Music Volume Too Low in Reaper of Souls

lord-of-destruction-soundtrackI check the posts in our Blue tracker every day and find useful stuff and sometimes funny stuff. But seldom have I begun laughing just from the title, before I even click the thread, as I did on this one. Music Volume Too Low in Reaper of Souls:

Music extremely low compared to sound effects

…The Diablo series has always had amazing soundtracks to go along with their games, so it just strikes me as strange that the third entry has what sounds like a great soundtrack, yet you can barely hear it, no matter the volume settings.
Did you check your mixer settings for Diablo III while playing? You access the mixer by alt-tabbing out and right clicking the speaker icon on the lower right side of your task bar. Select Open Volume Mixer and you’ll see separate settings for each open application and the system sounds.

I’ve had that exact same complaint since May 2012, and it’s not a technical issue on my end. The music is plenty loud… there’s just hardly ever music to hear. I don’t think everything needs to be like it once was, and moving away from the hard-driving soundtracks Matt Uelmen created for D1 and D2 was a valid option for Diablo 3. After all, Matt’s music was amazing in Diablo I and Diablo II and Diablo II: LoD, but it could get repetitious with the same song playing repeatedly in the same dungeon areas.

That said, D3’s move to hardly-noticeable ambient sound effects, with only occasionally a burst of audible “music,” usually to punctuate a boss fight, has disappointed and puzzled me since 2012, and on the rare occasions I play without some external music in the background, I always get about 5 minutes in and wonder why it’s so quiet, with only the sound effects breaking the silence.

We’ve debated this several times, but never actually posted a vote. So here we go. What do you guys think about the music and musical style in D3 and RoS?

What do you think of Diablo 3's musical style?

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I should stress that I still feel as I did back in 2012: I don’t dislike the music in D3/RoS; I just feel like I only know it from listening to the soundtrack since it’s so seldom audible in the game. And I prefer the mixing style we had in D1/D2 to the subtle ambient stuff in D3. Back in the ago of D1/D2, the music was very up front and a key component in setting the mood/theme of a dungeon area.

Click for *LOTS* of Diablo music stuff, with Matt Uelmen’s music for D1, D2, D2X, and D3 (which was used in WoW:BC), plus the D3 and RoS by not-Matt composers, and Matt’s more recent music for Torchlight 1 and 2.

Tristram Music Comparison: Diablo 1, Diablo 2, and Diablo 3’s Tristram themes compared.

Diablo I soundtrack, Matt Uelmen:

Diablo II soundtrack, Matt Uelmen:

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction soundtrack, Matt Uelmen:

WoW Burning Crusade: (Matt Uelmen’s music here was created for DiabloWikiBlizzard North’s Diablo 3 and instead used in WoW when D3’s development was cancelled/delayed/restarted in Blizzard Irvine.)

Diablo III soundtrack:

Reaper of Souls soundtrack:

Just for a bonus, here’s the soundtrack for Torchlight 1 and 2. I conducted a lengthy interview with Matt around the time of TL2’s release, if you want his thoughts on his past work, his future work, his work in other Blizzard games, and his (very polite) thoughts on Diablo III’s soundtrack, which I was already deeply disappointed in, for reasons stated above.

Torchlight I soundtrack, Matt Uelmen:

Torchlight 2 soundtrack, Matt Uelmen:

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 1, Diablo 2, Diablo 3, Diabloii.Net Votes


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  1. I just blast Diablo 2 OST from youtube or some other music. Shame they did not get Matt Uelman onboard for D3, as his work on Torchlight 2 is splendid.

  2. D3 soundtrack is rather disappointing. not bad per se, just very underwhelming. and I find RoS music not suitable for long sessions – the tracks are too repetitive and get annoying fast imo.

    if I feel like getting immersed in D3 I put my Matt Uelmen playlist on ;p

  3. Unless I am in group and have to pay attention I my normal way to play D3 is fully muted but it would be nice if the music was worth listening to.

  4. Hey. I posted right after Omrakos in that topic. Edited my post with some suggestions:

    I’ll repeat them here:

    – Ability to toggle Character Error Speech on/off.
    – Different volume sliders for NPC talk and Character talk.
    – Different volume sliders for NPC SFX and Character SFX.
    – Opt-out from certain tracks*. Some are [b]only[/b] annoying.

    *In particular the A5 one with all the ringing – I believe it’s called “[i]Crusader[/i]“.

    Opting out from certain tracks seem like a lot of work. But if you were to do [i]anything[/i], at least remove “[i]Crusader[/i]” from the list of possible tracks for [b]rifts[/b]. And of course, the SFX is just [b]loud[/b] compared to the music baseline. Always has been.

  5. Diablo 1 made such an impact on me in every way; especially the music/sound. It was just spooky at times. That's what's missing for me in Diablo 3's audio. I posted a thread about this on their forum but, it got very little attention.

    What I'd like to see? When one enters a rift, the audio gets shuffled, just like the map layouts do … and you can get anything, even music or ambient soundtracks from diablo 1 and 2. That's the dream.

    • That’d be fantastic. Meanwhile I recommend this though:

      – Get a hold of the D2 and D3 soundtrack. Go through all of them, find your favorites and put them together in a playlist for WinAmp/VLC or whatever you use. It’s worth the time spent, trust me.

