[V.100.12.1529.0] Music files are corrupted by a loudness equalizer

:arrow_forward: GAME INFORMATION

  • BUILD #: V.100.12.1529.0
  • PLATFORM: Steam
  • OS: Windows 10

:arrow_forward: ISSUE EXPERIENCED

The new DE music files which, according to this article , were “remastered” at a higher sampling and bit rate, sound corrupted and with a forced lowered volume in certain parts of all tracks. It appears as if the volume was adjusted by a loudness equalizer and this created the audio corruptions.
The issue is especially noticeable for the “feloniousjunk” and “getyesum” music files.
These issues are not present in the official soundtrack released after the original game in 2005, and those music tracks were also sampled at a higher bit rate than the game files.

:arrow_forward: FREQUENCY OF ISSUE

  • 100% of the time

:arrow_forward: REPRODUCTION STEPS

  1. Boot the title.
  2. Start a game.
  3. Listen to the soundtrack.

:arrow_forward: RESULT

Music tracks sound corrupted by a loudness equalizer.

:arrow_forward: EXPECTED RESULT

After the original game’s release in 2005, the full official soundtrack was also released separately, where the songs were exported at a much higher quality/bit rate than the game files, and unlike the new exports, they do not have any audio glitches or corruptions and are actually of a higher and clearer quality than the DE music files.

:arrow_forward: IMAGE & ATTACHMENTS


I’ve probably seen 10 different people pointing this out by now. The overall volume compression is super hard on the ears. It’s massively distracting, and I don’t know how anyone with a decent pair of headphone could say otherwise.

Makes it very odd that their soundtrack remastering is apparently a point of pride for them. :confused:

The Age of Empires III soundtrack is beautiful, and timeless. It was critically acclaimed back in the day. It’s great that you guys have added new tracks to supplement, but the original tracks did not need to be touched.

How many more threads need to be made about this before it’s acknowledged as what the fans are asking for?

It’s also worth noting that this volume compression was applied to other prominent musical cues in the game, such as the home city shipment and age-up riffs. Devs, listen to the new and old ones side-by-side.
They just sound worse.

Ah so that’s what it’s called. It reminded me of the loudness equalizer in the realtek driver options.
But my bug report had another point to make: there already was a higher quality, higher bit rate version of the soundtrack released in 2005 separately from the game, of which the devs probably didn’t know about.

That higher quality soundtrack could have been used instead of doing whatever they did to the soundtrack.

Thank for the heads up on the other sound files.

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Absolutely an issue with compression, which could stem from either a compressor on one of the individual tracks (if they had access to the master) or the compressor that’s applied during the mastering phase. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who heard this. I noticed the sound ducking the moment I loaded into the game and that was the EXACT first thing that came to my mind. I talked myself out of filing a ticket because I thought it might have been related to the performance/lag that some folks experience, like when a track slows down or starts stuttering when it’s bogged down with lag. But, that thought went ouut the window once I heard the isolated tracks posted above.

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