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Windows [SOLVED] Help required to save the sanity of a fellow gamer

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by ModSquid, 13 Jan 2023.

  1. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Evenin' all - and a polite tip of the hat of course.

    I'm yet again at the end of my tether with regard to another PC issue. To the point where I'm about to quit online PC gaming and return to the Xbox for its ease of use. Not what I want to do but these bstrd machines just keep throwing issues at me and I'm losing the love for it.

    To which end I'm begging for someone to throw a technical lifebelt to a PC gaming brother. This week Matthew, what's doing our nut is online voice chat. Cannot for the life of me get this working, even with the kid in the same house on the same network. Now, this is no doubt something I've done or set on the PC (or router?), whether intentionally (and forgotten about it) or otherwise and I think I've tried as much as I can but to no avail. This will either be incredibly tricky due to the myriad of possibilities or one of those very basic things that's been overlooked. I'm happy to start from the beginning again though, because otherwise the kids will lose interest as well and that will be three casualties of the scene.

    So far the story is thus - running Razer Synapse (and a Kraken TE) for THX via USB and separately, a USB DAC when through the speakers. Kraken obvs has the mic. Speakers work fine. Headset works fine for sound although can be a bit finicky sometimes - can be a delay when switching to THX, wasn't always working until recent update to Synapse, has several options in Windows Sound settings:
    • Headset Earphone (Razer Audio Controller - Chat)
    • Speakers (Razer Audio Controller - Game) - don't know why this is different
    • Speakers (THX Spatial - Synapse) - or this
    • Headset Microphone (Razer Audio Controller - Chat) - this is not an option in the sound selections via the speaker icon in the notification area. I assumed selecting one of the above headphone settings enabled the mic. This is default in Sound settings and isn't on mute physically
    This was easier under Win 7 as you could just plug the X360 headset into the X360 controller and it would work fine. Now Win 10 seems to have stopped that for some unknown reason, hence the Kraken.

    We've tried Steam chat via the in-game overlay messaging box but mic is not picked up (although I think I was able to hear them); we've tried Discord but it doesn't register on there either; I think we might have had some success previously via in-game SW Battlefront chat but nothing should have changed as far as I'm aware since then; I've tried testing it in Windows Sounds (Configure -> Speech Recognition) and it's not picked up there either (as an aside, what is the "Listen to this device" setting that enables you to "listen to a portable music player through this headset microphone jack"?); selecting the mic in the notification area brings up the Windows settings page and on there I have these:

    upload_2023-1-13_19-47-58.png

    upload_2023-1-13_19-50-18.png

    ...so as far as I can see everything is enabled and yet it's apparently the mic that's the issue even though I swear it worked before on here in SW:BF. I have got a Turtle Beach headset that works fine on the Xbox but also had issues on this PC, but I haven't yet tried the Kraken on a different PC (although I'm loathe to think that would do anything other than just work). It HAS to be a setting somewhere, maybe a privacy one I've turned off, but I just cannot find it. "Nuke from orbit" option would be to build another Windows install purely for gaming with no settings changed from default and only antivirus installed (unless this is what's causing the issue, but how would I tell?), but I haven't really got the time or resources to do so.

    Really, really would appreciate some help with this as it's driving me potty and is putting an obstacle between the kid and I enjoying what should be fun. With the other stuff I'm trying to get off my plate at the moment, this was meant to be an outlet, but instead it's just stressful and something else I could do without right now.

    As always, thanks in advance for whatever assistance (rescue!) anyone can lend...:sigh: :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2023
  2. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Try going into the legacy Control Panel (windows start menu, type control and open control panel), click to show icons rather than categories and open the sound settings.

    [​IMG]

    Look for the microphone in the list and check the properties for it to see if it may have been muted, if so unmute and test. If it's that I'll be truly surprised but worth a check just in case.

    This is the bit I'm thinking of:

    [​IMG]

    Check if the Microphone has been muted in here. It'll have a no-entry sign over the blue speaker if so. Click to unmute and see if that does anything.
     
  3. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Cheers @kenco_uk - went in to check, but although mine looks different to yours (slightly) it's unmuted:

    upload_2023-1-16_11-58-38.png

    I also appear to have some unexplained option on the custom tab which I've left unticked for now:

    upload_2023-1-16_11-59-15.png

    Interestingly, if I disable the standard (but not set as default) Realtek mic as per the third option below, then try to "Set up microphone" from the Speech recognition" screen, I get this error (where it would previously start but not pick up the headset mic):

    upload_2023-1-16_12-3-14.png

    And that's with Headset Mic as default and Headset Earphone (Razer Audio Controller - Chat) set as the output device in the system tray.

