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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 94

post #1396 of 3060

So Arma 3: Alpha is out... and I bought it. I love pretty much everything about it except for it being hardware unfriendly and really bad positioning cues. I've only played Project Reality mod for BF2 in the past 5 years. With Titanium HD and Q701 I can tell where any sound is coming from. But in Arma: 3... I can't at all. I can't tell how far/close it is, I can barely tell if it's from the front or back. It' really terrible. Plus I can't seem to find what Sound API they're using so I have no idea how to make it better (I thought about using Alchemy).

 

If anybody knows how to make the best out of it please share.

 

Edit: It uses XAudio2 + X3DAudio so no Alchemy magic (can't really find much else to make it better).


Edited by Ban13 - 3/7/13 at 2:36am
post #1397 of 3060

Just a heads-up. J&R has the X-Fi Titanium HD on sale for $109.99 if you use the code "MADNESS". Pretty great price for the best 2-channel gaming card out there.

post #1398 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

Just a heads-up. J&R has the X-Fi Titanium HD on sale for $109.99 if you use the code "MADNESS". Pretty great price for the best 2-channel gaming card out there.
Thanks for the head's up. Tomorrow is payday, hopefully I'll have more than enough to pay bills so I can treat myself.
Edit: met a new coworker, who has great gaming gear but doesn't use his X-Fi titanium, perhaps I can buy it from him. Anybody got a good suggestion on an offer to make him for his used X-Fi Titanium?
Edited by Evshrug - 3/7/13 at 10:22pm
post #1399 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

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.

 

My motherboard has DTS Ultra Pc II, how does this rank against Dolby Headphone on the Xonar U3 you listed? (this looks like my best option, my CAL cans, according to Lusty, work best with Dolby Headphone).

 

Is it worth me getting this USB stick then, over the onboard sound, you think?

 

And really importantly, do you think there's any point at all in getting the astro mixamp for PC, my motherboard has an optical out which is tested (to the 5.1 TV setup ive got) so I know that's an option. The Astro would maybe be as good if not better than the Xonar? The onboard sound has DTS Connect which I believe is what I need to output to the mixamp via optical for simulated surround?

 

Thanks for the previous reply.

 

 

Simsy


Edited by Simsy SAS - 3/7/13 at 11:01am
post #1400 of 3060
Simsy,
I assume by Lusty, you mean Mad Lust Envy?

The Astro Mixamp is frankly a little overpriced, especially if you're using it with a PC. The Mixamp uses Dolby Headphone for surround processing, so does the Xonar U3. Neither of those two have really great amps (so for challenging headphones, you would be best served with an additional discrete headphone amp anyway), though both should be sufficient with the CAL!s. With the price difference between Creative's X-Fi Go! or Asus' Xonar U3 versus the Astro Mixamp, you could probably put the savings towards a nice amp and be better-off overall. Lastly, the Mixamp requires Dolby Digital Live from an optical output, so a DTS Connect signal wouldn't work. Computers can actually detect the Mixamp as a USB sound device, but from what I read the USB isn't well implemented.

As far as "Lusty" saying the CAL!s work best with Dolby Headphone, a more accurate way to look at it is the CAL!s are better-suited for surround processing than most closed-back headphones because the CAL!s have good soundstage for closed cans, and the best processing method (Dolby Headphone, THX, SBX, CMSS-3D, etc) is the one that works best with your ears. Your ears and your brain process sound "directionality" differently, use the videos in the guide in my signature to make up your own mind about which works best – I don't (yet) have a SBX or THX TruStudio Pro sample, but you can hear Dolby Headphone and CMSS-3D.

Right now, I'm happy with my Recon3D USB processor, I like THX better than DH or CMSS-3D personally (though I recently heard a CMSS-3D sample that impressed me, and logically I think it should be better and more refined than DH), and I like that I can use the USB with my Mac/PC and the optical connection with my Xbox, though the built-in amp alone isn't sufficient for my Q701s and the DAC isn't as good as a dedicated PC Card or a high-end USB stereo DAC. Nameless has a Recon3D USB too (unless he sold it already?), which he didn't like as much as his top-end Titanium HD soundcard and Stax headphone setup (understandable) and found that the Recon3D USB doesn't natively support surround with some retro gaming titles. The Recon3D is designed closer to the market segment of the X-Fi Go! And the Xonar U3 — I wonder how it compares to those, though the Recon3D obviously adds external control buttons, Optical surround input, and part of a wireless adapter for one of Creative's other headphones besides the CAL! (Creative Aurvana Live!, the same company as makes the X-Fi and Recon3D products).
post #1401 of 3060
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simsy SAS View Post

My motherboard has DTS Ultra Pc II, how does this rank against Dolby Headphone on the Xonar U3 you listed? (this looks like my best option, my CAL cans, according to Lusty, work best with Dolby Headphone).

