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Crash from Air Sounds with Single-Channel Audio Device
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Crash occurs within 1 seconds of observing any helicopter or airplane flying. I may be in the helicopter or simply observe it from a distance. A helicopter may be spooled up without causing the crash, but as soon as taking off the game crashes. Occasionally, when interacting with aquatic vehicles I also get a related crash, although I have not found a reliable way to reproduce this yet.

The crash occurs when using any audio device in single channel (mono) audio mode. Most common when someone is using a BT4 or earlier protocol for headset with mic.


Operating System
Windows 10 x64
Operating System Version
1909 [18363.1556], 21H1 [19043.1052]
Game Crash
Steps To Reproduce
  1. Use an audio device that is in single-channel (mono) audio mode.

Some audio devices can be configured to use mono audio as shown:

  1. Witness any aerial vehicle in flight.
Additional Information

The crash log indicates 'Exception code: C0000005 ACCESS_VIOLATION'

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Event Timeline

Rhaokiel created this task.Jul 3 2021, 8:32 PM
dedmen added a subscriber: dedmen.Jul 6 2021, 10:35 AM

These all look like random crashes.
We know that USB Headsets on Windows 10 cause crashes, but these are not our Crashes. They are inside windows code.

Not much we can do there

X to Doubt. The only program that has this issue is Arma 3. -- Arma 2 works just fine with my headset, as does any music player, etc.

And the crash always occurs within 1 second of witnessing an aircraft in flight. That's not random.

Sure the ACCESS_VIOLATION might occur at a windows owned address. But as a software engineer myself, I know that usually doesn't mean it is their code at fault. The fault is with something that was passed to windows incorrectly by Arma 3.

The reason why I put the quip about the mono audio channel in there is that it is my best guess as to what is being passed incorrectly. Though why it only affects aircraft and sometimes boats is beyond me.

This is a well known bug with USB audio devices on windows 10, sadly we didn't manage to reproduce it yet, so a fix is not on the horizon.

Rhaokiel added a comment.EditedJul 13 2021, 3:27 AM

This is NOT a USB audio device. There is NO USB dongle involved.

I have since installed a virtual audio driver to work around this issue.
Because the virtual audio driver receives the 2-channel audio and can then funnel it into a single channel device PROPERLY, this allows me to use my bluetooth headset in Arma 3 without issue.

But to confirm my suspicion that the underlying issue has nothing to do with what the audio device is (USB, BT, etc.) but rather that the audio device is a mono channel audio device. I set the virtual driver to only use 1 channel via Windows audio configuration wizard. And guess what, Arma 3 crashes when trying to play to the virtual audio device in mono channel mode when taking off with a helicopter.

Rhaokiel renamed this task from Crash from Air Sounds with Bluetooth Headset to Crash from Air Sounds with Single Channel Audio Device.Jul 13 2021, 3:27 AM
Rhaokiel updated the task description. (Show Details)
Rhaokiel renamed this task from Crash from Air Sounds with Single Channel Audio Device to Crash from Air Sounds with Single-Channel Audio Device.Jul 13 2021, 3:30 AM
Rhaokiel updated the task description. (Show Details)
Rhaokiel edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)
Rhaokiel changed Operating System Version from 1909 [18363.1556] to 1909 [18363.1556], 21H1 [19043.1052].Jul 14 2021, 3:19 AM

Tried this on another computer running Windows 10 21H1 with Voice Meeter set to mono and the same crash occurred.

dedmen claimed this task.Jul 26 2021, 2:39 PM
dedmen changed the task status from New to Assigned.
dedmen set Ref Ticket to AIII-54461.
dedmen added a comment.Sep 1 2021, 4:41 PM

We have a WIP fix, though its not related to single channel output, I'll keep you posted.
It will appear on profiling branch, but I don't know if we will do another one before 2.06 release

dedmen closed this task as Resolved.EditedJun 27 2023, 8:04 PM

Resolved in Arma 2.14
Thank you so much, the hint about specifically single-channel was what I needed to be able to reproduce this.

This was a 8 year old bug, almost exactly actually.
It was introduced in 05.06.2015. Happy anniversary!