The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound)
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chicolom

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Hi, Right now I only have the Astro A40 headset and the Mixamp, I am debating about getting a Sound Blaster Z soundcard for Positional audio, But read issues with latency via Dolby Digital Live as I do not want latency as I play Counter Strike on PC.
 
I connect the Mixamp with an optical cable from onboard motherboard audio.
 
I don't know if your onboard audio is creating latency or not.  You're saying you've been reading about issues, but I haven't heard you say your experiencing actual latency issues yourself.
 
So I can't say whether getting a soundcard will fix your latency issues, because I don't know if you HAVE any latency issues.
 
 
Chico... wait, you're getting SBX on consoles? HAO?
 
No, I was just saying that I don't notice audio latency on my PC with SBX, nor do I notice latency on console with the mixamp.  The time I notice latency is when I tell the SBZ to encode DD 5.1.
 
 
 

 
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Razz7

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I may be mistaken, but if you get an SBZ, you won't need the Mixamp on the PC (unless you super prefer DH to SBX).  The SBZ will do everything the mixamp will do but with one less link in the chain.
 
 
Yeah I know what you mean, But I like the Mixamp so I can switch between game volume and Voip on the fly,
 
I will most likely buy the Sound Blaster Z to try it out anyway nothing to lose, Also thinking about buying a Philips Fidelio X1 is this any good for footsteps or the SBZ? or Would I be better with a AKG Q701?
 
I'm going to pick between those two headphones I believe.
 
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Razz7

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I don't know if your onboard audio is creating latency or not.  You're saying you've been reading about issues, but I haven't heard you say your experiencing actual latency issues yourself.
 
So I can't say whether getting a soundcard will fix your latency issues, because I don't know if you HAVE any latency issues.
 
 
 
No, I was just saying that I don't notice audio latency on my PC with SBX, nor do I notice latency on console with the mixamp.  The time I notice latency is when I tell the SBZ to encode DD 5.1.
 
 
 
 
Hi, No I don't have any issues yet because I don't have a soundcard or motherboard that outputs 5.1 Dolby Digital Live the now, That's why i'm wondering if the SBZ has latency issues with it as that's what i've read.
 
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chicolom

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Does the SB Z have latency issues when you tell it to encode Dolby Digital 5.1?   YES. 
 
But you wouldn't really need to tell it to encode DD 5.1 or use it in conjunction with the mixamp.  You would just use it's own SBX pro DSP, which won't have any latency.
 
 
Since your PC can't do any surround (or give the proper signal to the mixamp for IT to do surround) as it stands right now, you'll have to buy a soundcard regardless.  So it just comes down to picking one with the DSP you prefer (Dolby Headphone, SBX Pro, or CMSS). 
 
I would NOT buy a soundcard, tell it to encode DD 5.1, and then also use it in conjunction with the mixamp.  That's unecessary extra steps since the soundcard can do all that on it's own. 
 
I would just use the soundcard ALONE, and leave the mixamp out of it.
 
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Stillhart

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Yeah I know what you mean, But I like the Mixamp so I can switch between game volume and Voip on the fly,
 
I will most likely buy the Sound Blaster Z to try it out anyway nothing to lose, Also thinking about buying a Philips Fidelio X1 is this any good for footsteps or the SBZ? or Would I be better with a AKG Q701?
 
I'm going to pick between those two headphones I believe.
 
I have both of those headphones right now.  The Q701 is absolutely amazing for sound-whoring in games.  It's super detailed and has a masive soundstage for great positional tracking.  The X1 is excellent, but not as good as the Q701.  However, the X1 is significantly more fun with all that bass.
 
If your goal is to win the MOST, at the expense of everything else, get the Q.  If you goal is to win MORE and also enjoy non-shooters and movies, get the X1.
 
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Razz7

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  Does the SB Z have latency issues when you tell it to encode Dolby Digital 5.1?   YES. 
 
But you wouldn't really need to tell it to encode DD 5.1 or use it in conjunction with the mixamp.  You would just use it's own SBX pro DSP, which won't have any latency.
 
