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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 61

post #901 of 2236

All source games do. For HL2/Episodes for instance you'll need to make sure the game audio starts in legacy mode by changing the config or creating an autoexec.cfg that includes: snd_legacy_surround 1

 

Remember to setup Alchemy accordingly, the default values do not work properly, iirc correctly it is buffers=5 and duration=10

post #902 of 2236

x-fi cmss3d headphone worked along with  hardware openAL just fine ( UT2k4 - UT3 - stalker - serious sam 3  - BF2142  etc) ALchemy games like RO1 - Killing Floor (  native openAL caused BSODs :( )  and Painkiller  seemed to work fine as well 

 

They only time that i had trouble with  ALchemy + cmss3d was in l4d2, it just sounded "off", especially the in-game  "5.1" setting, oddly enough "headphones"  was better, but still muffled compared to "5.1" + snd_legacy_surround "0" 


Edited by SoFGR - 8/23/13 at 5:32am
post #903 of 2236
Doesn't cmss3d work a little different to sbx though? If I remember correctly it actually takes the coordinates from openal or direct sound and does its own calculations? But it can also use pre baked 5.1 to virtualized surround. Whereas sbx can't use coordinates.

@fegefeuer




Nice tip! I actually wasn't aware of that for hl2.

For alchemy I go to the alchemy database and use the values they have there for specific games plus the registry paths. Most of the time though it auto detects the game and adds its own setting. I was under the impression that if a game isn't added in the list then it won't work with alchemy.

Do you use those values all the time for every game?
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 8/23/13 at 5:31am
post #904 of 2236

Don't rely on Alchemy detections. Sometimes my alchemy doesn't detect my games so I add the games manually with the right values (there's a list online). If you check the dsound-logfile next to the dsound.dll into the folder you can extract the info about the success of Alchemy/OpenAL.

 

You can actually just copy dsound.ini + dsound.dll into the folder where the game's exe resides, and just edit those 2 values inside dsound.ini if needed. No need to use Alchemy at all, it just needs to be installed of course. 

post #905 of 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

Don't rely on Alchemy detections. Sometimes my alchemy doesn't detect my games so I add the games manually with the right values (there's a list online). If you check the dsound-logfile next to the dsound.dll into the folder you can extract the info about the success of Alchemy/OpenAL.

 

You can actually just copy dsound.ini + dsound.dll into the folder where the game's exe resides, and just edit those 2 values inside dsound.ini if needed. No need to use Alchemy at all, it just needs to be installed of course. 

can you use ALchemy along with 5.1 settings +  SBX surround 67% ?  What does it sound like in source ? 

post #906 of 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post

can you use ALchemy along with 5.1 settings +  SBX surround 67% ?  What does it sound like in source ? 

 

SBX is not active during OpenAL/DS3D (automatically) and doesn't need to be either as the legacy path gives direct positional info of the 3D space. The good old times. 

post #907 of 2236
I found this description of cmss3d headphone mode if any of you are interested.

"CMSS-3D Headphone: When the Creative Control Panel is set to Headphones, this setting creates virtual 3D positional audio via synthesized binaural cues (see Sound localization and Head-related transfer function). If the application generating the audio uses a hardware-accelerated 3D audio API (i.e. DirectSound3D or OpenAL), the input for the binaural synthesis algorithms consists of up to 128 sound sources positioned arbitrarily in 3D space, this is the most accurate utilisation of CMSS-3D. If the application instead generates multi-channel sound directly (e.g. a media player app or a game with software-based audio processing), the input for the binaural synthesis algorithms consist of the 4 to 7 positional sound sources associated with the application's selected speaker configuration. Such applications may use the Speakers settings defined by Windows in which case it is possible to set the Windows Speakers configuration to a multichannel set-up, e.g 5.1, so that the application will output multi channel audio."


This I found the most relevant to our discussions on 5.1 or 2.0 in windows control panel.


"CMSS-3D Surround: When the Creative Control Panel is set to 4/4.1, 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 speakers, this setting will upmix stereo sources to multiple channels. Note that both CMSS-3DSurround and CMSS-3DVirtual can be enabled when using 4/4.1 speakers. As above hardware-accelerated 3D audio will be translated to the number of channels specified."


So back then enabling 5.1 in windows still would not upmix stereo sound UNLESS cmss3d surround mode was enabled. Seems logical that the same happens now with the z and sbx. Difference is sbx just puts 2 channels in a virtual space.
post #908 of 2236

I'll be getting my ZXR today which I'll be pairing with Sennheiser 650s. I had seen that someone said there is an optional volume setting to use to get the most out of the headphone amp. Can anyone shed some light?

I've heard Windows set to 25% while your player set to 100%.

post #909 of 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

@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.
It probably does ignore it but if you do not use generic software but the creative's implementation, the game does not actually do the mixing. You see, the openal implementation middleware/hardware knows exactly where the sound comes from (under, above, behind...) and then mixes it to stereo and applies HRTF effects, elevation filter etc. Here's one example again (youtube ruins the audio a bit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qL7BX_XcU&hd=1 SBX is disable. I made sure that it used creative's openal implementation instead of generic software. Stereo and 2.0 speakers selected from windows, line out. You can clearly hear things that are above, below, front or behind you. This is the X-Fi Forte setting with comparable settings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GH5DsUJpY8&hd=1 If it wouldn't ignore 5.1 windows setting, it would seriously mess up the sound.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Whereas sbx can't use coordinates.
No card can if the game doesn't support hardware/vendor OpenAL or if the game is not old direct sound game with alchemy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcx4610 View Post

I'll be getting my ZXR today which I'll be pairing with Sennheiser 650s. I had seen that someone said there is an optional volume setting to use to get the most out of the headphone amp. Can anyone shed some light?


