How-to: Correct settings to ensure positional surround sound over headphones

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Mau1wurf1977, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Little Man

    Little Man Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    Oh now i understand what you mean by war tapes.

    Sounds must more realistic, more crisp.

    Haven't listened for poisitional audio though yet, what is it exact? 5.1?

    What are all the others? Why can't they just have 2.0 and 5.1 options? :(
  2. lithos

    lithos Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Running Borderlands 2 through Hardware OpenAL - For X-Fi users only.

    Obviously, back up all files to be edited first in case you screw up! 'Course, INI editing is a piss of piece, but I've seen some people do it...

    You will also need ALCapsViewer, which lets you see the name and number of your X-Fi, which is important.

    1) Launch the game once to create the necessary files.

    2) Go to Documents\my games\Borderlands 2\WillowGame and open WillowGame.ini.

    3) Search for the line "WinDrv.WindowsClient". No quotes. You'll note it says "Xaudio2.Xaudio2Device". That means the game is rendering sound through Xaudio2 - software, no real 3D - by default.

    4) Delete "Xaudio2.Xaudio2Device", and replace with "ALAudio.ALAudioDevice". No quotes, of course. This tells the game to output via OpenAL, but so far only in software mode (next steps puts it in hardware).

    5) Scroll down to [ALAudio.ALAudioDevice], just two blocks below it. This holds the settings for the OpenAL output (as [Xaudio2.Xaudio2Device] does for Xaudio2).

    6) Here's the hardware bit: replace "MaxChannels=32" with "MaxChannels=128". "Channels" here means "Voice Count", the number of sounds which can be played simultaneously. The default 32 is a piss-poor amount; that's the same number of voices typically used in games from 2000.

    7) Run ALCapsViewer64 (from the ZIP linked to above), and under "OpenAL Devices" on the left, you'll see your soundcard: "SB X-Fi Audio" followed by four digits in square brackets. On my systems it says "SB X-Fi Audio [0001]" but it may be different on others'.

    8) Again, under the [ALAudio.ALAudioDevice] text block in the INI, change the line "DeviceName=Generic Software" to "DeviceName=SB X-Fi Audio [XXXX]" - where [XXXX] is the number set you got from ALCapsViewer in step 7. Mine reads "DeviceName= SB X-Fi Audio [0001]".

    9) Search for a line in the INI called [ALAudio.ALAudioWrapper]. Again, as in step 8, replace "Generic Software" with "SB X-Fi Audio [XXXX]".

    10) Done! Sorry if it's a bit involved, but I also wanted to explain the why as well as the how of setting it up. Hopefully, this should also apply to future XAudio Unreal games, like Dishonored.

    TROUBLESHOOTING: Check the INI file after you've played and quit the game for a while. If you find it's been reset to Xaudio2 (by looking at the "WinDrv.WindowsClient" line), you'll have to re-edit master INI files in the game directory itself - these are the files the Unreal Engine copies from if the My Games INI gets corrupted or otherwise screwed.

    These files are both called "" and one is in Steam\steamapps\common\Borderlands 2\WillowGame\Config, the other is in Steam\steamapps\common\Borderlands 2\Engine\Config.

    Simple edit as above.

    Note that if you edit these, and then "Verify Integrity of Cache" through Steam, they may get rewritten to the default back up these files, people!
  3. Dangerous1

    Dangerous1 Member

    Nov 14, 2013
    Gold Coast
    I've got the AD900's and I don't find the positional/surround all that great even with Dolby Headphone on. I did have an Astro Mix Amp which worked quite well for positional sound until it died.
  4. anthonyl

    anthonyl Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Have just purchased a set of PSBM4U1 and have done everything according to the OP but the sound in BF4 sound terrible... everything sounds muffled.
    Any tips?

    Never mind..I got it sorted....

    All I can say is...GOODBYE "gaming" headphones.....
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  5. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    I've found that a SBx Pro Studio surround setting of 50% gives me awesome positional audio in BF4 :)

    Around 40 minutes of footage with SBX Pro Studio surround on a X-Fi MB3.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015

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