Windows – How to prevent sudden audio peaks while gaming

audiowindowswindows 7

While playing intense first-person-shooter games often a grenade goes off near my head. The problem, is that I want to maintain my longer hearing while still hear the guy who sneaks up behind me.

Is there software I could use to deafen loud blasts and amplify quiet footsteps?

Edit: I think I'm looking for dynamic range compressing software.

Best Answer

Until somebody comes along with the real answer, I'll explain here (it's just better than a long thread of comments).

You're looking for a compressor. It will lower the loud signals and therefore make lessen the dynamic range of the audio signal, which means that you can turn up the overall volume.

Compressors are available as built-in effects, for example in Audacity, but also come as effect units for common effect frameworks such as Steinberg's VST. You'll just have to find a free compressor, and for VST, I guess there are plenty.

Your setup would then route the audio from the game to the effect, and then to the final output.

GameVirtual audio outputVST or other effectReal audio ouput

Given a fast enough machine, this should happen in real time. The only problem is that I don't know Windows well enough to be able to help you here. Maybe with Virtual Audio Cable? Maybe by routing it into Audacity playing in the background? Can it process live sound?

If you're still up for a hardware solution, there are compressors built into Hi-Fi A/V receivers, and outboard equipment is available too. Like this one.