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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 42

post #616 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post


One important thing I found out is that if you use OpenAL in any form, if "naturally" or through Alchemy, SBX is turned off and you don't get 7.1/5.1 downmix but a "standard" 2.0 headphone mix. Maybe it doesn't happen to you but it does in my case.
Makes sense. At least to my ears, they use HRTF in OpenAL (and obviously if you use Alchemy) when "hardware acceleration" (when using Creative's implementation instead of Generic Software) is enabled regardless of what settings you use. It also sound like elevation filter and macrofx (or what every they were called in X-Fi drivers) are enabled because Oblivion sound as buggy as with X-Fi when those two are enabled but you can hear things above and below you in Mirror's Edge.

The sound also changes if you use headphone mode or line out, I prefer lien out because the sound stage is much better. It's a shame that you can't use standard stereo mode when using headphone out and in that case you're stuck with headphone settings (which makes Mirror's Edge sound worse in my opinion).
Edited by Anarion - 5/26/13 at 1:18pm
post #617 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post

The sound also changes if you use headphone mode or line out, I prefer lien out because the sound stage is much better. It's a shame that you can't use standard stereo mode when using headphone out and in that case you're stuck with headphone settings (which makes Mirror's Edge sound worse in my opinion).

 

Yay finally some1 who agrees with me on that. ^^ I always found Creative's headphone setting to have less than ideal soundstage/positioning. Why can't they leave it alone and don't do any processing and have headphone sounding as "stereo" speaker setting which I believe is "untweaked/untouched" from the windows own audio handling system. If I was to criticize the Z-series it would be the inability to pick speaker settings when using headphone out.

 

Still unsure if I will keep the ZxR or not, the soundstaging doesn't work out as nicely as I'd want it to be, it doesn't stand up against Realtek using 5.1 speaker setting which for me works brilliant with pretty much any game I play.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 5/26/13 at 2:02pm
post #618 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenammo View Post


Hi alpha,

I believe this option is only available on the ZXR Control Panel, as discussed in this thread:

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18476297

Ah, that stinks.


With the HD 598's sitting between 50-80 ohms or I just wanted to make sure it wasn't on the 600ohm setting, guess it doesn't matter though.


Thanks for the link, appeciate it.
post #619 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

Now I'm really intrigued, especially since THX was a grave disappointment to me...but SBX surround shutting off every time I fire up anything that uses OpenAL would get very annoying, very quickly. X-Fi cards may have their quirks like resetting volume, but CMSS-3D Headphone switching on or off without me explicitly setting it was never one of them.

 

Can you test it with Battlefield 2? X-Fi, Ultra High, EAX on in the sound settings, of course. I'm hoping they fixed it up so that EAX functions like it's supposed to instead of reverbing things that wouldn't be reverberated on a real X-Fi card in Game Mode.

 

Oh, and if it's a 7.1 downmix in OpenAL, then it's doing it wrong. OpenAL games (and DirectSound3D games wrapped with ALchemy) should NEVER sound like a mere emulated 7.1 speaker system, but more like a direct binaural HRTF mix, true 3D sound.

 

Hi,

 

downmix was the wrong but more the lazy word. Of course CMSS-3D is able to render and position each of 128 voices seperately into the soundspace and not just emulating virtual speakers.

 

I think I found out the issue with SBX. My OpenAL Installation was messed up due to the X-Fi not removing everything with its uninstall procedure, especially OpenAL library references. Even worse was how I couldn't update the drivers because the older update manager was still active. Now with cleaning everything by hand (dlls, folders, reg) and doing a new install my problem seems to have gone. The problem I had was unsmooth panning in OpenAL/DS3D games where turning the camera by 360° infront of a sound location (like a bonfire in Guild Wars e.g.) would have a stereo effect, meaning that the "ear" away from the fire would be like deaf within a rather unrealistic angle.

 

Unfortunately I don't have Battlefield 2. I'll keep an eye out for a Amazon.com deal sometime. Until then I only have Mirror's Edge, Guild Wars 1, Medieval Total War 2, FEAR 1 to test. Maybe we could find a sequence or level/chapter to check X-Fi vs. Z(xR) if you have one of these games.

