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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 93

post #1381 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by junrin View Post

Eh... ok, another question. when i use such a high end headphone, when i use youtube or any low quality music, will it sound bad? can is 256kbps music good enough? or do i need to get lossless?

The difference between compressed files above 128kbps and lossless isn't so much in overall sound quality,but rather artifacts that you have to listen to carefully to hear. 256kbps is at a level where these artifacts aren't going to be audible for most people.

 

If you want to test between them, here's a thread you might be interested in: http://www.head-fi.org/t/653438/high-bitrate-lossy-vs-lossless-test

 

The top link in my signature has comparisons between 320,128, and lossless as well but the samples probably aren't going to be as complex as bigshot has, and I don't include 256.

 

As far as youtube goes, I believe some old youtube vidoes have crappy audio encoding. But newer ones can be decent.

 

Here's a chart of youtube bitrates:

 

Resolution Audio Bit Rate Compression
Original 192 kbps AAC
1080p 192 kbps AAC
720p 192 kbps AAC
480p 128 kbps AAC
360p 128 kbps AAC
240p 64 kbps MP3
post #1382 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post

If CMSS-3D works with everything, then it seems like I could just buy a cheaper X-Fi card. I was only interested in the Titanium HD because I thought I needed THX TruStudio as well for games that didn't support CMSS-3D, and I think it's the only one that supports THX TruStudio.

I wish there was a simple table somewhere that compared all the various different cards that Creative offers, and what features they support.

What, you mean like the one on most of creative's Amazon descriptions? http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Titanium-Internal-SB1270/dp/B0041OUA38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362241273&sr=8-1&keywords=creative+titanium
post #1383 of 3042

Hello, folks. I'm curious as to whether anyone knows a fun, competitive game with good positional cues. I've been playing a lot of Crysis 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with my X-Fi Titanium, the cues are kind of meh.

 

Crysis 2 has decent positioning, but no elevation effects, so anyone who is on a floor above you sounds like they're right next to you. Bad Company 2 is good, but the fact that the game allows for so many players on a single map makes it difficult to make sense of anything. You spawn during a game of Rush, and instantly there are explosions and footsteps on every side of you. There's no separation.

 

I'm looking for something competitive, whether it be FPS or other online game. I'd also prefer this one to not be a war-based FPS like the Call of Duty or Battlefield series, as I'm sick of the genre.

post #1384 of 3042
Thread Starter 

Problem is, most of the fun, competitive games with good positional cues I know of ARE FPSs. Not all of them are the "generic military FPS" sort, though, since I'm quite fond of Unreal Tournament and Tribes and so forth.

 

Perhaps I should fire up Sacrifice sometime, seeing as it's an RTS that uses the Miles Sound System for DS3D support (so make sure you use ALchemy), and since you're a wizard with an actual presence on the battlefield, positional audio cues can be important when you can't keep your eyes on the mini-map all the time.

 

There's also IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946, though the positional cues through DS3D (again, ALchemy needed) will probably be obscured because of your aircraft's engine noise. Still, they're there and help a lot with the overall situational awareness picture, which is critical for old-school dogfighting. "Lose sight, lose the fight", as they say.

 

Oh, and as I keep saying, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has terrible positional audio mixing. You'd have to go back to the first four games (1942, Vietnam, BF2, 2142) to know what good positional audio (and good gameplay not entirely based around unlocks, except 2142 which started that madness) in a Battlefield game is like.

post #1385 of 3042

Which Unreal Tournament and Tribes games? I'm sort of fond of Tribes: Ascend and Unreal Tournament 3. Do all of them have good positional audio support? I'd like to stick to recent stuff, since I dislike ALchemy. Requires going through a bunch of annoying registry paths if you're unlucky enough to find a game that doesn't work with it like it should.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

As far as youtube goes, I believe some old youtube vidoes have crappy audio encoding. But newer ones can be decent.

 

Here's a chart of youtube bitrates:

 

Resolution Audio Bit Rate Compression
Original 192 kbps AAC
1080p 192 kbps AAC
720p 192 kbps AAC
480p 128 kbps AAC
360p 128 kbps AAC
240p 64 kbps MP3

Bleh, you'd think they'd use HE-AAC for 240p. 


Edited by BetaWolf - 3/2/13 at 4:18pm
post #1386 of 3042
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post

Which Unreal Tournament and Tribes games? I'm sort of fond of Tribes: Ascend and Unreal Tournament 3. Do all of them have good positional audio support? I'd like to stick to recent stuff, since I dislike ALchemy. Requires going through a bunch of annoying registry paths if you're unlucky enough to find a game that doesn't work with it like it should.

 

All of them, though Tribes Ascend takes a slight hit to positioning because it uses XAudio2 or FMOD Ex instead of OpenAL, meaning no height cues (in a game with a major vertical element to the gameplay, at that). Tribes 1 and 2 are DirectSound3D-based, though, and thus need ALchemy.

 

Unreal Tournament (the original 1999 release) needs this Old Unreal patch for OpenAL support. Works very well, though you do have to know how to enable it either thought UnrealTournament.ini or the Preferences window (accessed by typing "preferences" into the console). UT 2004 is OpenAL-native (like almost every other UnrealEngine2 game), so you don't need to jump through any hoops.

 

Also, when you enable OpenAL for a game, what you're really doing is copying a dsound.dll and dsound.ini to the game's executable folder, and the dsound.ini just has some variables that adjust how it works. I don't even bother using the ALchemy GUI when setting it up, since it's much easier for me to just copy-and-paste.

post #1387 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic817 View Post

Question regarding setting up virtual surround with an X-fi card in Windows 7.

