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Do you use CMSS-3d or Dolby headphone for gaming? - Page 2

Poll Results: What do you use for gaming?

 
  • 25% (33)
    Normal Stereo
  • 38% (50)
    CMSS3D
  • 31% (40)
    Dolby Headphone
  • 4% (6)
    Thx Tru-studio
129 Total Votes  
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 


I thought the real reason you sold both was that you found the kX Surrounder plugin on your Audigy2 with kX drivers to offer all the positional benefits without the hit to sound quality...but then you started having issues with that card, so you went back to Realtek.


kX Audio driver's surrounder plugin wasn't quite as good as CMSS3D in terms of positioning but I'd say it fit right between DH & CMSS3D and yea it didn't have any impact on sound quality whatsoever though. However I've moved on from the Audigy 2 ZS due to how I've noticed that the Realtek HD onboard chip has even better sound quality these days (probably due to the poor hardware 48kHz resampling on an Audigy 2 ZS). The Audigy 2 ZS card didn't have proper support in Windows 7 with those drivers, for example lacking speaker config... so had to rely on that plugin to get good positional sound. The difference between using 5.1 speakers in windows vs surrounder plugin is so small that I didn't see any point sticking to the Audigy 2 ZS card anymore even if I highly miss its VERY nice EQ. 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 1/27/12 at 4:45pm
post #17 of 38
Thread Starter 

I notice that when I set windows to 5.1 I hear some serious distortion on the bass notes. I think thats also what I was hearing with thx tru-studio. If I go into where you can actually select 5.1 in windows and hit the subwoofer icon to test it out I hear the same crackle that I hear in game. Odd that doesn't happen with cmss3d. 

 

Edit: Even if I disable the sub I still get that distortion in 5.1 on low frequencies that I don't see in stereo. Hmmm

 

Edit 2: It seems like the only reason that I don't see this with cmss3d is since that seems to lower bass.

 

Edit 3: It seems to work perfectly if I set the sample rate to 96khz and use 5.0 since for some reason at 96khz I can't select the subwoofer.  


Edited by BababooeyHTJ - 1/27/12 at 6:43pm
post #18 of 38
As some of you may know by now, I'm a huge Dolby Headphone fanboy. biggrin.gif

Stereo may as well be mono with how utterly inferior it is compared to DH.

Again, I'm a console gamer, and don't know how well/bad DH works on PCs.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 1/27/12 at 6:32pm
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

As some of you may know by now, I'm a huge Dolby Headphone fanboy. biggrin.gif
Stereo may as well be mono with how utterly inferior it is compared to DH.
Again, I'm a console gamer, and don't know how well/bad DH works on PCs.


Just fine if you know what you're doing, I personally go DDL > SU-DH1 > X-Head > AD700/K601

 

I haven't bothered with the native Xonar solution myself.

post #20 of 38

Looks like I'm the only one that voted for THX TruStudio Pro. :)

 

I recently went from a X-Fi Fatality Professional (the one with the x-ram) to a Titanium HD. It actually drives my cans now. (Senn PC 350's)

 

I've used CMSS 3D for years, and THX TruStudio Pro is better in every way imho. I disagree with the fellow who referred to TSP as the "bathroom" effect. It gives the audio much needed spaciousness. I can actually pinpoint the distances of sounds now. 

 

Anywho, that's the beauty/downfall of audio, it's very subjective.

post #21 of 38

Slight correction to a previous post. THX TruStudio Pro is also present on a whole new batch of onboard audio chips found on desktop and laptop computers. Having said that, disabling it was the first thing I did to keep the authentic X-Fi hardware working as it should.

 

While games might benefit, in terms of slightly improved positional accuracy, from surround virtualization techs like CMSS-3D and DH, I absolutely can't stand the artificial coating sound gets, making for an unpleasant listening experience. And such techs are only really required, IMHO, for crippled audio renderers that can't do accurate positional cues on their own.

post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by k1DBLITZ View Post

Looks like I'm the only one that voted for THX TruStudio Pro. :)

 

I've used CMSS 3D for years, and THX TruStudio Pro is better in every way imho. I disagree with the fellow who referred to TSP as the "bathroom" effect. It gives the audio much needed spaciousness. I can actually pinpoint the distances of sounds now. 

 

Anywho, that's the beauty/downfall of audio, it's very subjective.

