1212M...some problems with a game
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Scrith

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This is an update to my "New 1212M owner" thread:

A little over three weeks have passed since I got the 1212M and I am still very happy with it. I recently tried another sound source (the VIA Envy built-in sound chip on my motherboard) and immediately noticed that music sounded much less refined and detailed.

I'm playing FLAC files using Foobar2000. My only DSP option is crossfeed. My ouput is 24 bits (padded to 32) using ASIO. I tried resampling to 192000 for a few days but I honestly I couldn't hear any improvement, so I'm back to no resampling.

Recently I had some free time and picked up a couple of games (Far Cry, Colin McRae Rally 04, Unreal Tournament 2004) and everything sounded fine...I wasn't missing my old Audigy2 ZS at all.

But then Far Cry started having a sound problem...I'd lose sound about 1-3 minutes after starting a level. I tried all sorts of changes (gradually reducing hardware acceleration from Full to Off, using Far Cry's "compatibility" mode, turning off Music in the game, playing at lower and higher resolution to see if framerate had any effect on the sound, etc.) but could not fix the problem. Finally I tried using my motherboard's built-in audio (a VIA Envy chip, which has been disabled in Windows since I got the motherboard) and everything was fine.

So it seems there are some problems with the E-Mu drivers for at least one game (out of the 3 that I tried). I hear that there are new drivers coming soon, perhaps that will help.

For now, I've decided to order one of fiddler's splitters and run two audio solutions (the E-MU for music and either the built-in chip or my old Audigy2 for games). My third input on the splitter will be a (yet to be purchased) SACD player. The outputs will go to a Singlepower PPX3-6SN7 (due for delivery any day now!) and my computer speakers (Klipsch 4.1).

I am not thrilled that I'm going to need to keep switching between audio outputs (in Windows) when playing games, though. Not to mention the idea of Windows having to deal with two audio solutions (it gets confused enough with just one). Which has started me thinking that maybe I should consider a more game-friendly audio card (Chaintech?) and an external DAC (Benchmark?). Hmm. Any thoughts?
 
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lan

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You will need to provide more details about your exact setup.

I use 1820m with Far Cry and have no problems.
 
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Scrith

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Well, I am kind of assuming that it is something related to the E-MU or its drivers, since if I simply go to the Sound control panel and change the output device to my on-board sound chip, everything is fine. And it's not like the E-MU is completely broken...I do get sound for 1-3 minutes before it stops.

So, regarding the E-MU, I have updated to the latest drivers using the patch on their website. I'm using the "default" session, which has "WAVE L/R" and "ASIO OUT 31/32" inputs (the level for both is 0.0). My Main Mix is at 0.0, and my sync shows 44 locked. My monitor volume is at -3.06 (changing this doesn't seem to help, so I'm leaving it at slightly under full volume). As I said, I have tried changing the Hardware Acceleration (under the performance tab of the E-MU's settings in the Sound control panel) from Full to None (and stops in between), but it hasn't fixed the problem.

Some system info: Win XP Pro SP1, Athlon64 3200+, 1x 512MB RAM (Corsair 4000Pro), Chaintech ZNF3-250 motherboard, WD 74GB Raptor SATA & Hitachi 250GB ATA hard drives, ATI AIW9800 video card, E-MU 1212M audio, Enermax 480W Noisetaker power supply. FSB is overclocked to 225 (stable), with memory at 1:1 and HyperThreading at 4x (video card is slightly overclocked as well). Monitor is 1920x1200 (I play Far Cry at this resolution, or the 1280x700 widescreen mode).

Honestly, I don't really expect the problem to be solved here, but if some setting or hardware I have seems like it would cause a problem for the 1212m, please let me know.
 
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lan

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I'm using Far Cry 1.1 with no problems.

Stereo output
Dopper unchecked
Hardware mixing checked
EAX unchecked
Compatibility mode unchecked

Also the latest drivers from May 26th. and Patchmix DSP 1.02.

P4, Radeon 9800Pro.

When the sound stops the rest of the game is still playing fine?
 
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Scrith

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Yes, the game keeps running after the sound cuts out.

By the way, as an experiment, I tried running foobar2000 in the background (playing some music, output using ASIO) while running Far Cry. The music from foobar2000 continued to play, without a hitch, even after the Far Cry sound stopped (after a minute).
 
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lan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Scrith
I'm using the "default" session, which has "WAVE L/R" and "ASIO OUT 31/32" inputs (the level for both is 0.0).


Can you post a screen shot of your PatchMix DSP settings. I don't think most people should use the default anyhow as it maybe too complex but I don't know how the 1212m's look's like.
 
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Scrith

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I tried using your sound settings (Stereo, No Doppler, Hardware Mixing, etc) and it didn't fix the problem. By the way I have Music enabled (quality = Medium), but turning it off doesn't help.

