Experiencing missing sound, especially ATC (Air Traffic Control) voices, can indeed be disconcerting. Based on the issues you've described, it seems you're facing a multi-faceted challenge. Let's break down potential solutions.
1. Basic Sound Settings Check:
- Ensure your speakers or headphones are properly connected and set as the default playback device in your operating system settings.
- Inspect the volume mixer (accessible from the taskbar) to ensure FSX's volume is not muted or set extremely low.
- Within FSX, go to Options > Settings > Sound to verify all the audio sliders are appropriately adjusted.
2. ATC Sound Settings:
- Still within the sound settings of FSX, make certain that the ATC voice slider is not turned all the way down.
- Remember, FSX has an option to play ATC audio through the computer's default communication device. Ensure that device has sound capabilities and is not muted.
3. ATC Window & Interactive Number Response:
- If the ATC window displays the instructions but lacks sound, it might be an issue with the sound files themselves or their location.
- For the interactive number issue: FSX sometimes fails to register keypresses if it's not the active window or if it's running in compatibility mode. Ensure FSX is the active application when you're interacting with it.
4. Corrupt Files & Reinstallation:
- It's possible some of the core FSX files got corrupted. A quick way to remedy this is by running a repair through the installation disc or digital distribution platform you used.
- As a last resort, consider reinstalling FSX, but do remember to backup any add-ons or personal files before proceeding.
5. Consider External Factors:
- If you've recently installed new plugins or modifications, they might interfere with the simulator's sound. Test the simulator after removing any recent additions.
- Ensure that there's no other software running in the background that might be monopolizing your sound card or causing conflicts.
If these suggestions don't solve your issue, it might be worthwhile to consider moving to newer platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator (released in 2020) or X-Plane 12 as they have more robust support and are less prone to such errors. However, if your preference remains with FSX, then delving deeper into dedicated forums and communities might provide more tailored assistance.
I hope this helps and you can soon enjoy the full immersion of flight simulation once more!