues are likely stemming from high CPU usage ultimately, but related to the number of graphical assets in a given area.
So after the preceding wall of text, here is a summary of possible fixes (other than BigFinish providing the magic patch) including what others have said, and a couple not discussed:
- Update your drivers, especially the video (yes it can affect audio).
- Turn off unneeded programs, background and foreground. Web-browsers (especially with Flash content running) are a major culprit.
- Defrag your hard disk (this will take a long time if not done regularly).
- Adjust your power profile to 'High Performance' (laptop users plug-in to power if possible).
- In high CPU usage scenarios, use task manager to adjust the processor affinity to use all but one or two cores (this needs to be done every time the game is started).
- Reduce the video settings in-game to use lower resolutions and rendering levels (will reduce stress on the GPU functions at least).
- Turn off vsync.
- Use full screen mode, instead of windowed (This is usually better performance, but YMMV).
- Turn off 2K video
- Reduce your field of view setting. I have seen this affect CPU usage by as much as 20%.
- Switch to your performance video card if you have two cards, either by using the video card utility, or setting Windows to use it as the primary display BEFORE starting the game.
- Use the onboard sound card, instead of an addon sound card (especially Creative Audigy cards as they have a history of bad drivers)
Suggested fixes for BigFinish to implement:
- Add option to remove reverb
- Add option to restrict CPU core usage
- Add option to reduce viewing distance
- Add option for restricting simultaneous sound channels
Just for the stats, I have nothing new to bring to the discussion:
The problem is the same for me. Lot of scattering and looping in the sound during 3d navigation. High-end computer. Even with high priority process and only 3 out of 4 cores (6 virtual out of 8). Computer is plugged, discrete graphics enabled.
Same here. Windows 8 HP laptop. Can run Skyrim on high with no issues. Some optimization needs to be done or something for Tesla Effect. The sound issues just ruin it for me and the workarounds seem like way too much of a process to go through.
Same problem here too....
AMD QuadCore Machine
My Hardware: http://www.sysprofile.de/id143122
I could swear the problem accours the first time today when a little patch came in from STEAM.
This patch unfortunately did not fix the sound stuttering issues for me on Chandler Avenue. I've held off playing the game in hopes that this issue will be resolved. Please tell me if another patch is scheduled to come out to fix the sound issue.
I did a test install of Win7 on my Desktop that normally runs Win8.1. TE played waaaaaay better on Win7.
After new patch everything is fine for me!
Nothing is better for me.
Same stuttering, same repeating on chandler avenue 3D sections.
Intel core I3 2,53 2,53
ATI Mobility radeon HD 5650
no other programs, no antivirus in background.
Still having audio issues after 1.2 patch GOG version. HP w/Windows 7, i7 4 cores, 8 GB ram, ATI Radeon graphic card.
When I start the game the sound is perfect but after a while the problems start. I've tried lowering the resolution to the min but nothing changes. I've changed the cpu affinity and the priority and nothing.
One way to reproduce it in my case is to enter the hotel from the street, pass the lobby and open the door that leads to the apts. When I open the door and go back to the lobby the problems start and it never goes away.
Hope you can find a fix. It is important for me as a supporter to see that you are looking at this issue.
Exactly the same problem for me as aerojavo is having.
plugged in Sony lap top
Intel i3 2core 2,53
Radeon HD 5650
no programs in background, no antivirus in background
tried lowering game options, no difference
@aerojavo, laptop of desktop? From you description it reads like it's a desktop so, if you have a spare drive lying around, try a fresh install of the OS. I've done this on a couple of machines so far and the game plays tremendously better. My last test will be to reinstall the OS (Win8) on my main desktop computer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Forgot to mention that it is a laptop.
My way to solve it was to switch to the onboard graphic card (Intel HD Graphics 3000). Even being a slower graphic card it doesn't produce the audio issue (only 1% of the time but could be due to a different reason).
I believe there could be incompatibilities issues between some ATI Radeon mobile cards and Unity.
I was beginning to wonder if there was some compatibility issue between Unity and my Radeon HD 6970 but, after reinstalling the OS, it runs smooth like buttah.
I had terrible noise in audio.
I discover that it was my CPU heat (99°).
I changed the termical paste on the CPU reaching 60°/70° while was playing and no audio issue no more!
My 2 cent.
My System spec:
ASRock P55 Extreme4
Intel i5 750i 2.80Ghz
Sapphire 270x 2gb
@saltatempo, I suspect that the high temperature was causing your CPU to throttle back so, in effect, your computer matched what Steve has been saying: underpowered computer. Glad to hear you got it worked out, and it gives everyone another item to check if they're having issues. Well done.
whatever was in the latest tesla update it solved the sound problems for me. Just to let you know. thanks.
I Had no trouble with my first run though of tesla But on my second play through it seems the Vocals pf Tex keep getting softer while the ambient sound(really dumb you have no slider for it) keeps getting louder. Its to the point I cant hear tex at all and the Ambient sound is drowning everything out so badly Its unplayable all i can hear is wind, chanting or water. I have the most recent patch from GoG and I'm playing on a 2013 Imac that was upgraded to the max so I know its not my Machine.
I dont know what to do the sound in the cuts are fine its when playing that it gets bad, A few times i reinstalled the update and that helped but as soon as i open the game after not playing its back!
I've tried all the suggestions listed with nothing, I mean its sad Overseer is more playable then this right now! Why is it you can make UAKM and Pandora work just fine on modern machines but Overseer's midi problems and now this with a BRAND NEW GAME ISN'T EVEN THAT OLD there is no excuse for this, I'm sorry but there just isnt...I love TEx Murphy Games but this problem is OVER A YEAR OLD and its still not fixed! Ridiculous! Disappointing! Hell from what I can tell donors who where in that freaking game have had this problem you guys should be embarrassed by this!
There are places in Tesla Effect where the voiceover is quite low in volume and difficult to hear. There isn't a lot of of it, but it is there. IIRC, I noticed it most at the Tesla Legacy Society HQ.
I just plowed through the volume issues and carried on. What really spoiled things for me was the very final puzzle. You may not be there yet so I won't describe it in detail. All I will say is I found the interface much too awkward to use, so I didn't complete it.