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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 72

post #1066 of 3156

J&R is the seller on Amazon actually. I pulled the trigger on it yesterday and they already shipped it out, should be here friday biggrin.gif

 

I was wondering though, does anyone know what settings on the game you're supposed to use for CMSS-3D and DH? I know for CMSS-3D you're supposed to use 7.1 in Window's settings and headphone in the soundcard's control panel, but what about in the game itself?

EDIT: Nevermind just found out, you're supposed to use 7.1 or highest available.


Edited by chewy4 - 12/12/12 at 8:08am
post #1067 of 3156
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

J&R is the seller on Amazon actually. I pulled the trigger on it yesterday and they already shipped it out, should be here friday biggrin.gif

 

I was wondering though, does anyone know what settings on the game you're supposed to use for CMSS-3D and DH? I know for CMSS-3D you're supposed to use 7.1 in Window's settings and headphone in the soundcard's control panel, but what about in the game itself?

EDIT: Nevermind just found out, you're supposed to use 7.1 or highest available.

 

Ah, that makes sense :)

 

Games usually synch in-game audio settings to system audio settings, but it usually should match system settings.

post #1068 of 3156

and i just got mine last week at 134.00 in amazon tax included... oh.. well... :(

 

when i have time i will check it against mixamp :) (now that my pc do dolby digital live)

post #1069 of 3156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
Roller,
I actually thought OpenAL (and DS3D) contained the positional cue algorithms.
Which feeds into my comment about the near-death of 3D audio in favor of supporting home theater speaker setups... I assumed nobody was developing games that looked for and utilized OpenAL (and admittedly, I just assumed DS3D too without evidence) because on OpenAL's open source website, the list "all" games with support for the language, and comments in general that audio has been 2D for years. Thief 4 is in development and due for release in the not-distant future, I have to imagine great sound design is still very important to the game, wouldn't it be nice if they really marketed the feature of sound?

 

It's more that DS3D and OAL just pass off the location of every sound in 3D space to the audio device, and then that audio device applies its own positional cue algorithms to each of those sounds based on its position. That's why effects go missing without the proper hardware.

 

As Roller said, there were big disagreements between several major parties when it comes to gaming audio. This is actually nothing new; I later learned that the DirectX 3 incarnation of DirectSound3D wasn't originally designed to pass off the 3D coordinates to the audio device for use with third-party 3D algorithms, which naturally upset a lot of sound card manufacturers and led to the development of independent audio APIs like A3D...only to find that these were no longer necessary after Microsoft got their act together and made the DirectX 5 version of DS3D onward export the 3D audio coordinates.

 

And as for Thief 4...I want to believe, but knowing the game industry today, it won't have anything on the first two games or even Deadly Shadows, and I don't just mean the audio.

post #1070 of 3156

A game series that had nothing short of excellent sound quality and remarkable positional cue accuracy was F.E.A.R., the original moreso than the sequels. Height, depth and width cues were already well above average on USB Creative devices, and they simply shined on hardware based Creative cards.

post #1071 of 3156

So is the list on wikipedia  of games with OpenAL support incomplete? Seems like a pretty sad list, and I don't see F.E.A.R. on there. 

post #1072 of 3156

The list is rather incomplete, and unfortunately the information is rather scattered throughout the web. For instance, Creative has two separate lists of compatible games with different games between lists.

post #1073 of 3156

Ah that's a shame. Especially since Creative's games pages have been down for a few days now. Good thing that there are more games that have the support though... 

 

Any way to check in game if it supports it or do I have to rely on web searches?

post #1074 of 3156

Hum, that's odd, they're working here.

 

Some games display comprehensive audio options, while others keep it to a minimum, which unfortunately isn't a direct indicator of what kind of audio support the games has.

 

An easier way to check for which audio renderer is used on (most) games is to look in the installed game folder, which in the case of OpenAL and FMOD (just as examples) do have files straight on the root folder with the audio libraries. However, some games keep files on subfolders, while others simply make it hard to find out just by looking at the files themselves. Web searches are recommended for those cases.

post #1075 of 3156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Some games display comprehensive audio options, while others keep it to a minimum, which unfortunately isn't a direct indicator of what kind of audio support the games has.

 

An easier way to check for which audio renderer is used on (most) games is to look in the installed game folder, which in the case of OpenAL and FMOD (just as examples) do have files straight on the root folder with the audio libraries. However, some games keep files on subfolders, while others simply make it hard to find out just by looking at the files themselves. Web searches are recommended for those cases.

 

I can't emphasize this enough.

 

Take Psychonauts, for example. The current Steam version had the OpenAL options removed from the in-game menu, which may cause some people to mistakenly believe they removed hardware audio support altogether, but it's very easy to tweak them just by going into the game directory and editing an .INI file. Set everything up properly, and it clearly sounds like an OpenAL game should with precise positional audio.