I've heard Windows set to 25% while your player set to 100%.
There's high gain option. I'd test first with normal gain and keep the volume down to 10% and then start upping it. At least that way you do not blow your ears.
Edited by Anarion - 8/23/13 at 1:10pm
post #910 of 2236

Hello, I am new to the group. This is a real nice thread. Question for you guys. I bought two SB ZX card for two different systems. One drives Logitech Z5500 5.1 speakers and the other Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers. I don't use headphones and my primary interest is music. My Z5500 system sound out of this world. Its real loud, the dynamic range is perfect. On the SP2500 system the sound is lacking in some way that I cannot pin point.I went through all the Creative settings and I have improved it some but still there seems to be a lack of bass. When I put my hand to the port on the 2500's I feel the air pumping out but there still seems to be a lack of substantial bass that these speakers should be able to produce. Are there any other settings I should be looking at ? I read that the SP2500 need some sound card tweaking to get them perfect. Any feedback would be appreciated.

post #911 of 2236
That's strange as the corsairs are definitely higher quality and capable of way more dynamic range.

I know the corsairs have an audio control box where you can change the sound signature or something. Have u tried tweaking that first?
Also in windows sound panel do you have full range checked or no?
post #912 of 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

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

 

Oh, didn't notice that particular point to your post...asking what setup he's using vs. directing what setup to use seems to be a nuance that's not always easy for me to detect in a forum conversation.

 

Thanks for the heads-up on this ALchemy release; I'll give it a shot soon! Not that I expect dramatic differences, but maybe it'll get a few of the games that were problematic before to work better.

 

Also, you're gaming with the HD800? I'm gonna have to audition that thing one of these days...everybody who's heard it always mentions the soundstage. Always.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
It probably does ignore it but if you do not use generic software but the creative's implementation, the game does not actually do the mixing. You see, the openal implementation middleware/hardware knows exactly where the sound comes from (under, above, behind...) and then mixes it to stereo and applies HRTF effects, elevation filter etc.

 

Here's one example again (youtube ruins the audio a bit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qL7BX_XcU&hd=1 SBX is disabled. I made sure that it used creative's openal implementation instead of generic software. Stereo and 2.0 speakers selected from windows, line out. You can clearly hear things that are above, below, front or behind you.

 

This is the X-Fi Forte setting with comparable settings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GH5DsUJpY8&hd=1 If it wouldn't ignore 5.1 windows setting, it would seriously mess up the sound.

 

What in the...did Creative just get their act together with the default OpenAL mix on Sound Core3D hardware or something?

 

Going between the two, it's like the positioning is still there, but there's a distinct veil on one of them...and it's not the Zx.

 

We're gonna have to take this further and test out more games. Got Unreal Tournament or one of the earlier Battlefield games?

post #913 of 2236
Lol thats what I've been saying for a while now. OpenAl running on the z/zxr is pretty decent. A lot of x-fi elitists are talking crap but in fact I haven't had any huge issues so far.

I will say though that in STALKER I had pops and clicks until I took the openal file in the windows folder and replaced that into the stalker folder. I'm assuming since it was a newer file in the windows folder it solved the issues.

Perhaps the difference in the two videos comes from cmss3d affecting the eq like it always has. My x-fi always made my games "tinnier" or less bassy when I used cmss3D.

I would recomend using the z/zxr and playing penumbra/doom3 with eax enabled. Pretty badass.
post #914 of 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Just alone in the software suite and the SBX studio is a huge upgrade over ANY asus product.  Broken drivers which need community unified support is ridiculous.  The increased sound quality is also a huge difference.

I sold my STX and got a Z just due to the stability of the driver and SBX features.

But its up to you if you have the money.

Thanks, I was just reading a few reviews that said the SoundBlaster drivers/software was also pretty bad
post #915 of 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Oh, didn't notice that particular point to your post...asking what setup he's using vs. directing what setup to use seems to be a nuance that's not always easy for me to detect in a forum conversation.

Thanks for the heads-up on this ALchemy release; I'll give it a shot soon! Not that I expect dramatic differences, but maybe it'll get a few of the games that were problematic before to work better.

Also, you're gaming with the HD800? I'm gonna have to audition that thing one of these days...everybody who's heard it always mentions the soundstage. Always.


What in the...did Creative just get their act together with the default OpenAL mix on Sound Core3D hardware or something?

Going between the two, it's like the positioning is still there, but there's a distinct veil on one of them...and it's not the Zx.

We're gonna have to take this further and test out more games. Got Unreal Tournament or one of the earlier Battlefield games?
I'm uploading Command & Conquer: Renegade Aureal3D sample (using Alchemy, again everything at stereo without SBX). It's a shame what happened to Aureal... Their stuff was superior to EAX back then.

EDIT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pocrsgHm2nM&hd=1
Listen second time with eyes closed.
Edited by Anarion - 8/25/13 at 9:11am
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