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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 60

post #886 of 3278
Thread Starter 

$115 shipped, brand-new X-Fi Titanium HDs from Newegg!

 

Grab 'em while they're hot! It's a Shell Shocker deal, so I'm not expecting it to last longer than a few days.

post #887 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

$115 shipped, brand-new X-Fi Titanium HDs from Newegg!

 

Grab 'em while they're hot! It's a Shell Shocker deal, so I'm not expecting it to last longer than a few days.

Haha damn I would buy the Titanium HD a day before it goes on sale =/

post #888 of 3278
Hmm!
Too bad my job won't start earlier than sometime next week, and payday a bit after that. That's quite a sale though, is it about $35 off regular?
post #889 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Hmm!
Too bad my job won't start earlier than sometime next week, and payday a bit after that. That's quite a sale though, is it about $35 off regular?

 

$35, give or take, after taking shipping costs into account.

post #890 of 3278

Do you still recommend downloading the Titanium HD drivers you have listed in the OP?  Does that include the software interface piece of it as well?

 

Know any good guides for setting up the best sound quality on the Titanium HD?

post #891 of 3278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrementum View Post

Do you still recommend downloading the Titanium HD drivers you have listed in the OP?  Does that include the software interface piece of it as well?

 

Know any good guides for setting up the best sound quality on the Titanium HD?

 

I do. Instructions on what to install in what order are contained within the archive.

 

As for sound quality, that largely depends on whether you're using it for gaming or music. For gaming, you generally want to stay in Game Mode for obvious reasons. For music, you may instead want to opt for Audio Creation Mode so you can have bit-matched playback through ASIO, unless you use Winamp with the OpenAL output plugin, for which you'll want to stick to Game Mode. (Oh, and I never, ever use Entertainment Mode. No need for it.)

 

The Crystalizer stays off. EQ and bass boost are set to taste, but do make sure that the sound isn't clipping, especially with volume set high (at 100%, any level of bass boost or positive EQ WILL clip, but at around 25-35%, you have a lot of headroom for upwards adjustments).

 

Speaker setting within the X-Fi drivers should be set to Headphones while the Windows setting should be set for 5.1. (This will not degrade stereo sources in the slightest, from my testing. It sounds exactly the same.) Then you can toggle CMSS-3D Headphone on for when you're gaming and need a positional advantage, and turn it off for when you want a clean stereo signal.

post #892 of 3278

I have a X-Fi Titanium HD, and I find THX Trustudio Pro (surround mode) much better than CMSS-3D. CMSS-3d makes the sound awfully thin and artificial, robotic-like.

THX Trustudio works the same way: you set the game/windows to 5.1, the console launcher to headphones, enable the THX surround mode and go.

The best part is that I never have to change the drive mode again. Its always on entertainment mode now.

post #893 of 3278

Isn't the Titanium HD capable of giving 7.1?  Why do both of you suggest 5.1?

 

Also without an external amplifier (directly plugging my headphones into my sound card), what's the best way to connect my headphones?  Should I just use the headphone jack?  I keep hearing things like RCA and optical mentioned but I'm not quite sure what they're good for.


Edited by Incrementum - 10/26/12 at 7:52am
post #894 of 3278

No the Titanium HD do not have analog 5.1 outputs. The only way to get 5.1 out of it is to use Digital Encoders. Other wise the sound card is a stereo card. I think you getting the Titanium HD mixed up with the orginal Titanium that does support 7.1.

post #895 of 3278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlavioWolff View Post

I have a X-Fi Titanium HD, and I find THX Trustudio Pro (surround mode) much better than CMSS-3D. CMSS-3d makes the sound awfully thin and artificial, robotic-like.

THX Trustudio works the same way: you set the game/windows to 5.1, the console launcher to headphones, enable the THX surround mode and go.

The best part is that I never have to change the drive mode again. Its always on entertainment mode now.

 

THX TruStudio Surround may impact the sound quality less, but it's dreadful at positioning by comparison (at least to my ears), and positioning is the exact reason why I use such technologies in the first place.

 

Also, it's only available in Entertainment Mode. That makes it next to useless for me given that I still have a lot of DS3D/OAL games that only work right in Game Mode, since that's the mode where the X-Fi DSP's hardware acceleration can be truly utilized. That means either CMSS-3D Headphone, plain stereo (which sounds like total crap in those games), or if it's an OpenAL title, fiddle around with Rapture3D, OpenAL Soft, AeonWave, etc. and hope they work perfectly.

