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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 139

post #2071 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


Usually when you connect an external USB DAC to a computer, it bypasses the sound card (built in or add-on internal).

And I believe the Creative MB3 software depends on the on-board audio processor.

Not sure if the Creative software can still output thru a USB port.

 

An external sound card can work thru a USB port.

 

Maybe there is a forum at Creative Labs whre you can ask about the software.

In theory I believe it should work but then again I don't really know how they wrote their code. Normally the software manages the audio before the dac is ever engaged so I think the software should process it before it is ever sent through the USB.

 

I'll see what information I can get over at creative though.

post #2072 of 3714

The Creative Labs forums are notoriously bad. I've been registered there for 2 months and still can't post anything - takes ages to be allowed the permissions to post anything; and long before that you'd have given up. Maybe this is to stop all the public hate? Who knows, but truly avoid the place for any answers even if you have the patience of a saint.

post #2073 of 3714

I would contact them directly but generally find I know more than customer support does haha

post #2074 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I would assume the Yamaha Silent Cinema is a very basic Headphone Surround Sound, easier to make it work with different movie audio, Dolby, DTS, etc.
And I would assume Creative's CMSS-3D was foremost designed for gaming audio (like FPS?) and secondly for movies.
Dolby Headphone has it's roots in movie audio, I know some games have come with a "Home Theater" setting, which i guess helps when using Dolby (and maybe DTS) for gaming.
What gaming improvement Dolby might have done with it's software is not something I'm knowledgeable about.
From my best understanding, Microsoft made Dolby the default audio for the xBox (Not sure what the xBox One default audio is?) and the Astro Mix-amp originally came with Dolby (not sure if that has changed), so the Astro is really just fine for gaming consoles.
The $25 Asus Xonar DG sound card gives any Win PC just as good gaming features, as any Astro mix-amp.

Just an FYI, the "primary" or default audio for the Xbox One at-launch is DTS-HD, though Microsoft recently announced they will be adding support for Dolby Digital Live out through optical in the future. Right now, an Astro Mixamp wouldn't work with surround output from an Xbox One.

Just my opinion, DH and Yamaha's Silent Cinema are basically on-par, I prefer the various solutions from Creative (began testing a Sound Blaster Z this week).

Battlefield 3's audio settings are confusing, I think the "home theater" setting is for 5.1 channel surround, which you'd want to use with your own surround processing. I'm not totally clear about this being the best mode to use with a soundcard, though.

I thought a Creative sound card could process DDL and DTS connect if the source was inside the computer like a disc drive or media file. I enjoyed a few DVD's in surround with my Mac and Recon3D USB.
Edited by Evshrug - 11/21/13 at 10:21pm
post #2075 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breaker View Post
 

In theory I believe it should work but then again I don't really know how they wrote their code. Normally the software manages the audio before the dac is ever engaged so I think the software should process it before it is ever sent through the USB.

 

I'll see what information I can get over at creative though.

 

Haven't had to deal with the Creative folks in quite some time, but in essence what the Creative DSP would have to do is process the audio stream and either loopback or route that stream into a Creative digital passthrough to a USB output.  Not impossible, but also not normally how soundcard DSPs function.

 

You'll probably have better luck connecting your Schiit stack via SPDIF, and using the Creative DSP to generate Dolby Headphone Surround to the Creative SPDIF output.

post #2076 of 3714

@Foo - don't think the Schiits take SPDIF unfortunately as I'd have bought them by now :)

post #2077 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by FooMojo View Post

Haven't had to deal with the Creative folks in quite some time, but in essence what the Creative DSP would have to do is process the audio stream and either loopback or route that stream into a Creative digital passthrough to a USB output.  Not impossible, but also not normally how soundcard DSPs function.

You'll probably have better luck connecting your Schiit stack via SPDIF, and using the Creative DSP to generate Dolby Headphone Surround to the Creative SPDIF output.
FYI, Creative sound cards have never used Dolby Headphone, they use their own advanced processing (CMSS-3D, THX TruStudio Pro, and now SBX ProStudio).

