Realtek HD Audio



  • Is it just me or do Realtek make the absolute worst audio hardware in history?


    -No ability to output to mono, clearly they couldn't give a shit about people deaf in one ear or those using a mono PA.

    -Audio passthrough has a full second of latency, clearly they couldn't give a shit about people recording.

    -Drivers accessible only through their continuously overloaded and slow website or Windows Update the latter of which will install crippled drivers with even fewer options.

    -If you're using headphones and have silence for about five seconds there will be roughly a 1/4 second of full volume out of the speakers when sound resumes. This makes headphones useless if you're trying to not wake the whole house up.

    -Playback latency is pretty bad, to the point at which if you're recording something over the top of another track it'll be a second or so out of phase but it's not an exact figure, it varies.


    I mean, seriously, give a [b]shit[/b]! You got this right a decade ago, what's so bloody hard [i]now[/i]. Anyone know?



  •  I've never had any of the problems you're describing, and I'm on the shittiest, cheapest realtek hd audio chip in existence -- the kind that gets integrated into your motherboard for no extra money. The only problem I've ever had is that I think it may be interfering with my graphics drivers.



  • I'm using a HP Laptop running 7-32. I think most of the problems come as a result of mixing Windows 7's new audio system with developers who don't give a damn. I have no such problems with the Intel audio in my netbook or the VIA audio in my desktop, it's just the audio in this laptop is WORTHLESS



  • @nexekho said:

    I think most of the problems come as a result of mixing Windows 7's new audio system with developers who don't give a damn.
     

    That is very likely.

    The other thing is that your hardware is broken.

    I'm still on XP, I've always had realtek because that's what's on the mobo, and I have absolutely no troubles.

    EXCEPT

    that one time where I formatted and decided to update the driver. The new driver attenuated the sound by something like 5dB. Which is bullshit. Thankfully I still had the old driver.



  • @DemonWasp said:

    I've never had any of the problems you're describing, and I'm on the shittiest, cheapest realtek hd audio chip in existence -- the kind that gets integrated into your motherboard for no extra money.

    So yours does allow mono output? Because that's the biggest WTF of the bunch. When nexekho posted this on Twitter, I went to look at my audio settings and found I was in the same situation... RealTek soundcard, no option to output mono. (I have no idea if Windows 7 is to blame, or if RealTek is to blame. My guess is the latter.)

    @nexekho said:

    I'm using a HP Laptop

    There's WTF number 1. HP equipment is shit. Shitty hardware in an HP laptop? Shocker!

    (For what it's worth, the RealTek card in my desktop only exhibits the "lack of mono" problem, none of the others. Although I normally use USB headsets, so it's possible the headphones complaint applies, I don't remember if I've ever plugged standard headphones into this computer.)

    (Oh, and the drivers on Windows Update are designed to be stable, not to have lots of features. The goal there is to reduce the number of "stuff doesn't work" support requests to Microsoft. If those drivers let you tinker with hardware settings, especially the settings that lead to the hardware seeming to not work which sound cards have plenty of, it would defeat the purpose.)

    @nexekho said:

    I have no such problems with the Intel audio in my netbook or the VIA audio in my desktop, it's just the audio in this laptop is WORTHLESS

    I don't want to be "that guy", and there's obviously no excuse for shitty drivers, but if you care about audio quality why are you using the motherboard's built-in sound chip and not, you know, a good one? ...especially on a laptop which seems to only multiply the WTF? Look, that built-in audio hardware cost about $3. You get what you pay for.

    I mean, decent USB ones aren't even that expensive, although I'll admit I don't know if USB sound cards have the latency for pass-through.

    I use the built-in audio because I don't give a shit. But even then I don't use it for VOIP, because that's one place where I do give a shit about sounding ok, and USB headsets do a much better job.



  • @nexekho said:

    No ability to output to mono, clearly they couldn't give a shit about people deaf in one ear or those using a mono PA.
     

    Switch to foobar2000 and downmix to mono.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    if you care about audio quality why are you using the motherboard's built-in sound chip
     

    Because they're perfectly fine chips.



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    if you care about audio quality why are you using the motherboard's built-in sound chip
    Because they're perfectly fine chips.

    His is demonstrably not.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So yours does allow mono output?

     It might, or might not -- I haven't ever looked for that particular feature. I've never seen any Windows 7 system that even lets you configure playback settings to mono -- they all bottom out at Stereo. A quick Google leads me to believe that it's not even an option in Windows 7: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-sound/is-it-possible-to-set-stereo-output-to-mono-in/34139e29-4dfd-4429-b4a3-9285f58c1fce

     Dumb as that may be, I don't think that particular failing is RealTek's fault. Admittedly, they make some mediocre hardware and some shitty software, but I think the WTFs here are a combination of Windows 7 WTFs and broken hardware.

     



  •  1. get ASIO4all , the mono thing may be just a driver "issue" which asio could solve. the same goes for the 1/4sec full volume (always assume faulty software first, i guess, and ASIO drivers are much better anyways).

