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Bad Audio Noise Error -- Test Audio files included

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Whom, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Whom

    Whom Member

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    I am seeing a serious audio problem in my system on certain pieces of music. It appears to be "crackling" or "static" noise when certain low frequency stretches are played.


    I have two clips that demonstrate the problem in my car, and I would appreciate if others could take a few moments to download the clips and test this out on your Model S as well.


    https://soundcloud.com/richard-doherty-4/30hztest
    https://soundcloud.com/richard-doherty-4/tesla-test-mp3


    The first sound is a small segment from a commercial song that is looped many times. [Note: I believe this falls under fair use, as it is a small clip used for testing and criticism. Kudos if you guess the original song.]


    The second sound is simply a 30Hz test tone.


    My sound system is the basic model (not the upgraded Sound Stage, nor the super upgraded sound as announced this morning). I would appreciate other owners to test the sounds and see if you hear the distortion. The noise becomes even more evident if you boost the low frequency slider on the EQ in the settings panel.


    The noise appears on all channels no matter the balance/fader settings.


    I was trying to figure out if only my car is affected, in which case I'll ship it back to the dealer for fixing. Thanks for your help and participation.
     
  2. Musterion

    Musterion 18h 03m 37s −24° 23′ 12″

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    #2 Musterion, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
    @Whom,

    You may be on to something here. I confirm your two files behave exactly as you describe on my car, which moreover has the Sound Studio option (Firmware 4.5 1.33.61). However here are some more details and observations:


    1. All the low frequency parts have a static/crackling sound over the low-frequency tones, and indeed on all channels.
    2. Can be heard even with null EQ settings, and worse with increased bass.
    3. Gets worse with Dolby on (but I think you may not have this option on non Studio).

    Caveats:


    1. Your looped file has a periodic clicking sound every 10 seconds or so when the sound is looped presumably, audible when played on PC, so for others ignore this on Model S.
    2. Your files downloaded as 128kbs MP3. I would really encourage you to make and test lossless audio to see if this is a compression/codec artifact vs a larger problem. (I did confirm the static is not heard on a PC but haven't yet listened with headphones and high-quality player yet).
    3. I don't have a 30Hz uncompressed tone (but can make one), but re-listened to other lossless audio and can't immediately hear the same problem.
    4. Another thing I worry about your test files is that changing the volume on the MS when playing your files causes clicking sounds each bump of the volume, but such sounds are inaudible when playing my FLAC files, even with quiet and loud passages.

    So in summary suggest you make complementary FLAC files from uncompressed source and post them to compare. In any case, can confirm your problem is not unique to your car so hold on to it for now.
     
  3. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Firmware 4.5 (1.33.61) with sound system and I usually run with EQ at +3.5, +2.5, +2.5.

    30hztest has a tape hiss kind of sound that I find consistent with too low volume on original recording. But nothing unusual otherwise. Is this the sound you are talking about? No crackling or static, just low volume hiss.
    tesla-test-mp3 sounds fine. Dolby on or off.

    Boosting the low freq slider just increases bass for me.

    Sounded basically the same on the soundcloud preview and in the car for me. I don't have great computer speakers, but they don't suck either.
     
  4. Whom

    Whom Member

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    Here are the FLAC versions of the files. Note the Test Sound came originally from an mp3 so it already has compression in it. I also tried to clean up the zero crossing pops in the first minute.

    https://soundcloud.com/richard-doherty-4/30-hz-test-flac

    https://soundcloud.com/richard-doherty-4/teslatest-flac


    I detect no difference at all between the problem with the FLAC versus the MP3 versions.

    I also notice the clicking sounds when changing volume on these sounds, but not on other music, so I think that problem may be related.

    Thank you for testing and reporting results. To me, this seems like a pretty egregious error, as I hear it from time to time on a fair amount of music I play.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jason, it sounds like you do not have the problem, which is quite interesting. It would be pretty obvious. Thanks for testing.
     
  5. Whom

    Whom Member

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    Copied from http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9470-Audio-Sound-System-Quality/page41?p=431213&viewfull=1#post431213

    My car is back from the service center on this item, and the results were unsatisfactory (although the rest of the service experience was fantastic as usual including the lovely P85 loaner).

    Here is the service response:


    Correction: Interior NVH General Diagnosisnoticed customer has HD radio setting turned on. played radio found radio to play clearly
    in all stations in the shop area and while test driving

    So they basically tried to blame it on HD Radio. When I showed the customer rep the file playback on the USB stick that demonstrated the error, she seemed to hear it clearly, but would have to escalate to management. I sent her the files (again) by email, we'll see if there is any response. Disappointing.
     
