Steam voice codec quality improved (14/04/11 update)

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Steam voice codec quality improved (14/04/11 update)

Postby Kusuri » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:16 pm

There was a Steam client voice codec update the last month. This time it seems it'll be applied for games as well.

As the update notes for TF2, CSS, DoD and HL2D read:

http://store.steampowered.com/news/5305/
Steam News wrote:Updated voice to use the Steam voice codec to improve quality
Servers can toggle between the old codec and the new codec with the convar "sv_use_steam_voice", which defaults to 1.


I'm wondering if this'll mean we can get better quality in HLDJ if the server is using new codec?
If yes should we re-convert the songs or not needed?

Thanks
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Re: Steam voice codec quality improved (14/04/11 update)

Postby Renegade » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:38 pm

Probably, yes. Thanks for pointing this out.
After this update, you'll likely need to reconvert your songs to the higher sampling rate, which I believe is 16kHz. We'll know for certain if after this update everyone's audio files start playing back sped-up and high-pitched.
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Re: Steam voice codec quality improved (14/04/11 update)

Postby cebceb44 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:31 pm

Sadly, it doesn't look like hldj can win here. The SILK voice codec does not support loading a voice from file.

There's a command for reverting back to the old voice system, but it is server side, requires admin access, and the command is set to use SILK by default.
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What.

Postby 13/F/Jesus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:29 pm

Image
Please tell me this isn't a bad thing.
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New Codec!!

Postby InfernalDemon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:36 pm

http://www.teamfortress.com/hatless/

Just to let everyone know, TF2 is switching to a new voice codec which may allow for better quality micspam. So we may need to find out the specifics on it and adjust hldj's converter accordingly.
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Re: What.

Postby Renegade » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:26 am

13/F/Jesus wrote:Please tell me this isn't a bad thing.

Yes, that would be a "bad thing".
We'll have to do testing after the dust settles and see what comes of it.

I'd imagine server ops will need to choose between whether they want to enable audio over mic, or higher quality voice.
The other possibility is that if enough people raise the issue with Valve, they may patch it to allow both (but I doubt it).
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Re: Steam voice codec quality improved (14/04/11 update)

Postby Recon » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:28 am

http://intoxgaming.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=20390
I have devised a tutorial to serve as a temporary replacement for HLDJ until this gets cleared up.


Also, I heard somewhere that the codec does not allow playback from a file. If this is correct... then it may get a little complicated rebounding.
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Team Fortress 2 Now Uses SILK Codec

Postby sanitysama » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:11 am

It appears that the update released last night for TF2 has implemented the SILK codec, the same as Steam Voice Chat.

Code: Select all
Updated voice to use the Steam voice codec to improve quality
    * Servers can toggle between the old codec and the new codec with the convar "sv_use_steam_voice", which defaults to 1.


Since the variable defaults to on, all new servers created in the future will be using the new codec unless they change that value. This means that the old voice chat will become less and less popular as new servers replace older ones. This may actually warrant an update to HLDJ since now we are going to need to work with two different standards, and switching between the two might be necessary especially if you play on multiple servers.

I've yet to test the new codec with HLDJ but I'm anticipating that it will not work with old micspam because the sampling rate and codec used is different. Here's a link to a small digest of information on the SILK codec:



I believe they will be using the "Wideband for all-IP platforms" standard, which has a sampling rate of 16kHz.

I wanted to start this thread for general discussion on this new codec. Servers can still use the old voice chat system and micspam of course will work perfectly, but I'd like to see HLDJ updated to take advantage of the higher quality. Please post any of your findings if you're trying to get HLDJ to work with the new codec.
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Re: Team Fortress 2 voice codec update [14/04/11]

Postby morrowindsky » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:14 pm

Call me cynical, but if voice from file's gone, HLDJ's probably gone too, since the other games will follow suit soon I'm sure, and Valve generally hates fun. The only way left is the alternative shown above, which seems very skippy and considerably more complicated, or using a male-male minijack with your MP3 player like how I did it a long time ago. Either way, it's not the same.

A month from now:

-Performance
-"sv_use_steam_voice" removed due to reports of performance issues
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Re: Team Fortress 2 voice codec update [14/04/11]

Postby Renegade » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:14 pm

HLDJ generally is an interface between the game and itself. So even if audio playback via voice_inputfromfile doesn't work, any other method that involves an external process can be used/automated through HLDJ, whether it be by starting an external program to play audio or integrating a virtual audio device into HLDJ to stream audio files into the game. The system is there, the only question is time and Implementation (ideally would need to re-implement HLDJ).
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Re: Team Fortress 2 voice codec update [14/04/11]

Postby Trar » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:10 pm

You guys ARE going to find a workaround, are you?
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Re: Team Fortress 2 voice codec update [14/04/11]

Postby Renegade » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:12 pm

We'll let the dust settle on this update first. Even as it is now, it only applies to one game.
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Re: Team Fortress 2 voice codec update [14/04/11]

Postby bobmail » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:59 am

I think it applies to the games that got updated for instance CSS, HL2DM etc. Since HLDJ suddendly stopped working for me in those games, I tried to reinstall to a newer version without success.
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Re: Team Fortress 2 voice codec update [14/04/11]

Postby Trar » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:26 am

Renegade wrote:We'll let the dust settle on this update first. Even as it is now, it only applies to one game.

That sounds good, I suppose. Nice to know the HLDJ guys know what's what.
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Re: Steam voice codec quality improved (14/04/11 update)

Postby icekatana8825 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:00 pm

cebceb44 wrote:Sadly, it doesn't look like hldj can win here. The SILK voice codec does not support loading a voice from file.


Well this is bad...
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