     2. I'm using onboard realtek too, and never had any latency problems when recording, only when i tried to use USB 1.0 webcam as microphone (didn't have anything else at the time).



  • I'm really confused.

     It's been a long time since I had mono, well, anything. But last time I did, the mono headphones or speakers pluged into the same jack, and instead of having 3 conductors, it had 2, arrange so that 1 of them covered both stero outputs?

    Did I miss something that changed headphone technology so it no longer just works, and now we have this crazy mismash of hardware/driver issues that makes it so you need to check some box somewhere to enable mono?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cdosrun said:

    I'm really confused.

     It's been a long time since I had mono, well, anything. But last time I did, the mono headphones or speakers pluged into the same jack, and instead of having 3 conductors, it had 2, arrange so that 1 of them covered both stero outputs?

    Did I miss something that changed headphone technology so it no longer just works, and now we have this crazy mismash of hardware/driver issues that makes it so you need to check some box somewhere to enable mono?

    Yeah, that's still how it works. Some dumbasses still use stereo cabling and jacks on mono setups (leaving one channel unconnected at the speaker end), though, so they only receive one channel of output.

    I am severely upset, however, that so many sound drivers now try to detect when you plug stuff in and don't enable inputs or outputs until something is detected. The plug-in detection is not foolproof! It was never designed to be! A slightly wanky cable or jack will result ni the detection failing, but a good audio signal would still pass. There is nothing whatsoever gained. Even the ones that look like they might let you use this detection to configure the input ports into outputs and such don't actually allow that.

     

    Incidentally, with my Realtek drivers you can fudge mono-on-a-single-channel by moving the balance slider all the way to one side or the other. There goes the deaf in one ear argument!



  • That doesn't mix both channels into one, it just drops the volume control on the channel that you can't hear. As far as I'm aware, no balance control will mix the two channels together.

    If you just take one of the two channels, yes, the result is mono, but most music uses stereo to help widen the sound, such as having the rhythm guitarist in one ear, the bassist in the other, the lead and drums in the middle and if you do that it's very often noticably having bits missing. Try doing that with say Celestial Furnace, IIRC that has some vocals that go one speaker then the other and with mono you lose half of the lyrics.



  • @Weng said:

    I am severely upset, however, that so many sound drivers now try to detect when you plug stuff in and don't enable inputs or outputs until something is detected. The plug-in detection is not foolproof! It was never designed to be! A slightly wanky cable or jack will result ni the detection failing, but a good audio signal would still pass. There is nothing whatsoever gained. Even the ones that look like they might let you use this detection to configure the input ports into outputs and such don't actually allow that

     

    Because of  a similar problem, when I plug in my headphones, I also turn off my speakers -- it's the only way to not get screwed over by a dodgy connection making the chip suddenly redirect the signal to the speakers

     IMO there should be a setting such that no auto detection takes place and both are output at once, I can see some potential uses for that.

    Hell, what happened to all the promises they made when HD Audio was first being hyped, where we'd supposedly be able to have several applications playing audio at once, and each one outputting to a different jack on the PC?



  • On the custom control panel for the Realtek I had a decade ago you could disable the jack detection and force it to use a jack as a specific thing. Very useful when using your line in as a low-voltage oscilloscope (stupid, I know)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    I don't want to be "that guy", and there's obviously no excuse for shitty drivers, but if you care about audio quality why are you using the motherboard's built-in sound chip and not, you know, a good one? ...especially on a laptop which seems to only multiply the WTF? Look, that built-in audio hardware cost about $3. You get what you pay for.

    "The good news is that arguably the best sound card on the planet, the Xonar DG, is all of 30 measly bucks."



  • I've used a registry hack to disable dynamic jack detection in windows :)
    But it still doesn't allow to use both line-outs at once. you have to switch manually in the audio config panel in windows.

    trwtf is dynamic jack detection, becouse most games don't like it when it suddenly looses the sound device.



  • @FrostCat said:

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/who-needs-a-sound-card-anyway.html

    "The good news is that arguably the best sound card on the planet, the Xonar DG, is all of 30 measly bucks."

    Two problems with that:

    1) Atwood is a total douche. This doesn't necessarily mean his sound card recommendation is wrong, but... he's a total douche.

    2) The Xonar cards aren't available in USB form, and thus are useless for a laptop. (Of course, I'd argue a laptop is useless for any serious creative work anyway, especially a HP laptop, but... point is, it doesn't solve the problem.)



  • @nexekho said:

    On the custom control panel for the Realtek I had a decade ago you could disable the jack detection and force it to use a jack as a specific thing.
    My current Toshiba laptop, which is less than a year old, uses a Realtek audio chip and allows me to do that, and I'm using the driver that I downloaded from Toshiba's website.  It would appear that the problem is not entirely shitty Realtek hardware, but some companies choosing to use shitty software.

    As for any serious recording, especially multi-track, trying to use a laptop is almost certainly a huge WTF.



  • @Zolcos said:

    Hell, what happened to all the promises they made when HD Audio was first being hyped, where we'd supposedly be able to have several applications playing audio at once, and each one outputting to a different jack on the PC?
    Ever hear of "marketing busllhit"?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    As for any serious recording, especially multi-track, trying to use a laptop is almost certainly a huge WTF.

