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3D or Hardware Sound in games dead??

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TAViX

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#1
This is the best place to talk about this.

I personally will never forget MS from completely ditching the 3D hardware accelerated sound from Vista. As an old PC game player, I have nostalgia for games like Unreal or Thief series, or even the first FEAR, where the 3D sound was a very important part of the game, more than today physics crap. 90% of the games today don't even have any sound options except the volumes, and this is really really sad. The programmers are not even bothering anymore with the sound in games, so even if the OpenAL standard provides some sound acceleration, the implementations are minimal at best, and even now I cannot think of any recent game that uses OpenAL instead of shitty flat DirectX Sound.
So why bother buying expensive cards supporting EAX, OpenAL, 3D SoundBack, Xear3D EX, etc, if the quality in games is on the same level with integrated sound. But that's not the problem. The problem is WHY! WHY din the stupid retards from ms ditch all the support for 3D Sound and Hardware Accelerated sound in games?!? WHY?????

p.s.

For the youngsters that don't have a clue of what I'm talking about, I recommend them this interesting article. You should read it all tho, so you would understand exactly what I was talking about. ;)

http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/sound-technology/
 
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7.62

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#2
Maybe its due to the processing power of todays CPU's? maybe they are easier to write for. I dont know.

But I agree, I remember Half Life after I bought a EAX compatible sound card, and it was a different game.
 
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#3
Yeah, EAX kicks ass. And yeah, software sound sucks ass.

People just don't know how much of a difference it makes, and life would be pretty awesome if games started having ambiophonics support, but they don't so we're stuck with tin-can sound nowadays.
 
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#4
depends on the developer. Crysis for example had horrible sound, imo mass effect has good sound. Just depends if it's soemthign they choose to focus on or not.
 
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#5
I agree. Sound is a very overlooked aspect of gaming. F.E.A.R. with EAX enabled = chilling.
 
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#6
3D Hardware sound and software sound is like day and night. What a shame they don't use hardware by default anymore. FEAR and Battlefield 2 would never be the same without it. I remember there was option to choose maximum sounds for game - like 32 or 64, 128.
And what about OpenAL? I've seen OpenAL dll's in games, but those games still don't sound as good as 3D hardware accelerated sound. But there is potential to make good sound with OpenAL, no? I'm a little bit confused with all that sound API changes.
 

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#7
I've been considering maybe upgrading my sound card (Audigy SE) but this has me thread thinking maybe it's not even worth it?
 

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#8
I've been considering maybe upgrading my sound card (Audigy SE) but this has me thread thinking maybe it's not even worth it?
I agree. Same reason I've been using onboard sound since Socket A.
 
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#9
EAX is dead because now that i see what was happening i supported the Microsoft's move of ditching EAX , and i didn't want to get the overpraised soundblasters

I have a farily decent and probably the best pick, Asus Xonar D1 (PCI) and i have been very pleased with it , i have reviewed more and D2 is a lot more expensive and it's just out of my needs so , wouldn't made the game sound better anyways.
 
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#10
I support this thread... I spent actually more on my sound setup than I did on my Video.. LOL.. I love good sounding games.. Be nice if there were more games out their that had nice sounds.. lots of flashy graphics.. Better sound with those graphics would enhance the overall experience.. a maby even make a person go from.. Nice graphics TO holy fuck.. THIS IS kool

and FEAR's sounds kicked ASS
 
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#11
I've been considering maybe upgrading my sound card (Audigy SE) but this has me thread thinking maybe it's not even worth it?
Same situation over here.
 

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#12
This post is MOSTLY about EAX, but its related. for many years the only way to get hardware accelerated sound was with EAX, and this goes into the flaws of EAX and why it fell down - and why we shouldnt miss it.

1. EAX was proprietary. you cant get EAX above 2.0 without being creative.

2. many games that used EAX, disabled software driven features in the sound if you had no EAX. that means no 5.1 sound (remember all that crap about vista breaking surround sound in games? thats why. no EAX, 2.0 sound for you)

3. anything done in hardware with audio, can be done in software. you can find cracked/pirated versions of creatives alchemy on the web, which enable at least upto EAX 4.0 on any card via software.



while some of you are halfway there with the comments about quality, that comes down to the DPS's in the soundcard. the only 'changes' EAX would make in these cases are no different to equalizers and reverb effects... and if you need an EQ to make your sound card sound good, then its quality isn't that great. tweak the EQ yourself.


And as for 3D sound... well i dont know about you guys, but when i play games (modern and old) with headphones and no EAX, the 3D sound is still present. its easy to tell if a gunshot came from in front or behind you, and not just to the sides.


I dont really understand the hangup on EAX - i've got an audigy 4 here, and i compared it to my auzen and my realteks.

the sound quality varied between them (based on the DSP's), but EAX didnt make any difference other than enabling features in games that disabled them. THOSE games sound worse without it, because the audio was crippled without it. games designed without EAX, dont have those problems.




the real reason for many games having flat audio is the same reason they have crap textures, FPS caps, tiny levels and crap AI - they're console ports. the death of EAX and creatives hardware accelerated sound have nothing to do with the lack of quality in many modern titles.
 

