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Satsun

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Satsun last won the day on October 13 2014

Satsun had the most liked content!

About Satsun

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    satsun
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    http://satsun.org

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  1. Satsun

    Audio APIs and EAX

    Are you saying that FMOD and Wwise are not APIs? I don't know for sure, but at least this guy and this guy calls them APIs. Wwise and FMOD are definitely their own audio engine but they also have their own API since they don't depend on DirectX. FMOD does have some hardware and EAX features that depend on OpenAL, but other than that FMOD is its own entity. I believe that FMOD and Wwise just go straight
  2. Satsun

    Audio APIs and EAX

    I'm sure I need to do some clean-up on my page but I'm not too concerned with researching very deep into DirectSound and XAudio2, I do need to make sure that I'm using the correct terminology, though! :D When it comes to looking at a shipped game, I don't know how to differentiate between XAudio2 and XACT. I did see the note about MS recommending people use XACT but many games seem to have XAudio2 references in their executable so I just mark those as an XAudio2 game. I think I marked Bastion as XACT because it had no XAudio2 references but it has some sound banks associated with XACT (XWB files); many XAudio2 games also seem to have XACT sound banks so I'm not sure precisely which specific Microsoft API is being used. I have seen the quote "removes the 6-channel limit on multichannel sounds" and I was not sure why they said that. Most DirectSound-based games I've tested output 7.0/7.1. I think that maybe whoever wrote that did not know that DirectSound could already output to 8 speakers. I can't currently find it, but I read that XAudio2 can output to many more speakers, I guess for if they want to output to something like a Dolby ProLogic IIz (9.1) configuration. I have also read that OpenAL can supposedly output to any number of speakers; maybe it can. I don't know what the theoretical maximum number is, but very few people have 7.1 speakers and most consumer-level sound devices are either 5.1 or 7.1 so I leave it at that. I don't understand what you're saying about Mass Effect 1, I think we have some language barrier issues. :) I tried to play ME1 in the past but that game crashed very often and I lost interest. Mass Effect 1 uses OpenAL, if that is what you're talking about. Wwise was used in ME 2 and 3. I would like to know more about audio APIs but I would prefer if someone that already had experience could explain it all because it seems somewhat complicated.
  3. Satsun

    Audio APIs and EAX

    I wouldn't mind contributing to adding audio software to the engine area. Some games have similar audio issues and I've noticed that these issues are typically related to the audio engine so if people had that information to reference then they might know what to expect. One common issue that was brought to my attention was odd center channel use in games that use Wwise; Dishonored and Borderlands 2 are just a couple games that exhibit this issue.
  4. Satsun

    Audio APIs and EAX

    Alright, so there is definitely something different about Fallout 3. The environmental effects don't seem different but certain sound effects play differently. Without ALchemy, surround sound still works but sounds are played differently. I went into a subway and noticed my footsteps playing in the center channel, this is without ALchemy. With ALchemy, the footstep sound was played in the two from speakers. I don't think FO3 uses EAX and surround definitely works without ALchemy, but it seems that using ALchemy definitely changes something so it is probably safe to say that if you want the best sound experience that you should use DS3D restoration software with Fallout 3. I might boot to Windows XP to see how the audio in these games performs there but that might not happen for another 1.5 weeks. Tested Oblivion and Fallout NV and they both have the same behavior. For Crysis, I didn't notice any difference. There don't appear to be any references to DSOUND.DLL in any of Crysis' files. I'll have to check out those other games.
  5. Satsun