    Not for any serious serious recording just "ooh I have a feeling that would go nicely with that" and then sticking some sampled drums under it. I'm no serious musician, just someone having fun with low-end gear.



  • @nexekho said:

    As far as I'm aware, no balance control will mix the two channels together.
     

    I seem to remember audio options in media player classic, so at least for watching videos one can mix channels into one, or swap left/right, etc. But then these options should really be available in the driver, not in application code!

    I was watching a movie on FTA TV the other day (The Great Escape on ABC2 if you are interested, so no ads) and the audio lost sync. I missed the ability to jog it to sync up again like in MPC and XBMC.



  • Um, I use a laptop for multitrack recording. - serious recording, and it works perfectly. Not a single problem, no latency, no issues, no dramas.

    10 tracks simultaneously. 24 bit audio.
    Capacity for 18 tracks. 4 different Headphone sends.

    It really isn't that snappy a machine (2008 MBP) . CPU rarely goes over 50%, HDD rarely does either.

    I guess spending $1200 on an audio interface, and using firewire makes a bit of a difference.



  • @Puggles said:

    Um, I use a laptop for multitrack recording.

    People who start posts with "um"? Douche.

    @Puggles said:

    I guess spending $1200 on an audio interface, and using firewire makes a bit of a difference.

    GEE YOU THINK?

    For $800, maybe a grand if you splurge, you could have gotten a nice fan-less desktop to do your recordings with. So now I think you're a douche, and not very bright when it comes to spending money.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Douche.
     

    Guy has 1 post and you already flame the fuck out of him.

    applause



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Puggles said:
    Um, I use a laptop for multitrack recording.

    People who start posts with "um"? Douche.

    ORLY?

     



  • @DaveK said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @Puggles said:
    Um, I use a laptop for multitrack recording.

    People who start posts with "um"? Douche.

    ORLY?

    I've never claimed to not be a:

    1) douche

    2) hypocrite

    Nice Google skillz finding that, but it doesn't change my point at all. Anyway, my "um" wasn't a "um you're a asshole for saying something I disagree with" um, it was a "um I'm not sure what you're talking about" um. Totally different um, with a much lower douche-factor. Plus I didn't spend the rest of the post bragging about how much I overspent.



  •  Um, actually.



  • Um, Realtek is just an IC manufacturer not a software company so that's why they don't care about your driver issues. I'm sure they just provide a basic reference driver for system manufacturers to extend functionality with. Maybe you should try downloading the driver and application(s) from your system manufacturer instead of the reference driver that the IC manufacturer is in no way obligated to provide to end users.

    From the Realtek download page that you have to click through before you can even download anything:

    Audio drivers available for download from the Realtek website are general drivers for our audio ICs, and may not offer the customizations made by your system/motherboard manufacturer. To be sure you obtain the full features/customizations provided in your original audio product, please download the latest drivers from your system/motherboard manufacturer's website.

    FWIW, my integrated sound is AD based and it doesn't offer stereo to mono conversion either



  • @error_NoError said:

    Um, Realtek is just an IC manufacturer not a software company so that's why they don't care about your driver issues. I'm sure they just provide a basic reference driver for system manufacturers to extend functionality with. Maybe you should try downloading the driver and application(s) from your system manufacturer instead of the reference driver that the IC manufacturer is in no way obligated to provide to end users.
    Also, there are probably 900 different ICs that the reference drivers support. If I use the same reference drivers on my work desktop, home desktop, and home laptop, they all have different options.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @DaveK said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @Puggles said:
    Um, I use a laptop for multitrack recording.

    People who start posts with "um"? Douche.

    ORLY?

    I've never claimed to not be a:

    1) douche

    2) hypocrite

    Ah, the "I'm just full of shit excuse".  Old and tired.  (Plus I'll bet I could find posts where you've claimed not to be either of those.  But I'd rather pretend you still stand by those claims in future arguments!)

    @blakeyrat said:

    Nice Google skillz finding that, but it doesn't change my point at all. Anyway, my "um" wasn't a "um you're a asshole for saying something I disagree with" um, it was a "um I'm not sure what you're talking about" um.

    So you're trying to hide in the angstrom-wide gap between "passive aggressive" and "just plain aggressive"?

    @blakeyrat said:

    Totally different um, with a much lower douche-factor.

    Not by your own definition.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Plus I didn't
    spend the rest of the post bragging about how much I overspent.

    So what?  You didn't say "Anyone who begins a post with 'Um' and then spends the rest of it bragging about how much they overspent is a douche."  You just said that anyone who begins a post with "Um" is a douche.  Too late to pretend that there was another secret hidden criterion in there now.




  •  Good job, Sheldon.



  • @dhromed said:

     Good job, Sheldon.

    Now I'm done.

     



  • I loved it, but they started airing reruns next to new episodes (a common practice, for some reason), and I can't be arsed to watch the same old shit with the occasional nugget of new shit.

    So I got a tumblr instead.


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