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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 53

post #781 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

As HDMI can pass 8-channels (7.1) of PCM (uncompressed) audio, there is no real reason for using audio compression (DDL) with HDMI.

Not even sure if your TVs can output 5.1 compressed audio, the TV might only output 2-channel PCM thru the optical output.

Just get an Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card for your computer, the DG(X) will output Dolby Headphone surround sound, to headphones, just like the Mix-amp.

So no need to output audio from the TV or have to use the Mix-amp.

Just switch the audio output (Windows control panel>Sound>Playback) from the Xonar DG(X) to the HMDI out when you want to send audio to the TV, from the computer.

I'm using a gaming mini ITX built, with no room for a dedicated sound card. The onboard sound is Realtek ALC898, which Asus says it supports DTS Connect, but no mention of DDL. On the other hand, the Realtek specs for ALC898 says it supports both formats, DTSc and DDL, but it depends on the mobo maker to implement it (i.e. pay for licenses).

 

And besides, i also have a console, and something like Mixamp would help me use Dolby Headphone for it too. Most probably i won't get the Mixamp, and go for something like the Audio Technica DWL3300 system and use my own headphones. But i still need DDL & DTSc on the source, in order to work correctly. 

 

About the TV, do you mean the TV should have DDL encoding for the optical output?

post #782 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Ghost View Post

I'm using a gaming mini ITX built, with no room for a dedicated sound card. The onboard sound is Realtek ALC898, which Asus says it supports DTS Connect, but no mention of DDL. On the other hand, the Realtek specs for ALC898 says it supports both formats, DTSc and DDL, but it depends on the mobo maker to implement it (i.e. pay for licenses).

 

And besides, i also have a console, and something like Mixamp would help me use Dolby Headphone for it too. Most probably i won't get the Mixamp, and go for something like the Audio Technica DWL3300 system and use my own headphones. But i still need DDL & DTSc on the source, in order to work correctly. 

 

About the TV, do you mean the TV should have DDL encoding for the optical output?

It's not something I've looked into, but I would be surprised if the TV came with DDL for the optical output.

It's might be able to have DDL pass thru the TV, optical in optical out, but the TV itself would not be able to compress audio (DDL) on it's own.

post #783 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Boards of that era NOT having ISA slots honestly doesn't surprise me. Intel started phasing them out with their i8**-series Pentium III chipsets that succeeded their 440BX chipset from the Pentium II days, and the only Pentium III-compatible boards with ISA slots are all based on VIA chipsets.

Chances are NVIDIA never supported ISA with their nForce2 chipset, which is what the A7N8X-E and most other top-of-the-line Socket A boards use.

My impression of Pentium 4/NetBurst is that it performs WORSE clock-for-clock than a typical Pentium III, but that could have just been the earliest Willamette CPUs. Maybe Northwood started to improve things, while Prescott just heated up the place. Only thing is, if it's hard enough to find Pentium III boards with ISA slots, where am I going to find a P4 board with them, especially given that the P4 line had a lot of socket changes? And on top of that, would these P4 chipsets with ISA slots play nicely with Windows 98 SE in the first place?
Man, if only you had been talking about this last week... I just dropped off our Win98 era desktop off at Best Buy for recycling. I think it had a Pentium III as well, I would've been happy to open it up and see if it had what you needed (though adding a discreet graphics card and sound card would've been needed upgrades).
post #784 of 3216
Thread Starter 

Just got the X-Fi Go! SB1100 today.

 

As expected, it's a very basic device.

 

-Without drivers, it only supports 48 KHz in 16-bit and 24-bit flavors. With them, however, it does support 44.1 KHz as well, at both bit depths. That's more than I can say for the Recon3D USB.

-It doesn't come with a driver CD; instead, the drivers are pre-loaded on the internal 1 GB of memory. Too bad that not too long after use, when I connected it to a VM with the write lock off, that internal memory corrupted itself before I thought to back up the drivers...at least it seems to be stable after a reformat.

-Software OpenAL, as expected. 64 voices, EAX 4. Haven't tested it with Thief 1/2 yet, though.

