So I don't have time for a massive overly technical writeup, yet, but I wanted to make a post here for our members and the community to know what is going on with MKAK's audio and why it's unlikely going to be patched. I see a lot of people "claiming" to know why the sound is off, but they are not the correct reason. I did some research into the MKAK package files the past two weeks and found out a few things.
Unfortunately the MKAK audio issues are actually because the sounds we hear is NOT emulated. Other Ocean is using basically what I'd call a "sound wrapper" (run by the Unreal Engine actually, more on that later) that instead of emulating the sound board. Actually MKAK includes EMPTY SOUND ROM files likely put there to somehow trick the emulator into passing it's boot up and initialization.
Since the sound system isn't emulated the Unreal wrapper around the game plays back an MP3 of that sound that is meant to be played. In the case of MK1, they used all new completely different sounds (reason why later). But with MK2 and MK3 they appear to use the original sounds, so that's why it mostly sounds okay. The other issue this method brings up is the MIX of audio is totally off from how we remember resulting in things sounding "off" like the Jump/Block sound in MK2. There are also some lags in playback processing (the MK2 music issues) that are also likely because of this change.
So why did Other Ocean choose to do the sounds this way instead of just emulating them? This is because the "MK Arcade Kollection" began as the "Mortal Kombat HD Arcade Kollection" and these audio changes are clearly part of that cancelled "project." (Actually the internal files of MKAK still are labeled "MKHD.") The audio hardware on MK1 was vastly inferior to the "DCS" sound of MK2 and UMK3 and the samples were of much lower quality and likely felt they needed to be replaced with newer sounds. In most cases they were close, but in some places like the clapping they were completely different. It was likely easier for them to keep the "HD" audio part of the HD conversion project instead of the harder task to write the sound emulation in a shortened development time table.
The fan reaction to these audio changes should show you all what the overall quality of the MKHD collection was going to be and likely why it was cancelled. I bet the visuals were probably even worse of a change to handle, but all we have to go on is the concept art photo leaks. So think about how you'd handle major changes to visual AND audio before you beg NRS/WB for a second attempt at a HD MK collection.
Now the question is, will this audio change be patched out and replaced with the original audio? It's very unlikely due to the cost and time involved in patching games, and this change is a major one too. The biggest problems with the Kollection (online play) were addressed in the patch, and the audio changes are not deal breakers for me. I just wish they'd tighten it up a bit in MK1's Goro's Lair and MK2's background music a bit more to make the experience closer to how it used to be.
I'm okay with the more "HD" audio (sounds great on my sound system) I just want them to work out the bugs out of the playback if they get another chance in a new patch.