    So I'm still stumped.
     
  4. alpha112

    alpha112 Minimodder

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    Are you sure it's a software problem? The Kraken has a hardware mute button.
     
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  5. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Yeah, I've checked that one. Even to the point where I can see the Windows and Synapse software mark the mic as off when the button is used, so there is an on-screen indication. I've tried fiddling with the game/chat button as well, although in theory this should only affect headset speaker output.

    Cheers for suggestion though - sometimes it is the obvious things that have been overlooked!

    EDIT: This is the main Synapse Mic section:

    upload_2023-1-18_9-51-10.png

    The box in red turns orange when testing, but I can't hear anything through the headset and the speakers would be silent since the output is set to the headset in the system tray. When I use the USB mute button, both of the top left options disappear as the mic shows as being switched off. Just to confirm (and I did look, but double-checking there isn't something stupid I've missed) - the only mute button on this headset is on the USB control dongle? Mic is fully extended from the earcup just in case that's also a muting method.

    MID-EDIT EDIT:
    FFS. Seriously? :wallbash: I'm an idiot. Whilst writing the above, it occurred to me that if the only mute button was on the USB dongle, how would you mute the mic when not using via USB (I don't do this because I don't have a combined mic/spkr jack that the Kraken lead uses, mine are separate)? So I double-checked the small in-line volume adjuster on the headset lead and there's a SECOND MUTE BUTTON! Which apparently DOESN'T register in software when activated.

    How stupid do I now feel? Obviously I've turned this on at some point and forgotten completely about it. I do need to test it in-game still, which I'll try and do later and report back, but for now I'm hopeful that this is sorted. Props to @alpha112 for pointing me in this direction :rock:, cheers to @kenco_uk for jumping in to assist as well :thumb:. I've left my above rubbish in just in case it helps someone in the future avoid the same - and so you can all have a cheap laugh at my expense of course.

    Glad we may have got there in the end, even if it was via a rather embarrassing path...
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2023
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  6. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    FYI - That "AGC" checkbox is most likely for "Automatic Gain Control"
     
  7. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Cheers Ian - it is indeed. I had a poke around on the internet this morning in the hope it may have been a solution of sorts, but it seems more related to keeping mic levels in check when background noise is variable. Apparently can be annoying during chat/conferences though, as your voice input volume to the mic can change dependent on background. I disabled the "Allow apps exclusive access" option anyway.

    Also to add just for reference, that Wizard issue I highlighted above is now resolved by going to Settings -> Privacy -> Microphone and re-enabling "Allow desktop apps to access your microphone".
     
  8. alpha112

    alpha112 Minimodder

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    Glad you got it working! A lot of gaming headsets have a separate mute button so they work on all platforms, even when there's no software support for it. Having two is plain stupid though.
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You'll be back after the next update. Using more than one audio device in NuWindows is a no-no, and they play hell with your settings.
     
  10. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Fantastic. Do you mean just W11? I'm still on 10 (for now...) luckily. Do they not know that people (especially gamers) often swap between speakers and headset?
     
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The issues I've been having have all been with 10 replacing 'old' drivers with the default windows drivers, which don't work. To get my Mom's printer to work, the factory drivers have to be reinstalled every day.
    I was using a DAC for recording, and would need to constantly reinstall that because it kept being changed from a mic input to speakers, and my speakers would be turned off, or even changed to the mic input.
     
  12. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    It's actually rather timely that you raise this - I had some major grief last night trying to switch between headphones and speakers myself (your hex on me must have worked). As I put in the earlier posts/screenshots above, the THX Surround now doesn't come out of the headphones, nor does the Razer Speakers option, even though both show green output levels as per this screenshot (although I have no idea why both would be playing together):

    upload_2023-2-1_8-26-31.png

    And swapping between the speakers via DAC (not in screenshot) and Razer Headset Earphone was a hit and miss affair that may or may not have been solved by restarting Razer Synapse, updating it, closing Windows settings or any combination of those and something else I've either forgotten or didn't notice I'd done. Really winds me up, this stuff.

    Is it worth doing (and is there a sensible way to do so without losing anything important) an uninstall/disable of anything Windows default, maybe storing it somewhere just in case, then forcing only use of the required drivers (in my case Razer and DAC)? I'm sure you've thought of this, given your own troubles, but thought I'd ask in case anyone else has an idea.
     

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