Originally Posted by Fegefeuer
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.