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Razer Surround (7.1 virtualization software)

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

http://www.razerzone.com/surround

 

Anyone give this a try yet? Seems like an all-software virtualization solution that can work with all sources, ideal for USB DACs that usually don't have any surround sound virtualization options for headphones.

post #2 of 45

I would not be surprised in the least if this is the same sort of processing they previously tied to the drivers for their Megalodon USB headset (which is basically a Carcharias headset hard-wired to a USB DAC).

 

This might be worth investigating, though I doubt it'll be of much use for DirectSound3D or OpenAL games. (Not that I'd worry too much about the latter when there's Rapture3D...but I still wish they'd offer a DS3D wrapper with it.)

post #3 of 45

I tried it this morning with my Bifrost and it doesn't seem to work that well. With the enhancement enabled, the test sound (helicopter noise) becomes intermittent and has a lot of static noise. It does seem to work for some people though so maybe I need to play with my settings a bit more.

post #4 of 45

Best used for gaming. A friend of mine owns it and i frequently use it whenever im at his house. NOT FOR MUSIC. only for pc, it is directly connected to the pc by 5 jacks. also, it doesnt use the same virualization as the Megalodon. Another friend of mine owns it, and the Tiamat is way better than the megalodon. I mostly use it for CS:GO, Dota 2, AC, GTA, Diablo, Battlefield, etc.
 

post #5 of 45

For what it's worth (free), it isn't actually too bad. I find that it works best with closed cans though.

Disable bass boost however as I find that it makes everything sound really processed, no matter if your headphones are bass shy or not.

 

As for its immersion and positional accuracy, I'd place it somewhere along the lines of the THX Surround with the latter having a somewhat better sense on the rear.

 

Again, it's free. You do not need to buy a product to get it, so for what it is — because it's free, you can't really fault it much especially when it actually works decently.

post #6 of 45

If you download this to enhance your stereo experience, then you're doing it for the wrong reason.

To get the right experience, please uncheck all Audio checkboxes.

Next, calibrate your headphones (I just leave them at default).

The neat trick is that it acts as a playback device on your computer, so everything just works. Just set your playback device to Razer.

 

For the best intro experience of this software, acquire Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero 5.1 DVD-A and download the software MPC-HD (free software).

Play the DVD-A 5.1 and get ready to be blown away.

 

I really don't like Razer's hardware (I've tried some, and they mostly suck), but this 7.1 surround mixing simulation is really good.

Compared to Dolby Headphone, which makes everything kind of murky, it is a great piece of software.

 

Usually I play music through GNU/Linux and MPD (with libsamplerate of course), but this software makes me reboot to Windows when I want to listen to records I have in the 5.1 format. It is really that awesome.

 

Hopefully this becomes a hit (not the software, but the use of emulation to achieve surround sound), because I'm in love.

I want this technology to come to GNU/Linux (before you suggest mplayer -af hrtf then compare it with Razer Surround and then post.)

 

Disclaimer: Since the Razer Surround and Synapse software is not free (as in freedom), I'm not certain it is free from malicious code, use at your own risk.

post #7 of 45
I gave it a try over the weekend. Spent some time configuring it, and checking that configuration was as good as possible for my setup.
It may be useful for gamers that need positional audio, but I was primarily interested in using it for film playback.

For that purpose, I was less than impressed. You certainly notice surround effects more, and it is more positional than a standard 5.1/7.1 stereo downmix, but audio quality was generally poor, and while surround effects were easier to position, audio positioning sounded very strange overall, rather than action scenes with bullets flying past your head etc.

It seemed more like it was jumping between discrete sound positions, rather than creating a sphere of audio around you.
post #8 of 45

I haven't tried it with movies, so I can't argue with you over the effects.

What I did notice, however, is that the audio mix is very important.

In NIN - Year Zero it was flawless, in Manowar - Warriors of the world it was separated.

I guess it depends on how much crossover the audio engineer allows in the mix.

It would be nice if you could set the crossover manually in the more separated cases.

post #9 of 45

One thing that slightly bugs me about the software is the lack of setting audio playback priority. I play on a Macbook Pro running bootcamp, so I have both an SPDIF and speaker output, as well as a headphone out port and a USB DAC. I'd love a way to rank or sort the output. Default to headphone jack when plugged in (traveling) and then to my Aune T1 when connected. I don't ever use the SPDIF out and the processing does nothing for my speakers, obviously. The only priority option I see is the "default to USB headset" checkbox.

post #10 of 45
Tried it, with tweaks, etc. Didn't do it for me, at all.

Rear positional cues are virtually non-existent.

Pass.
post #11 of 45

Tried this (and currently trying to re-install).

 

Definitely NOT FOR MUSIC (I can't emphasize this more). Even made Razer Electra sound worse (It has some exclusive selectable features for Razer headsets but I don't know what it can bring). But it's actually good to have if you're not ready to spend on hardware (as in, trying to get surround feature for free), which is obviously better. Use this only when wanting to experience a little bit of surround sound.

 

Tried this only with iTunes with onboard sound card (I know) when finally decided to give this up for music. It replaces sound output cannot be roughly changed to initial sound software (I don't know what its name is) so I had to uninstall this. Very inconvenient.

 

Had to agree with Mad Lust Envy.

 

Notes: I know, I'm doing this with Razer Electra. Switching up to AD700/AD700X soon.

post #12 of 45

I feel this software is unfairly dismissed by some. I've done quite a bit of testing and comparing it with Dolby Headphone and CMSS-3D for positional audio. I found that it's very dependent on the headphones you use.

 

When I first tried it out, I was using a pair of HD 580's. The positioning was terrible and only slightly better after tuning. I went back to Dolby Headphone, but the added room ambience kills the immersion in some games and it's not exactly dead on accurate. Later I listened to some comparison demos on youtube while wearing a different pair of headphones and saw the light. You need to use a pair of headphones with a shallow soundstage. The ATH-M50 is a good example of a headphone that works very well with the Razer software. The closer the driver is to your ear, the better. It does not work well with headphones that have a wide soundstage.

 

To have competitive positional audio I recommend disabling all the audio settings, drop the last EQ slider about 4-5db and leave the tuning at default settings. This works very well in games like battlefield 3 where bass from explosions can mask some of the other things going on around you. I can tell it's working well when I hear footsteps and spin to the exact position where a teammate just spawned behind me.

 

Hopefully this can help some others out there enjoy this free software. BTW, those 5.1 headphones with 4 drivers in each cup are a joke, don't even bother.

post #13 of 45
Its soooooo bad. If this is Razers idea of surround sound, then no wonder why their products are so horribly bad.
post #14 of 45

Have you tried it on different headphones or just the AKGs and Sennheisers in your profile? I find it's quite accurate with the right headphone. See my post above. I'll admit that lately I've been using a pair of DT 880's with Dolby Headphone, but that's mainly a comfort issue.

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdmkii View Post

Have you tried it on different headphones or just the AKGs and Sennheisers in your profile? I find it's quite accurate with the right headphone. See my post above. I'll admit that lately I've been using a pair of DT 880's with Dolby Headphone, but that's mainly a comfort issue.


Tried with most headphones, including T1's. Sucks with all of them. Dolby headphone built into Asus Xonar drivers is far superior. There's nothing "surround" about the Razor surround sound software. Oh wow, it makes the sounds sound as if they're coming from left or right. Big deal. Its hard to expect anything better from a company that knows absolutely nothing about audio, can say that with full confidence after hearing several of their more expensive headphones. Logitech for example makes far better gaming headsets, as well as Creative, with actual real surround sound, that makes the feeling of virtual space around you.
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