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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 60

post #886 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

You probably mentioned it before but what soundstaging issues are you having exactly?

 

Everything just sounds too much "in-your-face" and closed-in from the headphone port especially (I'm missing more around/out of head kind of experience), the line-out is better in this regard but it feels a bit waste of cash to not utilize the headphone amp even if the dac alone is of very high quality too. The same could be said about games, I didn't get that sense of deep soundstage where I could tell enemies are far into the background that I can with onboard (when using 5.1 speakers).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 8/22/13 at 2:04pm
post #887 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

You probably mentioned it before but what soundstaging issues are you having exactly?
I'd actually like to know that too. There's nothing wrong with the soundstage if you disable all the crap. In this case it means getting rid of speaker setup when using line out, and making sure all SBX stuff is disabled and that everything is set to stereo (from Creative CP and Windows).

@RPGWiZaRD
If you listen to music, it's obviously going to sound crap if you use gaming SBX settings with it. It's going to sound even more in your head if you use SBX close to 100%. It's not quite as bad as CMSS-3D when it comes to messing sound stage but still. If you want it to sound wide, I wouldn't go above 20%.

If you like to experiment with different methods, this is one alternative: http://www.razerzone.com/surround
Edited by Anarion - 8/22/13 at 2:15pm
post #888 of 2283

For me its the opposite, without SBX it sounds in your head and not natural as it would if you heard a sound in real life.  However SBX for music muddies up the track so I keep it off.  The one thing I will say is it helps listeners fatigue which stereo tends to do to me after a few hours with sounds "in your head".

 

Ive never experienced sound stage issues, with both my PC350 or DT 770 it is pretty wide.  However those headphones are known for wide sound stages.

 

RPGwizard,  maybe the combination of your headphones and the amp or DAC isnt very favourable.  Have you tried other headphones.

post #889 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post


I'd actually like to know that too. There's nothing wrong with the soundstage if you disable all the crap. In this case it means getting rid of speaker setup when using line out, and making sure all SBX stuff is disabled and that everything is set to stereo (from Creative CP and Windows).

@RPGWiZaRD
If you listen to music, it's obviously going to sound crap if you use gaming SBX settings with it. It's going to sound even more in your head if you use SBX close to 100%. It's not quite as bad as CMSS-3D when it comes to messing sound stage but still. If you want it to sound wide, I wouldn't go above 20%.

If you like to experiment with different methods, this is one alternative: http://www.razerzone.com/surround

 

Wow for a quick test even without calibration, this worked suprisingly well with not any direct very obvious quality loss (turning off bass boost, normalization etc and just leaving surround on). Gotta play around with this when I get home today :D

post #890 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post


From my experience, if you use headphone out and select 5.1 is will make it so that the left rear plays as left front etc. but obviously you do not get HRTF processing when SBX is off. In OpenAL games you get proper HRTF everything set to stereo. 5.1 from windows and SBX are only needed for games that do no support vendor openal (i.e. only use generic software) or do not use openAL at all (majority of new games). It's also not needed if you use alchemy for older games. With SBX on, stereo imaging takes rather large hit once you turn it above 20% in my opinion.

Also, if you listen to 2.0 source, you should ALWAYS disable SBX. It only messes up things.

 

You mean setting 2.0 in the windows panel is needed for every OpenAL game? Shouldn't OpenAL ignore the speaker setting and just send coordinates, distance etc. to the Z(xR)?

post #891 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

You mean setting 2.0 in the windows panel is needed for every OpenAL game? Shouldn't OpenAL ignore the speaker setting and just send coordinates, distance etc. to the Z(xR)?

 

You would think, but the other half of DS3D/OpenAL configuration is setting up the speaker/headphone configuration on the sound card driver side of things so that it knows how to mix things properly.

 

Keep in mind that Anarion is firmly in the "stereo speaker mode sounds way better than headphone mode" camp, while I'm in the "stereo speaker and headphone modes sound exactly alike with virtual surround off, except in games where not using headphone mode = screwed-up positional audio cues because they're meant for speakers" camp.

 

Sound Core3D drivers might also handle things differently from X-Fi drivers in ways I can't foresee, especially if the PCIe cards behave quite a bit differently from the Recon3D USB.

 

All I can say is to experiment and find out what works best for you. The rest of us can give you ideas and tips that have worked for us, but we don't have your ears and sense of hearing now, do we?

post #892 of 2283

I got around the "in your head" problem by switching out the opamps, at least that's the impression I got after doing so.

If anyone wants to try, the OPA2228 helped me out here.

post #893 of 2283

I don't get any "in your head" feeling but I am mostly gaming with the HD 800. The Sig DJ isn't in my head either though. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

You would think, but the other half of DS3D/OpenAL configuration is setting up the speaker/headphone configuration on the sound card driver side of things so that it knows how to mix things properly.

 

Keep in mind that Anarion is firmly in the "stereo speaker mode sounds way better than headphone mode" camp, while I'm in the "stereo speaker and headphone modes sound exactly alike with virtual surround off, except in games where not using headphone mode = screwed-up positional audio cues because they're meant for speakers" camp.

 

Sound Core3D drivers might also handle things differently from X-Fi drivers in ways I can't foresee, especially if the PCIe cards behave quite a bit differently from the Recon3D USB.

 

All I can say is to experiment and find out what works best for you. The rest of us can give you ideas and tips that have worked for us, but we don't have your ears and sense of hearing now, do we?

