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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 34

post #496 of 3278
Quote:
What can I do to get that beautiful sound in the video on Mad Lust Envy's thread?.....holy crap when they went from 1:08 to the rest... I knew I was missing out.

I'm not familiar with some parts of your setup. Is there anything in the chain that produces headphone surround?

post #497 of 3278

Just tried some things, the only way my computer will output or allow DTS to be enabled is if the default device is the regular 3.5mm main jack out(speakers) or through HDMI into a compatible receiver....meaning my only option is to use my 3.5mm to RCA cable and connect it to the O2 and give it a demo that way....................

post #498 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Just tried some things, the only way my computer will output or allow DTS to be enabled is if the default device is the regular 3.5mm main jack out(speakers) or through HDMI into a compatible receiver....meaning my only option is to use my 3.5mm to RCA cable and connect it to the O2 and give it a demo that way....................

Your 5.1 optical output is DDL (Dolby Digital live), not DTS Digital Live.

I'm "guessing" that's the problem.

post #499 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Your 5.1 optical output is DDL (Dolby Digital live), not DTS Digital Live.

I'm "guessing" that's the problem.

Frankly my audio codec barely gives me any option on choosing to select what etc etc. But it doesn't matter. I just tried it the way I said above ......the positioning is nice but overal what my codec is able to do...sucks

post #500 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

The way S/PDIF output on X-Fi cards work is kind of weird. It's largely independent of the Windows speaker setting; instead, what you do is check "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" in the control panel, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Finally got my X-fi Titanium (SB0880) after 2.5 weeks.. USPS to Canada takes forever.  I tried this and it only works in "Audio Creation Mode", in which there is no CMSS3D.
Only tried it for a bit but CMSS3D sounds pretty much the same as X-fi MB2... perhaps a little more seamless between the different directions, but it might just be in my head.
Latency is the same as X-Fi MB which surprised me, around 40ms.

Edit: The "What U Hear" trick works. 100ms on the x-fi vs 140ms on the Realtek. Also tried the "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" option in Audio creation mode and it does infact have 0 latency... just no way to use it with CMSS3D that I can figure out.


Edited by ultron - 7/5/12 at 4:24pm
post #501 of 3278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultron View Post

Finally got my X-fi Titanium (SB0880) after 2.5 weeks.. USPS to Canada takes forever.  I tried this and it only works in "Audio Creation Mode", in which there is no CMSS3D.
Only tried it for a bit but CMSS3D sounds pretty much the same as X-fi MB2... perhaps a little more seamless between the different directions, but it might just be in my head.
Latency is the same as X-Fi MB which surprised me, around 40ms.

Edit: The "What U Hear" trick works. 100ms on the x-fi vs 140ms on the Realtek. Also tried the "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" option in Audio creation mode and it does infact have 0 latency... just no way to use it with CMSS3D that I can figure out.

 

That's strange. S/PDIF output should work fine in Game Mode. Probably Entertainment Mode too, but I never use that mode.

 

Do you still have working analog output from the card in Game Mode?

post #502 of 3278

Yeah, card seems fine otherwise.
Finding so many conflicting answers on whether or not this is supposed to work when googling around.
 

I'm getting the feeling it only works on CA20K2 based cards, ie: Titanium HD and Auzentech Forte.


Edited by ultron - 7/6/12 at 1:34pm
post #503 of 3278

What is the best binaural audio technology? If this is subjective, what is commonly considered the best? 

 

I see a lot of recommendations for the Titanium HD soundcard, but this does not have Dolby Headphone (or does it?) which is raved about, yet the card is raved about? What is with the HT Omega soundcards? It seems they boast DH and a nice amplifier. Are they not ideal for gaming, or  are they very new? I don't understand how to choose.

post #504 of 3278

There's some CMSS3D / Dolby Headphone encoded comparisons on youtube... listen for yourself.
Here's one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ApNLMmeAs
I found a thread with recordings comparing the two in many games but can't find the link now.

 

Found it: http://forum.ixbt.com/topic.cgi?id=12:52795


Edited by ultron - 7/6/12 at 2:25pm
post #505 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

What is the best binaural audio technology? If this is subjective, what is commonly considered the best? 

 

I see a lot of recommendations for the Titanium HD sound card, but this does not have Dolby Headphone (or does it?) which is raved about, yet the card is raved about? What is with the HT Omega sound cards? It seems they boast DH and a nice amplifier. Are they not ideal for gaming, or  are they very new? I don't understand how to choose.

There are two main audio processing chips used in "Name Brand" add-on sound cards.

Creative Labs, with CMSS-3D

C-Media, with Dolby Headphone

 

Pick your poison.

post #506 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultron View Post

Yeah, card seems fine otherwise.
Finding so many conflicting answers on whether or not this is supposed to work when googling around.
 

I'm getting the feeling it only works on CA20K2 based cards, ie: Titanium HD and Auzentech Forte.

