Technical investigation into PS4 and XB1 audio solutions *spawn

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Brad Grenz, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Relab

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    That's correct. Morpheus or any other HRTF system will downmix from another multi channel system, mostly a proprietary system. Although the standard 7.1 surround system would not be the ideal approach since it's a horizontal system without vertical information, so elavation is not present in the audio stream.
     
    #1061 Relab, May 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2014
  2. Cyan

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    For anyone interested in a great soundcard compatible with their PS4, the Sound Blaster Recon3D could be an excellent option.

    http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-recon3d

    I actually prefer hardware to software when it comes to sound (software sounds are good if you mix them well, but in my personal experience with synths and software, hardware modules are like 1 billion times better as they have all what software lacks to sound good from the get to)
     
  3. Davros

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    I cant understand why creative took a step backwards with the recon 3d
     
  4. BRiT

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    They're just looking to make products that people might buy since I imagine their main PC market is dieing and they're trying to stay alive.
     
  5. ToTTenTranz

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    Long story short: Creative started to lose market to integrated motherboard codecs because their drivers sucked. Then Vista came and killed support for hardware audio acceleration. At the same time, Asus and others came and launched sound cards with "dumb" codecs but better DACs and OPAMPs and more stable drivers.

    Eventually, hardware audio acceleration became negligible for the consumers' eyes.
    In fact, gaming audio in the PC itself went backwards. Back in the earlier 2000s, we used to see great quality 5.1/7.1 speakers sets for the PC with great value for its price in the shelves. Nowadays, all we see is either 2.0/2.1 sets and this crap.

    Regardless, with HDMI audio becoming standard, HTIBs make more sense than surround speakers for the PC.
     
  6. Cyan

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    What are those hardware acceleration features you mention? I thought Vista only had killed the native MIDI support and by that I mean that they just kept the Roland based Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth in every single OS (even on 8.1) but after Vista you cannot change the default MIDI device in the Control Panel anymore.

    I think they kept all the hardware acceleration features, afaik.

    Well, aside from accessories and external speakers, the typical soundcard hardware is rarely seen compared to what it was in the past, when every single PC had a soundcard.

    Even when people try to share their findings on powerful PC rigs which can run games at excellent prices, they never mention the audio, it seems, which saves a few bucks, at the cost of having a generic like Conexant Smartaudio solution, which is so bad but gets the job done.

    Before soundfonts were also hot and only worked with the not really well implemented Creative drivers, but now you can run them on software now, with better solutions than Creative ever shared.

    Gotta admit I don't care that much for software audio -I still use it sometimes, it's useful- and bought myself a Roland General MIDI 2/GS compatible MIDI (plus it has 650 native melodic presets) device for my PC, to compose music, plus I can use it somehow as a 2nd soundcard, though it's not really its purpose.

    But a Creative soundcard would do nothing to improve the audio of my laptop, for obvious reasons. Too bad 'cos they have a few legendary soundcards, one of my first ones, the SoundBlaster Live!, which I still keep at home.
     
  7. BRiT

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    Why use audio cards on PC gaming stations when you have HDMI audio?

    Surely if you game on the PC, you have it hooked up to your audio receiver that does HDMI. I haven't had an audio card in my PC ever since AMD 4000 series. That's been what, 6 to 8 years?

    This is why no one talks about sound cards on PCs. They are not needed at all. And that is what I mean when I said Creative has to make products people might buy and no, sound cards are not them and haven't been them in ages.
     
  8. SlimJim

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    My gaming pc (a vaio rz) had optical out: no sound card needed here either :)
     
  9. function

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    PC sound cards aren't needed given the state of PC gaming audio.

    Under different circumstances, where complex algorithms that were actually being used could be accelerated into practicality, things might be different.

    But hell, we live in a world where people buy LCD (lol LED) TV's, so audio is unlikely to figure highly.
     
  10. I.S.T.

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    I have to use one because my headphones produced static on my old PC's audio out jacks. Dunno about the new one, but I figured it was pointless to take a risk and wind up having to open the PC back up and put the sound card in.
     