 

Is it worth me getting this USB stick then, over the onboard sound, you think?

 

And really importantly, do you think there's any point at all in getting the astro mixamp for PC, my motherboard has an optical out which is tested (to the 5.1 TV setup ive got) so I know that's an option. The Astro would maybe be as good if not better than the Xonar? The onboard sound has DTS Connect which I believe is what I need to output to the mixamp via optical for simulated surround?

 

Thanks for the previous reply.

 

That depends on whether or not DTS Surround Sensation happens to be one of the features; even then, I'd still have to test it to find if it's worthy of comparison to Dolby Headphone or CMSS-3D Headphone.

 

Even if it does have DTS Connect, it's useless on a Mixamp because it cannot decode DTS. For that matter, I know of only TWO headphone surround processors that can decode a DTS signal: the discontinued JVC/Victor SU-DH1, and the stupidly expensive Beyerdynamic Headzone. Everything else is generally Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic-only.

 

Besides, for the price of a Mixamp, you're better off getting something tailored to PC use.

 

Evshrug: No, I haven't found a buyer for this Recon3D USB yet. My own impressions and Mad Lust Envy's alike seem to have killed the market for it here. Your praise for THX TruStudio Surround may be what turns that around, though.

post #1402 of 3060

Atleast you have a backup incase something bad happen to your current audio device or sound card. You might be able to sell it to a local friend or ebay.

post #1403 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Evshrug: No, I haven't found a buyer for this Recon3D USB yet. My own impressions and Mad Lust Envy's alike seem to have killed the market for it here. Your praise for THX TruStudio Surround may be what turns that around, though.

I mean, I haven't heard better yet for my ears, comparing via YouTube videos and Silent Cinema on my receiver. I still think that besides that point, the Recon3D USB gets extra points for being equally viable as a source for PC or console. I've not read many others on Head-Fi that have written about it and explored it's settings in-depth; I know you played around with it a bit and have better knowledge about drivers than most, but most other posts about it are "is it good?" I've also probably spent the most time using the Recon3D USB, so beyond that decent first impression things have mostly improved over time as I tweaked settings, added tube amping, and burned in my brain to understand the direction cues better.

I'll probably keep using my Recon3D USB for Xbox 360 and probably my next console (There are no rumors that I've heard about headphone support in the next-gen consoles, just my wishes and rants on various websites), but I'm still curious by nature. Really looking forward to an OpenAL game, not sure which one to try first on my Wn8 box. I don't know if you saw, but I made a friend at Wendy's who has a Titanium (non-HD) that he doesn't use, I'm going to try and convince him to lend or sell it to me. Do you have a good idea for a price bid I could offer him?

It's certainly nice to have income again, even if my manager screwed up my direct deposit and decided to pay via those pay cards without telling me.
Edited by Evshrug - 3/10/13 at 6:59am
post #1404 of 3060
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
I mean, I haven't heard better yet for my ears, comparing via YouTube videos and Silent Cinema on my receiver. I still think that besides that point, the Recon3D USB gets extra points for being equally viable as a source for PC or console. I've not read many others on Head-Fi that have written about it and explored it's settings in-depth; I know you played around with it a bit and have better knowledge about drivers than most, but most other posts about it are "is it good?" I've also probably spent the most time using the Recon3D USB, so beyond that decent first impression things have mostly improved over time as I tweaked settings, added tube amping, and burned in my brain to understand the direction cues better.

I'll probably keep using my Recon3D USB for Xbox 360 and probably my next console (There are no rumors that I've heard about headphone support in the next-gen consoles, just my wishes and rants on various websites), but I'm still curious by nature. Really looking forward to an OpenAL game, not sure which one to try first on my Wn8 box. I don't know if you saw, but I made a friend at Wendy's who has a Titanium (non-HD) that he doesn't use, I'm going to try and convince him to lend or sell it to me. Do you have a good idea for a price bid I could offer him?

