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Thread: Sound Issues Causing Crashes?

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  1. #1

    Default Sound Issues Causing Crashes?

    First of all, thank you for your great contribution to MSTS and the community.
    I am addressing this issue to you because you obviously know "there is something going on" with the sound, having included the sound improvement option in the installer.
    Also I won't insist much as I've transitioned to TSC... but that doesn't mean I would abandon MSTS.

    The popping sound I will be referring is the following the kind you get with buffer underruns in a digital audio workstation i.e. when you set the size of the audio buffer a bit too low. A series of close pops will sound like a dropout (momentary sound cut-out).
    It also sounds like the very subtle pop you get every time you start and stop the playback of a sound. It's more obviousl on headphones.

    Observations made on "Winter Evening Run" activity on the Settle & Carlisle Line (a good testbed).
    a.1. stuttering/popping appears when the train to goes over a bridge, go under a bridge, and go over a level crossing; the first pop is as you exit the curve that leads to the sign just before the first bridge you cross.

    Observations made on "Dawn Tank Train" activity on Marias Pass
    b.1 Occasional pops every few seconds (2 to 5) in the right channel; seems to be linked to track sound but but when I have dynamic brake engaged it isn't apparent
    b.2 The first bridge you come over stutters/pops although less than on the Settle & Carlisle Line
    b.3. the brake compressor sound on the Dash 9 has a pretty obvious rhythmic popping; this is easy to hear as it's engaged when the activity starts

    Observations on other places
    c.1. once my MSTS crashed (with the usual "train.exe stopped working" dialog box from windows) but I was able to alt-tab back into it and drive for another 30 seconds, controls responsive and all that, till it crashed "again", this time for good. Between the two crashes the sound was looping an approximately 0.3 to 0.5s long sequence
    c.2. most crashes took place where stuttering/popping is common
    c.3. one crash occurred on Marias Pass while the combined power lever sound was looping (as it always does after you push it repeatedly)
    c.4. pop also occurs when changing camera views

    What does not make a difference:
    - if I set quantity of sounds low, medium, high
    - if I use camera 1 & 4 or other camera views (I read this on an other forum, with sound issues)
    - change bit depth and sampling frequency
    - raising minimum power state for sound card from D3 to 0
    - disabling power management for USB hubs in Windows
    - disabling HDMI audio stuff (two places in Device Manager)
    - set affinity to a single processor (as per noli's tip)
    - updated me drivers
    - tried with generic windows drivers

    My system: Windows 10 64bit, 8gb ram, i7 processor, nVIDIA video card, onboard sound card (Realtek HD Audio)
    My file: Either 1.4 or Bin 1.8 (doesn't seem to make a difference), command line option "-mem:4096"
    File options: "High DPI Scaling managed by Application", "Disable Full Screen Optimizations"; compatibility mode doesn't matter (MSTS runs fine without, but to be on the safe side I tried XP Sp2)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Brockville, ON, CA



    Might be worth your time to have a look at this thread, scroll down to reply #6...

    I still build my routes using MSTS Route Editor. Back when Open Rails was fairly new I was testing in MSTS but started testing the route in Open Rails. In MSTS I was getting frame rates of as low as 8 fps in heavily populated areas. As I went along the route I could see every object spawn in front of me. Testing the same area in Open Rails, the frame rate in the area that was getting 8 was getting 23, instead of the average area getting 25 it was getting in the 50s. I had the viewing distance set to 3300 meters and Everything was already spawned before I got to it... sort of like real life.

    One thing OR does that MSTS never did, if you crash or just end a session it put a log on your desktop and lists everything thing including all errors. It does indicate what the problem is or at least you could post it here and someone will be able to suggest what to look for.


  3. #3


    Please refrain mentioning OpenRails in this topic. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW MO


    There are tools available to help fix these problems.
    I suggest you use them.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Stalinist,broke United Kingdom (Hey buddy,can you spare �1.3 trillion?))


    Check you have the modified soundcfg file for bin

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by ragtimer View Post
    Check you have the modified soundcfg file for bin
    Yes, it's one with 200 instead of 40 for the second parameter of the third item of the next to last "skip" (and no other change).
    I changed it to 2000 but apart from some very long loading times it didn't solve anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdayt View Post
    There are tools available to help fix these problems.
    I suggest you use them.

    Well if somebody has those tools I just saved him an hour's work didn't I? Winter Evening Run crashes once for two full runs so it's pretty reliable. Otherwise I will look into it with Process Explorer or whats'isname but I have absolutely no clue about the Windows API.

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