      PS: I do that, and also mix it with a few WoW tracks that I like a lot.

    • months ago someone suggested that we get random mixes of d1 and d2 music playing in Rifts in D3, and a blue said it was an interesting idea. Apparently there's something similar in SC2, where you can hear SC1 music in some missions, so it's not a totally odd idea.

      • Blues interested in low-effort content recycling? Inconceivable!

        Considering though, how hard Blizzard HQ tried to reinvent Blizzard North's product as their own artistic creation, simply dumping the old tracks in there would really just put another nail in the coffin for that endeavor.

        • I disagree. That audio is part of the nostalgia of the diablo franchise. It wouldn't be a nail in a coffin, it'd be a flower in the garden. I think diablo 3 is better than ever … but, then again, I'm not a hater.

          • Sure, that's a perfectly coherent opinion to have if you're enjoying the concept of arbitrary aesthetics provided by rifts.

      • SC1 music was added to SC2 in a patch by popular demand almost year ago. There’s an option to choose either SC1 or SC2 tracks, or even combined. The classic themes have been remastered in higher quality, btw.

    • How about they change the art style first? Spooky music together with pony graphics doesn't fit well.

  6. Yep, I've always said even in closed beta 2011/2012 that the music in D3 is just way too quiet and you can never hear it, even on 100%. There's like 1 or 2 songs in RoS that are actually appropriate volume (The Realm Walker maps and the bone sewers), but every other song is just way too quiet. Sometimes you can hear New Tristram, but even that's rare. I really wish they'd increase the volume of every song by like 200%. That way we can always turn down if needed, but you can never turn it up more.

  7. Strange. I have no problem hearing the music, I don't find it quiet at all. Besides, I don't think he D3 soundtrack it's just "ambient sounds". I prefer the D2 soundtrack, but some tracks in the D3 soundtrack are also good.

  8. IMO if i have to play Diablo music while playing the game, I would choose in order like this : D2 >> D3Vanilla >> D3RoS. I have a feeling that old school blizz musics always beat those newer ones, anyone still listening to WC3 soundtracks ?

  9. I confess I didn't listen to D1 and D2's music every time I played those games, but when I did, I always got chills. I loved it! I still listen just to the soundtrack every once in a while.

    There's something special about Matt's work on the two earlier Diablo games which is so haunting, driven, dramatic, and creepy sounding, I have yet to really find anything else like it.

    On the other hand, however, I got the soundtrack for D3 (and ROS) both in their collectors editions, and have maybe only listened to each of them once, and never felt the need to listen to them again.

  10. I've never noticed much of the music in any of the Diablo games. The zerg broodwar themes from starcraft were great, and SC2 is pretty decent overall from what I remember. Some of the WoW stuff was great but I haven't played it in years so I can't say if that's changed or not.

    I guess it's the utterly repetitive nature of Diablo that makes me tune it all out quickly and/or play my own music. Voted no opinion.

    • WC3 and WoW was the best music Blizz ever did. D2 was pretty good, but even the best music can't handle the hours and hours and hours people play these games. Megaman music is the best video game music of all time, but you can't listen to it forever.

  11. I couldn’t agree more… But…
    I openned tha soube menu and since launch I’m playing with Music Voluma 100 and every thing else at Volume 30~40.
    Kinda helps out

  12. Google Play has a radio station called Superhero Soundtracks. It's awesome for running rifts.

    I've gone from totally muting the game sounds to gradually bringing back the FX and Ambient. I probably miss the occasional warning from my character about health or resource, but the repetitiveness drives me crazy.

  13. I can’t be the only person who still hears the slow creak of a chest opening from D1 every time they pop a chest in D3.

  14. Bring Matt Uelmen back!
    He’s the master

    • I just sat here and listened, and did the comparison. It's amazing how much better Matt's music/soundtracks are when held up against the diablo 3 audio. But, i'm not hating the diablo 3 music. I just think to myself, "wow! they had this guy and just threw him away. Why was that? Was there a good reason for it?"

      I've been working in the music business for years; it's what I do. And, it always baffles me when a successful band leaves a producer that they have worked with on many successful recordings to try someone new. Once you've "made it" people feel pressure to move on to use more famous producers and studios with bigger 'names.' But, for me … it's a mistake at least 75% of the time.

      I realize we all need to grow. But, there has to be a way to get back to what we realize works best. Sometimes one must go back to their roots; its' humbling perhaps.

      I know this is off topic but, I love The Smiths. Love the music they made with John Porter and the music they made with Stephen Street. but, the earlier stuff was done by Porter. And, he helped birth "how soon is now" from The Smith's "Meat Is Murder."

      They always, the Smiths, said that they hated that production and felt that it didn't really represent them. But, it was possibly their biggest hit. The listeners/fans heard it and they blew-up. Yet they still left porter for and moved on to Street. It baffles me.

      • Uelmen was the only one of the original Bay Area 1997 release team to move down in 2005. Maybe it is a better question to ask why he stayed as long as he did than why he didn’t stay longer.

  15. I listen to the Tristram.mp3 from D2 while I play D3. Loved D1 music.

    One of the all time greatest theme songs belongs to the game "Solstice" on the old NES system…a very original and complex multipart musical piece:

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