Currently, sounds are volume-levelled as if they are being heard by the disembodied third person camera, not not the ship or player character. This weakens immersion and can occasionally be rather annoying.
You are standing three meters away from a noisy machine or console. Your camera is zoomed out three meters from your character. Without moving your character, you spin the camera around. When the camera is positioned close to the machine, the sound is at its loudest. When the camera is positioned six meters away from the machine, the sound is at its quietest. The player character's ears haven't moved, but the "ears" of the game have.
A torpedo hits another ship's shields, ten kilometres from your ship. Your camera happens to be positioned next to that ship. The sound of the explosion is deafening (especially if you are using headphones or bassy speakers with the volume up). Then a torpedo hits your own ship's shields. It isn't anywhere near as loud.
Hearing centred on the player's avatar, completely ignoring the current position of the camera, makes more sense and would be much more immersive.
Even if it is not changed globally for everyone, an option in the audio options menu for those that want it would be nice. A similar option was added in a patch for one of the Tomb Raider games and with the sound centred at the character instead of the camera the game felt so much more impressive and... just right. It is like actually being the character, instead of being an invisible spectre stalking them.
I made a thread on this about a year ago, but it didn't get beyond a single page and didn't get any Dev response. Let's hope this one does better.
ship combat sounda atleast diminish the farther out you zoom the camera/viewing distance
Thanks for your suggestions but all those things have been considered. Also it is being discussed on the other topic I linked. Please read the previous comments and you will see how and when it started.
For the sake of the discussion though, all my drivers are up-to-date and I know a bit about these things. It's certainly not an issue with our hardware or the hardware's associated software but an issue that started with the Feb 2, 2012 morning patch.
Since the last few patches, the backgrond noises on Deferi Emancipation have gotten louder. The noise trumps everything els in the room. now I have to turn down volume because the noise is rattling the apartment walls. Its suppossed to de an ore mine. I don't know of any operating mines that care to work there if there earthquakes. I'm just asking to tone down some of that noise on the map.
I went from 7.1 (no use anyway, playing with a simple headset) to 2-speakers/headphones in the Win7 sound config for my creative card and also set for all "compatibilities" (44.1, 46, ...) and the noise vanished.
Have not been to DS9 since I reverted some of my changes because sound was crappy in other games after that.
On a different note: If I enable EAX in Win7, is it normal to have echo/steelroom ambience/sewer acoustic --everywhere-- ??
The audio team has informed me that they have isolated and fixed the problem you are experiencing -- the fix should make its way in-game in a future patch. In the meantime, as a workaround, you can fix the issue by switching your headsets or monitoring systems from a 7.1 surround setting, to a 5.1 or stereo setting.
Finally, it would be helpful to the audio team to let them know if this problem is occurring anywhere else in-game. If you do happen to encounter this problem, please respond to this thread with the name of the location you are at, including the map name if possible.
Please pass on my thanks for the help and the fix! As of the 2/16/2012 patch the noise was gone for me. Again thank you ever so much!