 

It was just a question regarding his config. For me both are the same as well.

 

Anyway, there's a new Alchemy release (dsound.dll especially) out that is a year newer than the current one. 

 

http://fichiers.touslesdrivers.com/38499/Creative_alchemy_1.44.00.zip


Edited by Fegefeuer - 8/23/13 at 3:47am
post #894 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

You would think, but the other half of DS3D/OpenAL configuration is setting up the speaker/headphone configuration on the sound card driver side of things so that it knows how to mix things properly.

 

Keep in mind that Anarion is firmly in the "stereo speaker mode sounds way better than headphone mode" camp, while I'm in the "stereo speaker and headphone modes sound exactly alike with virtual surround off, except in games where not using headphone mode = screwed-up positional audio cues because they're meant for speakers" camp.

 

Sound Core3D drivers might also handle things differently from X-Fi drivers in ways I can't foresee, especially if the PCIe cards behave quite a bit differently from the Recon3D USB.

 

All I can say is to experiment and find out what works best for you. The rest of us can give you ideas and tips that have worked for us, but we don't have your ears and sense of hearing now, do we?

Im pretty sure 2.0 isnt necessary since it works both ways in openal games.  You get the hrtf effect with accurate direction either way.

 

But ya it seems no matter what you set in the creative panel in terms of SBX doesnt matter because it gets turned off as soon as the game launches.  You can witness this if you have it up, the SBX surround button will grey out.  Same with DS3D games when using alchemy.  For the most part the software emulation of these seem to work decently.  Only a few games may need a special registry tweak here and there since alchemy isn't perfect.

 

 

@Fegefeur

 

Do you mean that openal is newer than the one included with the Z/ZXR drivers?

post #895 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

You mean setting 2.0 in the windows panel is needed for every OpenAL game? Shouldn't OpenAL ignore the speaker setting and just send coordinates, distance etc. to the Z(xR)?
Well, it's not needed but since it's OpenAL games, the card knows exactly where the sound is coming so there's no need for 5.1 emulation at all. I'd turn off everything that could possible mess up the sound. You can test it out yourself in Mirror's Edge for example (be sure that it uses the Creative's implementation instead of generic software). The sound is quite a bit different if in headphone mode and stereo mode (from Creative CP), it's the same thing with older cards too (X-Fi, Audigy).
post #896 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Im pretty sure 2.0 isnt necessary since it works both ways in openal games.  You get the hrtf effect with accurate direction either way.

 

But ya it seems no matter what you set in the creative panel in terms of SBX doesnt matter because it gets turned off as soon as the game launches.  You can witness this if you have it up, the SBX surround button will grey out.  Same with DS3D games when using alchemy.  For the most part the software emulation of these seem to work decently.  Only a few games may need a special registry tweak here and there since alchemy isn't perfect.

 

 

@Fegefeur

 

Do you mean that openal is newer than the one included with the Z/ZXR drivers?

 

 I have to correct myself. This is actually the alchemy package and it's the dsound.dll that is newer. sorry for the misinfo. At least it's still something important. 

 

@Anarion: What I meant is not SBX emu but the 5.1 setting in windows. There are people that say that OpenAL ignores the windows setting because it doesn't need the speaker settings and those that say that OpenAL still needs the 5.1 speaker setting so that the game sends as much info as it can. I am in the latter camp. It makes a difference.


Edited by Fegefeuer - 8/23/13 at 3:50am
post #897 of 2283
I have to believe that openal can't ignore the windows settings. After vista all audio engines have to go through the windows mixer unless asio or wasapi plugins are used. However perhaps creatives driver intercepts audio calls because 2.0 and 5.1 don't make a difference to my ears for openal hrtf mix.

But then again this is through headphome out on thr zxr... Not sure if line outs are different.
post #898 of 2283

Do you have Gears of War?

 

I remember it making a difference but that was 2007 with Windows XP. Those "shrieking" guys sound more distant and positioned in the space while at 2.0 they sound like they are in your head screaming your ears to death.

post #899 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

 

But ya it seems no matter what you set in the creative panel in terms of SBX doesnt matter because it gets turned off as soon as the game launches.  You can witness this if you have it up, the SBX surround button will grey out.  Same with DS3D games when using alchemy.  For the most part the software emulation of these seem to work decently.  Only a few games may need a special registry tweak here and there since alchemy isn't perfect.

 

 

Greyed out ? :( I thought you could just alt+tab to re-enable SBX surround  

 

http://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=699581

 

btw has anybody tried SBX surround + ALchemy in a source game  yet ? I miss wallbanging boomers  so  much :D


Edited by SoFGR - 8/23/13 at 4:31am
post #900 of 2283
I have never tried re-enabling it by alt tabbing but I don't see why you would. Like I have said before sbx surround is for prebaked 5.1 signals. Openal has its own hrtf signal. Those 2 would most likely interfere which is why it becomes disabled.

That thread you posted is funny. People don't even seem to know what alchemy actually is or what eax is. Eax has nothing to do with positional sound. That's openal or ds3d api's job. Eax was an environmental and occlusion filter for sound in games that would give it a realistic behaviour.

And alchemy is made to get back direct sound support in windows vista+ by transcoding ds3d to an openal stream realtime. This in turn brings back the hrtf signal and eax.


I haven't tried any source games except tf2 with my zxr and that doesn't use openal or ds3d at all. I'm assuming hl2 does and I kind of want to try it. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 8/23/13 at 5:13am
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