My plan to re-play the original Operation Flashpoint has so far been averted by many different problems with the sound. I can get rid of some problems, but it will lead to different ones. So far I have found no configuration that gives me acceptable sound throughout the game.
I am really surprised that out of all the problems I encountered, I could not find a single thread discussing any of them. Is it really possible that I'm the only one with all these problems? I have spent an awful lot of time trying many different versions (Operation Flashpoint 1.00/1.10/1.20/1.30/1.40/1.46, Resistance 1.96, ArmA: Cold War Assault 1.99), I have tried two different soundcards (ASUS Xonar D2X and on-board Realtek HD chip), and both software and hardware-accelerated audio modes (within OFP's settings). So I find it really hard to believe that mine is such a special case and that nobody else has these problems.
I try to summarise all the problems and when they occur:
- Choppy voices: some voice samples (not over the radio) sound very choppy. I believe it only happens to voices spoken while inside a moving vehicle. It doesn't happen to all voice samples, but always the same ones. I have uploaded a sample from the first real campaign mission "Flashpoint" here, the conversation in the UH-60: Listen. You can hear that Fowley and Kozlowski sound very choppy, but Berghof sounds perfectly fine. It is always the same samples that are choppy. I also noticed that if I speed up the game by factor 2.0, the samples play fine (while of course they will overlap in time). This is a problem that I can not get rid of in any way. It happens in hardware and software mode, on both audio cards, and in every version from 1.00 to 1.99. It is one of the most annoying bugs.
- Missing dialogue: I'm not giving this one high priority, although it is pretty annoying, because versions 1.96 and 1.99 seemingly got rid of it, and the official stance will probably be that only the latest version is really supported now. But at least on versions 1.00 to 1.46 in software audio mode, some (again always the same) voice samples will start playing about halfway in. The lip syncing plays as the sample should, but the first half of the dialogue is never heard, and it stops way too early. This recording is again from mission "Flashpoint", where Berghof starts mid-sentence (it also always starts at exactly the same point): Listen.
- Cut-off radio voices: On versions 1.00 to 1.46, I can fix the missing dialogue bug from above by switching to hardware audio mode. Then, however, I have a very strange issue with radio voices. Their timing is completely off, they all seem to stop about half a second before they should. This leads to weird and, in the case of short words, incomprehensible radio messages. You really have to hear it to understand, so I made another recording: Listen. This bug happens always in hardware audio mode, and is not fixed by version 1.99.
- Loud engines: this bug is introduced with versions 1.96 and 1.99; it doesn't happen on earlier versions up to 1.46. It happens on both hardware and software mode. When inside a moving vehicle, the engine noise is much too loud, and more importantly, it doesn't fade out after a few moments like it used to in earlier versions. This makes any dialogue happening en route impossible to understand. You can barely hear that anyone's even talking. If it weren't for this bug, upgrading to 1.96 and 1.99 would mean I had only the seemingly universal choppy voices problem still to care about (although to tell you the truth, it's incredibly hard to hear over the engine noise whether the voices are actually still choppy).
- Sound mixing: this is the least noticeable, and I'm no longer sure in what version or mode it happens, but it's rarer than the others. Sound mixing seems to be off, as you have to stand almost on top of other characters to hear their voices. Move 1 meter away and they're already so soft that you have to listen very closely.
I would be really grateful for any pointers on how to solve any of these problems. Because as of now, it is not only impossible for me to get rid of all of them at once, but I cannot even find a combination of them that would allow me to enjoy the campaign. If I had to prioritise I would say I would most like to get rid of the cut-off radio chatter, because without that, versions up to 1.46 would run acceptably in hardware audio mode. Next best would be fixing the loud engines problem in the latest versions, because apart from that the game would run okay in software audio mode.
The rest of my system specs for completeness' sake:
Intel i7-3820 (4x3.6 GHz), Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 mainboard with Intel X79 chipset, 16 GB DDR3/2400 RAM, Gainward GTX 570 1.28GB, ASUS Xonar D2X and Realtek HD on-board, Intel 330 series SSD 180GB (system), Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, DirectX 11.1, and all drivers up to date.