Inspiron laptop, Windows 10, Audio fading whenever a new sound starts

Hello Dell forums!

My name is Michael. I'm a blind computer user, and so in order for me to use a computer no matter what type, a "screen reader" is required. Unfortunately due to the fact that my Windows 7 Toshiba laptop got fried, my dad had to get a replacement laptop running Windows 10. However, I'm having a huge problem with the sound card, and I posted this exact question in the Windows 10 forums but I got no response, so my guess is that it's a specifically Dell thing. Plus, I'm lazy and don't want to have to type the whole dang thing over again from scratch, and that forum explains my entire situation from square 1. So, best thing to do is to put the link to the forum on here. I really want to get this issue resolved ASAP, and for a blind person, this is horrid. Without further ado;

Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts


My suggestion is to read all of my posts so you'll have a better understanding of this. I'd paste it in if I wrote my posts down in Notepad for instance. But, having to use the laptop at school I'm short of that.

Thanks in advance and the sooner I get this resolved, the better.

Michael

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6 Replies
Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts

Hello Michael. I have downloaded and listened to your click. No problems here. I have a Latitude E5420 laptop with IDT audio. IDT was the audio vendor that Dell used for the laptops prior to Realtek.

There is no reason that  a sound card should be "fading in" that click. It could have occurred at the beginning of a song, for  example a drummer tapping out the count-in for the band. I have never heard of fade in being used to automatically ramp up the volume of the first moment of an audio file like that. I can't think of an explanation for the behavior. I'm going to think about it some more but am pretty busy this weekend. Just wanted to let you know someone is listening.

You might try removing the Jaws software and then play the click, to see if the software is interfering with the normal sound. The behavior you are experiencing is not normal for any Dell laptop, in my opinion.

By the way, because audio is so important to you, you might consider returning that laptop if you are still within Dell's brief return period. If the laptop came directly from Dell, the return period might be 21 days from the date on the invoice. If from a store then the store's policy applies.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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RE: Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts

That's weird. My X-girlfriend Deborah has a Dell laptop of a different model running Windows 10 and she doesn't have that problem. either. However, I'm afraid to return the laptop because my Dad bought it brand-new and reformatted, plus he doesn't really care if the sound card stunk or not. I don't know, maybe it's due to the fact that the hard drive is the magnetic kind, Dad was thinking about a solid-state drive instead. Maybe that model will make the difference, who knows. However, the fading stops when the volume of the click gets low enough, so it's not anything to do with the file itself. I've looked everywhere in the registry and found nothing, as I said in the other forum. So it has to be some sort of bug in my sound card or something.

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RE: Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts

Well, I've known another person on the Windows 10 forums who doesn't have this problem either with the Fall Creator Update which I have. I mean, I really want to get this figured out.

Tell you what, let me try posting two clicks identical to one another - if one click is different than the other, you'll know whether or not your sound system fades at the beginning.

Jim, But it could also be that your sound driver is IDT and mine is a Realtek I believe.

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RE: Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts

I've checked the registry for both my sister's laptop as well as my X-girlfriend Deborah's laptop, both of which do not have this fading problem. In the registry area for the audio drivers, under PowerSettings, all three options on mine are values of 00000000, which presumably means that everytime a sound is over, the audio device turns off, and when it turns back on it makes the fade. On both my sister's and Deborah's laptops, all three values are FFFFFFFF. So what difference does that make? Not sure, I'm not a computer freak compared to my dad. Maybe this will do it... **fingers crossed**

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RE: Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts

Well, OK, after installing a SSD drive in my Dell laptop and of course also installing Windows, this stupid fading effect is still there! Too bad Realtek! What I did was, I changed all three values in the registry from 00000000 to FFFFFFFF, and it still sounds absolutely <profanity>. So, I'm going to install a new sound card, because this sound card absolutely stinks and I'm not going to deal with this fading anymore. Either that or I'm selling this laptop because I'm not happy with it yet.

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts

Hello Michael.  Not sure what you mean about installing a new sound card. Laptops have an audio chip on the motherboard in lieu of a sound card. It's called integrated audio and is not a replaceable part. The chips have something like 48 pins, making it quite complicated to remove.

As a workaround, you could get a usb audio device. Here is a link to a little usb audio jack on Amazon, that only costs a few dollars. The device is just a microphone input jack and a headphones output jack, combined with a usb plug. The device contains its own audio chip so it is independent of the laptop's integrated audio. Unfortunately, no usb audio device can play audio back through the laptop's internal speakers. The audio goes out through the device's headphone jack to headphones, powered speakers, or amplifier.

Please note that my link is meant to be an example of a usb audio jack. It is not meant as an endorsement of that particular product.

I'm sorry that I can't help you further. My best advice was to return the laptop during the brief return period. Audio issues can sometimes be intractable, so when audio is of great importance it's better to not take chances. You might contact tech support and report the problem as a hardware defect. Hardware is covered under the warranty.

A test for hardware is to remove the Jaws software, install the Windows native audio driver, and play the click. If the click plays normally then the fault is with the Realtek driver or the Jaws program. If the click has the abnormal fade-in, then you can rule out the Realtek driver and the Jaws. That would leave Windows or the hardware as the source of the problem. A way to rule out Windows is to run Linux Live from a usb flash drive. If the issue is still there in Linux then it is not being caused by Windows, which would leave just the hardware as the culprit.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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