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Old Jun 1, 2019, 11:08 AM   #1
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metroidfox
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Default People Like To Complain About Sound Cards

But audio is so much better now than it used to be. Here's proof:





The sound models are a little bit simplistic (I don't think sound properly disperses from outside in through a door, or vice versa), but it is reflected, and occluded over terrain or walls, and isn't overly exaggerated like the old EAX stuff was.
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Old Jun 1, 2019, 12:59 PM   #2
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No kidding.

Overly exaggerated is a potential hazard with onboard Sound Cards nowadays.
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Old Jun 1, 2019, 01:20 PM   #3
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We don't complain about sound cards we complain about MS changing the driver doings making sound cards all but useless.
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Old Jun 1, 2019, 01:56 PM   #4
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The problem is MS killed direct sound, so positional audio in older games no longer works under vista, 7 and 10.

But even with newer games sound cards can be useful for special effects - for instance latest S-xfi from Creative is orgasmic both for games and music.

Not only that, but with sound cards you get better SNR than onboard, headphone amplification, etc.
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Old Jun 1, 2019, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Och View Post
The problem is MS killed direct sound, so positional audio in older games no longer works under vista, 7 and 10.
Creative Alchemy for the win.
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Old Jun 2, 2019, 01:11 AM   #6
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Well the big problem with sound is with headphones. You get much better three dimensional sound using something like Creative SBX vs the standard headphone audio included in a game. which oftentimes includes no positional audio modeling whatsoever (BFV may actually have something, but it's a huge blockbuster type game). If you're using 5.1 or 7.1 speakers, you naturally get positional audio that works pretty well.

It does seem that audio has made some headway in recent years, but it's clearly not evolved anywhere near as far/fast as graphics have.
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Old Jun 2, 2019, 09:57 AM   #7
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It is probably true that only blockbuster games have good audio like the above. I also suspect that in order to get "proper" audio, we'd need to ray trace it, which is obscenely expensive even with dedicated hardware (there are SIGGRAPH demos of this).

Saying this, there are enough games where I noticed a similar effect. In the Witcher 3 when you whistle for Roach, Geralt's whistle faintly echos off into the distance. It's really subtle, but I'm using Audio Technica R70s with a proper interface so I hear it. Doom's sound design was solid too. Even the first Dirt Rally sounds fantastic.

Think the audio output is more an issue for most people than having hardware accelerated audio.
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Old Jun 2, 2019, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seyiji View Post
We don't complain about sound cards we complain about MS changing the driver doings making sound cards all but useless.
Two things killed discrete sound cards:

1. Valve released Half-Life 2 with an atrocious software 3D audio engine but it still sold like crazy.

2. Creative bought OpenAL and greedily sat on it in an attempt to monopolize 3D audio. It backfired because most game developers dropped Creative EAX for cheap software solutions like Miles3D.
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Old Jun 2, 2019, 01:25 PM   #9
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Truly good sound died with Aureal.
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Old Jun 3, 2019, 01:56 AM   #10
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people are quite wrong, yes microsoft, creative and the likes contributed to the decline of audio tech in video games, but the real reason why it died out is because, audio just doesn't sell to the masses, it can be sold yes but much much much more harder than graphics

like for example the OP in this thread, this is in no way personal to the TS but he used a poor choice for the example, technical prowess does not matter in multiplayer games, because players would be too busy competing against each others, this is the same reason why you won't see ray tracing or practically all graphics tech demo using a live BF MP match, you'd need cinematic demo/game if you want to sell the technology for the masses.

But then there's the other problem, graphics are self evident by the demo itself, all you need to have is some on/off comparison or highlighting the graphical effects you want to showcase, audio doesn't work like that, not only you need certain above average hardware to properly demonstrate the tech, you'd also need long and detailed exposition to explain stuffs to the audience that are largely unfamiliar with the technology, it just far more work to gain what the majority of the audience would feel as marginal addition to the game.
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Old Jun 3, 2019, 07:16 AM   #11
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people are quite wrong, yes microsoft, creative and the likes contributed to the decline of audio tech in video games, but the real reason why it died out is because, audio just doesn't sell to the masses, it can be sold yes but much much much more harder than graphics

like for example the OP in this thread, this is in no way personal to the TS but he used a poor choice for the example, technical prowess does not matter in multiplayer games, because players would be too busy competing against each others, this is the same reason why you won't see ray tracing or practically all graphics tech demo using a live BF MP match, you'd need cinematic demo/game if you want to sell the technology for the masses.