 

Hi - I have a Titanium X-Fi PCI Express (not the HD) - assume it's same you have?  I only bought it for gaming dsps - for my music I just go straight to my external DAC.  Anyway - just to reassure you - mine is working fine.  My set-up is:

 

PC with Win7 (onboard audio disabled), X-Fi > spdif (optical) to NFB-12 > either headphones direct, or RCAs to LD MKIV and then to headphones.

 

With Foobar - music, I set default device to SPDIF OUT (Creative SB X-Fi) & I bypass all the dsps and go straight to the NFB-12.

 

With gaming, I set default device to "Speakers" (Creative SB X-Fi), but on the Recoding tab I have "What You Hear" set-up - listen to this device checkbox ticked, playback device SPDIF Out (Creative SB X-Fi) selected.  It is working 100% - full surround with CMSS-3D (7 speaker emulation).

 

I did notice when I first set-it up (crummy Creative drivers) that sound stopped working altogether after I made the changes.  All I did was quickly disable and re-enable the device, then everything worked.  You could also try rebooting after you've made the changes.

 

Just remember after making the changes - you need to configure the "Speakers" output to desired number of speakers etc - and also make sure (Properties/Sound Blaster) that CMSS-3D is turned on.

 

Hope this helps.  Took me a while to get it figured out at first - but seems to work really well.

post #507 of 3278

Hi Brooko, thanks for the post. I did try that trick and it does work as expected. My issue is the latency with Stereo Mix is too high and it drives me nuts. I'd take less-than-optimal SQ over 100ms+ added latency any day when it comes to anything fast paced or for rhythm games.

I take it you were unsuccessful at getting the "Play stereo mix using digital output" to work in game/entertainment mode too?

I'm not sure which card to get now. Looking at the Xonar DGX at $40. Wish I had more PCI slots for the cheaper cards. mATX motherboard.. never again.


 

post #508 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultron View Post

Hi Brooko, thanks for the post. I did try that trick and it does work as expected. My issue is the latency with Stereo Mix is too high and it drives me nuts. I'd take less-than-optimal SQ over 100ms+ added latency any day when it comes to anything fast paced or for rhythm games.

I take it you were unsuccessful at getting the "Play stereo mix using digital output" to work in game/entertainment mode too?

I'm not sure which card to get now. Looking at the Xonar DGX at $40. Wish I had more PCI slots for the cheaper cards. mATX motherboard.. never again.


 

 

Yep stereo mix via digital a no-go, but as I don't use it, there's no issue for me anyway.  I haven't noticed any latency - but a lot of my games are older FPS - and I've found the implementation of CMSS-3D + the Alchemy implementation works quite nicely on some of my older software.

 

Wish you luck with your search.

post #509 of 3278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultron View Post

Yeah, card seems fine otherwise.
Finding so many conflicting answers on whether or not this is supposed to work when googling around.
 

I'm getting the feeling it only works on CA20K2 based cards, ie: Titanium HD and Auzentech Forte.

 

I still have my CA20k1 (PCI)-based X-Fi Prelude, although it currently resides in my XP-based desktop. (I actually bought newer sound cards solely so that I could move the Prelude to the older computer and not lose full X-Fi functionality on my primary Win7-based desktop.) Time to do some testing whenever I've got free time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

What is the best binaural audio technology? If this is subjective, what is commonly considered the best?

 

I see a lot of recommendations for the Titanium HD soundcard, but this does not have Dolby Headphone (or does it?) which is raved about, yet the card is raved about? What is with the HT Omega soundcards? It seems they boast DH and a nice amplifier. Are they not ideal for gaming, or are they very new? I don't understand how to choose.

 

X-Fi cards use CMSS-3D Headphone instead. Works on par with Dolby Headphone for software audio games (XAudio2, FMOD Ex), since it's just getting virtual 7.1. The only thing is that they have opposite sound signature colorations: DH favors bass, CMSS-3D favors treble. Fortunately, that's why the EQ is there.

 

Throw a DirectSound3D or OpenAL game at it, though, and it's no contest. Proper 3D binaural sound beats virtual 7.1 any day, and Dolby Headphone isn't made to use the extra 3DPA information it could get with those APIs. Playing Unreal Tournament or Battlefield 1942/Vietnam/2/2142 with it is like having an aural wallhack.

 

They both still suffer from having a generic/average HRTF when people have unique HRTFs, though. Rapture3D mitigates it by providing six different HRTFs, but it only works with OpenAL games with no DirectSound3D wrapper. The Smyth Realiser gets around it by using earbud microphones and playing calibration tones through a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system, but then you need access to a good speaker system to make that recording with, and it's still only virtual 7.1, not true 3D binaural audio.