 
Since your PC can't do any surround (or give the proper signal to the mixamp for IT to do surround) as it stands right now, you'll have to buy a soundcard regardless.  So it just comes down to picking one with the DSP you prefer (Dolby Headphone, SBX Pro, or CMSS). 
 
I would NOT buy a soundcard, tell it to encode DD 5.1, and then also use it in conjunction with the mixamp.  That's unecessary extra steps since the soundcard can do all that on it's own. 
 
I would just use the soundcard ALONE, and leave the mixamp out of it.
 
Ok thanks for the reply, So i'll just not use the Mixamp then, I'll either use CMSS or SBX pro, I also see that you have a Fidelio X1 would you recommend that for gaming for positional audio etc footsteps? As i'm thinking about getting those aswell.
 
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Razz7

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I have both of those headphones right now.  The Q701 is absolutely amazing for sound-whoring in games.  It's super detailed and has a masive soundstage for great positional tracking.  The X1 is excellent, but not as good as the Q701.  However, the X1 is significantly more fun with all that bass.
 
If your goal is to win the MOST, at the expense of everything else, get the Q.  If you goal is to win MORE and also enjoy non-shooters and movies, get the X1.
 
 
Haha, That's a hard one for me, Thanks for you're replys!
 
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chicolom

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Ok thanks for the reply, So i'll just not use the Mixamp then, I'll either use CMSS or SBX pro, I also see that you have a Fidelio X1 would you recommend that for gaming for positional audio etc footsteps? As i'm thinking about getting those aswell.
 
 
If you want the same surround DSP in the mixamp (Dolby Headphone), then just get one of the Xonar cards that supports it (Xonar DGX).
 
 
The Fidelio X1 is a very good all rounder and is good at positional audio.  If you're mainly playing competitive Counter Strike, you may want to go with something like the Q701, simply because the X1's bass quantity makes it a bit more suited for single player fun/immersive gaming.
 
See what Stillhart wrote above ^.
 
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Stillhart

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Haha, That's a hard one for me, Thanks for you're replys!
 
Me too, that's why I still have both.  I was supposed to sell one and keep the other. 

 
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Razz7

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If you want the same surround DSP in the mixamp (Dolby Headphone), then just get one of the Xonar cards that supports it (Xonar DGX).
 
 
The Fidelio X1 is a very good all rounder and is good at positional audio.  If you're mainly playing competitive Counter Strike, you may want to go with something like the Q701, simply because the X1's bass quantity makes it a bit more suited for single player fun/immersive gaming.
 
See what Stillhart wrote above ^.
 
 
Yeah it's going to be a very tough choice to pick between the two, Thanks for your replys aswell man, I appreciate it.
 
I guess i'll post at a later date to say which one i've went with!
 
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Check out this video of this game in development (goto 12:40):
 
 
 
Stunningly good attention to sound detail / comms - when one of them shouts down the corridor to the other = awesome.
 
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Fegefeuer

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http://www.interstellarmarines.com/articles/development/
 
Their dev articles about audio are also very interesting. 
 
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motorwayne

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I just grabbed the game from steam. :)
 
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SaLX

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Be hugely interested to hear your opinion of it at this stage in it's development Motorwayne :)
 
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Just picked up a Titanium HD the other day for a good deal and I've been running into some issues, hopefully someone here could help me out.


In game mode, sometimes I'm experience static/sound distortions through my audio. This more or less happens the most often when I am alt-tab'ed out of the game I'm in and there is audio from a background application, i.e. Skype. It generally resolves itself when I alt-tab back into the game, though I've had it happen when I accidentally left it in game-mode and watched some videos on YouTube. I was playing around with the settings when it does occur and toggling OFF CMSS-3D seems to resolve the issue, but I kind-of bought the card for CMSS-3D so disabling is kind of against the point.

Anyone?

FWIW:

Windows settings are set to 5.1
X-Fi settings are set to headphone, game mode, CMSS-3D ON, 
 
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