 

Since CMSS-3D lowers the bass department by a noticable amount I equalized the card down to similar levels to see if the bass masks details or if the rendering is generally not accurate, and it helped with the pinpoint accuracy or positioning. This is however nothing new. People buy the AD700 sometimes just for sound whoring due to its weak bass. Then there's the factor of the signal suffering much more under CMSS-3D...


Edited by Fegefeuer - 5/26/13 at 4:25pm
post #620 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

downmix was the wrong but more the lazy word. Of course CMSS-3D is able to render and position each of 128 voices seperately into the soundspace and not just emulating virtual speakers.

 

I think I found out the issue with SBX. My OpenAL Installation was messed up due to the X-Fi not removing everything with its uninstall procedure, especially OpenAL library references. Even worse was how I couldn't update the drivers because the older update manager was still active. Now with cleaning everything by hand (dlls, folders, reg) and doing a new install my problem seems to have gone. The problem I had was unsmooth panning in OpenAL/DS3D games where turning the camera by 360° infront of a sound location (like a bonfire in Guild Wars e.g.) would have a stereo effect, meaning that the "ear" away from the fire would be like deaf within a rather unrealistic angle.

 

Unfortunately I don't have Battlefield 2. I'll keep an eye out for a Amazon.com deal sometime. Until then I only have Mirror's Edge, Guild Wars 1, Medieval Total War 2, FEAR 1 to test. Maybe we could find a sequence or level/chapter to check X-Fi vs. Z(xR) if you have one of these games.

 

Since CMSS-3D lowers the bass department by a noticable amount I equalized the card down to similar levels to see if the bass masks details or if the rendering is generally not accurate, and it helped with the pinpoint accuracy or positioning.

 

Creative drivers can be such a mess...thank goodness for driver cleaners!

 

You don't have BF2? That's a surprise, given that it was pretty much one of THE multiplayer FPSs to have back around 2004/2005...but it should be pretty cheap these days, like "$5 with expansions" cheap.

 

I do have Mirror's Edge, however. We could probably work out a test with that. No Total War, Guild Wars, or F.E.A.R. in my library, though...

 

How about some Unreal Tournament on the game testing list, then? 1999 (with Old Unreal multimedia patch that adds an OpenAL renderer), 2004, UT3, take your pick.

post #621 of 2284

I used to have it many years ago and then I gave it away, playing Guild Wars 1 solely for quite a long time. I don't keep games for long (except mandatorily on steam) and I don't buy oldies back since I prefer to remember them how great they were in their days and with 2 consoles on the side there's a lot to play and I would be lucky if I could finish one game in a month. 

 

Unfortunately I "missed" the BF2 deal on amazon.com. 20 Dollars is a bit too much just to test the audio. 

I have UT3 though in Steam, I'll try to set it up later tonight. 

post #622 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

I used to have it many years ago and then I gave it away, playing Guild Wars 1 solely for quite a long time. I don't keep games for long (except mandatorily on steam) and I don't buy oldies back since I prefer to remember them how great they were in their days and with 2 consoles on the side there's a lot to play and I would be lucky if I could finish one game in a month. 

 

Unfortunately I "missed" the BF2 deal on amazon.com. 20 Dollars is a bit too much just to test the audio. 

I have UT3 though in Steam, I'll try to set it up later tonight. 

 

get this one, same engine and full openAL support :) 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Battlefield-2142-DVD-ROM-Pc/dp/B000GPXS9O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369659105&sr=8-2&keywords=battlefield+2142

 

go to the  audio options, tick  "ultra-high" quality and  "creative x-fi"  audio renderer, i hope that these options will not appear greyed out or anything :( 

 

You needed a real x-fi back in the day for BF2/BF2142 set  to "game mode", or else the ulta high quality setting  was locked.

 

If you manage to get it working don't forget to test for SCP ( sparke crackle popping )  before uninstalling the game, x-fi users always complained about SCP when they were  near an orbital strike / badly damaged Titan.