It's certainly nice to have income again, even if my manager screwed up my direct deposit and decided to pay via those pay cards without telling me.

 

I think part of it, in my case, is that I already have the SU-DH1 for the consoles and find myself rather unhindered by its lack of voice chat mixing. Then there's the X-Fi Go! for my notebooks, which has CMSS-3D Headphone in its software implementation. That leaves the Recon3D USB without much of a place in my household, unless I were to dedicate it to one of my original Xboxes.

 

For an X-Fi Titanium (non-HD), I'd start at $30. Maybe work your way up to $40 and then $50 if he refuses, but don't go beyond $50.

post #1405 of 3060
Ok I'll try that. Hopefully I'll work with him tonight. He wants me to play SW:TOR again, lol.
post #1406 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ban13 View Post

So Arma 3: Alpha is out... and I bought it. I love pretty much everything about it except for it being hardware unfriendly and really bad positioning cues. I've only played Project Reality mod for BF2 in the past 5 years. With Titanium HD and Q701 I can tell where any sound is coming from. But in Arma: 3... I can't at all. I can't tell how far/close it is, I can barely tell if it's from the front or back. It' really terrible. Plus I can't seem to find what Sound API they're using so I have no idea how to make it better (I thought about using Alchemy).

 

If anybody knows how to make the best out of it please share.

 

Edit: It uses XAudio2 + X3DAudio so no Alchemy magic (can't really find much else to make it better).

 

You could try setting System Input in your audio panel or sound settings in windows control panel, see if it made a difference for you. I'm using an Asus Xonar D1 sound card and I have serious issue discerning positional cues with just 2 channels as system input. I get best results by enabling Dolby Headphone actually,maybe CMSS-3D would also give you better experience in ArmA 3.

post #1407 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by palanoid View Post

 

You could try setting System Input in your audio panel or sound settings in windows control panel, see if it made a difference for you. I'm using an Asus Xonar D1 sound card and I have serious issue discerning positional cues with just 2 channels as system input. I get best results by enabling Dolby Headphone actually,maybe CMSS-3D would also give you better experience in ArmA 3.

 

Hey, I tried playing with settings myself. Since XAudio2 mixes everything based on your Windows setting I changed that and played around with CMSS-3D. Even though it's better with CMSS-3D it still sound absolutely horrible.

post #1408 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Ok I'll try that. Hopefully I'll work with him tonight. He wants me to play SW:TOR again, lol.
We were going to hang out after my 2nd to last day, but last minute he says his parents would be out and he has to watch his grandma. I think, actually, that somehow I made him nervous. *shrug*

I saw a GTX 570 on sale for $150, trying to decide if I want to jump on it.
post #1409 of 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

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=


Thanks, I'll give that a try now.

 

EDIT:

I tried it, there was no sound at all in the game :/


Edited by Razeredge - 3/18/13 at 11:22am
post #1410 of 3060

I'm currently thinking of building a gaming HTPC since I no longer have ready access to my gaming PC at home. My gaming PC uses an X-Fi Titanium HD > Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp > AKG K601 for surround gaming on headphones using the "What U Hear" listen hack described on the first post, and it works really well most of the time. For my HTPC, it will be connected to my TV and Hifi system via HDMI, and I expect that most of the time I'll just be using my 5.1 speakers, but I'd like to be able to get surround through some headphones as well if possible for the times when I don't want to disturb my wife.

 

Can anybody recommend any virtual surround/amp/dac solutions for a living room setup where the computer is going to be a fair distance away from the couch?

 

Would the same approach as my gaming PC be best, or is there a better way for a home theatre setup? Should I be getting my headphone output from the HTPC, the TV, or the Hifi receiver? I have a basic Yamaha 5.1 receiver, does anybody know if it is possible to get virtual surround from the headphone output on that? Is there a way I can get a headphone port/amp/dac closer to the couch through a long usb cable or something I can leave installed and out of the way (or even maybe a wireless solution) instead of running a long headphone cord across the living room and having to get up every time I want to change the volume on my amp?

 

Sorry for the barrage of questions, any suggestions are welcome.

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