By the way, before I lose the sound in Far Cry, I am hearing some distortion in the sounds (footsteps, gun shots, etc).

Here's the pic:
 
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lan

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Ok let's try this. Get rid of every stip there except the 1st one (WAVE L/R).
Then insert a SEND to your stereo output (which is probably called I/O Card L/R or something. I don't know since I don't have this card). This will send the sound directly from the game to the output.
 
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Jasper994

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something else to try. The E-MU is supposed to be able to auto switch between 44.1 and 48khz but you might try setting it to 48khz and seeing if that's causing your problem.
 
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Scrith

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I tried creating a new session which has only one strip (WAVE L/R). On the Output Assignment panel (Physical) I had to check the "Mon" box in order for it to work (otherwise Windows wouldn't make any sound, and the volume adjustment in the Sound control panel was grayed out). If I add the Send (to I/O Card Out 1/2) the Sound Control panel is also grayed out (so I did not insert a Send).

This minimal session did not solve the problem (I lost sound in Far Cry after a minute). I also tried changing the session to 48KHz, but that didn't help either. This is PatchMix 1.02, by the way. There's a pic at the bottom of the post.

I also played around with sending WAVE L/R to ASIO 1/2, then monitoring ASIO 1/2, but that didn't fix it.

The more I look at PatchMix, the more confused I get. What are those Main Mix inserts for? And what is the difference between the orange Mix checkboxes and the green Mon checkboxes in the Outputs panel?

Update: I just completed a level in the game without sound...and the movie that played afterwards had sound. Weird.

 
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Scrith

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Problem solved (so far). I went to the ubisoft support forum, and after some digging around, found someone else with the same sound problem. Someone else had recommended that he change the PCI Latency in the BIOS to a higher value (33?), but before he tried that he said he tried using OpenGL (instead of DirectX9b, the default for Far Cry) and that fixed his problem.

So I tried changing the r_driver value in the file system.cfg (in the Far Cry directory on my hard drive) from direct3d9 to OpenGL and, voila, the problem seems to have disappeared.

Seems strange that changing the 3D mode would affect the sound, but it works.

And, as a bonus, the game sounds much better on the 1212M than it does with the on-board chip.
 
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lan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Scrith
The more I look at PatchMix, the more confused I get.


Have you tried reading the manual? There's a PDF on the CD.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scrith
So I tried changing the r_driver value in the file system.cfg (in the Far Cry directory on my hard drive) from direct3d9 to OpenGL and, voila, the problem seems to have disappeared.


Does it look any different? How is the performance under OpenGL?
 
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Scrith

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I've glanced through the provided .pdf files and have a basic understanding of PatchMix (that's how I was able to experiment with the various ins/outs), but it is a rather confusing interface for the non-professional, in my opinion (I think I've heard other people complaining about being intimidated by it, or reluctant to make anything other than obvious changes).

I haven't played enough with the OpenGL driver to arrive at a comprehensive opinion of it (I got it working pretty late last night, then went to sleep), but my immediate reaction to playing about half of a level with it was that the performance seemed about the same, and I didn't notice any difference in the visual look (though I was on a new level, so it really wasn't a good comparison to something I was familiar with). I'll give an update on OpenGL performance/quality in this thread after I've played a bit more. Of course, it's very easy to make the change; if you're really interested maybe you should give it a try.

Thanks for the help on this issue, which, as it turns out, seems to be more related to Far Cry than the E-MU drivers/software/hardware.
 
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shuurajou

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I would definitely think that OpenGL will look worse. Direct X 9 has zoomed ahead, and how all games are pretty much designed to use it's pixel shaders, bump mapping etc. So, if you have a card which can take advantage and display all these sparkly effects, I think that you would notice a graphical difference.

Farcry is known to have it's issues as I've read alot about problems with Farcry with sound cards, and graphics cards, so I don't think the E-MU is at fault here.

Do you notice a FPS drop since using your E-MU for games at all? That's my main reason for trying to keep my audigy. A: so not lose FPS. B: Because I can't figure out how to use roger wilco type programs with the E-MU.
 
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Scrith

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Far Cry with OpenGL is a bit slower...I'd say 3-5 FPS. It looks about the same to me, but I'm on a part of the game that happens at night ("Steam"), so everything is kind of dark anyway.

I spent a lot of time switching back and forth between the E-MU 1212M and the on-board Via Envy chip, and didn't notice any performance hit when using the E-MU. Of course, both might be slower than an audigy.

Performance is not really an issue, though....I'm running in 1920x1200 on an overclocked ATI Radeon AIW9800 Pro (and my Athlon64 3200+ is running at an overclocked 225 FSB on my nForce3-250 motherboard). Most of my Far Cry settings are at the original (default) values. In fact, I didn't even notice a performance hit while I was playing a FLAC with foobar2000 in the background while testing my sound...so I really don't think sound card performance is much of an issue (for me, anyway).
 
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