some sound issues are related to a second OpenAL installation, or other game that used OpenAL and did place them in system directory instead of placing them in the game directory.
This way starmade may get connected to those instead of the shipped ones with it, as windows prefers files in system directory over the ones in the game folder.
First common solution:
There was an error on a previous startup of the game, crashing the sound system.
You may or may not have gotten a popup telling you sound has been disabled.
To revert this,
browse into your starmade directory,
open the file named settings.cfg with a text editor,
find the following lines:
S_SOUND_SYS_ENABLED = true
S_SOUND_ENABLED = true //Sound
S_SOUND_VOLUME_GLOBAL = 4 //Sound Volume
The first option may set to false, this prevents the loading of the sound system completely.
Make sure to edit the values to the above shown ones.
(Both options true!)
This should fix the sound issues.
If it keeps flipping to false, try the second solution and then repeat first one.
One of the modes "with OpenAL" or "without OpenAL" will allow the sound system to load properly.
switch to the alternative sound system.
Set the marked option to "Off" and try again.
Go to C:\Windows\system32\
and check if OpenAL32.dll and OpenAL64.dll are preset, if they are, rename them to something else like
excluded_OpenAL32.dll and excluded_OpenAL64.dll try running starmade.
If all went fine the sound should work as intended.
However some other game may break then, as it has no OpenAL available then,
possibly try your games and if they all work fine, remove those files, or take a note:
Sound problems in game installed before "current date" - Rename those files back to original names and try again.
But most likely outdated libraries are not in use anymore.
Open a shell/terminal and go to your starmade directory.
this should usually fix the issues.