Windows 8: The return of hardware audio?

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by lithos, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Xenix

    Xenix Member

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    I tell you something, in Windows 7 at least, the audio is that fucking terrible that I can't even force 5.1 upmix on my X-Fi Titanium in the game "Torchlight"... it just doesn't work at all... not even via DTS Connect (encodes everything to 5.1). It simply REFUSES to use anything but 2 channels - front right and front left (in Torchlight game). That's how bad Win 7 audio is - it won't even let me force an upmix - be it CMSS-3D, Dolby Live, DTS Connect or other, in Torchlight.

    However, the upmix for Torchlight works fantastic in XP x64. Really really good. And that's what I run these days and will stick to - I get Server 2003 code base + XP compatibility + large memory and swap access + full hardware audio with perfect umpixing and general acceleration, not to mention the superior performance (because of Server 2003 code base).

    So inlight of this, I want to reaffirm what I said before... Windows 8 - WILL NOT GET! No fucking way, Microsoft. Even IF hardware audio returned in the way of DirectSound, which is laughable considering how they claimed it was no good, I will not take the risk AGAIN of being burnt.

    I think it's good that hardware audio might be making a come back, but it's too little too late. After two failed releases (I don't care what the sales book says), I just am not interested. Honestly... the sheer amount of time I put into Win 7 audio issues alone since 2009 and Vista before that... I should probably charge Microsoft for my time.

    Get stuffed, Microsoft.
     
  2. Bertross

    Bertross Member

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    YAY i love new stuff!
     
  3. squall_leonhart

    squall_leonhart Member

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    Dude, torchlight needs Alchemy.....
     
  4. Xenix

    Xenix Member

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    I have tried ALchemy on Torchlight and it just won't work. It still refuses to upmix.

    Having said that, I DO miss DTS Connect, as that's only available on Win 7 (or Vista), and I prefer DTS over Dolby. If I could get Torchlight upmix to work on Win 7, then I'd probably move back, as it does stall (lag) a bit sometimes in XP but doesn't in Win 7.

    I dunno, I put the directsound.dll (or whatever it is) via ALchemy in the Torchlight folder and the ini file too, still didn't work. So beats me. If you (or anyone else) could get it work I'd like you forever and will publicly declare myself inferior to your being and self on this forum.

    EDIT: Left out some info regards Torchlight: I can tell you that it uses the Fmod sound system. However that's suppose to use OpenAL and *should* not be affected by Win Vista / 7 / 8's audio. But it is, so no idea.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  5. squall_leonhart

    squall_leonhart Member

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    do you have alchemy 1.43.06?
     
  6. Linkin

    Linkin Member

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    Try updating OpenAL.

    Each game has it's own OpenAL installer so check the disc/install repository or get it online.
     
  7. Xenix

    Xenix Member

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    Yes.

    Tried that too.
     
  8. squall_leonhart

    squall_leonhart Member

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    Games either include the al runtime or use what is installed.

    minecraft 1.8 is an example of included openal (and has problems)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    lithos

    lithos Member

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    Like anything with "Open" in the name, there are a bunch of different OpenALs that don't necessarily play well on all systems - all pushed by people with different agendas.

    There's OpenAL 1.0 (the free one run by Creative), Open 1.1 (the proprietary one run by Creative), OpenAL ES (freeware, software only), and probably a ton of others. The one in Minecraft mightn't necessarily be the OpenAL you download from Creative.

    At the risk of raising the ire of the penguin mafia, this is a problem with a lot of open-source stuff - you get a thousand little factions.

    And this is we need MS back in the hardware sound game - leadership. "We're making an API that does this, here are the specs for the software side, here are the specs for any hardware to run it, and here are the tools for running 'em. We'll make it easy to use, and standardised." Not what we have now, which is a bunch of little sound engines with their own quirks.
     
  10. squall_leonhart

    squall_leonhart Member

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    All renditions of OpenAL on the pc and linux platforms are built off of the Creative OpenAL 1.1 SDK

    Getting it on Mac is a different battle.....

    Old versions of openal32.dll should be removed from the game directory so as to use the updated version in sysdir as this works best with the latest CTOAL (Creative Drivers) or Wrap_OAL (installed by OALInst, wraps to DirectSound)
     
  11. broddo

    broddo Member

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    What, in terms of features, can hardware audio do for current and future PC games that cannot be done now in Windows 7 using software processing or OpenAL?
     
