Thursday, August 18th 2016

AMD Develops TrueAudio Next to Compete with NVIDIA VRWorks Audio

AMD is developing a new GPU-accelerated audio pipeline to rival NVIDIA VRWorks Audio, the TrueAudio Next. The company will take this technology to the developers through its GPUOpen initiative. TrueAudio Next will bolster AMD's VR technologies portfolio, with a hardware-accelerated real-time "audio ray-tracing" pipeline that adds realism to sound in a 3D scene by computing how sound waves interact with the various objects in it. This is essentially what NVIDIA's VRWorks Audio does.

At the silicon level, processing the interaction between sound and surfaces in a 3D scene takes significant amount of compute power. On AMD "Polaris" architecture GPUs, such as the Radeon RX 480, TrueAudio Next will take advantage of Compute Unit Reservation, a feature which allows apps to temporarily reserve a portion of the GPU's CUs. Real-time positional audio DSPs such as TrueAudio Next and VRWorks Audio are expected to gain prominence with VR games, as CPU-based procedural audio-pipelines can't keep up with the faster inputs of a VR HMD to changing the 3D scene, than conventional input devices. Accelerated audio pipelines are needed to ensure that the audio output is fluidly in-sync with the video output, to avoid affecting realism.
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20 Comments on AMD Develops TrueAudio Next to Compete with NVIDIA VRWorks Audio

#1
RejZoR
So, they are reinventing things Creative Labs (and Aureal) offered us 15 years ago and we lost all that with release of Vista with its garbage software audio stack...
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#2
ZoneDymo
For a moment there I was excited to see that the push for better audio quality (some progress in the area of audio) was not dead....
Then I read this bs for VR....sigh.

Come on people, gaming is an audio video experience, why do we so ignore 50% of that experience :(
Posted on Reply
#3
hojnikb
"ZoneDymo said:
For a moment there I was excited to see that the push for better audio quality (some progress in the area of audio) was not dead....
Then I read this bs for VR....sigh.

Come on people, gaming is an audio video experience, why do we so ignore 50% of that experience :(
Because 90% of information we receieve is via visuals.
Posted on Reply
#4
nemesis.ie
"hojnikb said:
Because 90% of information we receieve is via visuals.
It's said that >75% of the enjoyment/immersion of a cinema experience is from the audio.
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#5
ZoneDymo
"nemesis.ie said:
It's said that >75% of the enjoyment/immersion of a cinema experience is from the audio.
Can tell you this much, good audio does much more for me then good visuals, good audio has a way of bringing things to live no matter how crappy it looks.
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#6
RejZoR
"nemesis.ie said:
It's said that >75% of the enjoyment/immersion of a cinema experience is from the audio.
Which is even more baffling why devs don't use EAX 5.0 and OpenAL anymore. All these software 3D and environmental effects engines are absolute garbage compared to EAX 4.0 or 5.0 titles. Hell, Half-Life and System Shock 2 with EAX 2.0 sound out of this world better than any of modern games. Hands down. I miss the times when material sounds had organic feeling and not this dull generic sound color. Metal, glass, concrete, it all sounds the same today. But in Half-Life, hitting metal vent sounded like you're actually hitting metal on metal. Running across metallic platforms sounded like one. The sound of steps on concrete in large halls echoed nicely, but still had that "thump" of stepping on concrete with a shoe. It was amazing. Same for System Shock 2. Try hitting unbreakable glass with a wrench. Or listening to hybrid annelide voice echoing through metallic corridors. Or the sound of pulsating alarm echoing through a metallic room of Von Braun. Aaaaaah, I miss those times so much when sound mattered to game presentation. It has been totally ignored basically for entire decade now. We need a standardized 3D accelerated sound API. With standardized environmental libraries. So we can all enjoy the effects, not just 1 vendor. Because with that, no one is going to waste time on it. Only Creative had that privilege in the past and even that one has now disappeared...
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#7
ZeDestructor
"RejZoR said:
So, they are reinventing things Creative Labs (and Aureal) offered us 15 years ago and we lost all that with release of Vista with its garbage software audio stack...
I blame Creative, other hardware vendors and game makers more actually.. OpenAL was right there for anyone to implement and/or use, and a certain number of games and utlities used it to great effect.

EDIT: Oh, and I'm still having fun with an X-Fi card on my current machine thanks to ALchemy... FEAR is as amazing as ever.. when it's not stalled to 30fps because of bullshit mouse driver related bugs...
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#8
RejZoR
Actually, it's Microsoft to blame. After Vista and removed hardware stack, it all just went downhill. Vertical downhill. OpenAL was an option for HW acceleration, but devs just stopped bothering because they'd have to redesign engines entirely. And after that, no one cared to use it in new engines either. And then we are here, with audio worse than it was back in the 90's. Pathetic.
Posted on Reply
#9
ZeDestructor
"RejZoR said:
Actually, it's Microsoft to blame. After Vista and removed hardware stack, it all just went downhill. Vertical downhill. OpenAL was an option for HW acceleration, but devs just stopped bothering because they'd have to redesign engines entirely. And after that, no one cared to use it in new engines either. And then we are here, with audio worse than it was back in the 90's. Pathetic.
Microsoft had good technical reasons to do so (namely a brand new driver stack). What you don't see is any networking, raidcard or GPU vendor bitching about having to essentially reimplment everything else.