 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is another odd case, where Frictional Games considers OpenAL devices other than the default "Generic Software" to be unsupported (in stark contrast to the earlier Penumbra trilogy), so you won't ever see them in the configuration interface's drop-down box. But again, it's very easy to override if you know what .INI file to look at and edit.

 

Then there's this post on forcing OpenAL in Borderlands 2, which gives me a little hope for UnrealEngine3.5-based games that generally default to XAudio2 or FMOD Ex.

 

Even then, you have the weird cases like Unreal Tournament, Thief 1/2, System Shock 2, Enemy Engaged, and so on that didn't originally have OpenAL support, having been released in the days of DirectSound3D, but OAL was implemented in later patches.

post #1076 of 3156
Roller,
I think I get it now, between NamelessPFG and yourself. Yay, right!? It's too bad 3D audio libraries and algorithms are cripplingly political instead of widely used 3rd party developments like Havok Physics and the Unreal game engine.

I wish that some company, like Creative, that's developed universal headphone filters and proprietary sound processing would wade in and strike a deal with Microsoft and/or Sony to have their tech and a headphone port built-in to the next consoles. Think of how many people ask how to do this, and the amount of cable-cludging Turtle Beach, Mad Catz/Tritton, and Skullcandy/Astro have to go through to enable headphone functionality, while meanwhile a headphone jack has almost always been included on a home receiver? Such a deal would be akin to Microsoft's move for exclusive OS for IBM computers! Way more lucrative than Creative's current push to compete in the crowded Bluetooth cellphone speaker market (even with their technical expertise)! And since so many major games are console ports, setting the new bar for gaming must-have features would benefit all gamer segments! Distinct advantage for one console vs another! Kids affording more gadgets! Waaaaaaaa I want to earn a living thinking up stuff like this!

NamelessPFG,
I loved Psychonauts! I'm having my girlfriend play it on the original Xbox currently, lol. For games without options-menu support for OpenAL support, how do you edit the .INI file? Do you need a hex editor, or can you just use notepad and paste in some code from the Internet?

Hopefully indeed there is hope for future 3D audio in games, good to hear it can be enabled in Borderlands 2. Was CryEngine and the latest Unreal engine (the one in "The Samaritan" demo video) stripped of any kind of 3D audio support? What audio support is in DirectX11?

To anyone,
Anyone have experiences with the MyEars software (trouble word) that has been talked about by SoAmusing777 lately? It's "just" another filter algorithm like DH and CMSS-3D, and MyEars is again limited to just 2D, but then again, it's $20 and could be just as good as DH. Even though they added FMOD support I am still skeptical, but I wanted to know other's take on it.
Edited by Evshrug - 12/13/12 at 5:44pm
post #1077 of 3156

Glad to see you got a better understanding of it :)

 

I definitely agree that Creative should push to get some of their tech available on 3rd party products, which is something they seem to be a bit unwilling to do so at the present time. And with their expertise regarding OpenAL, they could make a significant wave on all gaming, for as developers picked up on OpenAL for their games (which is fully portable for consoles), then the entire gaming ecossystem could benefit from it, up to the point where even onboard audio chips would have better gaming audio (fully rendered through software, but that's beyond the point).

 

CryEngine used FMOD from the ground up, with FMOD Ex having extension compatibility to use hardware audio features, but I seem to recall Crysis series only ran on software, as opposed to games like Bioshock and World of Warcraft, that do have full hardware audio support.

 

It is also worth noting that NamelessPFG pointed out some time ago that the latest Counter-Strike Global Offensive game can also have improved audio through command tweaking.

 

About MyEars, I looked at it a few months ago, but trial results didn't seem to impress much, while at the time there was another solution named 4D something (I truly can't recall the complete name) that promised improved and adaptable HRTF filters, but there has been no news since then.

 

One tech I'd like to see widespread is Rapture3D, an improved OpenAL renderer that is quite customizable (it had at least 10 performance presets, last time I checked) and can replace all generic OpenAL libraries on supporting games.

 

EDIT: Forgot to add that no game requires any sort of hex editing, it's usually just a matter of switching the OpenAL device used. However, it doesn't always work the same way, as some games can require specific strings regarding installed audio hardware devices. But for the most part, it's a painless process.


Edited by Roller - 12/14/12 at 6:38am
post #1078 of 3156
Thread Starter 

As a rule of thumb, if it's an .INI file, then you can open it up in almost any text editor because it's really just a plain text file with a fancy extension and some strings and variables that the game engine reads to configure itself. It's not that hard, if you take some time to read all the options in the file so you know what you can adjust.