    Audio APIs and EAX

    This makes sense. Without the HAL, the game falls back to software / stereo mode but I assume this only happens in DirectSound3D games. DirectSound games that don't use the DirectSound3D component, work normally in software with surround sound. An example of that would be Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Those games use just DirectSound (no DS3D) and their surround sound works fine in NT6. Maybe it is different usage of DS and DS3D. Most DirectSound games I have tested that don't use EAX have functioning surround sound in software mode but most games that have EAX seem to fall back to stereo in software mode and of course EAX is disabled. I have assumed that if a game did not use EAX, then it should use software-based DirectSound but it seems that perhaps some games use DirectSound3D even though they do not use EAX or audio hardware features. The trend I have seen is with Miles Sound System games like DNF, Half-Life 2, and Team Fortress 2, they don't use EAX but maybe they use DS3D because using ALchemy fixes surround sound problems. Source engine games with MSS have environmental audio effects but I assume it is done in software with MSS. I'm not sure if DS3D did any type of reverb effects in software outside of EAX. DS3D games that have EAX sound very dry with EAX disabled so it seems that those games depended entirely on EAX to provide environmental effects. In short, if a game was programmed for DirectSound in software mode, everything works fine in NT6, but if the game was programmed for DirectSound3D then audio breaks in NT6 regardless of if it used EAX. I think it basically comes down to if a game is trying to use DS features that were affected by NT6 then the audio breaks in NT6, but if the game was programmed using the most basic (software) DS features then it is unaffected. I think this is just an issue with DOOM 3. When DOOM 3 was initially released it used DirectSound. They later releast a patch (1.3) that added EAX 4 support and OpenAL (OpenAL not mentioned in patch notes). My guess if that they left the DirectSound portion as-is and just implemented the EAX stuff with OpenAL so the game will only recognize EAX when OpenAL is available.
  6. I want to explain what i know about gaming audio so that it's clear why I write what I write in the wiki. What I've learned is from observation, since I don't program games I don't know the finer details; it would be nice if someone that knew such info could chime in. DirectSound DirectSound seems to have been the basis for Windows-based games between 1996 and 2007. What I mean by that, is that there were other audio tools or APIs, such as Miles Sound System, but it pretty much piggybacked on DirectSound. Unreal's audio plugin was Galaxy Audio, which also used DirectSound. It seems like every audio API of the time routed back to DirectSound. Also, if a game had EAX, it used DirectSound. In the past, EAX was a component of DirectSound 3D (DirectSound 3D was a component of DirectSound). When DirectSound 3D stops working properly (Vista and newer), EAX stops working and, as a side effect, surround sound stops working. In DirectSound games that don't use EAX or DirectSound 3D, surround sound works fine in newer Windows versions without the need for DirectSound restoration software; I don't exactly know why that is but I assume that DS3D simply depends on something that was cut off after Vista. Some games that don't use EAX still need DirectSound restoration software for surround sound to work properly; I assume this is because of shoddy coding, but it's typically games that use Miles Sound System (Duke Nukem Forever, Source engine games to some extent). XAudio2 replaced DirectSound. XAudio2 has its own software-based environmental effects and I've not seen mention of it having any Creative EAX features.. RAGE, Wolfenstein TNO, Far Cry 3, Watch Dogs, and the Windows versions of Metro 2033 and Last Light use XAudio2, just to name a few games. OpenAL OpenAL was initially created by Loki Software, a Linux software developer, and later obtained by Creative. OpenAL is able to access hardware features of sound devices in newer operating systems, it is its own audio API, no DirectSound required. I think that Creative hoped to use OpenAL as a vessel to keep EAX alive through the changes made to Windows Vista but I have a feeling that a lack of support (surprise!) and lack of tools provided by Creative has lead to OpenAL not being very popular and lead to the death of EAX. I'm under the impression that EAX 4 and 5 only work with OpenAL and not DirectSound. DOOM 3 (not BFG edition) refuses to activate EAX 4 unless you have OpenAL installed. Some OpenAL-based games seem have a DirectSound dependency (UT2004, Postal 2) that makes it seem like the game's OpenAL software isn't properly communicating with your audio drivers. UT2004 and Postal 2 seem to respond to DS3D restoration software; I get EAX effects in UT2004 and surround sound restored in Postal 2. Doesn't make much sense to me since an OpenAL game shouldn't need DirectSound, I just try various things and go with what works. FMOD FMOD is a fairly popular API because it includes tools (a GUI) that make integrating audio into games fairly simple for audio creators and not just programmers. FMOD is an audio API that primarily does audio on the CPU but can access EAX features and offload to audio hardware. Some examples of FMOD using EAX would be Cryostasis and the first BioShock. You may notice that both of those games mention OpenAL. What is likely happening is that FMOD is leveraging OpenAL to access EAX 4/5 features. FMOD is still doing the hard work, it's just accessing OpenAL for help. Of course, now days with stronger CPUs, hardware-based audio processing isn't really necessary and FMOD is very good at doing its own environmental effects in software on the CPU. The Crysis games use FMOD with software mixing and I thought that Crysis 2 and 3 sounded very good. Wwise Wwise is similar to FMOD in that it's easy for audio creators to use but I don't think that it can access EAX features. That doesn't matter, though, because I've been fairly impressed with Wwise's environmental effects. My only complaint with Wwise was that they didn't initially support 7.1 output but they added that feature in October 2013. I think that Thief (2014) was the first Wwise-based game to support 7.1 and then the Outlast developers seemed to have updated the game's Wwise implementation and it now outputs at least 7.0 audio. Wwise and FMOD are both pretty good with their software-based environment effects, some games do sound ugly but it seems to depend on the person implementing the audio. My page has info about what games us what API: http://satsun.org/audio/
  7. Version

