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  • 123 Likes/520 Replies/29008 Views
    CaptainStarPaw
    Original poster 51 posts

    I'm an audio producer hobbyist and can confirm a number of audio specific issues present with AC:Valhalla, running Patch 1.0.2. I originally posted my findings on Reddit but wanted to share it here with the Ubisoft team.

    1. The audio quality in general suffers horribly because of heavy lossy compression (low bitrate optimised for size). It is also exacerbated by the fact that the compression quality is not consistent across dialogue, music and SFX. You can pick up on this much easier with a pair of studio headphones/monitors. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO owner here. The high frequencies are tinny and washed out, similarly to what a 64-96 kbps MP3 sounds like.
    2. If you've played both Origins and Odyssey, you may have noticed that this is not a new issue, although Valhalla seems to suffer worse. Audio quality complaints have been prevalent in the past. Ubisoft do not appear to prioritise audio quality for release as this would significantly increase download and install size. This is presumably due to how they package their releases for the console market. They really ought to release a HD audio pack for their recent AC games so we can actually enjoy unspoilt crystal clear audio.
    3. The audio constantly cuts in and out. I have a very clean and up-to-date Win10 installation with an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super, along with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 sound device. Audio cuts in and out randomly for 1-2 seconds at a time whenever I interact with the UI. Personally, it is most easily reproduced during the tattoo and hair customization screen. This issue does not occur with their previous games.
    4. The volume balance of sounds seems really out of whack, and I can only bare to play this game with the Dynamic Range set to Midnight in the game options, otherwise there are certain sounds that are so loud they almost make me poop myself. This is not supposed to be a jump scare horror experience in the sound department.
    5. Less of an issue, but they have re-used a lot of sound assets from their previous titles. It can be really tacky/cookie cutter whenever this is done, but particularly so when the sound quality is poor to begin with.


    Oddly, many of the official reviews I have read so far completely fail to mention the audio issues, and this is concerning. The issues are so obvious that they must have either purposefully omitted the critique, have sub-par sound systems, or couldn't care less. I remember back in the day when video games magazine reviewers took pride in providing a detailed opinion of sound effects and music.

    How do you guys feel about it? To me, the $60 price tag is a bit of a kick in the teeth, and I feel that Ubisoft should really have audio technicalities down to a T. We also deserve to optionally download HD quality assets, especially since there are many gamers among us that invest a great deal of time and money into our home cinema set-ups.

    Put it this way, would you be okay if you bought a $60 blu-ray box set of your new favourite show and the audio was poor quality?
    Your best Valhalla sound experience would be to listen to the soundtrack on Spotify. It is a beautiful, wholly remarkable piece of work, sadly let down by poor integration within the game itself.




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  • claudiayouhoe
    3 posts

    Hey ubisoft 🙂

    Playing on pc, game is awesome so far but audio is bugged out the mother truckin wazoo. I'm not the only one experiencing this too 😞
    Is this a known issue or what?

  • claudiayouhoe
    3 posts

    Overall the game just seems unfinished and terribly optimized on pc... combat feels stale, animations are clunky and the audio bugs out every so often... such a shame. not worth the £40 even with 20% off 😕

  • gilly775
    5 posts

    @claudiayouhoe That's why I did the $15 Ubisoft + subscription. Although, I originally did it for Watch Dogs Legions which has far less issues 😆

  • bakester413
    2 posts

    I have a high quality audio setup. I've not had problems like this with any game before, not even other AC titles, but the audio seems INCREDIBLY compressed. Not like "gotta save space" compressed. Like "playing with your ears connected to soda cans"

    I've tinkered with various audio options, the settings, etc. But it really does seem to be just incredibly compressed. The attacks have no weight to them because your attack hit sounds are like hitting thin air. The movement lacks depth and distant sounds are hard to hear. Everything is muffled.

    I encountered a reddit post where numerous people were saying "Thank God it's not just me" so I know I'm not alone, but is this a bug? Anyone else having this issue? Or is anyone not having it?

    Also, does anyone know if devs are aware? I hope for a quick response, it's honestly hard to play with this audio quality.


  • Kapersky.
    1 posts

    Playing on PC.
    All audio is so compressed it turns grainy. Voices are awful, mixing is all around the place ( snow is super loud, where npcs and music are half the volume).
    Is it possible to download a hd audio pack or something, or this will be ignored "feature" like it was in Origins an Odyssey...

  • Sigtyro
    1 posts

    Same here, just started the game and it sounds very strange and compressed, like a small echo all the time. And like you said, the fighting has no weight to it. Very hard to play with this.

  • Lionman9419
    3 posts

    @bakester413 I've had a problem with dialogue sound, sound for everything else but dialogue

  • Tadiian
    16 posts

    Yeah that is a problem. It's not even the quality of some of the dialog that bothers me but the sound mixing itself seems off.

    Eivors dialog is sooo loud. The footsteps sound like they are right next to my ear but also muffled. Combat sounds, are they even there? Not sure.

  • Saku_77
    8 posts

    same here game runs well but this almost makes wanna quit playing until they fix it

  • zhead_
    31 posts

    Same issue with me. It is really annoying

  • zhead_
    31 posts

    Same problem with me. Dialogs in the open sound like they are in the bathroom

  • VanixLH
    14 posts

    As mentioned in some other posts, the audio quality in this game is some of the worst I have heard in a very long time. All audio sounds overly compressed, dialogue in particular is flat with no lows or mids. Levels and mixing are all over the place with some sounds being ear piercingly loud (like the air assassination noise) and some barely audible.There's definitely something wrong with your audio files, whether it's compression or just the general audio design. I hope someone will be looking into this asap, this is not really acceptable quality for a full priced game.

    I also experience the same thing, audio sounds like it's been super compressed. There's no mids or lows, audio levels are all over the place, many sounds are far too high pitched and too loud (like the air assassination noise for example) dialogue in particular sounds terrible. Like it's a very low bitrate. Even the original AC in 2007 had better audio though you could still hear the compression then, but this is much worse. I sincerely hope there's a fix on the way as it's very distracting and not pleasant..

  • VanixLH
    14 posts
    This post is deleted!
  • SoulBrotherNr3
    20 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
    144 posts

    @vanixlh

    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])

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