  6. rogelio888

    rogelio888 Member

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    Blamegame

    Just what GM used to do, play the blame game, Tesla must avois faliing into this abyss. Solve the problem, rather than blame something else.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just what GM used to do, play the blame game, Tesla must avoid faliing into this abyss. Solve the problem, rather than blame something else.
     
  7. Whom

    Whom Member

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    Ownership did followup with a phone call. I had to patiently describe the problem again, as they kept assuming I was complaining about poor Antenna reception. I had to reiterate that I had test FLAC files playing from a USB stick that clearly showed serious distortion in the audio system.

    He indicated there was a weekly engineering meeting, and he promised to bring it up. But the call did not fill me with much hope. And frankly very few other owners seem to be bothered by this distortion, so I suspect it has dropped to very low on the list of items to investigate.
     
  8. EMDoc

    EMDoc Member

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    I know of the distortion as well and it has become more prominent lately. I'm not sure if the firmware updates have had anything to do with it. In the past I only heard it on a few tracks...but now seems to be in almost every other high quality track..
     
  9. Whom

    Whom Member

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    I encourage you to talk directly to Ownership at Tesla about this to help convince them it is real and important.
     
  10. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    For the record, I have it too and have both reported it to ownership and informed my service manager.
     
  11. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    The game has indeed changed.

    :)

    Slacker played it today and I was racking my brain ... "I've heard this before ..." Then I realized it was the loop of yours I'd heard. haha.

    And yes, it's got issues with those lows.
     
  12. Whom

    Whom Member

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    I continue to hear these errors even with the latest firmware (5.8.7). They appear most often in movie soundtracks (a genre I enjoy, but less so in the Tesla).

    Two pop songs that also show this distortion: Royals by Lorde (the quiet section on the bridge) and I Melt With You by Modern English (during the Humming section).
     
  13. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I'm so glad you mentioned Royals because I've always noticed a problem during that bridge near the end (oh, oh oh. oh, oh oh, oh, oh) with the low frequency notes. For the longest time, I thought it was something loose vibrating in the upper right dash area. Then one day I created a loop of that part and decided to play it over and over again to see if I could find what was vibrating. Come to find out that if I pan the audio to any of the speakers, the distortion is there on all of them. It's a very strange distortion and happens even if the volume is relatively low (like 4 or 5). I haven't had time to go back and really figure out exactly the trigger, but will try some of your samples to see. As a data point, I do have the Studio sound package on mine.
     
  14. J in MN

    J in MN S60 P12635

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    What happens when you set the bass level to 0 dB? -3 dB?
     
  15. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Based on my experience with the Sound Studio, this is a real issue that is not limited to a single car but likely all of them. I have it on my car and have seen it on two different loaners I've had in the past--as recent as VIN 23,000ish something.

    The subwoofer is perfectly capable of producing nice bass--I don't think that's the problem.

    What I think I'm hearing is that certain low frequency ranges are getting routed to the front/door speakers when they should be going to the woofer instead. As a result, the mid/tweeter speakers are distorting in attempts to reproduce those frequencies.

    Anyway, I think the issue can be fixed in firmware by having the audio processing route those lower frequencies to the woofer, or at least to filter them from the door/dash-mounted speakers.

    Incidentally, it has nothing to do with volume. You can drop the volume way down low and still hear the distortion.

    Also, I've played with various EQ settings. You can minimize it by reducing the low EQ gain, but obviously doing that causes you to lose your bass entirely...

    Not an expert--just my hunch.
     
  16. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Todd, that's along the same lines as what I'm thinking as well, although I'm not sure if it's actually that the low frequencies are being sent to the other speakers, but rather the audio processing that is going on is sending these artifacts to the other speakers.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'll try this and let you know. I think my bass is only set to maybe +1.5 or +2 dB.
     
  17. Whom

    Whom Member

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    The effect is definitely heightened when the bass level is increased, but it still audible (and annoying) at 0db. Dropping the bass level out entirely does indeed remove the distortion (and obviously all of the bass).
     
  18. EMDoc

    EMDoc Member

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    Todd and Pgiralt -

    Thats exactly what I've been thinking. How do we get this addressed? Furthermore, I had the Reus upgrade done and love the system, but sound distortion still present on the same tracks as before. Therefore, it may indeed by the processing and not as simple as crossovers.
     
  19. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Good question. I reported it to my service center (they checked it out and said it's "normal") and also to Ownership a year ago. Never got a resolution. Still waiting for a magical firmware fix.
     
  20. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I tested with the EQ zeroed out and still see the issue. I will report it to my SC as well at see if perhaps we get a critical mass of reports for engineering to look into it.
     

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