Windows 7 Sound Issue: Unwanted Reverb Stuck On

I had a strange problem with my little, Dell laptop (Inspiron 1318) the other day. I thought I'd put the issue and solution out there just in case anyone else encounters it. The issue was as if a reverb effect was stuck on.

I was about to work on a podcast that I edit in Audacity when I noticed that the source audio was dripping in reverb. If you have edited any audio yourself you'll know that you want the audio as dry as possible so that you can choose when and how to apply effects. At first I though the reverb had been added to source audio as it was recorded but then I noticed there was reverb applied to any audio I listened to - YouTube videos, MP3s in my music library, they all came through drenched in horrible reverb. Something was wrong with my machine.

The funny thing is that I wouldn't know how to add blanket reverb to all audio on my machine. I checked my audio driver from Dell and reinstalled it even through it was already up to date.That didn't make any difference.

To get rid of it I had to uninstall the audio driver and then reinstall it from scratch. To do this:

  • "Start" button and select "Computer"
  • Select "System properties" from the top menu bar of the "Computer" window
  • Select "Device Manager" from the left-hand "Control Panel Home"
  • Select "Sound, video, and game controllers" to show your audio device(s)
  • Select the audio device you are currently using then right-click and select "uninstall."
  • Reboot to complete the uninstall.
  • On startup, Windows will detect the sound card and re-install drivers.
  • It may require another reboot but your sound should now be clean
I hope this information is clear and useful to anyone else who encounters this weird problem.

Creative Commons Soundtracks: Fun With Acid

I'm still really enjoying messing around in Sony Acid Music Studio. I claim to be a photographer and a videographer so there is often a stress to perform in those roles. I make no such claims to be a musician so nothing is expected of me and I can just play. Acid is like finger painting with sound and it takes no time to be able to create something out of nothing and isn't that the appeal for many creative activities?

I've continued to take the free 8Pack downloads each week and make something of my own out of them. Hopefully I'm not remaking the same piece over and over but I have noticed  a signature in the way I work: I trawl through the loops until I find one that really appeals to me , usually a drone, or percussive sound (but not full drum loop) that I can use as the backbone of the piece and build everything else around. Perhaps I should challenge myself to write something that does not have one loop that runs through almost the whole thing? As that one constant is what holds everything else together in my head that may be tricky for me but I'll give it a go.

Tales To Be Retold by the other Martin Taylor

Duality Reexamined by the other Martin Taylor

Even More Dynamic Low Z by the other Martin Taylor

I've also entered a couple of challenges; the first Soundcloud Soundbites challenge:

Sound Bites: Soundtrack for Train, Utility Poles & a Sunset by the other Martin Taylor

and Frequent Traveller's East Croydon Remix Competition:

East Croydon Taylor-made Remix by the other Martin Taylor

Again, there's something very low-stress about entering a competition and putting your work out there in a field in which you're an absolute beginner. By contrast, I have started assembling my entry for the next Blurb Photography Now book contest. Last time I poured days of time and effort into my entry just to be ignored and it destroyed me. It's taken me two years to recover the strength to consider putting myself through that again. Ignoring my music is fine because that is just messing around - I'm serious about my photography through; if I put my photography work out there and it get's dissed or ignored it's a whole other ball of wax.