So lately I've been having a mess of sound problems. It all started when I had to replace my hard drive. When I installed windows 7 on it and started getting all of my programs re-installed it seems that something somewhere changed from how things were set up on the old hard drive.
Suddenly games that I had zero sound problems recording were a major pain. The game sounds and in-game music were drowning me out.. sometimes completely in places.
To this day I haven't figured out what the difference was and I can't just boot up the old hard drive to compare settings. I mean it was replaced for a good reason. The windows image on it is un-useable in the extreme.
I know that I did NOT change any other hardware. I have the same motherboard & sound system. The same speakers, the same headset mic. Yet it took me a good three weeks to come up with a totally new sound arrangement that let me be heard over in-game sounds.
During this time I got a lot of well intentioned advice from people trying to offer helpful suggestions to get things working right again. Many of them told me that I should get a new usb microphone and that would solve my problems. What they apparently didn't know was that the mic I have been using with great success for several months is in fact a USB model, the Turtle Beach Ear Force X-12.
When I originally switched from my old $17 logitech mic to the X-12 people noticed a vast improvement in my sound quality immediately. Why it went from "awesome" to "huh?" in one day is entirely beyond me.