I have a problem... ( audio life style, no tech problem )

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Chess, Jan 23, 2016.

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  1. Chess

    Chess Master Guru

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    Hi.

    Almost turning 30, I have these memories of a ... a better time.
    '90's computer gaming, life without forced internet connection, Windows operation systems which gave you freedom, like Win98 and XP... Buying Half-Life 2 on disk, not on steam! Being amazed by my first 3D games, by my first dedicated APU ( nForce 3 SoundStorm? ), my first dedicated GPU ( Rive TNT2 )... A lot of firsts and new innovative tech.

    I'm spoiled.

    So very very spoiled, that I miss this right now.
    Graphics now-a-days are insane. Bonkers.
    Sure, they can improve, but what a development already!
    I used to be playing win98 games on a 17" CRT.
    at first at 800*640 because I didn't know better! 1024*728*16 after that.
    Remember the glee, when you could select Direct3D instead of software rendering or..*gasp* even OpenGL!

    But what does the audio department has to show for?
    I recently read a post here about Aurvana or something?
    I was still an early teen but it was 3D sound guys! Hardware 3D sound!
    Got binned. Creative bought it, never used it.

    Later, I had a Soundstorm chip onboard, then a X-Fi music, a Prelude and now a Xonar Essence STX.
    Definitly an improvement in soundquality when you have the right source!
    I had a Creative Gigabyte 750 7.1 THX, THE surround gaming set right then. Sold it because it drove my parents mad with the thumping subwoofer. Has a sennheiser PC headset then. PC135 or something. Sennheiser 285 after that. DT770, DT990 and now, a Beyer MMX300.

    My point is, I've always had the gear and the potential to enjoy good sound. But, despite the graphics developement surging forwards, the sounds my PC excreted was ... improving at a snail pace. Creative and ASUS promise HUGe improvements and I buy quality headsets. But the only recent time I went 'wow' was when I installed foobar and played my very first HDTrack 24/96Khz album. It was the sound I wanted ALL these years ( almost 20! )
    Games however....*sigh*

    When will the audio in games amaze me again?
    Did ANY-one ever noticed a game that used the 64Mb onboard memory ox the X-Fi music?
    Did ANY-one ever noticed the 'soundsprocessors' being lukewarm, having to 'process'anything? I'm talking hardware, not just adding software reverb.
    Did anyone ever notice a new innovation in game sound the last 10 years?

    Did Creative ever kept it promise?

    I'm sad right now, looking at the occulus rift.
    They promise a new 3D ( X, Y AND Z axis ) concept.
    Yet they don't present a adapted soundcard to process these calculations and they add cheap looking on ear headphone on a €600 VR hearset. They did that because " then the developers know exactly what kind of sound hardware the user is using ". Dude... I have a dedicated soundcard and a €300 headset, go to hell with your sony walkman era phones.
    They're supposed to be the future...

    Someone tell me I'm wrong, please.
    Tell me I've set my system up wrong, point me to my mistakes.
    For now, games sounds pretty meh...

    Too much hollywood and vaporware.
     
  2. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

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    you right, sounds isn't progressing at all, at least on gaming stage.
    Battlefield BC2 had amazing sound effect and firing effect, i had an onboard it sounded OK then i had Xonar D1 and it sounded MUCH better.
    This days the sound of games rarely get's the attention it deserves, it is very sad.
     
  3. Darkest

    Darkest Ancient Guru

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    The biggest stand out experience audio wise that I've ever had, was a long time ago. Thief 2 was the game, and when you enabled the available bells and whistles it was enough to send shivers down your spine. That was 16 years ago, and I can only think of a few scenarios between then and now where I've genuinely been impressed by gaming audio.
     
  4. Mojojoe

    Mojojoe Member Guru

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    The reason that "dedicated audio processing hardware" isn't every where is because it's a bad idea and unnecessary. Waiting for sufficient market penetration of a hardware standard would stall the development of audio technologies. Audio processing requires a trivial level of system resources, the available resources even on a heavily loaded system are likely many orders of magnitude greater than the capability offered by dedicated hardware. Even technologies like EAX were actually provided as software solutions, there was never a need to buy the dedicated sound cards.

    DSP is just maths, something your CPU is designed to do. The only work it can't do is the DAC/Amplification stage which is where special hardware is required.
     

  5. Chess

    Chess Master Guru

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    That's not what I meant, perhaps I need to rephrase what I meant.
    Years ago, starting, IFAIK, with Creative's X-FI Xtreme music, we were convinced trough marketing that real good game audio needed acceleration, processing. We had a 'Audio Processing Unit' who could 'process' several high quality ingame scources at one ( up to 128 ! ). Those cards had onboard memory. 16-64Mb I believe. Now Creative has nothing to show for it; since, in my opinion, ingame audio didn't really get many innovations and research to play with. It might be a faulty memory, but I remember my nForce onbourd SoundStorm producing equally nice ingame sound than the X-Fi or even the Xonar.

    So all that marketing, in my eyes, has nothing to show for it!

    In other words: give me hardware simulations if you still want to convince me I need audio processor hardware before showing your EAX software in my ear. Simulate, instead of just adding a layer.

    It's like having Ray Tracing hardware capable of doing 60FPS easy but still using DirectX 12 software because the industry couldn't be bothered.
    But hey! they made money making you buy ray tracing hardware you won't use to full capability!

    ofcourse, the source ( game soundfiles ) need an huge upgrage too.
    Using .OGG was a good idea but I believe we have to be able to do better by now.
     
  6. Chess

    Chess Master Guru

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    Update: Survirium... wow... nice sounds!
    frustrating game, but nice sounds and effects! :eek:
     
  7. nhlkoho

    nhlkoho Ancient Guru

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    If I remember correctly, Quake 4 did use the onboard RAM that some X-FI cards had. I bought the Fatality gamer version of that card when that game was released. Of course it did nothing to improve FPS like they said it would.

    Creative EAX was pretty great during its time. The UT2k4 EAX patch made the game sound amazing if you had the hardware to take advantage of it.
     
  8. keskiverto

    keskiverto Member

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    Longer time ago I purchased an 8-bit card that emulated the two common brands (Adlib and ?) and tiny passive speakers.

    Before: No sound whatsoever.
    After: Firing the Mass Drivers in Wing Commander made a blobbing sound.

    Awesome. Nothing before nor after that single event has gotten even remotely close.



    Much later I had a chance to see a CAVE. You know, surrounded by display walls, 3D, etc. Except they had only one wall operational. However, they had placed 30-something speakers to get "3D sound". Not impressed.
     

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