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Low volume output from onboard sound. Any software solutions to boost gain?

Posted on 2004-08-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
We have a couple of Secretaries using NEC Powermate slimline desktop PCs. We use an electronic dictation software to record dicatation whch the secretaries playback on their PCs to then type.
The problem is that the max volume from the on-board soundcard is very low for this particular filetype. We've installed the latest drivers but that only boosted the vol. slightly.
The software vendor recommended that we install Soundblaster Cards, however the slimline cases are too narrow to fit a soundblaster card(!).
So, is there any software solution that can boost the gain, i.e. the amplitude of the input signal to the soundcard. My idea is that if we can increase the initial volume, before the audio reaches the soundcard then the final output will be louder...

Any ideas?
- and getting the people doing the dictation to shout into the dictaphones is not an option! :)
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Question by:kishenhawkins
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16 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Wojciech Duda
ID: 11890758
First, have you tried tinkering with the sound options in your OS? BTW, what OS are you running? Look for a software that can normalize the sound files (what is the filetype) that way you can set the loudness level opf the file itself.
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Author Comment

by:kishenhawkins
ID: 11890789
have played with all the OS volume settings (they're all on max).
Can't find any software to normalise the files as they're a propietory format for the software (Olympus digital dication system - *.dss files)
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Expert Comment

by:Wojciech Duda
ID: 11890814
Have you contacted Olympus customer support for help?
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Expert Comment

by:Wojciech Duda
ID: 11890853
Seems this software could be worth trying out.

http://www.all4you.dk/FreewareWorld/links.php?go=6774
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 11890992
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Author Comment

by:kishenhawkins
ID: 11891020
Support says that we need a compatible soundcard (i.e. Soundblaster) - however like i said, the PCI card doesnt fit in the case so we cant do that.

Tried that other software, however the volume was the same.

any other ideas?
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Author Comment

by:kishenhawkins
ID: 11891107
hm, tahnks but we don't wnt to buy anything unless its made by Creative, as the software vendor only recommends soundblaster... if we buy a new soundcard and still have the same problems then we have no come-back to the software vendor
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Author Comment

by:kishenhawkins
ID: 11891194
i have considered purchasing active (powered) computer speakers with a headphone socket. that would boost the volume beyond the soundcards output levels, right?
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Accepted Solution

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crazijoe earned 250 total points
ID: 11891217
Have you tried higher powered speakers?? or amplified headphones?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11891624
Perhaps an amplifier from www.markertek.com to boost the Olympus signal?

You could also go for Dragon Dictate software and have the dictation automatically converted to text.  They have professional packages for the legal and medical fields.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 11892015
I would agree with crazijoe.  Most new soundcards require you to have amplified speakers, or you will basically only get a small whisper from non amplified speakers.  I don't even think the new creative cards will work without amplified speakers.  You may only find that the old original sound blaster 16 cards would work.
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Author Comment

by:kishenhawkins
ID: 11892140
soundblaster 16 is actually teh recommended one - however i cant get hold of it anymore as its a discontinued product lol
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11892145
Same here, you most likely need amped speakers. that was my 1st guess.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11893048
I thought the new sound blaster cards supported the same features (of course new features also) as the Sound Blaster 16. Some even came with DOS emulator/driver programs for the Sounds blasters. (I know this was ages ago, just wondering if they still do) With that in mind maybe you could get a USB Sound Blaster card.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:crazijoe
ID: 11893136
That's unusual for a software vendor to recommend a discontinued product.
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Author Comment

by:kishenhawkins
ID: 11893211
i think the amped speakers is a better bet than a usb soundcard... the speaker solution is probably certain to work, whereas the soundcard may still have compatibility issues.
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