 

Not anymore wink_face.gifI have used CMSS 3D, Dolby Headphone and THX TruStudio Pro. For positioning THX>CMSS 3D(not sure, too many years)> Dolby Headphone.. Sound quality Dolby> THX(Good enough)> CMSS 3D.. Now I need to test new xonar rog surround evil_smiley.gif

 

I don't believe X-FI hardware supported sound effects. Game support is awful, computers don't need hardware support anymore & I dont get why realtek chip or other dacs can't produce same sounds than x-fi own chip? I bet its more marketing trick to buy x-fi cards like closed source license (If they would have proper game & hardware support things would be different..) 


Edited by Migi06 - 6/7/12 at 7:35am
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Migi06 View Post
I don't believe X-FI hardware supported sound effects. Game support is awful, computers don't need hardware support anymore & I dont get why realtek chip or other dacs can't produce same sounds than x-fi own chip? I bet its more marketing trick to buy x-fi cards like closed source license (If they would have proper game & hardware support things would be different..) 

Well, the sound samples aren't synthesized on the X-Fi DSP like DOS-era sound cards, but stuff like reverb, chorus, occlusion, etc. effects are run on the DSP in real-time. This was done back in the Windows 95/98 days since CPUs didn't have enough processing power for that. (Go ahead, look up some reviews of Aureal A3D in Half-Life and see the FPS hit it brought because the Vortex-based cards didn't have DSPs to offload all the processing from the CPU.)

 

Also, game support isn't awful. There are a LOT of DirectSound3D and OpenAL games that utilize EAX versions 3/4/5, which were never licensed out to non-Creative hardware, and I mean high-profile games like Battlefield 2 (still the best in the series overall, if you ask me, and it sure sounds a lot better than BF:BC2 and BF3 positionally). Needless to say, I'm going to play them the way they were intended to sound. I'm serious enough about this sort of thing that I'm actually planning on building a Windows 98-based desktop with an Aureal Vortex2 card so that I can hear games that use A3D 2.0/3.0 with wavetracing and whatnot (and those versions were not licensed out at all).

 

Of course, Creative is rather...distasteful as a corporation, and by around 2007, games started to favor XAudio2 and FMOD Ex. Unfortunately, this has caused a MAJOR regression in PC gaming audio from the days when Aureal got everyone to consider true 3D sound. I'm not against software audio processing, but a better way to have done it would be to keep using the OpenAL API, but instead of using Creative's proprietary EAX effects, use the EFX effects for reverb/chorus/occlusion/etc. that are supported by all OpenAL devices, even software ones. (If the default OpenAL Generic Software device isn't good enough, there's Rapture3D.) That way, there's still the 3D positional data to use that can give us true binaural 3D sound and not just virtual 7.1.

post #24 of 38

Great post popcorn.gif THUMPs up!!1

 

All in all.. So everything could done via software than pre-configurated DSP chip? Creative abandoned CMSS-3D and replaced it to THX. Also X-FI line are starting to disappear (****ty recon3D..) and no famous X-Ram anymore wink.gif

post #25 of 38

Yeah, long story short, a lot of those effects can easily be done by modern CPUs now. The part that bugs me isn't that modern game audio is software-accelerated, but that it has no binaural options for us headphone users in general because they all think 7.1 is good enough. "Better to simulate a movie theater than reality", as lith from the Creative forums would put it snarkily.

 

People have actually been requesting that in the FMOD forums for a few years now, but all we have at this point is a fake HRTF effect that's basically a lowpass filter applied to sound effects played from behind. Certainly not true binaural audio by a long shot.

 

Meanwhile, Rapture3D handles binaural audio very well (you have six different HRTFs to choose from, even!) and works in just about any OpenAL game (if you're willing to pay up for the User or Advanced editions). With potent software solutions like that, I would have preferred PC games to keep using the established APIs instead of what they're doing now, precisely because of their model of "tell the sound device the 3D positional coordinates of every sound in the game and let it sort it out" making things like that possible, in both hardware and software.

 

Unfortunately, Rapture3D still has two drawbacks that keep me from paying up for the better versions and finally freeing myself from Creative-based hardware only:

 

-No EAX at all, just EFX. Unfortunately, the two aren't really interchangeable, and I'm not about to put up with a sound downgrade in BF2 or Bioshock. I'm not sure if UT 2004 uses EAX or EFX, though, and UT3 probably just uses EFX.

