Broken music (audio mastering issue)

:arrow_forward: GAME INFORMATION

  • GAME BUILD #: Latest (24632?)
  • OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10

:arrow_forward: ISSUE EXPERIENCED

This isn’t a bug, but a mastering mistake in soundtrack. In most music tracks there are times when volume levels jumps up and down, making it sound like kid is messing with your amp. This distortion is noticeable during gameplay.

I extracted audio files to ensure the issue is with the way music is recorded and can confirm it’s there (this means everyone is experiencing this, but perhaps not everyone cares enough about audio to notice). I’ve checked original game’s music on YouTube (and remastered too) and these are fine. Whoever did a remastering job on a soundtrack that was put in the game did a lousy job. Audio tracks need to be completely replaced.

:arrow_forward: FREQUENCY OF ISSUE

  • 100% of the time / matches I play (ALWAYS)

:arrow_forward: REPRODUCTION STEPS

Here’s the steps to reproduce the issue:

  1. Listen to the soundtrack in skirmish.
  2. Or extract audio and listen to it that way.
  3. For example, it happens at the very beginning of the track Get Ye Sum.

:arrow_forward: EXPECTED RESULT

Music should sound as it’s supposed to. As far as I could tell the issue isn’t present on the soundtrack sold separately on Steam. I don’t own it and only listened to it on Youtube.

:arrow_forward: IMAGE

:arrow_forward: GAME FILES (SAVE / RECORDING)


Anybody looked into this?

I do not have this problem and always play with music on.

Everybody has this problem, unless somehow you have different audio files in the game. It’s probably not very audible unless you’re using good headphones.

This is the track where it’s the most noticeable (Get Ye Sum):

You can notice fluctuations very early on, every time the bell is ringing it warps the audio.

This is one of the first things that I noticed after launch when I first played the DE months ago. I initially thought it was due to lag, but it’s always the same parts of the music, and if you know what it should sound like, it’s very noticeable.

It was even remastered for this DE, so it’d be even more unfortunate if this never gets looked in to since that more than cancels out the improvements from the remastering.

If it’s as easy a fix as you suggest (only swapping the audio files with the ones sold on the soundtrack, and making sure no other weird compression is going on in the release process), then I hope this will get fixed soon. It’s a huge shame the way it sounds right now. I especially notice it during Get Ye Sum, too.


Devs should really look into this. @vividlyplain

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Yeah its so annoying because I love the soundtrack but with this is not enjoyable while playing. Hope it gets fixed soon.

Hi guys, thanks for the reports on this. We’re now tracking this :sound: issue.


Hope this gets fixed tomorrow. Though I haven’t seen anything related to sound updates in Live Preview notes.

Unfortunately sound issues are ignored in the new update.

Also, new voice recordings are awful.

i even have this same issue during normal gameplay with music off, especially with high amount of canons in action, the sound drops and comes back and drops again… so annoying

Someone else has recently once again posted about this issue on the Steam forums, though they also at first (probably falsely) assumed it was lag and not a general issue with the music in the game: Lag in music? :: Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition General Discussions

To help make sure that we are all talking about the same issue and make the word descriptions less ambiguous, I have made a brief audio comparison:
→ I took two short audio snippets from a music track and I repeated each snippet 4 times
→ twice the good soundtrack version, and then twice the broken in-game version.
Then the same for the second snippet. This way, the difference may be easier to understand.

You can listen to it here: AOE3DE music parts - Correct vs In-Game - YouTube

(ignore the horse sound in the end, I recorded all game audio for this)
These snippets are from Get Ye Sum, the full “in-game” version of which was already linked earlier in this thread as well.

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Quite amazing to see this issue not being fixed after 6 whole months (12 months after game launched).

It can be fixed by a simple audiofile swap!

All this time devs release new updates and DLCs and must be testing the game but they can’t hear it? Must be playing with music turned off.

This appears to be fixed now in the PUP build (though not mentioned in the changelog for some reason). Nice! :slight_smile:

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Maybe they’re too ambarrassed to mention it :slightly_smiling_face:

Gonna check it out when the update is out.

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New patch notes have this:

  • Fixed corruption in a couple of the music tracks: Get Ye Sum and Felonious Junk.

Looks like it’s finally over.

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