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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 135

post #2011 of 3067

 

PC True Audio, PS4 True Audio, Xbone's SHAPE similarly to use. Talk about REAL hardware accelerated audio explosion. The future can only be bright.

 

http://www.maximumpc.com/everything_you_wanted_know_about_amd%E2%80%99s_new_trueaudio_technology_2013

 

What is True Audio?

 
Quote:
In a nutshell, TrueAudio is a return to the concept of hardware accelerated audio processing, with AMD leveraging their position to put the necessary hardware on the GPU. Hardware accelerated audio processing in the PC space essentially died with Windows Vista, which moved most of the Windows audio stack into software. Previously the stack was significantly implemented through drivers and as such various elements could be offloaded onto the sound card itself, which in the case of 3D audio meant having the audio card process and transform DirectSound 3D calls as it saw fit. However with Vista hardware processing and hardware access to those APIs was stripped, and combined with a general “good enough” mindset of software audio + Realtek audio codecs, the matter was essentially given up on.

Now even with the loss of traditional hardware acceleration due to Vista, you can still do advanced 3D audio and other effects in software by having the game engine itself do the work. However this is generally not something that’s done, as game developers are hesitant to allocate valuable CPU time to audio and other effects that are difficult to demonstrate and sell. Further complicating this is of course the current generation consoles, which dedicate a relatively small portion of what are already pretty limited resources to audio processing. As a result the baseline for audio is at times an 8 year old console, or at best a conservative fraction of one CPU core.

 

 
Quote:
 MPC: You guys are using GenAudio and McDSP. GenAudio’s says AstoundSound modeling is based on how the brain reacts to sound rather than the older model of putting microphones into head dummies to create the algorithms. GenAudio calls it HRBF. How is HRBF an improvement on Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs)?

AMD: [...] GenAudio’s BRTF is based on the way the brain actually interprets audio, as analyzed through EEG-fMRI and MEG data. Traditional HRTFs assume, as you implied, that your head is the same size and shape as the dummy head used to create the psychoacoustic model. But the critical failing of an HRTF is that nobody’s head is the same size or shape as the binaural dummy head, so you have to go deeper. Right into the brain. Learn how the brain itself receives and processes a 3D soundfield, and then you work back from there to create the algorithms that work on that level. The GenAudio team has done that, and I’ve not met one person who hasn’t been blown away by the quality of their methods as demonstrated in Lichdom.
 

Edited by Fegefeuer - 11/13/13 at 9:46am
post #2012 of 3067
I wonder if that means true binaural sound for gaming now?
post #2013 of 3067

Yes. In general it means much more complex algorithms, filters per voice/stream and true binaural audio. 

 

As always the end result is also in the hands of the designer of course.

post #2014 of 3067

So - how's this going to be work? A graphics card withToslink or just HDMI as the have now (a line out even !??). More than likely you'll need an external DAC - but I can't think of any DAC's with HDMI in unless it's an AV receiver. Bit confused as how they'll implement this.

 

Edit* - ah.. you can keep your soundcard or usb headset whatever-- this does all the work before the data is sent to them.. much like windows does (like if you're not using foobar)

 

Quote:

MPC: So a person could keep their existing discrete X-Fi/Xonar/Recon for the superior DACs/ADC, and switch off their effects to use TrueAudio but then switch them back for games that use OpenAL or don’t support TrueAudio?

 

AMD: That’s 100 percent correct. We designed AMD TrueAudio in the manner that we did precisely because we know users have great audio hardware with high-quality OPAMPS that they don’t want or need to forfeit. Whatever audio device(s) a user has right now, that hardware is ready to go with AMD TrueAudio.


Edited by SaLX - 11/13/13 at 10:02am
post #2015 of 3067

It works like it worked in all these years.

 

The audio I/O of your computer's RAM sends data to either a codec like Azalia or any other playback device type like the USB of your DAC. 

post #2016 of 3067
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

 


"But the critical failing of an HRTF is that nobody’s head is the same size or shape as the binaural dummy head, so you have to go deeper. Right into the brain. Learn how the brain itself receives and processes a 3D soundfield, and then you work back from there to create the algorithms that work on that level. "

 

 

Hmm....

 

 

post #2017 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post
 

 

You've got it all wrong; not that I'm surprised, because Creative does make it VERY confusing!

 

-Set your default audio device to "Speakers". NEVER use any form of SPDIF Out as a default audio device. I've never had audio output from any audio device that way, unless it was a DVD movie with a Dolby Digital/DTS track bitstreamed through the S/PDIF port.

 

-You're set to "2/2.1 Speakers" in the X-Fi control panel, NOT "Headphones". You have to change that to get the proper CMSS-3D version and to keep Windows from setting your speaker output back to stereo instead of 5.1/7.1.

 

-"Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" should be enabled if using the S/PDIF output. What this does is take the audio it's outputting over analog, through the "Speakers" playback device, and pipes it out over S/PDIF automatically without fuss, complete with CMSS-3D Headphone if enabled. I've tested it myself; analog and digital outputs with it enabled are pretty much identical.

Who the hell let Creative have the best hardware!