 

Oh and about  UT3, don't forget to enable "hardware openAL" and play like   2 full hours or 3 so  you can test for stability, the game used to crash  very often when it was  running  on x-fi powered systems :( 

post #623 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Yay finally some1 who agrees with me on that. ^^ I always found Creative's headphone setting to have less than ideal soundstage/positioning. Why can't they leave it alone and don't do any processing and have headphone sounding as "stereo" speaker setting which I believe is "untweaked/untouched" from the windows own audio handling system. If I was to criticize the Z-series it would be the inability to pick speaker settings when using headphone out.
Yeah, for that very reason I never used headphone mode with Forte (and Titanium). Windows set to stereo and speakers and stereo speakers from Creative CP sounded the best. Really annoying that I can't use the headphone out without messing the sound in OpenAL games.
post #624 of 2284
Went away from headphone port, it was nice to have an amp, but the forced 5.1 annoyed me to hell.
Got HD598's so its not like theres a difference in volume, and it seems to drive them just fine on the line-out.. which can do stereo by default <3
post #625 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post


Yeah, for that very reason I never used headphone mode with Forte (and Titanium). Windows set to stereo and speakers and stereo speakers from Creative CP sounded the best. Really annoying that I can't use the headphone out without messing the sound in OpenAL games.

But you aren't using any of the surround simulation modes then, correct? If the game has a nice headphone/stereo mode on its own that might even be an interesting thing to try.

post #626 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axaion View Post

Went away from headphone port, it was nice to have an amp, but the forced 5.1 annoyed me to hell.
Got HD598's so its not like theres a difference in volume, and it seems to drive them just fine on the line-out.. which can do stereo by default <3

 

I thought it sounded pretty bad out of the line-out (we're speaking the RCA outputs right?) Much more muffled with much less treble presence sounding compared to the headphone port. Granted you got better soundstaging/positioning but it didn't seem worth the SQ hit to me. But yea if you got a nice external amp that's probably better anyway.

 

I'm pretty sure I won't end up using this ZxR card, for the price paid it doesn't fully satisfy my needs, why should I pay nearly 200 EUR if I'm not fully satisfied with the source and possibly pretty equally satisfied with the Realtek onboard (don't get me wrong I can hear the ZxR sounds significantly higher quality but it doesn't work as nicely when it comes to soundstage so it's like you win some and lose some so more like a sidegrade)


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 5/28/13 at 3:15am
post #627 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_53 View Post

But you aren't using any of the surround simulation modes then, correct? If the game has a nice headphone/stereo mode on its own that might even be an interesting thing to try.
CMSS-3D works in stereo mode too, it sounds different much more open. With Zx, you get HRTF in standard stereo mode too in OpenAL/Alchemy games (difference to headphone and stereo mode is pretty much the same as with X-Fi too).

This is how CMSS-3D sounds in stereo mode (no headphone mode):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GH5DsUJpY8&hd=1
You can clearly hear things that are behind you. If you'd use headphone mode, everything would sound like it's happening in your head.
Edited by Anarion - 5/28/13 at 6:16am
post #628 of 2284
Sorry, should have specified that i got the regular Z, not the ZxR
Edited by Axaion - 5/28/13 at 6:48am
post #629 of 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I thought it sounded pretty bad out of the line-out (we're speaking the RCA outputs right?) Much more muffled with much less treble presence sounding compared to the headphone port. Granted you got better soundstaging/positioning but it didn't seem worth the SQ hit to me. But yea if you got a nice external amp that's probably better anyway.

I'm pretty sure I won't end up using this ZxR card, for the price paid it doesn't fully satisfy my needs, why should I pay nearly 200 EUR if I'm not fully satisfied with the source and possibly pretty equally satisfied with the Realtek onboard (don't get me wrong I can hear the ZxR sounds significantly higher quality but it doesn't work as nicely when it comes to soundstage so it's like you win some and lose some so more like a sidegrade)
I highly recommend that you do not install the speaker setup thingy and double check that you have stereo speakers selected from windows audo control panel. Speaker setup thing totally messed up soundstage when I used line out with headphones.
post #630 of 2284

While I'm still using a Titanium HD I must say that, even thouh audio creation mode does sound better, a stereo source being played through CMSS-3D doesn't sound any different than without the feature.

I'm not talking about the CMSS feature in entertainment mode but the one in gaming mode.

It shouldn't sound any different as the feature itself shouldn't add anything in that particular situation. Should :)

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