There might be a way to use creative's What U Hear option to get surround out from USB, but I've never troubleshooted it. Also, I think the Shiit Bifrost has optical input.
post #2078 of 3714
There might be a way to use creative's What U Hear option to get surround out from USB, but I've never troubleshooted it

That would open up a whole world of possibilities......!! Do mean that it could work like Creative's 2ch Optical out to an external DAC? I can't test that Evs - hopefully you could sometime if you get the opportunity?

post #2079 of 3714
I mean, MAYBE, but the obstacle would be if the soundcard can do the processing even if it isn't selected as an output in Windows. Should only be about as difficult as using a graphics card but having the monitor plugged into your motherboard (can you do this?). Oh, and the only USB DAC I have... is a Creative Recon3D, lol.

I personally have observed more difference going headphone to headphone, less amp to amp, and hardly anything DAC to DAC so far (assuming you don't have a really crap DAC). I've always had Apple products which are pretty good, this Z is my first upgraded DAC and I've only had time to listen to it once so far, playing two levels of BF3 campaign.
post #2080 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

@Foo - don't think the Schiits take SPDIF unfortunately as I'd have bought them by now :)

 

Bifrost and Gugnir both have SPDIF inputs.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


FYI, Creative sound cards have never used Dolby Headphone, they use their own advanced processing (CMSS-3D, THX TruStudio Pro, and now SBX ProStudio).

 

It has been a VERY long time since I used a Creative product, but I do remember them supporting Dolby Digital.  A quick scan of their product line reveals that at least a few of their products continue to support Dolby Digital Live as well as DTS.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I mean, MAYBE, but the obstacle would be if the soundcard can do the processing even if it isn't selected as an output in Windows. Should only be about as difficult as using a graphics card but having the monitor plugged into your motherboard (can you do this?).

 

Yeah, good stuff EV.  Windows audio rendering can get quite complicated between the Directsound/Waveout render and the Intel HDA processing, and I do not believe that the Creative DSP will be able to process the sound data and then output the transformed data to USB unless Creative has built-in some loopback options into their sound drivers and mixers.

 

What I believe would have to happen is something like this (e.g. if you playing a game):

game > windows directsound > intel hda > creative dsp > windows directsound > intel hda > usb output

post #2081 of 3714

Well I'll keep searching to see if maybe someone has tried it. That's another thing I liked about the Razer Surround software, it drops a dummy playback device on your system.


If anything, maybe when I get the schiit stack I may just pay the $30 for the suite to give it a try. If I do I'll report back and let you guys know how it went.

post #2082 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by FooMojo View Post
 

 

It has been a VERY long time since I used a Creative product, but I do remember them supporting Dolby Digital.  A quick scan of their product line reveals that at least a few of their products continue to support Dolby Digital Live as well as DTS.

 

 

Yeah, good stuff EV.  Windows audio rendering can get quite complicated between the Directsound/Waveout render and the Intel HDA processing, and I do not believe that the Creative DSP will be able to process the sound data and then output the transformed data to USB unless Creative has built-in some loopback options into their sound drivers and mixers.

 

What I believe would have to happen is something like this (e.g. if you playing a game):

game > windows directsound > intel hda > creative dsp > windows directsound > intel hda > usb output

 

Creative uses some dolby codecs but it doesn't use dolby headphone. They utilize SBX instead.

The thing that throws me about the SB X-Fi software suite is that it doesn't have to be processed through a dedicated dsp like with sound cards. Normally, the problem with usb audio devices is that you are only able to use one playback device so if your effects are run by the onboard dsp, it is bypassed because the usb is selected as your playback device.

With the software, it essentially isn't tied to a playback device. In my reasoning at least, it seems like it may be able to process the signal before it is passed through the usb interface.

post #2083 of 3714
Evshrug View Post
I personally have observed more difference going headphone to headphone, less amp to amp, and hardly anything DAC to DAC so far (assuming you don't have a really crap DAC).