 

What Creative probably should have done was compete head-on with Firelight Technologies (FMOD developers) and everyone else in making an audio middleware package for game developers...or just hand off OpenAL and all their acquired Aureal and Sensaura tech to Blue Ripple Sound (Rapture3D developers) or something, whatever it takes to make proper 3D audio in games the standard again, PC and console alike.

 

Instead, what they're doing now is sitting on it and hope that it's a selling point for their sound cards, which works on people like me who are ridiculously demanding about perfect audio support for older games and hang out at places like VOGONS, but does not work at all on people who are only interested in today's games. I see it happen time and time again here on Head-Fi.

post #1079 of 3156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

As a rule of thumb, if it's an .INI file, then you can open it up in almost any text editor because it's really just a plain text file with a fancy extension and some strings and variables that the game engine reads to configure itself. It's not that hard, if you take some time to read all the options in the file so you know what you can adjust.

 

What Creative probably should have done was compete head-on with Firelight Technologies (FMOD developers) and everyone else in making an audio middleware package for game developers...or just hand off OpenAL and all their acquired Aureal and Sensaura tech to Blue Ripple Sound (Rapture3D developers) or something, whatever it takes to make proper 3D audio in games the standard again, PC and console alike.

 

Instead, what they're doing now is sitting on it and hope that it's a selling point for their sound cards, which works on people like me who are ridiculously demanding about perfect audio support for older games and hang out at places like VOGONS, but does not work at all on people who are only interested in today's games. I see it happen time and time again here on Head-Fi.

The root of the problem is the ****eads all buying "Call of dookie MCMLXXIV", quality no longer matters in games.  The idiot sheep children will obediently march off to gamestop the second the next serving of dribble is meted out by their EA/Activision overlords... and they'll ask for seconds.  I feel so old when I say this... but, screw this generation of gamer kids.  They're all a group of hopelessly stupid ****s.  I remember playing GREAT games like The Dig, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Baldur's Gate; games that required THOUGHT... and actually had story.

Ok, going to /rant.   But, that's essentially your problem.  A bunch of idiots whom think mediocrity is something desirable.

post #1080 of 3156
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

As a rule of thumb, if it's an .INI file, then you can open it up in almost any text editor because it's really just a plain text file with a fancy extension and some strings and variables that the game engine reads to configure itself. It's not that hard, if you take some time to read all the options in the file so you know what you can adjust.

 

What Creative probably should have done was compete head-on with Firelight Technologies (FMOD developers) and everyone else in making an audio middleware package for game developers...or just hand off OpenAL and all their acquired Aureal and Sensaura tech to Blue Ripple Sound (Rapture3D developers) or something, whatever it takes to make proper 3D audio in games the standard again, PC and console alike.

 

Instead, what they're doing now is sitting on it and hope that it's a selling point for their sound cards, which works on people like me who are ridiculously demanding about perfect audio support for older games and hang out at places like VOGONS, but does not work at all on people who are only interested in today's games. I see it happen time and time again here on Head-Fi.

 

Truer words rarely have been spoken :)

 

FMOD by itself is a software audio renderer but unlike the dreadful XAudio2, it actually has an hardware pipeline available for use with all cards that have features like hardware EAX up to version 2 (like Asus cards and specific onboard audio chips) as well as full-on hardware accelerated audio beyond that, up to the point where hardware OpenAL and EAX 5 can be used (X-Fi chip cards only).

 

From the start, Creative was never willing to pass on their tech to other manufacturers unless licensing deals were struck, like how Auzentech licensed the X-Fi chip and made excellent cards like the X-Fi Prelude and X-Fi Forte, but other than that there hasn't been any significant similar deals like that.

Now, they do hold what is undisputedly the best gaming audio features on the market, and I honestly think they could make their tech usage more widespread i they did something similar to what Nvidia and AMD do in terms of having optimizations for their hardware. Also, it would be important that games at stock would already be passable, but would improve immersion and competitiveness when supported audio hardware was found on the system.

 

On the legacy game audio subject, I would absolutely love if Creative provided an (even if optional) emulation system for wavetable synthesis boards like the AWE32 (moreso than the AWE64 that sometimes had issues with AWE32-supported games, and AWE64 were exceptionally rare). Games simply sounded better, SFX and BGM were simply of much higher quality.

NamelessPFG, if you do stumble upon something like AWE32 emulation, please do let me know. So far, I've only seen people trying to make DOS drivers to emulate it but hidden Creative registers have made it something hard to accomplish.

 

EDIT: Shisno, curiously Call of Duty 2 did have base hardware accelerated audio which was quite useful and provided better positional cue accuracy than stock software audio. Of course that sample quality was lower, but that was dependent on what Activision used at the time.


Edited by Roller - 12/15/12 at 5:19am
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