Archive for May, 2013

Ubuntu -> Wine -> Steam -> Portal 2 sound issues

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Umpf… looks like I missed April although I promised myself to add at least one post per month. But recently nothing really interesting happened so what can I do? :s

One thing that’s been on my mind for a while though is a sound issue I had in Portal 2: All dialogue files were usually played at twice the normal speed. I turned on captions so I didn’t miss out on the story but it’s not quite the same isn’t it.
The symptoms were mostly the same:
-During the startup video (the valve guy) sounds was really jittery
-Diagogue files were played faster than normal
-Constant white noise in the background

Occasionally, the following fixes worked:
-In the options, change the sound quality from its current to something else (high, medium, low)
-Switch the sound environment from headphones to 2 speakers (almost identical settings) or the other way around. The other sound settings didn’t work for me at all.

During increasing desperate tries I tried deleting all local Portal 2 sound files hoping that Steam would replace them. That didn’t help so I downloaded the whole package again (in Library, right-click Portal 2, go to Properties, switch to the tab “Local Content” and select download again. Uh… don’t quote me on this, I’m writing this from memory so some names and places might be wrong.

What fixed my problem in the end was an upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pengolin) to Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) which updated (refreshed?) the Wine settings. Wine is the same version in 12.04 and 13.04 but when starting Steam the first time Wine was writing out some updated settings.

In the end, it could be that my Wine configuration was just marbled. I’ve been trying to get Simcity running (any version) but without success and maybe that messed up Wine. My suggestions, if you suffer from the the same issue, are therefore:
-Reconfigure Wine
-Check for newer version of Steam
-Download the local content again
-Play around with the Audio settings in Portal 2 (sound quality and speaker configuration)

HTH & cheers