The DAC isn't meant to 'sound' different as you say, however I was under the impression that superior DAC's extracted more detail out of recordings. I mean, why bother if a HiFiMediy Sabre DAC can do the job at $40 compared to a Burson DAC? Also the better you go, the better the soundstage, imaging and overall presentation of the music. They may well 'sound' the same but you get more of the crime scene sonically with a good DAC surely?

 

DAC's are now universally 'good' these days, but really good dacs will help really good headphones.

 

So many words trying to describe music - using words...:smile: 

post #2084 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

The DAC isn't meant to 'sound' different as you say, however I was under the impression that superior DAC's extracted more detail out of recordings. I mean, why bother if a HiFiMediy Sabre DAC can do the job at $40 compared to a Burson DAC? Also the better you go, the better the soundstage, imaging and overall presentation of the music. They may well 'sound' the same but you get more of the crime scene sonically with a good DAC surely?

 

DAC's are now universally 'good' these days, but really good dacs will help really good headphones.

 

So many words trying to describe music - using words...:smile: 

 

Wow...  you are really hitting some key notes SaLX :-)

 

I didn't give much thought to an external DAC/amp until I heard my friend's Schitt Bifrost/Lyr combo coming out of his PC...  this is mostly for HD music while he renders graphics images, but regardless of application, the clarity and depth of soundstage are fantastic.  After listening to his setup, I immediately placed my own order for this Schitt stack.  The detail, width of presentation,

and clarity of bass/mids/highs is in a word amazing.  I also placed an order for a Sennheiser HD650 to enhance my Westone 4R IEMs, and AKG K702 Anni.

 

There really are no words to properly describe the feeling of hearing my new Schiit stack with my new HD650 headphones.  Let's just say that this combination has opened a whole new world into the PC HD audio realm for me, and I will never look back.

post #2085 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by FooMojo View Post

It has been a VERY long time since I used a Creative product, but I do remember them supporting Dolby Digital.  A quick scan of their product line reveals that at least a few of their products continue to support Dolby Digital Live as well as DTS.
They do support Dolby Digital Live (and DTS connect)... for outputting a multi-channel mix through Optical to a home theater receiver or something. Creative has almost always had their own headphone surround processing developed in-house (or purchased, but not licensing Dolby Headphone specifically)

Yeah, good stuff EV.  Windows audio rendering can get quite complicated between the Directsound/Waveout render and the Intel HDA processing, and I do not believe that the Creative DSP will be able to process the sound data and then output the transformed data to USB unless Creative has built-in some loopback options into their sound drivers and mixers.
Yeah, I don't know for sure. However, the "What U Hear" option is specifically there to allow a computer to "observe" the pre-DAC processed audio, and I believe it is this option that people have used to create FRAPS recordings with the surround effect baked-in. I believe the people who make these recordings already know the answer SaLX is looking for [these are not the droids you are looking for, but credits will do fine]

What I believe would have to happen is something like this (e.g. if you are playing a game):
game > windows directsound > intel hda > creative dsp > windows directsound > intel hda > usb output

Thank you for your responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post

The DAC isn't meant to 'sound' different as you say, however I was under the impression that superior DAC's extracted more detail out of recordings. I mean, why bother if a HiFiMediy Sabre DAC can do the job at $40 compared to a Burson DAC? Also the better you go, the better the soundstage, imaging and overall presentation of the music. They may well 'sound' the same but you get more of the crime scene sonically with a good DAC surely?

DAC's are now universally 'good' these days, but really good dacs will help really good headphones.

So many words trying to describe music - using words...smile.gif  
Would you like to try singing to me?
But seriously... I specifically said "observed a difference," I believe that there ought to be a benefit (want a big one, Daddy! biggrin.gif ), but it wasn't immediately obvious to me when playing BF3 (which has good audio clip samples, but it's kinda hectic and making-me-an-old-man loud). I reserve the right to change opinions as I learn wink.gif
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