Dolby Digital/Rock Band -- What receiver adjustments will prevent missing notes? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-09-2010, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm having an issue with the Dolby Digital setting in Rock Band 3, played on a PS3, hooked up to an Onkyo HT-R530 7.1ch receiver (part of the HT-S5300 HTIB). The game sounds awesome in Dolby Digital, and once auto-calibrated hit notes are registered accurately (ie, I do not have a 'lag' issue). But at points throughout any given song the strum bar and fret buttons will suddenly not be responsive at all--I don't even hear the chirps and squeals indicating that I'm missing the notes. Even if I pause the game, I momentarily cannot strum up or down to quit or restart the song. It only lasts a few seconds each time before hit notes are registering again, but it's usually at least a few times per song, and is obviously quite frustrating. I'm using a new MadCatz RB3 Fender Strat, with fresh batteries and when this happens the red light on the dongle stays solidly lit the whole time. So I can rule out a connection issue. And I've tried a different guitar, with the same result.

In the rockband.com forums, an admin offers this general tip to deal with this issue when it happens:

Also try turning off Dolby 5.1 in the game options or bypassing your external audio system to see if this resolves the issue. If it does, try troubleshooting your audio setup to limit or resolve the issue.

When I turn the Dolby Digital off in-game, and restart a song, this does seem to correct the issue. BUT I don't want to turn off Dolby Digital, given how awesome it sounds when it's on (at least before I start getting booed in surround sound for missing so many notes.)

So, my question is: Does anyone have any experience or advice on how to "troubleshoot your audio setup to limit or resolve" the Dolby Digital/Notes Not Picking Up issue? And not necessarily specifically with an Onkyo HT-R530 receiver, but generally? Are there any known common receiver features/settings (like Audyssey, for example) that cause issues with Rock Band? Does it have to do with what dB levels speakers are set at? I'm stumped--I've tried changing a few settings but nothing seems to make a difference. And this seems like too specific / unusual of an issue that I think it's probably doubtful that Onkyo customer service would even have an answer or suggestion for me. (and from what I've read on these forums their customer service isn't great anyway)

Any insights would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-09-2010, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrmegeddon View Post

But at points throughout any given song the strum bar and fret buttons will suddenly not be responsive at all--I don't even hear the chirps and squeals indicating that I'm missing the notes.

When it becomes unresponsive, does all audio go dead silent, or just the ability to trigger certain notes--and the background sound remains live? If there is any audio still playing, it appears the DD encoder and decoder are both still working.

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When I turn the Dolby Digital off in-game, and restart a song, this does seem to correct the issue. BUT I don't want to turn off Dolby Digital, given how awesome it sounds when it's on (at least before I start getting booed in surround sound for missing so many notes.)

It seems that turning off DD encoding may be reducing stress on the PS3 internal processor. Maybe a similar benefit could be had by unloading other stressful options, like rendering in HD video?? Just a wild guess.

Quote:


So, my question is: Does anyone have any experience or advice on how to "troubleshoot your audio setup to limit or resolve" the Dolby Digital/Notes Not Picking Up issue? And not necessarily specifically with an Onkyo HT-R530 receiver, but generally? Are there any known common receiver features/settings (like Audyssey, for example) that cause issues with Rock Band?

I doubt it can be the Onkyo's problem, unless the sound disappears completely.

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Does it have to do with what dB levels speakers are set at?

No.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-09-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Roger.

Quote:
When it becomes unresponsive, does all audio go dead silent, or just the ability to trigger certain notes--and the background sound remains live? If there is any audio still playing, it appears the DD encoder and decoder are both still working.

The background audio (other instrument tracks and crowd) still plays fine. The guitar I'm playing with just becomes suddenly and temporarily unresponsive. It seems to happen at random...if I play the same song twice, it won't happen at the same point in the song.


Quote:
It seems that turning off DD encoding may be reducing stress on the PS3 internal processor. Maybe a similar benefit could be had by unloading other stressful options, like rendering in HD video?? Just a wild guess.

Is this common? I've never had an issue with my PS3 getting over-stressed with any other game, and I don't recall reading about such an issue. It's an 120 GB Slim model, probably about a year old, with plenty of space on the hard drive...I don't think I've done anything excessively punishing to the machine itself, other than I suppose put it through its paces with Rock Band. And if playing high-def video and DD simultaneously would affect performance, why would that even be an option? Seems PS3 users would be up in arms about something like that. I think/(hope) I can rule that out.

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-09-2010, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrmegeddon View Post

The background audio (other instrument tracks and crowd) still plays fine. The guitar I'm playing with just becomes suddenly and temporarily unresponsive. It seems to happen at random...if I play the same song twice, it won't happen at the same point in the song.

That tells me it cannot be the DD encoder or decoder. It cannot lose selected elements of a complete mix. It will go totally dead if it breaks.

Quote:


Is this common? I've never had an issue with my PS3 getting over-stressed with any other game, and I don't recall reading about such an issue. It's an 120 GB Slim model, probably about a year old, with plenty of space on the hard drive...I don't think I've done anything excessively punishing to the machine itself, other than I suppose put it through its paces with Rock Band. And if playing high-def video and DD simultaneously would affect performance, why would that even be an option? Seems PS3 users would be up in arms about something like that. I think/(hope) I can rule that out.

As I said, wild guess.

But you are not merely playing HD video and audio, you are also playing a game, and those resource requirements are quite dynamic compared to mere linear BD playback/decoding. Might be best to ask Sony directly while waiting for others to chime in here. Sorry I cannot help more. If you do resolve it, please post.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-10-2010, 06:30 AM
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I don't see how 'external' processing is going to fix a problem with the game. Harmonix also recommends turning off in-game options to alleviate other problems with the game, like the drum fills being laggy. Seems to me the game isn't coded efficiently enough to keep everything running perfect with all options enabled. IMHO, anyway.

bg
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-10-2010, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garciab View Post

Harmonix also recommends turning off in-game options to alleviate other problems with the game, like the drum fills being laggy.

This is not a problem with the game. This is a problem either with the Dolby Digital encoder on the PS3 (unlikely) or much more likely with the receiver decoding the Dolby Digital signal. There isn't anything that Harmonix could do about either thing.

I get around 55ms of latency with DD on and 0 with it off. Since I play almost exclusively drums, and I like my fills, I play with DD off. But I have played both RB2 (a lot) and RB3 (a little) with it on, with guitar, and had no problems at all once I was correctly lag calibrated.

However, regarding the OP's question, I would agree that it seems unlikely that anything external to the game isn't likely to help the controller losing function for whatever reason. It just sounds like a game bug, to be honest. Given that there are some other really obvious bugs (screeching audio when playing keyboard tracks anyone?) it wouldn't surprise me.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-10-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abaddon View Post

This is not a problem with the game. This is a problem either with the Dolby Digital encoder on the PS3 (unlikely) or much more likely with the receiver decoding the Dolby Digital signal. There isn't anything that Harmonix could do about either thing.

I get around 55ms of latency with DD on and 0 with it off. Since I play almost exclusively drums, and I like my fills, I play with DD off. But I have played both RB2 (a lot) and RB3 (a little) with it on, with guitar, and had no problems at all once I was correctly lag calibrated.

Lag is indeed a side effect of DD encoding/decoding. In fact a special shorter latency version of DD encoding was used for XBox, but some lag is still there. No way round it. Not sure which flavor is used in PS3.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-10-2010, 12:38 PM
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I was wondering what bitrates you have your PS3 audio settings set to. I was thinking maybe if you had the rate set too high it might be dropping data? Just brainstorming...
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