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Sound Quality Automatically Reduced On Import

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    Sound Quality Automatically Reduced On Import

    Hey guys,

    I noticed that when playing sounds in the editor, the sound quality seems to be automatically reduced. This has nothing to do with compression quality on the Sound Wave. The high end is lost when playing sounds in the engine. Sounds like a sample rate reduction.

    I've noticed this in both the new audio engine and the old, and have tested this from 4.16 to 4.19.2. To repro:

    1. Create a new project using the first person template on 4.19.2
    2. Launch the project, and navigate to Audio/FirstPersonTemplateWeaponFire02
    3. Play the sound in the editor, and then play the sound in the game. After doing this, right click on the "FirstPersonTemplateWeaponFire02" sound wave, and choose Asset Actions-Export
    4. Now, you'll have that sound outside the editor. Listen to the sound played outside the editor, and then within the editor. There is a noticeable loss of quality. You can also record the output of the game, and A-B between the recorded output and the original sound in your DAW. It is very noticeable this way.

    I don't know if this is a bug or some memory saving feature, but I would like to have the sounds within the editor sound exactly the same as they sound in my DAW. Is there a way to do this?

    Last edited by knotar; 05-30-2018, 11:05 AM.

    Yup. Noticed it as well. Everything seems to sound more flat. What is up with this?


      mostly Daws work with wav 32/64 bits ( no dithering audio ) . that's why often the sounds seems more accurate / clearely on our DAW .
      keep in mind even you play a sounds 44. khz 16 bits on your daw , your daw for playplack streaming do a copy on 32 bits or 64 bits . On UE4 engine , the audio files played as the original sample rate .

      Composer // Sound designer Audio
      New !! Dark Age Music Pack


        This is not just in DAW. You can play the file in VLC. There is a noticeable difference between the wav files in the engine, and the wavs outside the engine. If you follow my repro steps, it clearly shows that difference.

        Keep in mind that the repro steps use a sound within Epic's first person template. Anyone can test this out and hear the issue.
        Last edited by knotar; 05-31-2018, 02:11 PM.


          There's currently no way to play uncompressed audio playback in UE4 -- on Windows, for example, it's cooking to Ogg-vorbis and then playing back the compressed version (as you would hear it in the game). I'd like to allow content-browser playback/preview play the raw uncompressed audio vs the compressed version, or at least have that as an option in the editor.

          We have a huge list of things we want to improve around asset management, asset workflow, asset import/export, and customization of per-platform compression.


            Thanks for the info, but I'm not sure if it is solely compression issue. If you take that same file from my import steps, and import it into Wwise to apply compression there, you can get the file to be smaller than you could in UE, and it still sounds like the file being played in VLC.

            This is not an audiophile post, where someone is complaining about something that can't be heard by 99.9 % of the population. I've shown this issue to people who know nothing about audio, and they can easily spot the high end being rolled off.

            It would be good to have someone look at this issue, because it may be some setting where UE is doing something weird under the hood.
            Last edited by knotar; 06-23-2018, 12:45 PM.


              Got another guy complaining about this issue. If there is a huge list of things you guys want to do, then can this problem be prioritized?

              Last edited by knotar; 06-23-2018, 12:44 PM.


                Yeah I'm starting to get a bit suspicious about what Unreal is doing to audio assets under the hood. Would importing much higher fidelity originals help at all with this issue? I've traditionally imported sounds as 44100 mono WAVs but maybe it's worth upping that if it'll help combat this. Tried importing some thunder recently that sounded fine when played in any external media program but in-game became a horribly muddled mess even with a compression quality of 100.


                  The linked post above describes this issue and a potential fix! The problem that I've been running into is that switching to AudioMixerXAudio2 on 4.18.3 doesn't seem to actually switch it. However, switching to AudioMixerXAudio2 on 4.19.2 does. The directions are posted here:


                  I'm not sure why this is yet.
                  Last edited by knotar; 06-23-2018, 12:45 PM.


                    After updating my older project to 4.19.2 and confirming that AudioMixerXAudio2 is activated, the problem is gone. It's weird because I went through these steps before on a new 4.19.2 UE project, and didn't see the mixer activate in the output log. Only after uninstalling the engine, and doing everything from scratch did it work. Maybe I missed a step the first time. Those directions are linked in my post above. The way I was ale to see that the mixer was activated is that it gave me additional info in the output log such as:

                    LogAudioMixer: Display: Audio Device Output Speaker Info:
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: Name: Focusrite USB (Focusrite USB Audio)
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: Is Default: Yes
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: Sample Rate: 96000
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: Channel Count: 2 (was Mono? No)
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: Channel Order:
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: 0: FrontLeft
                    LogAudioMixer: Display: 1: FrontRight

                    This info does not show up for me if AudioMixerXAudio2 is not activated.

                    The only difference now is compression you may hear from .wav becoming .ogg, but that difference is negligible. The big thing is to just make sure that the AudioMixerXAudio2 is working.
                    Last edited by knotar; 06-23-2018, 12:48 PM.


                      I did some tests with white and pink noise a few days ago, after noticing the same issue. I'm still running into this problem on 4.19.2 with audiomixer activated. There's a hearable roll-off on the higher end of the spectrum, even at the highest quality settings. No roll-off when compressing to ogg Vorbis or ogg Opus with Reaper for example.

                      FWIW, I tried playing back the same sample in Wwise and got a similar result to Unreal when using ogg at max quality.
                      Attached Files


                        I ran into the same issue with the higher end of the spectrum getting bad quality.

                        But importing with sample rate 48000 fixed it. I'm using the new audio engine.


                          Hey! I've followed both advices on how to handle the problem (activating AudioMixer and importing 48kHz file), but now I've got another one- I lost the low range, while in Wwise I'm not having any of these issues. Any idea what might be going on?


                            Originally posted by humve.e View Post
                            Hey! I've followed both advices on how to handle the problem (activating AudioMixer and importing 48kHz file), but now I've got another one- I lost the low range, while in Wwise I'm not having any of these issues. Any idea what might be going on?
                            What version are you on? Is this playing back attenuated/spatialized? Do you have Air Absorption on?
                            Dan Reynolds
                            Technical Sound Designer || Unreal Audio Engine Dev Team