    1,958 downloads

    This guide was originally hosted on Creative's site (http://connect.creativelabs.com/alchemy/Downloads/ALchemy%20Quick%20Start.pdf) and provides instructions for configuring the ALchemy software to restore legacy DirectSound 3D effects to older games in Vista and newer Windows operating systems.
  8. Thanks. Still learning how wikis function. :)
  9. Do you know how to find the "Sound card" entry through the site? Where is it located? I cannot find it by browsing, it only comes up while searching via Google. I've been thinking about it and perhaps the 'Sound card' information can be moved to the "Sound" entry in an area dedicated to legacy audio. Anything related to surround sound, EAX, and A3D restoration in older games will most definitely fall under legacy audio. I will begin working on organizing the information. Your sound card entry has most information necessary so I'm going to build on that.
  10. Because some older games require a wrapper to enable DirectSound features (surround sound, EAX, A3D) in post-XP operating systems, I was considering creating a guide dedicated to the subject so that it could be linked when a game required such a fix. Doing a little research, I found this (http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Glossary:Sound_card) page that has a good bit of the necessary information but I can't find a way to manually navigate to that page through PCGW, I found it doing an external Google search; it doesn't appear to be in any list. While manually searching the site, I found this (http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Glossary:Sound) page that also has some information regarding DirectSound restoration post-XP (in the Stubs section). To make this clear, the reason you would use Creative ALchemy, Realtek 3D SoundBack, ASUS DS3D GX, or C-Media Xear3D EX is because a game uses specific DirectSound features for audio output and those DirectSound features are no longer natively supported in post-XP operating systems. I would like to take related information from the sources above and consolidate it all into one area dedicated to DirectSound restoration. I considered making a separate guide but noticed that there is already a DirectX entry. I could either create a DirectSound entry on the DirectX page or create a completely separate guide. Basically, I'd like to relocate and add to the 'legacy audio effects' section from "Glossary:Sound card" entry to be under DirectX/DirectSound and possibly remove the information from the "Glossary:Sound" entry so as to not have duplicate information. Any input?
  11. Satsun

    Audio Settings - Surround Sound

    Yeah, I was thinking about that. Since the table says "Native" then if a game supports surround sound I suppose that box should be checked regardless of if there is an actual option in the game's settings. Maybe instead of the heading saying "Audio settings" it should say "Audio features".
  12. Under 'audio settings' I've been checking 'true' if a game has surround sound and then I realized that I wasn't taking that heading literally enough and decided that I need to be checking 'false' if the game doesn't actually have an option for various speaker configurations. Most games now days just auto detect the user's speaker configuration based on how they have their speakers configured in the operating systems sound device configuration. I'll be going back through and cleaning up changes I've made in the past and updating notes.
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