All the necessary settings should be on the same page and not spread over a variety of settings pages that are sometimes obscure and don'e carry the same UI style. Ridiculous!

 

Any way it is working now as you said NamelessPFG, thanks again!

post #2018 of 3067
guys, i noticed something happening on 2 different computers now. maybe one of you has some insight into it.

Both me and my gf have Xonar DSX soundcards. Whenever we use an HDMI monitor (when we go to the basement to game on the TV, for example), the soundcard entirely fails to output via optical. It completely refuses to.

On my own PC, it seems to go away if I disable HDMI audio output. On hers, it seems to never allow audio output as long as HDMI is plugged in, regardless of what her video driver is set to for HDMI audio (enabled or disabled). In the basement, Ideally I'd like to just connect via an optical cable and use DTS-connect to mix 5.1 PCM -> DTS and send it to the Z5500 system we have there, but ive been just using analog.

For my own PC it doesnt matter anymore as I use HDMI for everything. VLC doesnt want to bitstream DTS and DD to my receiver over HDMI, and while I'd love for the receiver to be the decoder, I'm ok with the receiver not doing anything except decoding PCM. It hasnt been a problem, but it is definitely annoying.
post #2019 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

Both me and my gf have Xonar DSX soundcards. Whenever we use an HDMI monitor (when we go to the basement to game on the TV, for example), the sound card entirely fails to output via optical. It completely refuses to.

On my own PC, it seems to go away if I disable HDMI audio output. On hers, it seems to never allow audio output as long as HDMI is plugged in, regardless of what her video driver is set to for HDMI audio (enabled or disabled). In the basement, Ideally I'd like to just connect via an optical cable and use DTS-connect to mix 5.1 PCM -> DTS and send it to the Z5500 system we have there, but ive been just using analog.

For my own PC it doesnt matter anymore as I use HDMI for everything. VLC doesnt want to bitstream DTS and DD to my receiver over HDMI, and while I'd love for the receiver to be the decoder, I'm ok with the receiver not doing anything except decoding PCM. It hasnt been a problem, but it is definitely annoying.

First problem, might have to change the audio output in the playback tab, Control Panel > Sound > Playback tab.

 

Not sure on second problem, but I would think you would have better audio quality if you used a Xonar DX or D1 sound card and sent analog to the Z5500

 

Third problem, I would would think it's better to send PCM (uncompressed) audio thru HDMI,

Why have VLC compress your audio into bitstream before sending the audio thru HDMI?

post #2020 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

First problem, might have to change the audio output in the playback tab, Control Panel > Sound > Playback tab.

Not sure on second problem, but I would think you would have better audio quality if you used a Xonar DX or D1 sound card and sent analog to the Z5500

Third problem, I would would think it's better to send PCM (uncompressed) audio thru HDMI,
Why have VLC compress your audio into bitstream before sending the audio thru HDMI?

For the playback devices thing, trust me, i tried everything. The act of using HDMI seems to entirely disable optical output from the sound card, although analog still works fine. And yes, i've gone through both xonar audio panel and playback devices (the regular sound icon) to make sure the correct output devices were selected. As I said, even on my own PC, if HDMI audio is enabled on my (newer) GPU, the playback through optical just stops, even though windows is registering that things are happening.

I think the Xonar DSX is expecting the audio stream to be coming from some sort of header from the GPU, as I do have an HDMI input header on the card, and I have no clue what to plug into it, as my GPU doesnt seem to have anything relevant.

For the second thing, the DSX and the DS are, i think, exactly the same card but different interfaces. I only dont like doing analog because while my analog output is undoubtedly better than the Z5500's dac is, the cables the Z5500 came with are rather fat and I have no desire to buy more 3.5mm cables just to do this. The cables we have are just fine for the other 99% usage we get out of it, which is connecting to RCA splitters and then to blu-ray (BDP 83). So basically BDP83 is normally the one that does analog input to z5500, but for gaming i just swap the connectors for now. The connectors currently tweak the heck out of the jacks though, because of how fat all of them are. I'll probably just go with a knife or file and shave them down on the sides or something.

Third problem, maybe bitstream is the wrong word. What I mean is, if i have FLAC or AAC or something, VLC should obviously decode because receiver cant. But if its DTS-HD or DTS or DD or some other format that my receiver CAN decode, I'd rather send that full on datastream directly to the receiver. I believe right now it is impossible with VLC to do HDMI pass-through, though I think with commercial applications you can do it. I know XBMC can do it, but I dont want to start up XBMC every time just to watch a quick video while eating.
post #2021 of 3067
I finally bought a soundcard! Creative's SB-Z! $65 on Amazon shipped (and at newegg... but they've been unreliable lately).
I'm also optimistic about the stereo mic, I hope that it might be a nice alternative to a lapel mic while at my PC desk.
The possible hiccup from uninstalling my current Recon3D and Realtek drivers is not something I'm looking forward to... I haven't even been able to figure out how to fresh install my (upgrade version DVD) Windows on a newer, better harddrive or SSD yet. Easier to set up a freaking hackintosh grumble grumble grumble...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post




PC True Audio, PS4 True Audio, Xbone's SHAPE similarly to use. Talk about REAL hardware accelerated audio explosion. The future can only be bright.
http://www.maximumpc.com/everything_you_wanted_know_about_amd%E2%80%99s_new_trueaudio_technology_2013

What is True Audio?

whaaaAAAT? Woooo who! That's awesome, AWESOME news (because it means I predicted right, tho nobody was "wrong"), I was already looking forward to PS4 when it became available but this seals the deal. Of course, on PC, this may render my soundcard purchase just now moot... Ah well. Life. I'd rather have this development and more gaming studios have tools to take advantage of (hopefully 3D) sound processing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Hmm....