  11. ToTTenTranz

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    Vsta killed support for audio extensions in DirectSound 3D.
    Until then, Creative got the monopoly of audio cards because they used proprietary extensions for hardware acceleration of audio effects (reverb, occlusion, etc.), called EAX.
    EAX 5.0 cards (X-Fi line) could do up to 128 voices with 4 different effects each in hardware with no CPU penalty. The new cards with the Core3D can't do shit. It's just a codec like the ones from Realtek or C-media.



    I do have my HTPC connected to a receiver. But getting a HTPC in the living room to play games is relatively recent.

    Many people still play PC games in their desktops which.. stand in an office desk.
    It's not really practical to get a monster A/V receiver in the desk.
    I know I wouldn't want a giant box taking a third of the space in my desk (I would've had to take away one of my monitors :( ).
    Thankfully, I still have my Gigaworks S750, a more elegant set of speakers for a more civilized age in PC audio :)

    Good quality powered speakers still have a market IMO. It just happens that consumer demand eventually cornered that market to 2.0 or 2.1 systems.
     
  12. Davros

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    because hdmi audio has no dsp so when playing a game that utilises one what you hear will be different than
    what a soundcard user hears
     
  13. BRiT

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    Nice blatantly false sweeping statements there. Amd truaudio says otherwise, and most PC games rarely use advanced audio processing that can't be handled by the spare CPU cycles.
     
  14. taisui

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    Might wanna look up EAX emulation, not to mention EAX is pretty much dead...for a long long time.
     
  15. bkilian

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    Welp... the entire Xbox core audio test team was let go during the MS layoffs last week :(. I'm glad I left when I did, or I would also be looking for a new job now. I don't know what this means for audio support and new uses. I believe the dev team is now expected to test their stuff themselves now, which will essentially halve the amount they can get done in the same time.
     
  16. Rangers

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    Big news...

    Well if it makes you feel better they do the same thing at my job. Get rid of people and just expect the remainders to pick up the slack :razz: It actually works out more often than you'd think.

    I hope this somehow means they're turning away from staking their life on Kinect, basically. The next console better be a technical beast.
     
  17. ToTTenTranz

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    What Davros meant is that you can't use a regular Audigy/X-Fi card with HDMI since those cards will only work with their own outputs (analog or SPDIF).

    But why do PC games rarely use audio processing that can't be handled by spare CPU cycles?
    What AMD says is that audio engineers have to cut back on audio effects because they aren't allowed to get a significant share of the performance pie. Which is why TrueSound exists: because audio hardware acceleration got killed and CPU cycles aren't abundant after all.

    BTW, TrueAudio is for positioning and HRTF/BRTF fake-surround. It's not designed for environmental effects. According to Ryan, the only effect that is accelerated by TrueAudio is reverb (which the 16 year-old Sound Blaster Live cards already did in their EMU10K1).

    In fact, I think EAX/OpenAL and TrueAudio could co-exist in the same game, since they get used in different parts of the pipeline.



    Actually, there is an X-Fi Auzentech card that addresses that problem:

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/auzentech-x-fi-home-theater-hd-7-1-soundcard-review,1.html

    There's a HDMI input that comes from the graphics card, then the card injects the audio for HDMI output.


    EAX still lives in the form of OpenAL. In fact, Creative is practically the sole contributor to OpenAL.
    Creative's intention was to probably be able to use their hardware acceleration in an open-source API (it wouldn't make any difference since they were the only ones providing gaming audio DSP hardware).



    Another hit for audio in games, I believe..

    I guess their plan is probably to try everything to reach visual parity with the PS4 multiplatform games.. at the expense of everything else.
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

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    Wowza. I guess that shows audio is low priority. Was the audio test team also responsible for speech stuff? Does this point to MS giving up on international speech recognition in console, coupled with the dropping of Kinect as a requirement? Or would that be some other department entirely, and this is just downsizing the game-audio process with new techniques etc. being reduced in priority?
     
  19. BRiT

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    Ouch. I'm sorry to hear that and hope everyone impacted will quickly recover.

    As others have said, kind of goes to show how little value is placed on audio these days.
     
  20. DJ12

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    I think MS placed tremendous value in audio to be honest, and realised the consumer doesn't care/have it as a priority.
     
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