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#13
sound mixing is so cheap now that dedicated hardware is pointless, it can all be implemented in software.
 
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#14
Yes, I agree with Mussels, I still get 3D sound in my games from both my speakers or headphones, dunno what the difference might be when using an integrated sound processor though, ever since my first Sound Blaster 16 for my old 486DX I've always used a discrete sound card, so perhaps I havent suffered from lack of 3D sound, I may be wrong though.

I remember when Vista came out and MS ditched hardware sound accel. Creative released their alchemy drivers to still have hardware access to direct sound in old game titles...
 
T

TAViX

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#15
You guys need to play Thief or FEAR, to fully understand what 3D sound is all about. I'm not talking about hearing sound from behind or left/right side, I'm talking about REAL 3D sound. Sound that changes it's pitch when you are in sewers, rooms, hallways, etc, sound that reflect on metallic floors, walls, sounds that even with a 4.1 solution you can hear them coming from above, bellow, or through the corner, this is what I'm talking about. I posted a link there, feel free to fully read it.
And it's not only about EAX doing this. The first one was Aureal 3D that even today is considered THE BEST technology ever developed for real 3D sound, and it's matched only by EAX 5.0. We also had Sensaura 3D, and the latest which is used today(is it anymore??), OpenAL

It is now hosted (and largely developed) by Creative Technology with on-going support from Apple, Blue Ripple Sound, and free software/open source enthusiasts.
While the OpenAL charter says that there will be an "Architecture Review Board" (ARB) modeled on the OpenGL ARB, no such organization has ever been formed and the OpenAL specification is generally handled and discussed via email on its public mailing list.
Since 1.1, the implementation by Creative has turned proprietary, with the last releases in free licenses still accessible through the project's subversion. However, OpenAL Soft is a widespread Open Source alternative.
The thing is, OpenAL hasn't been updated since 2009, making me thing the 3D sound on PC is DEAD. Kaput!

P.S.

Still now I haven't got a clue why Direct Sound 3D was ditched from MS. They could have turn it into an EAX/OpenAL killer, just like Direct3D 11 had become.
 
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#16
Anyone that has played Doom 3 Ressurection of evil on X-Fi soundcard with HW enabled EAX 5.0 sound is just breathtaking. Those hallways in dig site, probably the most atmospheric sound sensation i've ever experienced and i'm a total nut on the sound in games.

Audio processing is certainly not all that "free" even on todays 6 core CPU's. When you enable 128 sounds and each of them gets processed by reverberation, occlusion or other form of processing, the framerate skydives down to the ground. The difference is noticeable even on X-Fi powered soundcard with Core i7 920 @ 3,3GHz so i'm pretty sure it will be huge on just CPU alone.
And with software solutions i always get the feeling that some form of optimization kicks in cutting "unneeded" sounds and their processing to conseerve the CPU. Or they simply don't care about sound, that's why it sounds like crap...
 
T

TAViX

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#17
I keep wondering how would Dead Space 2 would have sound with 3D accelerated sound?? :rockout::eek:
 
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#18
You would have shit your pans.
 

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#19
You guys need to play Thief or FEAR, to fully understand what 3D sound is all about. I'm not talking about hearing sound from behind or left/right side, I'm talking about REAL 3D sound.
except that you arent... what you described is environmental audio and reverb, and has nothing to do with surround sound or 3D sound. occlusion, reverb and audio positioning are all very seperate things that software engines CAN do just fine.

Notice how thief and FEAR werent on console? remember my comment above about how games are nerfed due to consolitis? give it another thought.

Sound that changes it's pitch when you are in sewers, rooms, hallways, etc, sound that reflect on metallic floors, walls, sounds that even with a 4.1 solution you can hear them coming from above, bellow, or through the corner, this is what I'm talking about. I posted a link there, feel free to fully read it.
again, thats a mix of many features. most of those features already exist in one form or another, in software. dont lump hardware audio and 3D sound in with them as one, because they arent.[/QUOTE]



And it's not only about EAX doing this. The first one was Aureal 3D that even today is considered THE BEST technology ever developed for real 3D sound, and it's matched only by EAX 5.0. We also had Sensaura 3D, and the latest which is used today(is it anymore??), OpenAL


The thing is, OpenAL hasn't been updated since 2009, making me thing the 3D sound on PC is DEAD. Kaput!

P.S.

Still now I haven't got a clue why Direct Sound 3D was ditched from MS. They could have turn it into an EAX/OpenAL killer, just like Direct3D 11 had become.
i can cover all that as one: because it already was dead. creative had killed the market completely with a stagnant monopoly. While i dont know what official reason they gave, the truth is that it opened the sound card market right back up again. we'd have no xonar, no auzentech, competing giving us better actual audio quality - it'd be about paying $100+ for onboard level audio, just because it supports the latest EAX standards (and i repeat: with creative, no EAX meant no hardware audio, no surround sound, no 3D effects, no reverb, nada but plain 2.0)




Yes, be sad that audio aint what it once was - but lay the blame where its due, and please stop lumping so many seperate features under the one name. hardware acclerated sound isnt the reason its gone away, its because game devs just dont want to bother these days.
 