And as for the gaming industry, it's not like they didn't have to completely retool parts of their engine over the years.. DX7->8, DX9->10/11, DX11->12.. IPX to TCP/UDP/IP, joystick to XInput.. the list goes on, but pretty much nobody but Codemasters and DICE cared enough at the time.
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#10
$ReaPeR$
"RejZoR said:
Which is even more baffling why devs don't use EAX 5.0 and OpenAL anymore. All these software 3D and environmental effects engines are absolute garbage compared to EAX 4.0 or 5.0 titles. Hell, Half-Life and System Shock 2 with EAX 2.0 sound out of this world better than any of modern games. Hands down. I miss the times when material sounds had organic feeling and not this dull generic sound color. Metal, glass, concrete, it all sounds the same today. But in Half-Life, hitting metal vent sounded like you're actually hitting metal on metal. Running across metallic platforms sounded like one. The sound of steps on concrete in large halls echoed nicely, but still had that "thump" of stepping on concrete with a shoe. It was amazing. Same for System Shock 2. Try hitting unbreakable glass with a wrench. Or listening to hybrid annelide voice echoing through metallic corridors. Or the sound of pulsating alarm echoing through a metallic room of Von Braun. Aaaaaah, I miss those times so much when sound mattered to game presentation. It has been totally ignored basically for entire decade now. We need a standardized 3D accelerated sound API. With standardized environmental libraries. So we can all enjoy the effects, not just 1 vendor. Because with that, no one is going to waste time on it. Only Creative had that privilege in the past and even that one has now disappeared...
this.
Posted on Reply
#11
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
"RejZoR said:
Which is even more baffling why devs don't use EAX 5.0 and OpenAL anymore. All these software 3D and environmental effects engines are absolute garbage compared to EAX 4.0 or 5.0 titles. Hell, Half-Life and System Shock 2 with EAX 2.0 sound out of this world better than any of modern games. Hands down. I miss the times when material sounds had organic feeling and not this dull generic sound color. Metal, glass, concrete, it all sounds the same today. But in Half-Life, hitting metal vent sounded like you're actually hitting metal on metal. Running across metallic platforms sounded like one. The sound of steps on concrete in large halls echoed nicely, but still had that "thump" of stepping on concrete with a shoe. It was amazing. Same for System Shock 2. Try hitting unbreakable glass with a wrench. Or listening to hybrid annelide voice echoing through metallic corridors. Or the sound of pulsating alarm echoing through a metallic room of Von Braun. Aaaaaah, I miss those times so much when sound mattered to game presentation. It has been totally ignored basically for entire decade now. We need a standardized 3D accelerated sound API. With standardized environmental libraries. So we can all enjoy the effects, not just 1 vendor. Because with that, no one is going to waste time on it. Only Creative had that privilege in the past and even that one has now disappeared...
Thief 2. :(

Medal of Honor had amazing sound as well, iirc.
Posted on Reply
#12
jabbadap
Just wondering how that will affect VR performance and will this work older gcns than polaris.
Posted on Reply
#13
Prima.Vera
Is so sad that kids nowadays don't know about what true 3D quality sound really means. I remember re-playing Unreal, Thief 2 or F.E.A.R. mostly only for their sound effects that were incredible and so realistically done on my good ol' 4.1 sound system back in the day.

Is so incredibly frustrating how MS managed to ruin everything and completely utterly destroyed the sound for PC games.
Posted on Reply
#14
Brusfantomet
Was there not a TrueAudio part in the Hawaii chip? i seem to recall the company behind true audio holding a presentation about how amazing the extra thing they had putt into the chip was.

Also, will this work on older GCN cards? Would be nice for all the people with those.
Posted on Reply
#15
ZeDestructor
"Prima.Vera said:
Is so sad that kids nowadays don't know about what true 3D quality sound really means. I remember re-playing Unreal, Thief 2 or F.E.A.R. mostly only for their sound effects that were incredible and so realistically done on my good ol' 4.1 sound system back in the day.

Is so incredibly frustrating how MS managed to ruin everything and completely utterly destroyed the sound for PC games.
Tell me about it.. They all wonder why I'm so derisive when they talk about "7.1" headphones and shit. Also, give MS some rest: they had good reasons to break DirectSound3D. Blame game devs and third rate HW manufacturers more, cause OpenAL was available on all machines, with EAX1 and 2 effects. Only EAX3+ and EFX needed more. Hell, later on BlueRipple made a full software implementation (that Codemasters chipped with DiRT!) that supported upto EAX3.

"Brusfantomet said:
Was there not a TrueAudio part in the Hawaii chip? i seem to recall the company behind true audio holding a presentation about how amazing the extra thing they had putt into the chip was.

Also, will this work on older GCN cards? Would be nice for all the people with those.
Possibly... IMO they should have implemented the entire thing on OpenCL rather than a dedicated block, but we'll see what happens...
Posted on Reply
#16
ZoneDymo
"Brusfantomet said:
Was there not a TrueAudio part in the Hawaii chip? i seem to recall the company behind true audio holding a presentation about how amazing the extra thing they had putt into the chip was.

Also, will this work on older GCN cards? Would be nice for all the people with those.
Well I think that "Trueaudio" was part of AMD's Mantle API which was supported by their cards at that time, but we all know Mantle is no more and sorta evolved into Vulcan which does not use "Trueaudio" or anything like it.
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#17
Prima.Vera
But the question is, is the OpenAL still developed by someone?? As far as I know nobody is putting any more effort into it. Everybody is using now its own API again, like nVidia and AMD....
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#18
ZeDestructor
"Prima.Vera said:
But the question is, is the OpenAL still developed by someone?? As far as I know nobody is putting any more effort into it. Everybody is using now its own API again, like nVidia and AMD....
A few people like BlueRipple are still fiddling with implementations, but OpenAL itself has been moved into open-source maintenance mode.
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#19
deemon
whatever they do... I just hope it will not be limited to 2.0 headphones.
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