Monday, October 03, 2011

Work around for the Dead Island Open Mic VOIP problem

[EDIT: Dead Island has now patched the open mic problem, however, the following solution can apply for other games that foobar the option in the future]

[EDIT: These instructions via the application can also be used to enable additional mouse buttons, such as mouse button 5. ]

 Lets face it.  Dead Island could have been good, but the problem generated from sloppy porting has crippled the game play.  One such problem, it always has the microphone on.  This creates feedback problems for users that do not use headphones, it'll generate noise traffic, and cause privacy problems when your online.  My solution is to turn off the mic by mapping a hotkey.  Note: this will not fix the double voicing if you have a 3rd party app turned on, such as Teamspeak.  This solution is ideal, if you do not have a mic with its own mute feature (ie software solution is your only option).  My OS is Windows 7, 64-bit. My sound controller can not support the MUTE microphone function without additional driver support.

What is Does:

How to turn off microphone with the push of the mouse button.

What to Do:

1) Download the newest AutoHotkey app.  Its highly respected, so no worries about ad/spyware.

2) Install AutoHotkey.  I had to install the Unicode 32-bit option, as my script didn't work for the 64-bit install.  This helps to avoid using compatibility mode later.

3) Run AutoHotkey.  When prompted, let the app create a file in your documents folder.

4) Insert the following script into the new file (probably called AutoHotkey.ahk):

XButton2::  SoundGet, currentMicVolume, Microphone, Volume
  If ( currentMicVolume = 0 ) ;
      SoundSet, 100, Microphone, Volume
    ToolTip,Mic is On, 0, 0
    SoundPlay *48
    Send {ScrollLock}
    SoundSet, 0, Microphone, Volume
    ToolTip,Mic is Off, 0, 0
    SoundPlay *64
    Send {ScrollLock}

In the above script, I'm using mouse button 5 (XButton2), since Dead Island can't map it anyways.  If you don't have a 5th mouse button, try changing XButton2:: to F1::  which would bind the F1 key to your mic. Or read the AutoHotkey docs for your own combo.

5) Restart AutoHotkey.

6) That's it, test it out with you native mic software to see if it works.

  • Turns on Scroll Lock light to indicate status of mic.
  • Displays a message if on or off.
  • Sound chime (you could map a .wav )
  • Adjusts mic boost volume, instead of main mic volume
  • On/off message does not display while in game.  "Always on top" message can not crack the GUI of the game.
How to reset your mic sound, display current properties:

Control Panel | Sound | Recording tab
Double click your active mic
Levels tab


If your not getting any voice - make sure your Mic volume and Boost are not set to 0 (see 'how to display current settings' above).

Autohotkey is a very powerful tool, and there are better ways to approach the problem, but this one worked well enough for me.

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