-Software CMSS-3D Headphone in place of the newer THX TruStudio software suite. It works almost as well as the hardware implementation, at least for Unreal Tournament.

-Even with the drivers installed, it presents itself as only a stereo device. Not good for games with software audio...

-Surprisingly, it also came with earbuds with an in-line microphone. I might test those later, just for the heck of it.

 

Before I can progress further, though, I'll need to ask Roller for whatever drivers and software he uses with his...

post #785 of 3216
FYI Newegg has the refurb X-Fi Titanium on sale for $40 until 9/27
post #786 of 3216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
FYI Newegg has the refurb X-Fi Titanium on sale for $40 until 9/27

 

Good catch! Grab it while it's hot, people! (It still costs $2.99 for shipping, however, making it almost $43 in the end.)

 

In other PC gaming audio news, I got to test Aureal A3D for a bit on my legacy PC gaming setup. They were definitely ahead of the curve when it came down to treating headphones as capable of true 3D binaural HRTF audio and not one-dimensional stereo panning devices, and it's a shame that they got bankrupted and bought out by Creative like they did.

post #787 of 3216

It  also a real shame that creative didn't do any thing  fully with A3D.

post #788 of 3216
Thread Starter 

Yeah, they bought out Aureal just to get rid of a competitor and didn't even bother supporting A3D properly on their own hardware (which means you still need to set up an old Windows 98 computer with an Aureal Vortex2 card if you want proper A3D 2.0/3.0 support). Jerks.

 

Also, I just tested the X-Fi Go! SB1100 with Thief 1/2. Muted cutscenes again; how predictable. As I've stated before, I think it's a flaw in Creative's software OpenAL device for all their USB devices, X-Fi MB, the Sound Core3D devices, etc. that's causing this, because it doesn't happen on real X-Fi cards with hardware OpenAL.

 

Going through Roller's setup process also got my SB Live! 24-bit External SB0490 working pretty nicely too. It might actually be a general Creative USB driver package for everything prior to the Recon3D USB for all I know. Too bad it still has that software OpenAL compatibility problem.

post #789 of 3216

On the GFX card market, at least Nvidia put 3dfx tech to good use after they acquired it, but Creative didn't really do anything other than stifle competition. One of the first Creative cards after the Aureal purchase was a mess in all regards and actually a much lower performer than previous with wavetable synthesis expansion boards.

 

NamelessPFG, play around with buffer size and duration and you're bound to find settings that will fix Thief's cutscenes. There are a couple more problematic games that require buffer tweaking in order for audio to be perfectly in sync or even to be played at all, such as the situational case of Thief.

 

And I'm glad to see the procedures worked out for you :) Have you done any further testing between USB dongles so far?


Edited by Roller - 9/22/12 at 7:16pm
post #790 of 3216
Hey guys, a little off topic but could you offer a relatively simple tip for something giving me a headache lately?

I messed up something with a harddrive, it works fine and all, but how does one reformat (and partition, hopefully) in Windows 7? Preferably without downloading any software, as I can only get Internet access right now with my iPad (at certain times of the day).

Thanks much, I feel like a complete noob when murking around in advanced windows settings :/
post #791 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Hey guys, a little off topic but could you offer a relatively simple tip for something giving me a headache lately?
I messed up something with a harddrive, it works fine and all, but how does one reformat (and partition, hopefully) in Windows 7? Preferably without downloading any software, as I can only get Internet access right now with my iPad (at certain times of the day).
Thanks much, I feel like a complete noob when murking around in advanced windows settings :/

 

 

You just need to go to Disk Management through Computer Management on Administrative Tools on the control panel, and you will be able to do what you want. Simply formatting can be done through Windows Explorer.

post #792 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post


You just need to go to Disk Management through Computer Management on Administrative Tools on the control panel, and you will be able to do what you want. Simply formatting can be done through Windows Explorer.