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#20
i can cover all that as one: because it already was dead. creative had killed the market completely with a stagnant monopoly. While i dont know what official reason they gave, the truth is that it opened the sound card market right back up again. we'd have no xonar, no auzentech, competing giving us better actual audio quality - it'd be about paying $100+ for onboard level audio, just because it supports the latest EAX standards (and i repeat: with creative, no EAX meant no hardware audio, no surround sound, no 3D effects, no reverb, nada but plain 2.0)


Yes, be sad that audio aint what it once was - but lay the blame where its due, and please stop lumping so many seperate features under the one name. hardware acclerated sound isnt the reason its gone away, its because game devs just dont want to bother these days.
I agree on lumping seperate things in one bag, so I've red about this a little bit, because I wanted to know why one old game sounds so good (only using alchemy), while EAX isn't mentioned.

3D sound many are talking about (that is ditched) is not only EAX but DirectSound3D too. So there is 3D effects, reverb etc. with Creative while not using EAX.
So Creative isn't the only bad one here. DS3D sounds almost as good as EAX, and is not proprietary standard that only Creative owns.
Yes, F.E.A.R. sounds great and it uses EAX, but as well I can say - Listen how A.I.M.2 sounds and you'll hear that it's nearly as good(using DS3D) I think. And yes, software 3D sound can be good too, like in dirt 2 if I am not mistaken, but as others have mentioned - it does so by using CPU power:(

*edit* It seems so that Dirt 2 can use both - hardware sound via OpenAL or optional Rapture 3D software sound.
 
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T

TAViX

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#21
Dirt2 and F12010 are using OpenAL for hardware sound. Even if it sounds really good, is nowhere near the EAX or DS3D implementations. And Mussels, you need to have a sound card that have at leas EAX 3.0 HARDWARE implementation, in order to use, again, the hardware sound acceleration that those game support. No integrated sound solution will offer you the option to select hardware sound in games ;)
 
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#22
FEAR is on xbox 360 I think mussels.
 
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#23
I don't think its that it died because its microsoft completely but around 2007 -2008 codecs started taking over and creative started to support codecs by allowing eax 5 and x-fi to be emulated by cpu which further gave bad PR, and they started supporting their sound cards less and less and game devs bailed on eax.

Microsoft started it buy creative definitely finished it.

but if you have a soundcard with good oamps and dacs they will sound better than integrated usually its not like all sound cards and integrated have the same quality now, and 3D sound is a shame because many developers still don't support it completely like it was years ago but is it worth it to a game developer to implement it when alot of games now are ports and many people aren't going to have a sound system to make it worth it.

I would like to see a comeback in the gaming sound market but I don't want creative to do it because creative tries to monopolize it too much.
 
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Cooling 6x120mm Corsair HD120 RBG fans
Memory Corsair Vengeance RBG 2x8GB 3600MHz
Video Card(s) Asus DirectCUII GTX 980 STRIX
Storage Samsung 960 EVO m.2, Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD, 2TB backup, 10TB Synology DS1515+ RAID-5
Display(s) Acer Predator 34" 3440x1440 OC'd to 100MHz
Case Corsair 570x RBG Tempered Glass
Audio Device(s) Onboard / Corsair Void Wireless RGB
Power Supply Corsair HX750w Professional Series
Mouse Logitech G602s
Keyboard Corsair K70 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 x64 Professional
Benchmark Scores Firestrike - 11471 @4.9GHz 980 stock @1178 core 1753 memory 1279 boost Unigine Heaven - 1824
#24

Mussels

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System Name OCD (Overclocking Compulsive Disorder)
Processor Ryzen R7 1700, 3.7Ghz 1.25V
Motherboard MSI X370 Gaming PRO carbon (really nice board, bad vdroop under load w/ an 8 core)
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro (yay for maglev fans!)
Memory 16GB DDR4 3200 @ 3600 C18 (Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro)
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
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Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 32" HP 1440p
Case Fractal Design R5 White Gold edition + corsair RGB lighting
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Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G703 + PowerPlay mousepad
Keyboard Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 pro x64 (all systems)
Benchmark Scores Laptops: i7-4510U + 840M 2GB (touchscreen) 275GB SSD + 16GB i7-2630QM + GT 540M + 8GB
#25
Dirt2 and F12010 are using OpenAL for hardware sound. Even if it sounds really good, is nowhere near the EAX or DS3D implementations. And Mussels, you need to have a sound card that have at leas EAX 3.0 HARDWARE implementation, in order to use, again, the hardware sound acceleration that those game support. No integrated sound solution will offer you the option to select hardware sound in games ;)
you can easily get EAX 4.0 on any PC via software using alchemy. due to our stance on piracy i cant link you or tell you where to find it, but there are modified versions out there that work on all soundcards, purely from software.

last i checked it only let you run EAX 4.0, i havent bothered with it in a long time to see if 5.0 got added.
 
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