 

But as always with binaural mixing tech, YMMV, and it's up to you to determine the balance between sound quality and positioning accuracy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

No the Titanium HD do not have analog 5.1 outputs. The only way to get 5.1 out of it is to use Digital Encoders. Other wise the sound card is a stereo card. I think you getting the Titanium HD mixed up with the orginal Titanium that does support 7.1.

 

That's the only reason I advise setting Windows to 5.1 instead of 7.1 for HRTF mixing; the Titanium HD just doesn't support 7.1 at all.

 

It's not that big a deal to me, really. The important thing is that front and rear cues can still be distinguished in games with software-mixed audio.

post #896 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

No the Titanium HD do not have analog 5.1 outputs. The only way to get 5.1 out of it is to use Digital Encoders. Other wise the sound card is a stereo card. I think you getting the Titanium HD mixed up with the orginal Titanium that does support 7.1.

Ah my bad.  You're right.

 

Nameless, so you're saying I can leave 5.1 on even in Audio Creation mode when I'm listening to my music (iTunes or whatever)?  I've been using the bit-matched option and I think it's making a little difference in sound quality.  What about the master sampling rate?

post #897 of 3278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrementum View Post

Nameless, so you're saying I can leave 5.1 on even in Audio Creation mode when I'm listening to my music (iTunes or whatever)?  I've been using the bit-matched option and I think it's making a little difference in sound quality.  What about the master sampling rate?

 

That's what I do, and it still doesn't sound any different from stereo.

 

The thing about bit-matched playback is that when you use an ASIO plugin, the master sampling rate changes on-the-fly according to the source, so you don't have to switch it manually. This doesn't work for WASAPI exclusive mode when using Audio Creation Mode, however.

post #898 of 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

...THX TruStudio Surround may impact the sound quality less, but it's dreadful at positioning by comparison (at least to my ears), and positioning is the exact reason why I use such technologies in the first place.

...

But as always with binaural mixing tech, YMMV, and it's up to you to determine the balance between sound quality and positioning accuracy.

Honestly... as I said before, I haven't made a definitive opinion yet, but I have yet to experience CMSS-3D to surpass THX TSP for positioning accuracy or really much directionality at all except during panning. Probably just one of those YMMV things. Does the first CoD have DS3D or OpenAL? I have that game for mac... Win8 Pro should be arriving soon from newegg, but I'm going to send it back because Microsoft is selling it for about half the price, direct, for people that used the consumer preview. I don't think the Win8 Pro deal is an OEM version, either.

post #899 of 3278
The Valve dev at the Steam for Linux talk mentioned in passing that they were using OpenAL. What implications does that have for gaming audio in Source games on Linux?
post #900 of 3278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcpk View Post
The Valve dev at the Steam for Linux talk mentioned in passing that they were using OpenAL. What implications does that have for gaming audio in Source games on Linux?

 

I sure hope that carries over to Windows...though as for Linux, we'll probably have to rely on OpenAL Soft or AeonWave's HRTF implementations, especially since Creative's Linux driver support is almost nonexistent. (No hardware OpenAL for X-Fi cards on Linux, for instance.)

 

That said, I'm not too surprised they'd use it for Linux given that Loki Software (an old developer specializing in Linux game ports) specifically developed it to enable 3D positional audio in Linux, if I'm not mistaken with the API's history. It was only later that it got taken up by Creative.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Honestly... as I said before, I haven't made a definitive opinion yet, but I have yet to experience CMSS-3D to surpass THX TSP for positioning accuracy or really much directionality at all except during panning. Probably just one of those YMMV things. Does the first CoD have DS3D or OpenAL? I have that game for mac... Win8 Pro should be arriving soon from newegg, but I'm going to send it back because Microsoft is selling it for about half the price, direct, for people that used the consumer preview. I don't think the Win8 Pro deal is an OEM version, either.

 

CoD1 uses DirectSound3D, so make sure ALchemy's configured properly...wait, you said Mac, in which case that can't possibly apply because DirectSound3D, like the rest of DirectX, is exclusive to Windows. That means they either did all the sound mixing in software or refitted it with OpenAL.

 

As you know, I'm not all that different from Mad Lust Envy when it comes down to speaking frank, unsweetened opinions about audio tech, though I can agree to disagree. I just want to figure out how people can hear the same things so differently; a lot of it probably has to do with individual HRTFs, the condition of our ears (still need to go see an audiologist), etc.

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