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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 149

post #2221 of 37320

The full release of BF3 will look noticeably better than what the beta is showing, that's guaranteed. No idea what to tell you about the controls, I thought they were fine but I'm a Battlefield player not a CoD guy so the game feels very familiar to me.  

 

Anyway, soundwise it's pretty damn nice.  Can't wait for the full release

post #2222 of 37320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae304 View Post

The full release of BF3 will look noticeably better than what the beta is showing, that's guaranteed. No idea what to tell you about the controls, I thought they were fine but I'm a Battlefield player not a CoD guy so the game feels very familiar to me.  

 

Anyway, soundwise it's pretty damn nice.  Can't wait for the full release

really? on mine the sound was horrible, super super super quiet and messed up, but then again the game itself was really buggy for me -sigh- I'll prolly just end up waiting for the full game before playing it again, don't wanna ruin my impressions of it.

Anyways, I'm prolly gonna get a sound card soon so i don't have to try and use dts headphone off my stock sound.

 

post #2223 of 37320

I think this should be required reading for anyone interested in how we "hear" soundstage and directionality...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization

post #2224 of 37320
While this post has been extremely useful for myself and others, I think the OP needs to be more neutral about recommending Dolby Headphone.

As much as I resent Creative for pushing 3d sound back a decade with their underhanded tactics, I have to admit after first using Dolby Headphone extensively, then trying CMSS-3D out of curiousity, there's no contest that CMSS-3D is superior at positional accuracy in all degrees of freedom. Dolby Headphone merely downmixes 5.1/7.1 channel audio into HRTF applied 2 channel stereo, and is inherently limited in angular resolution. CMSS-3D on the other hand uses OpenAL to actually extract the position of the sound from the game, so when you move the sound source around you, you hear it move smoothly around you. Dolby Headphone sounds more like the sound moves between the surround speakers.

However, the disadvantage of CMSS-3D is that it significantly alters the frequency of the sound, so it doesn't sound as good, and is downright atrocious for music. Also, if your game does not support, or is not configured properly to use OpenAL or ALchemy, CMSS-3D will do the same thing as Dolby Headphone which is downmix a 5.1/7.1 output.

When it comes to music, movies, or a cinematic gaming experience, Dolby Headphone has a much more faithful sound signature, and marvelously wide soundstage. But when it comes to competitive gaming, and accurate positioning of sounds, CMSS-3D if properly configured, is miles ahead.

Oh, and the good news for those of us who appreciate an OpenAL HRTF solution but hate Creative is that there are software implementations of the same technology available, and in development.
Edited by thrillhaus - 9/30/11 at 3:08pm
post #2225 of 37320

Do keep in mind that Mad Lust Envy is a console gamer, which makes PC sound cards irrelevant for his usage.

 

I can't compare Dolby Headphone for gaming purposes, but CMSS-3D Headphone is a must for me, and in fact, it's the one thing that made me not want to bother with surround speakers and instead invest in better stereo headphones for gaming. I can even hear when sounds are coming from above and below, instead of just on the horizontal plane like all those XAudio2 and FMOD-using games that downgrade everything to 7.1 instead of a 3D sound space. (I don't use it with music, though. Everything sounds too muffled and veiled then.)

post #2226 of 37320

CMSS-3D has one fatal flaw - it makes the actual quality of the sound terrible. Sure, the positioning is pretty good but in terms of pure sound quality its horrendous. 

post #2227 of 37320



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillhaus View Post

[...]CMSS-3D on the other hand uses OpenAL to actually extract the position of the sound from the game, [...]
 

does it get it from the game or does it do processing after, like dolby headphones? apparently, some prefer setting cmss to 2/2.1 instead of headphones. granted, results seems to be largely based on their settings (having to set windows to 5.1 if the game doesn't support openal etc) which might be attributed to some varying opinions (that and the headphones they are using)

 

what software openal hrtf are you thinking of? something similar to srs sandbox/virtual audio cable but with added capabilities? it'd be nice if there were options to change the soundstage in game as each game/headphone varies. (some sort of audio 3d calibration. a simple pure tone moving around in a circle around your head that you hear at the same db and can adjust accordingly. also should be able to adjust the path of the tone as the headphone might not present it as a perfect circle. those calibrations, either in game or driver lvl, would adjust the normalize the ingame sounds. just some thoughts :P)


Edited by applepancakes - 10/1/11 at 4:14am
post #2228 of 37320
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Do keep in mind that Mad Lust Envy is a console gamer, which makes PC sound cards irrelevant for his usage.

 

I can't compare Dolby Headphone for gaming purposes, but CMSS-3D Headphone is a must for me, and in fact, it's the one thing that made me not want to bother with surround speakers and instead invest in better stereo headphones for gaming. I can even hear when sounds are coming from above and below, instead of just on the horizontal plane like all those XAudio2 and FMOD-using games that downgrade everything to 7.1 instead of a 3D sound space. (I don't use it with music, though. Everything sounds too muffled and veiled then.)


