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PSX games audio cuts in and out randomly


  • Global Moderator

    @FrenchAussie You mentioned

    Looking at previous forums, this seems to be a common issue. I’ll explain below.

    Where is this reported ? Do you have any links ? In the forums here, there are a few reports of sound stopping working in Diablo PS1 or not working at all, but not something similar to your problem.

    Retroarch is minimally configured in RetroPie - you can reset to the default RetroPie settings by copying the /opt/retropie/configis/all/retroarch.cfg-dist over the /opt/retropie/configis/all/retroarch.cfg-dist file. How are you resetting it ?

    What format are your game images ? Iso/Cue & Bin/PBP ?



  • @mitu Here are a few links that I have found. Some of them start from a while ago but have been added with more recent comments. They are not PS1 games specifically but they talk about similar issues related to audio drops. One of them is an unanswered question though.

    https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=19852&start=50
    https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/40672/audio-goes-in-and-out-on-retropie
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=227548
    https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/10819/sometimes-no-sound-through-hdmi

    While in-game, I go into the Retroarch menu and click on configurations. There's an option there to reset to default settings. However, it makes my device freeze up and I have to restart the whole thing. I'll try and look at retroarch.cfg-dist and see if resetting the RetroPie that way will fix it.

    All my PS1 games are either BIN/CUE files or PBP files. I used PBP files to fit in more games for my 64GB Micro SD Card.


  • Global Moderator

    @FrenchAussie I don't see a definite cause for all the topics posted. 2 of them are without any solutions (the empty post and the stackexchange one).
    The other links suggest to (actually mostly the 1st one, started in 2015)

    • use hdmi_config_boost (which you tried and didn't work)
    • problems with the TV's own audio processing
    • use hdmi_clock_change_limit=20 (dunno what it does ?)
    • overclock (!)

    Note that most result come from the 2015 thread, when no PI3 was available, so heavy processing might had an impact on the overall perfomance - but none of the posted forum posts are an indication of a reproducible problem with the PI.

    My suggestion is to exclude any hardware faults - TV or HDMI cables - and try to set the audio_driver to alsathread with the Configuration Editor.



  • @FrenchAussie said in PSX games audio cuts in and out randomly:

    config_hdmi_boost=4

    config_hdmi_boost can be set all the way up to a value of 11. According to the official raspberry pi documents the default value is 5. Maybe try running it at a couple different values and see what happens. There should be no # in front by the way.



  • So I've spent the whole day trying to fix this. I tried all of the above. I have noticed that the audio is much better on more modern TVs. One TV I tried it on has standalone speakers and its been performing worse. Might have to do with the compression of audio passing too many times.

    honestly i feel like none of the above helped me. In fact, the hdmi_config_boost made the audio cut more frequent for some reason. Even at different numbers. Having it off seemed better.

    I have just finished overclocking at 1550MHz. I will thoroughly test it tomorrow and see if it gets better.



  • Update: With the right TV, overclocking has fixed it. I haven't noticed any major audio turning off and if it did it was very short and hardly noticeable. Just to let you know what I added:

    To overclock:

    sudo nano /boot/config.txt

    Under 'uncomment to Overclock the arm. 700 MHz is the default', I added the following lines:

    arm_freq=1550
    gpu_freq=500
    core_freq=500
    sdram_freq=500
    sdram_schmoo=0x02000020
    over_voltage=6
    sdram_over_voltage=2

    Note: The arm_freq by default is NOT 700MHz. That's the default of the original Raspberry Pi 3 model. The 3B+ model has a default of 1400MHz and therefore has already been overclocked...but not enough it seems.

    The arm_freq at 1550 seems to be a common number to overclock to. For some Raspberry Pis it may not reach that number but I have seen multiple comments mentioning that they couldn't go above that. Either way, it works for me and the issue is resolved.

    Benchmark:

    sudo apt-get install sysbench (To install benchmarking)

    sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 --num-threads=4 --validate run (To run the benchmarking program. This is a common command I found on the web across multiple sites.)

    CPU temperature script:

    Followed this guide:
    https://medium.com/@kevalpatel2106/monitor-the-core-temperature-of-your-raspberry-pi-3ddfdf82989f

    The gentleman who wrote this explains how to type the CPU temperature one-time check command and how to add a python script for 1 second interval of the CPU temperature being updated. It was very useful to use.

    If you plan to overclock your device like I did, make sure you have a nicely fat heatsink and powerful CPU fan. If you type 'Raspberry Pi 3B+ Fan Case' into google, I'm sure you'll get what you're looking for. My heatsink measured '6.2mm x 21mm x 21mm. You may not get that heatsink size with the case kit though and end up purchasing it separately. That's what I did. You can also have a heatsink for the GPU as an option. You can never have too many heatsinks. With all of the above mentioned, my CPU was staying at 40 degrees Celcius before and after being overclocked.

    I hope this helps anyone else who runs into similar problems like I did. With the 3B+ model, it doesn't seem like adding any hdmi lines to the config.txt does anything. But I could be wrong.


  • Global Moderator

    Thank you for providing the solution that worked for you. Just out of curiosity - what's the resolution used for the TV ?



  • @mitu I first tried 4:3 as that's the standard for PS1 games. Everything worked fine so I upgraded to to 16:9. That one was also working very well so I'm now using it.


  • Global Moderator

    @FrenchAussie Well, I was interested in the resolution and not the aspect ratio. I'm curious if dropping the resolution down a bit and choosing Game Mode on the TV (thus disabling any post-processing on the TV side) would make this work without overclocking.



  • Oh sorry misunderstood. Well, it's a little bit all over the place. Before overclocking, one TV I tried had 720p. It had occasional audio cut outs. Another TV had external speakers and had a resolution of 1920x1080. That one had terrible audio drop outs that lasted the longest. The last one I tried was at 3,840x2,160 and was working better than the other two. The audio dropouts were there but they didn't last as long.

    Since that 720p TV still had audio drop outs, I don't think that could be the solution. But I haven't tried changing the resolution for any of the TVs so I'm not 100% sure.



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