But then there's the other problem, graphics are self evident by the demo itself, all you need to have is some on/off comparison or highlighting the graphical effects you want to showcase, audio doesn't work like that, not only you need certain above average hardware to properly demonstrate the tech, you'd also need long and detailed exposition to explain stuffs to the audience that are largely unfamiliar with the technology, it just far more work to gain what the majority of the audience would feel as marginal addition to the game.
+1 to this. Audio is something very hard to sell, its not objectively easy to differentiate.

Even if there are some manufacturer done something groundbreaking like wave tracing for audio, it won't made an impact like ray tracing do for graphics. I've showed my cousin and friends to my audio setup, but they are more impressed with the graphics than audio quality.
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Old Jun 3, 2019, 09:01 AM   #12
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The good thing is, I don't think dedicated hardware is justified any more. Not with all these cores we have on PCs.


Here is a demo from SIGGRAPH of CPU based sound:



Speaking of Microsoft, they did another one in Unigen, but I cannot find that video any more.
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Old Jun 3, 2019, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFlash View Post
Truly good sound died with Aureal.
This,
I do like my Creative sound a lot more than the generic sound my MOBO come with these days but not like the old Aureal upgrades used to give back in the day.
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Old Jun 3, 2019, 04:44 PM   #14
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I have TWO Creative x-fi fatal1ty pro sound cards in SLI for DOUBLE the SOUND EFFECTS!!...

PC gamers failed and the Microsoft betrayed them willingly.
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Old Jun 3, 2019, 06:40 PM   #15
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7.1 does not automatically equal good sound positioning, its a lot more complicated than that. First of all 7.1 does not provide elevation if sound is below or above you, then you have the fact that sound bounces and gets absorbed differently by certain surfaces. I am not an expert on this by any means of course, but I know that with old direct sound a sound card could know your exact position in a game, and apply proper effects. With MS abandoning direct sound, the hardware no longer has direct access, and its up to the developers to code proper effects, and they are processed by the CPU, the sound cards now merely acts like a DAC. Of course most sound cards can also do some post processing on the DSP or in software - for instance Creative's CMSS 3d headphone, SBX Pro Stuido and the newest Super XFi - but this can only do so much. There are even software solutions which can do spatial audio on any hardware, such as Windows sonic, Dolby headphone, HeSuVi, etc.

All in all, today's tripple A titles generally have great audio, including positioning and effects, that only get better when used with tech like Super XFi, Sennheiser Binaural, etc. It's the games that were released during the transition era that really suffer - for instance games like Bioshock 1/2 and Metro 2033 series have horrendous sound mixing when ran on Windows 7/10 - there is no sense positioning or distance at all. I haven't tried them on Windows XP with proper sound card, so I'm not sure if its poor coding or something else. I know that the original Doom 3 has amazing sound effects with precise positioning, but the castrated BFG version improved on graphics and performance but completely ruined sound effects.
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Old Jun 5, 2019, 09:23 AM   #16
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I still use a Creative Titanium HD that cost 200 bucks in 2013 but Creative does not support the card anymore.
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Old Jun 5, 2019, 11:14 AM   #17
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my xfi was amazing.
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Old Jun 5, 2019, 12:20 PM   #18
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Just purchased a SoundBlaster X gamer - AE5. Love the sound and the software. Games and music never sounded better. I used the onboard sound I believe its the Realtek 1220 while I was troubleshooting my soundblaster ZX issues and the sound was not bad I was a bit surprised but no where near the quality of the AE5.
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Old Jun 5, 2019, 02:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIGELG View Post
I still use a Creative Titanium HD that cost 200 bucks in 2013 but Creative does not support the card anymore.
They do, currently the driver is still in beta stage you can try download it from this link


You can read the thread in reddit over here
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Old Jun 6, 2019, 02:46 AM   #20
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I used to wonder why don't all devs simply use binaural recording. It's such a super cheap method to get insanely realistic positional audio.

But I guess binaural recording is really just what pre-rendered cinematics are to graphics.
There's no way that stuff can be made to work for real-time gameplay.
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Old Jun 6, 2019, 06:13 AM   #21
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I dunno, I have been using SPDIF > DAC > split analog signal to headphone amplifier / speaker amplifier w/ Sub.

Personally have not used an internal sound card in ages.

Last sound card that I owned (well still own, but isnt in use) was the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum... jesus that is a long name for a sound card.

That card was the last sound card (internal) that I used before I went to a dedicated DAC/AMP.