 

I was playing Dead Space 2 (and other games) for quite a while before I realized I had been doing it all wrong it would seem.

 

My Creative setting had CMSS-3D turned on but my windows and game settings were set to 2.1 and Stereo respectively.

 

This was OK. Direction was decent but what really felt missing was a sense of presentation in an open space. It was not nearly as good as with my Astro Mixamp on my PS3 (Dolby Headphone). I thought it was simply the difference between the tech.

 

So, I read that I should have set Windows to 7.1 and the game to 5.1 (it's highest setting) and the X-fi card to CMSS-3D on and headphone.

 

I did this and I must say it makes quite a difference. I only did this last night and I feel like I still need to get used to the somewhat jarring change. I think that in every way it counts it is better. That is except for one.

 

THE PROBLEM: I noticed that when the sounds get "busy" as in monsters scream while a hatch is slamming shut and something explodes there are notches in the sound. There are times when some sounds get a piece of them cut out. This was not happening when I was set to 2.1

 

THE CAUSE??: I suspect that this might have something to do with the speaker settings in Windows. After choosing 7.1 you are asked to select some check boxes. The first asks what speakers you have. The next asks which of your speakers are Satellite speakers (something about Dynamic Range) 

 

 

Does anyone know what the correct settings are and what might cause this problem. Thank you in advance.

 

 

Windows 7 x64, Sound Blaster X-fi Xtreme Gamer, Objective2 Amp, AKG Q701

 

Well, I fiddled with all of the knobs and sliders and whatnot. It seems that I can have all of the settings described for setup by Creative. However, I have to reduce the sample rate in the windows settings for the X-fi.

 

Default was 24 bit 48,000 Hz (which is fine)

 

I had it set to 24 bit 192,000 Hz (which caused popping and cut outs)

 

Per some stuff I read on the Creative support page I guess the X-fi was just being overwhelmed.

 

Pretty sure that was it. Before I could not go more than 10 min. without hearing the problem. After reducing the sample rate I probably logged about 5 hours without issue.

 

Just FYI if anyone has the same issue.

post #1388 of 3042

Killing Floor is super fun.

post #1389 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic817 View Post

 

Well, I fiddled with all of the knobs and sliders and whatnot. It seems that I can have all of the settings described for setup by Creative. However, I have to reduce the sample rate in the windows settings for the X-fi.

 

Default was 24 bit 48,000 Hz (which is fine)

 

I had it set to 24 bit 192,000 Hz (which caused popping and cut outs)

 

Per some stuff I read on the Creative support page I guess the X-fi was just being overwhelmed.

 

Pretty sure that was it. Before I could not go more than 10 min. without hearing the problem. After reducing the sample rate I probably logged about 5 hours without issue.

 

Just FYI if anyone has the same issue.

 

I've noticed that my X-Fi Titanium HD drops down to 2.1 channel output when set to 24/192. It only allows up to 24/96 in 5.1 channel output. Maybe this was the problem?
 

post #1390 of 3042
Hmmm. Perhaps. Guess I wll check that. Thanks.
post #1391 of 3042

Does anyone here know anything about enabling OpenAL/DS3D in Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad? I'd like to get it enabled, as otherwise this game has absolutely fantastic audio.

 

I've tried ini tweaking, but changing the audio device from Xaudio2 to the OpenAL device results in a blatant lack of audio... Any help would be appreciated.

 

(This is with an X-fi Titanium HD)

post #1392 of 3042

You can try to add in the below info into the game engine.ini manaully, then replace Xaudio2 device with ALAudio.AlaudioDevice. to see if that will solve it, if the info isn't in the ini.  I tried a couple of games by adding it manaully and it seem to worked if the openal is still in the code for that game. Alot of the games I have installed that is UE3 based already had the info, just the ones that doesn't.

 

[ALAudio.ALAudioDevice]

MaxChannels=128
CommonAudioPoolSize=0
MinCompressedDurationGame=5
MinCompressedDurationEditor=4
LowPassFilterResonance=0.9
DeviceName=


[ALAudio.AlDllWrapper]
DeviceName=

post #1393 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrocles View Post

 

I've noticed that my X-Fi Titanium HD drops down to 2.1 channel output when set to 24/192. It only allows up to 24/96 in 5.1 channel output. Maybe this was the problem?
 

Noticed the same thing on my non-HD. No wonder my positional audio has sucked for some time.

post #1394 of 3042

Hi gents,

 

tags: EXTERNAL SOUND CARDS, SURROUND SOUND, GAMING

 

Thanks a lot for all the information put together. I've got a question though - even after all the info (I don't have the time to read 93 pages but I did find a hint of what I was looking for but it didn't have conclusive answer).

 

I've got the Creative CAL headphones as reviewed by Lusty, I'm using them for the PC obviously. It's an ITX motherboard, doesn't have enough PCI slots for a dedicated sound card so I'm using on board sound (Realtek HD). 

 

What I want to know is, is it worth me buying a dedicated USB sound card for gaming? Gaming is what it's for, should have said. I play mostly RTS and Simulations (flight) and ive been using £20 headphones on the internal sound card - it's been a LONG time since I had decent gaming sound-gear, I can't remember what I'm missing, if anything?

 

I'm looking at the DSS2, Astro Mixamp (I know its designed for consoles but meh?) and the Creative Blaster USB sticks...

 

HELP!!

 

 

Simsy

post #1395 of 3042
Thread Starter 

USB means you can't use the most ideal devices for gaming audio, as they're all PCI(-Express)-based, but you still have some decent options.

 

The ones I'd consider looking into are the older X-Fi USB devices that still have CMSS-3D Headphone (since I prefer it to THX TruStudio Surround by far, even its software-processed incarnation) and the Xonar U3.

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