Ok... yeah that's what I was looking for. FYI In win8CP, I actually had to just type "Disk Management" in the control panel search bar, the control panel doesn't have an Admin Tools section anymore (at least visible from the home screen). I went looking under the Hardware and sound pane, but Admin Tools is under the System and Security section :/

I deleted the troublesome partition, thanks for the help.
post #793 of 3216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

NamelessPFG, play around with buffer size and duration and you're bound to find settings that will fix Thief's cutscenes. There are a couple more problematic games that require buffer tweaking in order for audio to be perfectly in sync or even to be played at all, such as the situational case of Thief.

 

And I'm glad to see the procedures worked out for you :) Have you done any further testing between USB dongles so far?


Unfortunately, the Thief problem isn't that simple. Messing around with Buffer and Duration values still hasn't fixed it, and for that matter, I know it's something deep in the software OpenAL renderer because I can't enable hardware acceleration even with ALchemy in place.

 

That, and the default 4-buffer, duration-25 settings work fine on real X-Fi cards. Cutscenes have sounds, and I can enable hardware acceleration and EAX just fine.

 

I haven't done too much testing other than Thief and Unreal Tournament thus far. I could dig up more games to test with, but I don't want to fill up my notebook's little 80 GB SSD with games that take up space very quickly, especially since the old ones need to have disc images mounted not just because of disc checks, but because of redbook audio soundtracks.

post #794 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post


Unfortunately, the Thief problem isn't that simple. Messing around with Buffer and Duration values still hasn't fixed it, and for that matter, I know it's something deep in the software OpenAL renderer because I can't enable hardware acceleration even with ALchemy in place.

 

That, and the default 4-buffer, duration-25 settings work fine on real X-Fi cards. Cutscenes have sounds, and I can enable hardware acceleration and EAX just fine.

 

I haven't done too much testing other than Thief and Unreal Tournament thus far. I could dig up more games to test with, but I don't want to fill up my notebook's little 80 GB SSD with games that take up space very quickly, especially since the old ones need to have disc images mounted not just because of disc checks, but because of redbook audio soundtracks.

 

 

Are you pointing ALchemy to the right place? A few specific games require multiple index points, and in Thief's case, you have to use Game Path as well as Sub Folder options. Since Thief isn't a game that requires a specific DSP mode, that alone should make everything work flawlessly.

 

Both UT 99 and UT 2004 all work without a hitch, and UT 2004 performs quite nicely. Haven't tested UT3 yet though, although I've been looking around and it seems it requires a few additional steps.

 

Just because hardware X-Fi cards work with default settings, that doesn't mean the same settings work for USB audio devices.

post #795 of 3216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post
Are you pointing ALchemy to the right place? A few specific games require multiple index points, and in Thief's case, you have to use Game Path as well as Sub Folder options. Since Thief isn't a game that requires a specific DSP mode, that alone should make everything work flawlessly.

 

Both UT 99 and UT 2004 all work without a hitch, and UT 2004 performs quite nicely. Haven't tested UT3 yet though, although I've been looking around and it seems it requires a few additional steps.

 

Just because hardware X-Fi cards work with default settings, that doesn't mean the same settings work for USB audio devices.

 

Dropping the dsound.dll and dsound.ini in the game directory with THIEF.EXE does the trick on real X-Fi hardware. In general, you put those two files (which is what you're really doing by pointing ALchemy to a game directory through its GUI) wherever the game executable is, and Thief has no additional executables in any of the game directories' subfolders. Thus, I'm certain it's not a case of misplaced files.

 

Just for the hell of it, I tried doing it through a Windows XP VM, and...the cutscenes actually had sound! Unfortunately, I couldn't actually play the game itself because VMware just gave me a black screen during the cutscenes and in the main menu. At least this shows promise for its DirectSound3D implementation when used on XP, but I'd rather not do any crazy dual-booting on my notebook.

 

In any case, as long as Creative doesn't update their software OpenAL renderer, this isn't going to work out at all. I'll have to find out if Asus fared any better with the Xonar U3, or if they ran into the same pitfalls.

 

The next game I test might be Descent 3, maybe followed by the first two Soldier of Fortune titles since I know they have hardware-accelerated sound (DS3D for SoF1, OAL for SoF2). I just need to move beyond Thief and UT already.

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