Gaming – Your Hearing is Valuable

this video is about a really important subject hearing loss and tinnitus are serious things no matter how many extra Fricks you think loud volumes are gaining you now I doubt it will be worth irreversible hearing loss later in your life or an endless ringing in your ears forevermore I am no expert on the matter but I feel comfortable enough to talk about the stuff in this video I hope to raise awareness to the problems and what can be done about them hopefully somebody more knowledgeable will come along to provide more information later on a few videos ago I established that to hear things better in counterstrike you shouldn't turn your volume up because you'll go deaf but there's something else you could try compression no not the winds that kind of compression I'm talking about dynamic range compression no not high dynamic range is best I'll show you an example here's a song I made represented in audio waves there's a reason I've kept it as quiet as an ears which you'll soon discover for if I compress it it makes the quieter bits of the sound louder transforming it into this and if I do it again several times this with enough compression the whole song will become the same volume which as you can hear is really over-the-top you don't want that because it's definitely loud even though what you're hearing here is 10 decibels quieter than my voice which means it should sound half is loud but it still sounds loud doesn't it that's the power of compression but while it's gotten louder the maximum volume for the song hasn't increased it's just that the whole song is now at that maximum body instead of only hitting it for a couple of brief moments you're effectively getting more sound from the same thing it's actually been a controversial topic a music known as the loudness war if you compare a song first released in the 80's to a more modern re-release the chances are the new one will sound a hell a lot louder in a way this is a good thing since you won't have to keep telling the volume up and down depending on which track is playing or even which bit of a track is playing so in a way it makes sense for all newer songs to be compressed to a certain extent but the downside is that it all being equally loud could the track from a songs artistic value shits the build up be the same volume as the crescendo does that make sense do you care and for extreme examples of compression you need look no further than adverts and clickbait youtubers who have always ramped it up to be as loud and obnoxious sounding as possible but what's this got to do with counter-strike imagine you want to hear footsteps instead of turning the volume up and potentially damaging your hearing equivalence Ted turn down your volume enable compression and quieter sounds will still sound louder and easier to hear here's an example with no compression as you can hear making the game loud enough to hear the footsteps clearly makes the gunshots and voices too loud now let's enable compression this compression is over-the-top but it demonstrates what the effect can do even though I turn the volume down a bit for this one footsteps still sound louder than before the voices and gunshots are nowhere near as unpleasant on your ears they're still not nice they still drown out the quieter sound but once they've stopped you're back to hearing the quiet sounds and almost superhuman clarity again short of removing gunshots and voices entirely you can't get much better than this this sounds great doesn't it literally but there's a dark side to compression I'm a big believer in habit reflex and routine and since compression would constantly alter the volume of things I'd fear it would make it harder to pinpoint where sounds are coming from if you're like me you're used to what footsteps at Short a sound like you use the direction and volume to pinpoint the location but if you compress the volume distant footsteps would end up being a similar volume to closer ones the volume of the sound would no longer give you information meaning that you have to rely solely on the direction it's coming from and your knowledge of the map I don't know how much of a problem this would be I'd imagine it would be a bit of one but then again there is a constant in counter-strike and those are the ambient sounds every bit of a map has a soundscape which sounds something like this in the past these sounds used to be louder but in recent times they have been kept rather quiet relative to the other game sounds probably because they realized players were bought to be able to hear footsteps and stuff but rather than removing background sounds entirely I think having them constantly and quietly training on has a benefit because while compression will fight to keep everything as loud as possible having ambient sounds present will help put others into perspective like if footsteps are a similar volume to the background sound even with compression you'll know that there are a long way off because they'll sound about the same volume as the background sounds are with compression ambient sounds have actually helped me to determine the volume of other sounds I mentioned voices earlier here's an example of what an average round might sound like nice orange go under puss we lost that round but that's besides the point I like my team I suspect that most people use an external program like discord which they use to communicate with team mates this could be dangerous but you know how you listen to music through earbuds when you're walking down the street and if there's loud traffic you turn your musics volume up so that you can still hear it it's all too easy to forget how loud it is until the next time you turn your mp3 player on and are almost deafened by the volume what are you really listening to it at that volume yes yes you were you just didn't realize it at the time plus you race close up after a while but that's something I'm not going to cover but I imagine in-game team chat on discord is similar to the traffic phenomenon you want to be able to hear your teammates over the sound of the game so turn the sound of discord up louder than the game itself which again won't be good for your hearing the solution to this would be compression but there's also another feature that could help known as Auto ducking which lets you prioritize the volume of some sounds over others let's listen to an example at the moment I'm talking and you can probably hear me quite clearly if I play music at the same time you're now struggling to hear water ducking makes the music quieter whenever I'm talking returning to normal volume whenever there's pause at the probiem configure it to be less abrupt than this but our auto ducking lets you keep your game and a chapter of em at the same volume and you'll still be able to hear both turns out that this Court has a setting for this to give it priority over whatever game you're playing while using it you'll want to slide this attenuation slider up the more you do this the quieter your game will become whenever somebody's talking to you on discord the downside is that somebody endlessly breathing into their mic on discord will silence your game the plus side is that you'll be able to hear more clearly for the rest of your life than if you just turn discord up at louder than your game in the first place of course Val could do things on their end to the sounds themselves adjusting the footsteps to remain louder further away dropping off into silence more suddenly all of these things would help to reduce the reliance on loud volumes I never expect a response from valve but would love to know what they think of this topic and how it is influenced the new gun and audio features that they've been adding to counter-strike in these past few years for now if you want a game with audio compression enabled whether you can or not totally depends on what kind of sound drivers and software you have for me I can go to sound settings device properties enchantment enchantments enhancements and have an option called loudness Equalization which you guessed it is compression and the last word of warning all else being equal enabling compression and keeping your volume the same as you had it before will make the average sound louder which I have no doubt will be worse for your ears compression should be used in conjunction with lower volumes coming out of your speakers the quieter sounds can still be heard the loudest parts will no longer defin you and your ears will thank you in the long term you can tell when you have compression enabled because if the games been quiet for a while the background sounds will get louder and you'll start worrying that gunshots but of course they wouldn't be that's the power of compression folks I have several other videos on sounding games it was my first one talking about how cough strikes sound could be improved okay is a video demonstrating csgo surround sound and here's one on there occlusion tab which was introduced later

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