 

So why does Dolby Headphone get all the hype? I chalk it up to Mad Lust Envy's big thread, and since he's a console-only gamer, he doesn't have CMSS-3D Headphone as a choice anyway (given that it's only relevant to PC gaming). Of course, DH earned that hype by being good at what it does, and I do like it a lot for my console games, but for PC gaming, I just prefer CMSS-3D hands down.

post #510 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

X-Fi cards use CMSS-3D Headphone instead. Works on par with Dolby Headphone for software audio games (XAudio2, FMOD Ex), since it's just getting virtual 7.1. The only thing is that they have opposite sound signature colorations: DH favors bass, CMSS-3D favors treble. Fortunately, that's why the EQ is there.

 

Throw a DirectSound3D or OpenAL game at it, though, and it's no contest. Proper 3D binaural sound beats virtual 7.1 any day, and Dolby Headphone isn't made to use the extra 3DPA information it could get with those APIs. Playing Unreal Tournament or Battlefield 1942/Vietnam/2/2142 with it is like having an aural wallhack.

 

They both still suffer from having a generic/average HRTF when people have unique HRTFs, though. Rapture3D mitigates it by providing six different HRTFs, but it only works with OpenAL games with no DirectSound3D wrapper. The Smyth Realiser gets around it by using earbud microphones and playing calibration tones through a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system, but then you need access to a good speaker system to make that recording with, and it's still only virtual 7.1, not true 3D binaural audio.

 

So why does Dolby Headphone get all the hype? I chalk it up to Mad Lust Envy's big thread, and since he's a console-only gamer, he doesn't have CMSS-3D Headphone as a choice anyway (given that it's only relevant to PC gaming). Of course, DH earned that hype by being good at what it does, and I do like it a lot for my console games, but for PC gaming, I just prefer CMSS-3D hands down.

I appreciate you sharing your wealth of knowledge on the subject matter. I value your opinion. I've got a few questions that I've developed based on my needs and from reading the forums. I will be building a gaming computer in the late Fall/Winter and am very dedicated to building it right. 

 

My favorite games are from The Elder Scroll's series and the Fallout series, which I believe I've read (from you) that they use something called DirectSound3D which offers great benefit with the CMSS-3D technology. How so?

 

I posted this on MLE's thread about my gaming desires. 

Quote:

I've decided the best scenario that depicts the experience I am desiring is of that demonstrated by sitting in a bar in Fallout 3 (Moriarty's Saloon if you know it) and being able to hear the radio with its old time tunes and static interference (ever so often smacked by Gob when experience more than normal static) with customers and workers alike walking around and participating in drab conversation. I desire to know the location of the radio and people within the room and to hear it as though I were there in those dark times and not as though I am experiencing this situation through a pair of headphones. This may sound like an obvious desire, but it excites me to paint this picture. I want to hear the depth of the Sheriffs voice and feel the impact of grenades and mini-nukes in VATS as raider and mutants scream for their lives in slow motion. I want to roam the wastleland with the Pip Boy's radio dialed into GNR and Three Dog's crazy support to "fighting the good fight". I play other games, but if a headphone fits this bill, it will serve just fine in all likely scenarios I am to experience. 

So you can see that directional queues are important, but that I am not competitive. I will enjoy the quality of sound quite a bit as much as directional queues. I come from an analytical music background with speakers. Tonality and natural presentation is important!


It seems there are a notable amount of complaints due to drivers and other unique errors for the CMSS-3D sound cards? Do you see this as an issue, or are there an overwhelming number of people who just don't know what they are doing with the hardware and software?

 

I plan to use both headphones and speakers for gaming. I am starting with stereo speakers but will very likely progress to a surround sound system of great caliber. What is the ideal technology to use per situation (headphone, stereo speakers, and surround sound speakers)? I get the feeling that once surround sound speakers are in the equation, the sound card's DAC is the only thing that is valuable (if it is any good). Would it be ideal to just send the audio along a digital output to an AV processor of some sort? Also, do stereo speakers benefit from the sound card's technologies, or would those be treated the same as surround sound with an AV processor?

 

Do you know how these cards and technologies will hold up with Windows 8? When I build the computer, I will very likely be getting Windows 8 for free and would like to use it. Would I find compatibility issues? It sounds like CMSS-3D has its challenges with drivers and I want to know if I will find support for Windows 8.

 

Based on my needs, do you have any specific recommendations for sound cards? I am willing to throw down some money to grab the better unit if I'm am convinced I will benefit from the additional something. On newegg, I see Asus, Creative, and HT Omega sound cards (very highly rated, but not discussed in these forums). Why is it HT Omega has such great reviews?


I am very curious as to the quality of the headphone amplifiers built into the sound cards as well. I was told that the cards with CMSS-3D don't have the best of amplifiers. Is this correct? Are there any known work arounds with external amplifiers or other devices? I have considered starting with a set of Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO (250 ohm) headphones. I don't want to have to question whether I am driving them well enough.

 

I really think I laid everything that I can think of out in these questions. I know it is a lot. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Edited by crzycuyler - 7/7/12 at 8:29am
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