Are there any good sound cards anymore? I know that the Realtek that is built into my motherboard sounds like pure trash.
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Old Jun 6, 2019, 08:56 AM   #22
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IM still using a Xonar Xense….(using some user modified drivers, which makes the supporting configuration software actually work in Win10)

And (not sure about now) but the last time I checked on Asus sound cards they all still used the same CMI 8788 (or thereabouts) audio chip that I have.....except my card isn't officially supported in windows 10.....

It was cool to have at the time I got it, but im not so sure i'd really notice any huge differences between onboard CODECS vs this sound chip with everyday listening.
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Old Jun 6, 2019, 10:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyreTheWolf View Post
Are there any good sound cards anymore? I know that the Realtek that is built into my motherboard sounds like pure trash.
The new EVGA card is supposed to be good. However, it's quite literally the guts of a USB DAC soldered to a PCIe board.

What I want is a sound card that outputs 8 discrete channels over HDMI with a dummy video signal. That would allow me to pipe uncompressed audio through my receiver without restricting my GPU to 1080/4k 60Hz.
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Old Jun 6, 2019, 07:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GTwannabe View Post
The new EVGA card is supposed to be good. However, it's quite literally the guts of a USB DAC soldered to a PCIe board.

What I want is a sound card that outputs 8 discrete channels over HDMI with a dummy video signal. That would allow me to pipe uncompressed audio through my receiver without restricting my GPU to 1080/4k 60Hz.
Yup the EVGA one don't offer more stuff than an external DAC, rendering it useless IMO. You better off buying external DAC.

How about Xonar HDAV 1.3 Slim? Does that fit your requirement?
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If 3 fans left the station at 10:30am cooling at a temp of 63c and one fan was derailed by a stray sata cable on the track, how long would it take all 3 fans to get on Seyiji's last nerve?

(a) Mmmm donuts
(b) 70c
(c) Hey there muscly arms, why the long face?
(d) Must use fire.
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Old Jun 6, 2019, 08:33 PM   #25
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You can't easily find the Xonar HDAV anymore. It pre-dated graphics cards outputting hdmi audio and it's long since been discontinued.

I agree about the annoyance of how windows handles hdmi audio. Basically you end up with a fake monitor on your av receiver, which you can't really see and sometimes icons get moved there. If you clone you can't get adaptive sync to work right, and if you disable the output it also cuts the sound.
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Old Jun 7, 2019, 05:55 AM   #26
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Progress in game audio slowed down around 2006/7 or so when most tripleA devs/publishers jumped unto the 360/ps3 bandwagon. Their primary user base now had static non-upgradeable hardware, listened to audio through crappy TV speakers and cared more about visuals.

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I agree about the annoyance of how windows handles hdmi audio. Basically you end up with a fake monitor on your av receiver. If you clone you can't get adaptive sync to work right, and if you disable the output it also cuts the sound.
I never blamed windows for that, as most receivers have a hdmi passthrough (to go to another device such as a TV), so technically windows is "seeing" another monitor to send a video signal to. Yes it is clumsy though.

Have you tried cloning with a secondary monitor rather than your primary?
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Old Jun 7, 2019, 12:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
You can't easily find the Xonar HDAV anymore. It pre-dated graphics cards outputting hdmi audio and it's long since been discontinued.

I agree about the annoyance of how windows handles hdmi audio. Basically you end up with a fake monitor on your av receiver, which you can't really see and sometimes icons get moved there. If you clone you can't get adaptive sync to work right, and if you disable the output it also cuts the sound.
I'm surprised the Home Theater crowd hasn't kickstarted an HDMI sound card. Would be fairly trivial for a Chinese OEM to throw something together with off-the-shelf components.
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Old Jun 8, 2019, 07:31 AM   #28
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They do, currently the driver is still in beta stage you can try download it from this link


You can read the thread in reddit over here
Thanks very much,Man.My card tends to be crackly waking up from sleep and doesn't even work through speakers anymore.I installed the latest driver.We will see what happens.
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Old Jun 25, 2019, 09:41 AM   #29
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Heh. Currently I have my Arctis Pro with EDAC and feed my Soundblaster SPDIF to my EDAC and enable ALCHEMY when needed for my old games. Works pretty good and reliably. Otherwise I just use the DTS from my headphones for everything else. When the sound mixing is done right it sounds fanatastic. Sadly too many non AAA games just dont have any real effort on the soundstage side such as 7 Days to Die, MechWarrior Online, World of Warships/Thunder, and Subnautica. For me at least.
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Old Jun 26, 2019, 03:06 AM   #30
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I’m going to be replacing my Xonar DX soon with a Creative AE-5. I just need to disable the AE-5’s built-in amp as I have a Schiit Magni2 Uber..
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