Friday, March 16, 2012

Fixing bad audio with VLC 2.0

If you experience distorted audio with VLC 2.0 then check your volume settting in VLC. If it is set above 100% then due to some VLC bug the audio quality is bad. Below or at 100% there is no problem.

20 comments:

  1. My ears are now back to happy and thank you very much!

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  2. Well that was easy. Makes me feel less than smart given I've been putting up with this for months

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  3. well done chap. that fixed it.

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  4. That fixed it, thanks.

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  5. thanks so much! cannot believe that that's it, but that is it!

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  6. Thanks! You're a lifesaver!

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  7. another happy dummy here too !

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  8. fixed perfectly, thank you so much!

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  9. Thank you so much! It works!

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  10. hahaha, have been trying with equalizers for months! thank you, finally good sound! ;)

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  11. It's probably not a bug. There is a phenomenon known as clipping, which occurs when the drive to an audio amplifier is high enough to saturate the transistors (or tubes). When this happens, the smooth curves at the peaks of the sound waves get flattened. This is called clipping. When amplifying sound digitally, this also occurs, typically when the value of the variables used to simulate the sound waves (and eventually generate them in the sound card) hit their minimum and maximum values. With a player like VLC, where the volume can be amplified beyond 100% of its original value, clipping is far more likely to occur over 100%, especially when the sound on the computer is also turned up (note, however, that if the recording has a moderate to high normal volume, this can occur even if the computer sound is quite low). The reason that VLC keeps this capability is, for lower volume recordings, the feature allows you to turn the volume higher than the original recording. This is really handy when a recording is only barely loud enough to hear at max computer volume.

    So, it is best to avoid turning VLC's volume up past 100%, unless the computer volume is all the way up and you are still having a difficult time hearing the sound (in these cases, turning VLC substantially above 100% typically will not cause clipping, because the original values were so low that it has a lot of room before it starts clipping.)

    (A bit of trivia: The overdrive sound used with electric guitars in a lot of rock music is actually the sound of the amplifier clipping, because the volume is turned so high that the tubes are constantly saturating. It does not sound as good with transistors, or the digital amplification used in VLC, though, because they clip very abruptly, while tubes clip a bit more smoothly.)

    Anyhow, I hope this is useful to someone. I guess the point is, this is not a symptom of a bug in VLC. It is a natural consequence of using finite processing on infinitely complex waveforms.

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  12. Thanks a BUNCH! I've been troubled by this for many months. Multi praise.

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  13. still terrible for me...any fix yet

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  14. Why is this answer not on their website? It's so simple!

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  15. because it's not the answer doh?

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