Yeah after switching to CMSS-3D, it bothers me now when a game uses its own sound engine that force 7.1 downmixing. It's just not the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leng jai View Post

CMSS-3D has one fatal flaw - it makes the actual quality of the sound terrible. Sure, the positioning is pretty good but in terms of pure sound quality its horrendous. 


Yes, but we're talking about games here, not music. The audio files in games are compressed to begin with, and I don't place the same hifi requirements on explosions and gunfire that I do with music. I simply EQ a bit to compensate for the CMSS's altered sound signature, and for a game, it's good enough. This isn't a fatal flaw. A fatal flaw would be if CMSS-3D turned off your sound.
Quote:
Originally Posted by applepancakes View Post

 

does it get it from the game or does it do processing after, like dolby headphones? apparently, some prefer setting cmss to 2/2.1 instead of headphones. granted, results seems to be largely based on their settings (having to set windows to 5.1 if the game doesn't support openal etc) which might be attributed to some varying opinions (that and the headphones they are using)

 

what software openal hrtf are you thinking of? something similar to srs sandbox/virtual audio cable but with added capabilities? it'd be nice if there were options to change the soundstage in game as each game/headphone varies. (some sort of audio 3d calibration. a simple pure tone moving around in a circle around your head that you hear at the same db and can adjust accordingly. also should be able to adjust the path of the tone as the headphone might not present it as a perfect circle. those calibrations, either in game or driver lvl, would adjust the normalize the ingame sounds. just some thoughts :P)


It gets the position of where the sound is, and does processing to the sound after based on the geometry relative to your player's location. For headphones, CMSS-3D has to be set on headphone mode or it won't apply the calculations correctly. When it does the calculation for a 2.0 speaker system, it's taking into consideration the natural crossfeed that will occur with speakers, that is absent in headphones. The reason people prefer setting it to 2.0 mode is because it doesn't alter the SQ as much as headphone mode.

Some of the software HRTF include Rapture3D which is integrated into Dirt 2, and myEARS.
Edited by thrillhaus - 10/1/11 at 11:58am
post #2229 of 37320

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillhaus View Post
Yes, but we're talking about games here, not music. The audio files in games are compressed to begin with, and I don't place the same hifi requirements on explosions and gunfire that I do with music. I simply EQ a bit to compensate for the CMSS's altered sound signature, and for a game, it's good enough. This isn't a fatal flaw. A fatal flaw would be if CMSS-3D turned off your sound.


Could I get the details on these EQ settings? (It might also help to know what headphones you're using, in case their sound signature turns out to be drastically different from my Stax Lambdas and AD700s.)

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillhaus View Post
It gets the position of where the sound is, and does processing to the sound after based on the geometry relative to your player's location. For headphones, CMSS-3D has to be set on headphone mode or it won't apply the calculations correctly. When it does the calculation for a 2.0 speaker system, it's taking into consideration the natural crossfeed that will occur with speakers, that is absent in headphones. The reason people prefer setting it to 2.0 mode is because it doesn't alter the SQ as much as headphone mode.

 

Pretty much. It helps to know the difference between how the APIs describe sound. Here's a crude example:

 

XAudio2, FMOD et al.:

"There's a sound playing faintly through your front right speaker, and another sound playing loudly through your rear left speaker." (They describe sound in terms of what speakers in a conventional home theater speaker configuration happens to be closest to the sound's location.)

 

DirectSound3D and OpenAL:

"There's a sound 45 degrees to your right 20 feet away, behind these walls, and also 30 degrees elevated up. There's another sound 135 degrees to your left, 10 feet away, unobstructed, at your current height." (They describe sound with 3D coordinates and leave the sound device driver to decide where and how to play back those sounds, as it should be.)

 

If it has that much spatial information to work with, CMSS-3D Headphone will not waste time with emulating a home theater speaker system and instead attempt to present the sounds as if you were right there in the virtual environment, being exposed to the sounds in those exact positions.

 

More details can be found here: "So, what's Creative doing about OpenAL and the rise of software audio?"

 

While the SQ hit that CMSS-3D Headphone imposes isn't exactly desirable, getting backstabbed in a game because you didn't hear that someone was BEHIND you is even worse, and it doesn't murder sound quality to the point where I can't tell apart gunshots, reloading sounds, footsteps, explosions, etc. Remember, you're playing a game; you don't have time to be analyzing the smallest details in every sound! Though to be frank, I don't know if the SQ hit is necessary per se, especially given the hype that the Smyth SVS Realiser gets in terms of replicating home theater speaker systems several times more expensive; perhaps it's an artifact of having to use a generic HRTF, or Creative hasn't refined their HRTF tech enough (tech that's likely derived from Aureal and Sensaura's approaches, I might add).

post #2230 of 37320
Quote:
Originally Posted by leng jai View Post

CMSS-3D has one fatal flaw - it makes the actual quality of the sound terrible. Sure, the positioning is pretty good but in terms of pure sound quality its horrendous. 


