The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound)
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Rooted,
The basic summary is that since aureal died, the older X-Fi titanium HD soundcards are the most broadly compatible option for PC surround. And then a few tips about activating OpenAL, but most of the rest of the thread is "what should I buy" and troubleshooting.

I'm personally very excited about the Occulus Rift and Sony's Morpheus concept, but I haven't bought a head-unit. I'd definitely like one compatible with the headphones I already have, and honestly I'm not excited about screens on top of my face. However, I really do enjoy virtual surround now, to the point where I miss it when it's not there.

Apparently the PS4 has AMD's TrueAudio dedicated audio processor, I'm hopeful it will also be used to support 3D virtual surround for headphones. That would be a big gain for exposing the masses to surround.
 
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watsaname

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This happened to me previously on the E17. I had no idea how I fixed it, but all I did was left it alone and one day I just decided to try it again then it worked.
 
Weird, huh?
 
 
 
Uh... yes you are. Well rather, what's the point of the SBZ if you're using your Mixamp? Even, what's the point of the Mixamp if you are already using the SBZ? If you are trying to use Dolby Headphone through the Mixamp, then I guess  if that's what you want, that's up to you. Could have just gone with a cheaper Xonar U3 and get DH though.
 
I don't know which AKG you are refering to because you know, AKG has dozens of headphones in their catalogue. But the SBZ amps just as well as the Mixamp does.
Man, I have no clue what I am doing wrong. I think I am going to reinstall the SBZ drivers and see if that will help. It seems people usually have problems with turning it off, I am having problems turning it on...
 
 
EDIT: I've uninstalled, then reinstalled the SBZ driver and "What U Hear" is working again! I am happy because after I listened to see if the SBX and EAX effects actually worked through usb I went and bought an L7 for my Fiio D07k.
 
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benbenkr

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Glad that it's working for you again. Creative drivers are always weird, for no reason at all.
It can just fail out of the blue.
 
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watsaname

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Yeah, it must be placebo, but I feel as if the sound-stage increased a bit and all sounds took a step back using the E07k with line out to a O2 amp.
 
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benbenkr

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Might not be placebo even.
 
Did you reinstall with a different driver version? Because Creative traditionally has the tendancy to shift the way how audio is processed through its driver, however slight it might be. I've found that in the past, they would say for example make 20% CMSS-3D sound like it would be 45%, eventhough the slider remains at 20%. Internally on their .ini files, the algorithms are modified.
 
It's even more notorious with modded drivers (looking at you PAX).
 
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Murder Mike

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  I know this is primarily a thread for headphones, but I'm hoping someone could help me by answering a few questions.
 
I am planning to purchase a pair of active studio monitors, the JBL LSR305 to be exact - http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/recording-broadcast/3-series/lsr305#Specs
 
My soundcard is a Creative X-FI Titanium HD and I have the Schiit Asgard 2 headphone amp which has pre-amp outs. I was planning on connecting the speakers to the Asgard 2 by using an RCA to XLR cable since the speakers have only XLR and TRS inputs on the back of them. Would this be the correct way to hook them up?
 
Also, If I wanted to add the matching subwoofer the LSR310S - http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/recording-broadcast/3-series/lsr310s#Specs would It be as simple as hooking the sub to the Asgard 2 and then the speakers directly to the subwoofer? I would not want to damage anything by hooking up something that shouldn't be hooked up.
 
If It's that simple, would it also be possible then to substitute the soundcard for the Astro mixamp If I wanted to use these with a console?
 
I have never owned a pair of studio monitors so I'd like to know from people who have if they have done anything similar?
You've got it right. Sound card --> pre-amp --> speakers or sound card --> pre-amp --> sub --> speakers. As for the using them with a Mixamp on a console, it should work, but I'm not 100% on it. 
 
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watsaname

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  Might not be placebo even.
 
Did you reinstall with a different driver version? Because Creative traditionally has the tendancy to shift the way how audio is processed through its driver, however slight it might be. I've found that in the past, they would say for example make 20% CMSS-3D sound like it would be 45%, eventhough the slider remains at 20%. Internally on their .ini files, the algorithms are modified.
 
It's even more notorious with modded drivers (looking at you PAX).

I was using some older ones because I didn't want to download the music server thing, which basically disallowed me from downloading any future drivers. So now I am on what I assume to be the most updated drivers via their website.
 
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Rooted,
The basic summary is that since aureal died, the older X-Fi titanium HD soundcards are the most broadly compatible option for PC surround. And then a few tips about activating OpenAL, but most of the rest of the thread is "what should I buy" and troubleshooting.

I'm personally very excited about the Occulus Rift and Sony's Morpheus concept, but I haven't bought a head-unit. I'd definitely like one compatible with the headphones I already have, and honestly I'm not excited about screens on top of my face. However, I really do enjoy virtual surround now, to the point where I miss it when it's not there.

Apparently the PS4 has AMD's TrueAudio dedicated audio processor, I'm hopeful it will also be used to support 3D virtual surround for headphones. That would be a big gain for exposing the masses to surround.
Thanks for the overview!
 
True binaural/3D/Spatialised audio can be achieved through software. I think it's great that AMD has TrueAudio and I'm hoping I can get to play with it soon. But what I think it's most useful for is for processing really complex convolution reverbs and possibly offloading any heavy spatialisation. Otherwise, it's best to keep it in software so we don't get into another hardware war!
 
If you haven't tried a Rift or Morpheus run to the next demo available in your area! Good stuff!
 
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Chubtoad

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  You've got it right. Sound card --> pre-amp --> speakers or sound card --> pre-amp --> sub --> speakers. As for the using them with a Mixamp on a console, it should work, but I'm not 100% on it. 
Thanks for the response. I'll have to see how it goes with the mixamp as well.
 
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kh600rr

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So I could use some game card advice. I play a lot of FPS, all on a Sager laptop. I am currently using a Nuforce Icon HDP& AK-240, for amp-Dac's, I use headphones& iem's. So I know I got a pretty sweet music set up, but for gaming I know I'm missing out, like directional, surround. Was wondering what you guys would recommend, to bring up my gaming experience . Thanks..
 
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benbenkr

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I didn't realize this until today, Schiit has a new option added when purchasing the Modi - Optical input.
 
Yes, that's pretty much a Godsend.
Those who has always been looking at the $200 Schiit stack, but didn't want to go down that route due to the lack of optical in, now you have no excuse anymore.
 
Now if only Schiit can make an all-in-one with optical input.....
 
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I misunderstood an earlier post and have removed my comment. Thanks everyone!
 
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MrEleventy

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I'm pretty sure he's asking about audio in terms of gaming. Not a way to upgrade the gfx card. I recommend doing research on which surround sound option you may like. Razer Surround is still free so give that a try as well, might work for you.
 
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  I didn't realize this until today, Schiit has a new option added when purchasing the Modi - Optical input.
 
Yes, that's pretty much a Godsend.
Those who has always been looking at the $200 Schiit stack, but didn't want to go down that route due to the lack of optical in, now you have no excuse anymore.
 
Now if only Schiit can make an all-in-one with optical input.....

YES YES YES!  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  When I emailed Schiit about a cheap DAC with optical a month ago they said one was coming soon.  I was expecting some kind of announcement, but this will have to do.  Time to order!
 
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kh600rr

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I'm pretty sure he's asking about audio in terms of gaming. Not a way to upgrade the gfx card. I recommend doing research on which surround sound option you may like. Razer Surround is still free so give that a try as well, might work for you.
Thanks, I ordered the Asys Xonar U-7, it comes with some good gaming software, that should hopefully get me what I'm looking for.
 
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