Lol I instantly thought of this too... The meme lives!
Edited by Evshrug - 11/13/13 at 2:53pm
post #2022 of 3067
Quote:

MPC: So a person could keep their existing discrete X-Fi/Xonar/Recon for the superior DACs/ADC, and switch off their effects to use TrueAudio but then switch them back for games that use OpenAL or don’t support TrueAudio?

 

AMD: That’s 100 percent correct. We designed AMD TrueAudio in the manner that we did precisely because we know users have great audio hardware with high-quality OPAMPS that they don’t want or need to forfeit. Whatever audio device(s) a user has right now, that hardware is ready to go with AMD TrueAudio.

How will we be able to control the audio using our soundcard's software suites for surround?  Do we switch DH or SBZ off, or will TrueAudio work seamlessly between them? What if AMD and Creative/Asus don't reach a deal and refuse to integrate their tech with AMD's? There's always an army of suits circling tech advancements like this

 

The above question mentions OpenAL - but it isn't used nowadays = so what?. There's never a lawyer around to answer questions like this :)

post #2023 of 3067
If I'm reading the article right, you would switch off SBX or DH. Circumvents the need to license these other DSPs (new method of processing too, so no patent legalities). You just buy the graphics card with the TrueAudio hardware in it, the 3D audio is processed before it even reaches a sound card (or onboard audio) just like graphics, and the sound card would basically be just a DAC/Amp.

It would work like OpenAL used to... the only question, of course, will game developers take advantage of the processing? That was part of the problem with OpenAL, but the other part was Creative took control of OpenAL and game developers had to design with the "lowest common denominator" in mind (how many PC gamers would have a Creative card?). TrueAudio will have a pretty major leg-up in this regard, since it will be STANDARD HARDWARE in a game console (which, poor me, has had all pre-order supply exhausted for the past 6 months).
Edited by Evshrug - 11/13/13 at 3:45pm
post #2024 of 3067

Eve - you sure it'll be just like OpenAL in it's implementation? Also AMD will strike a deal with either Creative or Asus, not both.

 

Goodbye Dolby etc as we switch off surround in our software suites. Where then do we actually control the Trueaudio DSP's functions -  ie the % of surround, elevation etc - surely there will be an AMD control panel to do this; even a tab in AMD's own video control panel? Using the SBZ for instance you'd lose the crystalizer, bass boost and smart volume as they are part of SBZ pro right now as we speak.

 

Also the audio processors of our STX's, DX's, X-Fi's and SBZ's etc (all of which offload to our CPU's now - even the X-FI) will all go to waste. But just imagine if future AMD video cards came out with a DAC in them with an amplified headphone jack? There's plenty space and horsepower inside modern graphics cards (and a lot of heat...). Could they completely replace soundcards? Just speculating, and I know it's a fair bit off for PC's.

 

Don't get me wrong, this is an exciting development and is a good thing for us.

post #2025 of 3067
It's Ev... Eve would be a girl, though I'd always wanted to meet an Eve.
No deal needs to be struck with either Creative or Asus, or Dolby, because it doesn't make use of their products. If you read the full article, TrueAudio does it's processing before sound libraries (such as FMOD or Wwise) are applied, before a 5.1 mix that SBX Pro or Dolby Headphone would remix down to stereo. Basically, you're getting real-time positional processing instead of a 5.1 mix. In that way, it's like OpenAL, in other ways though I am not an expert in the field (this is just what I understand from the article).

I hadn't thought about adjustable surround, and the extra features like "Crystalizer" that I generally found degraded the surround effect (plus made highs harsher for me). The ones I DID like were equalizer effects (bass and dialogue boosts), I think we could still use a standard EQ for that (mostly), but I could understand why others might miss them. From what I read though, the TrueAudio supposedly works well regardless of ear shape, so supposedly it should sound natural with no need for adjusting %. Also a step forward in rear cue presentation.

I wouldn't mind if videocards had built-in headphone jacks, but I'd be just as happy plugging in USB or Optical DACs (or using a soundcard for it's traditional purpose, as a DAC). I think it ought to be possible to pipe TrueAudio out through HDMI, as well. I would LOVE if the PS4 had a dedicated headphone jack (I haven't seen this level of specification details yet), but I doubt it's there frown.gif

I have no idea how well TrueAudio will deliver on it's promises, but somewhat I don't mind hyping it so companies know there is a demand!
Edited by Evshrug - 11/13/13 at 5:23pm
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