There is a second fatal flaw. It comes in Creative products, which will have buggy drivers and virus-like crapware that comes with them.
post #2231 of 37320

It would be a fatal flaw for a lot of people considering this is a thread made on an enthusiast headphone forum. You're also understating how much worse it makes the audio in games. Yes game audio is compressed but they still sound fine. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillhaus View Post


Yes, but we're talking about games here, not music. The audio files in games are compressed to begin with, and I don't place the same hifi requirements on explosions and gunfire that I do with music. I simply EQ a bit to compensate for the CMSS's altered sound signature, and for a game, it's good enough. This isn't a fatal flaw. A fatal flaw would be if CMSS-3D turned off your sound.


 

post #2232 of 37320
I've found Dolby Headphones to reduce the sound quality as well as making it a little echoey. At least the way the ASUS sound cards do it. I think I might actually prefer gaming with it off, for non-competitive gaming at least.
post #2233 of 37320

Not me, I can't live without dolby headphone on games and movies.  On music it spreads the soundstage around you way too much, and you lose some detail.

 

 

post #2234 of 37320
On the PC, BF3 is actually really damn good. I'm EXTREMELY picky when it comes to games - I despise CoD since MW2; they've all had huge, glaring issues that cater to terrible players that need assistance from the game (as well as not having proper dedicated servers). CoD2 and CoD4 were excellent games, though.

The graphics in the beta are not what they will be on full release, a lot of settings are restricted. No high/ultra AFAIK - they don't change anything. Sound wise, the game is good... but it uses its own sound engine. This is a step back from games that use D3D and OpenAL. Luckily Windows 8 is moving back to hardware audio. Positional audio in BF3 isn't going to come into play THAT much - you're only going to be hearing gunshots of enemies close to you, and footsteps can only be picked up if there are no other sounds

The game itself is excellent though, aside from the bugs which is to be expected in the beta. The choice to use Operation Metro as the beta map was a pretty terrible decision though. To anyone that hasn't played Caspian Border 64 player conquest yet, you're in for a BIG treat - it was available on PC if you got access to the password.

Guns all have their own characteristics that make them feel unique. Bullet damage may be too high imo, as people drop very quickly even from about 100m away. Either bullet damage is too high, accuracy is too good, or hit detection is a LOT better than it has been in previous titles (which is pretty likely, most previous BF games have had terrible hit detection).

Also, on the subject of CMSS-3D compared to DH. I recently picked up a Creative Titanium HD to compare with my Xonar Essence STX. The Xonar uses DH, the Titanium uses CMSS-3D. Without a doubt, CMSS-3D, when properly configured, is better than DH for positional audio in games. I haven't compared them very extensively with newer titles, but on CSS, CMSS-3D is just amazing. Much better than DH. CSS does use D3D/OpenAL though (one of those two), AFAIK, so its sound would probably be a lot better than most newer games.
post #2235 of 37320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

But it plays like crap. DICE, I am disappoint. frown.gif

Not to toot my own horn, but I am VERY good in FPS games. BF3 controls like CRAP, looks like crap on consoles (which is odd as I thought Bad Company 2 looked fantastic), and just isn't any fun for me. I dunno... I'm somewhat tired of CoD, but I guess MW3 is gonna have to do. Here's hoping RAGE surprises me.

BF3 is still in Beta, but it's too close to release date to think the final product is gonna be very different. It was lackluster for me, just like Medal of Honor was.

Yeah I'm not sure how old the Beta code is, but it doesn't really instill much confidence the finished result will be significantly more polished. Maybe my expectations were too high. I've been out of gaming for a while now (probably a few rungs below casual gamer lol), but I expected better considering where the consoles are at in their life cycles.

Graphically, it's a mess. I'm not talking about the glitches, as those are things that may be addressed, but the look of it. WTF, is with the insanely high contrast? It goes from bleached to all black, without anything in between. There are no soft shadows and just looks really abrasive as a result.

Also, what's with the hit detection? I'm no FPS noob, but something's not right here. The gameplay kinda reminds me of what Killzone 2 was like online initially. That game only held my attention for a few days.

No doubt the LCD-2 is underpowered from just the Astro Mixamp, but soundwise, I think the game is ok. I thought shots and explosions had more weight in the BFBC games though. Perhaps I'm remembering wrong.
Edited by olor1n - 10/2/11 at 8:15am
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