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  • SoulBrotherNr3
    17 posts

    @vanixlh i stopped using headphones because it's so bad, the constant weird whispering when there are more people in the cutscene makes me feel like i'm schizophrenic

  • Moon-Pye
    12 posts

    @vanixlh There is literally an option in the sound menu to overly compress all the audio for people who have to play quietly. You can turn it off.

  • VanixLH
    14 posts

    @moon-pye My settings are fine, this is an issue with the game in general and none of the settings make it any better. I went through the full audio range settings, dialogue boost, etc, nothing improves audio quality.

  • xrayspex_73
    140 posts


    Exactly. The issue is the game and no amount of messing with the audio settings fixes it. They need to address this. Where is Ubi?

  • zhead_
    31 posts

    this is true for a lot of people. You might also notice its sounds like everything is in a bean can. It's really bad

  • DoctorMcBatman
    4 posts

    I'll start by saying it's mostly the environmental/ambient audio that is terrible. The voice audio is OK.

    With that out of the way, the overall audio experience in ACV is genuinely horrible. This is the worst overall audio I've heard in any AAA game. I don't know if it's due to file compression, recording methods, mixing/mastering, or something else, but it sounds so thin and cold, void of musicality. Hopefully, if it is file compression, maybe they will release an optional HQ audio pack that isn't so ineptly compressed? We'd have to raise awareness though. So if you feel the same, please make posts and upvote posts.

    Honestly, this level of audio degradation is unacceptable at the AAA level. It feels like incompetence, as this should have been caught. As someone who records a fair bit of audio, I like to do what a lot of people call the "car" or "computer" test. That is, after mixing your audio on your high quality studio monitors, you burn it to a disc and check it on regular ol' speakers that 99% of people will be using. If it doesn't sound good there, it needs more work. It feels like the ACV audio designers did not do this. Because I can't imagine any audio engineer would hear this audio and think it's passable.
    This is my biggest grievance with the game (though there are others), and frankly, it's unacceptable.

    (PS: Ubi's new forums are garbage. I can't believe it, but they're worse than the old forums! lol I can't believe UI/UX designers thought this design was good... I'm picking a lot of bones with Ubi staff today, but honestly, they deserve it - this is a huge AAA company and they charge huge AAA prices for their [censored])

  • CaptainStarPaw
    Original poster 43 posts

    Update @ 11:54AM CST 11/11/2020: I extracted the audio files using Wwise-unpacker and discovered that the audio quality is a lot worse than I previously anticipated. SFX is saved at a 24000 Hz sample rate, with a variable bitrate that seems to peak at around 70 kbps. Looking at the Frequency Analysis tab, you can clearly observe a frequency rolloff at around 11000 Hz. Standard CD audio is at 44100 Hz (DVD standard is 48000 Hz), and that is the sample rate that nearly every sound device and operating system is designed to work with.

    Here is a screenshot of my analysis

  • xrayspex_73
    140 posts


    OMG that is like what MP3's sounded like in the 90's.

  • zhead_
    31 posts

    @captainstarpaw Pretty cool finding. This explains a lot. I guess there is no workaround that we can use for now

  • PierreAngelique
    18 posts


    Yes I totally agree. I actually refunded the game on PC and am going to wait until they patch the game and address this particular issue (assuming that they do). The audio was really strange and compressed sounding, at least while using headphones. Its hard to say what is wrong with it exactly but it is not AAA level.

  • xrayspex_73
    140 posts


    The sad thing is, this game is relatively small (45GB) compared to most games these days (hell Odyssey is over 100GB). They certainly could have given the audio more space "budget" as it were. I would gladly have downloaded 65-75GB if it meant better sound quality.

  • CaptainStarPaw
    Original poster 43 posts

    @xrayspex_73 Totally. The compression is unnecassarily strict, considering that the English audio and SFX only take up 4.5 GB of hard disk space.

    If they provided the sound at 44100 Hz with an average variable bitrate of 128-160 kbps, you would likely see the total size increase from 4.5 GB to approximately 12 GB. Still not very large, but it would be a light and day difference for sound quality.

  • GWink_
    1 posts

    Just want to +1 on the audio issues. Its pretty bad.... worst I've heard from a game in 10 years. I'm going to assume it was a tiny mistake and the HQ audio will be released in a patch ASAP. I have faith in the dev team!

  • GKAmbassador
    2 posts

    @gwink_ I have the same problem as well. The audio between characters sounds "echo-y" and the environment around Eivor is just drowned out.

  • CarvalhoPT
    8 posts

    I have the same problem. Actually stoped to play the game until is fixed.... SO BAD. Audio is so muffled and compressed that makes everything sound like crap... Just feels bad to the ears.
    Hopefully will be fixed soon.... Or released a HQ audio DLC for 14,99€......

  • Hyungwoo
    1 posts


    Yeah the sound effects and dialogue sound incredibly lo-fi. They are devoid of low end, have scratchy mids, and harsh highs. They are both compressed in terms of dynamic range and format. It's unbearable to play to me and frankly I'm surprised this got past QA, not to mention the mixing engineers (were there any?) and audio director. Perhaps a different team handles optimization but this is inexcusable in 2020.

  • Anorax3
    7 posts

    @captainstarpaw Incredible analysis. Thank you. Sadly the more I read of all the issues here and the more I experience myself it appears Valhalla is yet another victim of Ubisoft's poor release performance and complete lack of care or QA testing. The audio quality issue detailed above isn't even a bug but seems to be a conscious decision on the part of Ubisoft. Why was this title delayed when it was released in this state? Why has Ubisoft not learned from their previous botched releases? Is the Ubisoft product management team simply incompetent?

  • JazzGreenway
    1 posts

    I am having a bunch of audio issues with the PC version:

    - Sound quality overall sounds very low, like a low refresh rate / bitrate.
    - Volume levels are all over the place, footsteps especially in snow are really loud, with other ambient sounds sometimes very quiet and sometimes very loud.
    - Main character (female Eivor) is much louder than everyone else, sounding very "tinny" with lots of echos, while the people she is talking with do not have these characteristics.

    This has really put me off the game to the point that I cannot get myself to play it anymore until this has been addressed. See also:


    https://discussions.ubisoft.com/topic/78476/pc-sound-issues-all-over-the-place-making-it-a-gamebreaking-experience/24 (my experience is exactly like in the videos in this thread)

  • TheRealDaemon
    21 posts

    I don't understand how this game got released in such a state and how no reviewer mentioned this. The game is completely unplayable like this for me. I try to make some progress but it just turns me off everytime I try and I end up playing different games. Only 3 hours in but I think I'm going to wait for a patch. I hope this gets addressed quickly.

  • CaptainStarPaw
    Original poster 43 posts

    @anorax3 I do believe this was a purposeful sacrifice of quality. A redditor posted on my thread earlier and mentioned that there are distribution tiers. To clarify: "There are 3 disc tiers on the consoles (25G, 50G 100G). The 100G on is triple layer and expensive. So ubisoft needed the game to fit under 46.6GiB to meet the requirement of Sony and Microsoft that Disk and Digital versions be the same game, and not have day 0 downloads for assets required to play the game (only patches/fixes)."

    Still, this doesn't excuse the problems with loud/quiet unbalanced dynamics. This isn't determined by how the sounds are compressed for distribution. At least with the bitrate issue, an easy solution as I mentioned on the OP would be to offer free DLC to install higher quality audio/video etc, but instead they decided to say nothing and wait for the complaints to roll in.

    I completely agree with you, and I am also baffled why no reviewer has mentioned the issue. It was a very unpleasant surprise playing the game for the first time.

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