-OpenAL only. I have even more DirectSound3D-based games that sound great once wrapped with ALchemy, and if Rapture3D also had such a wrapper for use with those games, that would increase the value proposition immensely.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 6/8/12 at 11:15am
post #26 of 38

This is a very interesting discussion. So let me ask this question... with games moving towards software-acceleration, what exactly is left for the sound cards to do anymore, if we ignore the DACs in them? For example, why not just get a Asus DG and a good external DAC and Amp, and let the software processing handle the rest?

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehdi View Post

This is a very interesting discussion. So let me ask this question... with games moving towards software-acceleration, what exactly is left for the sound cards to do anymore, if we ignore the DACs in them? For example, why not just get a Asus DG and a good external DAC and Amp, and let the software processing handle the rest?

 

The middleware in use by most games (usually FMOD Ex) provides absolutely no binaural mixing option for us headphone users whatsoever. Thus, it's important that we can at least get virtual 7.1 out of these titles using these technologies, even though true 3D binaural sound of the sort DirectSound3D and OpenAL could provide (because they aren't doing the mixing in the first place; the sound device is!) would be far superior.

 

The ONLY sound middleware for games I know of that actually supports binaural mixing for headphones is Rapture3D, and that's really just a software OpenAL device. I should emphasize that the "Generic Software" device that all OpenAL implementations come with by default certainly doesn't support binaural mixing.

 

If you really want to invest in external DACs, though, just getting a cheaper sound card solely to use it as a DSP and S/PDIF output is viable. The only reason I haven't done so is that my X-Fi Titanium HD sounds fine to me as is, and I'd prefer to keep the audio device chain from getting too complex.

post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

The middleware in use by most games (usually FMOD Ex) provides absolutely no binaural mixing option for us headphone users whatsoever. Thus, it's important that we can at least get virtual 7.1 out of these titles using these technologies, even though true 3D binaural sound of the sort DirectSound3D and OpenAL could provide (because they aren't doing the mixing in the first place; the sound device is!) would be far superior.

 

The ONLY sound middleware for games I know of that actually supports binaural mixing for headphones is Rapture3D, and that's really just a software OpenAL device. I should emphasize that the "Generic Software" device that all OpenAL implementations come with by default certainly doesn't support binaural mixing.

 

If you really want to invest in external DACs, though, just getting a cheaper sound card solely to use it as a DSP and S/PDIF output is viable. The only reason I haven't done so is that my X-Fi Titanium HD sounds fine to me as is, and I'd prefer to keep the audio device chain from getting too complex.

Really? That really blows my mind a bit! So in such a setup, you're telling me a Xonar DG for example ($25) connect it to an external DAC, and it would be just as good if not better than a Xonar STX, for gaming?  The reason this is enticing goes back to the idea that these external Amp/DACs seem to have vastly longer longevity, durability and technology wise, than sound cards. If all the sound card provides is the virtual surround mixing, then it seems going the external route makes sense. I feel I must be missing *something* though :)

 

I had been considering getting the O2+ODAC combination at one point. It's an extra $150 for the DAC, and presumably far superior than the THDs DAC. 

post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehdi View Post

Really? That really blows my mind a bit! So in such a setup, you're telling me a Xonar DG for example ($25) connect it to an external DAC, and it would be just as good if not better than a Xonar STX, for gaming?  The reason this is enticing goes back to the idea that these external Amp/DACs seem to have vastly longer longevity, durability and technology wise, than sound cards. If all the sound card provides is the virtual surround mixing, then it seems going the external route makes sense. I feel I must be missing *something* though :)

 

I had been considering getting the O2+ODAC combination at one point. It's an extra $150 for the DAC, and presumably far superior than the THDs DAC. 

 

In theory, it could have even better audio output quality that way, if the outboard DAC and amp are good enough.

 

I have to warn you, though: the ODAC does NOT have S/PDIF input. There is a little workaround to use USB DACs while letting the sound card still act as the primary audio device for games, but it might introduce some slight latency and perhaps a hit to the audio quality. (Note that I don't have a good enough USB audio device to thoroughly test with.) NwAvGuy has mentioned the possibility of a higher-end ODAC revision that could implement S/PDIF without severe compromises, though.

post #30 of 38

I'm surprised not many folks like THX TruStudio while they like CMSS-3D.

If you have a THX TruStudio device make sure Windows is configured for 7.1 while your sound card should be configured for headphones. I noticed on a friend's Creative Labs headset(terrible, I know) that Windows can only be configure for 2.1 which meant there was no positioning at all. However, on my desktop I tried THX TruStudio with 7.1 channels and headphones and the positioning was every bit as good as CMSS-3D and better than Dolby Headphone on my Xonar.

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