The other day a client of mine ran into a problem with Skype. The client uses the program to communicate with other businesses and residents around the country as they would using typical landlines. Skype plays an important roll within their business to generate sales, conduct conference calls and maintain client relations. The user had the latest version of Skype and have never experienced problems before. For some reason whenever they tried to use their microphone their voice got super quiet. It wouldn’t be so bad if that was the worst part; the buzz was the worst! Every time they tried to speak the buzz would drown out their voice. The buzz was well beyond a hum and was super distracting to any listener. They had been using the VOiP communication program for quite sometime without any issues before; so what now?
Playing around with just about every microphone setting possible during their troubleshooting extravaganza would not fix the problem. The client tried to change the mic boost, volume levels and audio formats. The frustration continued as nothing seemed to get them back in vocal business. They even tried adjusting the audio settings within Skype. The problem wasn’t apparent in any other software so they even tried uninstalling the software and reinstalling; to bad that didn’t fix the dang buzz rattling their heads. No, It wasn’t a cheap microphone either but testing other devices seemed to work fine. For example, the microphone built into the web cam worked fine but any microphone plugged into the mic jack seemed to offer the not so pleasant hum. The mic was part of a headset so it was obvious that there wasn’t a feedback issue of some sort, so what was causing the issue? My clients did an excellent job of troubleshooting the problem. This saved me time and them money. Once I was informed of everything that was tried the fix was easy. The fix to the problem was the SoundMAX HD Audio drivers in Windows 7. Uninstalling the driver and letting Windows automatically detect the driver for the sound device hardware was the fix to the problem.
Typically I don’t recommend using Microsoft authored drivers when the manufacturer has a more recent ones available. With SoundMAX it wasn’t that simple so allowing Microsoft to control the driver was a quick and simple solution. I found it strange that the driver only caused issues within Skype and no other communication software or within any sound recording software. I did find out that the re-installation of the SoundMAX driver was able to replicate the issue though.
Kudos to my clients of whom I am proud! Troubleshooting the problem as far as they did was most impressive. When all else fails call iNFLUXPC! We’ll take care of those frustrating issues that slow down your business!