  12. OP
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    lithos

    lithos Member

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    Nothing...assuming infinite CPU power...
     
  13. ppantel

    ppantel Member

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    yaay!!! does this mean i have to remember what irq and dma sound is? i remember the leusire suit larry days, where you had to input irq and dma numbers to match your sound card :p
     
  14. Linkin

    Linkin Member

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    Yeah, but how many times have you played a game of CS to see a guy run around a corner shooting his AK-47 and killing you in a split second to find that the shooting sounds only player after you die? It's happened heaps to me, in various games (especially DICE games). No fun :(
     
  15. broddo

    broddo Member

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    Well that's a bit underwhelming. Sound isn't exactly CPU intensive so I don't see what all the fuss is about.
     
  16. dexx

    dexx Member

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    I loved the Aureal 3D. Positional audio with headphones on was amazing.
     
  17. Diode

    Diode Member

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    I kinda liked the idea of just software audio, creative's drivers were bloody woeful. CPU's are so powerful now that the performance impact of processing on software isn't going to cause much performance impact. So long as onboard audio is capable of making high sample rates of 24-bit 192.
    As far as DAC's are concerned I just use my on board sound with optical out and purchased my own DAC to for my stereo setup. So having an external DAC my speaker setup isn't subject to any EMI noise which it used pick up with internal cards like my SB Audigy.
     
  18. Apokalipse

    Apokalipse Member

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    The way I think of it is like this: who would you rather have a monopoly on which hardware accelerated audio API is used? Creative, or Microsoft?

    If Microsoft made a proper hardware accelerated API as part of DirectX, and stuck with it, at least it would mean other sound card manufacturers would actually be allowed to make their own sound cards using it (as opposed to trying to either compete against Creative with a standard that probably won't be adopted due to a catch-22, or begging Creative for a licence they won't give)

    Diode: I agree that optical out should be used more. Separate the audio processing from the DAC, so you aren't forced to choose between one or the other.
    But as far as CPU power goes, the limiting factor is not processing throughput, it's latency. The ability to mix a large number of sounds together while applying separate 3D effects to each sound is something CPU's aren't very good at handling in real-time. Even though it doesn't take up a large percentage of the CPU time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  19. OP
    OP
    lithos

    lithos Member

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    Aye, that was the great thing about DSound3D: it was like OpenAL with adult leadership. And fairly neutral.

    The other thing with having the sound API made by the same guys doing the graphics API is that we can finally integrate everything together, something that should have been done with sound, graphics and physics years ago, but never happened. So when you create, say, a brick wall, you assign it global properties, rather than just graphics- or physics- or sound-specific ones.

    I'd love to see more players get into the hardware sound game. Nvidia, AMD, maybe some other startup.

    The big thing, though, for me, is that with dedicated sound hardware, developers would be forced to use it and create better sound; with sound running on the CPU, it's the first thing developers cut if they need more grunt.

    Absolutely. Oh, you could do every thing an X-Fi chip does (128 simultaneous voices, 4 effect on each) on an i7 without it breaking a sweat...in about half a second.

    Which is, of course, about 480 milliseconds too slow. And provided not much else is happening on the CPU, which, in a game needing 128 sounds with effects playing at once, is unlikely.

    This is exactly what everyone forgets when they spout stuff like "Oh, CPUs are powerful enough to do all those EAX effects!" and it's true. They are. They're just not good at doing them all at once, which is why voice counts have gone backwards, and the virtual sound cards that are modern software-based sound engines are barely able to do the equivalent work of an Audigy. And that CPU has other shit do, like run the AI, the OS, all your drivers, all your background software, that botnet you didn't know you picked up...

    You'd be hard pressed to find a modern game with a software engine using more than 32 simultaneous 3D voices at once.
     
  20. bigheadache

    bigheadache Member

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    The problem you have is that the sound card market is tiny. 98% of punters are happy with the $0.20 Realtek Codec on their motherboard. You can change the Audio API to whatever you like, its still not going to encourage companies to put any real money into developing new dedicated sound processors for such a small market. Look at how long Creative's development cycle is. The 20K1 was launched 7 years ago and the 20K2 is just a minor revision, and I think Lithos, you pointed out the Core is based on the X-Fi but actually going backwards. Contrast that with the GPU cycle which is about 18 months.
     

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